HACKENSACK, NJ – Bergen Volunteer Medical Initiative (BVMI), a privately funded primary care facility in Hackensack, received a $20,000 grant from the CVS Health Foundation earlier this week.

The CVS Health Foundation, in partnership with the National Association of Free & Charitable Clinics (NAFC) the grant to fund BVMI's “Paso a Paso” (Step by Step) program, a bilingual educational and health monitoring program for diabetes and pre-diabetes patients. BVMI, which is state-licensed, provides free healthcare to low-income residents of Bergen County who do not have insurance, or medical coverage through Medicare or Medicaid.

"BVMI is grateful for the CVS Health Foundation's generous grant, which allows us to continue work treating patients with diabetes and pre-diabetes, which is a significant part of what we do here," said Amanda Missey, President and CEO, BVMI.

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According to Missey, BVMI has grown about 33% in the last year and a half, since relocating its office to 75 Essex St. in downtown Hackensack in March of 2017. BVMI is currently getting ready to launch a huge diabetes health program, and build upon its women's health program. But the initiative does not charge patients for these services, and as such, must keep its budget tight. 

"We do it all with volunteers. We have 55 clinical volunteers, and another 70 or so administrative volunteers. We are looking for practitioners, nurse practitioners, doctors, and dieticians." 

Bergen Volunteer Medical Initiative is one of 49 free clinics across the country receiving funding as part of the CVS Health Foundation’s ongoing effort to make quality healthcare convenient and affordable for more Americans, according to a press release from CVS. 

"The rising cost of healthcare can make finding quality and affordable care harder to come by for many Americans,” said Eileen Howard Boone, president of the CVS Health Foundation. “Through our support of the National Association of Free & Charitable Clinics, we’re able to increase access to quality care, improve chronic disease management and care coordination to help improve health outcomes for the most vulnerable patients and reduce health care costs in the communities we serve.”

For more information on how the Free and Charitable Clinics will be utilizing their grants to improve community health, please visit www.cvshealth.com/NAFC.

Located at 75 Essex St., Hackensack, BVMI is open Monday through Friday, and can be reached at 201-342-2478 or via email at info@bvmi.net