Dr. Jack McConnell, founder of the first Volunteers in Medicine free clinic, passed away on February 6, 2018 at the age of 93. Dr. McConnell founded the charitable clinic model in Hilton Head, SC, in 1993, utilizing largely retired, volunteer physicians and staff to serve the low income, uninsured residents of the island.
Since the original clinic’s founding, 89 Volunteers in Medicine clinics have grown in 28 states throughout the nation. Based on Dr. McConnell’s model, Bluffton Jasper Volunteers in Medicine began serving patients in 2011 and in 2016 opened a second clinic in Ridgeland, to serve the uninsured who live or work in Greater Bluffton or Jasper County.
The Volunteers In Medicine national office, located in Burlington, VT, states on their website, “As a result of Dr. McConnell’s vision…Hundreds of thousands of people who were previously without a regular source of care have been treated. Tens of thousands of volunteers have experienced the joy of serving.”
The Bluffton Jasper Volunteers in Medicine joins our community and all Volunteer In Medicine clinics in remembering the exemplary life and mourning the loss of a compassionate visionary leader who believed that everyone deserves the dignity of health care.
To read more about Dr. McConnell and his legacy here including a touching tribute from the band, Phish and a video of Dr. McConnell performing with them in North Charleston visit the national website volunteersinmedicine.org