The Centre Volunteers in Medicine Newsletter is now available electronically. Click the links below to view the attached newsletters. If you are interested in receiving the CVIM Newsletter and other important information from us via e-mail, please submit the form below.
New Grant Will Expand Access to Behavioral Health Care for Uninsured in Centre Region
Highmark Foundation awarded Centre Volunteers in Medicine (CVIM) a one-year, $125,000 grant for a new program to integrate behavioral health services with primary care for uninsured residents living or working in Centre Country. The introduction of the AIMS (Advancing Integrated Mental Health Solutions) collaborative care model will bring much needed behavioral healthcare services to existing and new medical patients at CVIM.
CVIM Clinical Services director Kristi Mattzela said the grant would enable adding part-time paid behavioral health professionals to the existing team of volunteer providers, a step that would improve health outcomes. “Collaborative care is a specific evidence based type of integrated care developed at the University of Washington. This care has been shown to lead to better patient outcomes, better patient and provider satisfaction, improved patient functioning and cost reductions in healthcare,” said Mattzela. “We are thrilled to offer our patients life-changing collaborative enabled by the Highmark Foundation commitment.”
“Comprehensive, integrated care leads to improved health outcomes, quality of care, and better collaboration between clinical specialties,” said Yvonne Cook, president, Highmark Foundation. She added, “This type of collaborative care will help bring together primary care and behavioral health systems, creating a new and dynamic model of care that will improve access to much needed services for patients.”
Centre Volunteers in Medicine is a free clinic providing Centre County residents and those working in Centre County with no health insurance a place to go for primary health care, emergency and restorative dental care, medication assistance and case management services. CVIM treats over 400 patients per year, who will receive the expanded AIMS support.
About Highmark Foundation
The Highmark Foundation is a 501(c)(3) private, charitable organization dedicated to improving the health, well-being, and quality of life for individuals and communities throughout the areas served by Highmark Inc. and its subsidiaries and affiliates. We fulfill our mission by awarding high-impact grants to charitable organizations that implement evidence-based programs aimed at improving community health. Central to the Foundation’s mission is identifying and continuously re-evaluation our region’s prevailing health care needs. By doing so, the Foundation remains at the forefront of those needs, well equipped to pinpoint issues that most urgently need support.
Pennsylvania Vision Foundation Makes Grant to CVIM
On January 28, 2019 the Pennsylvania Vision Foundation announced that it granted $20,000 to programs of partner agencies to connect Pennsylvanians with healthy vision in 2018.
“Over the past year, we focused on deepening our relationships with existing partner agencies and expanding to include other agencies,” said Dr. Andrew Leitzel, O.D., Executive Director of the Foundation. “By growing these relationships, we are able to provide additional funding to reach even more Pennsylvanians.”
The $20,000 in grants has aided Vision Resource Center of Berks County, Centre Volunteers in Medicine and the FOCUS Pittsburgh Free Health Center.
“Partnering with PA Vision Foundation provides an important benefit to the low-income, uninsured patients at Centre Volunteers in Medicine (CVIM),” said Cheryl White, Executive Director, CVIM. “The physicians and nurses in the medical clinic find the benefit program easy to use and patients are able to pick from many participating eye doctors for their care. One returning patient proudly showed off his new frames and lenses saying ‘Look, I can see!’ The medical team recognizes the important role the program plays in being able to provide comprehensive care to patients. Thank you, PA Vision Foundation!”
A Successful Health Screening Day at CVIM
On November 15, 2018, CVIM in conjunction with Mount Nittany Health held a free Health Screening in honor of Diabetes Awareness Month. Attendees were given advice on adopting a healthy lifestyle in addition to medical and dental tests:
Glucose Screening, Dental Screening, Hearing Testing
Vision Testing, Blood Pressure Screening, Adult Immunization Advice
Exercise Advice, Nutritional Advice, Lung Health & Smoking Cessation
Providers and their staffs expressed their pleasure with being able to help our patients. And the patients were most grateful for the services provided. Of the 33 participants, six patients without medical insurance or with a family member who needed our services were identified.
Stay tunned for the 2019 date.
Battle of the Minds Sees Largest Turnout Ever
In 2007, the State College Rotary Club combined with CVIM on the Thanks for Giving fundraiser to benefit CVIM. Joanne Steindorf and the original planning group heard of a trivia night benefit in another state and thought it was a great idea. This led to the “Battle of the Minds“, our signature annual event. At the 11th anniversary, celebrated on October 24, 2018, 420 people were in attendance and $110,000 was raised for CVIM patients bringing the ten-year total to close to one million dollars.
During a delectable dinner at the Penn Stater Conference Center, 42 table teams were challenged by 55 trivia questions, such as “What is TV’s most frequent Final Jeopardy category question?” and “How many prescriptions did CVIM write over the past year?” The 2018 winner was Penn State College of Medicine’s team Swami’s of Seurat.
The 2019 event will be held on October 16th - Click here to be a part of this fun event.
During opening remarks, Dr. Barry Stein talked about treating patients coming to the clinic in pain, with infection, and in desperate need of dental care. He told everyone how appreciative CVIM patients are for their care: “Smiles, hugs, handshakes, that’s the norm...Patients are so appreciative.”. Dr. Stein also asked the audience to consider a special financial contribution to purchase a wisdom tooth impact drill. This purchase will avoid patient referrals to a specialist, thereby saving CVIM the cost of this care. Dr. Stein’s request was met with an overwhelming response and we were able to purchase the drill!
Vital to the success of Battle of the Minds has been the continuing commitment of Rotarian Roy Adams, who chairs the event planning committee, and CVIM Development Director Sue Forster, who provides publicity and administrative support.
THANK YOU 2018 BATTLE OF THE MINDS ATTENDEES! The 2019 event will be held on October 16th - Click here to be a part of this fun event.
CVIM Interview on WBLF Radio
In August 2018 Cheryl White, Executive Director, and Sue Forster, Development Coordinator, discussed with Michelle McConnell at station WBLF how CVIM provides free medical and dental care, case management and medication assistance to uninsured residents of Centre County, PA.. Hear the interview on the WBLF Facebook site by typing Cheryl White into the search bar.
Central Cycling Classic
The Central Cycling Classic (formerly Cycling for Care) was held on Saturday, June 22, 2019. The event included the option of…
- A Metric Century (61miles): 8am
- A Half Metric Century (30 miles): 9am
- An 8.3 mile loop: 10am
..through picturesque Central Pennsylvania.
Lunch was provided by Jersey Mike’s and riders were entered to win numerous raffle items donated by the local bicycle shops and restaurants.
Roy Adams Named Central CVIM's Volunteer of 2019
Each year CVIM honors our volunteers at the Centre County Council for Human Services Annual Rose Cologne Dinner.
This year CVIM's volunteer representative is Roy Adams. Roy Adams has been the Chairperson of the Battle of the Minds Event Committee since its inception in 2008. He is a long time member of the State College Evening Rotary. As a part of the Rotary, Roy was involved in the first major fundraising event for CVIM in 2007 called "Thanks for Giving". After that evening his group talked about what type of event would keep people coming back to support CVIM. Battle of the Minds, a trivia night, was launched the following year. Roy has continued to help this event flourish and in 2018 saw its largest crowd yet with over 400 attendees.
Roy helped to develop and maintain CVIM's original website and continues to support the new website. He is the person who sets up and maintains our fundraising pages for our events. Along with his wife Fiona, Roy generously volunteers time at other special events when help is needed.
Roy and Fiona are relocating to the mid-west in the next few months to be closer to their children. We are excited for them in this new life, but we will miss Roy's leadership.
"CVIM provides care for the medically underserved in our community, which aligns with my belief that affordable medical care should be available for all persons. I have enjoyed being able to use my time in helping to organize CVIM's primary fundraiser and to help with various website matters." ~Roy Adams
Thank you, Roy for being such an important part of our CVIM team!
Give Kids a Smile and Vision for the Future Day
On May 3, 2019 CVIM held the 15th Annual Give Kids a Smile and Vision for the Future Day. Over 80 children, ages 1–18 received free comprehensive dental care and free vision screenings, all thanks to the caring hearts of many local professionals. The one-day event was held at the Pediatric Dental Care & Orthodontics offices where their dentists and orthodontist were joined by other local dentists, hygienists, and dental assistants to provide care to uninsured children.
Dr. Marla Moon and the staff of Nittany Eye Associates Grays Woods provided screenings and additional vision care as needed. Volunteers were on hand to register children and hand out goodie bags with toothbrushes, toothpaste, sunglasses and educational information.This year’s event was sponsored once again by the State College Kiwanis in conjunction with their dedication to children’s oral health.
Thrivent Choice Program
CVIM has been approved to participate in the Thrivent Choice program. If you are a Thrivent Financial member you are now able to direct your Choice Dollars to be donated to CVIM. Thanks to volunteer, Sharon Bressler for nominating CVIM. More Information
CVIM Fill the Gaps Where Insurance Falls Short
By Jeremy Hartley
“Everyone has a right to quality health care.”
The words of Centre Volunteers in Medicine Executive Director Cheryl White sum up the attitude of what CVIM is and what the volunteers do.
The longstanding Centre County medical care provider, which first opened its doors in 2003, according to its website, offers numerous medical services, assistance and case management to the under- or uninsured residents and workers of the county. For those who qualify, CVIM provides an avenue to turn to for much-needed medical care.
“We’re the free clinic in town,” White said. “We serve about 1,000 unique patients a year. We have 199 volunteers who do everything from see the patients to take out the trash.”
CVIM describes itself as the “medical home” for its patients, according to its website. Similar to a family practice, the organization provides physical exams and acute care while treating chronic illnesses such as diabetes, high blood pressure and high cholesterol.
Specific health care for women is also provided, the site said, including cancer screenings and birth control counseling.
CVIM also provides medication assistance, the site said, providing many medicines to patients at no cost. Medications are obtained through applications to “indigent drug programs” through pharmaceutical companies, bulk drug purchases and payments to partnering pharmacies.
The volunteers come from the various health care providers in the county, White said, and includes physicians, dentists, nurses, pharmacists, social workers and lay volunteers. CVIM partners with Mount Nittany Medical Center, Geisinger Health and Hershey Medical Center, but also partners with Penn State education through residency programs, health policy administration and social work interns.
By far, she said, the dental program is the most in-demand service, with 1,200 people waiting for a first-time appointment. CVIM employs a staff dentist who is able to provide service twice a week.
Dental services most sought at the clinic include emergency evaluations, extractions, basic cleanings and diagnostic referrals, the website said.
While the need for medical service remains high, CVIM also provides case management service, the website said, acknowledging the need for basics such as housing, heat and food. The organization acts as an entry point for these other “safety net” services in the county, White said, while seeking to enroll visitors in any insurance they may qualify for.
“If we can get them an affordable insurance, then that’s one more person that can come in our door if we have one less patient,” she said.
Funding for CVIM is partly provided through United Way, White said, but “95 percent of our funding comes right from the community.”