Great Barrington — Amid the current agony over health insurance legislation and coverage, not everybody knows that the Berkshires offers yet another alternative. It is VIM – Volunteers in Medicine – Berkshires, with the mission to provide access to quality health care in a respectful and caring manner for income qualified, uninsured and underinsured adults living in the Berkshires.
Located on Route 7, just south of the center of Great Barrington, tucked in next to the bagel shop, VIM Berkshires operates a brand new, state-of-the-art facility. That’s where they provide free medical and dental care, mental health services, optometry, nutrition counseling, massage and acupuncture, and have pioneered Shared Medical Appointments and a Non-Opioid Pain Management Program in Berkshire County.
And, now, VIM Berkshires has survived a grueling national competition to win a Gold Medal, a $15,000 cash award and a $10,000 credit toward medical or dental equipment from Henry Schein, Inc., as part of their national program to honor health care organizations serving those in need. This award is for clinics in the United States.
Henry Schein Cares is a corporate philanthropy activity of Henry Schein, Inc., headquartered in Melville, New York, the world’s largest provider of health care products and services to office-based dental, animal health and medical practitioners. Stanley M. Bergman, Chairman and Chief Executive of Henry Schein, presented the award to VIM on March 9.
Other finalists included North Country Mission of Hope of Plattsburgh, New York (silver medalist) and St. Vincent de Paul Community Pharmacy of Cincinnati of Cincinnati, Ohio (bronze medalist). All three finalists were invited to the company’s national medical sales meeting, without knowing who would win. In attendance from VIM were Arthur Peisner, chairman of the Vim board; Ilana Steinhauer, VIM director of medical services; and Pat Levine, VIM grants coordinator.
After recovering from the surprise of winning the gold, chairman Peisner thanked VIM donors, volunteers and staff for their generosity, passion and dedication, thanked VIM patients “whose lives make our job so interesting and rewarding,” and thanked Henry Schein Cares for their generosity.
“ It is an honor to receive this national recognition from one of the largest companies in the U.S. about the good work we are doing,” said Ilana Steinhauer, “and we will gratefully use this award to support our mission.”
“With a focus on helping people and families most in need, Volunteers in Medicine Berkshires exemplifies the spirit of social responsibility that has guided our company for 85 years,” Mr. Bergman said. “We believe strongly that no one should go without essential health services because of their life’s circumstances, and we are pleased to support organizations that share that belief.”