Volunteers in Medicine Berkshires (VIM) is pleased to announce that Kristine Hazzard has joined the organization as a member of the Board of Trustees. Kristine has 30 years of experience leading and managing health and human service organizations. Currently a principal consultant at Katalyst, she specializes in strategic planning, organizational development, executive coaching, community change processes and meeting facilitation. Prior to launching her own firm, Kristine served as President and Chief Executive Officer of Berkshire United Way from 2008 to 2019.

“Kristine’s proven commitment to improving the lives of the most vulnerable members of our community, combined with her expertise in program development, fundraising, public relations, board development, and coaching will be invaluable to VIM,” notes Arthur M. Peisner, VIM’s Chairman of the Board. “VIM is needed now more than ever, and Kristine will be instrumental in helping ensure we grow strategically and sustainably.”

Before Berkshire United Way, Kristine spent 10 years as President and Chief Executive Officer of The Center for Women and Families of Eastern Fairfield County, a nonprofit agency serving victims of domestic violence and sexual assault as well as women returning to the community after incarceration. Prior to that, she was Supervisor of School-Based Health Centers for the City of Bridgeport, Connecticut’s Department of Health. Kristine began her career as Site Manager of Planned Parenthood of Connecticut’s Stamford Clinic.

Kristine and her husband Larry, President of Berkshire Life Insurance Company, (a subsidiary of Guardian Life) live in Hinsdale, MA. Larry is a former member of VIM’s Board of Trustees, and the couple have been long-time supporters of the organization. Kristine received her B.A. In Social Work from Albright College and an M.A. in Social Welfare Administration from SUNY Albany.

About Volunteers in Medicine Berkshires

VIM’s mission is to provide access to quality health care for income-qualified, uninsured and underinsured adults living in the Berkshire region. VIM provides free, integrated medical and dental care, behavioral health services, optometry, nutrition counseling, massage and acupuncture and has pioneered Shared Medical Appointments and a Non-Opioid Pain Management Program in Berkshire County.

Throughout the coronavirus pandemic, VIM has continued to treat patients by combining a mix of telephone and in-clinic visits. The goal has been to keep patients healthy and—very importantly—away from hospital emergency rooms. VIM also continues to take a lead role among local social service organizations to coordinate our community response and, in the first three months following the shutdown, distributed more than $150,000 in spot grants to help patients pay for rent, heat, electricity, phone service, food, and more until they can get back to work.

In 2019, VIM’s volunteer and staff clinicians treated nearly 1,000 individual patients over more than 6,000 visits. In addition, VIM volunteers provided nearly 900 free rides for patients to and from critical medical appointments. VIM also made over 800 referrals to address patient needs for housing, personal safety, legal aid and other social determinants of health. We envision a society in which all members of our community have an equal opportunity to achieve good health.

VIM Berkshires, Inc. is designated as a 501(c) (3) public charity under Federal Tax ID# 90-0140004 and is governed by a volunteer board of trustees.

(press release information along with image sent to WSBS from VIM for online and on air use) 

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