"I toured the Volunteers in Medicine Clinic on Hilton Head Island on its 30th birthday to see if it could still say, “Ahhh," writes David Lauderdale with The Beaufort Gazette.

The clinic was a simple idea championed by the late Dr. Jack McConnell, let retired healthcare workers treat the uninsured or underinsured residents and workers on Hilton Head and Daufuskie islands. But it wasn’t easy to get to that opening day. A sense of relief fell over the place when a child came in for an immunization.

A quick check-up today shows a place on Northridge Drive with 27 specialists tending to 10,000 patients, as many as 150 a day for 28,000 patient visits per year. More than 600 volunteers give 52,000 hours annually to provide $13 million worth of healthcare, they say. It takes no federal money and precious few state or county dollars. It has a 4-star rating by Charity Navigator, with 93% of its multi-million-dollar budget going directly to its mission.

The model has been replicated in more than 100 places nationwide, including in Bluffton, with a branch in Ridgeland. At the HHI clinic, where the idea took life, more than half a million patients have been treated. They offer dental and mental health care, and a pharmacy that filled 40,000 prescriptions last year. They added a popular walk-up window funded by The Church Mouse thrift store. The clinic helps patients get surgeries, lab work, diagnostic X-rays and medical equipment.

Read the entire article at Yahoo News