Charlotte, NC, June 03, 2009 --(PR.com
)-- It was only a few months ago in December 2008 that Executive Director of The Charlotte Volunteers in Medicine Clinic (CVIM), Donna M. Lacey (www.cvimnc.org) was facing one of her toughest times in the three years she’s run her non-profit health clinic serving the uninsured in Charlotte-Mecklenburg. Facing a ‘forced’ move, in need of relocation dollars and with the economy spiraling downward, Lacey didn’t know how or if the clinic would survive given the grim circumstances. Lacey shares, “Those were very tough days the latter part of 2008.” The clinic did a radio-thon which allowed it to raise money for the security deposit required for their move. Lacey continues, “The radio-thon truly allowed us to begin the renovations on our new building ahead of schedule, it was the silver lining in our dark cloud, but brighter days weren’t too far behind.”
Opening its doors in March of 2005, CVIM is celebrating its fourth anniversary in a new and larger location. Dedicated to serving the uninsured population, about 1,122,900 North Carolinians do not have health insurance, the clinic moved in early January from The Greenville Center off Statesville Ave to a larger facility at 1315 Beatties Ford Road. Lacey says, “The patients are thrilled! They have more space and our operation is more efficient.” To date CVIM has seen over 3800 patients and has been a strong advocate of prostate cancer awareness, diabetes and hypertension treatment. The clinic has been a staunch supporter of health education, often providing free screenings and seminars. Lacey says that most of her uninsured patients have uncontrolled hypertension and/or are suffering from undiagnosed or untreated diabetes, but after becoming a patient of CVIM, those diseases become manageable within a matter of months.
The clinic has numerous testimonies of patients overcoming illnesses and often express sadness when they get insurance coverage and learn they have to leave. Lacey says, “It happens all the time. Just this week one of my patients who now has insurance told me he didn’t want to leave because of the level of care and personable attention he receives at CVIM.”
Known for hosting signature events like “Cooking Gents of Charlotte”, a friendly cook-off of all male with local chefs, designed to promote men’s health awareness. Chefs from all over the area put on their best performance in taste and appearance, often mirroring the dramatics of Bravo’s “Top Chef”. Last year, celebrity chef Marvin Woods, of Woods on South was the guest chef bringing much media attention to the event. Lacey, with a passion to reach the uninsured population through care and education, has also organized the local “Take A Loved One to the Dr. Day” in conjunction with nationally syndicated radio personality Tom Joyner and the Tom Joyner Morning Show. Annually, she pairs it with free prostate cancer screenings every Tuesday in September in observance of Prostate Cancer Awareness Month.
Because of her tireless dedication in providing access to care for the uninsured Lacey has received numerous awards since the clinic’s opening such as the 2006 Humanitarian PA of the Year Award, Pride Magazine’s 2007 Health and Wellness Non-profit Award, and has been honored by Charlotte’s Political Black Caucus and received the 2007 Citizen of the Year award by the Elks during their North Carolina State Convention in 2007. Lacey admits, “It hasn’t been easy, but it’s been my belief that access to health care is a right and not a privilege is what keeps me going even when things seemed grim.” She continues, “look at us now; we’re in a new location, fully staffed and celebrating four years. We now have a Saturday clinic and much more going on behind the scenes!”
CVIM continues to have a major impact within Charlotte-Mecklenburg County and is credited for changing peoples’ attitudes about their health and healthcare delivery. CVIM has been covered by media such as: V101.9, Q92.7, WFAE, WGIV, News 14 Carolina, WSOC-TV, Pride Magazine, The Charlotte Observer, The Charlotte Post and Advance for Physician Assistants. CVIM would like to express a sincere thank you to the media, donors, volunteers, staff, board members, partners and supporters for their dedication and commitment to ensuring CVIM’s success.
For more information about CVIM and its vision of service to Charlotte-Mecklenburg’s uninsured or to inquire about becoming a donor, partner or volunteer, please visit www.cvimnc.org or call Donna M. Lacey at 704-350-1300.
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