State College

Centre Volunteers in Medicine is accepting new patients

Sue Miller gives Evan Guebara, 5, of Bellefonte, an eye exam at Centre Volunteers in Medicine’s annual Give Kids a Smile and Vision for the Future event in 2013. CVIM is extending its services to people working in Centre County but residing outside of it.
Sue Miller gives Evan Guebara, 5, of Bellefonte, an eye exam at Centre Volunteers in Medicine’s annual Give Kids a Smile and Vision for the Future event in 2013. CVIM is extending its services to people working in Centre County but residing outside of it. Centre Daily Times, file

Centre Volunteers in Medicine is trying to get the word out — it’s accepting new patients.

With the Affordable Care Act insuring more people and an increased recruitment of physicians, the free clinic is able to take on more patients, said Sue Forster, CVIM’s development coordinator.

CVIM has more than 2,000 medical and 2,000 dental patients, and the clinic hopes to double that amount, Forster said.

The clinic is looking to expand its services to people who work in Centre County but reside outside of it, she said.

“We know that there are outlying areas that do not have clinics,” Forster said. “... We’re looking to help more people.”

To qualify for free services from CVIM, patients who are uninsured can earn up to 250 percent of the federal poverty level — about $29,700 per year for an individual or $60,750 for a family of four, according to the clinic.

In Centre County, 12 percent of residents don’t have any type of health insurance, Forster said.

“We’re trying to keep them out of the emergency rooms. ... We would really like people to establish us as their primary care provider,” she added.

Through the United Way, the clinic has one paid dentist who works two days per week in the office, Forster said. But other than that, the physicians and dentists volunteer their time.

In the 2015-16 fiscal year, volunteers provided 2,062 medical and 2,090 dental clinic visits, according to CVIM.

More than 10,000 hoursdonated by CVIM volunteers in 2015-16 fiscal year

The clinic is funded by the community, Forster said, adding that money comes from grants, individual or company donations and sponsorship of events. It receives no federal funding.

In addition to medical and dental services, CVIM provides case management services.

CVIM’s case managers are certified application counselors who can help people navigate the Affordable Care Act’s marketplace or apply for Medicare or Medicaid if they qualify, Forster said.

Since Jan. 1, case managers at the clinic have helped 90 people get insured, she said.

Forster said “we try very hard not to duplicate services; if they qualify, we get them insured.”

Sarah Rafacz: 814-231-4619; @SarahRafacz

Centre Volunteers in Medicine

Location: 2520 Green Tech Drive, State College

Hours: 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Monday through Thursday and 8 a.m.-4 p.m. Friday

Phone: 231-4043

Online: http://www.cvim.net/

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