WEST CHESTER (January 14, 2022) – Community Volunteers in Medicine (CVIM), a nonprofit organization providing free medical service to those in need, now has a designated area and equipment for its physical therapy program, thanks to $50,000 in state funding secured by state Senator Carolyn Comitta.

CVIM is using the funds to develop an onsite physical therapy room with therapeutic devices and physical therapy equipment – including tools that clients can borrow to continue their rehabilitation at home – to support its growing physical therapy program.

“It’s always important to support CVIM and the other free clinics throughout our area that make up an integral part of our healthcare infrastructure,” Comitta said. “I hope this investment will help more patients and residents access the benefits of physical therapy in recovering from illness or injury, reducing pain, avoiding surgery, and enjoying better mobility, balance and overall health and wellness.”

According to CVIM President and CEO Maureen Tomoschuk, CVIM currently serves approximately 25 patients a week in its physical therapy program, which is supported by a staff of dedicated volunteers, including two physical therapists, two physiatrists, an athletic trainer, and a hand therapist, as well as additional volunteer professionals offering chiropractic care and acupuncture therapy.

“We are so grateful to Senator Comitta for her ongoing advocacy for CVIM and our mission, and for securing the funding for our new physical therapy room,” Tomoschuk said. “Our volunteers are now fully equipped to help our patients get healthy and return to work. This is especially important as COVID-19 continues to spread in our community, and we work to make sure our patients are fully supported in all of their medical and dental needs.”

The dedicated physical therapy room and equipment upgrades are especially important as the organization serves a majority of patients who work physically demanding jobs in manual labor and the service industry. That means many CVIM clients are susceptible to injuries and may live in chronic pain, but struggle to access or afford physical therapy due to prohibitive out-of-pocket costs.

CVIM’s physiatrists and physical therapy team aim to empower patients through education, rehabilitation,  and prevention, as well as nonopioid medications, injections, modalities, and therapeutic exercises.

The organization also now has a dedicated space for its own electromyography (EMG) machine, a diagnostic tool used to assess nerve and muscle function, which is particularly helpful for its many patients dealing with hand or wrist injuries, like carpal tunnel syndrome.

Comitta, who serves on the Senate Health and Human Services Committee, thanked Tomoschuk and all CVIM’s staff and volunteers for their ongoing work to provide compassionate medical and dental care and health education to Chester County residents and families who lack access to health care.

“It is a challenging time in healthcare as free clinics like CVIM continue to deal with the evolving pandemic,” she said. “That’s why we must continue to support and invest in our healthcare infrastructure so that all people have an opportunity to lead healthy, happy, and productive lives.”

Comitta also thanked CVIM for administering thousands of doses of the COVID-19 vaccine and continuing to assist so many residents and families in need throughout the evolving pandemic.

Founded in 1998, CVIM was the first community-based volunteer clinic of its kind in Southeastern Pennsylvania. Today, it continues to grow and expand to meet the needs of Chester County residents and families who lack access to insurance. Last year, CVIM treated 5,000 patients during more than 41,000 visits.