April 27, 2023

Volunteer Spotlight: Kelly Scherer (Fundraiser of the Year in 2022)

CommunityHealth shines the Volunteer Spotlight on Dr. Kelly Scherer during April.

Kelly began serving with CommunityHealth as a volunteer optometrist in 2019. However, optometry services were halted during the pandemic.

Unable to provide in-person services but still hoping to support CommunityHealth, Dr. Scherer joined our Associate Board and has been a valuable voice advocating for Quality Health Care for All. 

Kelly won the Fundraiser of the Year award in 2022. We sat down with Dr. Scherer to learn more about what it means to volunteer with CommunityHealth…

In a few sentences, tell us more about yourself and your background. 

“I am a low vision optometrist. In my day to day, I work with patients who have varying levels of permanent vision loss to provide rehabilitative care and resources. Working with the disabled population in Chicago has expanded understanding of health disparities in medically underserved and vulnerable populations.”


How has working with CommunityHealth influenced your perception of health care?

“CommunityHealth stands as an example that the big players in health care aren’t the required ingredients to quality care.”


Why and how did you begin volunteering at CommunityHealth?

“I found CommunityHealth in 2019, shortly after moving to Chicago. I was looking for ways to get more involved in the community and was excited to find an opportunity where I could bring my professional skills.”


What has kept you volunteering all this time?

“I believe in the mission of CommunityHealth and am committed to advancing health equity in Chicago.”

What is something you’ve learned from volunteering with CommunityHealth?

“Neighbors helping neighbors is how we can create change in Chicago.”


What has been your biggest takeaway from your time with CommunityHealth, and how does this impact your other life or career goals?

“One realization that continues to grow on me is the scale of people without access to appropriate eye care in Chicago. My work at CommunityHealth has motivated me to be an advocate for eyecare and improving healthcare access in our city.”

Outside of volunteering with CommunityHealth, how do you like to spend your free time?

“I practice yoga and try to spend time outdoors every day. I live in a 1921 converted building in the city with my husband. We have a mini Aussie who keeps us outside and active even in Chicago winters.”


What’s your favorite book or movie?

“Death Gap by David Ansell is an excellent perspective on how racism and structural violence have lead to a 30 year life expectancy disparity in Chicago as you take the red line from North to South. I recommend it to anyone interested in learning more about health disparities in or out of Chicago.”

Volunteers like Dr. Scherer are what make it possible to provide free health care to the underserved and uninsured.

CommunityHealth welcomes all health care providers who prioritize Quality Health Care for All to apply to become a volunteer!

As More than a Free Clinic, we offer a variety of opportunities to volunteer from Associate Board fundraising to Student Run Clinic triaging and more.