The Volunteer Voice
March 1st, 2019
VIM Participates in United Way's
Poverty Simulator
Did you know nearly thirty percent of children in the Wyoming Valley live in poverty? On Tuesday, February 19th, Chelsea Collins , Social Care Coordinator, and Sara Herr , Master of Social Work Student, had the opportunity to participate in the United Way's Poverty Simulator held at the Salvation Army in Wilkes-Barre. Dozens of community leaders participated in the exercise and gained a new perspective of what it's like to live in poverty.

Patients at VIM work with an income at or below 200% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines and face many of the scenarios from the simulator on a daily basis. The Health Equity Program at the clinic assists patients with resources for social barriers that may effect health in the areas of nutritional foods, employment, transportation and housing.

Click the link below to view the news coverage of the event provided by WBRE.

Pictured above, on the right, is Sara Herr, participating in the simulation.
Patients Begin Utilizing Pennsylvania Vision Foundation Benefits
Thanks to a new partnership with the Pennsylvania Vision Foundation , patients at VIM are now able to utilize vision insurance benefits. After the VIM Nursing Director submits an application to VBA, notice is provided and the patient is able to select a doctor of their choice from the provider list. Benefits include comprehensive exams, spectacle lenses and frames. PA Vision Foundation covers the cost of the insurance benefit, allowing free vision services to the VIM patient. Another example of how partnerships and collaborations are key to assisting VIM in providing comprehensive care to low income uninsured patients.
Patient Success Story
A thirty-two year old male patient first came into the dental clinic with an abscess tooth and many dental caries. A treatment plan was established to get the patient out of pain and for him to receive dentures. After a cycle of antibiotics, the patient had numerous teeth extracted by Dr. Richard Grossman, volunteer dentist. Once the healing process was complete, impressions for dentures were taken. When the patient received his dentures he was thrilled to have a new, full smile and thanked the staff and volunteers for all they had done.
Welcome to Our New Volunteers & Students
Valerie Simmons joined the clinic as a volunteer this week. She will be assisting as a receptionist and helping with other office duties. Valerie is a retired nurse and is excited to be a part of VIM since she "loves helping people" .
Justin Kacyon is a pharmacy student from Wilkes University that began his advanced pharmacy practice experience at the clinic last week . He is in his fourth year of pharmacy school and from Nescopek.
Lucy Vavrek joined the clinic as a volunteer nurse. She currently works full-time in a local emergency department but still finds it in her heart to volunteer . Lucy chose to volunteer at VIM to "help my community and those who may need help". As a bi-lingual nurse, she is also helping to translate for patients, which she enjoys since she doesn't speak Spanish often.
Amanda Walsh is a pharmacy student from Wilkes University that also began her advanced pharmacy practice experience at the clinic last week. She is interested in practicing in a managed care or community pharmacy upon graduation. She is also an avid animal lover with seven cats and two dogs at home!
Brianna Boyer is a pharmacy student from Wilkes University and spent time volunteering at the clinic this week. She is in her second year of pharmacy school and would like to practice pharmacy in a setting with plenty of patient interaction. Brianna "loves to learn and share her knowledge with the local community ".
Students Love VIM!
Shlonda Branton , a nursing student from Wilkes-Barre Career and Technical Center completed her six-week rotation at the clinic this week. She would highly recommend this internship to other students and said it was an excellent learning experience . We wish her much success in all her future endevours!
Healthy Smiles Program
Visits Local Preschools
The dental clinic staff have been busy presenting the "Healthy Smile for a Healthy Start" Program during National Children's Dental Health month!
Schoolhouse Day Care Center in Plains on February 15
Cookie Corner in Wyoming on February 20th
Catholic Youth Center in Wilkes-Barre on February 27th
Updated Narcotics Agreement
By Frances Feudale, DO, Medical Director of VIM
The clinic recently updated the Narcotics Agreement Form . The form is now called the “ Agreement for Controlled Substance Prescriptions ” and will be available in English and Spanish. It is a policy at VIM and extremely important to use this form on ALL patients who are prescribed ANY controlled substances including narcotics, benzodiazepines, barbiturates, amphetamines, and other substances (i.e. testosterone, midrin, tranxene, chloral hydrate, and soma). This is not an all-inclusive list. The full list is available at the following link - Full Narcotics Listing .

There are certainly times when our patients will need controlled substances to treat their condition but as we all know many of these medications can easily become addictive so when prescribing these medications please keep these things in mind:
1) Try to use other medications and therapies first.
2) If you must use a controlled substance, check the Pennsylvania Prescription Drug Monitoring Program – it’s the law.
3) Counsel the patients on the risks of addiction and explain that this is short-term therapy ONLY.
4) Start at the lowest dose possible; prescribe the least amount possible and do not give any refills.
5) Schedule a follow up appointment to re-evaluate the medication’s effectiveness before providing refills.
6) Document your goals and treatment plan in MEDENT so that other providers can follow it.
7) Get others involved early (counseling, orthopedics, chiropractors, etc.).
8) Re-evaluate your patients often and always consider weaning patients off these medications, especially those who have been on them for a long period of time.

If you have any questions regarding this, please feel free to contact Dr. Frances Feudale at
Wilkes Pharmacy Student Presents at
Clinic's Monthly In-Service
On Tuesday, February 26th, Danica Benson , a pharmacy student at Wilkes University, presented "The Importance of Pharmacology" to the clinic's staff and volunteers. She presented information on how medications enter the body and the various effects they have. Danica has also been a dedicated volunteer at VIM for many years, helping out wherever she is needed.
Save the Date
Upcoming Educational Community In-Services
Learning about other Luzerne County  community agencies in order to refer patients  is one of the many ways that VIM provides case management services. All in-services are from 9:00 am to 10:00 am and are held at the clinic. If you would like to join us for the next presentation, please RSVP to Chelsea at  or 570-970-2864.
 Tuesday, March 26th
Volunteers of America
 Tuesday, May 28th
Victims Resource Center
Measles Outbreak
Recently, news outlets have been reporting measles cases across the United States. Thirty-six cases of measles have been confirmed since the beginning of the year in Washington state and Oregon, with two cases known to have spread to Hawaii from visitors who carried it there from Washington. If that isn’t bad enough, our neighbor to the north, New York, is having its worst outbreak in decades with more than 200 cases. Since measles is extremely contagious - if you are NOT vaccinated and come into contact with measles, you have a 90% chance of contracting the disease. It is only a matter of time until we see another case in Pennsylvania.

Measles is a virus that lives in the nose and throat of an infected person. It can spread to others through coughing and sneezing and can live for up to two hours in the contaminated air or on an infected surface. It typically begins with a fever (101°F) or higher, cough, runny nose, and red, watery eyes. Two or three days after symptoms begin, tiny white spots may appear inside the mouth. Three to five days later, a rash breaks out. It usually begins as flat red spots that appear on the face and spreads downward. The spots may become joined together as they spread. When the rash appears, a person’s fever may spike to more than 104°F. After a few days, the fever subsides and the rash fades. Infected people can spread measles to others from four days before through four days after the rash appears.

Fortunately, most will recover but some will suffer mild or moderate complications like otitis media, pneumonia, bronchitis, or diarrhea. However, even in healthy children and adults, measles can cause serious illness requiring hospitalization. For example, one out of every 1,000 measles cases will develop acute encephalitis, which often results in permanent brain damage and one or two out of every 1,000 children who become infected with measles will die from respiratory and neurologic complications. Furthermore, subacute sclerosing panencephalitis (SSPE) is a rare, but fatal degenerative disease of the central nervous system characterized by behavioral and intellectual deterioration and seizures that generally develop 7 to 10 years after measles infection.

If you suspect a case of measles, please place a mask on the patient immediately and isolate the patient from others as much as possible. Immediately contact the PA Department of Health at 1-877-PA-HEALTH for consultation regarding testing, assistance with diagnosis, treatment, isolation precautions, etc.
Patient Centered Medical Home Update
This week's conference call with the Americares team covered the Access & Continuity and Care Management modules of the self-assessment on VIM's Electronic Medical Records system. The clinic has two modules left to review with the Americares team before moving on to the work plan portion of the PCMH certification process.
Let's Get Social!
Volunteers  in  Medicine 
 190 North Pennsylvania Avenue
Wilkes-Barre PA 18702
Phone: 570-970-2864 | email: