Updated: Jul 5, 2020
Jacksonville, Florida - Volunteers in Medicine (VIM) and Inspire to Rise are cutting the ribbon on a free healthcare clinic, one which will serve the working uninsured in Westside Jacksonville. This clinic is the culmination of months of hard work shared by the two agencies.
VIM CEO Jennifer Ryan and Inspire to Rise Founder Aida Seeraj first connected last summer when they discovered that many of VIM’s patients were living in the area surrounding Inspire to Rise. They made it their goal to open a free healthcare clinic on the Inspire to Rise campus.
“It is so important, now more than ever, to bring healthcare services to the people who lack access to them,” says Ryan. “Meeting Aida was destiny. Her new community center, Inspire to Rise, is exactly where Volunteers in Medicine needs to be.”
For Seeraj, VIM is an essential part of a model of holistic care. While Inspire to Rise currently provides family counseling, for example, unaddressed illnesses such as diabetes can sap the hope and resolve needed by those families to overcome other challenges.
To garner the support necessary to move forward, Ryan made a proposal to the City Council while Councilman Ron Salem championed the expansion. $97,871 was approved to fund the beginning of the project. With that initial funding, VIM and Inspire to Rise worked together to make the clinic a reality.
This is a prayer answered for the people living in the surrounding community. The uninsured rate there is 13.6%, higher than the county as a whole. More overdoses occur in that zip code area than any other in the county. It also has a 30% infant mortality rate, exceeding national and state levels, as well as the highest ER Utilization Rate in Duval County.
The public is invited to attend the ribbon cutting, which will take place at 9am on Tuesday, June 9. The new Westside Clinic is located at 5927 Old Timuquana Rd.
About Volunteers in Medicine
Founded in 2003, Volunteers in Medicine is a free healthcare clinic that provides outpatient primary and specialty medical services to Northeast Florida’s working, low-income, uninsured individuals and their families. Over 140 volunteer physician, nursing and support staff from across the region donate their time and talent to keep families healthy, employed and out of the hospital emergency rooms.
About Inspire to Rise
Inspire to Rise was established in April 2018 by like-minded individuals in pursuit of sharing their passion for helping children, families, and individuals by offering comprehensive evidence-based and best practice services. Their goal is to help inspire and holistically treat an individual’s heart, mind, and soul through actions and services that create an impact.
See the jacksonville.com article for more details: https://www.jacksonville.com/news/20200601/jacksonvillersquos-inspire-to-rise-center-now-offers-medical-clinic