VIM Berkshires is grateful for all of the talented clinicians who donate their time and skills to care for our patients. We appreciate their support and their generosity. We are proud to feature photos and quotes from a few of our clinical volunteers on this page.
Meet our clinicians
I have just begun volunteering at VIM this year (2016) after retiring from my 27-year career as a nurse-midwife here in Great Barrington. I have known for years the value of VIM in this community as I have cared for many VIM clients during their pregnancies and recognized their need for the accessible and non-judgmental, flexible health care offered at VIM.
“I have been a volunteer at VIM Berkshires since it opened its doors in 2004. I firmly believe that everyone in our county, our state, and our country should have access to decent health care. VIM’s mission is to do just that – provide access to health care to people who otherwise cannot get it. So being a part of that mission as a volunteer and actually using my training as a physician to provide care in the VIM Clinic setting is very rewarding.”
“I believe medical care is a necessity and should be available to all. I’m a relatively new volunteer, but can already see the impact that VIM is having on peoples’ lives, and I admire the respectful way patients are treated at VIM.”
There’s a moral imperative involved in supporting an agency like VIM….this is quality health care for those who need it. I have spent 25 years in community mental health and in the private sector. In the 8 months I have been volunteering at VIM I can appreciate the dedicated leadership and the bright, competent, energetic staff…with just the right amount of chaos. It’s always good to earn your keep and try to give a little back.
“VIM reaches people with a wide variety of healthcare needs and fills a major gap in our community. I’ve been in nursing my entire career, and I find clinic leadership and staff cooperation make VIM a great place to volunteer.”
I grew up in Berkshire County and have always been interested in public health and helping a broad spectrum of our community. VIM is so much more than a “doctors office” – it is a resource where people can come for advice, assistance, and support, in addition to medical and dental services. I enjoy the welcoming atmosphere, the great teamwork between disciplines, and the standard of clinicians, staff and physical resources that are available at VIM.
I joined VIM almost five years ago after I retired from a gynecology practice and was not ready to stop seeing patients. As part of a very large OB/GYN practice I was the practitioner who taught women how to manage their health care. This is what I try to give my patients at VIM. VIM makes an enormous difference for people who don’t have insurance, or those who can’t get in to see a physician in a timely manner.
I strongly believe in universal quality health care and VIM is dedicated to the same goals. I hope to use my 20 years experience as an academic rheumatologist concerned with the delivery of cost-effective high-quality care as I work to help VIM serve the uninsured in Western Massachusetts. For this population care is often unaffordable or inaccessible. VIM contributes to the overall health and sense of well-being in our community.
I love the practice of medicine and being able to be a help to people in need. Part of my most recent past was working in Panama developing health care clinics in the interior of that country, so I have a natural interest in assisting the Hispanic patients whom VIM serves. I have been at VIM for three years, and am impressed with the caring attitude of the staff and other volunteers.
I am a dentist, who has been with VIM since it’s inception, helping to plan the original dental program, and continuing on as one of the providers of dental services. VIM enhances the quality of life in our community both for those who receive and those who give. As with most people, volunteerism is an essential part of community life. I believe one’s personal blessings should be passed on to those less blessed.
“VIM is doing me a favor, giving me a place in which to continue practicing dentistry. Helping patients is what keeps me going, and it’s a pleasure working with my fellow professionals at VIM.”
VIM makes a critical difference in the delivery of medical, dental, physical and mental health care in this community. The staff are incredible, dedicated, motivated, wonderful people…the best I’ve ever been associated with in my 33 years as a dentist. For the past three years I’ve worked at VIM one morning a week whenever I’m in town. I really enjoy helping people who can’t afford good dental care.
“I began volunteering four years ago after reducing my private dental practice. VIM is a great way to give back to the community and I’m grateful for the opportunity to care for these wonderful people.”
I am a retired gastroenterologist who worked in Springfield for 35 years, now living full time in New Marlborough, and have been volunteering at VIM for the past one-and-a-half years. VIM supplies a vital need for a large number of patients who would otherwise have little or no access to health care. VIM’s compassion for each patient and the desire to go the extra mile to meet all their needs is one of their many outstanding qualities.
Retiring from social work after more than 35 years, I found I had lots of spare time and wanted to “give back.” I practiced in a community clinic and in a hospital in Dorchester MA, but most of my career was at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center. I was primarily on the cardiac unit but also worked with trauma, surgical and emergency room patients. At Harvard Medical School I taught a course which trained medical students how to have a relationship with patients. I am so pleased to know that VIM gives uninsured people the health care they need. The appreciation patients show confirms that quality care is being offered.
I am an optometrist and practice at Pittsfield Vision Associates in Pittsfield, and I give eye health exams at VIM. I want to give back to this amazing community that we live in. The people we see are without insurance or the means to pay for their healthcare. They are very appreciative of the services they receive – and this makes the work very gratifying.
The staff and volunteers are so giving of their talents and expertise – they will go above and beyond to help anyone who walks through those doors.
I am a fully retired pediatrician. Thus I bring not only my extensive experience, but my knowledge of medicine and patient care to my work at VIM. VIM takes care of all comers – the most needy are not turned away. VIM is my chance to give back. I admire the breadth of services they bring to a group that would otherwise fall through the cracks: besides medical services, they provide dental and eye care, nutritional and psychological counseling, acupuncture and massage.
Despite recent reforms, there’s still a need for safety-net health care in this County. I have been a practicing physician, medical scientist, dean, volunteer and foundation president. I bring all these roles to my voluntary practice. I value the selfless efforts of VIM volunteers offering excellent, compassionate and collaborative care. There’s a classical Greek saying that you know the quality of a society is good when old men and women plant trees in the shade of which they will never sit. VIM B helps define the community.
I began volunteering at VIM in 2008 . It is one of the few places in the Berkshires that welcomes the partnership of traditional Chinese and Western medicines. V IM believes in the coordination of healthcare systems into one treatment plan. This way everyone wins and healing expands to include more people.
The small part I play makes a difference and that makes me happy. I am grateful to be able to contribute to this special community of special people.
“Working with VIM is very fulfilling – I not only use my language skills as a translator, but I feel I am giving something back to society. I’m helping VIM patients receive such great care!”
“VIM makes a difference in people’s lives. I admire the professional level of care given, and the compassion and dignity with which care is delivered. I’m happy to use my training in mental health and psychology counseling to give back to the community.”
I have volunteered as a nutrition counselor at VIM for five years. I am a Certified Holistic Health Coach with a passion for health care education. I believe that everyone can prevent and even heal many chronic illnesses and conditions by learning to eat in a healthy and mindful way. I enjoy working with the other volunteers and value the integrated care VIM offers – we truly treat the whole person. I appreciate the welcoming and warm reception everyone gets at VIM.
“I’ve been a psychoanalyst most of my life. I find it a privilege to work with people in such a personal way, learning from patients and growing with them. The excellent work being done at VIM is impressive.”
I started volunteering at VIM because I was considering a career in nursing. Now that I have been here for a while, I will REALLY miss the clinic when I begin nursing school! I work one morning a week as a medical assistant and another morning as a receptionist.
I have been a stay – at – home mother for almost 17 years, during which time I had my own business selling children’s books. Before I had children of my own, I taught English overseas. The quality healthcare offered by VIM is something that many of the patients may not be able to get anywhere else. I love how VIM is so welcoming to everyone – both to the patients and the volunteers.
I have volunteered at VIM for 2 years as a psychiatrist – my life-long profession.There is a shadow population in the Berkshires who need the wide variety and type of services provided by VIM. I especially value the SPIRIT of the staff and the other volunteers – it could be described as a pioneering spirit – their mission is clearly to help those in need.
I am a registered dietitian and an exercise physiologist. My work as a nutrition consultant over many years in different venues has prepared me well for working in an environment like VIM. I enjoy this work as a way to give back to the community, and it helps to keep my professionals skills up to date. VIM provides quality health care to those who most need it in our community.
I volunteer to give back to the community. I am a clinically active dental hygienist and feel that it is very important to help others in need, especially with oral health because of its effects on overall health. VIM offers a service to anyone who needs medical/dental help and doesn’t have any other means of receiving healthcare. I have been a volunteer for almost a year and it is great to be part of a caring organization that gives back.
“It’s important to give back to the community – as a clinical psychologist I enjoy helping patients deal successfully with their mental health issues. At VIM, the staff camaraderie and mutual support enhance the volunteer experience.”
“As a retired dentist, I love sharing my skills and good fortune by volunteering. I’ve been with VIM since ‘05. In the dental clinic infections are healed, pain relieved, and smiles restored every day.”
My successes have to do with hospitality i.e a sense of courtesy and a sense of humor…these attributes are valuable as a volunteer – allowing me to be at ease with strangers. My organizational background allows me to do the mundane easily and with pleasure. One of VIM’s greatest assets is that it serves the community with respect and warmth, and offers a non-threatening welcome to non English speaking patients.
I spend summers in the Berkshires and wanted to do something productive and interesting. I have a scientific and technical background and have found many simple ways to unburden staff to do their direct patient work. I volunteer in the dental department and can see the great need for dental care. I admire the camaraderie amongst staff and volunteers, and the focus on caring for patients.