The Rotary Club of Bluffton has donated $1,000 to the Bluffton Jasper County Volunteers in Medicine, a nonprofit organization that provides health care to the “working poor” in Bluffton and Jasper County – residents who are uninsured or underinsured and who don’t qualify for Medicaid or Medicare.

Rotary also donated $15,000 to the organization last year.

Only two out of every three residents in South Carolina has health insurance, according to BJVIM, which works to bridge that gap.

BJVIM is a member of the national Volunteers in Medicine Alliance, one of 90 independent VIM clinics across the country.

Family income must be at or below 250% of the Federal poverty index. We are a small local solution to a national problem. Although the Affordable Care Act has survived its latest challenge, we believe our services will be necessary for many years to come. There are so few primary care physicians available that even with mandated insurance many of our clients will still have no access to care.

Official estimates are that there are 2,300 people for every primary care physician in Jasper County and 1,000 for every primary care physician in Beaufort County (the national average is 600 to one.)  VIM’s retired volunteer physicians help to fill that gap and offer people with both immediate problems and chronic conditions – diabetes and hypertension are frequent problems – the opportunity to stay functioning members of the community.

According to VIM, most small employers do not offer health insurance and often the salaries are not high enough for the employees to purchase private health insurance.  Many people work part-time jobs that offer no benefits.  By providing primary care, VIM hopes to keep the employed healthy enough to stay working and the unemployed healthy enough to keep seeking work, thereby helping to prevent these people from requiring government assistance.

For more information, call 843-706-7090 or go to