With all that has transpired this past year in the healthcare community, I continue to be honored and amazed by the steadfast dedication and support of our volunteers, community partners, generous donors, and incredible staff committed to supporting those in our community most in need of free, high-quality healthcare.
This quiet determination by so many of you to positively impact the health of our neighbors in our shared community has led to another year of significant growth for our healthcare center. Last year, compassionate professionals provided care during more than 35,178 patient visits, reaffirming the need for our medical, dental and health education services continues to grow.
Our motivation lies in the increasing number of patients coming to CVIM in need of care year after year, driving our commitment to being responsive to community trends and ensuring gaps in the healthcare safety net are met. CVIM will continue to remain a nimble and relevant organization that will evolve with purpose to meet the primary healthcare needs of the uninsured adults, children and seniors who would otherwise have nowhere else to turn for healthcare.
With your support, CVIM can continue to make an impact on the overall health of our community and remain a totally free, comprehensive and integrated healthcare home for thousands in the Chester County region. Thank you for all you do to help make CVIM a wonderful healthcare home.
President & CEO
Christine’s always kept up with her health screenings since her family had a serious cancer history. Losing both her mother and youngest brother to cancer at early ages, she knew she had to find healthcare soon to maintain her screenings. When Christine came to CVIM, she was financially and emotionally stressed and very concerned about being overdue for an endoscopy, colonoscopy, and a mammogram. She was also experiencing some trouble with her hip. After completing the eligibility screening and her first medical visit, a comprehensive care plan was in place. Christine received all of the screenings she needed through the charity care provided to CVIM patients through Penn-Medicine Chester County Hospital and Main Line Health partnerships including scans, scopes, and blood work as well as having five polyps removed in her colon. The Temple Fox Chase Cancer Center Mammogram Van reported a normal mammogram after she visited the van at CVIM and Paoli Hospital Mail Line Health Imaging and Radiology identified a ganglion cyst on her hip. She was also diagnosed at CVIM with hypertension and prescribed and received free medications to keep it under control. The care and help kept coming -- Christine also received preventive dental care at CVIM’s St. Rocco Mobile Dental site and is contacted regularly by CVIM regarding patient education offerings and prevention programs.
After recently experiencing extreme chest pressure and trouble breathing, Christine called CVIM and was directed to call 9-1-1 immediately. Once at Penn-Medicine Chester County Hospital (PMCCH) she was diagnosed with stress cardiomyopathy. During her hospital stay, CVIM called to check on Christine and scheduled a follow-up at CVIM with one of the five PMCCH cardiologists who volunteer at CCH. Having seen her cardiologist at CVIM for regular follow-up visits, she is very confident in the continuing care and treatment at CVIM.
Christine has now regained that sense of relief she once had about her health with the help of CVIM and our long-time local hospital partners. “Every doctor I experienced during my medical and dental visits at CVIM and at the local hospitals treated me with the utmost care and respect. The CVIM pharmacists were always very thorough as they dispensed my medications and assured me that any of my questions I had were valid. They’re all extremely kind and caring. I have shared with people I see regularly as I visited CVIM that CVIM was the best and most comprehensive healthcare I have ever experienced. Again, I couldn’t be more grateful.”
Lewis’s job was of utmost importance to him as most of his livelihood comes from his newspaper sales. His ability to do his job is directly related to his health -- he has to charm the buyer and he cannot be short of breath while doing so. He also has to be on his feet for long periods of time, which requires stamina that he noticed has deteriorated over the last couple of years. He used to be able to ride his bike to work, but now is unable. Spending time with his grandchildren was also very important to him as well. These activities are exceptionally imperative for him to maintain and because of this, his health remains a major area of concern for him.
Lewis had a laundry list of uncontrolled medical problems: Congestive Heart Failure, Hypertension, Diabetes Mellitus Type 2, and Chronic Kidney Disease to name a few. Doctors at CVIM worked with him to get his conditions under control and had him follow-up every week to monitor his progress. The main barrier to his successful treatment was that he had trouble remembering to take his medications due to the time constraints of his job, and he was also worried about the potential side effects of the water pill. His occupation is dependent on him being able to walk the streets of West Chester to encourage drivers and pedestrians to purchase the newspaper and he could not run to the bathroom every couple of minutes. A compromise was made that he would take his medications that were organized in a pillbox in the afternoon after work with stringent office follow-up, which seemed to be working for him.
Lewis greatly appreciates the impact the Community Volunteers in Medicine healthcare center has made for him in managing his health conditions. The healthcare center offered him care when he so desperately needed it. “Having the doctors’ care and belief in me made me believe in myself, which has made all the difference.” Lewis added that he wants to stay healthy and understands the steps that are necessary to live a long healthy life.
Her grandfather, Dr. George McLaughlin, a retired rheumatologist and long-time healthcare center volunteer at CVIM had told her many heart-warming stories about the patients in such great need and the compassionate care they received by the volunteers and staff he works closely with at CVIM. Wanting her to see first-hand the impact CVIM is making on our community and hoping to encourage Kelsey to consider medicine as a career path, Dr. McLaughlin brought his granddaughter to CVIM to meet Dr. Mary Wirshup, Director of Medical Affairs to tour the healthcare center and see CVIM in action. So impressed and moved by what she witnessed, the dedicated physicians and patients so desperately in need of care, she was motivated to pursue a summer internship as an Administrative Assistant with Dr. Wirshup to learn more. As she worked with Dr. Wirshup, observing our patients health conditions and disparities, it became clear to her there was a great need for Spanish-speaking primary care family medicine providers in the Latino community. Realizing if this population had greater access to primary care providers they can communicate with, chronic disease and other medical conditions could be identified earlier and treated more proactively for this underserved population. After completing her internship at CVIM, Kelsey with only limited Spanish-speaking skills, was inspired to live abroad in Ecuador for a year to learn the language, immerse herself in the culture, and better understand the healthcare needs for this population, with plans to return to the United States to begin medical school at Temple Medical School. This past year, Kelsey returned to CVIM, as a volunteer, fluent in Spanish, and working towards becoming that primary care provider she aspired to be since spending time here at CVIM. Kelsey is just one of the 200 students rotating through CVIM annually inspired by CVIM and the patients we serve.
In fiscal year 2017, CVIM continued to advance our strategic initiative to respond to emerging healthcare needs in our county, including addressing the increased demand for vital behavioral health services created by funding cuts, unaffordable sliding scale fees at private providers, and increased utilization of our partnering hospital emergency rooms for psychiatric interventions and prescriptions. We continue to work to serve the growing number of patients presenting at CVIM with psycho-social health issues — depression, anxiety, intimate-partner violence, and substance abuse, by providing seamless treatment access for our patients, allowing them to receive initial and ongoing assessments, counseling, community referrals and free medications.
CVIM’s integrated Behavioral Health Services program provided 1,030 patient psychiatric and counseling visits and 700 free prescription medications this past fiscal year so that our patients may continue to be contributing members of our community.
After passing out at church and falling face first, breaking his front tooth, Robert needed emergency dental care quickly. As a member of Surrey Senior Center, Robert had access to CVIM’s mobile dental services at Surrey and was immediately evaluated by the CVIM hygienist. The tooth damage too severe to be addressed at Surrey required Robert to have to visit the CVIM healthcare center in West Chester for extensive reconstructive work. Robert was assured by the hygienist that even though the tooth was fractured, it could be built with composite material that would match his tooth. Robert was now on his journey to restoring his smile. In addition to repairing the damaged tooth, Robert received extensive dental hygiene services including x-rays, teeth cleanings, fluoride treatments, an oral cancer screening, and oral hygiene education.
A comprehensive dental treatment plan was developed to bring his smile back—- he was scheduled for the restorative dental appointments at Surrey and through 16 different hygiene visits, Robert had 7 fillings completed. Knowing Robert struggled with his oral health hygiene in the past, a periodontal evaluation by one of CVIM’s volunteer periodontists was completed to ensure his gums were healthy as well. The evaluation revealed he needed scaling and root planing, which were added to his care plan. After 18-months of comprehensive preventative and restorative procedures, Robert completed his treatment plan and continues to return faithfully for his routine oral hygiene appointments. Now that his oral health has been restored, Robert can be found every Thursday at Surrey for lunch.