Free Advice for Free Clinics: Technical Assistance Materials Describe the Volunteer Clinic Model

From 1996 to 1998, staff at the Volunteers in Medicine Institute developed technical assistance materials for volunteers interested in creating free clinics.

The institute, based in Hilton Head Island, S.C., is the originator of a free clinic model that uses retirees, many of them medical providers, to deliver health care to the medically underserved.

Key Results

Project personnel produced and disseminated the following materials and services:

  • A 200-page "Start-Up Clinic Guide" to guide people through the phases of starting and maintaining a free clinic.
  • A 400-page "Clinic Document Manual," which includes sample by-laws, policies and procedures, job descriptions, etc.
  • A 10-minute videotape, entitled "Culture of Caring," which shows volunteers how they can create and instill a "culture of caring" in their clinics.
  • A book, entitled Circle of Caring, which chronicles the history of the VIM Clinic and highlights the issues faced by volunteers and the successes they have achieved.
  • A brochure that describes the institute and the types of services it provides.
  • Project staff provided paid consulting services to 10 communities that opened new free health clinics and 12 communities that are developing them.