Living Columns & Blogs

Spread the word: Centre Volunteers in Medicine wants to be more than a ‘best kept secret’

Being a “best kept secret” in Centre County can be a good thing, or a bad thing, depending on your perspective. At Centre Volunteers in Medicine, we consider it a bad thing. Our mission is to provide free health care to folks who are low income and uninsured. We believe everyone should have access to health care, so being a “best kept secret” is not at all desirable.

It saddens us to hear that not everyone who needs CVIM finds their way to us. Not knowing about CVIM means someone goes without much needed free medical care, free dental care, free case management help ... even free medications.

Patient surveys have shown the best way to spread the word regarding free health care at CVIM is by word of mouth. You may already know someone who is under our care, receiving free quality health care thanks to the volunteer health care providers at CVIM. You most likely know someone who could use our care and may not know about us. More than 80 percent of CVIM patients are employed, so as you go about your day you will cross the path of someone in need of us: the server at the local restaurant, the single mom who lives across the street, the construction worker remodeling your house, your sister’s kid who is between jobs.

We need your help in spreading the word about the free care we provide. Making referrals to CVIM is easy. Simply give someone who may need us our phone number (814-231-4043) and we will take care of the rest. Applying for services is simple — no red tape here. We also make referrals to other agencies in the Centre County safety net which helps to make the care we provide comprehensive. You can also refer someone to our website ( where they can find additional information. If you are interested in becoming a CVIM volunteer, you will find information there as well.

We will not rest until everyone who lives or works in Centre County has access to quality health care. You can help us from being a “best kept secret” to becoming a “best known fact.” Thank you for helping us to give the gift of health to our community.

Cheryl White is the executive director of CVIM.