Reducing the impact of the health care access crisis through volunteerism: a means, not an end

Am J Public Health. 2009 Jul;99(7):1166-9. doi: 10.2105/AJPH.2008.145623. Epub 2009 May 14.


In the absence of meaningful health reform, Florida implemented a volunteer health care program to strengthen the existing safety net. Since program implementation in 1992, over $1 billion of services have been provided to uninsured and underserved populations. Currently, over 20,000 volunteers participate statewide. Key incentives for provider participation have been an organized framework for volunteering and liability protection through state-sponsored sovereign immunity. Volunteerism, although not a solution to the health care crisis, serves as a valuable adjunct pending full-scale health care reform.

MeSH terms

  • Delivery of Health Care*
  • Florida
  • Health Care Reform
  • Health Services Accessibility*
  • Health Services Research
  • Humans
  • Medically Underserved Area
  • Medically Uninsured
  • Program Evaluation
  • Volunteers*
  • Workforce