BELLEFONTE — As Centre Volunteers in Medicine continues to see a need for services, expansion and growth are on the way.
On Tuesday, the Centre County Board of Commissioners approved a Redevelopment Assistance Capital Project (RACP) in the amount of $3 million, with matching funds from CVIM in the amount of $3,141,925, for a total project cost of $6,141,925.
Cheryl White, executive director of CVIM, spoke at length during the meeting about the organization’s success — and subsequent growth.
“The building we have purchased is on Sandy Drive … the building is now under construction. It will allow us to expand from our current 6,700 square foot space to almost double that, once the addition and renovation are completed,” White explained. “I really appreciate this opportunity from the state and the county for helping us get this money.”
CVIM is a true Centre County success story. The organization provides healthcare to the uninsured. According to White, the need for a larger facility is driven by the ongoing increase in the demand for their services.
In addition to medical services, CVIM also offers dental care.
“Our dental program will grow from the four operatories to six. We now have a full-time dentist … that waiting list of 400 people is being chipped away at, even today as we speak,” White said.
According to White, a dentist is one of the few paid positions.
“We do pay our dentist because dentists are hard to come by,” White said.
CVIM is run by volunteers and funded through grants and donations. Its capital campaign plays a vital role in its success.
“We still need money to operate, beyond what we need for the building. As a true free clinic, we have no regular source of income. We don’t charge for the services we provide. We are truly blessed by the community that supports us,” White said.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, CVIM was one of the main providers of vaccines and boosters. Many of those clinics were held on Penn State’s campus, illustrating the collaboration between CVIM and the community it serves.
White said that the need for CVIM in the community is apparent every day.
“I don’t think there will ever be at time — at least in our lifetime — when there’s not a need for healthcare for working poor who can’t afford insurance,” White said.
CVIM features close to 200 volunteers — from doctors to office staff, she said.
“We always have volunteer opportunities available,” White said.
White said that the new facility should be completed in 2023.
“Hopefully, late spring,” White said. “Fingers crossed.”
For more information about CVIM, visit their website at www.cvim.net.