ELMWOOD PARK, N.J., Aug. 8, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Debbie B. of Tuckerton suffers from chronic hypertension, but she had not seen a doctor in the last two years because her job does not offer health insurance. She recently discovered she qualified for free healthcare through the new Coastal Volunteers in Medicine (Coastal VIM) clinic located in Manahawkin, NJ. While she is now under the care of a clinician, Debbie still cannot afford the diagnostic tests needed to monitor her medical conditions.
Bio-Reference Laboratories, Inc. (NASDAQ: BRLI) ( www.bioreference.com), a national clinical diagnostics company based in Elmwood Park, NJ, has stepped in to help patients like Debbie who qualify for services at the clinic, but are ineligible for free diagnostic tests. Bio-Reference and Coastal VIM have just announced a new agreement to provide routine laboratory tests, free-of-charge, to patients who are unable to obtain necessary testing due to cost.
Coastal VIM Clinic, which opened its doors in April, is the first-and-only, free, family clinic serving medically uninsured individuals of southern Ocean County and neighboring communities. The facility has provided services to more than 130 patients – many of whom are still rebuilding their lives after Hurricane Sandy.
The facility is staffed completely by volunteers: physicians, nurse practitioners, pharmacists, therapists, nurses and technicians. One hundred percent of its operations are supported by donations and in-kind services.Bio-Reference has committed to providing a full range of routine clinical tests to qualified patients of the clinic, free-of-charge, including tests that screen for hypertension, diabetes, liver and kidney function, cholesterol levels, gastric health and more. For patients of the clinic requiring more advanced diagnostic testing, Bio-Reference offers a 70-percent discount on tests performed by the Company. Patients with a valid test order from Coastal VIM can visit the Bio-Reference Lab located at 1851 Hooper Avenue in Toms River, where no appointment is necessary. "We're very pleased to support Coastal VIM's social outreach and the important service it provides," expressed Marc D. Grodman, M.D., President and CEO of Bio-Reference Laboratories. "Routine diagnostic tests are critical to patient care. They can prevent the development of full-blown emergent health conditions by monitoring ongoing medical problems or addressing new health problems at their onset." Coastal VIM's Clinical Director, Sonia Rich-Mazzeo, agreed, "Uninsured individuals tend to put off obtaining medical care until they have a serious health issue. Then, the local emergency room is their only option, where by law no patient can be turned away. The clinic offers qualifying patients the opportunity to receive an annual physical as well as early testing and intervention when symptoms first become apparent, or before they progress to more serious conditions. We also provide management of some chronic diseases, such as diabetes, hypertension and high cholesterol." Coastal VIM, a non-profit organization, estimates there are more than 13,000 individuals without health insurance living in southern Ocean County. Coastal VIM received a start-up grant from the Horizon Foundation for New Jersey to address the pressing need for free healthcare in this community. While the clinic seeks a permanent location for its operation, Coastal VIM is temporarily located in donated space at the King of Kings Community Church, 1000 N. Main Street, Route 9 Manahawkin. Coastal VIM does not have any religious affiliation and embraces cultural, racial and religious diversity.