The Volunteer Voice
January 22, 2021
Events and Happenings
2020 Cocktails for a Cause was a Success
And our winning bartender is...
Dr. Richard Grossman! It was a very close race that came right down to the last few minutes with Dr. Grossman raising the most money in 'votes' for his chocolate banana daiquiri.

We want to thank our celebrity bartenders, sponsors, and all who voted and participated in the online auction. The clinic raised over $50,000 which will go directly to costs associated with providing free medical, dental and behavioral health services.
Thank You to our Generous Sponsors
To see our sponsors for the event, click below and visit our website
Thanks to the Citizens Voice for
kindly agreeing to be our media sponsor.
VIM Awarded the
Millennium Circle Grant
Thank you to all the Millennium Circle members of The Luzerne Foundation who understand the VIM mission and the importance of a healthy community. VIM was presented a $25,000 check from Charles Barber. Thank you for your votes!!
2021 Annual Appreciation Luncheon
Every year VIM has a luncheon to honor and show appreciation for our dedicated volunteers, generous donors and valuable partners. Due to the pandemic, we are sad to say that we will not be having a luncheon but will still recognize the very important stakeholders of VIM. Around the date of February 10th, watch for ads in the local newspapers, newsletter and social media announcing the candidates in the Outstanding Categories.

We sincerely thank all the healthcare heroes that continue to support the VIM mission through this COVID crisis.
(Photos are from the 2020 luncheon.)
Patient Success Stories
Bike Accident: Broken Tooth Repair
A 27 year old patient suffered a broken tooth and lacerations on his lip as the result of a bike accident. After one visit to the VIM dental clinic, his chipped tooth was fixed and his smile restored.
Smoking Cessation Program Leads to Asthma Management
A 51 year old female patient with a history of smoking 1.5 packs per day since 10 years of age came to VIM with poorly controlled asthma which was getting worse. In 2019, the patient had two emergency room visits for exacerbation of her asthma and bronchitis. The patient was constantly on antibiotics and steroids to try to control her chronic disease and missed many days of work.  In 2020, the patient started having face to face meetings with VIM's clinical pharmacist, Dr. Kimmy Nguyen. The patient was placed on an asthma regimen and received her inhalers for free through the prescription assistance program.  She also participated in VIM's smoking cessation program and was successful in quitting smoking.  We are proud to announce that she has her asthma under control, has not visited the emergency room and has not missed work. 

This is an example of how VIM keeps our community healthy, well and working. One patient at a time.
Life Changing Diagnosis
A healthy 49 year old female suddenly began to experience palpitations, elevated blood pressure, excessive sweating with minimal activity, extreme anxiety and shortness of breath. VIM provided free laboratory studies and she was subsequently diagnosed with severe hyperthyroidism.  The patient was placed on free medications through the VIM Medicine Closet and her symptoms are greatly improving.  The patient was very appreciative to get back to a normal lifestyle.
A Letter of Gratitude
By: JoAnn
After visiting the dental clinic, a satisfied patient took the time and care to handwrite a letter of gratitude to the VIM staff. Her kind words encourage all staff and volunteers to continue working hard to offer quality services.

"This is a letter to let everyone know that one of the best days of my life was when I found out about Volunteers in Medicine. There are three fabulous people in the office that take care of me. They showed me compassion, patience, and caring for my welfare. They are Darcie, Dr. Richard Grossman, and Dr. Joseph Carr. They are three wonderful people that I can't say enough about.

Dr. Grossman was the first dentist I saw. He took the time to explain everything he was going to do. He also took extra care when he pulled my teeth.

Dr. Carr was the second dentist that I saw. He was in charge of getting my dentures made. The patience he had was above and beyond the call of duty. The dentures he made for me are beautiful and very real-looking.

Then there is Darcie. She is one of the most caring and kindest people I know. She makes sure you are comfortable and relaxed. She even holds your hand when you need it. She follows up the next day with a phone call and if you need you can call her anytime.

I would like to thank all three of them for all they did for me. Also a thank you to every one else that works in the office.

If you ever need dental work done, I would advise you to go to Volunteers in Medicine."
Staff and Volunteer Corner
Congratulations Dr. Eugene Lucas
AANP's President has appointed Eugene Lucas, DNP, CRNP, PMHNP-BC, FNP-BC as an AANP State Representative to PA. Dr. Lucas is an Associate Professor and Coordinator of the online PMHNP program at Wilkes University and previous AANP Pennsylvania State Award for Excellence recipient. Dr. Lucas’ areas of expertise include adult psychiatry, Veterans mental health, dual diagnoses, developmental disability, care of the older adult (gero), medication assisted treatment (MAT), substance detox, and care of an inmate population (forensic). Dr. Lucas has been a volunteer at VIM for more than five years and a great asset to the behavioral health program.
Welcome to Our New Volunteer Dentists

Stephen Brand, DMD

VIM would like to welcome a new volunteer dentist,
Dr. Stephen Brand to the team. He has been hard at work seeing patients in the Dental Clinic as he awaits the opening of his private practice in Kingston.

Irina Melnik, DMD

We would also like to welcome Dr. Irina Melnik to the clinic. She will be seeing patients on Fridays and we are very excited to have her as part of the dental team.
Bincy Babu

Bincy, a 2nd year PA student from Kings College, recently finished her rotation at VIM. Bincy commented on her exit evaluation that "the staff was extremely kind and welcoming. And I enjoyed observing a variety of providers such as the chiropractor, dietitian, counselor and pharmacist."

Brandon Dunkle

Brandon is a 4th year pharmacy student from Wilkes University who lives in Selinsgrove, PA. He is an avid skier and is excited to be at VIM for his rotation.

Michael Kim

Michael lives in Dallas, PA and is in his senior year at Hamilton College. He is a soccer player, is currently applying to medical school, and is thrilled to help at VIM. Michael is assisting with administering a new survey to VIM patients.

Patrick Speakman

Patrick lives right here in Wilkes-Barre and is a 4th year pharmacy student at Wilkes University. He is eager to gain experience in a clinical setting and build relationships with patients.
Gabriella Martinez

Gabriella comes from Staten Island, NY and is a Physician Assistant student at King's College. She aspires to practice medicine in the Emergency Department and specialize in Dermatology. She is at VIM for her Internal Medicine Rotation.

COVID Survey
VIM staff conducted a patient survey project regarding COVID-19 from August to November, 2020. 114 patients responded out of the 565 patients that were randomly selected.
  • 71.5% of those surveyed reported feeling at least "fairly worried" about the impact of COVID on their lives and the lives of those close to them.
  • 31.6% reported that someone in their household had been tested for COVID **
  • 82.7% reported that they felt safe and were either "very" or "extremely" likely to come to our clinic for in-person healthcare services during the pandemic.

** The survey showed that there was confusion about what a COVID test is by patients. Some claimed to have received a daily test through work, and some may believe that a temperature check is a test.
Interesting Articles
VIM Staff & Volunteers Receive
COVID-19 Vaccine
The Wilkes-Barre Health Department administered their first round of COVID-19 vaccinations at Wilkes University and offered it to the VIM healthcare providers and volunteers that have direct access to patients. VIM's very own Don Dolfi was interviewed by WNEP as he received the vaccination.
VIM Named "Year of Giving" Recipient
Volunteers in Medicine was recognized locally by the Times Leader as part of the "Year of Giving" program. There was a one page article featured in the paper and a donation of $500 was provided to the clinic. Click on the link below to read what our staff, patients, and the local community is saying about the clinic.
Mark Your Calendars!

February 10th- Watch the local newspapers, facebook and the VIM website for the announcement of our Outstanding Volunteers, partners and donors.

Volunteers in Medicine 
 190 North Pennsylvania Avenue
Wilkes-Barre PA 18702
Phone: 570-970-2864 | Fax: 570-970-2868