Hilton Head Hospital donates $75K to Volunteers in Medicine

Hilton Head Hospital christened a partnership with a free health clinic with a $75,000 donation Friday.

As part of the agreement, the hospital will allow Volunteers in Medicine workers to process $150,000 worth of labwork in its facilities each year. Volunteers with the charitable organization can also send two procedures that exceed the clinic's means to the hospital each month and the hospital will bill them at the state's Medicaid rate. These could range from services that do not require a hospital stay to major heart surgery.

Each month, the VIM clinic sees as many as 200 new patients who are uninsured or underinsured residents and workers. Over 600 volunteers, whoinclude doctors and nurses, perform 35,000 patient visits a year.

"Seeing how valuable VIM has become for the under-insured residents, we looked hard at how we could better serve them," said the hospital's chief operating officer, Dean Turner, in a press release. "I have been in the healthcare industry for more than 20 years and have never seen this kind of community-oriented relationship between a private hospital and a charitable healthcare service provider."

The original Hilton Head VIM has spawned 70 clinics nationwide.

Volunteers at VIM did not respond to calls for comment Friday.