Bergen Volunteer Medical Initiative Healthcare Center

241 Moore Street
Hackensack, NJ 07601


In the early autumn of 2004, Samuel Cassell, MD, a retired Bergen County internist, became increasingly concerned about the lack of healthcare for many county residents. After some investigation, he learned about a novel approach to meeting the healthcare needs of the uninsured involving utilization of the talent and expertise of volunteer physicians and other healthcare professionals.

Dr. Cassell discovered that Dr. Jack McConnell had acted upon similar concerns in 1992 and had established the first Volunteers in Medicine Center in Hilton Head, South Carolina. This Center became the wellspring for a national movement of free healthcare centers primarily staffed by volunteer healthcare professionals. Today there are over 70 existing centers across the country and many more in start up mode.

Enlisting the support of friends and colleagues, Dr. Cassell began to build an organization to replicate the Hilton Head model. In a few short months the Bergen Volunteer Medical Initiative (BVMI) was on its way with nearly 100 interested individuals and cooperating agencies and organizations. On November 11, 2009, the Healthcare Center was officially opened.

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