Our History

In 1991, Dr. Jack McConnell founded a free clinic, engaging retired physicians to treat uninsured people in Hilton Head, South Carolina. From this initial project sprung the Volunteers in Medicine Institute, which has since helped to establish 86 additional VIM clinics operating in 25 states. These clinics form a loose alliance that treats more than 100,000 patients in over 400,000 visits every year. While they vary in scope from part-time, walk-in clinics to full-time, full-service practices and from high-volume urban to underserved rural locales, they all share a common philosophy of using volunteer clinicians to provide free health care services to low-income, uninsured individuals. Although there is no corporate or financial relationship among the various clinics, this philosophy, and the jointly shared value of caring, are what binds us together and makes VIM clinics unique.

In 2004, collaborative work by a dedicated group of doctors, business people and community volunteers established Volunteers in Medicine Berkshires, the 30th VIM clinic nationally, the first in New England and, still, the only one in Massachusetts. Serving the uninsured and underinsured population of the area, VIM Berkshires provides free medical, dental, mental health, optometry, acupuncture, diabetic and nutritional counseling and extensive case management services in more than 3500 patient visits each year.


VIM Berkshires notable milestones

  • December 2014: Therapeutic massage services added
  • August 2014: Cumulative fundraising exceeds $5,000,000
  • December 2013: Cumulative value of free health care services exceeds $10,000,000
  • November 2012: Cumulative value of contributed clinical services surpasses $2,500,000
  • December 2012: Annual value of dental services exceeds $500,000
  • September 2012: Cumulative foundation support exceeds $1,000,000
  • August 2012: Gala revenue exceeds $100,000
  • March, 2012: 25,000 clinical volunteer hours
  • March 2011: Patient visits surpass 10,000
  • January 2010: In-house acupuncture and nutritional counseling services added
  • September, 2009: Free prescription medications surpass $100,000
  • February, 2009: 1000 patients served
  • December, 2008: Value of contributed clinical services surpasses $1,000,000
  • December, 2008: 5000 patient visits
  • November, 2008: 10,000 clinical volunteer hours
  • October, 2007: In-house optometry services added
  • August, 2007: Cumulative fundraising exceeds $1,000,000
  • June, 2007: Medical and dental services each surpass 1000 patient visits
  • May, 2007: Clinic space increased by 50%, second dental operatory added
  • February, 2005: First dental patient
  • December, 2004: First medical patient
  • January, 2003: Preliminary discussions begin