Space Coast Volunteers In Medicine Clinic to Open April 25, 2011

Clinic to provide free medical and dental care to the uninsured of Brevard County

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE   
Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Contact:
Janelle Davis
Public Relations Strategist
American Academy of Family Physicians
(800) 274-2237 Ext. 5222
jdavis@aafp.org

Palm Bay, Fla. — A new free clinic, dedicated to providing free medical and dental care to uninsured residents of Brevard County, is scheduled to open April 25, 2011 in Palm Bay. Space Coast Volunteers in Medicine clinic will accept patients who earn less than 200 percent of the federal poverty level and have no insurance. The clinic will be staffed by volunteer physicians, other health care professionals, and members of the community willing to donate their time and skills to helping those in need. All services will be free of charge, supported through grants, donations and fundraising events. No tax dollars will be used to fund the clinic.

Over the past year, free clinics in the United States have seen a dramatic rise in patient visits, by as much as 50 percent. Most of these people (83 percent) live in working households. Even with health care reform, there will always be an underserved population — men, women, and children who simply fall between the cracks. With massive layoffs projected for the Space Coast region, the timing for this new clinic couldn’t be better.

The Space Coast Volunteers in Medicine clinic is the first of many new free health clinics that will benefit from grants provided by a new signature program of the American Academy of Family Physicians Foundation called Family Medicine Cares. The AAFP Foundation will collaborate with Volunteers in Medicine, a non-profit organization that helps develop sustainable, locally supported free clinics in underserved communities throughout the United States.

“The opening of the Space Coast Volunteers in Medicine Clinic, as well as its being the inaugural Family Medicine Cares grant recipient, sets the stage for a continuing partnership between the AAFP Foundation and Volunteers in Medicine that will result in the opening of many more free clinics in the future,” said Hugh Greeley, chairman of the VIM Board of Directors. “Volunteers in Medicine is honored to be part of this important initiative that provides primary care to the increasing numbers of uninsured individuals in the United States.”

The AAFP Foundation is the philanthropic arm of the American Academy of Family Physicians whose mission is to advance the values of family medicine by promoting humanitarian, educational and scientific initiatives that improve the health of all people.

“As family doctors, we know how important it is to have access to quality primary care to prevent illness, detect and treat problems early, and coordinate complex care. As fellow Americans, we stand with those in the Space Coast area who find themselves in need,” said Richard Roberts, M.D., J.D., president of the AAFP Foundation.

The team at Space Coast Volunteers in Medicine is pleased to provide a much needed safety net for the uninsured population of Brevard County. One avid supporter of the Volunteers in Medicine business model is Jim Barfield, CEO & president of Luke & Associates and 2011 Space Coast Business Leader of the Year.

“Nobody really knows what the future holds for health care in the United States, but what I do know is that there are solutions for providing basic health care and it begins with our local community,” Barfield said. “The Space Coast Volunteers in Medicine Clinic is about community; neighbors coming together and using their skills to improve the health of the community because they care, not because they have to.”



Space Coast Volunteers in Medicine (Ribbon Cutting: 5:30pm, Monday, April 25th)
1460 Baytree Drive
Palm Bay, FL 32905
321-914-0915
For Details on Eligibility: 321-914-2715
www.spacecoastvolunteersinmedicine.org(www.spacecoastvolunteersinmedicine.org)

About the American Academy of Family Physicians Foundation
The Foundation serves as the philanthropic arm of the American Academy of Family Physicians. Its primary mission is to advance the values of family medicine by promoting humanitarian, educational, and scientific initiatives that improve the health of all people. For more information, please visit www.aafpfoundation.org(www.aafpfoundation.org).

About Volunteers in Medicine
Volunteers in Medicine is dedicated to the development of a national network of free clinics emphasizing the use of retired and practicing medical and community volunteers to improve access to health care for America’s uninsured.
www.volunteersinmedicine.org(www.volunteersinmedicine.org).