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Community Programs

volunteer grahpicChristian Swanson, MD donates a procedure to a
SPIRIT patient.

Sierra Sacramento Valley Medical Society (SSVMS) involves physicians in community service, education, and research through its charitable programs. SSVMS’ Community Programs and services are focused on increasing access to healthcare, improving health outcomes, mental health advocacy, physician wellness and building the future of healthcare. SSVMS’ Community Programs are supported by grants and generous donations from the community.


The Sacramento Physicians’ Initiative to Reach out, Innovate and Teach (SPIRIT) Program recruits and places physician volunteers to donate medical services to the medically indigent and uninsured members of our community.  Working together with partner physicians and the region’s health systems, the SPIRIT Program provides uninsured people in the Sacramento region the care that helps them lead healthier, more productive lives. Since the program’s inception, SPIRIT has provided over $12 million in free care, treated over 54,000 patients and performed over 1,200 surgeries. Visit the SPIRIT page for more details on how to volunteer for the program.

Joy of Medicine

SSVMS’ Joy of Medicine program relieves physician pain and helps them to reclaim the joy of practicing medicine through education, advocacy and program services designed to nurture individual well-being and collegiality and to promote systems-wide changes. For more information and to access wellness resources, visit

Honoring Wishes

Honoring Wishes is dedicated to providing the resources necessary for the medical community and community at large to facilitate meaningful end-of-life care conversations and planning. This includes reducing the stigma in discussing death and providing the resources and training necessary for patients’ wishes to be honored as they progress through end-of-life care.

SSVMS Medical Student Scholarship Fund

Since 1969, SSVMS has supported the future of medicine by providing scholarships to deserving medical students who have graduated from a high school in El Dorado, Sacramento or Yolo Counties. Awardees, including the Paul J. Rosenberg, M.D. Scholar, are officially recognized at the “SSVMS Honors Medicine.” Click here for more information or to download an application.

SMART Medical Clearance

Patients in mental health crisis frequently present to one of the Sacramento Region’s Emergency Departments (ED) for medical evaluation and treatment. Recognizing that the ED is not an optimal environment for patients in psychological distress, SSVMS convened emergency medicine physicians and psychiatrists to develop and implement the SMART Medical Clearance protocol to standardize the medical clearance process across all EDs and inpatient psychiatric hospitals with the goal of improving the quality of care for patients in crisis. The SMART protocol facilitates the safe and timely transfer of patients to appropriate treatment centers in a resource-conscious way by relying on evidence-based medicine and thorough history and physical exams. For more information visit

RX Safe Physicians

SSVMS’ RX Safe Physicians program is a partnership with the Sacramento and El Dorado County Opioid Coalitions. This physician led coalition includes community members and experts collaborating to prevent opioid misuse and abuse to help save lives and promote wellness. The program focuses on educating providers regarding safe prescribing, promoting complimentary methods of pain management to physicians and patients and increasing access to naloxone. Learn more by visiting

Museum of Medical History

SSVMS’ Museum of Medical History showcases the history of medicine in our region and features medical artifacts from the fields of Surgery, Clinical Diagnosis, Infectious Disease, Pharmacy, Radiology, Chinese Medicine, Obstetrics and Gynecology and Medical Quackery. The museum is located at 5380 Elvas Ave, Sacramento 95819 and is open to the public Monday through Friday from 9:00am to 4:00pm and is closed on holidays. Physicians interested in volunteering as a museum docent may learn more by clicking here.


These programs are part of the SSVMS Community Service, Education and Research Fund (CSERF), the non-profit 501 (c) (3) of the Sierra Sacramento Valley Medical Society. Donations to CSERF can be made on behalf of the SSVMS Community Programs and are tax deductible as allowed by law.

For any questions on SSVMS Community Programs, email Lindsay Coate or call 916-452-2671.