+     When you become a volunteer physician partner with We Care Manatee, you set the parameters.

+     Patients are pre-qualified by We Care Manatee staff and referred to your office with the medical records you require to provide care.

+     You decide the number of referrals to accept and type of clinical care you are available to provide

+     We Care Manatee helps patients with transportation to assure that they can get to the medical appointments you office schedules

+     We Care Manatee, with the help of funding from Manatee County, provides coverage for certain medications you prescribe

+     We Care Manatee works with other community programs to help patients get access to testing, treatment and medical equipment.

We Care Manatee partner physicians participate in the Volunteer Health Care Provider Program (VHCPP).  Under a contract with the The State of Florida Department of Health, providers who offer free, quality health care services to under-served populations of the state are provided Sovereign Immunity while providing such care.  Providers can also have license fees and a portion of CME requirements waived for your volunteer service.

Male doctor with staff

If you are looking for a way to serve this community, the We Care Manatee program is tailored precisely to fit your needs. You simply set the parameters of your participation, and we find patients you can help based on the guidelines you provide.

By providing a private sector solution to treating the uninsured, we eliminate the red tape and hassle that is often associated with donated care. The result is a proven, effective program that enables you to give back to the community on your own terms.
Our volunteer physicians and clinicians are doing some amazing things to serve the medical needs of low income, uninsured residents of Manatee County through We Care Manatee. We are grateful for their energy and commitment.

Many of our physicians tell us their participation with We Care Manatee is a gratifying way to give back to the community and satisfy their desire to care for the sick and injured.

We continue to enhance our volunteer physician program and make it easier for you to treat our patients more completely. Please consider joining our team of dedicated physicians by seeing one or more patients this year through the We Care Manatee program.

To become a We Care Manatee physician volunteer provider or to learn more about the program, please contact our office at 941-755-3952 extension 5002.


Anyone who has volunteered knows that to give is to receive. Here’s what some of our physicians have to say about their We Care Manatee experience.

“There are many altruistic charitable organizations in Manatee County that I have been proud to participate in. We Care Manatee is unique because it delivers medical care that can only be provided by doctors, with needs that cannot be met by attorneys, accountants and small businessmen. We Care Manatee requires the skills of physicians who are committed to the same compassionate goals and principles that motivated them to become doctors. Through my participation in We Care Manatee, I have been able to get back in touch with the altruistic feelings I had as a young man pursuing a career in medicine. In the process of reaching out to help others, I have been able to express my gratitude for all that I have been given.”

John Ayres, MD
Coastal Orthopedics
Volunteer Since 2007

“As a specialist in Manatee County, I’m proud to support We Care Manatee. I consider taking care of the truly indigent who have the misfortune of suffering illnesses an expectation of my profession. Donating a small amount of time now saves a lot of suffering later. If I can make a dramatic change in their future, that is a tangible reward for myself, and an investment in the health of our community.”

Philip Tally, MD
Neuro-Spinal Associates
Volunteer since 2000

“Volunteering at We Care Manatee has provided me with an incredible opportunity to help grateful people in our community, and the enjoyment of working with the compassionate and hardworking staff. I highly recommend donating time to bettering our community health.”

Lisa Shannon, DO
Manatee Memorial Hospital
Volunteer since 2012

“We support We Care Manatee because it is a great non-profit organization that helps the uninsured receive specialty medical services when they cannot afford to pay out of pocket. It is a way that we as a medical office can give back to our community while helping someone in need.”

Aaron Sudbury, MD
Premier OB/GYN of Manatee
Volunteer since 2009

“We Care Manatee is what community service is all about. We are community physicians taking care of hard-working community members who cannot afford insurance and therefore do not have access to healthcare. The only question is, why would you not want to help such a wonderful organization?”

William Soscia, MD
Center For Sight
Volunteer since 2002

“Supporting community efforts has been the most rewarding way for me to practice medicine. Either doing it directly or indirectly, getting involved or teaming up with other providers through We Care Manatee. We all can make access to healthcare for the needy so much better. We Care Manatee is a terrific organization to work with. The main reason to support We Care Manatee is the concept of social responsibility that we all have as part of the community.”

Federico Frias, MD
APC Pediatrics
Volunteer since 2009

“We Care Manatee is an important resource because it fills the gap for the working poor who wouldn’t otherwise have access to quality healthcare. The medical community desires to give back to society, and as a specialist I am able to help the less fortunate in an organized method through We Care Manatee. Patients are supremely grateful for the care they receive, and I feel fortunate to be part of an organization that has been making a difference in Manatee County since 1999.”

Tom Morrish, MD
Ear, Nose & Throat Associates of Manatee
Volunteer since 1999

“I participate with We Care Manatee because it is a great way for me to give back to my community.”

Peter Mattina, MD
Volunteer since 1999

“I am enjoying the opportunity to give back through We Care Manatee. Helping the indigent and teaching medical students at the same time is very gratifying and heartwarming!”

George Gallati, MD, Retired
Volunteer since 2010


Quality care for our patients is our top priority. Making it easy and convenient for physicians to work with us is also a priority.

If you are a physician looking to refer a patient, all you need to do is complete, sign and submit a We Care Manatee Referral Form, along with the patient’s medical records and any diagnostic results. We’ll take it from there to confirm patient eligibility and make the necessary referrals.

If you are a We Care Manatee volunteer physician, we will confirm the patient’s eligibility and make a referral to you based on your specialty and availability.


Referring a Patient to We Care Manatee

The patient must meet and provide documented proof of the following to be eligible for We Care Manatee services:

Age 18 to 64
Resident of Manatee County
Not eligible for and/or has no pending claim for Medicaid, disability, workers’ compensation, accident/injury
At or below 200% of the current Federal Poverty Level

An active Florida-licensed physician or nurse practitioner can refer a patient to We Care Manatee.

What types of services can they be referred for?

Patients can be referred to We Care Manatee if they need one or more of the following:

• Referral to a medical or surgical specialist (age 18 to 64)
• Screening or diagnostic breast health services screening (age 18 to 49)
• Primary care physician for non-acute care (age 18 to 64)

Physicians may make only one type of referral request per form. Multiple requests on the same form will not be accepted. Each request must have specific medical/clinical information to support that specific request.

We recommend for fastest review of your request the referral be FAXED to We Care Manatee directly at 941-870-8503.

It’s important that the initial referral request be submitted in its entirety to avoid delays in the review process. A complete referral includes;

• Completed We Care Manatee Referral Request form. The Form must be completed in its entirety, signed by the physician, and signed by patient

• Medical records with clinical information and documentation supporting the request

• Up to date labs and actual copy (with reading) of any diagnostic CT/MRI or ultrasound if applicable

There are several steps in the review process. On average, a completed referral will be reviewed within 4 to 5 business days. For more details on the review processes, see the attached flow sheets which outline our process for a physician specialist, breast health, and primary care clinic referral.

Medical Flow Chart
Medical Flow Chart
Medical Flow Chart

• The referral is incomplete (missing patient information, signatures, and/or medical information)
• The referral was submitted on incorrect forms
• The request reason does not meet our clinical criteria and/or can be addressed by the requesting primary care provider
• We do not have a volunteer physician that can address your patient’s need
• There is an overwhelming demand for the requested services and the wait may be prolonged
• The patient is ineligible for services due to age, residency, income, insurance status, and/or eligibility for or pending workers’ compensation or disability
• Other

Becoming a Volunteer Physician with We Care Manatee

We care about our patients and know that their proper diagnosis, quality treatment and expert care are heavily dependent on the compassion, generous donation of time, and clinical skill of our volunteer physicians.

When you become an approved and contracted We Care Manatee volunteer physician providing uncompensated services to eligible We Care Manatee patients, you are acting as an extension of the Florida Department of Health. In that capacity, you will receive sovereign immunity under their Volunteer Health Services Program as authorized by Chapter 110 for general volunteers 766 for licensed health care providers under Florida Statutes.


Sovereign immunity provides general liability protection and workers’ compensation as determined by the Florida Department of Health.

In addition, you are helping provide access to quality health care to the underserved and uninsured member of our community, and contributing to the “bottom line” by facilitating their ability to be healthy, working and productive members of our society.

You are in good company when you become a We Care Manatee volunteer physician, joining nearly 90 other local clinicians who believe access to and the delivery of quality healthcare represent a win/win/win scenario for the patient, the provider and the community.

In total, the process takes on average about 10 business days to complete and can be completed in a few easy steps;

1. Application: Complete, sign and submit the volunteer physician application for the Volunteer Health Care Provider Program (VHCPP) contract to We Care Manatee – please sign in BLUE ink.

2. Background Check: The Florida Department of Health will run a background check on your medical license, and if your license is free and clear, draft a VHCPP contract specific to you and if requested, your organization.

3. Contract: A VHPCC contract is issued and sent to you by We Care Manatee – please sign in BLUE ink.

4. Your Contract Signature: Sign and return your VHCPP contract to We Care Manatee.

5. Their Contract Signature: We Care Manatee will obtain final signature authorization from the Florida Department of Health and send you the final contract with both sets of signatures.

6. Done! You are ready to accept patients referred to you directly from We Care Manatee.*

*Accepting We Care Manatee referrals from any other source, except directly from We Care Manatee, could jeopardize your sovereign immunity coverage.

You make the final decision. We Care Manatee volunteer physicians may pre-screen referrals and their accompanying medical records for final determination regarding acceptance of a patient’s case and care.

Referring Current We Care Manatee Patients to Other Specialists or Tests

If after assessing and/or treating the patient you determine that he or she needs to see either an additional specialist or a different specialist, please write a referral using your own Rx pad explaining the request, attach the medical notes supporting your decision, and fax the request back to We Care Manatee. We will review the request and, if appropriate and we have a specialist that will take the case, we will facilitate the additional referral request.

No. It is not recommended to refer to other practitioners directly even if you are aware the practitioner is a We Care Manatee volunteer physician. Any referral that does not come directly from We Care Manatee to a practitioner may not be covered under the sovereign immunity protection and may also put the patient at financial risk.

Prescription Assistance for We Care Manatee Patients

Yes. Patients who qualify may be eligible to receive free or discounted prescription medications for up to 30 days. In some instances, they also may be eligible for refills. We Care Manatee provides a free Rx voucher or discount card for drugs that are on our formulary for prescriptions prescribed for We Care Manatee patients by We Care Manatee volunteer physicians.

If the prescribed medication is not on our formulary, we will make a concerted effort to facilitate finding a location that discounts the medication, if available. We do NOT dispense any medication at our location and also do not provide pharmaceutical assistance for prescribed contraceptives, antipsychotic drugs, or narcotics.

Tracking Care and Value of Physician Services

After you see a We Care Manatee patient, you will complete and return to us the We Care Manatee referral form (either downloaded by you or provided to you by the patient). The form includes a space for you to enter the CPT-4 and/or DRG code for the service provided and estimated Medicare rate or charge associated with that service. This information allows us to confirm care was provided and, if needed, facilitate additional care coordination. It also provides an opportunity for We Care Manatee to track the value of the services donated at the individual physician level and collectively by all our physician volunteers. This helps to provide a measurable, reportable value to your service and the service that We Care Manatee facilitates for our patients, our donors, and our community.