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Bergen Volunteer Medical Initiative In Hackensack Receives $50,000 Grant

Bergen Volunteer Medical Initiative Founder Dr. Sam Cassell is a resident of Wyckoff.
Bergen Volunteer Medical Initiative Founder Dr. Sam Cassell is a resident of Wyckoff. Photo Credit: BVMI

HACKENSACK, N.J. – The Bergen Volunteer Medical Initiative has been awarded $50,000 from the Russell Berrie Foundation.

The grant will be used to support the initiative's diabetes patient care and education program.

“We are so grateful to the Russell Berrie Foundation,” said Amanda Missey, CEO of BVMI. “Since 2009, they have invested more than $150,000 in our diabetes patient care and education program. We are particularly proud of our efforts with patients who have pre-diabetes. Thanks to the Berrie Foundation, and the outstanding care provided by our diabetes team, we’re able to prevent those patients from becoming diabetic.”

BVMI provides free primary and preventive health care to Bergen County adults who work, but cannot afford insurance. It is guided by the "culture of caring" and believes that how people are treated is as important as the care they receive. With the help and expertise of 55 volunteer physicians, nurse practitioners, nurses, social workers, dieticians and others, it treated nearly 1,000 patients in 6,000 medical visits during 2015.

“The Russell Berrie Foundation is proud to support BVMI for taking leadership in diabetes care and education for the uninsured population of Bergen County," said Naomi Shank, program director. "We are pleased with the impact this important program has made in our community and applaud BVMI for delivering quality holistic healthcare services to those who have been traditionally underserved,””

BVMI does not receive payment from patients, reimbursement from insurance companies or support from the government. The organization relies on contributions from individuals, businesses, community groups and foundations. BVMI Healthcare Center, a state-licensed ambulatory care facility, is at 241 Moore St., Hackensack. Call 201-342-2478 or go to www.bvmi.org for more information.

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