New York State Health Foundation

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RotaCare, Inc.

  • Project Title: The Medical Altruism Project
  • Priority Area: Special Projects Fund
  • Grant Amount: $96,911
  • Date Awarded: August 21, 2008
  • Region: Long Island
  • Website:
  • Grant Status: Complete


The National Association of Free Clinics estimates that there are more than 1,200 free clinics in the United States. Free clinics use volunteer physicians, nurses, other health practitioners, and non-medical personnel to provide free medical, dental, pharmacy, and other behavioral health services to low-income people who do not have insurance or other means to pay for care. RotaCare, a free clinic on Long Island, relies completely on a cadre of more than 100 volunteer doctors, pharmacists, dentists, nurses, paraprofessionals, and clerical workers. However, by 2008, many of RotaCare’s volunteers were aging out, and it needed to replace and augment its volunteer base. In August 2008, the New York State Health Foundation awarded RotaCare a grant to develop and implement strategies to recruit more medical and non-medical volunteer staff.

Grant Goals:

RotaCare hoped to achieve the following goals:

  • Increase the yearly number of patients served by 400, reaching a new total of 2,200 patients each year.
  • Create an ongoing recruitment strategy and process to ensure a steady supply of volunteers for the future.

Grant Outcomes:

RotaCare accomplished the following:

  • Hired a volunteer manager who engaged volunteers, board members, and the staff of Long Island hospitals, medical societies, and other community organizations through a multifaceted outreach and educational strategy.
  • Recruited 54 new volunteers: 31 non-medical volunteers (reception, prescription assistance, front desk, and translators); 18 nurses; 3 pharmacy personnel; and 2 physicians. This surpassed the goal of recruiting 43 volunteers.
  • Launched a comprehensive website to feature services available at the clinic and volunteering opportunities.
  • Developed a RotaCare messaging strategy for the website, brochures, and other outreach materials.
  • Established a Department of Volunteer Recruitment that created applications for medical and nonmedical volunteers, prepared recruitment advertisements, and created a database of contacts.

Grantee Information:

Download Grant Outcomes Report