Clinics In The News
5/15/22 - Daily Progress
The Greene Care Clinic started in 2005 in the hallway of the local public library. It has since moved to Stanard Street. It treats adults ages 19 to 64 with incomes between 138% and 300% of the federal poverty level. That’s the space where America’s working poor fall through the cracks for Medicaid coverage. The clinic gives these people free care that meets or exceeds the quality of health treatment and maintenance they could get at any of area’s private practices or medical centers. The clinic is good at managing chronic diseases such as high blood pressure. It offers COVID vaccinations. “We keep people out of the emergency rooms,” Pam Morris Executive Director added. “That’s a huge service.”
5/11/22 - WFXR
n an effort to lower costs, President Joe Biden continues to call for a price cap on insulin. Insulin can already cost hundreds, if not thousands of dollars. WFXR News spoke with a Roanoke pharmacist who says he can’t imagine the burden of affording it now and dealing with the high cost of other day-to-day items amid increased inflation rates. “The fact that you can’t afford your insulin and it’s hard to afford your food makes it even more challenging for people,” said James Black, a pharmacist with the Bradley Free Clinic. Not everyone can qualify to get their insulin completely covered, leaving many to pay hundreds and nearly thousands of dollars at the pharmacy counter. “Unfortunately, a lot of people, either they don’t have insurance or have insurance with a high deductible or high copay, which means they can’t afford their insulin,” said Black. Meanwhile, putting food on the table is more challenging these days. The recommended diet for diabetics — including fresh fruit, vegetables, and proteins — is costing more because of the rising inflation. “If you wanted to buy fresh fruits and vegetables now, first of all, it takes time to prepare it, but second of all, they’re really expensive,” Black added
5/5/22 - WSLS
A pop-up clinic is offering free healthcare services to the homeless community and healthcare workers say there is a bigger need than they realized. Since January, the Fralin Free Clinic made nearly 200 encounters in the community, providing physical exams and mental health services. The clinic’s healthcare services manager, Pam Milkowski said most of the patients are afraid to seek help at hospitals or can’t afford to refill their medications. “We are gaining more and more patients at these locations,” she said. “Word of mouth is spreading. More referrals. We are being directed to locations that we didn’t even know existed and have a need.”
5/9/22 - Herald-Courier
The Mel Leaman Free Clinic in Marion is recovering after it sustained significant damage following a storm Friday evening. The clinic is temporarily closed and is working closely with Emory & Henry College to address the situation. “I want to thank Emory & Henry for stepping it up and getting us help right away,” clinic leader Susan Ferraro said. The clinic will be closed for the remainder of the week with staff members reaching out to patients to reschedule appointments and arrange for medications to be picked up.
5/3/22 - Yahoo News
The Augusta Regional Dental Clinic in Fishersville, like many others that serve Medicaid customers across Virginia, has been very busy for months — especially as more and more have learned about the expanded benefits for adults, according to Sophie Parson, director of the clinic. The need for services is so great, people have called the clinic trying to get an appointment from Louisa County, roughly 60 miles away. The number of dental providers that accept Medicaid patients has fallen to 1,888 from a peak of 2,031 in 2017, according to data provided by Virginia Department of Medical Assistance Services. Staff of other dental clinics across the commonwealth, such as in Suffolk, also said they are struggling to meet the demand for services. Facilities such as Western Tidewater Free Clinic in Suffolk set in motion plans to expand services, but those don’t materialize overnight, according to Ashley Greene, director of the development, “There is a gap between need and availability, is what I’d say for sure,” Greene said. Western Tidewater is doubling its dental chairs, from two to four, she said. “We hope to be up and running and operational by spring and summer 2023,” Greene said. “It can’t come soon enough.” In and around Goochland, west of Richmond, clinic GoochlandCares started the process to become a Medicaid dental provider last year after realizing the shortfall in care that would happen in the area, according to an email from Adina Keys, clinic director. “We learned last summer that about 1,300 Goochland residents would be eligible for Medicaid in our county,” she said. “A survey of the few dentists in our area showed that none would be accepting new Medicaid patients.”
5/2/22 - Catholic Herald
Alexandra Luevano, director of the Mother of Mercy Free Clinic, needed glasses. Optometrist Gregory Johnson, with Virginia Vision Therapy, was looking for ways he could volunteer. When Johnson learned that Luevano, his new patient, was the program director of Catholic Charities Mother of Mercy Free Medical Clinic, he realized he had his answer. Less than a year after Johnson and Luevano met, the Mother of Mercy clinic in Woodbridge began offering in-house eye care for clinic patients. On the opening morning, April 25, Johnson saw five patients, including William Brefo. Though he’s long had problems with his eyes, it’s been difficult for him to receive medical care. “I’m very grateful because I haven’t had my eyes checked in a long time, over five years. I lost my insurance from work and I’m not working right now,” he said. “(Mother of Mercy helps) with my medication, my treatments, all of my health problems. They’re doing great.” Through his work, Johnson has seen what a difference having healthy, functioning eyes makes in a person’s life. “A lot about how we see is how we think, and our emotions and our vision are intertwined very deeply,” he said. “So changing how someone sees can really make or break their life.”
5/1/22 - WTKR3
A free clinic in York County was recently awarded a $105,000 grant to expand their virtual health program. The Lackey Clinic will now service the homeless population on the Peninsula by offering telehealth services to those people who utilize the Four Oaks Day Service and Training Center in Newport News. “Our population really hasn’t had access to health care services on a regular basis," said Four Oaks director Quincy White. "So, being able to build that relationship with a primary care physician on a regular basis, having access to health care services, is going to be monumental.” On the other end of the telehealth call will be a medical provider with the Lackey Clinic. The grant, given by Sentara Healthcare and Optima Health, provides funding to staff the program, as well as hire a part-time community health worker. “It’s a really great way to increase health access across the state of Virginia for those who can’t afford to go to the doctor or may have social determinants of health barriers, such as transportation, lack of childcare, having to take time off of work. It’s something they can do right on their lunch break,” said Lackey Clinic Director of Eligibility and Community Outreach Amber Martens. The virtual health appointments are free, just like all of the services the clinic provides. They offer dental services, medical, vision and even have a pharmacy to fill prescriptions.
During last week’s Volunteer Appreciation Week, GoochlandCares recognized and thanked over 225 volunteers who support the nonprofit organization’s mission to provide quality health care and basic human services for Goochland residents in need. While many things have changed during the past year, GoochlandCares volunteers and staff have been able to maintain all programs for clients. In 2021, volunteers donated 17,587 hours at GoochlandCares – a value of over $884,172. Throughout the week of April 18-22, GoochlandCares celebrated volunteers with special treats, client testimonies and a meal provided by Lasagna Love. GoochlandCares appreciates its volunteers every day, but Volunteer Week is dedicated to honoring all volunteers as well as encouraging volunteerism throughout the year. Visit GoochlandCares any day of the week, and you will see volunteers donating their time and talents. They are bringing food curbside to clients, sorting donations in the Clothes Closet, taking blood pressure at the Free Clinic, answering and making phone calls, and much, much more. A group of teen volunteers works monthly to pack grocery bags. Local churches provide dinners for staff while the building is open late on Tuesday evenings. Performance Food Group donates turkeys and sides to clients for Thanksgiving and sends volunteers to help distribute.
5/1/22 - Rescue Mission
In July, the G. Wayne Fralin Free Clinic is turning 20 years old. The clinic provides critical, life saving care to those who are homeless in the community. For many of those experiencing homelessness, the thought of affording a medical bill is out of reach, the idea of making it to a doctors appointment across town too much, and the hope of consistent care is often a hope, not a reality.
4/29/22 - News- Herald
Suffolk ranks in the upper tier of Western Tidewater localities in health outcomes and the health factors that lead to them, while neighboring Franklin is near the bottom of the state rankings, according to new city and county health rankings published by the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute. The Western Tidewater Free Clinic, which served 1,223 patients in 9,942 visits in 2020 from Suffolk, Franklin, Isle of Wight and Southampton, continued to provide in-person visits during the year in spite of the COVID-19 pandemic, serving the poorest of the region’s population. In that year, 80% of the clinic’s patients lived at or below 150% of the federal poverty level, which was at an annual income of $39,750 for a family of four, while 90% of them had multiple chronic diseases such as hypertension, heart disease and diabetes. Last year, 77% of patients lived at or below 150% of the federal poverty level of $41,625 for a family of four, while 58% of patients lived at or below 100% of the federal poverty level $27,750 for a family of four. Of its 2021 patients, 36% worked either full or part-time, many with more than one job, while 58% of its patients were women, and 78% of its patients were at least 40-years-old and 61% were African American.
4/25/22 - WYDaily
The Lackey Clinic started with Devine inspiration. The late Dr. Jim Shaw and his wife Cooka felt a pull to serve the underserved within York County and the surrounding municipalities. On April 20, 1995, the Shaws began a partnership with Rising Sun Baptist Church on Old Williamsburg Road. One night a week the Shaws and a handful of volunteers would operate a free clinic. Eventually York County gave permission for the clinic to use the Charles Brown Community Center in Charles Brown Park. While that move gave the team much needed space, the Shaws saw that the needs of the poor were growing. As a result they began looking for ways to open a fully funded permanent facility. In 2003 the Shaws and their volunteers were able to open the Lackey Free Clinic at its current location on Old Williamsburg Road. Since then Lackey Clinic has been able to grow not only the square footage of the facility, but also the number of services it offers. Currently it is the primary care and dental provider for 1,655 low-income and uninsured Virginians.
4/21/22 - Herald Courier
Healing Hands Health Center cut the ribbon a new facility that includes six dorm rooms for visiting medical students which will allow the facility to expand the number of dental students who come from the University of Tennessee for training. The main floor of the facility will serve as office and meeting space for the organization. For seven years, students from the University of Tennessee College of Dentistry in Memphis have been driving to Bristol to get first-hand experience at Healing Hands. The organization wanted to expand the program, but with only a small two-bedroom house to serve as student housing that wasn’t possible. The six dorm-style bedrooms with a laundry facility, kitchen and common area will allow the program to house up to 14 students. “We want to attract more students from out-of-town to be able to come help us get their hands-on experience,” Scott said while explaining a larger staff will give Healing Hands the ability to help more people.
4/20/22 - VCU News
Jenifer Nunez has spent three years helping with research exploring oral health disparities and dental care utilization among patients at CrossOver Healthcare Ministry through Virginia Commonwealth University’s iCubed initiative. Nunez’s upcoming presentation for the VCU Poster Symposium for Undergraduate Research and Creativity will focus on findings related to Latinx patients’ experiences of their oral health that aren’t already reflected in the literature and how they perceive their personal experience. the CrossOver research project will help give insight into how to improve opportunities for the dental safety net to serve as many patients as possible, and understanding why they may not seek dental care is key. Nunez said this research has helped her give back to her community by helping an underserved population’s voices to be heard.
4/17/22 - Daily Press
Lackey Clinic in Yorktown has expanded its telehealth services to accept patients from across the state as demand for remote, quick medical attention has grown since the beginning of the pandemic. Funding for this effort was provided by Sentara Healthcare and Optima Health. “We certainly appreciate them giving us such a generous grant that helps us expand some of our services,” said Larry Trumbore, CEO of Lackey Clinic.
4/15/22 - WHSV3
he anniversary was commemorated by a ribbon-cutting in front of their offices. Over the last year, the clinic has cared for more than 400 patients and helped many find the insurance they can afford. ”We opened as a no-barrier clinic so that anybody who crosses our threshold and comes in our first question is ‘how can we help you today?’ and so if they have a health care need that we can meet we are gonna try to do that,” Susan Adamson, executive director of Blue Ridge Free Clinic, said. In the last year, the clinic has topped 1,200 appointments and provided pre and post COVID-19 care. “We were able to offer some COVID screening and a lot of post-hospital COVID care including home visits to people who were on oxygen when they left the hospital,” Adamson said. While tackling the pandemic, they also tended to the needs of Afghan and Ukrainian refugees in the area. ”We’re just gonna keep our finger on the pulse of what the needs are, what the unmet needs are in Harrisonburg and the surrounding area and that’s what we’re gonna strive to do is meet those unmet health care needs,” Adamson said.
4/14/22 - JMU Breeze
Grant Writing for Agencies — a course offered at JMU — awards two nonprofit organizations $3,500 each in grant money each year. Students this year are working with the Page Free Clinic in Luray, Virginia, that operates every Tuesday from 4 to 7 p.m. The clinic provides medical services to those who don’t otherwise have access to affordable healthcare services, according to its website. McQuade said Page Free Clinic provides women’s health care, basic lab work and referrals to dental agencies, among other services. Ben Dowelski (’10), a JMU alumnus and the executive director of Page Free Clinic, said the clinic’s participation in the course has been a positive experience and that he’s “glad to be a part of it.”
4/13/22- Henrico Citizen
YWCA Richmond has announced its honorees for the 2022 Class of Outstanding Women Awards. Karen Legato was selected for Nonprofit Leadership: Legato has served in the nonprofit sector for 30 years and has focused on promoting human health and welfare for those marginalized. She is now the executive director of Health Brigade, the oldest free clinic in Virginia. “The 42nd class of Outstanding Women Award honorees are truly representative of the resilience and opportunity women have created in our region,” said YWCA Richmond CEO Linda Tissiere. “The class of 2022 includes nine women who embody this work and have helped Richmond become a stronger and healthier community.”
4/12/22 - WHSV3
The Page Free Clinic in Luray is working to provide free preventative breast and cervical cancer screenings to women without health insurance. The clinic offers the screenings once a month as part of its participation in the Every Women’s Life program. The free screenings are available to women ages 50 to 64. “The idea is to provide general women’s health screenings for cervical cancer, breast cancer, and get a comprehensive visit. If we find any sort of abnormalities in those results they’re fast-tracked to Medicaid so this way they can get insurance,” said Ben Dolewski, executive director of the Page Free Clinic. The clinic estimates that around 12% of Page County residents do not have health insurance and says there is a sizeable population of women that have never had a well-woman check or mammography.
4/12/22 - WTKR3
Over the course of several days in late March, 70 patients from across Hampton Roads passed through the doors of the Chesapeake Care Clinic, getting dental extractions, exams and oral cancer screenings free of charge. The first Chesapeake Mini-Mission of Mercy clinic was a partnership between the Virginia Dental Association Foundation and the Chesapeake Care Clinic. Dr. Peter Adams, Dental Director for the Chesapeake Care Clinic, was at the center of it all, helping coordinate volunteers and patient care. For that, and his efforts to provide quality care to patients who need it at the clinic outside of the event, the Virginia Dental Association Foundation and Chesapeake Care Clinic nominated Dr. Adams for the News 3 Everyday Hero award. "It's fantastic. It really, truly is. There are a lot of people in the community that really have some needs and we we don't want to overlook them. If we can help them out just a little bit, maybe one person has a little less discomfort, then we feel like we've done we've done something," Dr. Adams shared.
4/10/22 - Times-Dispatch
When it comes to serving the needs of vulnerable people, Virginia’s free and charitable clinics are unstoppable and the Virginia Association of Free & Charitable Clinics continues to be thankful for the many leaders who help ensure all Virginians can access the care they deserve. Learn more in this Richmond Times-Dispatch op-ed focused on some of the pioneers behind the free clinic movement in Virginia including leaders from Tri-County Health Clinic, Health Brigade, formerly Fan Free Clinic, Bradley Free Clinic, Virginia Health Care Foundation, and Anthem, Inc.
4/7/22 - WSLS News
In order to address some of the barriers to finding permanent housing, the Ram House partnered with the Roanoke Rescue Mission’s Fralin Free Clinic to host a pop-up clinic, offering medical and mental health services. “To go and meet them where they are and gain their trust and treat them, that’s huge. And they’re appreciative,” said Pam Milkowski, the clinic’s manager of health care services.
The Chesapeake Care Clinic recently teamed up with the VCU School of Dentistry and the Virginia Dental Association Foundation to give smile makeovers to 70 patients during a free weekend clinic. Dubbed the Chesapeake Mini-MOM (Mission of Mercy) event, the two-and-a-half day clinic starting March 24 involved 55 volunteer dental health professionals providing 217 free dental extractions, exams and oral cancer screenings. The total value of care provided by dental students and volunteer dentists was $53,210. “Even with Medicaid expansion and the Affordable Care Act, dental care is still not affordable and accessible to everyone,” the VDAF said. “In Virginia, many people are asset limited, income constrained, and employed but cannot afford health insurance.” The agency estimates there are 77,000 uninsured adults in the Hampton Roads area.
5/5/22 - Augusta Free Clinic
The Augusta Regional Dental Clinic will hold a free dental clinic day for eligible uninsured residents of Augusta County ages 18+ on Saturday, April 23. Over 24 volunteers from local dental practices will reinforce the clinic’s staff. Together, they will offer 100 dental appointments to patients that day. Thanks to the generosity of a dozen sponsors, including the Central Blue Ridge Community Foundation, Parrott Orthodontics, and the Virginia Association of Free and Charitable Clinics, appointments will be free of charge.
General dentistry services (consultations, fillings, extractions and cleanings) will be available. New this year, Dentalpalooza will go beyond the ARDC as several local dentists, including Dr. Herring DMD and Dr. Minutella at Blue Ridge Dental, have agreed to welcome uninsured patients for treatment at their practice over the months of April and May. “We have received an outpouring of support from volunteers and sponsors around this community event. This leaves us very humble and grateful,” said Sophie Parson, ARDC executive director. “Due to an overwhelming level of demand from patients, our waiting times can be counted in months, and our capacity to accept new patients is extremely limited. Thanks to our Dentalpalooza volunteers and sponsors, patients who were scheduled in the summer or fall of this year will be seen at the end of the month and for free. We were also able to accept 25 new patients so far. We could not be more excited,” said Misty Ladd, ARDC Office Manager. “The current economic period is challenging for so many low-income members of our community. Being able to get together and offer free dental care to so many 100 patients is so meaningful.”
4/2/22 - Richmond Times-Dispatch
Rufus Phillips is the CEO of the Virginia Association of Free and Charitable Clinics, an advocate for issues of free and charitable clinics; their volunteer workforce of doctors, dentists, nurses, therapists, pharmacists, technicians and other health care professionals; and the patients they serve. He shares his best business decision was "transitioning to a career in health care during a period of dynamic change and innovation in the sector, with an increasing focus being placed on the triple aim: lowering cost of care, improving quality of care and patient experience, and improving population health.”
3/31/22 - WYDaily
Lackey Clinic has announced that it has partnered with Accuhealth to start a new remote monitoring program for its patients. The program would utilize remote monitoring devices in order to help patients manage diabetes, hypertension, and weight loss. As part of the Clinic’s initiative to find “ways to expand its reach beyond its physical walls,” this new program will aid in helping those considered medically disadvantage to monitor their own health outside of the clinic setting. Forty patients will receive a digital scale, Fitbit activity tracker, a nutritionist assessment, a nutrition plan, and, if applicable, a blood pressure monitor and glucometer. The devices use integrated 4G network communication, which allows patients to record their vitals without the need for either Wi-Fi or Bluetooth.
3/30/22 - The Enterprise
After weeks of telehealth appointments being solely offered at the Jeb Stuart Volunteer Rescue Squad, officials involved in the project are preparing to launch a similar service at the Smith River Volunteer Rescue Squad building in Woolwine. The program began in limited areas in January. Christie Fain, executive director of the Caring Hearts Free Clinic of Patrick County, said that while the project is still in the planning stages, it also is ramping up. “We have done a couple trial runs, and we have had a huge success rate with the patients” involved in the trial run. “At Jeb Stuart, we’ve probably done about 30 patients so far,” she said. While she does not know the exact date the program will launch in Woolwine, Fain said appointments will be scheduled on Tuesdays, from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m., which is the same time they are available at Jeb Stuart rescue.
3/30/22 - PR.com
Myra E. Clements, RPh of Richmond, Virginia, has been recognized as a Professional of the Year for 2022 by Strathmore’s Who’s Who Worldwide for her outstanding contributions and achievements in the healthcare field. With over 40 years' experience, Ms. Clements is a community pharmacist at Crossover Healthcare Ministry, where she is responsible for providing free medication to those in need. Located in Richmond, Virginia, the organization is committed to providing high quality healthcare, promote wellness, and connect community talents and resources with people in need in the name of Jesus Christ.
3/29/22 - Virginia Dogwood
US Rep. Abigail Spanberger, a Democrat, serves Virginia’s redrawn 7th District from Caroline County north to Dale County. Spanberger is the first woman to serve in her capacity in the district’s history. The investments she secured and the ones Biden signed into law will help create new jobs, expand healthcare and treatment services, foster economic growth, address longstanding infrastructure needs, increase recreational opportunities, and improve public safety. One of those projects funded includes $15,000 for local nonprofit GoochlandCares to increase access to healthcare in Goochland County.
3/28/22 - Virginia Mercury
Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, a federal program has reimbursed more than $99 million to Virginia providers for offering testing and treatment to uninsured patients. Repayment for claims related to testing and treatment, including monoclonal antibodies and oral antivirals, ended Tuesday, according to the Virginia Department of Health. Reimbursements for administering vaccinations will end on April 5. The funding has supported care for the roughly 648,000 Virginians without health insurance, a group that’s particularly likely to face financial vulnerabilities or medical comorbidities that make them especially susceptible to the virus, experts say.
That’s a big concern for Dr. Teresa Owens Tyson and Paula Hill-Collins, executives with The Health Wagon, a free clinic in Southwest Virginia. One of the least-vaccinated areas of the state, the organization has tested more than 5,000 patients since the height of the omicron surge and administered nearly 6,000 monoclonal antibody treatments. “We don’t have the resources or the hospitals to support another surge,” Hill-Collins said. “If our supply of treatments goes down, there’s no doubt it will cause people to lose their lives.”
If the public health emergency does expire, those people on Medicaid will have to re-enroll for the first time since 2019. During the pandemic, coverage was automatically continued. expires. Tim Davis enrolled in Medicaid in November 2021 and recieves care at the Western Tidewater Free Clinic. He said it would be devastating to lose his benefits, as he has a rare blood disorder that requires specialists. “Doctor visits after doctor visits after doctor visits," Davis said. "I just got Medicaid this last year, finding out I was eligible for it, but before then it was nothing.”
3/18/22 - Washington Post
“I know for most of the country, people were saying [omicron] was mild. I can’t say that we saw that here,” said Teresa Tyson, chief executive of the Health Wagon, a mobile free clinic that serves Virginia’s most rural and least-vaccinated counties. In January and February, Tyson said, she was forced to rent additional space to accommodate the flood of covid-19 patients, dozens of whom ultimately begged for vaccine doses as they were loaded onto ambulances. Covid-19 was a largely preventable disease when omicron arrived, health experts said. And yet in the past three months, more than 150,000 people in the United States have died of it, the vast majority of them from underserved pockets of society.
3/18/22 - WFIR Radio
Federal statistics show Virginia’s mortality rate has risen 15% since the pandemic arrived. Those additional numbers are listed as “excess deaths”, and health care providers say many of them are preventable with some regular visits. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention puts the number of Virginia excess deaths at more than 22,000 in the last two years. Most are directly attributable to COVID-19 itself, but many others are caused by missed medical visits that often mean missed early treatment for common health issues like heart disease, diabetes and high blood pressure.
3/16/22 - SWVA Today
In Marion, the name James Patterson calls to mind an equally prolific figure who has dedicated more than six decades to the health and well-being of his community. Affectionately known as “the Good Doctor,” Dr. James E. Patterson celebrated his 90th birthday March 8 with the staff of the Mel Leaman Free Clinic, where he serves as medical director and still sees patients one day a week. “He is just a pleasure to work with,” said Lisa Mitchell, a licensed practical nurse who has worked alongside Patterson for much of the clinic’s existence. “He’s one in a million, just a wonderful person to be around and a very caring and professional medical provider. He’s a true joy to work with and he truly has the clinic’s best interest at heart.” Patterson helped launch the clinic in 2001 after he was approached by a group of nurse practitioners who wanted to help provide quality healthcare to the working uninsured and needed a medical doctor to back them.
Though Patterson would like to retire soon, he doesn’t want to leave the clinic on unstable ground. Because his is a voluntary role, finding a medical doctor with time to fill it is difficult. Patterson’s contributions to the clinic and compassion to his patients and to clinic staff will carry on long after he receives his well-deserved retirement. “Dr. Patterson really cares for our patients, and he worries about us too. When one of us is sick, he calls to check on us the next day,” said Susan Ferraro, the clinic’s executive director. “He’s just an all-around caring fellow and he’s got a mind like a steel trap. He can remember anything.“ “I cannot imagine the clinic without him here,” she said. “That’s going to be a tough day.”
3/16/22 - News & Advance
The Free Clinic of Central Virginia has hired a new CEO after an extensive regional search. Jen Kilgore Webb, a registered nurse with a master's in nursing, is taking over the helm. Webb has served as interim CEO of the Free Clinic since the departure of former CEO Christina Delzingaro in November 2021. Webb has been an advocate for the underserved since her time working in the emergency room in Lynchburg. Dr. Jim Wright, president of the board of directors of the Free Clinic of Central Virginia, said the Free Clinic has always had capable, even visionary leadership and Webb will continue that tradition. "Her broad understanding of the needs of those we serve and her passion for meeting those needs aligns perfectly with our mission," he said. Webb said she looks forward to working with community partners to continue to improve healthcare. "The Free Clinic is a unique part of the history of downtown Lynchburg," she shares. "My vision of its future is consistent with its past: meeting people where they are and helping them reach their goals in health and life. It is very important to me that everyone understand the significance of the Free Clinic to our community. The work we do here changes lives."
3/16/22 - CBS19 News
March is Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month, and health experts say this is a reminder to get checked, whether it’s a screening test or a colonoscopy. To recognize the month, Sentara Martha Jefferson Hospital is giving away free at-home colon cancer screening tests. The fecal immunochemical test, or FIT, is taken at home and then mailed for testing at a laboratory. This type of test looks for hidden blood in the stool, which can be an early sign of cancer. "Colorectal cancer has a very high cure rate when it’s caught early, but it also has very few symptoms," said Laura Kavanagh, the regional director of oncology at Sentara MJH. The Cancer Center at Sentara MJH has teamed up with the Starr Hill Health Center to identify free clinics in the community where people can get free tests. "It’s important for folks to get tested every year with these tests and so we'll be providing those tests at no cost to patients at the free clinics," Kavanagh said. "We've been focusing on the free clinics in our community and offering the fit test there, and so our first outreach will be at the Greene Care Clinic next week," said Martin. "They have identified patients 45 years old or older who are at risk for colon cancer and that's who will be having a test done next week."
3/10/22 - TimesNews
Zion Family Ministries’ activity and kitchen spaces were busy on Wednesday as the Health Wagon got back to business with its annual late winter free clinics in Wise and Clintwood. Wednesday’s clinic was the first of the late winter events since 2019, when COVID-19 forced Health Wagon staff to stop mass events. While the organization continued with smaller community visits and appointments at its Wise and new Clintwood main offices, the past two years have been a balance between public safety and continuing to serve a region facing a range of health care challenges. Even though Health Wagon CEO Teresa Tyson and her staff felt the pandemic situation had become safe enough to resume mass clinics like Wednesday’s event, the clinic and Thursday’s event in Clintwood were advertised as appointment-only by calls to the Health Wagon’s Wise and Clintwood offices. Tyson said the new system has helped spread out people onsite for health and safety.
3/10/22 - SWVA Today
The Remote Area Medical event, a major nonprofit provider of pop-up clinics delivering free, quality, dental, vision and medical care to underserved and uninsured individuals, is held in collaboration with Mel Leaman Free Clinic, Smyth County RAM Clinic Committee and many volunteers. Instead of being held at Mountain Empire Airport in Groseclose, the clinic will now be held on the main campus of Emory & Henry College in Emory May 21-22. “This is going to be a great partnership. I’m really excited about it,” said the Rev. Harry Howe, chair of the RAM Smyth County committee. Plans are set for patient care sites and there will be much more space for the most requested service, which is dental care.
CHESAPEAKE, Va. (WAVY) — Residents across the Hampton Roads community are eligible to receive free dental extractions at an upcoming clinic in Chesapeake. The Virginia Dental Association Foundation’s (VDAF) Mission of Mission (MOM) program is partnering with the Chesapeake Care Clinic (CCC) to provide about 100 free dental extractions from 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. on March 25 and 26. Officials say dentists and oral surgeons will be on-site to complete the procedures.
3/10/22 - Roanoke Times
Two years ago this month, Virginians hunkered down during a statewide lockdown brought on by COVID-19. It was a scary time as we faced an unknown virus and economic challenges. As leaders of free clinics in Patrick, Galax and Franklin counties, we saw the disruptions and devastation to rural communities firsthand. Yet we also witnessed remarkable compassion, resilience and generosity. Now, almost two years later, we continue to address the burdens that COVID lays at our feet. For those of us in health care, the journey to this point has been especially significant, if not personal, continually challenging us to serve the needs of our patients while protecting ourselves and our families. In rural Virginia — and among the free and charitable clinics that provide a range of healthcare services for many of the residents here — we are confronting a range of demands, some mirroring other parts of the commonwealth, others more uniquely our own.
3/8/2022 - Smithfield Times
A total of $640,000 in grants were given out to area nonprofits by the Obici Healthcare Foundation in its most recent grant cycle including a $64,450 grant to Western Tidewater Free Clinic which provides high-quality, non-emergency health care to Western Tidewater residents who cannot otherwise afford medical, dental or mental health care. Funding will support expansion of dental and medical care services. “We continue to be inspired by our nonprofit partners’ ability to support the residents of Western Tidewater and Gates County throughout the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Thomas Woodward, board president of the Obici Healthcare Foundation. “With these grants, Obici Healthcare Foundation is proud to invest in these impactful programs.”
3/4/2022 - WTKR News3
The CDC is looking into thousands of Virginia deaths during the pandemic, but they didn't die from COVID related issues. Health leaders with the Virginia Free and Charitable Clinics (VAFCC) said they are urging people to come in for preventative care, something CDC data shows would help curb the number of excess deaths, which were up 15 percent in 2020. The CDC defines excess deaths as the difference between the number of observed deaths and the number of expected deaths. Since the start of the pandemic, data shows in Virginia the number of excess deaths is over 22,000. Of that 22,000, nearly 5,400 deaths were attributed to circulatory disease and over 1,100 deaths were due to diabetes. “Chronic conditions like hypertension, diabetes and other conditions can lead quickly to a very urgent situation if not taken care of on a regular basis,” said Rufus Phillips, CEO of the VAFCC. A recent study shows 41 percent of people skipped out on preventative care during the early stages of the pandemic.
3/2/22 - Henrico Citizen
Fantastic news from CrossOver Healthcare Ministry who has received several grant awards from local foundations to support its women’s health and OB program, allow the charitable clinic to expand and enhance its women’s health program and prenatal care. “These grants will be transformational for our women’s health and OB program,” said Julie Bilodeau, CEO. “The combination of these grant awards and these partnerships will expand and enhance the women’s health services, including prenatal and postpartum care, we can provide, and will help improve birth outcomes. This program expansion will help us improve birth outcomes, and support our pregnant clients from their first to fourth trimester. Overall, we are so excited that CrossOver will be able to increase the number of pregnant clients we serve in the upcoming year with high quality care in a medical home setting.”
2/24/22 - RadioIQ
Low-income adults with Medicaid used to only have coverage for extractions or other emergency dental services. Last July that changed and now Medicaid covers cleanings and other care, with no copays or deductibles. Healthcare providers called it a game-changer, stressing that dental care is healthcare. Crossover CEO Julie Bilodeau says that thanks to the expansion, the clinic has been able to bill for services they used to provide for free. Ultimately it’s meant serving more patients. “And so it has allowed us to increase our resources to provide that care that they need, which has been I think transformational for many of them who have not had dental care for five to ten years,” she says. “When I went to each one and asked their offices or their staff, did they plan on expanding their services with the new Medicaid benefit, and most said, we’ll be able to keep the Medicaid patients that we have, the two that did it, but we're not going to be able to expand services,” says Keys. “So definitely left a gap for our community,” shares Adina Keys is Clinic Director at GoochlandCares on their recent decision to expand dental services after learning that none of the five dentists in the county had space to take on more Medicaid patients. Free and charity care clinics like GoochlandCares and Crossover have been trying to fill that gap, but they still rely on volunteer dentists and may have long wait times for an appointment.
2/22/22 - VCU Massey Cancer Center
This year, VCU Massey Cancer Center is investing in community-led initiatives that aim to improve the health outcomes for Virginians. This includes $5,000 to the Northern Neck Middlesex Free Health Clinic in Kilmarnock, VA. The funding will establish the 'Are You At Risk' program, which includes a packet containing oral cancer education materials, a Dental Clinic brochure, Medicaid dental benefits information, a Dental Clinic appointment voucher for a free visit and free oral cancer screenings on particular dates. “We hope these grants will help support a robust infrastructure for our partners and enhance bi-directional communication between the Massey Cancer Center team and community stakeholders,” said Vanessa Sheppard, Ph.D., associate director of community outreach engagement and health disparities at Massey.
2/10/22 - Virginia Telehealth Network
At first blush, the story is a familiar one. Facing a national health crisis without the ability to see patients in person, a healthcare provider makes the predictable transition to telemedicine, and along the way, discovers that what seemed for a long time like a complicated, pie-in-the-sky idea was actually quite practical…and doable. With a little training here and there, physicians and nurses get on board quickly. And patients? They soon discover that the hassles that so often come with going to the doctor – day care arrangements, transportation, time off of work, among them – all those things are no longer as much of a consideration. Patients, they would come to find out, are all over telehealth. Despite the success and popularity of telehealth, the clinic has moved in fits and starts toward a hybrid model that would allow some practices (dermatology and other specialty care, for example) to see patients in person. By and large, it’s the clinic’s nurses – who provide continuity of care for each patient – in consultation with the physicians, who help determine whether a patient needs to be seen in person or can be served via telehealth.
2/11/22 - Commonwealth Times
Kaitlyn Patterson, quality control nurse at CrossOver Healthcare Ministry and former inpatient pediatric nurse at VCU Health, attributes many of the challenges in nursing today to low retention of nurses in hospitals and the COVID-19 pandemic. “When you have a COVID[-19] patient, you have to take many more isolation measures,” Patterson said. “If you’re going into a patient’s room to take vitals or meds, it takes three times longer than usual. However, staffing ratios have not been changed. Adding additional responsibilities to staffing ratios that were already pushing limits has led to severe burnout among nurses.”
2/10/22 - WCYB5 News
Crossroads Medical Mission will soon have new place to provide healthcare, and it's not on the road. The service has provided a mobile clinic for 20 year, but the medical clinic will soon add a stationary clinic along Scott Street in Bristol, Virginia. The clinic provides free healthcare to the uninsured, low income and those who have trouble accessing healthcare. The company says it is excited to expand access. "This is definitely the right time. When this building came open and it's so close to the people in downtown Bristol. To be able to walk here, ride their bikes. But it's so exciting to be able to be able to offer this additional care,” Crossroads Medical Mission Executive Director Cindy Rockett said. The clinic is aiming for the beginning of April for its official opening of the stationary clinic.
2/7/22 - WHSV3
Sophie Parsons, the Executive Director of Augusta Regional Dental Clinic sits down with WHSV3 to discuss the impact of COVID pandemic and Medicaid's expansion for adult dental benefits this past July 1, 2021 on her clinic. The clinic provides oral health care services to both the uninsured and Medicaid recipients in the Stauton, Waynseboro and Augusta County.
2/2/22 - Direct Relief
Bolstered by donations, including from Eli Lilly and Company, the latest round of grants will support groups fighting health disparities in 22 U.S. states, including in Virginia with CrossOver Healthcare Ministry which provides primary, specialty, dental, vision, pediatric, mental health, and other kinds of care to a patient base primarily combined of immigrants and refugees from approximately 100 different nationalities. Direct Relief established its Fund for Health Equity to mobilize financial resources for community health centers, free and charitable clinics, and other nonprofit organizations focused on non-clinical interventions that affect health. Commonly known as the social determinants of health, these factors include a person’s physical, social, cultural, and economic environments.
1/30/22 - NBC29
The Charlottesville Free Clinic works to provide care for the uninsured and underinsured. Clinica Latina focuses on providing a fully Spanish experience for patients two evenings every month. “The goal of Clinica Latina is to reduce the health disparities for Hispanic members of our community and we do that by providing a full Spanish-speaking medical experience. So, during a Clinica Latina night patients are treated by Spanish-speaking staff, and medical providers all the way from the moment they open the door to the moment they get their prescription at the end of their appointment,” said Willa Barnhardt with the Charlottesville Free Clinic. In just the past few years, it’s more than doubled the percentage of Hispanic patients it is seeing. “The program began in 2016 and we’ve already seen a really dramatic increase in Hispanic patients at the Free Clinic. So, in 2014, we had 13% and in 2021, we had 30%,” Barnhardt said. Especially during the COVID-19 pandemic, having a doctor who you can trust and speaks your language is key. “I definitely think that helped, again, break down the barriers, it helped patients feel more comfortable and by feeling more comfortable you’re more willing to have a vaccine that you might not understand fully,” said Barnhardt.
1/28/22 - ABC13 News
A special feature that took a virtual look inside the Free Clinic of Central Virginia to find out what it has to offer in its newly renovated space.
1/28/22 - NBC29 News
As emergency rooms deal with an influx of patients, the Charlottesville Free Clinic is trying to help alleviate that burden. The clinic says it is making sure it sees patients with clinical needs within one to three days of their initial request. It is also encouraging you to see if you’re eligible to become a patient, rather than running to the hospital for non-urgent visits. “We just want to remind the community that for patients who are eligible for care, you know, working uninsured and underinsured adults, we are a better idea than the emergency room for you,” Charlottesville Free Clinic Executive Director Susan Sherman said.
1/27/22 - Fox40
The Delta Dental of Virginia Foundation today announced $576,100 in grants awarded to safety-net providers focused on meeting critical oral health needs including the Arlington Free Clinic, Augusta Regional Free Clinic, Bradley Free Clinic, Free Clinic of Central Virginia, GoochlandCares, and Western Tidewater Free Clinic. “Supporting Virginia’s dental safety net is a critical part of our goal to create healthy smiles throughout the Commonwealth, and we’re eager to continue assisting these organizations in their extraordinary efforts to keep our communities healthy,” said Frank Lucia, president and CEO of Delta Dental of Virginia. Initiatives supported include the integration and expansion of dental and medical care to low-income and uninsured residents, oral health initiatives serving Spanish-speaking families, and the expansion of school-based oral health programs.
1/27/22 - UVAHealth News
A new program to improve healthcare access for people living in Central Virginia neighborhoods with high rates of chronic diseases and significantly shorter life expectancies is now welcoming referrals for its first participants. The program, called WellAWARE, is serving residents of Charlottesville’s Rose Hill and 10th and Page neighborhoods. These neighborhoods have the highest rate of cardiac arrests in the city, and are in the top three for stroke and diabetic emergencies. A quarter of the homes in these neighborhoods have no internet access at home. The life expectancy in this area is 11 years shorter than that of other neighborhoods less than a mile away. Through a partnership between UVA Health and its Office of Diversity and Community Engagement, Charlottesville Free Clinic and Central Virginia Health Services (CVHS), WellAWARE hopes to improve the health inequity these figures demonstrate.
1/26/22 - ARLnow
Seventy-eight local individuals, businesses and organizations were recognized as “Covid Heroes” by the Arlington County Board of Directors including the Arlington Free Clinic. “The superpower of these people and organizations… is to engage the entire community and all of Arlington,” County Board member Takis Karantonis said at the meeting about the Covid heroes. “Their work actually saved lives.”
1/26/22 - News11
The St. Mary’s Health Wagon is receiving more than $40,000 to purchase telehealth equipment. The grant money will go towards purchasing telemedicine carts and connected devices for the Health Wagon that will reduce foot traffic to in-person locations. Funding comes from the Federal Communications Commission COVID-19 Telehealth Program which was created by the CARES Act.
1/26/22 - Gazette Journal
The Gloucester Mathews Care Clinic received a cash donation of almost $2,000 from Franktronics, proceeds from its annual holiday light show. The computer company holds its light show every year at the business location on Route 17, Hayes. Owner Frank Farmer started the light show in 2002 as an at-home display, and has developed it over the years into the current program which combines over 114,000 lights with holiday music, and has its own radio station. Every year, visitors show their thanks by leaving donations at the store, with Farmer and his staff selecting a charity recipient. The Gloucester Mathews Care Clinic was chosen as this year’s beneficiary, the second time it has received this honor. GMCC, located on Industrial Drive in Gloucester, serves uninsured and Medicaid patients who reside in Gloucester, Mathews, and surrounding areas.
1/26/22 - NAFC News
In their continued effort to help vulnerable populations access health care services that address chronic disease, Direct Relief, BD (Becton, Dickinson and Company) and the National Association of Free and Charitable Clinics (NAFC) today announced the 12 free and charitable clinics that collectively received $300,000 in grants through the Continuity in Care program. A multi-year initiative, it supports free and charitable clinics in expanding patient-tailored, innovative models of chronic disease care for vulnerable patients in the United States. CrossOver Healthcare Ministries and Sinclair Health Clinic were two Virginia-based clinics included in this round of grants to fund new or existing programs that are focused on helping patients who have, or are at risk of contracting diabetes and hypertension, through patient education, prevention, medication compliance and patient engagement efforts.
1/19/22 - Wavy News
WAVY TV 10 spotlighted the work of Norfolk-based HOPES Free Clinic offered through Eastern Virginia Medical School. The clinic works to provide sustainable healthcare services to underserved Hampton Roads residents while promoting a unique learning experience for members of the EVMS community.
1/19/22 - Star Exponent
In local health news following state and nationwide trends, the Free Clinic of Culpeper in the past year experienced an uptick in clients of more than 15 percent. 75 percent of clients speak Spanish as their first language, according to Director Tammy LaGraffe, which is up from 60 percent 2020. “A lot of our patients are vulnerable, may live in conditions where they are in groups, have never seen a doctor before in their whole life, so they are coming to us with diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol—severe, chronic issues that need constant management,” LaGraffe said. She adds, “We are seeing a lot of those patients…a big piece of the puzzle is not only helping them, but helping keep them out of the ER. Especially now during COVID—it has never been more important than it is now.” At the start of COVID nearly two years ago, the clinic’s primary population was hit hard with COVID cases, LaGraffe said. Cases have eased with introduction of the vaccine about a year ago, but then jumped again in recent weeks as omicron continues its wide spread. “These past two to three weeks we have been hit with a lot of COVID testing requests and the cases we are hearing about,” LaGraffe said. “We’re doing a lot of teaching…about staying at home, washing hands, wearing a mask, distancing."
1/16/22 - News & Advance
The Free Clinic of Central Virginia, at 1016 Main St., provides a full array of services including medical, dental and behavioral health care. It provides care to people who are uninsured or underinsured, which means their insurance may not cover some services they need. “We treat about 4,000 patients a year and statistics tell us that there’s about 37,000 people in our area who are in the same situation. So we’re always trying to reach more people to let them know that we’re here and we can help them, and if we can’t help them, we can find somebody who can,” Ula Kauppi, director of development, said. The Food Pharmacy Store, as staff has named it, is a designated food bank location and benefits patients because they are able to receive medical services as well as some groceries for their families. Perez-Morris hopes one day the clinic can transform the entire basement into the Food Pharmacy Store, but until then, she just smiles anytime someone walks away with a food bag. “I honestly I feel so good,” she said. “I just I smile every time I see something happening in there. I never could have imagined that it would grow to be this big. We know that the need is there, but just having that feeling of knowing that you’re helping someone else, it’s a great feeling.”
1/15/22 - Wall Street Journal
The rise of the highly contagious Omicron variant is leading healthcare workers to take drastic measures to prevent breakdowns in care. Though Omicron may cause less severe disease than earlier variants, research has shown, infection rates far surpassing previous pandemic peaks has pushed up the tally of people experiencing severe cases of Covid-19. The U.S. this past week reached the highest recorded level of hospitalized patients with confirmed and suspected Covid-19 cases. “We really feel we have an impending medical crisis here,” said Teresa Tyson, nurse practitioner and executive director of the Health Wagon, a nonprofit free clinic that provides free healthcare in Appalachian Virginia. To keep people out of the hospital, the Health Wagon had been treating people with Covid-19 with monoclonal antibodies. Now they are rationing supplies of the treatment, making it more likely that some will need to be hospitalized, Ms. Tyson said.
1/15/22 - Free Lance-Star
In January 2021, The Community Foundation received the largest gift in its 24-year history, $13 million from The Fredericksburg Savings Charitable Foundation. Eleven months later, The Community Foundation distributed $550,000 to 42 local nonprofit organizations from this transformative fund. “The Community Foundation’s Board of Governors and staff are honored to be stewards of the Fredericksburg Savings Charitable Foundation Fund. We have always shared the same goal: to advocate for the vitality and well-being of the Rappahannock River Region. The Community Foundation is already dispersing funds to local nonprofits and will continue to ensure its positive impact upon the region in perpetuity,” said Executive Director Teri McNally. Organizations received funding to support their general operations or specific programs that are critical to their mission which included area free clincis: $60,000 to Lloyd F. Moss Free Clinic and $7,500 to Fredericksburg Counseling Group.
1/14/22 - WSLS 10 News
A nonprofit in Roanoke is teaming up with the Bradley Free Clinic to ensure people in the Roanoke Valley have access to mental health care. On Friday, Tudor House donated $25,000 to the free clinic to help fund its new behavioral services wing. The organization honors Louis Tudor of Roanoke, who died by suicide in 2020. The new wing will allow staff at the clinic and Tudor House to serve those struggling with mental health and suicidal thoughts. Organizers hope the new building will help people have more open conversations about mental illness. “There’s been such a stigma involved with suicide. People don’t like to talk about it or if someone dies by suicide and their family and loved ones aren’t sure how other people are going to respond to it,” said Tudor House Executive Director Kathleen Thorell. The new wing is expected to open sometime this spring.
1/13/22 - Dogwood
“Overwhelmed.” It’s a word often encountered on social media in an effort to describe what healthcare workers have experienced since COVID-19 struck Virginia in March 2020. Naturally, we asked McClure if “overwhelmed” was the right word, considering the overall uptick in patients. It wasn’t, she said. Rather, she viewed the metric as an opportunity to help more people with the resources available. At Sinclair Health Clinic alone, the number of patients increased from 1,276 in 2019 to 1,790 in 2020. “It’s like the challenge of how to meet more needs. We’ve leveled up so many times and we’re now looking at more ways to level up. It’s a privilege to be able to help more people,” Katrina McClure, Executive Director of the Sinclair Health Clinic in Winchester said. “I mean, each person matters. So if we could help more people, we are doing better at meeting our mission, and there’s something wonderful about that.”
1/13/22 - WCBY5
The community came out to support Crossroads Medical Mission at the Michael Waltrip Brewing Company for their celebrity bartender night with Bristol Mayor Anthony Farnum. "We're all excited to have Waltrip Brewing here in downtown Bristol," Farnum said. To be able to have an event like this, where it raises money for a local non-profit here in Bristol, Virginia, it's just a great night." Smiddy, taking a break from pulmonary screenings, straps on his banjo. Dressed casually, as is his custom, he steps out on the gym floor where the RAM clinic is being held and becomes a wandering troubadour. Approaching a woman, he asks, “Now, what town are you from?... Oh, I know your folks.” Together they sing “Amazing Grace,” “how sweet the sound.” For another, he serenades with a few verses of “I’ll Fly Away.” Harmon dances to “Rocky Top,” giving it his all. Winded, and much obliged for the music and heat care services from the RAM clinic, he heads home.
The free medical, dental, and vision care services are what folks have come for, but Smiddy sees further opportunity. Smiddy is well aware that health outcomes are shaped by where you work, where you live, how you live, and your access to services and healthy food–the social determinants of health. When not in his office, he’s usually out on the region’s serpentine mountain roads, piloting his mobile X-ray unit, with which he also brings music.For Smiddy, a song is a potential connection, one that allows him to gain insight into what’s brought this person to this moment of need. “The connection starts when I say, “What’s your favorite song?” he explains. “Gospel, folk, bluegrass, whatever … in this neck of the woods, everybody’s got one." Music works in both magical and clinically substantiated ways. Music therapy is an evidence-based practice. Certified therapists earn degrees from one of more than 80 college and university programs approved by the American Music Therapy Association. Smiddy isn’t a music therapist, but what he shares with its practitioners is a belief in the power of music to open doors. And he employs it in his work: “Music is a bond. A bond is trust. Trust in medicine starts a plan.”
112/22 - National Georgraphic
Rodney Harmon of Floyd County, Virginia, has been flatfooting for 60 years, but never had he danced in a health clinic. He can thank Joe Smiddy for the pleasure. Smiddy, an allegedly “retired” pulmonologist, is the volunteer medical director of the Health Wagon, a nonprofit that provides care to those in the region most in need. On a mild Saturday in September, Harmon is among patients who’ve traveled to the Remote Area Medical (RAM) pop-up clinic in the rural southwest Virginia town of Jonesville to take advantage of free healthcare services, those offered by Smiddy and the Health Wagon among them.
1/7/22 - Cardinal News
Health officials warn that because rural areas tend to be less vaccinated than urban ones that virus rates will get even worse once omicron is established there. Dr. Teresa Tyson of The Health Wagon in Southwest Virginia sent a letter to state and federal health authorities that warned:Teresa Tyson of The Health Wagon.“Many in our region, unfortunately, are somewhat vaccination hesitant compared to other areas. The result is we have a large proportion of our patients who are unvaccinated, have contracted COVID-19 and now desperately need life-saving monoclonal antibody therapies. Here, our seven-day rolling death rate is 5.2 PER 100,000, more than triple the statewide average of 1.4. The current supply shortage of MAB therapies is costing lives in Southwest Virginia and increasing the stress on local hospitals. Immediate governmental action is urgently needed. We are currently on the verge of a medical disaster in Southwest Virginia. We have zero MAB therapies to administer, and until we receive additional supplies, more patients will require hospitalization, and some will die.”
1/6/22 - Times-Dispatch
Last year, staff members at the St. Luke Community Clinic in Front Royal shared a handwritten note with me from a patient expressing her gratitude for the dignified health care services she had received. In the note, this patient described how conflicted she initially felt, with feelings of shame arising from her need for care. However, upon summoning the courage to enter on her fourth visit — as she had not made it further than the clinic’s steps on three prior occasions — she was immediately welcomed, provided the medical attention she required and was never made to feel lesser for needing help. It is unthinkable to me that so many Virginians neglect their health because they lack insurance, yet this story is not uncommon. Many of us may not recognize how intimidating it can be to venture into this unfamiliar arena fraught with so many uncertainties: Without health insurance, where can I access care? What kind of care will I receive? How will I pay for it? Will I get better?
1/6/22 - Daily Progress
Nearly everything about how the Orange County Free Clinic operates has changed because of the pandemic. Nevertheless, the dedicated staff continue to persevere and provide free, essential healthcare services to the community uninsured or underinsured. From volunteer support, to fundraising, to in-office visits, the clinic has adapted amid unprecedented challenges to keep its doors open for its thousands of patients. The key has been to keep the highly-contagious COVID-19 virus out of the clinic. The staff of 10 full-time employees and five part-time employees has been operating without any volunteer help since March of 2020. “We really depend on our volunteers,” said Dorren Brown, Executive Director of the OC Free Clinic. “We’ve had to wear three or four hats each.” Brown said the free clinic depends on volunteers to help with the medication assistance program and to fill nursing positions, among other tasks. With no volunteers available, due to COVID safety protocols, staff members have had to take on the responsibility of performing additional roles.
1/5/22 - WFRI Radio
Janine Underwood, Executive Director with the Bradley Free Clinic in Roanoke, Virignia, sits down with Gene Merrano of WFIR Radio to talk about the continuing strain of the pandemic on her free clinic and others across the state.
1/2/22 - TimesNews
ETSU Health’s Family Medicine Bristol clinic is providing even more health care to low-income and uninsured individuals through a partnership with Healing Hands Health Center, a charitable medical and dental clinic that provides care to adults in Northeast Tennessee and Southwest Virginia. East Tennessee State University has partnered with the clinic for 17 years during free medical health fairs, and for nearly two decades through dental hygiene clinic rotations. In August, ETSU Health’s Family Medicine Bristol clinic expanded the partnership, sending providers to Healing Hands each Wednesday.
12/28/21 - WFXR News
Helen Ferguson, Chief Operating Officer for the Roanoke Rescue Mission, joins Living Local host Kianna Price to talk about the G. Wayne Fralin Free Clinic for the Homeless. The clinic offers critical life-saving services to those suffering from homelessness. Driven primarily by volunteer healthcare providers, the clinic provides healthcare services to homeless individuals including telehealth.
12/24/21 - CBS6 News
Free clinics across the state were seeing a surge in patient demand amid staffing shortages. Those were the findings of a recent survey by the Virginia Association of Free and Charitable Clinics, an organization representing 60 free clinics across the state -- and they said it could impact capacity at those clinics in the Commonwealth. Clinic Leader, Karen Legato reports that since COVID hit, Legato said they have been fighting to keep up with demand. Legato believed services like the ones offered at Health Brigade and other free clinics were crucial -- especially during this time. "These are the places that are reaching the most vulnerable in the community right now," she said. "For them not to have access to care in a pandemic... then you’ve got other issues going on in your community because disease spread from that is huge." Legato hoped to receive more funding from the state and community to help pull through. "This is all of our issue. This is our community, and we need all of those entities working together," she said.
Virginia’s free and charitable clinics have continued to operate during the ongoing pandemic, serving more than 74,000 Virginians in 2020. Hear how the G. Wayne Fralin Free Clinic - Roanoke Rescue Mission is responding to increased patient demand this holiday season.
12/21/21 - WTKR News
Area clinics in Hampton Roads are seeing an increase in patient demand during while at the same time a decrease in volunteers and paid staffing capacity. Despite this, they working hard to ensure their vulnerable patients are able to access safe and quality healthcare services. "We're seeing twice as many of patients now as we did last year, but with the same staffing model that we had a year ago -- we are feeling the pressure," Matthew Stearn, Executive Director of HELP Clinic.
12/20/21 - WUSA9
As COVID-19 cases in Virginia rise, free clinics are seeing an uptick in patient demand. The Virginia Association of Free and Charitable Clinics said 76% of the 50 clinics who responded to their survey have reported an increase in patient demand, most of which has been caused by requests for COVID-19 tests and vaccinations. The association said 40% of those who responded said they’re dealing with paid staffing and volunteer shortages, which are limiting capacity.
The president of the Arlington Free Clinic said they're not seeing COVID-19 cases as much as people coming in reporting mental health problems. Nancy White, the clinic's president, said they're also seeing a lot of people getting medical problems checked out that they've been putting off throughout the pandemic. “Many of them have lost family members. Almost all of our patients lost their jobs in the first days of the pandemic. And it was really hard to get back because their children didn't have school. And so they didn't have childcare," White said. "And so it was a really hard time. Many of them don't qualify for federal benefits. And so the unemployment and some of the issues that kept other people going, they didn't have that. So they've had such a struggle. And so we've really worked to be there to meet that need.”
12/17/21 - Cision
NOVA ScriptsCentral has been recognized as a Health Quality Innovator for 2021. The Health Quality Innovator Awards is the annual awards program created by Health Quality Innovators (HQI) that recognizes and celebrates organization's that are using successful, evidence-based approaches to quality improvement. NOVA ScriptsCentral was selected as a runner up in the Health Equity category for its COVID-19 health literacy efforts as part of its Educate Before You Medicate program. This award category recognizes organizations that have successfully implemented interventions to address disparities by race and ethnicity, socioeconomic status, geographic location, disability, and/or sexual orientation across a range of conditions. "We're incredibly proud that our organizations efforts to provide culturally competent COVID-19 education has led us to be recognized as a 2021 Health Quality Innovator of the Year," said Donney John, Executive Director, NOVA ScriptsCentral. "This is truly a collaborative effort among an incredible team of people working to improve the health of this community."
12/16/21 - YouTube
Many thanks to the hard work of the Greene Care Clinic for providing Santa with a pre-flight physical which has cleared him services this holiday season!
12/13/21 - News-Herold
The Western Tidewater Free Clinic recently received a $10,000 grant award from the Suffolk Foundation to support the provision of dental care to Suffolk-based patients which will improve their overall health, self-esteem, and employability. The Foundation was able to disburse $160,600 to 35 different nonprofit agencies. Since the Foundation received its 501(c)(3) nonprofit community foundation status in October 2007, it has awarded more than $6.8 million in unrestricted and donor-advised grants and scholarships. The Foundation funded agencies seeking support in the following areas: cultural arts, education, environment, health and human need. As the invested funds continue to grow, the board anticipates being able to support more agencies, and a diversity of needs, with more funds.
12/13/21 - Virginia Mercury
Beginning in January, Virginia Medicaid will eliminate its final restriction to the treatment of hepatitis C — the need for providers to receive prior authorization for the medication. For The Health Wagon, a free clinic in Southwest Virginia, getting approval meant filing documents with a patient’s viral load, the genotype of the virus and other risk factors, including whether a patient was using drugs or alcohol. When patients were diagnosed at one of The Health Wagon’s mobile clinics, spotty internet in far-flung rural areas sometimes forced providers to fill out the forms at home, according to Hill-Collins. Authorization could take weeks, and the process became another burden for largely volunteer clinicians serving some of the most vulnerable people in the state. “These providers are really there out of the goodness of their heart, and we’re asking them to spend hours on the phone getting someone treatment they could be treating other patients,” she said. “It’s just a huge, huge barrier.”
12/9/21 - Arlington Magazine
Honored as Best of Arlington Community Health Care is the Arlington Free Clinic. What started in 1994 as a small walk-in clinic treating mostly minor cuts, bruises and stuffy noses is now a critical thread in Arlington’s safety net—providing free, comprehensive medical and dental care and an on-site pharmacy to low-income, uninsured county residents. During the free clinic’s last fiscal year, its volunteers delivered more than $3.5 million in pro bono care, from vaccines and breast cancer screenings to dental exams, physical therapy, mental health services and education around managing chronic diseases like diabetes and hypertension. That included 3,196 primary and specialty care visits, 1,096 specialist referrals, 557 mental health visits, 972 dental appointments and more than 2,175 case management meetings to coordinate medical care with social services.
12/9/21 - Royal Examiner
You can support the St. Luke Community Clinic this holiday season! St. Luke Community Clinic is raffling a hand-sewn quilt created by the women of Front Royal United Methodist Church. Do you need a one-of-a-kind wedding gift, birthday, or Christmas present? St. Luke Community Clinic is selling raffle tickets now for a drawing held on December 21, 2021, at noon. Tickets are $1.00 each, or six tickets for $5.00.
12/2/21 - Smith Mountain Lake
Resurrection Catholic Church celebrated Giving Tuesday on Nov. 30 by presenting proceeds from this year’s Joyous Junque yard sales to area nonprofits. The two smaller sales raised more than $80,000 this year. The presentation last week provided nonprofits with a bit of assistance in time for the holidays. Ellen Holland with the Free Clinic of Franklin County said the nonprofit has been hit with the additional cost of testing for COVID-19. The clinic has spent half of each day since August. testing visitors for COVID-19, she said.
11/30/21 - Altavista Journal
The Free Clinic of Central Virginia announced a change in leadership on November 24, with the resignation of its Chief Executive Officer, Christina Delzingaro, effective December 6, 2021, and the appointment of an interim CEO. Delzingaro will remain with the Clinic in a consultative role for several months. A regional search will be conducted to find Delzingaro’s replacement. Delzingaro was hired in 2014 following the retirement of Robert Barlow. Since 2015, she has served as CEO of both the Free Clinic and Community Access Network, an arrangement that has successfully optimized patient care by promoting efficiencies and cooperation between the two agencies. As anticipated, growth of both organizations has necessitated separate chief executive positions for each. Delzingaro will remain the CEO of Community Access Network. Jen Kilgore Webb, RN, MSN, currently Director of Patient Access at the Free Clinic, will assume the position of Interim CEO. Webb is a board-certified patient advocate who is passionate about improving access to healthcare for the underserved in our community. Webb understands the importance of addressing the social determinants of health and has a history of successfully creating programs that not only address disparities, but also bring people together to accomplish goals as a community.
11/24/21 - Hampton Roads Messenger
Governor Ralph Northam recently announced the winners of the 2021 Governor’s Volunteerism and Community Service Awards. The annual awards program recognizes the outstanding contributions of individual volunteers and volunteer organizations including the following free clinics:
- OUTSTANDING COMMUNITY ORGANIZATION - CrossOver Healthcare Ministry in Richmond which relies heavily on its more than 300 active volunteers who serve as clinicians, nurses, interpreters, front office, and administrative support, donating more than 22,000 hours of volunteer service last year.
- OUTSTANDING YOUNG ADULT VOLUNTEER - Lucy Cummins, a volunteer patient navigator assisting with Spanish interpretation and translation services with the Richmond-based Health Brigade, she stepped up during the pandemic and took charge of developing a strong interpretation plan for future needs.
11/23/21 - WHSV3 News
Ted Sudol played a major role in opening the Blue Ridge Free Clinic, from advocating to raising funds and preparing business plans and was recently honored by the Association of Fundraising Professionals during National Philanthropy Day this year. Sudol was nominated for the award by the executive director of the free clinic, Susan Adamson. “He helped us file for our 501(c)(3) nonprofit status which enabled us for the Great Community Give last April, providing us with about $80,000 in start-up funds and we were able to move into this beautiful new free clinic,” Adamson explained. “This is a community that I have lived in for 20 years. I know well what the needs are. Knowing that the free clinic might not be here to help the people most in need of medical attention, that is just a calling to do something,” Sudol said. Since opening in April of this year, Adamson says there have already been more than 600 patient visits. The clinic provides medications, screenings, referrals and more. “I think for a relatively small area, that shows that there is definitely a need. We are here three days a week trying to meet that need,” Adamson said.
11/23/21 - WHSV News
The Augusta Regional Dental Clinic (ARDC) will participate in Giving Tuesday November 30, with the goal of raising $6,500 to provide free dental visits to 650 school-aged children in the Staunton-Augusta Co.- Waynesboro area by June 2022. Every year since 2012, people around the world have celebrated the Tuesday after Thanksgiving by giving to their favorite nonprofits. The ARDC is asking the community for support this Giving Tuesday to fund its school program. Enrolled families will not have to pay out of pocket for visits, which will take place directly at the children’s school to reportedly help lower dentist anxiety.
“We have had to discontinue our program in 2020 due to the pandemic and are now facing a higher than usual demand from partnering schools and school nurses. Many families have had to delay dental care in 2020 and we are now catching up to make sure every child in our community has access to the care they need,” said Sophie Parson, ARDC Executive Director. 11 schools have enrolled in the program for the current school year, representing about 650 children. The ARDC says it is expecting more in the coming weeks. The clinic hopes to gather enough support on Giving Tuesday to be able to meet the increased demand from local elementary schools.
11/22/21 - Daily Progress
Personal health care—both physical and mental—have taken priority in importance since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic more than a year and a half ago. With that in mind, the Greene Care Clinic has partnered to ensure that uninsured residents of the county will now have access to professional mental health and behavioral counseling services. “We are thrilled to be able to expand the services that we can offer our patients,” said Pam Morris, executive director of the Greene Care Clinic. “The COVID-19 pandemic has been stressful for everyone, but it is certainly challenging for those on a limited income with no health insurance.”
11/17/21 - The Patriot
Throughout the fall, the Community Foundation of the New River Valley (CFNRV) has awarded $184,772 in grants to 56 nonprofits for operational support throughout the region through its Responsive Grant Program. The Free Clinic of Pulaski County received $4,000 of that from the Ann & HW Huff Family Fund.
11/11/21 - InsideNOVA
The Arlington Free Clinic has used grant funding from the Virginia Health Care Foundation to hire a new dental hygienist to provide on-site dental cleanings, which had been halted during much of the early pandemic. Recognizing that poor oral health disproportionately impacts those in poverty, AFC established a modest dental program in 2015 with the support of Arlington County Department of Human Services (DHS) that offered part-time use of one of its dental chairs. Three years later, funding from the Virginia Health Care Foundation and a capital campaign raised the funds needed to build, outfit and staff a new three-chair dental clinic onsite. While the Free Clinic’s dental program continued to provide in-person services as needed non-stop throughout the pandemic, anything that could be done “virtually” was transitioned to telehealth for safety purposes.
11/10/21 - Coastal Virginia
The 2021 Giving Back Awards, shining a spotlight on nonprofit organizations and businesses that make a profound impact on our Coastal Virginia community and Chesapeak Care Clinic is one of this year's recipients and here's how they're making a difference: last year, the clinic filled 6,281 prescriptions valued at $1.4 million. They also introduced a medication mail delivery program to send non-refrigerated prescriptions and other medical supplies to patients’ homes during the COVID-19 outbreak; originally entirely volunteer-run, The Chesapeake Care Clinic now has 12 staff members and more than 500 licensed medical, dental and administrative volunteers; the clinic launched a Remote Patient Monitoring system in response to telemedicine’s struggle to acquire accurate monitoring of a patient’s vitals, such as blood pressure; and patient education is part of the clinic’s treatment plan; the nonprofit offers weekly educational clinics to discuss blood pressure, diabetes, wellness and exercise.
11/10/21 - Hearld Courier
The Health Wagon is currently focusing its outreach efforts on providing COVID-19 vaccinations for unvaccinated residents.[The Health Wagon logo]The Health WagonDavid Crigger | Bristol Herald CourierDr. Teresa Tyson, president and CEO of Health Wagon, said this week the rural health provider has been working with businesses and other entities to provide vaccinations for those who need them. Based in Wise, the Health Wagon is a mobile clinic that provides a range of medical services to residents in Buchanan, Dickenson, Lee, Russell, Scott and Wise counties.
“We’ve probably given about 6,000 vaccines. That has been the core of what we’re trying to do to end this pandemic is get people vaccinated,” Tyson told the Bristol Herald Courier. “If there are offices out there that need our assistance, we can come to them and vaccinate. We have an adequate supply of Pfizer and Moderna, so we’re ready and willing to vaccinate.” Southwest Virginia has some of the lowest vaccination rates in Virginia. The region is led by Washington County at 49.4%, and no Southwest Virginia county or city has half its population fully vaccinated. Lee County — which has just 36.3% of its population fully vaccinated — sports the lowest rate of the state’s 95 counties, according to the Virginia Department of Health.
11/9/21 - WNSV3 News
The Blue Ridge Free Clinic, which first opened its doors to the community this past spring, will benefit from the students in the Physicians Assistant Program at James Madison University who are fundraising for the clinic. An online silent auction kicks off Wednesday and runs until Saturday night, with all proceeds going directly to the clinic. Some items up for auction include local art pieces, University of Virginia basketball tickets, and a basketball signed by University of Virginia men’s basketball head coach Tony Bennett. Susan Adamson, the administrative director of the free clinic, said funds raised will help cover the costs of things like medications for patients.Adamson said since its opening, the clinic has had almost 600 patients visits and cares for about 350 patients. “It’s just great that the community knows we’re here. The people that need us are coming out, they’re finding us,” Adamson said.
11/8/21 - Winchester Star
Sinclair Health Clinic has received a $20,000 grant from Truist Foundation to support its Project ExTRA: Expanding Treatment Room Availability initiative. This will enable the clinic to convert non-clinical space into additional treatment rooms and outfit them with essential furnishings and equipment. “We are grateful to the Truist Foundation for helping us meet the health care needs of our growing number of patients by supporting our Project ExTRA initiative,” said Robbie Fazen Marchant, the clinic’s board chair. “As a 35-year-old nonprofit clinic with a founding mission to serve those without adequate health insurance, Sinclair Health Clinic’s services are more critical than ever. The Truist Foundation’s grant award will allow us to properly furnish our newly constructed clinic exam rooms, ensuring that we can provide high-quality care to more patients in a timely, efficient manner.”
11/5/21 - NV Daily
Volunteers took on projects to help area nonprofits on Friday for the United Way of Front Royal-Warren County’s Day of Caring. The United Way chapter’s Executive Director Steven Schetrom called the day a success, with 55 volunteers completing projects for a handful of local nonprofit groups and for the county. “It went really well,” Schetrom said, later adding that the organization reached its goals for the day. A crew from the Warren County Department of Public Works pulled up old flooring panels in the St. Luke Community Clinic on North Royal Avenue. More than a dozen department employees began around 8 a.m. after the early morning kick-off meeting with other teams. The department crew finished its project in a few hours.
Director of Public Works Mike Berry said that Warren County Administrator Edwin Daley asked him to gather a team of volunteers from the county to participate in the Day of Caring. Employees from the department’s various divisions stepped up to help. “I think it’s great to be able to help the community, especially to help a nonprofit,” Berry said. Workers removed molding, panels and foam padding across the first floor of the clinic, down halls, offices and the entryway. The clinic plans to replace the floor.
Arlington Free Clinic Supports Spanish-Language Campaign to Get 5-11 Year Old Latino Kids Vaccinated
11/5/21 - DCist
Latino parents of 5 to 11-year-old children in Montgomery County will be the target of the next series of Spanish-language videos featuring La Abuelina, part of a public health campaign launched last year by the county’s Latino Health Initiative and Por Nuestra Salud y Bienestar, a community partner focused on reaching the Latino population. In Arlington, Nancy White, executive director of Arlington Free Clinic, which serves uninsured residents in the county and an overwhelmingly immigrant population, said apart from language or technology barriers and misinformation, they also faced time constraints. Some residents work irregular hours or can’t find childcare or transportation to vaccine clinics. “We were able to provide vaccine clinics on Saturdays and in the evenings when they weren’t working and made convenient for them, but we also had a team of of nurses and other volunteers to call them and talk to them about the importance of vaccines to answer their questions, to encourage them and to sort of dispel some of the myths that were going on,” White told DCist/WAMU. White estimates that around 70% of the clinic’s patient population has been vaccinated, and since some were likely vaccinated outside of the clinic, it’s likely that number is even higher.
Free Clinics Partnering with VCU Health Workgroup Keeping Virginia's Latinos Informed About COVID-19
11/4/21 - ABC8 News
VCU Health has partnered with over community organizations, including CrossOver Healthcare Ministry and Health Brigade, to help Latinos living in Virginia get the most up-to-date information about COVID-19 in a way that is culturally relevant. The partners have helped the workgroup navigate decisions when it comes to appropriate context and language. “It is important to make sure that you have the voices of the individuals you want to serve engaged in developing your strategies,” Chief of Health Impact for VCU Health Sheryl Garland emphasized.
11/3/21 - Kolt Country
When Lt. Col. Natalie Trogus (USMC) found her team unable to supply resources to more than 5,000 Afghan refugees housed on the Marine Corps Base Quantico in Quantico, Va., she turned to her personal network of friends for resources. With limited funds and an urgent need, Trogus knew she would quickly exhaust her resources and that donated goods were her only option. One of her colleagues, Whitney Zatzkin-Bowman, happened to serve on the board of NOVA ScriptsCentral, a charitable pharmacy based in West Falls Church, Va. Zatzkin-Bowman contacted the pharmacy's executive director, Donney John, PharmD for help. In turn, John, leveraged his network, reaching out to Direct Relief, an organization that specializes in disaster relief.
The end result: Through its partnership with Direct Relief, NOVA ScriptsCentral, secured 5 pallets containing more than 14,000 goods. Among the many items were infant and geriatric nutrition supplements, soap, hygiene kits, and disinfectant wipes.
11/2/21 - WCYB5
The Health Wagon is hosting a free dental event coming up later this week. Thursday’s event is called the ‘Davey’s Dental Shuffle’ in honor of the organization’s operation director who passed away.
10/28/21 - InsideNOVA
Virginia Hospital Center has announced an initiative to provide the Arlington Free Clinic with free access to the Epic electronic-health-record system. Epic serves as a digital database for patient charts, giving real-time information on medical history, diagnoses, allergies, medications and lab results. “Virginia Hospital Center has worked closely with the Arlington Free Clinic throughout the clinic’s 27 years of operation, ensuring that all of our neighbors have access to the care they need for optimal health and well-being,” said hospital president James Cole. “It is our pleasure to add our partners at AFC to our Epic community, which will lead to improved health care and better health outcomes for the patients we collectively serve.”
Every year, the Arlington Free Clinic delivers care to approximately 1,600 of the community’s most vulnerable residents, and its existing electronic-patient-records system was in need of replacement. “I’d like to extend an enormous ‘thank you’ to VHC for offering to bring us onto its Epic account at no cost,” Free Clinic president Nancy White said. “This transition poses unique obstacles, and the hospital’s contributions have been essential in allowing us to overcome those obstacles to successfully convert to Epic without missing a beat in delivering quality care to our patients.”
10/25/21 - Augusta Free Press
Area free clinics will benefit from the generosity of Shenandoah Valley Electric Cooperative members by receiving an Operation Round Up grant this fall. Recipients include the Page Free Clinic to offset expenses for equipment and volunteer support for bringing a Remote Area Medical clinic to Page County (remote clinics are a major nonprofit provider of free pop-up clinics for those in need) and the Sinclair Health Clinic for essential medical supplies to meet the healthcare needs of its growing patient population (Sinclair Health Clinic is the only affordable primary care provider for uninsured residents of Winchester and Frederick and Clarke counties).
10/25/21 - Pilot News
Kent Lam, an assistant professor in otolaryngology-head and neck surgery at Eastern Virginia Medical School, was named a Top 40 Under Forty. Outside of his normal work day, Dr. Lam has helped develop a monthly otolaryngologic student-run clinic as part of the larger HOPES Free Clinic at Eastern Virginia Medical School. I currently serve as a faculty preceptor for this otolaryngologic clinic, where I can simultaneously provide care to the underserved and enhance the education of medical students.
10/22/21 - Martinsville Bulletin
Orders are being taken now for an assortment of chili that will be ready on Nov. 6. It’s all part of Caring Hearts Free Clinic’s Chili Cookoff, when the quarts of chili — which must be reserved ahead of time — will be ready to pick up between noon and 3 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 6, at 835 Woodland Drive.
10/20/21 - Southside Sentinel
Little Miss Spat contest hopeful Emalynn Norwood and 2021 Urbanna Oyster Festival queen contestant Madysen Davis paired to form Mission MDX. Their project was about raising awareness and money to help supplement the Northern Neck-Middlesex Free Health Clinic with the diabetic supplies needed. Together, they raised $3,986.60. With the money raised, they purchased bulks of glucometers, glucometer kits with test strips, glucose tablets, lancets, lancing devices, bandaids, cotton balls, hand sanitizer, sanitizing wipes and alcohol pads.
10/7/21 - DirectRelief
Hearing that medical supplies and nutritional support, especially for pregnant women, new mothers, and infants was a priotiy for thousands of Afghan refugees at nearby Marine Corps Base Quantico, NOVA ScriptsCentral, Executive Director Donney John contacted Abbott Laboratories to request their Pediasure nutritional supplement. John also connected with Direct Relief, a longtime partner, for pallets of requested items shipped from Direct Relief’s warehouse in California, to Virginia. The shipment included more than 14,000 bottles of Pediasure, Similac and Ensure, hygiene kits, Dove soap, and disinfectant wipes.
For John, the mission was similar to the daily work he and his colleagues do to support local safety-net clinics. It also reflects the sometimes unexpected ways that safety net health providers can further contribute to their neighborhoods. “Our goal is always to work to serve underrepresented communities. We serve many undocumented individuals and others who are new to the country. This continues the mission and is not anything that’s out of the ordinary for us,” he said. Last year, NOVA ScriptsCentral provided 2,647 people with medications valued at over $3 million and supported other organizations with close to 20,000 pieces of PPE, including 20,450 masks. Since 2006, NOVA ScriptsCentral has dispensed $80 million worth of medications to partner clinics for distribution to 30,000 low-income, underserved, and uninsured patients. “We are helping the people who have no insurance. There are not many resources available to these communities. When you’re cash-paying, undocumented, you don’t qualify for many benefits. We fill that void. Were we not around, there would be countless numbers of people who would be struggling to get life-saving medicines,” he said. NOVA ScriptsCentral relies primarily on private donations from local foundations and individuals.
10/7/21 - NV Daily
The Community Foundation of the Northern Shenandoah Valley has announced it has awarded $44,000 in grants to area nonprofits from two Foundation funds on Oct. 5 during a virtual “Donor Thank You/Grant Announcement Event.” The Paul and Martha Rees Fund, established in 2014 by BB&T Bank, awarded $25,500 in grants which included award to both St. Luke Dental Clinic and the Dr. Terry Sinclair Health Clinic.
10/5/21 - The Phil
Since its opening day in 1993, the Augusta Regional Clinic has provided low-cost, quality healthcare to patients in Augusta, Staunton and Waynesboro. With 20 staff members and eight patient rooms, the clinic can see around 2,400 patients a year, many of them uninsured or on Medicaid. Sophie Parson, executive director at the clinic, says that accessibility is at the heart of who they are. “Our mission is to look for gaps and be there for community members,” says Parson.
10/4/21 - CBS19 News
Nearly two dozen organizations have received grants from the Rappahannock Electric Cooperative's Power of Change campaign. The electric cooperative makes awards twice each year to support nonprofits and charitable organizations in the communities it serves. “These awards were made possible because of the contributions made to The Power of Change, REC’s member-funded charitable program,” said Casey Hollins, Managing Director of Communications and Public Relations. “Their generosity has a significant impact on their community as the funds help local organizations provide necessary services.” The Greene Care Clinic Inc. got more than $4,800 to pay for comprehensive eye exams and service to 35 patients over a 12-month period.
10/3/21 - NBC10 News
COVID-19 is affecting Latinx families at an alarming rate, but outreach efforts in Roanoke are helping combat the pandemic. “We try to help more of the Spanish speakers because when they go look for resources it’s hard for the language,” said Yomaly Henriquez, with the Bradley Free Clinic “And we want to help [make sure] that they receive our service.” In just three months, she has helped 230 Spanish-speaking patients in the community. During a health fair, a line formed outside the picnic shelter for people who wanted a COVID-19 vaccine. Councilwoman Vivian Sanchez-Jones said outreach efforts like this have helped 70% of the Latinx in the Roanoke Valley receive at least one dose.
9/29/21 - WAVY News
Chesapeake Care Clinic in the Hampton Roads area has just finished extensive renovations to their building to increase patient volume and services. Enhancements include expanding available dental services, addition of on-site lab, and expanding the number of patient exam rooms from two to six.
9/28/21 - WMRA
Harrisonburg’s free clinic closed at the end of 2020. Nearly one year later, its successor has a permanent home, and it’s meeting pent-up demand. WMRA’s Calvin Pynn reports. By the time the Blue Ridge Free Clinic had opened, patients in under-served communities had experienced a gap in healthcare. Nurse Practitioner Susan Adamson was a volunteer provider at Harrisonburg-Rockingham Free Clinic, and knew that she and her staff at Blue Ridge would have their work cut out for them.
9/16/21 - VA Telehealth Network
From its very beginning, Health Brigade put a premium on inclusivity, swinging its doors wide to the community, irrespective of a patients’ race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, or ability to pay. Its compassionate, non-judgmental environment helped forge a reputation focused on helping the individual. But the advent of the pandemic quickly challenged Health Brigade’s longstanding capacity to serve its patients. And yet, the service teams pivoted quickly – though with some uncertainty – toward an agency wide telehealth model.
“I have to say, I was pretty pleasantly surprised,” she says. “I think the care is equally effective. I think that the therapeutic relationship is not harmed, and you’re still able to really provide quality care through a telehealth format.” Dr. Azria-Evans also notes the logistical advantages of telemedicine, especially for so many of her clients that live 100 percent below the poverty level and for whom transportation to and from the clinic is a major undertaking.
9/22/21 - WJHL News
Leaders of the Health Wagon in Southwest Virginia have been working exhausting overtime hours at their clinics and mobile units to provide COVID-19 testing, vaccines, and monoclonal antibody treatment to patients. They are also providing the treatment to Ballad patients, to take some of the burden off of hospital workers.
9/18/21 - Daily Progress
The Madison Free Clinic is expanding hours starting next week. The new hours, which go into effect Sept. 20, are Monday - Friday 9 a.m. - 12 p.m. with additional afternoon hours on Tuesday from 3-6 p.m. and Thursday from 4-7 p.m. to accommodate a growing list of clients. The office hours are for patient screening and sign-up. Jana Jackson, the executive director of the Madison Free Clinic has been working to increase awareness of the clinic and services it provides since she started as an administrative assistant in 2020. Jackson, a life-long Madison resident, was shocked and concerned about the number of county residents that didn’t know about the clinic or the care it provides to residents of Madison County. “I’m always surprised to find people that have no idea we exist,” said Jackson. “We have partnered with social services, other non-profits and churches to help get out the word. By offering services in other locations we have introduced the free clinic to an entirely different group of people. Outreach has been my number one goal. It was the driving force behind the health fairs we offered last winter.”
9/16/21 - Star Exponent
After a year’s hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Free Clinic of Culpeper is again pleased to announce its Oyster Fest fundraiser on Oct. 2. The evening event will help to provide life-saving medical care and prescriptions to community members in need who do not have health insurance. The Oyster Fest dinner, music and silent auction will take place on Saturday, Oct. 2, from 4 to 8 p.m. at Rock Hill Farm, a full-service event venue in Culpeper County. “We are so appreciative of the local support this event receives,” clinic Director Tammy LaGraffe said. “From the beautiful event site to the food to the music, along with all the wonderful sponsors and silent auction donations and attendees, the Culpeper community truly shines in their support of Oyster Fest.”
Oyster Fest is the clinic’s largest fundraiser, LaGraffe said. Its proceeds, along with other donations, comprise two-thirds of the clinic’s budget. The remaining one third of the clinic’s funding comes from grants and the state budget. In 2020, the first year of the COVID-19 pandemic, the clinic served more than 500 patients, providing medical care and prescriptions valued at more than $1.3 million. “We welcomed on average 20 new patients each month,” LaGraffe said. “Our services continued during the pandemic, with telehealth appointments offered during a portion of the year for everyone’s safety.”
9/16/21 - Rappahannock News
The Rappahannock Rough Ride, a one-day bike tour, is back and better than ever this year! This annual tradition, which went virtual last year due to COVID-19, is a chance for people to escape the crowds and explore the backroads of the county. Proceeds will benefit the Fauquier Free Clinic, which also serves Rappahannock residents. This year’s event kicks off on Saturday, Sept. 18, at Washington Volunteer Fire And Rescue, 10 Firehouse Ln., in Washington. Registration is from 7:30 - 8:30 a.m., and the ride starts at 9 a.m. There are multiple routes for you to choose from that range in distance and difficulty. Whether you’re looking for a challenging distance, gravel course, or a shorter, family-friendly loop, there will be an option for you.
9/15/21 - AZCenter
In rural Central Appalachia, healthcare providers with the Health Wagon use a mobile clinic to deliver critical care to patients with COVID and long-haul COVID symptoms.
9/14/21 - WJHL News
Healing Hands Health Center will host a free health fair on Oct. 6-7 held at 245 Midway Medical Park. The event is open to the public, but appointments are required to receive care. Anyone interested in setting an appointment is asked to call 423-652-0260 Ext: 3 to see a doctor or schedule a chest x-ray.
9/14/21 - Augusta Free Press
Augusta Regional Dental Clinic, Inc. is hosting Dentalpalooza this Saturday for eligible uninsured residents of Augusta County ages 18 years old and older. Over 15 volunteers from local dental practices will reinforce the free clinic’s staff in their ability to provide general dentistry services (consultations, fillings, extractions and cleanings) to 70 patients that day.
9/12/21 - Star Exponent
The Orange County Free Clinic will hold its first in-person fundraising event since 2020 next month. Dorren Brown, Executive Director, hopes previous and new players will come out to support the clinic at the 18th annual Tony Fogliani Memorial Golf Tournament.
9/6/21 - WHSV3
The Blue Ridge Free Clinic in Harrisonburg opened its doors this past spring and has been growing ever since.
“We knew the first place was temporary, but we needed to open because the RAM clinic happened in April and we needed there to be a place for those patients to come,” Susan Adamson, Administrative Director of the clinic, said. Adamson said over the last four months they have had over 300 appointments and have cared for 200 patients, but have outgrown the space. “We were elbow to elbow and just using paper charts and we had far exceeded the capacity of the 1,000-square foot place,” Adamson said. The clinic has now moved to a new 2500-square foot space but did not have to go far. The new location sits directly above their old spot, located on the corner of Martin Luther King, Jr. Way and Reservoir Street in Harrisonburg.
9/2/21 - VT News
Alex Miner, under the mentorship of Cynthia Morrow, is a third-year student at the Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine. She has spent the summer working under a prestigious Gold Student Summer Fellowship to follow her passions relating to neuroscience and international health. Her project is focused on patient, provider, and resource-based variables contributing to mental health inequities and develop interventions for patients with limited-English proficiency at the Bradley Free Clinic in Roanoke. The free clinic is open to low-income, uninsured, or underinsured residents who come seeking care for illnesses, minor injuries, and ongoing medical conditions and has recently been working to serve more Spanish-speaking patients.
8/31/21 - Lifestyle Kolt County
The Health Brigade, formerly Fan Free Clinic, is one of several grant recipients of Direct Relief's Fund for Health Equity which mobilizes financial resources for free and charitable clinic focused social determinants of health. The funds will help sustain general operations at Health Brigade, which is Virginia's oldest free and charitable clinic and primarily serves patients who identify as persons of color and members of the LGBTQ+ community, including several essential staff positions as the organization scales its services to care for people on Medicaid, a growing population of patients.
8/31/21 - Loudoun Now
Loudoun County allocated nearly $2.5 million to 36 area nonprofits and faith-based organizations working to mitigate the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. The allocation are funded through the American Rescue Plan Act, from which the county government has received $40.2 million in the first of two payments from the federal government. Loudoun Free Clinic was included in this funding and will receiving $103,129.
8/31/21 - ABC8 News
The Free Clinic of Powhatan held a ribbon cutting ceremony for their new facility on Aug. 30, after three years of fundraising efforts – and they’ve already tripled the number of patients seen in the months since the facility opened. The clinic provides medical, dental and mental health services, including women’s health, case management, prescription care, specialty doctor care and emergency food for those in need. The clinic is also expanding its services following the move, with a focus on providing behavioral and mental health services.
8/25/21 - Roanoke Star
The Bradley Free Clinic broke ground on a new 1,900-foot expansion to serve the community’s behavioral health needs. The Robertson Behavioral Health Wing will include six counseling rooms and group counseling spaces built on the existing facility. While fundraising has been very successful, materials costs have increased the cost of the new facility. As a result, the Clinic is seeking $200,000 in additional funding to complete the new facility. “We could have delayed the construction to seek additional donations, but there is such a critical need for these services now,” said Executive Director Janine Underwood. “We are certain the community will support the Clinic as we face this financial shortfall.”
8/23/21 -ARL Now
Nancy White, the CEO of the Arlington Free Clinic for the past six years, provides her thoughs in this opinion column on how an organization can effectively address health disparities in a community. For 27 years, Arlington Free Clinic (AFC) has had a clear mission of providing free, comprehensive healthcare to low-income, uninsured Arlington adults through the generosity of volunteers and donors. As we emerge from the pandemic and consider our new-normal, I’ve given thought to what has made AFC successful and how our strategic focus will help us continue. Disciplined focus on mission: Providing healthcare is what we do best, and this focus has allowed the organization to resist the seduction of funding opportunities that would take us off-mission or duplicate services already available.
8/21/21 - Freelance Star
Living Water Community Clinic in Locust Grove expands to include dental services after an investment of more than $108,000 — raised from fundraisers, individual donations and grants from local clubs and businesses.
8/13/21 - Cision
The CAPTRUST Community Foundation (CCF), a CAPTRUST employee-run 501(c)(3) foundation whose mission is to enrich the lives of children in local communities, today announced that the organization has donated $510,000 to 56 charities around the country as the firm celebrates its second annual Giving Day. Bradley Free Clinic was one of 56 organizations to receive funding that totaled $510,000.
8/11/21 - Times-Dispatch
Because of limited healthcare access, Zakia McKensey of Nationz Foundation reports, so many transgender women, including herself, sometimes would go to extremes to receive care, such as potentially dangerous silicone injections from an unlicensed person. Before McKensey started her own organization, she worked for what was then Fan Free Clinic, a Richmond-based health clinic that provides health services to underserved residents.
Karen Legato, the executive director of the organization now known as Health Brigade, said that McKensey, among others, helped forge a path in providing more LGBTQ care. Health Brigade was one of the few clinics at the time to provide care to trans people “with dignity,” Legato said, helping to normalize care for the LGBTQ community. But she said Health Brigade should not be the only few services to do so — diverse care needs to be mainstream. Both Legato and McKensey emphasized the importance for health professionals to frame their services to be more inclusive of LGBTQ patients.
8/12/21 - JMU
Page County doctors will get some much-needed help beginning in spring 2022 when James Madison University launches a residency program for doctoral students training to become advanced counseling practitioners or counselor educators. During the year-long process, the graduate psychology department will partner with Valley Health, the Winchester-based healthcare system that operates Page Memorial Hospital and the Page Free Clinic, to develop the program.
8/5/21 - Virginia Gazette
Lackey Clinic, a Yorktown-based free health care center, will continue to offer telehealth options through its virtual urgent care program in order to provide medical care to uninsured people. With this virtual urgent care program, the clinic plans to increase its reach by offering services to patients who do not have transportation, adequate child care, time off of work, income disparities or translation capabilities. “We have been able to prescribe and provide affordable prescriptions, medical guidance and patient education. Many say they would either not have sought care or would have gone to an ER,” volunteer medical provider Ralph Robertson said. The clinic, founded in 1995, offers primary and specialty medical, dental, eye and behavioral telehealth services for low-income, uninsured adults on the Peninsula.
8/3/21 - Fauquier Now
The Fauquier Free Clinic and its partners will offer free dental care to adults in the region Saturday, Oct. 2, at Fauquier High School in Warrenton. The first event of its kind here, “Piedmont Smiles” will provide cleanings, fillings, extractions, oral surgery and endodontic services. Adults from Fauquier, Culpeper, Rappahannock, Madison and Orange counties will be eligible. “In our region, there’s a tremendous need for accessible dental care,” Fauquier Free Clinic Director Rob Marino said. “Oral health is an essential component of overall health; it impacts your physical health, mental health, and can even have an effect on social or economic prospects.”
8/2/21 - Loudoun Now
The Claude Moore Charitable Foundation has committed $500,000 to help the Loudoun Free Clinic to undertake a major renovation and expand its facilities. “It is an extraordinary gift that will enable us to take the clinic to a higher level, allow us to serve more people in need and provide an enhanced environment so we can continue to be a leader in providing primary care to the County’s most vulnerable,” stated Executive Director Maribeth Sheehan.
Enrollment at the clinic increased by almost 40 percent following the COVID-19 pandemic and continues to rise. “The Loudoun Free Clinic fills a critical healthcare need in the county,” stated Dr. William A. Hazel Jr., the foundation’s senior deputy executive director. “They provide much needed healthcare to county residents and the foundation is pleased to provide funding so they can not only continue their good work but also increase the number of residents served.” The project will increase the number of exam rooms by 40 percent and provide renovated lab space and a larger waiting room. Sheehan said the donation will have a far-reaching impact. “In addition to this gift, over the last year the foundation has truly been a guiding light that, through its leadership, has enabled us to navigate the many issues we have faced throughout the pandemic,” she said.
8/2/21 - Roanoke Times
A community coalition, the Roanoke Valley Collective Response to the Opioid and Addiction Crisis, operated by volunteer leadership and more than 300-person-strong since 2018 is seeking funding to mount a sustained battle against addiction and overdoses in the Roanoke region. The Roanoke Valley Collective Response, which is administratively based at Bradley Free Clinic, needs $600,000 over three years to hire the group’s first executive director and provide an adequate budget to begin to pursue their plan.
7/31/21 - Augusta Free Press
The House of Representatives voted this week to approve funding for 10 Central Virginia projects totaling more than $6.3 million for Virginia’s Seventh District. Congresswoman Abigail Spanberger (D-VA-07) worked directly with Central Virginia officials to solicit these requests, move these projects forward, including $15,000 for GoochlandCares to increase access to healthcare services in Goochland County. The funding would be used to purchase a second van for the GoochlandCares transportation program — increasing the program’s efficiency and the number of people that can be transported to healthcare appointments, the pharmacy, and additional health-related destinations each day.
The Culpeper Wellness Foundation recently announced $117,838 in grant awards to 14 local organizations providing community assistance in areas of medicine and health, nutrition, recreation and fitness, education, aging and recovery services, justice system advocacy and public transportation. The 2021 Healthy Living Grant recipients are the Orange Free Clinic awarded $10,000 to purchase of devices and supplies in support of patient chronic care management (nebulizers, pulse oximeters, digital blood pressure cuffs, glucometers) and the Madison Free Clinic awarded $10,000 to support community heart health via the purchase of EKG and AED equipment; staff & volunteer training in equipment use.
7/22//21 - Catholic Herald
A new, high-tech ultrasound machine was donated by the Knights of Columbus Fr. Julius J. Cilinski Council 10947 in Clifton to the Manassas Mother of Mercy Free Medical Clinic in Manassas. Alexandra Luevano, program director at the clinic, said the new machine takes higher-quality images and works faster than the old machine it replaced, allowing the clinic to serve high-risk patients more effectively. “A lot of our patients are high risk and require growth scans frequently,” Luevano said. “Instead of sending them somewhere else where they would have to pay to get these growth scans, they’re able to have those scans done here at the clinic.” Many of the patients at the clinic have gestational diabetes, while some are at risk from high blood pressure, age or previous pregnancy loss. “This machine will continue to allow us to see pregnant women (who) are in need of more extensive services that would cost significant amounts of money if we were to send them anywhere else,” Luevano said. The new equipment will help the clinic expand previously unavailable services.
7/21/21 - CVILLE Weekly
On July 1, over 750,000 adult Virginians became eligible for dental coverage under the state’s expanded Medicaid dental plan. Previously, only children and pregnant Medicaid recipients were eligible for coverage. The expansion doesn’t solve Virginia’s dental problem overnight, however. “The recent expansion for adult dental is great, and it’s a step in the right direction,” says Susan Sherman, executive director of the Charlottesville Free Clinic, which provides health care to uninsured and underinsured area residents. “But the reality is that there aren’t a lot of dentists that are accepting Medicaid.”
Because so few dentists accept Medicaid, says Sherman, the medical professionals at the Free Clinic in Charlottesville will still have their hands full treating patients. “There are a lot of people that aren’t going to be able to receive dental care anywhere else,” she says. Sherman also warns of the “Medicaid churn.” Many people who go on Medicaid don’t stay on Medicaid because their employment status and income change often. Finding a steady provider can be difficult for people bouncing on and off Medicaid. “Medicaid expansion is important, and it absolutely sends the right signal,” she says. “It puts money in policy where it needs to go, but the implementation is a challenge.”
7/19/21 - WCBY5
As COVID-19 fears begin to ease, dental patients are returning. Healing Hands Health Center dentists say there has been a surge in patients, but many have more severe problems after the long delay. Dr. Rebecca Nunley says they are able to keep up with the patient load due to the help of the University of Tennessee dental students.
7/12/21 - Daily Progress
Melissa Etheridge will headline the 17th annual benefit concert for the Charlottesville Free Clinic. The Grammy Award winner’s performance will take place at 7:30 p.m. Sept. 21 at Ting Pavilion on the Downtown Mall. Proceeds raised by the concerts help provide health care, mental health services, dental care and prescriptions for uninsured and underinsured working adults at no cost to the patient. The clinic served more than 2,400 people last year. The Free Clinic also presents Clinica Latina twice a month, providing an all-Spanish-speaking clinic environment. Many health providers from different disciplines and specialties participate, including endocrinologists, psychiatrists, optometrists and gynecologists.
7/8/21 - Inside NOVA
On July 7, the Arlington County Medical Society Foundation bestowed the Sharon McGowan Breast Health Fund to the Arlington Free Clinic, where it will continue to make a vital impact on breast health among the community’s under-served neighbors. Established in 1997 by the Arlington County Medical Society Foundation and the McGowan family, the fund supports mammograms and biopsies for uninsured patients fighting breast cancer in Northern Virginia. For 20 years, the fund has been sustained by the community through annual events, private donations and support from the Arlington County Medical Society. Committee volunteers; the McGowan, Shapiro, Gropper and Koch families; and the Yorktown High School Softball Boosters have come together over two decades to honor the memory of Sharon McGowan through support of the fund’s mission.
7/8/21 - Virginia Mercury
“[Medicaid expansion for adult dental] finally address the total health and wellness of a person with the focus on preventive oral healthcare services — decreasing the risk of oral diseases and tooth loss,” Sharon Stull told me by email. She is a lecturer at Old Dominion University’s School of Dental Hygiene and vice president of the board at the Chesapeake Care Clinic. The nonprofit free clinic has physical and dental operations. The dental side serves eligible people living in South Hampton Roads who don’t have insurance. In 2019, the last full year before the pandemic, Chesapeake Care’s dental clinic had 1,476 visits from 443 patients. So the state’s Medicaid change won’t affect the folks seen in Chesapeake Care’s state-of-the-art, five-chair clinic. Yet, officials there know how much the work of volunteer dental practitioners can make a difference.
7/6/21 - Northern Virginia Daily
As of Thursday, Virginia residents with Medicaid became eligible to use their benefits for expanded comprehensive dental care. At the Shenandoah Community Health Clinic in Woodstock, which provides free and reduced cost medical and dental care for residents in and around Shenandoah County, this is big news for its client base.
“Today started the new coverage for Medicaid for all adults [21 and older,]” Becky Campbell, dental manager at the clinic, said on Thursday. In addition to regular cleanings with an exam and X-rays, she said the expansion now includes procedures like fillings, extractions and crowns. “So it’s a lot more coverage for the adults,” she said. “I think it’s going to be easier for people to get the help that they need.” Campbell said there is also a Medicaid dental program for people 20 and younger. Patients with expanded coverage will notice their Medicaid benefits won’t max out on coverage as quickly or easily as before, she said.
7/6/21 - Coastal Living
For Dr. Jayme A. Oliveira Filho and his family, giving back is second nature. Dr. Oliveira, affectionately known as Dr. O, opened the Alencar Family Dentistry in Chesapeake in 2017. In 2020, Dr. O, alongside his wife Dr. Cristina Alencar, started the Alencar Family Foundation to do just that. “One of the most important things I want to create with the foundation is an extended arm into the community,” he explains. The Alencar Family Foundation continues to support local initiatives including Chesapeake Care Clinic. Dr. O’s work with the Chesapeake Care Clinic began a few years ago. The nonprofit organization offers medical and dental care to low income and underinsured area residents. There, Dr. O volunteered, providing service and mentoring dental students from Virginia Commonwealth University.
7/5/21 - NBC29
“We really don’t think that anyone, after a long day of work especially, should have to look at their wallet and decide whether they should go to the doctor or buy groceries for the family,” Marketing and Philanthropy Manager Willa Barnhardt said. The nonprofit serves people who qualify financially for free doctor visits, as well as dental and pharmaceutical care. “Charlottesville Free Clinic is kind of all about leveling the playing field in regards to health care,” Barnhardt said. The Dairy Market is donating a portion of its sales to the Charlottesville Free Clinic each Monday in July.
7/3/21 - Free Lance-Star
Whatever reimbursement Medicaid provides for dental care will be more than the Moss Free Clinic has received in the past, Karen Dulaney, executive director of the Moss Free Clinic said, which is always looking for doctors and dentists willing to help with their cases. For more than 25 years, the clinic has provided free dental and medical services to low-income, uninsured and underserved adults in the Fredericksburg region—and relied on grants, donations and services provided by volunteers to keep the doors open. “Dental care is certainly a need in this population,” Dulaney said. “They’ve never had access to routine dental care, and they wait until it’s so bad, it impacts their overall health.” With the expanded coverage, the Moss Free Clinic also will need more volunteers to treat dental patients, she said.
After the closure of the Harrisonburg-Rockingham Free Clinic at the end of last year, community members saw a need for another clinic. The Blue Ridge Free Clinic opened its doors April 12. Susan Adamson, Administrative Director of the Blue Ridge Free Clinic and a volunteer nurse practitioner said, since opening day, almost all of the clinics they’ve held so far have been nearly full and the clinic has seen almost 150 patients with services ranging from diabetes diagnoses to mammogram screening follow-ups and more. Adamson said they have even had some patients be able to catch serious illnesses early on. “Every day that I leave here I know that people have gotten the care that is really making a difference in their lives, and that is why I do what I do,” Adamson said. The goal of the clinic is to help patients navigate where they can go next for longer-term care and Adamson said you can always contact the clinic with any questions you may have. She said the clinic’s staff are grateful for the community’s support and their practice will be expanding later this summer.
6/29/21 - The Phil
Founded in 1996, St. Luke Community Clinic has been a central part of Front Royal’s community for a quarter century. Like so many clinics of its kind, it began with a group of local doctors that were concerned about the lack of accessible healthcare for those who were uninsured or unable to cover the costs of their medical expenses. Just like that, the idea for St. Luke Community Clinic was born. “We offer more than your typical doctor’s office,” said Vicki Davies, executive director of St. Luke Community Clinic. “We truly do a little bit of everything here: eye exams, chiropractic – we even provide some mental health services.”
6/25/21 - WYDaily
Lackey Clinic, in a collaborative effort with Hampton University, provied free first and second doses of Pfizer-BioNTech vaccines to inerested community members in Yorktown via a mobile vaccine clinic in Charles Brown Park on June 28.
6/26/21 - Northern Virginia Daily
This is the last week Pam Murphy, Executive Director at Shenandoah Community Health Clinic. There are so many people she is thankful for from these last 20 years of serve wil the free clinic. The founding board of directors who hired Pam had no money in the bank and no infrastructure in place. However, they had faith that Pam would somehow make it work! She is especially appreciative of the founding board president, Dr. Greg Byrd, who served for 15 years.
6/25/21 - Augusta Free Press
The Augusta Regional Dental Clinic is working to increase its capacity by 40 percent this summer, allowing the clinic to offer 210 new appointment slots per month to Medicaid patients from the Staunton, Augusta County and Waynesboro area. The expansion is in line with the upcoming $17.5 million statewide benefit expansion on July 1 that will expand dental health coverage to more than 830,000 Virginians on Medicaid. Anticipating an increased demand for dental care, ARDC kicked off an expansion project in April. The project involved the recruitment of an additional full-time dentist and the launch of a new dental hygiene program. The clinic’s new dentist started on June 15, and the new hygiene program will begin in early July. The ARDC also hired three supporting dental assistants. This project will allow the clinic to reduce wait time for patients and accept new ones.
“This benefit expansion would mean nothing for our patients if we did not build the capacity to address the demand it will create. This is why we decided to plan ahead of the July 1st date and increase our capacity,” Executive Director Sophie Parson said. “Our entire staff, from our clinical team to our front desk colleagues as well as our Board of Directors has worked tirelessly over the past few months to make this project a reality. After a few weeks of onboarding and training our new hires, we feel ready and cannot wait to serve more neighbors in need.”
6/23/21 - Tysons Reporter
While a large percentage of Fairfax County residents have received their COVID-19 vaccine, there are still ongoing efforts to help — and convince — those who have not yet gotten the vaccine. Mobile clinics are also still occuring and ongoing in partnership with George Mason University’s Mason and Partners mobile vaccination unit. “We remain committed to making vaccine as easily as possible to obtain for those in our community who want it,” notes Fairfax County Board of Supervisors Chairman Jeff McKay.
6/22/21 - WDBJ7
On top of a mountain in Wise County, Virginia, Dr. Teresa Owens Tyson, DNP, FNP-BC, FAANP is on a mission to get as many of her neighbors vaccinated as possible, even if it means offering them to strangers on the side of the road. Today, she is at the wheel of her Honda Pilot, making house calls for COVID vaccinations. It’s just part of what she does as CEO of the Health Wagon, a conglomeration of stationary and mobile clinics offering free health care to the hollers and homesteads in rural, southwest Virginia.
6/16/21 - Winchester Star
The Community Foundation of the Northern Shenandoah Valley (CFNSV) has announced the honorees for its annual “An Evening with Our Community Stars” fundraising dinner scheduled for Aug. 26 at Shenandoah Valley Golf Club in Warren County. Sinclair Health Clinic will be recognized for its role as a cornerstone of the Winchester area’s public health community. Additionally, two individuals whose leadership were key to the growth of this organization will also be honored at the event: Terry Sinclair and Shyama Rosenfeld will be feted for their contributions to Sinclair Health Clinic. Rosenfeld, the clinic’s current medical director, oversaw treatment of a record number of patients over the past year. Sinclair, who is retired, is the clinic’s former medical director. The facility previously known as the Free Medical Clinic was renamed in his honor in 2017.
6//11/21 - Daily Press
The Williamsburg Health Foundation has recently approved 22 grants worth $3.5 million under a new strategic plan calling to create long-lasting change in the health and well-being of the people who live in greater Williamsburg. The largest portion of grants for this wave of funding for organizations went toward helping uninsured individuals receive access to health care. For the Lackey Clinic, this means the grant will help them continue to provide telehealth services during the pandemic for the uninsured. “They fund our current staff, but also allows us to do new innovative things with them,” said Larry Trumbore, CEO of the Lackey Clinic. “They account for a quarter of our budget, so without the Williamsburg Health Foundation, we would have to severely cut back on the services that we are able to offer the community because of them.”
6/8/21 - Wavy TV 10
Western Tidewater Free Clinic recently received a donated video interpreter machine from AshBritt - IEM Health. This AMN Healthcare Video Remote Interpreting (VRI) machine is the same type of VRI used in the Suffolk COVID vaccine community clinic and will now allow the free clinic to offer improved translation services to its diverse patient population.
6/1/21 - GMU Nursing
Kaiser Permanente, one of the nation’s leading health care providers and not-for-profit health plans, has committed $175,000 to advance George Mason University’s community health initiatives. The grant, jointly supporting the Mason and Partners Clinics (MAP Clinics) and the Business for a Better World Center, will enable Mason to serve as the lead anchor partner in a collaborative initiative to remove barriers to health and expand access for residents in the Bailey’s Crossroads/Culmore neighborhood of Fairfax County. MAP clinics serve the uninsured and refugee community in Prince William and Fairfax counties. Located in Manassas, Springfield, and Culmore, these bridge-care model clinics provide free health care, school physicals, screenings, and mental health services for people living in low-income and medically underserved areas.
6/2/21 - Pharmaceutical Daily
A partnership between NOVA ScriptsCentral and Tennessee-based RemediChain, enables some Virginia cancer patients to receive their lifesaving medications for free. “Oral chemotherapy medications are some of the most necessary, most expensive and most wasted prescriptions on the market,” said Phil Baker, pharmacist and co-founder of RemediChain. “But blockchain technology and key partnerships can get the medication to people who need it most.”
6/1/21 - The Phil VA
When the pandemic hit last March, Guadalupe Free Clinic pivoted quickly in order to best meet the needs of its patients. “About 64% of our patients were working jobs that couldn’t transition to remote work, so we stayed open as long as we could in the early days to help them out and continue to provide their medication,” said Executive Director Lance Carrington. As soon as vaccines started to become more readily available in Virginia, Guadalupe Free Clinic did all that it could to get community members vaccinated as quickly as possible. The clinic partnered both with the mayor’s and the city’s public works’ offices to get a vaccination site up and running. Thanks to the efforts of Guadalupe Free Clinic, at the time of this posting, over 3,000 vaccines have been administered to citizens across Westmoreland County. “We couldn’t have done it without the local volunteers. They help with everything, from setting up the site to getting folks registered. It really is a community effort,” Carrington said.
5/30/21 - Free Lance-Star
Virginia is one of only two states as of Saturday whose vaccinations among Latinos surpasses the group’s share of hospitalizations and deaths for the first time since vaccinations began. Reaching this group depended heavily on methods implemented by free clinics for decades. This included having Spanish-speaking staff, translated vaccine information and a foundation of trust in these communities, spending extensive one-on-one time explaining their parents’ options and conducting weekend and night clinics to fit with work schedules.
5/28/21 - Culpeper Star Exponent
The Living Water Community Clinic in Locust Grove, which has offered free medical care for local people in need since 2016, will soon add dental care to its services. A new three-chair dental clinic adjacent to the medical clinic is expected to begin seeing patients in mid-June. Clients of the medical clinic will be eligible to receive cleanings, fillings and simple extractions at no cost to them. More complicated procedures will be referred to local dentists and oral surgeons who partner with the clinic. Since the medical clinic opened, it has seen more than 400 patients in more than 2,000 visits and grown from an acute care facility to a primary care office, caring for patients with chronic illnesses such as hypertension and diabetes and other health needs such as cardiac care, liver disease and referrals for surgery.
5/25/21 - Winchester Star
The United Way of Northern Shenandoah Valley (NSV) announced 360grant recipients through its 2021-22 Community Impact Grant Program. Two of the largest awards were to free clinics including $48,360 to Shenandoah Community Health Clinic in Woodstock to contract a mental-health counselor for students in Shenandoah County Public Schools and $30,000 to Sinclair Health Clinic in Winchester.
5/21/21 - Galax Gazette
A valuable medical resource in the Twin Counties announced this week that it will be expanding eligibility, services and hours of operation. The health clinic on Larkspur Lane in Galax has served the community for almost three decades, and has been a critical support system during the coronavirus pandemic. The clinic has administered over a dozen doses of the Moderna vaccine since its recent availability to physicians’ offices. Executive Director Melissa Deal shared “Previously, only those within 250% of the poverty level were eligible,” Deal explained. “Now, that threshold has increased to 400%." She also announced that the Free Clinic is looking to expand available services. “We’re currently looking for volunteers who are interested in helping us out, and in the near future are looking to offer dental and mental health services.”
5/21/21 - Culpeper Star Exponent
During normal times, the Guadalupe Clinic provides medical care for residents of Westmoreland County who don’t have insurance. The facility operates on the grounds of St. Elizabeth of Hungary Catholic Church and is funded by donations, including support from Mary Washington Healthcare. When COVID-19 vaccines became available in December, free clinics throughout the state were asked if they wanted to be part of the distribution, and Carrington filled out the necessary paperwork. The facility started giving out vaccines on Jan. 20, but “it quickly became too big an operation for our little clinic,” Mike Cabrey, the town’s vice mayor said.
He checked with Mayor Robin Schick and the Town Council agreed to let the clinic set up shop in the Community Center on Marshall Avenue. Some of the volunteers who help with vaccines also support the clinic, but many others are there solely to help stamp out the spread of the virus. Likewise, some have been trained through the Virginia Department of Health as Medical Reserve Corps, but they’re functioning as Guadalupe Clinic volunteers on Wednesdays and Saturdays.
5/20/21 - News Advance
The Free Clinic of Central Virginia has opened a satellite office in the town of Bedford to provide easier access to health care for uninsured patients in that area with low incomes. Located at 104 Center St., the clinic is open Tuesdays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., though the Free Clinic is “eager” to expand its hours once word spreads and - more patients seek appointments, according to Ula Kauppi, the clinic's director of development. The Free Clinic focuses on providing care to uninsured or underinsured adults who make less than 250% of federal poverty level guidelines.
5/16/21 - Times-Dispatch
GoochlandCares, a private, 501(c)(3), non-profit corporation that provides basic human services and health care to Goochland residents in need, recently welcomed four new members to the GoochlandCares Board of Directors for the 2021-2027 term. Each new Board member brings valuable perspective and personal, professional, and volunteer experience that will enhance GoochlandCares’ ability to further its mission.
5/15/21 - News Advance
As larger COVID-19 vaccination centers in and around Lynchburg close due to lack of interest, those working and volunteering to administer shots are taking more of a piecemeal approach to immunization. Vaccinators are focusing on neighborhood pop-up clinics and efforts to reach those who are homebound. Jen Stowers and Karin Truitte, both volunteers for the Free Clinic of Central Virginia, visited Meals on Wheels clients this past week who’ve told their drivers they’d accept a dose as a mobile vaccinators. Linda Bates, said she didn’t really see a need to be immunized since she stays home most of the time, but signed up for a shot after realizing any of her visitors could carry the virus inside. “I’ve got bad lungs anyway so if I got it, it’d be a death sentence,” she said after Truitte gave her the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.
5/14/21 - WCYB5
Medical care is not always easy to find in the mountains, but one organization is dedicated to serving those vulnerable populations by bringing healthcare access directly to them. “We here in Central Appalachia are in a medical and dental desert," Dr. Joe Smiddy said. Smiddy has been working among those to increase access to health care in southwest Virginia for more than 20 years. “We really just have a belt of disease: obesity, diabetes, heart disease, mental illness, opioid use. The Health Wagon is so valuable because it crosses the geographic boundaries," he said. It is more than a job to the long-time doctor, it is a passion. “I’m 78 years old and I jump out of bed every morning with a great leap and praise the Lord I have one more day to serve others," Smiddy told us.
5/12/21 - Gazette-Journal
The Gloucester Mathews Care Clinic received a $30,000 grant from Sentara Healthcare as part of the Sentara Cares program that seeks to foster equitable health in the community and address health disparities magnified by the impact of COVID-19 on underserved populations. This partnership reinforces the need to provide and expand critical services such as behavioral health to members of the Gloucester community.
5/11/21 - Fauquier Now
After two years of legal wrangling and negotiations, a circuit court judge last week approved an agreement that allocates more than $11 million to alleviate “pain, suffering and disease” in Fauquier County. The Fauquier Free Clinic will receive $3 million this year and potentially millions more over the next decade, according to the order Judge Jeanette A. Irby signed May 4. The biggest financial contribution in the free clinic’s 28-year history provides an opportunity to expand healthcare for the needy, according to Executive Director Rob Marino. “A lot of people depend on us,” Mr. Marino said. “We’re very blessed with community support, but we’re nowhere near meeting all the needs we consider part of our mission . . . This is really good news for our patients, for sure.” Although he and the clinic board have begun work on a new five-year plan, Mr. Marino cited dental care and women’s health services as potential areas of expansion, because of the new funds.
5/11/21 - YWDaily
Low-income, uninsured patients in Virginia can receive the medication they need at no cost through a network of free clinics and community health centers in Virginia that participate with RxPartnership, a Virginia-focused nonprofit that has been helping patients receive the brand and generic medication they need for almost 20 years.
5/8/21 - Connection News
Former Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe visited All Dulles Area Muslim Society (ADAMS) Compassionate Healthcare Network (ACHN) for one of its COVID-19 vaccination clinic in Chantilly, last Saturday, May 1. Joining him were State Sen. Jennifer Boysko (D-33) and Fairfax County Supervisors Walter Alcorn (D-Hunter Mill) and John Foust (D-Dranesville). Since February, the clinic has vaccinated thousands of Fairfax County residents. And on Saturday, it administered shots to 156 more.
5/5/21 - Fauquier Now
For the second consecutive year, Give Local Piedmont raised more than $1.2 million for nonprofits in Fauquier and three other counties. The event was a huge success for Fauquier Free Clinic which raised $42,195 with the support of 202 donors.
4/27/21 - Fauquier Now
The Warrenton-based PATH Foundation has awarded $20,000 to the Free Clinic of Culpeper in a “Flexible Funding” grant. "Rather than our traditional annual grant cycles, this year we pivoted to Flexible Funding to provide programmatic and general operations funds to address the continuing need our community faces after enduring more than a year of the COVID-19 pandemic," PATH President/CEO Christy Connolly.
4/24/21 - Richmond Times-Dispatch
GoochlandCares celebrated Volunteer Appreciation Week by recognizing the tremendous effort of the 225 volunteers who support the organization’s mission to provide basic human services and health care to our Goochland neighbors in need. “GoochlandCares appreciates its volunteers every day, but Volunteer Week is dedicated to honoring all volunteers and to encouraging volunteerism throughout the year,” says Executive Director Sally Graham. Diane Reale, Director of Volunteer Resources added, “If you know someone who volunteers their time with GoochlandCares or any other local organization, be sure to thank them for the work they do for the Goochland community.”
Volunteers donate their time and talents at GoochlandCares every day of the week. They bring food curbside to clients, sort donations in the Clothes Closet, take blood pressures in the Free Clinic, answer phones, make calls to clients, and much, much more. A group of teenage volunteers comes in every month to pack grocery bags. Volunteers from local churches prepare dinners for volunteers who work the evening shift on Tuesday nights. Performance Food Group donates turkeys and sides for clients for Thanksgiving and then sends volunteers to assist with distribution.
4/23/21 - InsideNOVA
Sentara Northern Virginia Medical Center along with the Mother of Mercy Free Clinic, Prince William County government, and Virginia Department of Health are partnering on large-scale COVID-19 vaccination clinics in Woodbridge. With guidance from the Virginia Department of Health, Sentara has worked in partnership with community organizations like Mother of Mercy Free Clinic to ensure access for underserved minority populations for whom access might be a challenge.
4/22/21 - CBS6 News
The L. Douglas Wilder School of Government and Affairs continues to honor people and agencies making a difference in our community. Today, we learn about a community healthcare provider, Health Brigade.
4/16/21 - Orange County Review
The Orange County Free Clinic (OCFC) is one of a few free healthcare clinics in the state to receive a limited supply of precious COVID-19 vaccines from the Rappahannock -Rapidan Health District (www.vdh.virginia.gov ) and quickly rallied to make sure all eligible Phase 1B patients had their chance to receive their vaccination. “We were happy and thankful that the department of health thought of the clinic when they called to say they were sending 50 vaccination kits to use immediately,” OCFC Executive Director Dorren Brown said. Acting quickly, OCFC sent out text alerts to more than 900 eligible patients to register for their vaccination. Appointment slots for the one-day vaccination clinic quickly filled for the limited supply and Brown noted that the clinic started a waiting list to be ready if there is another delivery. The state’s plan to vaccinate Phase 1B eligible patients includes residents aged 16-64 who have underlying medical conditions. While the clinic serves only adults (18+), 85% of the clinic’s patients suffer from one or more chronic medical diseases and rely on the OCFC for their primary healthcare and prescriptions.
Patients like Jackie White said that she could not wait to finally get her vaccination and was happy that she could come to the clinic. This was also true for another OCFC patient, who felt more comfortable at the clinic because the clinic’s Spanish translator was with him to explain the information that he received.
4/16/21 - CBS6 News
Julie Bilodeau dedicates her life helping those who need help the most. As CEO of Crossover Healthcare Ministry, she and hundreds of volunteers provide a full spectrum of healthcare services to low-income individuals, those without insurance or are on Medicaid. “We don’t want people to forgo important preventative care,” Bilodeau explained. “We see a really high incident of chronic disease with our patients." Navigating America’s healthcare system is difficult, she said. “We all work together to work with folks who have limited access to care, to provide these services that they feel safe so they can be healthy, and can parent their children effectively, they can keep jobs and be productive families. Thats our goal,” Bilodeau said. The United Way works with Crossover Healthcare Ministries to help fill in the gaps. Founded in 1983, Bilodeau’s non-profit provides free services to 6,000 people a year. Research has shown people without health insurance and experience unexpected health problems can lead to a major financial burden. Health-related expenses are the largest contributor to bankruptcies. When workers lost their jobs during the pandemic, Black and Latino populations experienced the significant increase of impact.
Crossover Healthcare Ministries work with volunteers who also work professionally in Central Virginia. The major hospital systems all help provide services for their clients for free thanks to the efforts of their volunteers. They are currently requesting additional volunteers to help staff their clinics in Manchester and Henrico’s West End.
4/14/21 - WCYB4
Healing Hands Health Center is breaking ground on a new student dormitory and education center. The $2 million project will house dental and medical students while they work in the clinic. The center's director Helen Scott says this project will allow the program to grow and serve more members of the community. "They help us see dental patients and treat dental patients," says Scott. "I'd say probably more than double the amount that we're able to do when the students are not here. Not only is it good for the healing hands patients, but it's really good for the students to get their hands on experience." The project is expected to be completed by January 2022.
4/14/21 - WDBJ7
For months, the Free Clinic of Central Virginia has been undergoing renovations. The building’s changes will soon be complete, giving it a new look inside and out. “We’ve always had a very nice facility but our real goal here was to create a building and an entire environment here that is equal to, if not better than, any other doctor’s office in town,” said Christina Delzingaro, CEO. The clinic is expanding its behavioral health services. “Right now we only have one room for counseling services and the need far outstrips that,” said Delzingaro. More of those rooms will be added in the coming weeks, but it doesn’t stop there. “We don’t have a space right now for group therapy and health education classes, which is a really strong need for our patient population and just in general, so we’re putting in a classroom here,” said Ula Kauppi, director of development. When everything is complete at the end of May, the clinic says the patient experience will be better. “I think overall, just improving the environment and experience and making it safer for our staff and our patients,” said Delzingaro.
The Bradley Free Clinic in Roanoke is planning to build a new wing to serve a 10-fold increase in clients with mental illnesses. The $650,000 project is expected to meet a critical need for space, since the clinic has seen an influx of patients during the COVID-19 pandemic, many seeking behavioral health assistance, said Janine Underwood, executive director. The clinic historically has treated a small number of people for behavioral health issues, with Mental Health America of the Roanoke Valley being a larger mental health services provider for the region. But when Mental Health America closed its Roanoke center in October 2019, the free clinic welcomed its clients. But what really boosted demand at the clinic for behavioral health services was the pandemic.
The clinic went from caring for about 45 mental health patients in 2019 just before Mental Health America closed to caring for nearly 400 at the end of 2020, many with depression and anxiety arising from the uncertainty created by the disease outbreak and mandates to shelter at home, Underwood said. Many meet with providers by phone or videoconference. But the plan is to eventually bring them into the building, which sits at Third Street and Walnut Avenue, for face-to-face counseling and psychiatric care. The wing is expected to add nearly 2,000 square feet to the 9,000-square-foot clinic and could be built by the end of the year, officials said. The wing will have sound-proof walls, carpeting, soft lighting, six counseling rooms, a group therapy room and flex space, Underwood said.
4/8/21 - Rappahannock News
“Healthcare providers and those leading the local community response to COVID-19 are taking the right steps forward to help end this pandemic and improve our community’s safety and well-being,” says Rob Marino, FFC director. Rob shares that Fuaquier Free Clinic patients were hit especially hard by COVID-19. The clinic has always advocated for its patients, but FCC’s advocacy took on new meaning and vigor during the pandemic. “Our patients tend to have jobs where working from home is not an option—they have to be there in person,” says Rob. “There are so many families that can’t afford to miss work. So when they got sick or were forced into quarantine, it was a terrible hardship.” Now with the arrival of three COVID-19 vaccines approved for use in the U.S., healthcare providers are excited to be able to offer preventive remedies rather than just test for the virus. The rollout of an effective vaccine is the light at the end of the tunnel that healthcare professionals, front-line workers, and community members have been waiting for. FFC’s medical team immediately compiled a list of around 300 patients considered to be highest-risk for the virus, and reached out to each one to help them register and make an appointment.
“Vaccine clinic days felt like birthday parties,” says Rob. “Our clinic volunteers wanted to come in early and stay late to help administer the first round of vaccines, and every single patient has showed up for their appointment.” Registered nurse Linda Bueno has been instrumental in patient outreach and administration of vaccine shots to high-risk populations. She has also administered vaccines at various community vaccination sites as a Virginia Medical Reserve Corps member. “It has been amazing to witness the restoration of optimism and feelings of safety first-hand,” says Linda. “After this horrible year, it feels so good to see that we’re moving forward and taking steps to help end this and protect our patients.”
4/7/21 - Roanoke Start
The Bradley Free Clinic does more than provide services to the area’s underserved. They also serve a critical role in developing the skills of the next generation of medical practitioners. Pharmacist James Black was recently named an Outstanding Preceptor by Virginia Commonwealth University, recognizing his excellence in educating students on rotations. A preceptor is a teacher in a clinical setting who will help students grow from a novice into a competent, professional pharmacist. During experiential education, student pharmacists are taught by experienced pharmacist preceptors. “We are very proud of James and this exceptional recognition for his work,” said Bradly Free Clinic Executive Director Janine Underwood.
In addition to supervising staff and volunteers, Black manages all aspects of the pharmacy department at the clinic, including filling prescriptions, engaging in patient education, conducting chart reviews for medication and vaccine administration, and acts as advocate assuring the most services possible to eligible patients. From a student, “He is uplifting, supportive, and truly wants the best for all of those he interacts with. Mr. Black goes above and beyond the call of duty for his students, making them feel valued, important, and integrated into the team at the clinic. I will genuinely go forward as a better pharmacist and a better person due to Mr. Black. And his personal impact on me can’t be overstated.”
4/6/21 - Northern Virginia Daily
Navigating local health care needs during the COVID-19 pandemic has been a learning process, said Vicki Davies, executive director at St. Luke Community Clinic, at 316 N. Royal Ave., Front Royal. “It’s just been a struggle to keep the patients and the staff safe as much as we can,” she said. One of the biggest impacts of the pandemic has been limiting the number of patients on-site and not allowing family members in with patients.
But while things may look different, she said one of the clinic’s big successes was that it kept on going. “We’ve been open, and I think that’s been important to the patients,” she said. “We didn’t close down.” Keeping up with the trends of the pandemic has been “a bit of a roller coaster,” said Pam Murphy, executive director of the Shenandoah County Free Clinic and Shenandoah Dental Clinic in Woodstock. In the initial days of the pandemic, everything “escalated so quickly,” she said. In addition to stockpiling enough personal protective equipment such as masks, gloves and face shields, she said adopting telehealth offered big changes to the Northern Shenandoah Valley and beyond. “Health care has been changed so dramatically by telehealth,” Murphy said.
4/2/21 - Star-Exponent
Nearly two dozen local nonprofits benefitted from Community Assistance Grants awarded earlier this month by Warrenton-based Northern Piedmont Community Foundation. Among the recipients were Free Clinic of Culpeper, which will use the grant to fund a referral coordinator position that will work closely with medical staff and patients on referrals for specialized medical services, community programs, and financial assistance. This grant program was developed to provide financial assistance to nonprofits that address on-going emergent needs or emergency services for the community.
4/2/21 - WHSV3
After the Harrisonburg-Rockingham Free Clinic closed its doors at the end of last year, community members saw a need in the community and the idea for the Blue Ridge Free Clinic began. The no-barrier, volunteer-based clinic was established on January 12. Volunteers are still working on finishing touches,but clinic will be ready to go on April 12 -- exactly 90 days later. The primary focus will be “care navigation” or helping patients find long-term solutions for their ongoing care. Certain medical services will be available on site like primary medical care, mental and behavioral health, gynecological services for women, and patients can be referred to local dentists. Adamson said this clinic will be run by the community for the community. “That is the beauty of this. It is neighbors helping neighbors because they want to. We are not a business. We’re a non-profit. Mission driven. Run by volunteers. All volunteers at this point,” Adamson said. Susan Adamson is a volunteer family nurse practitioner and is the chair of the board of directors for the Blue Ridge Free Clinic who said seeing the clinic come together has been like a “miracle in progress.”
4/1/21 - Resolve Magazine
There’s something unexpected in the basement of First Christian Church in Falls Church, Virginia – a medical clinic. One that provides free and low-cost care to residents in the area who are uninsured or struggling financially. Culmore Clinic opened in 2007 to address the unmet health needs of the surrounding community, and now serves 400 patients throughout the Bailey’s Crossroads area, where more than 57 percent of residents are uninsured. “A lot of people in the community will call and say, ‘I don’t have insurance, and I need a medical home,’ and we’ll say, ‘Come on in,’” says Culmore Clinic’s director, Barbara Weingold.
Weingold says Culmore’s patient population struggles with serious, ongoing medical issues. “Everything you would expect that goes with poverty — diabetes, hypertension, obesity, and multiple chronic conditions,” she says.
Many of these conditions require expensive medications, which the clinic offers its patients for a nominal $5 fee, thanks to a partnership with NOVA ScriptsCentral, a nonprofit that provides low-cost pharmaceuticals to free and affordable health clinics across northern Virginia. “People need access to lifesaving medicines because people now have to make a hard choice between putting food on their table or choosing medication to save their lives,” says Dr. Donney John, executive director of NOVA ScriptsCentral. “We’re here to make sure that nobody has to make that choice — put food on the table, pay for shelter, or take their medicine.”
3/31/21 - Progress Index
The Greene Care Clinic will host tele-education classes on diabetes care through a grant from the Virginia Diabetes Council. The classes are free and will be live-streamed to the community room in Piedmont Virginia Community College’s (PVCC) Eugene Giuseppe Center in Stanardsville. “When I was thinking about submitting a proposal to the Diabetes Council, I spoke with Viola Holmes and Anne Marie Wolf about how to best bring diabetes education programs to Greene County,” said Pam Morris, executive director of the Care Clinic. “We decided that it would be best to work with their existing tele-education program (and) promote and host the program for residents in our area.”
During the pandemic, Morris says she worries that many are having a hard time with self-care and that these online courses are one way to reach out to those who need a little extra guidance. “I do think that the added stress of the pandemic and the social isolation are making it more difficult for folks to take care of themselves,” she said. “That’s why we wanted to host the diabetes education classes in a group setting, so that participants know they are supported and not in this alone.”
3/29/21 - SWVA Today
Now fully vaccinated, Dr. James Patterson is back at the Mel Leaman Free Clinic he helped found in 2000 and continues to serve as medical director. Having just celebrated his 89th birthday, and practicing medicine for 64 years, Patterson is not planning to retire anytime soon. He took time off to self-quarantine during the pandemic because of his age but wanted to come back as soon as he was vaccinated.
Lisa Mitchell, LPN, was still working as director of the emergency department at Smyth County Community Hospital when she came to the free clinic 21 years ago. “Dr. Patterson has made a difference in the lives of the free clinic patients through his kindness, his dedication and his thoughtfulness, just three of his qualities amongst many,” she said. “I think that he is truly interested in his patients and what’s going on with them. They have his undivided attention when he is with them. He gets to know them on a personal basis and always goes the extra mile.” The free clinic needs more volunteers, particularly healthcare providers who can actually see patients, Patterson said.
3/26/21 - WYDaily
The Williamsburg Community Foundation is pleased to announce the recipients of its spring grant awards. This year additional support was provided by the Community Emergency Response Fund, which was established to support basic needs such as food and shelter, resulting from the pandemic. Lackey Clinic received a $2,448 grant to support access to inexpensive/free CPAP machines to help Lackey patients prevent or reverse the serious consequences of obstructive sleep apnea.
3/23/21 - Augusta Free Press
The Augusta Regional Clinic has named Sophie Parson as its new executive director, taking the reins from Janice Morgan, whose retirement after a six-year stint as ED was effective March 6. Parson comes to the Augusta Regional Clinic, which has focused on providing healthcare to medically underserved patients in Staunton, Waynesboro and Augusta County since 1993, with experience including nonprofit management, fundraising, communication and corporate finance. “It is a pleasure and an honor to join such a passionate and dedicated team. The work the ARC does is absolutely crucial for our community,” Parson said. “The COVID-19 pandemic and its consequences have left many without adequate health benefits and more specifically dental coverage. Now more than ever, our neighbors need our help.” “On behalf of our Board of Directors, I am delighted to welcome Sophie onboard,” said ARC board chair Dr. Laura Jean Brand. “She brings strategic experience which will be valuable to the ARC’s development as the need for affordable high-quality dental care is surging in our community.”
3/23/21 - WAMU
In the D.C. region, white residents have been getting vaccinated against the coronavirus at a significantly higher rate than Black and Latino residents, even though people of color have been disproportionately affected by the pandemic. Many advocates say local vaccine distribution systems have not been well-designed to reach marginalized groups.
Officials and community organizations are scrambling to close this racial gap in vaccine access. One such organization is the Arlington Free Clinic, which serves uninsured adults, many of them undocumented immigrants, in Arlington County. The clinic is holding vaccination days twice a week and working with other local social service organizations to develop an alternate pathway for low-income communities of color to get vaccinated.
3/22/21 - Inside Business
Dr. Steven P. Greer, Medical Director at Western Tidewater Free Clinic, feels his most significant accomplishment this past year has been successfully navigating the COVID-19 pandemic and remaining open to serve patients. “In the beginning of the pandemic, the greatest fear was that so many people would become sick and overwhelm our hospital system. I really felt strongly that we needed to do our best to keep our patients OUT of the ER and the hospital,” Greer said. “As many outpatient services shut down in the early months of the pandemic, we made the decision to remain open.”
The clinic adopted telehealth technology “on the fly” and adjusted hours of service but never shut its doors. Western Tidewater Free Clinic opened in 2007 and initially was only open two evenings a week serving the uninsured, underinsured and underserved, Greene said. The clinic has evolved to providing care five days a week and hiring medical and office staff. But the clinic is still dependent on donations and volunteers. Greer proudly points to the clinic's continued expansion and reach across Suffolk, Franklin, and Isle of Wight, Southampton, Surry and Sussex counties.
3/20/21 - Winchester Star
There is a pile of free cloth masks in the lobby of the Sinclair Health Clinic for clients. “My general mantra is one to wear, one to wash and one to lose,” joked Katrina R. McClure, clinic executive director. McClure said the Federal Emergency Management Agency provided 10,000 masks to the clinic in December and the Virginia Department of Emergency Management delivered another 40,000 in January. Another shipment of up to 20,000 masks will be sent to the clinic soon from the National Association of Free & Charitable Clinics which received them from the federal government. Besides making them available at the clinic, Sinclair has distributed masks to area food pantries and nonprofit groups assisting needy children and families. McClure said clients appreciate the masks and they’re reducing the spread of the virus. It has killed over 10,000 people in Virginia including approximately 400 in the Lord Fairfax Health District, which encompasses Winchester as well as Clarke, Frederick, Page, Shenandoah and Warren counties.
3/20/21 - Richmond Times Dispatch
The Health Wagon is the only free clinic operating in a six-county area of Southwest Virginia, providing care to people in the mountains of Appalachia through four mobile health units, outreach events and stationary clinics with a focus on preventative, primary and specialty care, care that is both inclusive and culturally sensitive. Virginia ranks 21st for people with multiple chronic conditions such as cancer, cardiovascular disease and diabetes. Such underlying conditions put people, like our patients in The Health Wagon’s service area, at a greater risk for severe cases of COVID-19. Given the health disparities in our community, we recognized very early how vital our services would be. And since the pandemic began in March 2020, we never have taken our foot off the gas.
3/17/21 - WJHL News
Helen Scott, 18-year Executive Director with Healing Hands Health Center, is a treasure to the Northeast /Tennessee and Southwest Virginia region helping the unfortunate. She comes from a family line of health care workers, “I love my job. I feel very fortunate to be here. It’s just such a blessing to be able to give back to people in need. The patients that come here are low income, they don’t have health insurance, so, many of them work two jobs and it’s just such a blessing to thank them and they’re so very grateful for our help,” Scott said. Scott is currently leading a million-dollar campaign to build a student education center and dormitory that will be located across the street from Healing Hands, located in Bristol, Tennessee. Its groundbreaking is set to take place in April.
3/10/21 - News-Press
Culmore Clinic recently announced that Cynda Tipple, Philip Eliot, Jonathan Engler, Terry O’Hara Lavoie and Andrés Jimenez have been elected to serve on the clinic’s Board of Directors. The Rev Andrew T.P. Merrow, Rector of St. Mary’s Episcopal Church and President of the Culmore Clinic Board of Directors praised the selection of this group: “Each of these newly elected members of the Board brings specific gifts and deep commitment to ensuring that everyone in the Culmore community has access to high quality health care.” Anne-Lise Quinn, Culmore Clinic’s Executive Director added, “I am delighted to be working with our new Board Directors and the rest of the Culmore Clinic Board as we build our capacity to reduce inequities and provide compassionate, high quality primary care to a community so disproportionately affected by the Covid pandemic.”
3/9/21 - Times-Dispatch
The Free Clinic of Powhatan officially opened its doors to patients in its new location at 2320 Skaggs Road on Thursday, March 4, and Connie Moslow, Executive Director, couldn’t be more thrilled. The moment was something she has dreamed about since she started the clinic in 2008. “I am excited. I can’t wait to see our patients when they come in here. This is so different than what they have had,” Moslow said two days before opening day. “A lot of work went into making this a patient clinic. A lot of thought with our builders, our architects, our designers – all of it was about our patients and our volunteers.” The new 3,300-square-foot clinic includes a waiting room, two registration rooms, a dental unit with two dental chairs, a doctor and nurse station, a lab room, two mental health rooms, and two examining rooms that will serve patients. The space also includes three offices, a food and personal items pantry, a small kitchen, and a conference room. Upstairs is being used for additional storage and a back patio is being outfitted to allow staff and volunteers a space to take breaks.
3/8/21 - WRIC
“I can’t tell you how incredibly excited we were about this. I have known so many great organizations who’ve been recognized, and it’s really an honor to be considered as part of that group,” said Karen Legato, executive director of Health Brigade. “It’s amazing for us.” Richmond History Makers is a program from The Valentine that highlights trailblazers in RVA for the bold services they offer to the community. Health Brigade was nominated in this year’s Promoting Community Health category. Legato said receiving this nomination during a global health pandemic is the icing on the cake. “That’s what is most meaningful about it. We have been known for so much of our HIV/AIDS work, which was the last big pandemic that we worked,” she said. “So to now be facing this pandemic and saying ‘How can we do as much as we can, not only for our own patients but also for the community.'” Right now the clinic is knee-deep in continuing their COVID-19 testing while preparing for their vaccination efforts. Legato shared the clinic received its first shipment of vaccines and they will be rolled in early March.
3/7/21 - Daily Progress
Starting this week the Madison Free Clinic will be under new management as executive director Brenda Clements steps downwith plans to retire. The free clinic’s current administrative assistant Jana Jackson /will be taking the reins as interim executive director while the board of directors conducts a candidate search. The move is bittersweet for Clements who has been at the helm of the non-profit through many changes and expansions. She has been the enthusiastic cheerleader and fundraiser who has expanded the range of services to uninsured Madison County residents.
Throughout her term, Clements has greatly increased access to the free clinic’s services by enhancing the website and online presence and live health fairs to showcase the clinic’s services. Beyond offering primary care medical care, the clinic has provided COVID testing, flu vaccinations and a community WiFi spot. Clements will not be completely gone from the 501(c)3 as she will be taking a seat on the board. The transition from executive director to board member will allow her to continue helping the non-profit while spending time with her grandchildren and traveling with her husband Andy. For Clements, retirement is simply the beginning of the next chapter of her life.
3/4/21 - Patch
Arlington County is partnering with the Arlington Free Clinic to vaccinate eligible residents in communities disproportionately affected by COVID-19. Under the partnership agreement, the county's Public Health Division will provide a limited portion of its weekly vaccine allocation to the Arlington Free Clinic to increase vaccine access to people who are uninsured or underinsured. Since 1994, the Arlington Free Clinic has provided health care to residents, serving on average about 1,600 patients each year. "This partnership is a way to ensure our most vulnerable populations — those disproportionately affected by COVID-19 — have more equitable access to vaccines when they are eligible," Dr. Reuben Varghese, public health director for Arlington County, said in a statement.
3/3/21 - Rappahannock Record
The Northern Neck-Middlesex Free Health Clinic is partnering with the Virginia Department of Health (VDH) Three Rivers Health District to provide COVID-19 vaccinations to clinic patients who are among the most vulnerable members of the community. The vaccination program also is targeting first responders and others in Virginia’s 1A and 1B vaccine categories whose names have been provided by VDH, said chief executive officer Jean Nelson.
3/2/21 - WJHL11
The Health Wagon in Wise County, Virginia received their first doses of the COVID-19 vaccine. Dr. Teresa Tyson, CEO and President of The Health Wagon, said they received 100 doses of the Moderna vaccine and hope to receive more shipments of the vaccine on a weekly basis. The clinic plans to do a drive-thru clinic for those people who have been waiting for these vaccines to arrive.
2/28/21 - Star-Exponent
Just in time for spring, the grounds of The Free Clinic of Culpeper are getting a fresh look and a new purpose. Clinic staff and volunteers decided that any new landscaping to the clinic should be functional and build on the mission of serving the region’s public. Therefore, four large raised beds, wooden garden boxes, will replace the shrubbery, giving clinic patients the chance to engage in a gardening project that will provide fresh vegetables for them and neighborhood residents. People can easily replicate the idea at home, Clinic Director Tammy LaGraffe said.
2/26/21 - State of Reform
The Virginia Health Care Foundation recently awarded $1.2 million in grants to health safety net organizations throughout the commonwealth to improve access to medical, dental and behavioral health services. Free clinic recipients included $136,105 to Sinclair Health Clinic to support the salary and benefits of a full-time Nurse Practitioner, who will offer prenatal care services and help meet growing demand for primary care services in Winchester; $115,000 to Health Brigade to underwrite the salary and benefits of a full-time Medical Director to lead the Richmond clinic’s transition to a hybrid clinic capable of treating both uninsured patients and those with Medicaid health coverage (will also support a full-time tri-lingual Licensed Professional Counselor to expand HB’s behavioral health program and help make mental health care more accessible to the clinic’s Spanish and Portuguese speaking patients); and $125,000 to Bradley Free Clinic to help with construction of several rooms to house the clinic’s new behavioral health services in Roanoke.
2/25/21 - UVA Today
For years, Zuhayr Shaikh volunteered with free clinics, helping provide quality health care to uninsured and under-insured patients. Funded by a grant from the Clinton Global Initiative’s COVID-19 Student Action Fund, Shaikh partnered with the Virginia Association of Free and Charitable Clinics, which represents more than 60 clinics across the state, to create a system for recruiting volunteers and matching them with opportunities. They have since released pipelines for licensed health care and non-medical volunteering. In addition to building the volunteer recruitment platform, Shaikh is working with School of Medicine classmates Michael Salomon and Tien Comlekoglu to organize a national summit, supported by the Clinton grant. Set to be held virtually May 25, the conference is designed to identify ways technology can improve medical care for underserved communities.
2/25/21 - Daily Progress
The Piedmont Regional Dental Clinic (PRDC) has transferred its assets into the care of the Culpeper Wellness Foundation (CWF), a nonprofit organization who’s stated mission is to “improve health and promote wellness in Culpeper, Madison and Orange counties.” It also houses the Free Clinic of Culpeper. Shari Landry, president of CWF, will lead the effort to help PRDC offer care to an even wider group of uninsured and Medicaid-enrolled adults and children. Landry emphasized that PRDC’s current staff of dentists, assistants and hygienists will remain with the clinic and day-to-day operations will look much the same as before. “There hasn’t been a clinic director at Piedmont for about a year,” Landry said. “So, we are going to be recruiting and hiring one. I’ll head the search for that position.”
2/23/21 - Falls Church News-Press
NOVA ScriptsCentral, Northern Virginia’s largest charitable nonprofit pharmacy, announced in January that it is initiating a Diabetes Access Pilot program designed specifically to provide insulin for free to uninsured patients being treated at one of its 16 safety net partner clinics in Northern Virginia. “Our Diabetes Access Pilot is focused on reducing the cost burden that uninsured diabetic patients face when trying to access insulin. This pilot highlights our ongoing vision of improving the health of the community by eliminating barriers to care faced by the uninsured patients living in our region.” said Donney John, PharmD and executive director for all of NOVA ScriptsCentral’s locations.
2/23/21 - GMU News
To help raise awareness and increase vaccination rates in Greater Prince William, Mason and Partner (MAP) Clinics, Smart Beginnings Greater Prince William (SBGPW), and the Prince William Health District (PWHD) partnered to schedule more than 1,400 appointments with early childhood educators over the course of seven days. On the day of the First Lady’s visit, more than 500 first doses and 150 second doses were administered.
To date, the MAP Clinics have delivered more than 2,916 vaccines to early childhood educators, so were a natural partner for SMBGPW. “The community has really joined together to help this vital and often vulnerable population get vaccinated,” said Dr. Rebecca Sutter, co-director of the MAP Clinics and faculty at George Mason University’s College of Health and Human Services. “The MAP Clinics are proud to partner with the PW Health District and Smart Beginnings Greater Prince William to raise awareness among early education centers and immunize nearly 3,000 people through these vaccination events over four weeks.”
2/18/21 - Religion News Service
Across the state, nearly every major health care system has partnered with Black and Hispanic houses of worship to expand vaccine access, setting up mobile clinics in their parking lots and fellowship halls. ADAMS Compassionate Healthcare Network, a clinic run by the All Dulles Area Muslim Society, working with Fairfax County, Virginia, and Virginia Commonwealth University’s pharmacy school, vaccinated 118 seniors from the nearby community. “The plan is to vaccinate individuals every Saturday,” said Hurunnessa Fariad, head of outreach for the ADAMS Center, about the mosque’s health clinic. “Although now only those Fairfax county residents over the age of 65 can get the vaccine at the clinic, in time, we are hoping to expand to other groups as well.”
2/10/21 - WTKR News
Inside the Norfolk Public Health Department is a free clinic run by student doctors at Eastern Virginia Medical School. "If folks don't have access to primary health care, then they end up in the emergency room. The medical system isn't built for people to get their primary care needs in the emergency room,” says Dr. Amanda Gibson. She’s the medical director at the student-run volunteer HOPES Clinic. "We provide primary care services, preventative care, cancer screenings, in addition to chronic disease management,” adds Dr. Gibson. That doesn’t exclude other specialty options, including mental health.
2/10/21 - Roanoke Times
Nearly 100 people staying at the Roanoke Rescue Mission were able to start the COVID-19 vaccination process, extending protection to one of the region’s most vulnerable populations. The Rescue Mission, of which houses the G Wayne Fralin Free Clinic, and other homeless shelters became eligible for the vaccine with the launch of Phase 1b last month. Susan Matthews, who came to the mission last summer to get back on her feet, said Wednesday’s vaccination clinic was a moment she’d been looking forward to. “I feel relieved,” said Matthews, 62. “I feel like I am doing my duty as a citizen.”
2/9/21 - InsideNOVA
Joan Ritter, M.D., FACP, of Arlington, the volunteer medical director of the Arlington Free Clinic, has been honored with the Medical Society of Virginia Foundation’s 2020 “Salute to Service Award” for her efforts on behalf of the uninsured and underinsured. She was one of five medical professionals statewide to be honored through the Salute to Service Awards, which were created in 2004 to recognize outstanding efforts in creating and nurturing a caring health promotion and disease-prevention environment by providing service on behalf of patients everywhere. With the support of 500 medical and non-medical volunteers, the Arlington Free Clinic provides comprehensive health-care services to 1,600 low-income, uninsured adults in Arlington, many of them with complex medical conditions. “Dr. Ritter is amazing in her ability to balance the many aspects of her life to improve the health of our vulnerable patients,” said Nancy White, the Arlington Free Clinic’s president. “She is readily accessible to us, which is vital, as our clinic does not have paid physicians on staff. Our nurses know they always have someone they can contact when a critical situation arises.”
2/8/21 - CBS19 News
The Madison Free Clinic is getting $2,000 from the Rappahannock Electric Cooperative to conduct health fairs in four areas for those who cannot travel far from home to be able to access care. “Being able to give back to community organizations, emergency services and educators is at the core of who REC is,” explained Lindsey Edwards, public relations specialist. “Supporting our local communities through these grants allows organizations to continue their mission of improving the world around us.”
2/5/21 - Riverside Online
During her tenure at Riverside, Golden Bethune-Hill modeled compassion and appreciation, regularly reminding the managers around her to “catch” employees doing something good and point it out. She kept an ear out to listen to patients or to mentor the younger nurses on staff. “In order to get the leaders to understand that our role was to also help staff morale, I’d play, ‘Ain’t No Stoppin’ Us Now,’ during our meetings,” says the Hampton resident. “Our position was to be open and available and supportive all the time.” Bethune-Hill was the first African-American Director of Nursing at a Riverside hospital and would later become the first African-American Executive Vice President.
Despite retiring from Riverside in 2010, Bethune-Hill hasn’t slowed down a bit. She likes to say she “volunteers” full time at The Community Free Clinic of Newport News, but her role extends beyond that. The 76-year-old founded the clinic and is its executive director despite never taking a salary. “I had no idea what I was getting into, but I knew I had to make it work,” Bethune-Hill said. “Like they say in church, ‘You have to get out of the walls and take care of the people.’ We had thousands of patients right away. Riverside continues to just pour out its love and support for this clinic.”
2/4/21 - Shenandoah Community Foundation
Shenandoah Community Foundation launched its COVID-19 Emergency Relief Fund on March 30, 2020. Because of generous contributions from community members, the Fund has been able to distribute $152,000 in grants to 24 non-profit organizations providing vital services to individuals and families impacted by the pandemic. Shenandoah Community Health Clinic was a $10,000 grant recipient to support the provision medications for patients who cannot afford to purchase them.
2/4/2021 - Smithfield Times
The Board of Directors of Western Tidewater Free Clinic announced a new executive director on Thursday. Rhonda A. Stewart will officially join the clinic on March 15, according to a press release from the clinic. She is familiar with the clinic and the community, having previously served as executive director at The Village at Woods Edge in Franklin from 2008 to 2016 and served on the WTFC board of directors from 2011 to 2013. “On behalf of the Board of Directors, I am delighted to welcome Rhonda onboard,” board chair Charlie Broadwater stated in the press release. “We value her deep commitment to our vision of a healthy community where all our neighbors have access to high-quality health care. The board knows Rhonda is well qualified to lead the Clinic team while ensuring continued strong community relationships.”
2/4/21 - CBS This Morning
CBS This Morning features the Health Wagon, Governor Ralph Northam, and VDH's Danny Avula over questions around the lack of coronavirus vaccines provided to poor and health-vulnerable communities in Rural Virginia.
2/3/21 - WFXR Fox
Being able to self check for diseases is an invaluable skill to have, and can often times be the difference in early detection reports Dr. Nalli Chavez, a gynecology volunteer provider at the Bradley Free Clinic. She also shared efforts they're conduciting to support this effort in February for national self check awareness month.
1/30/21 - Prince William Times
COVID-19 vaccines were administered by the George Mason and Partners Clinic in Manassas Park, a part of Mason’s College of Health and Human Services that serves thousands of low income and uninsured patients in Fairfax and Prince William counties. The flagship MAP clinic was one of the first places in the Prince William area to offer free COVID-19 testing at the start of the pandemic and is now one of a handful of “community partners” administering COVID-19 vaccine through the Prince William Health District. The MAP clinic received a total of about 1,000 doses this week and worked with the City of Manassas Park to offer the shots to any eligible recipients – without appointments – on Friday. “If we have doses to give, we’re going to give them out,” GMU MAP Clinic co-director Dr. Rebecca Sutter said during an interview Friday just before the clinic broke for lunch.
1/28/21 - News Advance
Christina Delzingaro, CEO of the Community Access Network and the Free Clinic of Central Virginia, said like many nonprofits, Lynchburg's Free Clinic relies on special events to fund its services, but during the pandemic, it was unable to hold its annual Loft Tour or its Dinner with Friends events. At the same time, she said, the clinic has seen increased costs due to COVID-19 for personal protective equipment (PPE), implementing telehealth, and upgrading equipment.
A Rebuild VA grant to the clinic of $100,000 will help offset the impact of this loss of revenue during a time of increased costs. “Access to health care is always important but especially during this pandemic,” she said. “These funds ensure that the Free Clinic is able to provide high-quality medical, behavioral health, dental and pharmacy services for uninsured and underinsured adults in our community.”
1/22/21 - Roanoke Times
Virginia is distributing its limited supply of COVID-19 vaccines across the commonwealth based on how many people live in a particular area. The state had been doling out the doses based on orders by health systems and health districts and was able to meet those requests when vaccinations were limited to health care workers. But as they increased their capacity to vaccinate more people, and as the list of those eligible in Phase 1b expanded to include nearly half of all Virginians, the orders were coming in for three times as many doses as the state could provide.
Teresa Tyson, president of the Health Wagon in Virginia’s coalfields, said the organization is in desperate need of vaccine as it serves some of the nation’s most vulnerable people. “As of today, we have received zero doses to distribute to our patients. This is just not right. The vaccine should not be allocated based on population alone,” she said. “Distribution should also be based on COVID positivity rates. Rural Southwest’s positivity rate is extremely high — nearly 30%. In addition, Southwest is always, and permanently, struggling with the usual significant health care disparities that are inherent in the region and that contribute to COVID-related illnesses and deaths.” She said the Health Wagon is ready to vaccinate hundreds or thousands of people if it could get the vaccine.
1/21/21 - Fauquier Times
Plans are coming together to open a bigger, “neutral” site somewhere in Fauquier in early February. Once open, the Fauquier Health will stop administering vaccines to the Phase 1b population on-site, “so we can refocus on daily operations at the hospital,” said CEO Chad Melton.
The Fauquier Free Clinic may be able to help, Rob Marino, director of the clinic, by connecting clinical volunteers to the effort. "We want to do whatever we can to make it a success," Marino reports. “I know that they will need a lot of people to pull this off, especially people who are trained to give shots and monitor patients afterward. Many of the free clinic nurses and doctors have been asking how they can contribute. We are collecting names this week.”
1/21/21 - Prince William Living
The Community Foundation for Northern Virginia awarded $100,000 in grants to four organizations in a new round of funding through its Build Back – Dream Forward COVID-19 Response initiative. The Arlington Free Clinic is a recipient of $25,000 that will be used to support creative and innovative solutions for food access and distribution to residents in Northern Virginia.
1/18/21 - WCYB News
Dental students are getting some hands-on experience at the Healing Hands Health Center. University of Tennessee dental students are back in Bristol providing care to people who are under-insured with limited income. “[Patients] are very grateful to be here, and they enjoy the students, the students are careful and kind," said their advisor Dr. Rebecca Nunley. “There's a lot of demand, but there's always room for more patients and it's amazing what we're able to do to help people relieve pain, and to be more comfortable," she reports.
1/15/21 - WVTF Radio
A free mobile medical clinic in Southwestern Virginia, known as the “Health Wagon” is serving record numbers of patients this year, due to COVID-19. And even though the pandemic is spiking, they report that have not lost a single patient to the disease. Teresa Tyson, Nurse Practitioner and CEO of the Health Wagon, reports, "We're going to have a record-breaking year of patients, as one can imagine, with the COVID-19 pandemic that has ensued. I think we'll probably top out seeing about 24,000 patient encounters this past year."
Providers Make Safety Reassurances as Hundreds of Lynchburg-Area Health Workers Shy Away From Vaccines
1/13/21 - News Advanced
As Lynchburg-area officials plan out COVID-19 immunizations for different sectors of the community, a number of health care workers remain unvaccinated by choice. Workers and volunteers at the Free Clinic of Central Virginia and its cousin site, Community Access Network, were being immunized by appointment at the Free Clinic on Monday. Among them was Beth Walthall, a dental assistant working through the Community Access Network. She said she never had concerns about the vaccines and was encouraged by hearing few complaints from those who’ve received it in the past month, adding, “I’m a person who takes the flu shot every year.” In seeing patients, Walthall said a lot have expressed doubt in the vaccines “but it’s just talk, because I think when it’s their turn they’re going to absolutely get it.” Not all health care workers share her mindset.
Christina Delzingaro, Free Clinic of Central Virginia CEO, said about half of 300-some staff and volunteers between CAN and the Free Clinic have declined to be vaccinated. Those who’ve refused to get immunized thus far don’t necessarily have “anti-vaccine” sentiments — Delzingaro said many are taking a “wait-and-see” approach reflective of national trends. She estimated about two-thirds of the unvaccinated cohort seem to have that approach, while another third seem to not have any interest. Much of that third, uninterested group appear to have “unfounded concerns” about the vaccine’s safety, she said. “We don’t know everything there is to know about it, but we do know that it’s safe and effective — and we certainly do know that it is better than contracting COVID,” she said.
1/10/21 - Bristol Herald Courier
The Bank of Marion raised $46,000 in charitable donations during the Christmas season, pushing their 2020 charitable giving total to $111,000. During the weeks of Dec. 14 and 21, the bank donated a total of $20,500 to food banks and church pantries in its service area. During this same period, the bank made four charitable donations in honor of retired members of its board of directors. $5,000 was donated in honor of Everette N. Umbarger Jr. to the Mel Leaman Free Clinic, which serves low-income uninsured residents in Smyth, Washington and Grayson counties with free medical care. The clinic’s operating funds come from donations and grants.
1/9/21 - Richmond Times-Dispatch
Richmond’s clinics have served a pivotal role in softening the painful blow to the city’s Black and Latino communities that, as of Saturday, are more than 82% of hospitalizations and 60% of deaths. Combined, they’re barely 54% of Richmond’s population. For CrossOver, the largest free health care clinic in Virginia, they’re more than 60% of its patients. The clinic also accepts only new patients whose incomes are below 200% of the federal poverty level — about $24,300 for a single person. Same goes for the Health Brigade which has established a reputation for nonjudgmental and gender-affirming health care.
1/6/21 - Star Exponent
Spiffy new flooring has been installed at Culpeper’s Free Clinic, completely paid for by an anonymous donor. Operated by the Culpeper Wellness Foundation, the Free Clinic provides free medical care and medications for low income, uninsured adults throughout Culpeper County, serving more than 500 people each year. Updated floors and newly painted walls welcome the clinic’s staff, patients and volunteers as part of an end-of-year makeover, a news release from the Foundation stated. “The flooring is courtesy of a generous donor, who several months ago felt that the patients deserve a brighter, more professional atmosphere in which to receive their medical care,” said Free Clinic Director Tammy LaGraffe.
12/29/20 - Suffolk News-Herald
The Birdsong Trust Fund set a record in 2020 for the amount of monetary gifts given to local organizations in Suffolk and Western Tidewater.“We are excited to report that the Trust Fund gave more than $123,000 to 10 recipients, including Western Tidewater Free Clinic, as well as others,” Chairman Billy Chorey Sr. stated. “Some of the requests that were granted specifically met the immediate needs of COVID-19 related problems, and the Trust was happy to step in and meet those needs,” added Secretary/Treasurer Ken Spain.
12/26/20 - Strategic Health Care Marketing
From the beginning, Mary Washington Healthcare (MWHC), has supported the clinic, helping it grow and thrive. “The work of the Lloyd Moss Free Clinic aligns perfectly with Mary Washington Healthcare’s mission to improve the health of the people in the communities we serve,” says Phil Brown, director of corporate planning at MWHC. “Free clinics are an important community asset to improve the overall health of the community’s sickest and most vulnerable populations,” says Brown. The health system’s support of the clinic has been substantial - in funding and volunteers.
The relationship is mutually beneficial. “One of the benefits that we provide to the hospital is that we’re keeping patients out of the emergency room who don’t belong there, and keeping local low-income, uninsured, and underinsured folks healthier,” says Dulaney. “If we’re keeping them healthier, then there’s less free care that [hospitals] have to provide.” When they do need care, Brown notes, “all the clinical services of MWHC accept referrals from the clinic.”