Our mission is to improve the health of the uninsured and working poor by providing access to high quality health care and prevention education.
Our vision is to help create and sustain a healthy community where all people, especially the indigent, have access to quality healthcare and personal well-being.
VHC's core medical services program - providing primary care for acute and chronic conditions during 3 evening clinics each week - continues to thrive and provides medical security for over 1,700 children and adults each year.
Our monthly Specialty Clinic featuring dermatology, psychiatry and nutrition counseling is always in great demand; VHC now welcomes patients from other local charitable clinics given the scarcity of these particular specialty services.
Our mental health program has been expanded to include weekly talk therapy sessions with a bi-lingual counselor for patients suffering from anxiety and depression thanks to a new partnership with the Samaritan Center.
VHC strategically partners with over 20 other local organizations to provide a wide array of services to our clients; each year, we receive in excess of $2 million donated In-Kind services, which allows us to operate on a modest budget while providing in-depth services.
Our Chronic Disease Management Program, which treats patients suffering from hypertension, diabetes and other endocrine disorders, will be enhanced wit h the purchase of a special diabetic retinopathy camera. This camera will take digital pictures of the eye; the images will be sent electronically to a network of eye specialists who will review the photos and generate a report, generally on the same day.
Diabetic Retinopathy is the leading cause of blindness among working-age adults and with early detection, 95% of vision loss can be prevented. Since these screenings will shortly be done on-site at VHC, we expect to increase the number of diabetic patients who receive this critical - and vision saving - health screening test.
There are a lot of exciting things happening at our Clinic and we would love to have your support during Amplify Austin!
Impact StatementSince 1966 - for over 50 years! - the Volunteer Healthcare Clinic has been improving the health and lives of children and adults in Austin who have no other place to turn for care. With the generous support of volunteers, community partners, supporters like you and a small paid staff, we provide the necessary health care, medications, testing, referrals, case management and health education to empower clients to manage their health and enhance their quality of life. Through three evening clinics each week and specialty clinics throughout the year, VHC is helping to create a healthier community for all!
Needs StatementHealth care is a basic need for people to live healthy and productive lives and yet for many children and adults in Austin, it remains out of reach. Currently 11% of children and 21.3% of adults in Travis County remain uninsured and lack access to medical care. This makes obtaining routine or unexpected medical care simply out of reach and as a result, these individuals often go without care.
Lack of access to care negatively impacts children & adults, families and the community in which they live in numerous ways because without proper medical care:
- illness & disease escalate;
- treatment becomes more complex & costly;
- communicable diseases spread more rapidly;
- lost work or school days puts additional strain on community resources and helps perpetuate the cycle of poverty
- the Emergency Room is frequently used inappropriately for primary care, which is costly for the entire community
The Volunteer Healthcare Clinic helps to solve this problem by ensuring children & their parents and other adults in our community have timely access to quality health care when they need it most. This helps reverse the trends outlined above and saves the community significant money. In 2017, VHC saved the Austin community an estimated $631,620 in avoided Emergency Room visits (self-reported by patients based on average ER cost of $1,452).
"The Volunteer Healthcare Clinic is such a valuable resource for patients who are uninsured or under-served. I originally came to them for chronic asthma treatment and I was able to get free asthma medication right away which helped me immensely. The staff is wonderful and they really worked together to help me with the paperwork process. Any time there was a hiccup in the process, Silvia or one of the other staff members was able to clear it up so quickly! I'm so grateful to have this center as a community resource. I also learned through the Clinic that I had mild skin cancer on my face and I was able to have it removed by a dermatologist who did fantastic work. I was even referred to a dental service, where I got much-needed care. I can't stress enough how much this Clinic has improved my quality of life. I hope all the volunteers, donors, nurses and doctors are proud of what they do here."
"This facility is such a 'Blessing'!"
"I desperately needed this service in my life and I cannot thank you enough."
St. David's Foundation has offered a $1M matching grant to be distributed among their nonprofit Grant Partners on Amplify Austin Day. St. David's Foundation's 2018 Grant Partners will receive funds on a pro-rata basis. Each nonprofit will receive matching funds based on their total funds raised on Amplify Austin Day. Last year, this match resulted in a 30% boost to the funds raised by Grant Partners on the Day.
Special requests for volunteers include technically savvy volunteers to be 'Super Users for AthenaNet, our new Electronic Medical Records (EMR) system.
If interested, please check out the Volunteer page on our website (www.volclinic.org) and complete an application.