Clinics In The News
10/18/20 - News Advance
Amid the construction work of Lynchburg’s Main Street Renewal Project, the Free Clinic of Central Virginia has joined in getting a facelift. The Free Clinic, which has a budget funded mainly by donations and grants, has provided comprehensive health care to uninsured and underinsured people in Lynchburg and surrounding counties since 1987. Its location on Main Street opened in 1992. The now-defunct pharmacy in the downtown location will be transformed into two private offices, where providers and volunteers can meet with patients for behavioral healthcare, and a classroom space. Delzingaro said the classroom will be a place where patients can learn more about health topics like diabetes, stress reduction, hypertension, women’s health and participate in group therapy. Exam rooms will be upgraded with more modern and efficient lighting equipment and new flooring. The entrance will move to the middle of the building and the side facing Main Street will have bigger windows, with brick on the exterior.
10/15/20 - Times News
Thanks to generous donations from the United Breast Cancer Foundation (UBCF), the Health Wagon — the region’s only free clinic — has dispersed useful, high-quality household items to individuals who need them most during the COVID-19 pandemic. Most recently, thanks to these donations, the Health Wagon dispersed personal hygiene bags to individuals in need at a drive-through giveaway and assisted patients in the enrollment of Medicaid and as new patients in the clinic. Over 500 individuals were served. The United Breast Cancer Foundation ensured the delivery of over 70 pallets of daily household items. “UBCF has worked with Teresa and The Health Wagon since 2012, supporting thousands of deserving and underserved women, men and families — and we’re just getting started!” said Beth Reichart, UBCF’s director of operations. “When people are struggling so hard just to put food on the table, keep the car running or get their monthly prescriptions filled, the gift of a new mattress, some new clothes and beautiful skincare products can lighten the heavy load and bring a fresh perspective to life. One of United Breast Cancer Foundation’s goals is to bring joy to people — and thanks to our work with The Health Wagon, we’re making it happen.”
10/14/20 - Times-Dispatch
Volunteers are worth their weight in gold. the long-term ramifications on the community with volunteerism. A large portion of the county’s volunteers fall into the 50 and older category. Many of them are retired. And among those, many of them have underlying health conditions that put them in the higher risk category for COVID-19. As a result, the Free Clinic of Powhatan needs volunteers to help register patients at the front desk on certain hours on Mondays and Thursdays.
10/14/20 - Winchester Star
The Community Foundation of the Northern Shenandoah Valley (CFNSV) announced this week that it will distribute a total of $61,500 to local agencies through its 2020 grant awards. Two of those recipients include he Dr. Terry Sinclair Health Clinic ($2,800) and St. Luke Dental Clinic ($2,000) from the Paul and Martha Rees Fund, established in 2014 by BB&T Bank in memory of Paul and Martha Rees to offer grants to charitable and nonprofit organizations for the benefit of the people of the Northern Shenandoah Valley.
10/13/20 - CBS19
The Charlottesville Free Clinic is moving its medical and pharmaceutical clinics to the Wellness Center, located at 901 Preston Avenue in Charlottesville after an unexpected lease termination from its present site of 24 years. After a six-month search for a new site, the clinic found a new home just a few blocks away from its present location on Rose Hill Drive. This is the first time the Charlottesville Free Clinic will pay rent. The Charlottesville Free Clinic serves about 2,600 people per year, offering 7,000 visits. It offers medical, dental, and mental health visits, and has been offering services throughout the coronavirus pandemic. "Things like buses and access and visibility, they're just really important to the clinic, so we can serve everybody who needs us," said Charlottesville Free Clinic Executive Director Colleen Keller.
10/13/20 - Virginia Mercury
As COVID cases in some parts of the state begin to increase after a significant drop through much of September — a month that saw Virginia’s percentage of positive tests fall below 5 percent — public health experts worry the lack of protections could hinder testing efforts. Dr. Mike Murchie, the medical director for CrossOver Healthcare Ministry, a free clinic in Richmond, said his office saw testing numbers fall significantly in late July after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention changed its guidelines for when employees should be allowed to return to work after testing positive. He is worried about the possibility that more patients are choosing not to get tested because they don’t have to be, or that less emphasis on testing might mean that some workers are choosing to forgo it rather than risk missing work with no pay.
10/7/20 - WHSV3
The Harrisonburg Rockingham Free Clinic, which provides care to low-income and uninsured adults, will close its doors at the end of the year. The clinic’s board voted unanimously to close the clinic due to changes in its patient base, volunteer provider availability, funding and challenges from the COVID-19 pandemic. The clinic is currently working to help patients make the transition to new medical providers, which the board says this transition is expected to be finished by Nov. 20. After that, the clinic staff will begin closing operations, with an anticipated completion day of Dec. 18. “We are proud of the Clinic’s 30-year life cycle and the quality and quantity of care it provided to many of our community’s most vulnerable citizens,” Josh Hale, president of the Clinic’s board of directors, said in a press release. “It safeguarded the health of many who would have ‘slipped through the cracks’ of the system. We are a healthier community because of the Free Clinic. We are confident that the resources exist in our community today to successfully transition our patients and keep them on the road to good health.”
10/6/20 - WFXR Fox
According to Roanoke, the Valley has an estimated 311 people homeless people, and the Rescue Mission of Roanoke is looking to help out those people in need. Today host Kianna Price talked with Helen Ferguson, Chief Programs Officer for Rescue Mission of Roanoke, about some of the services provided by the Rescue Mission of Roanoke and the G. Wayne Fralin Free Clinic.
10/1/20 - Times News
The Health Wagon continues four decades of growth with the opening of a new clinic site in Dickenson County. Health Wagon Clinical Director Paula Hill Collins said the new center, in the Dickenson County Technology Park in Clintwood, brings a new on-site clinical service available to patients across the Health Wagon’s service area: optometric services. “We opened Monday and made more than 50 pairs of glasses for patients through Tuesday,” Collins said of the Sister Bernie Kenny Medical Missionaries of Mary Clinic. The $1.35 million clinic was funded through a combination of an Appalachian Regional Commission grant, various foundation grants and individual donations.
9/30/20 - WYDaily
The Williamsburg Community Foundation on Tuesday released a list of 14 local organization receiving its fall grants totaling $69,915. The grants are provided through the Community Endowments and Field-of-Interest Funds, with additional support from the Community Emergency Response Fund, “which was established to support basic needs such as food and shelter, resulting from the pandemic,” according to a news release from the foundation. Lackey Clinic is a recipient and funds will be used for building modifications and protective equipment for the safety of staff and patients, as well as help provide more equipment for telemedicine. For example, patients who need to monitor their blood pressure will receive a device to check their pressure from home, rather than having to come into the clinic.
9/18/20 - EurekaAlert
Rebecca Sutter, Associate Professor, School of Nursing, received $62,500 from Action in the Community Through Service (ACTS) for: "ACTSPWC - GMU Collaboration of Care." As part of this project, ACTS will co-host five social work interns with the Mason and Partners (MAP) Clinic in Manassas, Virginia. Additionally, MAP Clinic staff will provide six in-service behavioral health/social determinants of health (SDOH) training sessions to ACTS staff. Social determinants of health are the circumstances in which people live, work, and engage in recreation. These circumstances have far-reaching effects on people's health. Sutter expects that, upon completion of this effort, 80 percent of trained staff will report greater competence when dealing with clients presenting with behavioral health issues.
9/16/20 - WFXR Fox
Dr. Lindsey Bierle, Internal Medicine Resident Physician at Carilion Clinic and volunteer provider at the Bradley Free Clinic, shares the importance of colon cancer prevention and how she's helping the uninsured access it in the greater Roanoke Valley via the Michael Bierle Colon Cancer Awareness Fund established in memory of her father who succumbed to colon cancer. Dedicated to spreading awareness and outreach, this fund provides funding for colon screenings at the Bradley Free Clinic.
9/10/20 - WCYB 5
The Health Wagon Mobile Unit was able to resume services to the medically underserved in southwest Virginia after being forced to suspend mobile sites due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
9/10/20 - Daily Progress
Medical care can be expensive, even if you rarely visit a doctor’s office. One of many resources available to Greene County residents is a Community Medical Supply Closet, in operation since 2018 through the Greene Care Clinic. “This community resource helps reduce the financial stress of those facing a medical condition, especially when the individual has no insurance or has insurance that doesn’t cover these items,” said clinic Executive Director Pam Morris. “It is also a place where unused medical supplies can be donated and be put to use to help others.”
9/9/20 - Roanoke Times
The Roanoke Valley Collective Response’s Blueprint to Action is a two-year effort by hundreds of people who joined together to influence policies and programs so that they could better reach individuals and families affected by addictions and work on the underlying problems that lead to substance use. When the collective formed in September 2018, it had 60 members, each with some piece of the opioid epidemic who were looking to join forces. The Hope Initiative, a volunteer effort to connect people with addictions to services, was sprouting from its nascent origin of limited hours at the Bradley Free Clinic.
Janine Underwood, director of the free clinic and co-chair of the collective’s steering committee, said the collective continues to grow with new partners, and its work has continued throughout the pandemic to address addictions that are worsening under the stress and isolation of the last six months.
9/7/20 - WFXR Fox
Loving Living Local host Kianna Price sat down with Dr. Faith Pasley, a volunteer clinic doctor at the G. Wayne Fralin Free Clinic, and Kevin Berry, Community Relations with the Rescue Mission of Roanoke, to talk about the G. Wayne Fralin Free Clinic for the Homeless, a ministry of the Roanoke Rescue Mission. Hear more about how it operates under a volunteer Medical Director and numerous other volunteer healthcare providers to provide care and services to the uninsured in need.
9/7/20 - SWVA Today
Dr. Shan Fairbanks became the medical director at the Brock Hughes Medical Center (BHMC) on July 1. Fairbanks is a fully board-certified family physician and was also fellowship-trained in sports medicine. He is employed fulltime with Sideline Orthopedics and Sports Medicine. As Medical Director at BHMC, he is treating patients, chairing the Quality Improvement/Quality Assurance Team and providing oversight to certified nurse practitioners Venessa Coake and Amanda Arnold. BHMC, which was established in September 1995 to provide medical care to the uninsured, was named in honor of the late Dr. C. Brock Hughes who was a longtime pediatrician and a much-admired member of the medical community in Wythe County. The clinic provides medical care to those who are uninsured as well as those insured with Medicaid or Medicare.
8/30/20 - Times Dispatch
Clenise and Alex White wanted to do something to help. They didn’t have any clue back in March — when the coronavirus pandemic was starting to blow up and they got the idea that making face shields might be a good way to pitch in — that by the end of August they would have acquired four 3D printers for their home office and become experts at producing the personal protective equipment. At this point, they’ve donated almost 3,000 of the reusable shields to health care personnel at hospitals, free health care clinics and other types of organizations, even barbershops, across Virginia and around the country. One of the grateful recipients of the shields has been CrossOver Healthcare Ministry, one of the largest charitable clinics in Virginia, “This has been huge,” said Dr. Mike Murchie, CrossOver’s medical director, noting the shields are not only free to the clinic, a volunteer-driven organization constantly scrambling to make its limited resources work, but the quality of the shields is “exceedingly high. They’re better than the ones we’ve obtained from any other source that I can recall,” he said. “They’re very comfortable.”
8/30/2 - Times-Dispatch
Concerns about the capacity of the U.S. Postal Service to carry out its “appointed rounds” have reached a fever pitch. While much of the debate has focused on the potential risks to the fall election, there are other serious day-to-day consequences of a debilitated post office, particularly its critical role in delivering lifesaving medications to patients who rely on them. Rx Partnership -- and hundreds of patients with chronic conditions -- depend on the Postal Service for timely, reliable and low-cost delivery of medications, and we are concerned about the negative consequences should support for the postal system be reduced.
8/25/20 - Herald Courier
Due to COVID-19, Healing Hands Health Center will hold its 15th annual Fundraising Gala as an online virtual event. “Mask”erade! will be held Thursday from 6:30-7:30 p.m., and registration is currently open, and there’s no charge. The event will include a live auction that benefits the clinic’s charitable medical and dental operations. The silent auction is open now for bidding. To sign up, go to Givergy.us/healinghands and enter the promotional code 123 while registering. After registration, attendees will receive a link to log in the night of the event. Healing Hands is a Christian ministry that provides charitable health care to the uninsured of Northeast Tennessee and Southwest Virginia. The clinic is at 245 Midway Medical Park in Bristol, Tennessee.
8/29/20 - Freelance Star
On Aug. 22, the Guadalupe Free Clinic in Colonial Beach received a donation of $38,013.30. Before the evening was over, another $1,140 was collected and given to Executive Director Lance Carrington, and his wife, Rosario Carrington, the administrative coordinator. All of the Fraternal Order of Eagles in Virginia raised money for the clinic by holding various events during Edwards’ presidency. And even with COVID-19, the clinic was still able to receive a generous donation. Guadalupe Free Clinic serves the town of Colonial Beach and Westmoreland County. Once again, the Fraternal Order of Eagles does what it does best, People Helping People.
8/24/20 - Free Lance Start
Karen Dulaney, Executive Director with the Lloyd F. Moss Free Clinic, issued the call to wear a mask, wash your hands regularly, and keep your distance when you must be near others. Science has proven that masks are effective in slowing the transmission of the virus. In communities where mask adoption has been mandated or voluntarily embraced, statistics show a reduction in death and infection. As a leader of a health care organizations serving our community, she asks that you please help us keep our communities safe.
8/24/20 - News-Press
The free clinic’s patient population is around 69 percent Latino, but over 90 percent of those who have tested positive were its Latino patients. That included nine who were hospitalized and one male patient who died while dealing with the virus, though the clinic couldn’t say for sure his death was attributable to Covid-19.
A transition to telehealth on March 17 made Culmore Clinic more available to its patients during the pandemic. What was once only operating for in-person visits a day and a half each week jumped up to six days a week, and its medical professionals, who are largely volunteer-based, were happy to be so useful during such a trying time.
Partnerships with NOVA Script Central helped patients get free prescriptions during the first few months of the pandemic, and cooperation with Dar Al-Hijrah Islamic Center helped provide free groceries after a visit. The clinic also offered personal protective equipment onsite to patients at medication pickups as well as when they made home deliveries.
8/24/20 - One News Page
The iRemedy Healthcare Companies, Inc. has shipped Project Restart ‘care boxes’ to 15 more community care organizations providing care to patients in underserved, underprivileged communities and neighborhoods in the U.S.; bringing the total to over 21 shipments since the program’s launch on August 5, 2020. Arlene Armentor, Executive Director of the Gloucester Mathews Care Clinic, stated, “We appreciate iRemedy making PPE available to our Clinic. As a non-profit clinic, any assistance we receive acquiring much-needed PPE is a blessing. Thank you!” Jennifer Hardesty from Lackey Clinic added, “Without the generous support of organizations like iRemedy, we would be unable to provide vital care to the patients in our community.”
8/18/20 - Richmond Times-Dispatch
Health Brigade continues to offer testing with weekly Saturday events for the area’s Latino community. Dr. Wendy Klein, Health Brigade’s former medical director who was instrumental in establishing testing efforts, said the racial disparities that have reared their head in a pandemic “simply reflect the racial disparities in everything we do.”
CrossOver Healthcare Ministry, a clinic whose patient population is 50% Latino and 100% low-income, has provided 482 COVID-19 tests as of July 29. About one in three Latino patients tested positive. In response, CrossOver implemented telehealth appointments and called more than 1,300 of its high-risk patients with chronic health conditions, offering information on reducing spread, educational videos in multiple languages and 250 home health care kits for patients to monitor vitals. But combating the jarring disproportionate impact means breaking down structural inequities that the pandemic laid bare, said CrossOver’s medical director, Dr. Mike Murchie.
8/7/20 - The Valeninte
The first free clinic in Virginia, two doctors, a nurse and a minister founded Fan Free Clinic in 1970. A large population of young, poor students and runaways had moved into the Fan District during the 1960s. Free love, communal living, recreational drug use and protests became the dominant lifestyle of the neighborhood. Skeptical of the judgment of the medical establishment, these young people tended to avoid doctors. When the Fan Free Clinic opened, it provided a revolutionary model for healthcare for a revolutionary generation. Without judgment and only using first names, the staff treated STDs, provided birth control, handled overdoses and treated a wide variety of injuries. They also provided counseling to young people entering into adulthood during this uncertain time.
8/6/20 - Free Press
Josselyn Aguirre-Cabrera went to see a doctor about her nagging headaches and learned she had diabetes. Struggling to find work in Richmond and unable to get health insurance, the 25- year-old native of Central America worried about paying for the essential medication she was prescribed. She’s grateful that, with a friend’s help, she can get her prescription filled at CrossOver Healthcare Ministry’s South Side pharmacy for just $5 a month. “I don’t know what I would do if this was not available,” she said. CrossOver’s ability to supply inexpensive medications is largely due to its connection Rx Partnership, a nonprofit that supplies free and low-cost clinics like CrossOver with free brand name and generic medicines that they can offer at low cost to patients.
8/6/20 - WCYB News5
Student supervisor doctor Rebecca Nunley says the program benefits everyone: “It’s very mutually beneficial because the students need to see the patients and these patients need dental care.” “We don’t cut any corners at Healing Hands here in Bristol, this is top notch equipment procedures I think you’d be hard pressed to find a clinic in the area that’s doing more than we are," Nunley said. Residents without insurance in need of dental or other medical care can go to Healing Hands Health Center's website and apply to be patients.
8/5/20 - WFXR Fox
Janine Underwood, executive director of the Bradley Free Clinic, shares how the free clinic in Roanoke is modifying operating during coronavirus to safely continue to provide care to the uninsured in their community -- in-person and virtually via telehealth. She reports seeing a significant increase in demand as a result of rising unemployment from people losing their jobs.
8/5/20 - Virginia Business
As primary care physicians report that the pandemic has caused financial stress and layoffs at their practices, Gov. Ralph Northam announced the creation of a primary care task force in partnership with the Virginia Center for Health Innovation (VCHI) and Secretary of Health and Human Resources Daniel Carey. Julie Bilodeau, the CEO at CrossOver Healthcare Ministry in Richmond has been asked to serve on the task force.
7/31/20 - TimesNews
Final touches are being applied to a building in Clintwood, which will house a new Health Wagon clinic. The clinic will provide a variety of services and will include a medical lab and have equipment for telemedicine technologies. The Health Wagon runs free clinics and mobile clinics to serve people in Lee, Scott, Wise, Dickenson, Buchanan and Russell counties in Southwest Virginia.
7/30/20 - CBS19 News
The Madison County Free Clinic will be moving to 525 North Main Street next week from its previous location at 410 North Main Street. Brenda Clements, the executive director of the free clinic, said she is excited to finally be moving to a new location. After the clinic was notified it had to move, real estate agency Montague Miller & Co. stepped in to provide the free clinic with a new home. "The location is awesome. It's off the streets, so there is a little privacy but it's very close to the pharmacy and it's right in the downtown area of Madison, so it's very convenient for our patients," said Clements. She said the new place is smaller, but the clinic will be able to provide more services with the addition of a nurse. "We hired a nurse practitioner to do telemedicine with our patients and she will be seeing patients here at the clinic by appointment on Saturdays," Clements said.
7/30/20 - OsytererPoint
Lackey Clinic, a faith-based free and charitable healthcare center in Yorktown, continues to bring light and life to some of the most vulnerable. “When COVID-19 came, our staff and medical director kept saying, ‘We’re going to make this work,” reports clinic l/ader Larry Trumbore. And they did, safely modifying operations to provide services primarily through virtual telehealth appointments, installing equipment to deal with the aerosols released through dental processes, and modified the pharmacy to pickup only from an area created on the side of the clinic building.
7/28/20 - Times-Dispatch
The Free Clinic of Powhatan is kicking its capital campaign efforts back into high gear this summer after several months of lying low because of COVID-19 precautions. The month of July in particular has been busy for the local nonprofit as it renewed efforts on its fundraising, saw work beginning on its future home on Skaggs Road, and reopened its doors for in-person consultation, said Connie Moslow, executive director. The Free Clinic of Powhatan, currently located at 3908 Old Buckingham Road, offers health services (medical, dental, mental health, women's health) free of charge for uninsured and low income residents of Powhatan County.
7/24/20 - Inside Business
When the pandemic cast a dark cloud over the world, the need for medical care increased even while access to that care faded. Chesapeake Care Clinic, a nonprofit organization that provides medical and dental services to low income and underserved individuals throughout the state, has been working to maintain and even increase that access. As the number of people in the region unemployed and without health insurance has grown, clinic director Dourina Petersen wants them to know there is somewhere to turn. “In April we started mailing prescriptions to our patients as long as they can wait two days,” Petersen said. “Which I’m hoping is something that will continue even after the pandemic because a lot of our patients have transportation barriers and this would eliminate that.”
7/21/20 - WSLS News10
The coronavirus pandemic has caused many people to lose their jobs and in turn, their health insurance, putting a huge strain on clinics that provide health care for free. “I wasn’t expecting this. We weren’t expecting this,” said Janine Underwood, executive director of the Bradley Free Clinic. Underwood said they’ve seen record numbers of new patients, registering 45 last week alone, compared to an average of 10 a week before the pandemic. “I’ve never seen that number before,” Underwood said. Mental health services are seeing the biggest spike, with 360 visits in June compared to just 40 last June. “Free clinics have always been here to fill in the gaps and now there’s a huge gap,” Underwood said. The increased demand is also leading to a huge gap in funding for the nonprofit, already struggling from fewer donations and canceled fundraisers.
7/16/20 - RVAHub
Rx Partnership's mail delivery program, which was designed and launched in just 30 days, aims to reduce exposure for free clinic patients, staff, and volunteers to COVID-19 while also ensuring that these vulnerable patients with chronic conditions receive their vital medication in a timely manner. “Mail delivery was a long-term strategic goal to further our mission of increasing medication access for vulnerable Virginians,” said Amy Yarcich, Executive Director. “While the last four months have been extremely challenging for everyone, it has been particularly devastating for low-income and uninsured Virginians who already struggle to get their much-needed medications. Launching mail delivery now was essential.”
7/13/20 UVA Today
TeleHealth Access for Seniors, started by students at Yale University, has recruited more than 210 volunteers – mostly college students – to collect and donate devices to seniors and lower-income communities. So far, they have donated more than 915 devices across 26 states. At UVA, third-year students are leading an effort to donate devices to the Charlottesville Free Clinic, which provides free medical care to more than 2,600 uninsured and underinsured members of the community. Director of Medical Clinic Operations at the Charlottesville Free Clinic, Meghan Hinger reports that the devices provided immediate, tangible relief for patients who previously had trouble accessing telehealth services. “The partnership between the Charlottesville Free Clinic and TeleHealth Access for Seniors helps our patients participate in video visits with their free clinic medical provider,” she said. “This is invaluable, as 91% of our medical clinic visits were completed remotely from March to May.”
7/9/20 - Virginia Mercury
The state also reached out to free clinics, which, like community health centers, offer free or deeply subsidized care. Rufus Phillips, CEO of the Virginia Association of Free and Charitable Clinics, said there are now 27 sites offering testing through free kits provided by the state lab. Like most practices, though, that testing is limited. Dr. Wendy Klein, the recently retired medical director of the free clinic Health Brigade in Richmond, said her office receives a total of 75 kits every week. CrossOver Healthcare Ministry, another free clinic in Richmond, received the same number of kits and tests about as many patients every week, said CEO Julie Bilodeau. “I think in an ideal world, we’d do more testing,” she added. But she also pointed out that manpower is one of the primary restrictions for her practice, which operates largely through volunteers.
7/8/20 - ARLnow
Arlington’s drive-through coronavirus testing site is back in business after a brief hiatus. Quest Diagnostics is now partnering with the county to conduct the testing, taking over from Virginia Hospital Center and working closely with partners like the Arlington Free Clinic to support the walk-up COVID-19 Sample Collection Site at Arlington Mill and additional projects to address the health of the Arlington community. The reopening of the drive-through testing center comes as Arlington sees a minor uptick in new COVID-19 cases. A week after Virginia entered Phase 3 of its reopening, the trailing seven-day rate of new cases in Arlington is now 74. It reached a low of 42 on June 29.
New federal data reveals a clearer and more complete picture: Black and Latino people have been disproportionately affected by the coronavirus (three times as likely to become infected and nearly twice as likely to die from the virus) that spans country, urban, suburban and rural areas, and across all age groups.
At Culmore Clinic, an interfaith free clinic serving low-income adults in Fairfax, about half of the 79 Latino patients who tested for the virus have been positive. “This is a very wealthy county, but their needs are invisible,” said Terry O’Hara Lavoie, a co-founder of the clinic. The risk of getting sick from tight living quarters, she added, is compounded by the pressure to keep working or quickly return to work, even in risky settings.
7/5/20 - News Advance
The Free Clinic of Central Virginia is the inaugural grant recipient of the Greater Lynchburg Community Foundation’s Century Fund. The $100,000 award will partially fund an expansion and renovation of the Free Clinic’s facility at 1016 Main St. in downtown Lynchburg. The renovation will help the Free Clinic meet the growing need for affordable, comprehensive healthcare for uninsured adults in Lynchburg and the surrounding counties by allowing significant expansion of services, especially in the areas of behavioral health and patient education. The Main Street facility will remain open during the renovation, ensuring uninterrupted access to healthcare. Christina Delzingaro, CEO of the Free Clinic of Central Virginia, said, “We are truly grateful to the Greater Lynchburg Community Foundation and to the individual donors whose support has made the Century Fund possible. At a time when healthcare needs and economic inequities are heightened, we stand in the gap to ensure that high-quality healthcare, dental care, and mental health care are accessible to every member of the Central Virginia community.”
7/2/20 - Franklin News Post
The Free Clinic of Franklin County at Bernard Healthcare Center is now testing the uninsured for coronavirus by appointment only on Monday and Thursday mornings. The nasal swab test identifies a current viral infection. It does not test for antibodies from an earlier infection. Results are expected back in three to four days. “We are asking all patients to make an appointment so we can be prepared for their visit,” said Ellen Holland, executive director. “It takes several minutes for staff to put on protective equipment and prepare the kit. A nasal swab will be taken outside in the parking lot, so patients remain in their vehicle. A nurse practitioner will also evaluate and counsel each patient.”
7/2/20 - RVA Mag
As Virginia slowly reopens in time for the summer, the pandemic is still a reality. Richmond’s Health Brigade is providing free testing for Spanish-speaking and uninsured patients every Saturday all summer long. “We do this outside, we have tents set up, we have bilingual registrars who collect information, and we have volunteer providers who do the actual testing,” said Dr. Wendy Klein, the medical director at Health Brigade. “There’s a lot of organizational work and a lot of staff safety officers, but you have to do this right.”
7/1/2020 - UVA Today
Imagine a small neighborhood health clinic that provides free medical care to more than 2,600 uninsured and underinsured members of your community. Then imagine a global pandemic strikes, rendering that work both more important and more complex than ever. Then, to top it off, imagine the clinic loses it’s lease to operate in the facility it has called home for decades, in the middle of said pandemic. These are the real-world operational problems faced by the Charlottesville Free Clinic. “Those were extremely challenging developments, and the shock was profound,” Collen Keller, Clinic Executive Director reports “If we close, people who are uninsured have one avenue for care: the emergency room. We were flattening the curve by helping folks manage underlying conditions and access key medications like insulin.”
7/1/20 - WHSV3
Millions of Americans lost their jobs during the COVID-19 pandemic, causing many to lose their health insurance coverage as well. The Free Clinic in Harrisonburg, which offers affordable health care services to low income and uninsured adults, have helped many new patients who were impacted by coronavirus -- from every industry you can think of, from car dealerships to restaurants. Leon Malca, the clinic’s director of operations reports, “It hasn’t been a struggle, it’s been a blessing because we want to help these people, we want to help the community.” Of the 390 patients the Free Clinic provides care for, 90 of those were added during the pandemic.
7/1/20 - Roanoke Times
Southwest Virginia was insulated from the worst of what the virus brought to the state. But as more and more establishments reopen and people venture out, often without mandated face coverings, and as restrictions ease still more on Wednesday, the tide has turned. “We are having people coming back from vacation. It’s almost exclusively that,” said Nancy Bell, population health manager for the West Piedmont Health District. Nearly all went to Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. Bell talked about the rise in cases in Franklin County, which mirrors what is happening in the Roanoke Valley with the return of South Carolina beach-bathers.
As she spoke Tuesday morning in front of the Stanfield Mortuary Services in Rocky Mount, a line of cars, SUVs and pickups grew along both sides of Main Street, waiting to turn into the Pigg River Community Center for free COVID-19 testing. The line began to form an hour before health care workers with Carilion Clinic and Bernard Healthcare Center and other volunteers planned to begin. They had supplies to test about 220 and had to turn away people when they ran out of kits.
Reps. Abigail Spanberger and Rep. Rob Wittman are urging the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to distribute funding to free clinics and improve access to high-quality treatment for hundreds of thousands of Virginians who rely on them for care. The Spanberger-Wittman effort has been backed by the Virginia Association of Free & Charitable Clinics, which advocates for the concerns of free and charitable clinics in communities throughout the Commonwealth. “We are extremely grateful for the support of both Congresswoman Spanberger and Congressman Wittman as they advocate on behalf of Virginia’s network of free and charitable clinics,” said Rufus Phillips, CEO, Virginia Association of Free & Charitable Clinics. “Free clinics across the Commonwealth have stepped up in a big way in regards to their response to the pandemic. From shifting quickly to telemedicine to obtaining necessary personal protective equipment to curbside pickup and home delivery of medications, free clinics have risen to the challenge of safely providing ongoing, routine and preventative healthcare to the states uninsured population during COVID-19.”
6/20/20 - Star-Exponent
Hundreds of people have healthier, more productive lives because of Eugene Triplett. For 20-plus years, the pharmacist has been one of the mainstays that keep The Free Clinic of Culpeper going. Every week, he volunteers for a couple of days at the clinic next to Culpeper Medical Center, orders medications, fills dozens of patients’ prescriptions, consults with them to avoid medical complications and monitors their progress. And for many of those years, Triplett toiled at the clinic while operating an independent pharmacy in Locust Grove, running a small farm, and serving on the boards of the clinic and the Culpeper hospital. Selflessly, he has streamlined the clinic’s pharmacy operations and upgraded its pharmacy software and technology. “Eugene is one of the heart-and-soul people here,” Tammy LaGraffe, the clinic’s director, said Saturday of the man.
6/19/20 - Times-Dispatch
As Virginia continues to reopen its economy while trying to avoid a resurgence of the coronavirus, the state’s network of free clinics is playing a pivotal role. By screening and testing for COVID-19 in addition to meeting the ongoing healthcare needs of uninsured patients, free clinics are preventing the escalation of the virus, reducing unnecessary emergency room visits and preserving hospital capacity. What’s more, free clinics continue to provide an invaluable range of services that go well beyond primary medical care including dental, pharmaceutical, and behavioral health services as well as programs which address social determinants of health such as food insecurity and lack of transportation.
6/18/20 - WJLA 7
Virginia's Latino community has been the hardest hit with the rate of COVID-19 cases. Mother of Mercy Free Medical Clinic in Manassas has seen the problem firsthand. The number of them that have come back positive for COVID has been tremendous," said clinic director Alexandra Luevano. There are more than 19,000 COVID-19 cases in Virginia's Latino community-- making up 45% of Virginia's cases, despite only being roughly 10% of the Commonwealth's population. Luevano said members of the community often live together in large numbers, are uninsured, and have jobs that put them at higher risk for contracting the disease.
So Governor Ralph Northam promised to push for better communication and access to free testing in Latino communities. “We are not checking papers at these testing events or at clinics. We just want to help you and your families to be safe and healthy,” said Gov. Northam. The Governor said bringing the numbers down is critical as the commonwealth moves closer to a Phase Three re-opening, which will loosen restrictions.
6/12/20 - WHSV 3
The Cargill Global Partnership donated $15,000 to the Harrisonburg-Rockingham Free Clinic recently to help support the clinic's COVID-19 response. In mid-March, the clinic created All-Day Wednesday Marathon Clinics, telehealth appointments and 90-day prescriptions to help provide medical care to uninsured residents in the area. The clinic said they serve many workers who are considered essential, so expanding their offerings was important to help workers stay healthy and continue working. As businesses are opening, the clinic has had to expand its offerings to meet the needs of the community. The donation from Cargill will allow the clinic to take on 24 new patients, operate 56 clinic hours and provide 60 language interpretive services. The clinic said the money also means they can schedule 200 medical visits, dispense 1,200 prescriptions and distribute 1,800 masks to the community and patients.
6/12/20 - News Advance
The Virginia Department of Health offered free COVID-19 tests to hundreds of uninsured and under-insured Lynchburg-area residents for the first time since the pandemic began. Held at the Community Access Network’s clinic on 5th Street, the event represents a key step in the health department’s goal of making mass testing available across the state. “We don’t turn anyone away,” said Christina Delzingaro, the CEO of CAN. “We want everyone to be able to get a test."
6/10/20 - Loudoun Now
The Loudoun Free Clinic has announced that Mary Elizabeth Goldin has been hired as its new Executive Director. She began her duties Monday, June 1. Goldin comes to the clinic with a background in both healthcare management and clinical operations. From 2015 she served as the Executive Director – Consumer Experience with Kaiser Permanente, and was Kaiser’s Director of Surgical Specialties in the Northern Virginia region since 2010. She has experience in both administrative and clinical operations, and one of her proudest achievements was in building the volunteer program at Kaiser from the ground up. “I am honored to become part of the [Loudoun Free Clinic] team to fulfill the vision and strategy of decreasing healthcare disparity in Loudoun County,” Goldin stated. “This is an unprecedented time for healthcare in the United States and the ability of LFC to care for those who otherwise would not have access is only accentuated.”
6/6/20 - Winchester Star
As the Executive Director of Sinclair Health Clinic, protecting my team is my responsibility. They risk their health and that of their families to deliver compassionate, science-based care to those without insurance, COVID-19 or not. Concerned about PPE, the clinic launched our Cover Sinclair: Community Mask Donation Campaign and asked for help. Within days, cloth masks started coming in. These masks were stitched with love and care by selfless volunteers. For over 30 years, Sinclair Health Clinic has been able to treat those without insurance through the help of our supportive community. And that enduring truth was evidenced in every stitch, pleat, and hem.
6/5/20 - WY Daily
Protests are happening in the middle of a pandemic, and there are questions about a possible second wave of the coronavirus. Many who are participating in the protests are part of minority populations that are already at risk of complications from the coronavirus. “It stands to reason that if people aren’t able to follow [Centers for Disease Control and Prevention] and state guidelines, the risk is going to be higher,” said Rufus Phillips, chief executive officer of the Virginia Association of Free and Charitable Clinics. “I don’t know if there’s evidence yet, but there’s been well reported concern about the possible spike in the virus as a result of people being more closely exposed to each other.” Phillips said minority populations, especially African Americans, are more likely to get infected with the virus because they have social determinants that are barriers to care, such as living in closer quarters and having food or housing insecurity. Because of those barriers, many already have chronic health issues that put them at a greater risk. He said many of those populations in Virginia rely on free clinics for care even as coronavirus testing becomes more accessible at health care facilities because they look at the clinics as their primary health care provider.
6/4/20 - CBS19 News
Brenda Clements, the executive director of the Madison Free Clinic, said the event is the clinic's way of making sure residents are safe and healthy, especially those without insurance. "When we saw that there was no way for uninsured residents in Madison to get a test without paying for it, we said wow, this is something we can do," said Clements.
6/4/20 - Fredericksburg Star-Exponent
The testing at the Culpeper Walmart will continue for at least several more weeks. “Health and Human Services and local officials will determine how long the site will be open, based on the needs of the community,” said Rappahannock-Rapidan Health District Director Wade Kartchner. Another location where people can get tested for free is at the Culpeper Free Clinic, for those without insurance. Kartchner said it’s notable that the daily number of new COVID-19 cases in Culpeper has decreased steadily over the past two weeks. “At the height of the peak, Culpeper had the 11th highest number of cases in the state taking in all jurisdictions, and the 8th highest rate,” he said. “Now they rank 14th in total cases and 11th in case rates. The trends are certainly improving.” The local health district Wednesday morning reported on its Facebook page 1,222 cases of COVID-19 in the district, with 727 in Culpeper, 329 in Fauquier, 41 in Madison, 111 in Orange and 14 in Rappahannock.
6/3/20 - Richmond Magazine
When Connie Moslow first moved to Powhatan about 37 years ago, she began volunteering and noticed a lack of affordable medical care. It was after she discovered that Powhatan residents were visiting Richmond’s free clinic in search of care that she decided to create one for her community. “I waited around thinking someone else would start one, and no one did. So I thought, ‘Well, let’s go do it.’ It’s been a great thing for the county, it’s been a great thing for me, it’s been a good thing for our patients, it’s been a good thing for our staff.” Open for 13 years now, the Free Clinic of Powhatan offers medical, dental and mental-health care to low-income residents of Powhatan. Executive Director Moslow, who does not take a salary, recognizes the importance of her clinic now more than ever as the COVID-19 pandemic ravages the country.
6/3/20 - Richmond Magazine
When the COVID-19 crisis hit, Dr. Wendy Klein, medical director at Health Brigade, and her team were forced to act immediately upon realizing that they did not have enough personal protective equipment. They closed most of the clinic (while still safely distributing medications and other essential services) and got their telehealth system up in record time. In some ways, Klein has found that they are more efficient, having learned what is most essential. “Health Brigade is unique in its commitment to health equity and social justice,” she says. “I work with an amazing group of people who share that commitment. I am just so profoundly proud of the way in which everybody rose to the occasion.”
5/29/20 - Loudoun Now
Loudoun County Administrator Tim Hemstreet has organized a COVID-19 Testing Task Force to help make more testing available in Loudoun. The task force is led by Loudoun Health Council Chair Dr. John Farrell and co-chaired by Deputy County Administrator Charles Yudd, and includes representatives from organizations like the Hospital Corporation of America, Inova, HealthWorks for Northern Virginia, the Loudoun Free Clinic, the Loudoun County Health Department and other healthcare organizations. Lack of readily available testing has been an ongoing issue during the pandemic, with the county health department organizing the first free, publicly available mass testing event last Wednesday. The results of the more than 1,800 tests conducted last week contributed to a spike in new identified COVID-19 cases, but also indicated a hopeful trend in the spread of the virus, Goodfriend said.
5/28/20 - WFXR Fox
Ruth Cassell, the Bradley Free Clinic Director of Operations talks about the changes that have been made at the clinic to address COVID-19 and be responsive to patients needs. She also focuses on the need for volunteers at this volunteer-driven clinic.
5/28/20 - Culpeper Times
Community Partners joined the Free Clinic of Culpeper in hosting a drive-through COVID-19 testing clinic on Saturday, May 16, in Culpeper; an inspiring example of community partnerships targeting an urgent need. There were many challenges to meet this need and the success of the clinic was the result of discussions and planning involving many community partners. Turnout for the drive-through clinic exceeded our expectations, with the volunteer staff providing COVID-19 testing for 185 individuals. Because many of the individuals who came to the clinic were from the county’s Hispanic community, the bilingual volunteers who provided information and collected data from those who were tested were critical to the clinic’s success.
5/27/20 - Rappahannock Record
Services at the Northern Neck–Middlesex Free Health Clinic, which have continued with modifications throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, are being further adjusted as Virginia phases in its reopening. “We’ve been able to stay open and deliver patient care in new ways during this crisis,” said chief executive officer Jean Nelson. “This includes some creative initiatives, such as giving blood pressure monitors to patients to help manage their hypertension between visits, redesigning the Dental Clinic, making more use of telehealth services, closely tracking inventory, and delivering medicines outside of the building.”
5/26/20 - Botetourt Bee
As the COVID-19 crisis continues, many people are losing their health coverage as they lose their jobs. The Christian Free Clinic in Botetourt is stepping up to fill in that coverage gap, offering telemedicine visits for new and existing patients. Using a smartphone, and similar to Skype or Facetime, this service is a safe and secure way to talk to a physician. While internet access is necessary, this can be found using a Wi-Fi hotspot. Clinic Director Jenny Daniels has reported “patients without an available smartphone may even access the clinic phones for this purpose, all from the safety and security of their car”. While the free clinic has doctors able to prescribe treatment for respiratory symptoms, they want the public to know that testing for COVID-19 is NOT available. Dental care is still available on an emergency basis only. If you are self-isolating, the clinic will be offering grocery delivery so that you may remain at home.
5/26/20 - Daily Progress
The need to provide long-term testing and treatment for COVID-19 is forcing the relocation of the Charlottesville Free Clinic, making the organization the pandemic’s latest victim. For 24 years, the clinic has been located in the office complex of the Thomas Jefferson Health District on Rose Hill Drive. Now it needs to move its offices, medical clinic and pharmacy by November to make room for additional health district staff. The free clinic has had a symbiotic relationship with the health district, utilizing the district’s clinical facilities after hours. That worked out well in the past because the free clinic medical personnel volunteered mostly after work in the evenings, which is when the majority of clients visit.
5/21/20 - Augusta Free Press
After 27 years of serving approximately 10,000 individual adult patients in the Staunton, Augusta and Waynesboro area, the Augusta Regional Clinic is no longer experiencing the need for its primary care services, and has decided to close the Medical Clinic on July 1. ARC will now concentrate its resources and efforts on the crucial need for dental care by growing its Dental Clinic. In making the decision to close the Medical Clinic, ARC’s Board of Directors emphasized its mission to provide health care services to those residents of our community who cannot otherwise afford access to care and its commitment to assisting if unmet medical needs are identified in the future.
5/19/20 - NBC29 News
The coronavirus pandemic is putting pressure on free clinics across Virginia. They’re providing care to some of the people most vulnerable to the virus at a time when clinic resources are strained. The association that represents 57 free and charitable clinics across Virginia says many are seeing a 10% to 20% increase in patients. "That’s only going to continue to grow bigger. A lot of those people won’t have insurance, might not qualify for Medicaid, and would really need to be seen at a free clinic,” Virginia Association of Free and Charitable Clinics (VAFCC) CEO Rufus Phillips said. Phillips says clinics are gearing up to care for more patients at a time when fundraisers are canceled and donations are dropping. “Without those donations, they are really challenged in terms of being able to continue providing the level of services they typically do,” Phillips said.
5/15/20 - 13 News Now
While hospitals are busy treating coronavirus patients and free clinics are easing the burden by providing non-emergency services to fill the health care gap. "Our patients are chronically sick, and so we see them a lot more often, especially if they're diabetic or have...high blood pressure," said Larry Trumbore, Executive Director of Lackey Clinic. "And so, we have that connection. We're more [like] family." Lackey Clinic has made changes in response to COVID-19, including running a walk-up pharmacy window, providing groceries for people in need, and serving hundreds of patient visits through telehealth programs. With upcoming fundraisers canceled, the clinic is asking for your financial help to continue providing critical health care and counseling to medically disadvantaged people on the Peninsula. "We take resources from the community, whether it's a dollar amount or it's a volunteer or it's a doctor or a nurse that comes to work with us, and we turn that into almost $20 million dollars worth of service every year," said Trumbore. "It's a wonderful thing."
5/15/20 - Green County Record
The Greene Care Clinic in Stanardsville transitioned to “phone only” appointments beginning March 16 in order to protect the safety of its all-volunteer medical team, staff and patients. Since the transition to phone appointments, the clinic has seen and treated a variety of everyday problems from high blood pressure and cholesterol to sinusitis, bronchitis, anxiety, back pain, depression and diabetes. “Telemedicine will give our patients a way to communicate ‘face-to-face’ with our medical providers,” Pam Morris, executive director of the Greene Care Clinic said. “It might also be more convenient for some of our patients who have transportation challenges or help those who can take a short break from work but do not have the time to drive to our office.” The clinic plans to keep the telemedicine option available even after the clinic is able to open its doors to patients again. “It will be especially useful for follow-up appointments with patients where our providers don’t need to recheck a patient’s blood pressure or other health parameter in person,” Morris said.
5/15/20 - CBS19 News
"A lot of the recipients in this program have pre-existing conditions that can make them more vulnerable to something like COVID-19, so now more than ever it's really vital that they have access and the knowledge to consume fresh fruits and vegetables," said Brown. This week, the organization plans to serve more than 300 people and has a goal to serve more than 400 people next week, with a long-term goal of serving 500 on a weekly basis. The Charlottesville Free Clinic is a community partner of the Local Food Hub, and it is one of the locations where food is being distributed.
5/15/20 - Times-Dispatch
In Virginia, people of color make up more than 40% of workers in essential industries, with immigrants forming 16% of the state’s essential workforce, according to the Commonwealth Institute, a nonprofit that researches policy impact on low-income Virginians. Those who are lower-paid, a cluster that heavily includes black and Latino workers, are less likely to work in industries that allow work-from-home scenarios, forcing an already disproportionately impacted group to make a bleak choice: risk their health or lose their jobs.
At CrossOver Healthcare Ministry, which operates in Richmond and Henrico County, 50% of its patient population is Hispanic, with 80% not speaking English as their first language, according to CEO Julie Bilodeau. Of the 34 patients who tested positive, 75% were Latino and often employed as laborers, cleaners and construction workers. Medical director Dr. Michael Murchie said many of CrossOver’s Hispanic patients live with multiple individuals or families, with some having as many as five families within a two-bedroom apartment, making social distancing and isolation impossible.
5/14/20 - NBC12 News
A flight crew delivered donated personal protective equipment from Philadelphia to be given to free clinics across Virginia. Angel Flight East pilot David Isaacs and other volunteer pilots, who typically give free flights to those in need of medical care, delivered 500 face masks and shields at the Hanover Airport. “We are no longer transporting many patients. The idea was about how can we use our pilots and planes to help move PPE around the country,” Isaacs said. The equipment was delivered to Michelle Taylor who works with the free clinics in Virginia.
5/15/20 - WCYP News
Healthcare workers are following strict guidelines to keep themselves and their patients safe. Healing Hands Health Center is no exception. Dentist Dr. Michael Ryan Fuchs says they are using teledentistry and decreasing the number of patients in the office. They are wearing full personal protection equipment and limiting certain procedures. Primary care doctors are also using telemedicine to treat their patients safely.
5/14/20 - US News
Even in the absence of COVID-19 outbreaks, providers are taking steps to prevent the virus from spreading that, in some cases, hinder some of their own efforts to expand access to health care. The Health Wagon's mobile clinics are off the road, and its nurse practitioners are seeing patients via telehealth when they can – a major help, according to executive director Teresa Tyson, but insufficient in a region where internet access is limited. In Wise County, where the clinic is based, less than 70% of households had broadband in recent years.
5/13/20 - Prince William Times
Dr. Rebecca Sutter, co-director of George Mason University's College of Health and Human Services' Mason and Partners Clinics, said that there is “absolutely” a correlation between what the clinic is seeing on the ground and newly released data showing that Hispanic and Latino residents are being hit hardest by the pandemic. According to the Center's for Disease Control, data “suggests a disproportionate burden of illness and death among racial and ethnic minority groups” with key social and economic factors, like living conditions, work circumstances, underlying health conditions and lower access to care, contributing to this disproportionate impact.
5/13/20 - mHealth Intelligence
With COVID-19 limiting the ability for face-to-face patient visits, the Fauquier Free Clinic has expanded its successful telemental health platform, giving patients the ability to access care from an mHealth device at home. “What makes this work is they can (access the service) from wherever they want, and it gives them a safe space to talk,” Raybuck says. “Sometimes they’re dealing with issues that are too overwhelming for a face-to-face visit … and they have a sense of safety in the screen.” The platform also gives care providers virtual access to the patient’s home environment, allowing them to gain more insight into what are often called the social determinants of health – clues that aren’t always apparent or offered in an office or telemedicine room at the clinic. Finally, the platform has also given the clinic resources it normally wouldn’t have. Partnering first with American Well and more recently with InSight + Regroup, Fauquier now offers online access to a broad array of specialists not available in rural Virginia.
5/13/20 - VCU News
Virginia Commonwealth University alumnus Zuhayr Shaikh wanted to make a difference during his time in isolation. An email from a free clinic in his hometown provided an opportunity. Mother of Mercy Free Medical Clinics in Manassas, Virginia, was transitioning to telehealth in mid-March after Gov. Ralph Northam issued a stay-at-home order. The organization sent out a plea for interpreters. Shaikh knew people who were stuck at home and had the skills to provide interpretative services so he reached out to the clinic and offered to help. Soon, Shaikh had a spreadsheet with dozens of names. He connected them with the clinic. He was amazed at the number of people who wanted to volunteer. Mother of Mercy only needed five interpreters but his list grew to over a hundred names. “It has been phenomenal,” Shaikh said. “It’s a whole bunch of people who care and want to help out the community.”
5/12/20 - WAMU
In Fairfax County, Latinos make up close to 60% of the county’s COVID-19 cases, a rate more than three times their share of the population. In Culmore, identified as an “island of disadvantage” in a recent health study, a third of the neighborhood’s children lived in poverty, and more than half the residents were uninsured. Many residents are undocumented. In areas like these, workers are more likely to be exposed to infection at work and then bring it home to their cramped apartments. Culmore Clinic serves primarily Latino patients and has seen an uptick in COVID-19 cases. Terry O’Hara Lavoie, co-founder of the Culmore Clinic, says the coronavirus is stretching the budget of one of the few medical care sites catering to low-income Latino patients.
5/11/20 - WMRA
"I feel like to a certain extent we were ahead of the game for our clinic and our patients. We were sending out information to our volunteer providers, we were sending out information to put patients. The thing that’s been difficult for us is that we do have a majority of volunteer providers who we conversed with and said “Guys, we need you right now to stay home and stay safe.” We’ve been finessing that for a while now and coming up with our Wednesday marathon clinics where we have a 12-hour day with our staff coming in to provide care to patients either in person or via telehealth," reports Summer Sage, ED with the Harrisonburg-Rockingham Free Clinic.
5/7/20 - UVA Today
Dr. Mohan Nadkarni, clinic founder and professor at the University of Virginia School of Medicine, said COVID-19 has certainly presented challenges. “There have been big changes at the Free Clinic in the methods of taking care of patients,” Nadkarni said, “but we want to make it clear that we have been, and will be, there for our underserved population in Charlottesville. Our volunteers have been incredibly dedicated and are still continuing to provide care.”
5/7/20 - Culpeper Star-Exponent
Free Clinic Director Tammy LaGraffe said last week the facility had conducted coronavirus assessments for fewer than 10 patients so far. “Luckily, patients are calling first to be seen or to pick up medications,” she said. “This keeps the amount of people coming and going to a minimum.” LaGraffe said the clinic had adequate PPE and had been working closely with the health department and Culpeper Medical Center for resources and support. “One of our concerns is given the economic impact of the pandemic, and the many, many people who’ve lost their jobs, we anticipate a significant increase in patients over the next several months,” LaGraffe said.
May 5, 2020 - Governing.com
Many of the problems routinely faced by rural communities will make it more difficult to cope with the pandemic and its aftermath. Long-standing deficiencies in transportation systems, employment opportunities, food security and broadband access mean that areas slow to feel the effects of COVID-19 will also be slow to recover. The levels of poverty here are at odds with the area’s natural beauty and proud people. With hospitals and clinics few and far between, the Health Wagon, the oldest mobile clinic in the country, has been meeting the medical needs of the local population since 1980. “We’re the medical home to over 4,200 people that would not have access to health care otherwise,” says CEO Dr. Teresa Tyson.
4/30/20 - Roanoke Times
Roanoke-based Delta Dental of Virginia has donated $500,000 statewide in support of the continued operation of free clinics with safety net dental services in light of COVID-19. “Safety net clinics are the only source many Virginians have to receive critical dental treatment. Those needs can’t be put on hold, and it’s so important that operations continue during this time. Delta Dental of Virginia is humbled to be in a position to help ensure that communities continue to have access to the care they need,” said Frank Lucia, president and CEO. Amounts were based on number of dental patients served and ranged from $10,000 to $22,000 in unrestricted grant funds to 27 free clinics across the state.
4/28/20 - CVILLE
the Charlottesville Free Clinic is offering parking lot dental services for its patients: Two days a week, as many as 15 patients drive up and say “ahhh.” The Free Clinic provides care to those who make too much money to qualify for Medicaid but don’t get health insurance from work. Parking lot dental checkups are just one way the clinic has adapted to life during the pandemic—they’re also doing curbside medication delivery and evaluating patients for financial eligibility over the phone. “A lot of folks are losing their jobs, and therefore their insurance,” says Colleen Keller, the director of the clinic. “We anticipate having a lot of new patients by fall.”
4/25/20 - Daily Press
Before he founded the clinic with his wife, Jim Shaw, a pulmonary specialist, couldn’t find a place to volunteer on his days off from work. So a colleague directed him to see what he could find in the Lackey area, and Jim Shaw found an opportunity to serve. Even after all the changes to the clinic over the past 25 years, staff and volunteers there today say they feel faith and community at the center of all they do. The clinic’s 25th birthday fell during the coronavirus pandemic. Like nearly every other organization in the country, its operations are different. With the pandemic came implementation of telehealth checkups, in which doctors meet with their patients through a video call. Patients without internet access can chat on the phone. Visitors to the pharmacy pick up their medications through the window. Anyone who needs to come into the clinic gets their temperature taken outside and is given a mask. The pandemic highlights the clinic’s role in alleviating pressure on emergency rooms and urgent care centers.
4/24/20 - Loudoun Now
The mission of the Loudoun Free Clinic is to support healthcare services for Loudoun County residents who, as a result of economic or other barriers, would otherwise do without. The COVID-19 virus has not stopped our mission. The Loudoun Free Clinic continues to provide comprehensive healthcare for uninsured residents of Loudoun County since 1999 and remains open through the COVID-19 pandemic while being careful to keep staff and patients safe by modifying patient schedules and protocols. “By staying open, we are doing our part in flattening the curve of this serious pandemic and preventing increases in emergency room visits.” said Board Chairman, Bill Schmidt. “If we can provide continuous care for our patients by phone and provide their medications for pick up, they won’t end up in the emergency room. This is how we are working to flatten the curve. Being open today during this crisis looks different, but we are open and continue to serve the community.”
4/23/20 - Culpeper Star-Exponent
Services at the Living Water Community Clinic are especially crucial as many neighbors find themselves out of work and without medical insurance. This situation has brought many more patients to the clinic with new calls each day for those in need of care they cannot afford. The clinic has not yet seen any coronavirus patients and has updated its protocols to ensure each patient receives safe, effective, and compassionate care while keeping staff member volunteers healthy. The clinic’s partnership with local physicians and communication with other community clinics ensures that COVID-19 patients will get necessary care and testing, the release stated.
4/22/20 - Potomac Local
The Catholic Charities Mother of Mercy Free Medical Clinic opened its second location Monday in Woodbridge. The clinic will operate entirely on telemedicine during the pandemic. the new clinic will rely primarily on volunteer medical professionals and other volunteers to staff the clinic. It will have one full-time nurse and one part-time front office staff member. Alexandra Luevano, BSN, RN, Program Manager, Mother of Mercy Clinic in Manassas, will also direct the Woodbridge office. Medical professionals or other individuals interested in volunteering at the clinic should contact Alexandra at 703-335-2779 ext. 15.
4/21/20 - WAVY.com
The Chesapeake Care Clinic expanded its eligibility requirements last summer, and now with the spread of coronavirus and lost jobs, more people are eligible and the clinic’s services are needed more than ever. With so many people having lost their jobs and their health coverage, the clinic expects to serve even more patients during the pandemic. “I truly expect there’s gonna be an increase, and that’s why we’re here,” said clinic board president Maryellen Remich.
4/19/20 - Fredericksburg Star
If you’ve lost your job and employer-provided health care coverage as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, Bill Botts wants to help you understand your options. Botts is a local certified enrollment navigator for the Affordable Care Act. Normally, the people he helps sign up for health coverage through the ACA Marketplace must enroll between Nov. 1 and Dec. 15, but because of the COVID-19 pandemic, that narrow window is now wide open. Botts, who works out of the Lloyd P. Moss Free Clinic, expects a significant increase in enrollment from people who have lost their jobs because of the outbreak.
4/17/20 - The Denver Channel
In America's coal country, health issues are no stranger. "The cancer rates here are so high for so many diseases," explained Dr. Teresa Tyson. And now, the novel coronavirus is making its way into this rural part of the country. “I feel that we have the most vulnerable population in the United States, in regard to this COVID exposure," Dr. Tyson said. Dr. Tyson leads the Health Wagon in southwestern Virginia. The nonprofit offers free healthcare in an area Dr. Tyson says is especially at-risk for COVID-19.
4/17/20 - NBC12
With Virginia’s healthcare system already strained by the pandemic, community clinics serving some of Central Virginia’s most at-risk and low-income clients and families say they’re more pressed than ever. “These are already vulnerable populations struggling day-to-day,” said the Richmond-based Health Brigade’s Executive Director Karen Legato. The Health Brigade continues to serve thousands of people in need of everything from primary medical care to mental health counseling and drug rehabilitation. But since the pandemic took hold, the 50-year clinic has now completely converted to doing it all virtually in a matter of weeks. The clinic’s entire system is now operating through telehealth, buying new phones and computer equipment and software. "We put out probably about $25,000 just to get started and rolling into this,” said Legato. The Health Brigade’s services that remain in person, like prescription pick-up and the syringe exchange, now have coronavirus precautions in place.
4/16/20 - Orange County Review
During the pandemic, telemedicine has come to the rescue for patients and staff at l
ocal free clinics. According to Dorren Brown, executive director of the Orange County Free Clinic in Orange, “Patients are asked to call the office first for screening and to secure an appointment via telephone. The clinic providers and nurse practitioners are meeting with patients via telephone and Skype when available.” Brown said the clinic’s registered nurse still sees patients for lab work, blood pressure checks and instruction sessions on Mondays and Wednesdays. The nurse practitioners are keeping scheduled appointments with patients in need of procedures and wound care, and patients continue to pick up medications and various other supplies and stop in to ask questions.
In Locust Grove, Living Water Community Clinic has likewise changed its protocols. All patients must call first; no walk-ins are allowed. Debbie McInnis, the clinic’s executive director, conducts the initial screening for everyone who calls in. As a result of the pandemic, providers have transitioned to phone or FaceTime appointments whenever possible. Regular patients may still come by to pick up their medications, but McInnis said they don’t see providers during those visits. “Moving forward, we won’t have as many patients physically on site unless the provider feels that they need to come in,” McInnis said.
4/15/20 - WHSV3
The Harrisonburg-Free Clinic's Director of Clinical Services, Meg Wightman, provides an overview of the many changes they've made to protect their patients, staff, and the community. From implementing telehealth to providing medication for up to 90 days, the clinic is committed to providing care and people folks safe.
4/15/20 - WFXR Fox
During a pandemic and a ‘Stay at Home’ order leading to many working from home, even for health practitioners working from home, it hasn’t been easy, as many are operating on a skeleton crew, sometimes fewer than half of their staff. For instance, Bradley Free Clinic in Roanoke usually operates with around 20 employees at its clinic. Currently, it operates with just eight people on-site. “We limited our staff that are in the building, a lot of our staff are working remotely, but our clinical service staff… we have kind of a skeleton crew and we also stagger the days that they’re here.”Janine Underwood, Executive Director with the clinic.
4/15/20 - CBS19 News
The Madison County Free Clinic announces drive-up COVID-19 testing at no cost starting next week. Patients pre-screened and referred by one of the free clinic’s providers will be able to provide an oropharyngeal (throat) swap to a licensed nurse from their vehicle at the parking lot, according to a news release from the free clinic. Specimens will be sent to a commercial lab in Charlottesville on the same day for processing.
4/14/20 - GMU.EDU
The George Mason University College of Health and Human Services has received a $500,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture to implement the Rural Opioid Telehealth Project, which will serve an estimated 177,000 rural, low-income residents of Virginia and West Virginia. The project will train medical professionals on how to appropriately prescribe opioids, screen for and identify the risk of opioid use disorder, and deliver treatment. “The College is committed to combating COVID-19 and the opioid crisis—within the region and beyond. The Rural Opioid Telehealth Project is a tremendous opportunity to use telehealth capabilities to advance public health,” says Rebecca Sutter, co-director of the Mason and Partners Clinics and the Population Health Center.
4/14/20 - GMU.EDU
Patients can still rely on Mason and Partners (MAP) Clinics (a network of 10 no-cost bridge health care clinics supported by the College of Health and Human Services at George Mason University) for the care they need thanks to the rapid deployment of expanded telehealth capabilities. By expanding the MAP Clinic’s telehealth capabilities, the MAP Clinics can now directly combat the pandemic by screening for COVID-19 while helping their patients battle chronic conditions, treat substance use disorders, and address behavioral health issues such as anxiety and stress. “The MAP Clinic telehealth initiative is the best example of teamwork and partnership I’ve ever seen. Our students and faculty from across the College are working with community partners to serve our most vulnerable patients even we cannot physically be with them,” says Dr. Rebecca Sutter, co-director of the MAP Clinics and associate professor of nursing at Mason.
4/13/20 - WY Daily
While the medical system is finding itself strained due to the coronavirus, free and charitable clinics are stepping up to help by providing non-emergency services. At the Lackey Clinic, medical professionals are stepping up to provide services through telehealth as much as possible. The Lackey Clinic provides medical, dental, behavioral health and medications to uninsured adults in Williamsburg, James City county, York, Poquoson and Newport News. This is necessary because many patients have chronic illnesses that need to be treated but they also are trying to avoid going to the hospital as much as possible, said Amber Martens, director of eligibility and community outreach. “So many people in our community are working less or lost their jobs and need medical care and medications,” Martens said. “We are here to help them, to care for them, and to treat them like family.”
4/9/20 - CBS19 News
The Charlottesville Free Clinic wants people to know it is open during this health crisis and offering the same services but with some changes. Clinic officials say they have seen an uptick in pharmacy orders, which are delivered curbside only. Executive Director Colleen Keller says the clinic is a bridge to the larger hospitals in the area. "We have 2,600 patients and if we are not open, they don't have any other choice than the emergency room and we are overloading the hospital system. Forty-six percent of our patients are of color in this clinic and in our income zone, it's important that they have an open door to a doctor and access to the test if they need it," she said.
4/7/20 - CBS19 News
A free medical clinic is available for some of the people in rural areas who have been furloughed or laid off and who have lost employer health benefits as a result. Goochland Cares, a free clinic, has expanded its reach into Louisa, Fluvanna, and Cumberland counties. The free medical service can help low-income families who may not have basic medical coverage during this crisis, but it does not treat suspected COVID-19 cases. Anyone who believes they may be infected with the virus will be directed to the closest hospital emergency room. Goochland Cares Executive Director Sally Graham says she expects to see more clients as more low-income people lose their jobs. "We know that people are going to lose their jobs, have lost their jobs, and we'll see our business increase," she said. "So people who have lost their jobs, who don't have insurance, aren't eligible for Medicare or Medicaid can come to a free clinic, Goochland Cares included and receive medical care." Graham also says medical services are being delivered over the phone and curbside at the Goochland facility, adhering to COVID-19 guidelines for social distancing, while her medical staff is properly protected with masks and gowns. Anyone interested in receiving services from the clinic will need to call ahead to register. That number is (804) 556-0405.
4/7/20 - CBS19 News
500 N95 face masks were donated to two Richmond medical clinics thanks to a call for donations by Virginia State Senator Joseph Morrissey. Morrissey and a staff member delivered 250 KN95 face masks to the Virginia Home Rehab Center and an additional 250 masks to the Richmond Health Brigade (formerly known as Fan Free Clinic).
4/6/20 - Nature World News
Coal Worker's Pneumoconiosis (CWP), commonly known as black lung, is prevalent in Appalachia. Vulnerable coal miners are wary that the rapid spread and the devastating effects of the COVID-19 can easily wipe their community out.In southwestern Virginia, health workers report increased incidences of progressive massive fibrosis, a more severe type of black lung. Teresa Tyson, president, and CEO of Health Wagon said doctors and health workers in the area had spent the past few weeks warning former coal miners and other vulnerable patients to treat COVID-19 seriously. COVID-19, she says, would be a "nail in the coffin." Tyson is a nurse practitioner, and her father also has a black lung.
4/3/20 - Prince William Living
The Community Foundation for Northern Virginia has announced the grantees of the COVID-19 Response Fund for Northern Virginia which includes $5,000 to RxPartnership, which provides medication for low income, uninsured individuals and families, to provide medications to the Arlington Free Clinic, NovaScripts Central, the Loudoun Free Clinic, and the new Mother of Mercy site opening in Prince William County.
4/3/20 - WAMU 88.5
Arlington County hosted a drive-thru donation station in a library parking lot for residents to drop off supplies like personal protective equipment, canned goods, and cleaning products on Friday morning. The supplies are intended for local providers and nonprofits, food goods will go to the Arlington Food Assistance Center, cleaning supplies to homeless shelters and long-term care facilities, and personal protect equipment to first responders, health care providers, internal county programs, and the Arlington Free Clinic.
4/2/20 - WFXR Fox
Nonprofit and government agencies in Franklin County joined together to provide services to those in need during the current coronavirus crisis. Agencies include the United Way of Roanoke Valley, the Franklin County Department of Social Services, Faith Network, Tri-Area Community Health Center, the Franklin County Free Clinic (Bernard Health Center), the Franklin County Family Resource Center, Southern Area Agency of Aging, the Franklin County Department on Aging, and The Franklin Center. “There is a reason why we are called ‘community’ resources. I am proud to work with such willing and able partners to meet the needs of our friends and neighbors in this time of crisis. I know that together we will come out of this time better and stronger.”
4/2/20 - CBS19 News
The Madison Free Clinic is ramping up its efforts to try and help people during the COVID-19 pandemic, especially patients. It has hired a nurse to help treat more patients for right now and it could potentially lead to the clinic treating more in the future. "As our capacity or the need for capacity grows, we might be able to increase her hours or hire additional nurse practitioners," Brenda Clements, the executive director of the Madison Free Clinic. The Madison Free Clinic has launched a telemedicine program for patients during the pandemic. The clinic’s homebound patients may check in with their primary provider for follow-up appointments, virtual checkups, to refill prescriptions and other services. New and renewing patients can learn more by visiting madisonfreeclinic.org/telemedicine. There is no charge for the service.
4/1/20 - ARLNOW
Arlington Free Clinic received $5,000 from the Arlington Community Foundation for initial emergency assistance in respond to the public health crisis caused by coronavirus. The distribution of funds comes after the foundation refocused its Prompt Response Fund to support other local nonprofit organizations that can provide emergency food supplies to those in need, healthcare for the uninsured or underinsured, and support for hourly workers who have been laid off or furloughed.
3/31/20 - WCYB News 5
Executive Director Helen Scott says they have dentists who can assist patients in an emergency. The goal is to keep people healthy and out of the emergency room. “If somebody calls and says they are in pain then we have the dentist talk to them and they can get an appointment to have some teeth extracted if the dentist feels like its an emergency situation which could lead to their heart and cause them to die," Scott says.
3/28/20 - Winchester Star
Katrina R. McClure, executive director of the Sinclair Health Clinic in Winchester that treats low-income patients, said workers laid off because of the virus have begun coming in for standard medical treatment and to get help with Medicaid enrollment. “It’s kind of neat how the community is pulling together to help everybody out,” she said. At Sinclair, about 30% of the nearly 1,300 patients served last year received coverage through the expansion, according to Veronica Salazar N. Stickley, the clinic’s certified community health worker. Another 725 enrolled in Medicaid with help from clinic staff. Medicaid expansion led to a drop of about 400 patients treated annually at the clinic compared to the nearly 1,700 annual average for the previous three years.
But the clinic has adjusted and remains busy. While it previously served just the uninsured, it is now a hybrid. In addition to Medicaid patients, it serves the “under insured” — people who earn too much to qualify for Medicaid, but can’t afford their healthcare expenses. Some bounce between eligibility and ineligibility as their income increases or decreases such as those who get a bonus or raise, or overtime and then get their hours cut or get laid off. The clinic now operates on a sliding-scale fee. It serves people making up to 300% of federal poverty guidelines — $38,280 for an individual or $78,600 for a family of four. “The Medicaid expansion is great, but there still will continue to be a need,” Salazar Stickley said.
3/27/20 - WCYB News 5
The wheels keep turning for a mobile medical program meant to help the uninsured, despite the COVID-19 outbreak. Crossroads Medical Mission's Cindy Rockett says they are taking every precaution to keep their healthcare providers safe, while treating patients from their RV. "It is our goal to continue providing care for as long as we possibly can, Some of the revisions we have made are that many of our partnership sites have closed their doors so that they're not breaking the ten person rule and we are doing a lot of our work outside," said Cindy Rockett.
3/26/20 - Richmond Magazine
Health Brigade has been providing medical services to metro Richmond residents in need for 50 years. The nonprofit, formerly known as the Fan Free Clinic, reaches about 12,000 people each year and offers services including mental health counseling, medical care, nutrition and social work at its North Thompson Street clinics and offices. It is a lifeline to some of the area's most medically fragile, and COVID-19 is putting increased pressure on its operations. It's also facing financial challenges, with the pandemic leading to the cancellation of its Brigala fundraiser, which was set for March 13. In announcing the cancellation Executive Director Karen Legato described it as a “devastating financial blow.”
3/26/20 - WCYB News 5
The Health Wagon is implementing new policies in their stationary and mobile clinics to keep patients and staff safe amid the COVID-19 pandemic including increased sanitization and disinfection, and are practicing social distancing by continuing to see patients in a variety of formats. Patients can connect with a doctor Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. through telehealth at www.thehealthwagon.org or by phone.
3/26/20 - Inside NOVA
In the month Tammy LaGraffe has been the director, the coronavirus pandemic has changed the way the Free Clinic has operated, but the mission is still to serve those lacking insurance and other access to health care. “Right now it’s about making sure that our staff and patients are safe, basically. Then making sure that we can still be here for our patients and they’re healthy and they’re being seen when they need something,” LaGraffe said.
3/25/20 - Richmond Times-Distaph
The Free Clinic of Powhatan is reaching out to its most vulnerable patients and trying to help them with their basic needs, executive director Connie Moslow said. A great portion of the clinic’s patients have chronic conditions, including COPD and other lung conditions, so they are more at risk. “We are trying to keep as many people as we can out of the clinic and still treat them and treat them well and let them know we are there for them,” Connie Moslow, clinic executive director said.
3/25/20 - Franklin News-Post
In these challenging and changing times, it’s nice when communities coming together for the greater good. The Habitat for Humanity's ReStore had N95 masks and wanted to get them into the hands of healthcare providers who are experiencing supply shortages. 3M donated several cases to Habitat years ago. They had been selling them in the construction department for 25 cents each until they realized what they had. The Free Clinic of Franklin County was ecstatic to get a full case of N95 masks from Habitat. This is truly a blessing for medical staff and patients.
3/25/20 - Charlottesville Tomorrow
The Charlottesville Free Clinic has always supported the uninsured or underinsured residents of the Charlottesville area. Now, amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, it hopes to keep non-emergency patients from visiting local hospitals. “We are open. Part of flattening the curve is avoiding spikes in emergency department traffic,” said Executive Director Colleen Keller. “If our patients can talk to us and pick up their medications, they won’t have to go to the emergency room. This is the role of a free clinic in flattening the curve. Open looks different today, but we are open.”
3/24/20 - Fauquier Times
The Fauquier County Free Clinic is still operating in the midst of the COVID-19 health crisis. “We are still open, still taking care of people,” said executive director Rob Marino. Marino said that the Free Clinic is attempting to /dramatically reduce the foot traffic in the clinic. Many appointments are taking place by phone, for instance. “We are taking care of routine appointments through phone interactions, like arranging for someone’s diabetic medication. We even have volunteers making prescription deliveries to patients’ homes if they can’t get out.” He reminded patients -- and potential patients -- that the Free Clinic is not a walk-in clinic. “We see patients by appointment.” And, he added, “We are not a testing center. We don’t do testing” for the coronavirus.
3/24/20 - Inside NOVA
Mother of Mercy Free Clinic, which provided essential health care through 2,893 visits in 2019, is now providing as much care as possible through telemedicine over a secure video-conferencing line. All Catholic Charities’ mental health counseling services, which assisted more than 1,100 clients last year through 150 sessions per week, have moved to teletherapy through a videoconferencing platform. Both the telemedicine and the teletherapy services are HIPAA compliant. “Our job is to serve the most vulnerable people in our diocese, as our faith compels us, no matter what is taking place in the world around us. We are responding creatively in order to continue safely serving those in need during this COVID-19 pandemic,” said Art Bennett, President and CEO, Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Arlington. He added, “Many of our volunteers belong to groups that are especially vulnerable to this virus. We are now turning to those people who are in lower risk categories to urge them to help us respond during this critical time.”
3/23/20 - Falls Church News-Press
“The health of our patients, physicians, staff/volunteers, and visitors are our top priority. We are continuing to monitor the COVID-19 virus and are staying vigilant with our preparedness protocol so as to ensure that Culmore Clinic can remain a primary healthcare provider for our community.” Despite not being able to treat the coronavirus, the clinic said it’s working to provide tele-medical visits (with interpretation services) and advising patients of the best and most current course of action advised by the Center for Disease Control and Fairfax County Health Department.
3/23/20 - Richond Times-Dispatch
Free and charitable clinics across the state are facing the immediate threat of a pandemic that is likely to hit their patients — the low-income, uninsured and chronically ill — particularly hard. That is at the same time they face volunteer and personal protective equipment shortages, canceled fundraisers and the prospect of an increased demand for their services as the economy tanks and more people lose their jobs.
3/16/20 - Virginia Pilot
Although volunteers are rarely paid, they are priceless to one clinic dedicated to helping residents in need. Just ask Julianne Anderson, resource coordinator at the Chesapeake Care Clinic. “We have a great group of volunteers where we have people who have volunteered every week for the last 25 years,” she said. “So we feel very blessed by our faithful volunteers and our new volunteers. We really couldn’t do without them.” The clinic, on South Military Highway, was founded in 1992 by Dr. Juan Montero to provide medical and dental care to low-income, underserved residents in Hampton Roads. In 2019, more than 500 volunteers — including doctors, nurses, nurse practitioners, opticians and dentists — logged more than 22,000 hours.
3/16/20 - Falls Church News-Press
Clinic co-founder Terry O’Hara Lavoie can look back on the 13 years of the clinic’s growth as a miracle of sorts in filling the medical needs of this community. “We get highly motivated people because the world is a good place and people are generous,” O’Hara Lavoie said. “People catch on to that kindness and generosity and they want to be a part of it.” The clinic recently boasted incredible growth when their $11,000 year-end donation goal was exceeded by more than $14,000. The $25,000-plus led the non-profit to hire more staff members, keep the doors open an extra day a week, buy medical supplies and help expand the range of services. The center does not rely on local government funding at all. “I wouldn’t describe us as striking gold. We’re still a scrappy organization who is able to work hard on very meager resources and we’re able to stretch it because of the response and volunteerism of donated time and services,” said O’Hara Lavoie.
3/12/20 - RVA Magazine
Health Brigade was opened in 1970 and was the first free clinic in the Commonwealth of Virginia. Since then, through the decades, the clinic has never backed away from a challenge. Karen Legato, the executive director of Health Brigade, says that “50 years of Health Brigade is 50 years of quality health and mental health services for people in our community who have been most marginalized.”
2/29/20 - Culpeper Star-Exponent
Tammy LaGraffe, a veteran health-care worker hailing from Syracuse, N.Y., has joined the community clinic as its director. LaGraffe is excited to join the clinic and have the opportunity to give back to the Culpeper community, which welcomed her and her family when they arrived here in 2018. To her new role, LaGraffe brings years of experience working in women’s health, behavioral health and community-based wellness programs.
2/25/20 - CBS19 News
The Charlottesville Free Clinic started its A Free Clinic for Tomorrow initiative by making changes to its building and website to help patients. "When we think about the free clinic for tomorrow, we're thinking about, first of all, making it easier to come here. So being able to find us inside this building, where we are with the health department," said Colleen Keller, executive director for the clinic. The clinic also focused on its digital platforms such as the website. "We revamped the website to be more accessible, and more simple, and streamlined," said Willa Barnhardt, marketing and communications manager for the clinic. Barnhardt added that patients can find the clinic digitally with an interactive map, a request for an appointment form and the use of icons.
2/20/20 - Roanoke Times
The Virginia Association of Free and Charitable Clinics announced Thursday that it has received more than $1 million that will be shared among 14 of its members. The Surgery Center of Lynchburg is providing the association with the funds as part of its charitable obligation under the state’s Certificate of Public Need program, which requires it to provide either direct in-kind care to low-income patients or financial assistance to safety-net providers. The majority of the funds will go to the Free Clinic of Central Virginia in Lynchburg. The other clinics to benefit include Bradley Free Clinic and Dr. G. Wayne Fralin Free Clinic, both in Roanoke; Christian Free Clinic in Botetourt, based in Fincastle; Free Clinic of Franklin County; Free Clinic of Pulaski County; Free Clinic of the Twin Counties in Galax; Brock Hughes Medical Center in Wytheville; Caring Hearts Free Clinic in Stuart; Crossroads Medical Mission in Bristol; Healing Hands Health Center in Bristol; Heath Wagon in Wise; Mel Leaman Free Clinic in Marion; and Tri-County Health Clinic in Richlands.
2/20/20 - GMU College of Health & Human Services
U.S. Rep. Jennifer Wexton visited the Manassas Park location of George Mason University’s free health care clinic for uninsured patients Wednesday, learning about Mason’s extensive efforts to address the urgent health needs of low-income patients in Northern Virginia. “It’s very impressive,” said Wexton. “I’m so glad to have Mason and Partners in the community.” The Manassas Park location is one of three main Mason and Partners (MAP) interprofessional clinics where the university serves vulnerable populations in the communities within Prince William and Fairfax counties. Wexton spoke with MAP Clinics Co-Director Rebecca Sutter, MAP Clinics Coordinator Bridget M. Jennison and College of Health and Human Services Associate Dean for Academic Affairs Robert M. Weiler about the services offered at MAP clinics.
2/19/20 - Henrico Citizen
When Julie Bilodeau first heard that officials at CrossOver Healthcare Ministry were planning to open a clinic in western Henrico, her initial reaction was astonishment. “Are you kidding me?” she exclaimed. “The wealthy and affluent West End?” On Feb. 13, Bilodeau was among the supporters and staff who gathered to mark the 15th anniversary of that Henrico clinic – and to celebrate the hundreds of low-income patients it has served since 2005. From the moment it opened, in fact, a constant parade of uninsured and medically underserved families has streamed through its doors seeking pediatric care, information, primary and specialty care, and mental health services.
2/18/20 - Catholic Herald
The Catholic Charities’ Mother of Mercy Free Medical Clinic, which opened its doors just over two years ago to serve poor and uninsured residents of Manassas and Manassas Park, is now expanding to Woodbridge. The new clinic will open at 13900 Church Hill Drive, Woodbridge, in space that has been occupied by the Prince William Area Free Clinic. The clinic’s board of directors decided to close the 27-year-old clinic in early April due to ongoing “financial and resource challenges” and asked Catholic Charities if it would expand to Woodbridge. When it opens its second clinic in late April, Catholic Charities will serve the health care needs of uninsured and underinsured adults, regardless of faith, throughout Prince William County. “The need for free, high quality health care in our diocese is great. With this second clinic, Catholic Charities will be able to provide compassionate care to serve the most vulnerable adults who come from all of Prince William County,” said Art Bennett, president and CEO of Catholic Charities.
2/18/20 - CFXR Fox
You could say Janine Underwood’s position as executive director of Bradley Free Clinic wasn’t a position she was looking for, so much as one that chose her. “I met Estelle Avner and Estelle Avner changed my life. She came to me and said, Janine, I’m going to be retiring after 40 years, I would like you to apply for the job’,” says Underwood.As executive director, Underwood has helped expand the clinic’s outreach. With its network of volunteers, the clinic, which provides medical services for the low income and uninsured, helps 2,000 patients on an annual basis. As remarkable as Underwood may seem, she doesn’t consider herself that way. Instead, she acknowledges that it takes a whole community of people to help the community. She says it’s the people she works with, both the patients and volunteers, that make her job worthwhile.
2/18/20 - Richmond Times-Dispatch
The Free Clinic of Powhatan will benefit from the seventh annual Valentine Gala in recognition that good health is a cornerstone to building a quality life. After a robust live auction, guests heard a brief appeal from Connie Moslow, who is the director of the Free Clinic of Powhatan. Moslow talked about the move the clinic is making from its current space to the former school board building on Skaggs Road, which will be renovated this year and hold the clinic and county offices. The move will allow the clinic to increase its operations, including dental care.
2/16/20 - Herald Courier
Health Wagon is sponsoring upcoming health fairs March 11-13 in Wise and Dickenson counties, according to a news release. The Health Wagon, along with community partners, will be joining forces with medical staff and students of the Quillen College of Medicine from East Tennessee State University to provide services. Medical personnel will be available to provide individual assessments by capturing complete medical history and doing comprehensive physical examinations.
2/10/20 - CBS19 News
Louisa and Fluvanna residents now have a place to go if they don't have health insurance. Goochland Cares, a nonprofit agency that provides medical care for low-income and uninsured residents, is now accepting patients who qualify from Louisa and Fluvanna counties. Doctors, nurses, and specialists from around the region donate their time to treat the clients. Wellness visits, check-ups, medications, and diagnostic testing are just some of the services offered. Sally Graham, the Executive Director of GoochlandCares, says health services are sometimes lacking in rural counties. "For people living in Fluvanna, Louisa and Cumberland who are uninsured adults and who make up to 300 percent of the federal poverty level, so for a family of four that's about $6,000 a month. So it is a pretty generous income eligibility," she said. Graham also says due to the Medicaid expansion in Virginia, Goochland Cares has been able to open up more spaces to those who have no health insurance at all.
2/10/20 - Northern Virginia Daily
The Shenandoah Valley Electric Cooperative has awarded more than $15,000 in grants to area organizations, including the Sinclair Health Clinic in support of high quality health care services to low-income residents. The first cycle of its 2020 Operation Round Up charitable giving program awarded funds on Jan. 29 to recipients in Winchester/Frederick and the counties of Augusta, Page, Rockingham and Shenandoah.
2/5/20 - Henrico Citizen
The Henrico-based Richmond Academy of Medicine was recognized recently by the General Assembly. The academy, which serves more than 2,400 local healthcare professionals, is celebrating its 200th year. The academy provides a comprehensive list of programs to support patients, physicians and the community at large. RAM also has created two nonprofits – Access Now (which provides free specialty care for uninsured patients) and Honoring Choices Virginia (which promotes advance care planning). Henrico Senator Siobhan Dunnavant and Chesterfield Delegate Betsy Carr were the patrons of resolutions honoring the organization.
2/4/20 - Falls Church News-Press
Thanks to funding from Islamic Relief USA, Culmore Clinic will be adding ophthalmology services for its patients. In the past, this has been a complicated service to offer patients because it involved a specialty referral offsite. But with this implementation of onsite eye care, patients requiring important follow-up care from their yearly screenings with the Lions Club can access difficult-to-obtain testing at their medical home in Culmore Clinic. This eliminates the transportation barriers that often prevent patients from obtaining critical care and testing, and frees up staff time spent searching for glaucoma and other testing services.
2/4/20 - Global Sisters Report
When Sr. Bernadette "Bernie" Kenny, a religious in the Medical Missionaries of Mary, brought her nursing skills to Appalachian Virginia in 1978, she was startled by the long and steep distances between towns. Founder of the Health Wagon, a Wise County-based nonprofit organization and the first mobile health clinic in the nation, she has written a book describing her longtime work of traveling mountain roads in all kinds of weather to provide health services to the medically underserved in southwest Virginia.
Karen Legato, executive director of Health Brigade, says that the nonprofit has been thrilled that expansion occurred. “I’m so glad that Virginia has done it; it was the right thing to do,” she says. Still, she notes, there are still several hundred thousand Virginians with too much income to qualify for Medicaid, but they make too little to pay for private insurance. There are also other obstacles, including a lack of familiarity with how to navigate insurance and health care, having no consistent access to transportation to work or to access health care, language barriers, or chronic health conditions. There also can be problems for new enrollees in finding a health care provider who is accepting new patients, which can lead to waits in accessing treatment, says Legato. Health Brigade has made an aggressive effort to help people who qualify to sign up for Medicaid, about 900 so far, says Legato. That in turn freed up slots for others, those who didn’t have the option. She notes that, for various reasons, people may get coverage, then lose it, then requalify, that there’s a churn. Expansion also has necessitated adding staff, even though Health Brigade doesn’t get extra Medicaid money, says Legato.
1/30/20 - C-Ville
“We’re taking care of the people who take care of Charlottesville,” says Colleen Keller, director of the Charlottesville Free Clinic. Tucked behind a parking lot on Rose Hill Drive, the clinic keeps a low physical profile. Inside, though, the complex is a labyrinth; the facilities contain a dental clinic and full pharmacy. The Free Clinic provides primary care for people who fall into one of the many gaps in the American health care system: those who make too much money to qualify for Medicaid, but don’t get health insurance from their job, often because they work part-time. In Charlottesville, a town with a booming service industry, that’s a significant portion of the population. In 2018, the clinic saw 1,100 medical patients and 1,400 dental patients. “We’re their regular doctor,” Keller says. “We provide medical, primary care, basic medical wellness prevention, mental health care.” Most of the clinic’s patients are seeking treatment for chronic illnesses like hypertension and diabetes.
1/30/20 - Bristol Herald Courier
U.S. Surgeon General Jerome Adams is scheduled to visit Bristol on Thursday as part of a trip to Northeast Tennessee. Thursday’s events include a roundtable on opioids at East Tennessee State University in Johnson City and a visit to the Healing Hands Health Center in Bristol, Tennessee, according to a spokeswoman for Rep. Phil Roe, who is also involved with the trip.
Delta Dental of Tennessee (Delta Dental), Tennessee’s largest independent dental benefits carrier, today announced the donation of $563,000 to East Tennessee dental clinics including Healing Hands Health Center via its charitable arm, the Smile180 Foundation. The funds are used to support community clinics in providing dental cleanings, fillings, root canals, crowns, bridges and dentures to those in need.
1/9/20 - Falls Church News Press
Culmore Clinic more than doubled its end-of-year fundraising campaign goal of $11,000 by bringing in $25,735.98 in the month of December alone. $8,600 of these dollars are designated funding toward ongoing clinic operations through the group’s Stewardship Circles, the clinic’s new sustaining gift model.The donations will help the clinic begin increasing patient care on its third clinic day by providing prescription pick-up, adding specialty care and expanding its Diabetes preventive care. The generous response of donors has made the clinic’s goal for providing ancillary care on Wednesdays a reality. And, with additional funding from Islamic Relief USA, the clinic will be adding ophthalmology services as well. Furthermore, the strong year-end response also helps clinic administrators begin thinking seriously about adding onsite phlebotomy (laboratory) services to better support its patients.
1/6/20 - Richmond Times-Dispatch
The Free Clinic of Powhatan announced in December that it had been awarded matching grants from the Cabell Foundation and The Mary Morton Parsons Foundation totaling $350,000. The Mary Morton Parsons Foundation awarded the clinic a grant of $200,000 for the renovation of its newly acquired space in the vacated Powhatan school board building. The Cabell Foundation also awarded the clinic a grant of $150,000 for this renovation project. These fabulous grants are a wonderful gift to the Powhatan community to help build a clinic for its many patients. But the grants are matching grants, meaning the clinic has to match the dollar amount for each grant in order to receive the funding.
12/23/19 - ARL Now
While our holiday donations help in the short-term, just throwing money at a problem isn’t necessarily a progressive solution. To reduce disparity, we need to fundamentally tackle the root causes that are keeping some in our community from achieving stability and success. Making systemic change supports employment, education and health care–some of the tools needed as a springboard to self-sufficiency. Arlington Free Clinic‘s “Filling the Gap Campaign” aims to triple the number of low-income clients who receive dental care. Because many diseases that start in the mouth can cause life-threatening illness and chronic conditions, proper dental care has an enormous effect on health and well-being.
12/23/19 - Daily Progress
For Dr. Jack Kayton, dentistry isn’t just a career — it’s an opportunity to give back. The ever-humble and friendly dentist said that though he has learned a lot over the last three decades of his work, the most important thing he has discovered is the importance of compassion and empathy. These lessons were instilled in him by his parents and have informed his work both in his practice and in his volunteer work with the Charlottesville Free Clinic. “Everything was about me going to school and getting an education and working hard learning to do the right thing,” he said. “The sacrifices my parents made raising me and getting me through college instilled in me an appreciation for what I have and the drive to give back when I can.” Kayton has continued that spirit in his personal life and practice, taking over the Community Dental Program, the project of his mentor, Dr. Larry Brannon. The program offered free dental care to those who couldn’t afford it. After running that program out of his practice for several years, Kayton joined the Charlottesville Free Clinic, where he has continued to offer his services and help the clinic’s dental program grow. The clinic’s dental program, now run by Dr. Jonathan Leist, boasts a full-time dentist, a hygienist and several assistants, as well as more than 30 volunteer dentists.
12/23/19 - Northern Neck News
In honor of a major supporter for a quarter of a century, the Northern Neck – Middlesex Free Health Clinic dedicated the Jane Birdsong Patient Care Center on Wednesday, December 4. “The Clinic is delighted and excited to recognize Jane and Tom Birdsong for all the help, advice, encouragement, and volunteer and funding support given to the Clinic for the past 26 years,” said Jean Nelson, Clinic CEO. The Patient Care Center was unveiled at a ribbon cutting at the Clinic, followed by a reception at the Golden Eagle for more than 70 friends and supporters of the Birdsongs and the Clinic.
12/20/19 - WSLS
For the first time in nearly half a century, the Bradley Free Clinic in Roanoke has hired a full-time provider. Susan Blick, a family nurse practitioner, is able to see more patients during the weekday outside of the clinic’s evening hours. It allows patients to have access to immediate care, shorter wait times and gives a consistent provider for chronic health issues. “I want to have more patients all the time. The more people I can help the better. So, we see the local community and we’re also seeing outlying communities as well. It’s amazing who comes to see us and how far they will drive to see us,” said Blick. Blick is able to see patients from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Monday through Friday. “What we found is there was a need that we were not able to meet and that was because people weren’t able to walk in the clinic and provide same-day appointments. So, people who were sick, who needed to see a doctor immediately, who are our patients, we were not able to meet that need,” said Ruth Cassell, director of operations.
12/20/19 - George Mason University
Rebecca Sutter, Associate Professor, School of Nursing, College of Health and Human Services, is set to receive $75,000 from Potomac Health Foundation. With these funds, the MAP Clinic will be expanded and open a Mason and Partners Clinic co-located with the Prince William County School (PWCS) system to provide school entry health services to uninsured/ underinsured students and provide expanded physical, mental and preventive health care services to uninsured/underinsured in the Prince William County Potomac Health Foundation catchment area. Services will include chronic disease, mental health, and social service coordination. Funding will begin in January 2020 and will conclude in late December 2020.
12/13/19 - Daily Press
It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas in the halls of Lackey Clinic. Staff and volunteers have decked out 13 doors in Christmas cheer at the clinic as part of an annual contest. This year, the clinic wants community members to select their favorite doors for a brand-new people’s choice award. Now in its fourth year, the Christmas doors decorating contest is a beloved part of the events calendar for staff and volunteers at Lackey Clinic, a free health clinic in York County. New this year is a people’s choice award, which gives the community a chance to join the holiday fun, Director of Donor Relations and Events Kim Spencer said.
12/10/19 - Virginia Business
The Health Wagon's Executive Director, Teresa Owens Tyson, was named to Virginia Business' list of 100 People to Know in 2020 for working to make Virginia a better place through passion and vision.
12/4/19 - Suffolk News Herald
The Suffolk Foundation made its annual grant distributions at the Suffolk Center for Cultural Arts on Wednesday morning. This year, the Foundation was able to disburse $137,000 to 31 different nonprofit agencies. Since the Foundation received its 501 (c) (3) nonprofit community foundation status in October 2007, it has awarded more than $5.9 million in unrestricted and donor-advised grants and scholarships. Western Tidewater Free Clinic received $9,000 which will provide dentures to 35 Suffolk patients in order to improve their overall health, self-esteem and employability.
12/3/19 - WHSV
After expanding services to more uninsured community members who are not residents of the United States, staff at the the Harrisonburg-Rockingham Free Clinic said they've seen an increase in the number of patients they serve. In addition, the maximum income threshold for patients also changed and was raised from 200 percent to 300 percent of less of the federal poverty level. "The bases of our mission here is to create opportunities to access health care in our community," Summer Sage, Executive Director of the clinic, said. Since the change, Sage said they've seen about 300 more patients who may have never seen the inside of a patient room before.
11/26/19 - Star Exponent
At the Free Clinic of Culpeper, Director Chris Miller told the congresswoman that Medicaid is changing its patient population. In 2018, the clinic served 615 patients. This year, after Medicaid expansion, it has helped 402 people, and those patients are trending younger, with the largest group between 35 and 42 years old, Miller said. Every month, the clinic’s staff sees 15 to 20 new patients, about 40 percent of whom are Medicaid-eligible, she said. If not for Medicaid, the clinic would have to start a waiting list to help the same number of patients, Miller said. Of its patients, 40 to 45 percent are likely eligible for Medicaid based on their income, she said. The clinic’s nurses and doctors “are probably the first people to tell these patients that they’re eligible for Medicaid,” Miller told Spanberger. “Many of them have not been in to see a doctor in years, if ever.” Typically, these individuals don’t have health insurance, and don’t know what health-care assistance is available to them, she said. “These are folks busy raising their families,” Miller said. “They’re investing everything they’ve got into their kids.”
11/26/19 - NBC29 News
Representative Abigail Spanberger is putting healthcare at the top of her legislative list. The 7th District Democrat visited the Orange County Free Clinic on Tuesday to meet with those at the forefront of the issue. She discussed several issues the county is facing with area doctors, pharmacists, and other healthcare professionals. One of the topics Spanberger discussed during her visit was the need for more mental health resources at the Orange County Free Clinic. The clinic serves about 4,500 people living in the area and staff says there’s a huge need. “They come in because they can't afford health insurance,” said Dorren Brown, Executive Director of the Orange County Free Clinic. “They're working, they have jobs, but at jobs where they, they're not offered health insurance, and so if they have a chronic disease like diabetes…there's no way they can afford their insulin or their medications.”
11/25/19 - ABC3 News
Local efforts to help those without a home received a major boost this month. Bank of America announced the Lackey Clinic in Yorktown is the Hampton Roads market recipients of its 2019 Neighborhood Builders award. The award comes with a $200,000 grant and a year of leadership training for staff members. "It`s the long-term effect of the leadership training that helps build upon the opportunities for the organization for years to come," said Charlie Henderson, President of Bank of America's Hampton Roads market. Over the last 15 years, Bank of America has donated $240 million nationwide.
11/24/19 - CBS19 News
Multiple organizations are coming together to address food insecurities in Madison County. The organizations involved include the Madison County Department of Social Services, the Madison Free Clinic, the Madison Senior Center, MESA (Madison Emergency Services Association), Rural Madison Inc., Virginia Cooperative Extension and several churches. Valerie Ward, the director of the Madison County Department of Social Services, said there are many people in the county that are not able to be served food by current food programs. The main reason for this issue is transportation, especially for those who live in rural areas of the county. "Either they have no transportation at all or they have vehicles that can't be relied on," said Ward. "Transportation is the primary barrier to get from their remote locations whether it is in the far reaches of the county or just get down the street due to their disability and age." The organizations are looking to create a mobile food pantry with help from the Blue Ridge Area Food Bank.
11/23/19 - Winchester Star
Several local nonprofit organizations, including the Dr. Terry Sinclair Health Clinic, have launched a regional care network that makes it easier to link area residents to services they need. The network, called Connect NSV, links community members (clients) to services while allowing service providers to communicate in real time about their shared clients’ care and then track the outcomes together. Nonprofit agencies can share information and refer clients to the service providers that can best help them. Referrals are sent through United Us, but Connect NSV clients must consent to being a part of the database.
11/21/19 - Culpeper Star-Exponent
Rep. Abigail Spanberger, D-7, will visit Culpeper and Orange next week as part of a two-day, district-wide healthcare tour. On the morning of Tuesday, Nov. 26 the local congresswoman will stop at the Free Clinic of Culpeper to meet with staff, patients, volunteer physicians and pharmacists, and members of the Culpeper Wellness Foundation. From the Culpeper clinic, Spanberger will visit Orange Free Clinic in the town of Orange. The facility there provides a community-focused safety net for patients with chronic and acute health conditions. Spanberger will begin her healthcare tour on Monday, Nov. 25 with a stop at Powhatan Free Clinic.
11/21/19 - WDBJ7
Bridging the gaps between emergency care and long term recovery can have a significant impact, and two new initiatives in southside and southwest Virginia will try to do just that. In Roanoke, a partnership that includes Virginia Tech, the Bradley Free Clinic and many other stakeholders is launching a program called Connections to Care. With a federal grant and other funds, it will expand on the work of Roanoke Valley Collective Response and the Hope Initiative. Ruth Cassell is the Director of Operations for the Bradley Free Clinic. "So I think there are about 35 different stakeholders involved in Connections to Care." Cassell said, "and again they were already working together at the same table and this gives us resources to accomplish a greater mission." Cassell and Dunkenberger say Connections to Care won't solve the opioid epidemic in the Roanoke Valley. There are more gaps to fill, but they say it does represent a major step forward.
11/16/19 - The News Advance
The Free Clinic of Central Virginia was recently awarded a grant from the Centra Community Benefits Committee for its Behavioral Health Integration Project, a new program designed to address the growing demand for mental health services in the area. Under this project, the Free Clinic of Central Virginia will add a full-time counselor to provide mental health services to Free Clinic patients. The project also will increase the hours the nurse practitioner can provide services. It is anticipated this collaboration will provide 1,500 behavioral health visits to 150 Free Clinic patients.
11/15/19 - ABC8 News
Virginia Senator Mark Warner (D) listened to constituent concerns over healthcare costs and coverage during a roundtable Friday at the Health Brigade in Richmond’s Museum District.
11/15/19 - Orange County Review
Counseling is in high demand at Orange County Free Clinic. Patients at the Orange County Free Clinic may be prescribed medication for depression or other forms of mental illness, but for one-on-one therapy, they must jockey for a space on the volunteer counselor’s Monday schedule. Free Clinic Executive Director Dorren Brown said the clinic has more than 4,500 patients on the books and sees about 900 patients every year; about 30 new patients enroll each month. Depression has consistently been the third-most common diagnosis since the clinic opened its doors in 2007. (The most common diagnosis is high blood pressure and the second is diabetes, mostly type II). Brown said it’s not surprising that many free clinic patients are depressed when they first come in. “They’re going through some catastrophic situations in their life,” she said, noting that “they don’t necessarily stay depressed. Things turn around for them.” They may have lost a job and their health insurance along with it. And while the expansion of Medicaid in Virginia has helped a number of people afford private medical care, there are still many who qualify for the clinic’s services. When she described the length of the waiting list for mental health counseling, Brown stretched her arms wide. Kim Frye Smith, the clinic’s resource development director, added, “[The counselor] is booked solid early in the morning until late at night." Brown said the clinic’s staff does all it can to help patients dealing with depression—and assistance goes beyond prescribing antidepressants or other medications. She said staffers have been known to go through the want ads with patients depressed because they’re out of work, and clinicians have helped some of them adjust their diet so they can get a boost from vitamins that improve their state of mind.
11/13-19 - CBS19 News
The Madison County Free Clinic recently launched its Hero Project, which aims to take the services it currently offers out into the community, especially the rural areas of the county. Currently, the clinic is helping people sign up for Medicaid in seven remote locations in the county, but it hopes to secure a grant from the state to hire a nurse practitioner that can treat people in the rural areas. "The residents in that area may have transportation issues of coming into the town of Madison and so we are going out to them to serve them in the capacity," said Tracy Slaughter, the community outreach coordinator for the clinic. She has been with the Madison County Free Clinic since April and she feels that many people in the county lack access to health care in the outlying areas. "There's a lot of businesses that do not offer health care insurance, so a lot of people either have to pay out of pocket and they are having to choose whether to pay for their health care or whether they are going to pay for food and rent and things they have to pay necessities for," said Slaughter.
11/11/19 - Loudoun Times-Mirror
The Loudoun Free Clinic won Nonprofit Organization of the Year. Board Chairman Bill Schmidt said over the 25 years the Small Business Awards have been held, “Loudoun County has grown tremendously, but that means a lot of gaps, a lot of holes, a lot of big challenges. The Loudoun Free Clinic and all of the nonprofits in Loudoun County work hard every day to plug those gaps, to fill those holes and to build a safety net, for the least, most vulnerable citizens of Loudoun County.”
11/11/19 - ABC13
The Free Clinic of Central Virginia was recently awarded a grant from the Genworth Foundation for its Medical/Dental Services Integration Project. “We are grateful to the Genworth Foundation for building on the infrastructure created from the Dental Services Expansion project and allowing us to provide comprehensive care for our patients, which will improve health outcomes for our community.” says Christina Delzingaro, CEO of the Free Clinic. “While we are fortunate to have so many area dentists that volunteer with the program, we still need funds to purchase needed supplies, and this grant will do that.”
11/8/19 - Fairfax Times
The product of more than two years of planning and construction, the College of Health and Human Services’ Population Health Center will provide healthcare to underserved populations as well as research and workforce training opportunities for faculty and students. According to the College of Health and Human Services, nearly 8 percent of Northern Virginia residents do not have health insurance, and more than 16 percent of residents live in areas that are considered islands of disadvantage, meaning they face social and economic challenges like poverty and a lack of safe, affordable housing that negatively affect their health. A Mason and Partners Clinic for people who are uninsured, immigrants, and refugees opened in the Population Health Center in August, expanding the university’s network of free health clinics to 10 locations in Fairfax and Prince William counties. The clinics have provided about 14,000 people with services ranging from screenings and school physicals to medical home placement referrals and wellness workshops, according to Louis. The Population Health Center MAP clinic is the largest yet with five patient exam and treatment rooms, six behavioral health interview rooms, a telehealth remote care and consultation room, a clinical laboratory, and a phlebotomy room. It will focus on specialty care services, starting with women’s wellness exams, and school and sports physicals, according to Mason.
11/8/19 - Indy Channel
When nurses Teresa Tyson and Paula Hill of the Health Wagon pull their RV into the small towns of Appalachia, they bring a warmth that's part of the charm of these mountains. They also bring help that's become scarce in that part of the country.
11/8/19 - Inside NOVA
The Arlington Free Clinic enjoyed a successful sell-out gala which raised more than $50,000 to support the clinic's wide array of health-care programs to low-income, uninsured including specialty medicine, mental-health care, physical therapy and dental care.
10/31/19 - Loudoun Now
Loudoun Free Clinic was selected as one of 50 clinics nationally to participate in the Roadmap to Health Equity pilot study that will lay a foundation for improvements in care while giving clinics the tools they need to demonstrate quality of care and assess their progress in promoting health equity.
10/29/19 - Roanoke Times
A Roanoke organization will shut down Thursday after more than 70 years of advocating for people with mental illnesses. Mental Health America of Roanoke Valley worked with three local nonprofits to take over its key programs. Bradley Free Clinic will take over the free psychiatric clinic, which offers help to those who cannot afford to access mental health care. Blue Ridge Behavioral Healthcare will provide mental health training for police, and Total Action for Progress will continue the unique arts therapy for children exposed to domestic violence. Board president Mariana Fortier said the organization was unable to raise enough funds to sustain its programs, so the priority became finding a way for them to continue once the organization shut down.
10/26/19 - GoDanRiver
On behalf of the Board of Directors of the Free Clinic of Danville, I wish to thank the many residents, businesses and foundations in our community who assisted the clinic over the past 26 years. We were able to treat thousands of patients because of our dedicated volunteers and the financial support given to us. Our patients’ lives were positively impacted because of the care they received and this could not have been done without our volunteers and our donors.
10/24/19 - CBS19 News
"Anytime we get out in the community, and people can get information about what the Free Clinic does and what we have available, especially now with the push for us to do mobile services in the community, it gets people energized," said Brenda Clements, the executive director of the Madison Free Clinic. The Free Clinic will also provide information about how to become a patient.
10/24/19 - News Channel 11
A state-of-the-art healthcare clinic is on its way to Southwest Virginia – in an area that leaders say needs it most. The Health Wagon broke ground Thursday morning on its new facility in Dickenson County. The clinic is named after Sister Bernie Kenny, who founded the Health Wagon. “This clinic is just so much more than brick and mortar though, the clinic for us represents how we address and care for humanity,” Health Wagon Executive Director Dr. Teresa Tyson said. The 5,000 square foot facility will offer free healthcare services. “Specialty, clinics. We will have telehealth. We do more telehealth than anybody in the state of Virginia with the University of Virginia,” Dr. Tyson said. It’s an area health leaders say is desperately in need of these services.
10/22/19 - Style Weekly
When asked during her annual review at Health Brigade what her greatest accomplishment was, Felicia Bowman said it was seeing how well her clients were doing. This from a woman who was one of 20 in the country chosen to be a Black Women Ambassador using social media to reach black women about HIV and sexual health. In May this year, she presented Breaking the Silence: an African-American Women’s Guide to Preventing HIV at the National Conference on Social Work and HIV/AIDS in Washington. As young as 16, Bowman knew she wanted to start her own nonprofit and Speak Glamher, founded in 2018 to encourage women to take control of their sexual health, was the result. Last year she also created the annual She Is Me, I Am Her community walk commemorating National Women and Girls HIV Awareness Day. Bowman remembers the women in her family as go-getters, owning businesses and involved in community work. The lessons stuck. “Seeing them taught me the importance of giving back,” she says. Committed to giving a voice to women of color living with HIV and dismantling the stigma associated with it, Bowman mentors social work students at Health Brigade, formerly the Fan Free Clinic, teaching them to tune into patients.
10/17/19 - Greene County Record
The Greene County Care Clinic, the free clinic in the county, faced a tough dilemma early this year: close after Medicaid expansion or expand to include a larger group who need quality medical services. The clinic chose the latter. “The state went through Medicaid expansion in January, so for our clinic that meant that a lot of current patients would qualify for Medicaid,” said Pam Morris, executive director. “Our number of patients declined. So, the clinic chose to do what a lot of free clinics across the state chose to do—change the eligibility requirements.” The clinic, which is situated in downtown Stanardsville, now sees individuals and families who earn up to 300% of the federal poverty level.
10/17/19 - GMU College of Health & Human Services
In August, the College of Health and Human Services opened its 10th Mason and Partners (MAP) Clinic in the newly opened Population Health Center (PHC) on George Mason University’s Fairfax Campus. MAP Clinics are a unique model, as interprofessional nurse-managed free clinics that serve the uninsured community in Northern Virginia. They provide health care, school physicals, screenings, and behavioral health services for vulnerable populations and those in low-income and medically underserved areas. In addition to providing free care for patients, the MAP Clinics are an exemplar academic-practice partnership model. They provide hands-on learning experiences for students in nursing, social work, health informatics, and other programs. This experience serving diverse populations at MAP Clinics better prepares students for the communities they will work in when they graduate.
10/13/19 - ABC 13 News
The Free Clinic Of Central Virginia is expanding access to behavioral health to improve both mental health and physical health outcomes for low-income uninsured and underinsured patients in their community. Embedding behavioral health into a primary care setting has been demonstrated to not only expand access to these critical mental health and substance use services, but also to improve patient’s likelihood of acceptance of these services and overall compliance.
10/2/19 - Petersburg Progress-Index
A more local organization, Pathways-VA, was also on hand Saturday, meeting more people in the community where it has three programs. Pathways runs three programs - seven specialty health clinics, a financial academy and a trade school for youth, aged 18-22. Ron Thompson, Pathways’ Clinic Coordinator, was also at Bethany Missionary, specializing in the group’s clinic-based programs. The clinics work with grant funding, partnerships and volunteer hours to provide completely free healthcare. Alliances with companies like Walmart and RX Drugs, mean that 90% of Pathways clients can get prescriptions completely free. The other 10% can get them at extremely low prices, under $5. “Most people that come to us are on medications but haven’t been taking them,” Thompson said. “My question is, are you on medication, are you taking it, why are you not taking it, if you’re not why are you not taking it? Because you can’t afford it or you can’t get a prescription?” He said Pathways can function as a “one stop shop,” with services from a rheumatology to mammography. Once a month, Pathways has 12 mental health doctors that volunteer to come in and do assessments for clients. “Mental health is a big need in Petersburg, the Tri-City Area, and the Crater District,” Thompson said.