Clinics In The News
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.”
12/24/20 - Loudoun Now
The trustees of The Claude Moore Charitable Foundation have concluded their 2020 grant cycle, awarding $2.2 million to Loudoun-based charities during the year. The Foundation, which was created by Loudoun resident Dr. Claude Moore, pledged or made grants, since its conception, totaling more than $79.7 million to various charities.Loudoun-based charities and organizations received over $23.6 million. Among the year-end actions was awarding $40,000 to five Loudoun-based programs related to the COVID-19 pandemic: ECHO, Northern Virginia Dental Clinic, Healthworks for Northern Virginia, Loudoun Abused Women’s Shelter, and Loudoun Free Clinic. “These 5 non-profit organizations deliver services that are deemed essential to the Loudoun Community and each one has seen an increase demand for services this year related to the COVID-19 pandemic while facing significant challenges in fund-raising,” the Foundation stated.
12/24/20 - Daily Progress
Earlier this week, Dr. Mary Preston at the Greene Care Clinic welcomed Santa Claus for his annual check-up and pre-flight physical. The examination was conducted remotely, via telehealth, given concerns about travel and COVID-19. Owing to his position on the Council of Legendary Figures, and the significant public interest in his well-being, Santa authorized the release of a summary of the visit. Thankfully Mr. Claus passed his pre-flight physical and is ready to take off on Christmas Eve to deliver presents throughout the world. To watch the telemed appointment, visit https://youtu.be/XmWfRFpqLL4.
12/16/20 - WFXR Fox
Communication between patients and medical professionals is incredibly important, but what if physician and patient don’t speak the same language. Alex Miner, a Virginia Tech Carilion Medical School Student and Dr. Jack Perkins share about a program offered by the Bradley Free Clinic that will alleviate a language barrier in healthcare.
12/10/20 - Coalfield Progress
Mildred Adams, is a former resident of Appalachia and will be 102 years old on January 12. She has lived through two pandemics. Her mother was pregnant with her in 1918 when she had the Spanish Flu. Due to her health issues and current COVID-19 restrictions, she was unable to get to her dentist. Encouraged to contact the Health Wagon, the extraordinary staff at there worked all weekend to locate a dentist who would not only take a new patient but take a 102-year-old with health issues who could not be transported. Dr. Mark Raymond of Coeburn along with the Health Wagon’s dental assistant, Devin Cradic, came Monday evening to pull her tooth and end Mildred's. What extraordinary lengths to make the quality of life better for a 102-year-old woman!
12/9/20 - CVILLE
The cold, dark days of winter bring an added level of stress for people who are already struggling. Free and affordable mental health care is available through multiple community providers for Charlottesville-area residents, including the Charlottesville Free Clinic.
12/4/20 - News-Herald
The Suffolk Foundation on Dec. 2 made its annual grant distributions at a brief, socially-distanced, outdoor gathering. This year, the Foundation was able to disburse $144,650 to 29 different nonprofit agencies including Western Tidewater Free Clinic which received a $9,000 grant to help provide dental care to 32 Suffolk patients to improve their overall health, self-esteem and employability.
12/2/20 - WSLS 10News
This Giving Tuesday, local nonprofits are asking for your help more than ever before. In a challenging year for everyone, nonprofits have been some of the hardest hit. The donations they rely on to survive are down across the board. “Our numbers are growing exponentially,” said Janine Underwood, the executive director of the Bradley Free Clinic. The clinic is seeing record numbers of patients coming through its doors seeking its services, but the funding to support that demand is struggling to keep up. We are the safety net in the community for those who are uninsured and can’t afford to make ends meet so we’re needed now more than ever,” said Underwood. With more than double the number of patients, the clinic is now starting a $600,000 building campaign to expand and continue helping people in need.
12/1/20 - UVAToday
Providing aid to members of the Latino community in Charlottesville who have been hit hard by COVID-19 is a daily struggle. In Central Virginia, the Hispanic population has accounted for around 25% of the COVID cases – a high number considering only 6% to 7% of the population is Hispanic.
In an effort to help the Charlottesville Free Clinic has partnered with several other local organizations to from the Latino Health Initiative, which has been working tirelessly with community health workers and many other UVA Health teams to provide free COVID-19 testing for the Latino community.
11/23/20 - Catholic Herald
Lilian Garcia still remembers how her mother, Cristina, was treated that day at a health fair when they learned Cristina’s blood sugar was a little high. Alexandra Luevano, now clinic director of the Mother of Mercy Clinics in Manassas and Woodbridge, showed Cristina kindness and concern. “She really looked after my mom, she was genuinely worried about her,” said Garcia. It’s one of the reasons Garcia, whose mother has since died, now volunteers at Mother of Mercy. “It’s kind of like giving back in my mom's name,” she said.
Garcia, a surgical technologist and a parishioner of Our Lady of Angels Church in Woodbridge, was volunteering at the Manassas clinic when the Woodbridge location began telemedicine appointments in April. While continuing to offer telemedicine, the Mother of Mercy Free Medical Clinic in Woodbridge opened its doors to patients for prenatal and primary care Nov. 23. It will start offering specialty services in December, said Luevano.
11/23/20 - Times-Dispatch
For nearly 6,000 people, CrossOver Healthcare Ministry -- the largest charitable clinic in the Richmond area -- provides a vital safety net punctured by a virus that has disproportionately impacted its patient population, which is more than 60% Black or Latino and 100% low-income. As COVID cases surged, so did the shift to meet the increased need for patients at CrossOver who saw the blue-bricked building off Cowardin Avenue as their only chance to receive medical care.
The clinic is operating at a 15% reduction of volunteers, the almost 400-person backbone of the South Side and Henrico clinic operations who are nurses, interpreters, dentists and OBGYNs. Some left due to being high risk, above the age of 65 or college students who were sent home. Others chose to retire. CEO Julie Bilodeau doesn’t blame them. They have families, too, she said, and the emotional exhaustion healthcare workers are facing in an unending pandemic has taken its toll.
11/17/20 - AFC News
Arlington Free Clinic (AFC) received a $250,000 contribution from Amazon to support the delivery of comprehensive healthcare services to low-income, uninsured adult residents of Arlington County. Funding will enhance quality of life for vulnerable Arlington residents who face significant barriers to good health – particularly as they navigate and recover from the COVID-19 pandemic. “AFC is grateful to Amazon for recognizing the enormous challenges that nonprofits face right now and responding in such a significant way,” said AFC’s President, Nancy White.
11/12/20 - CBS6 News
Free health clinics serve a big role when it comes to caring for those who are uninsured or underinsured. During the pandemic, more people have begun to rely on free clinics for care due to job loss and lack of health benefits. To help with the growing need, Virginia Governor Ralph Northam announced $3 million from CARES Acting funding will go towards free clinics. The funds will help with COVID-19 expenses like PPE, sanitization measures, telehealth, and hiring new staff. "The funding covers expenses from March through December of this year. So it's a huge support to the clinics," Rufus Philips, CEO of Virginia Association of Free and Charitable Clinics, said.
11/12/20 - Greene Record
In late October, Gov. Ralph Northam allocated $3 million in federal CARES Act dollars to reimburse members of the Virginia Association of Free and Charitable Clinics, of which Greene Care Clinic is a member, for COVID-19 expenses. Pam Morris, clinic director reports, “I think just in general that showing of support for the free clinics is just a huge thing for the state to do,” Morris said. “These clinics help a lot of people across the state. It’s been a stressful time. It’s not an easy time to have to be responsible for a health care clinic. I think it’s really a reflection of the folks in Richmond valuing the services that the free clinics provide.”The Greene Care Clinic has operated as a free clinic in Stanardsville since 2005. The mission of the clinic is to provide healthcare to residents of Greene County that are uninsured and whose income is below 300% of the federal poverty level.
11/6/20 - WFXR Fox
Feature interview with Bradley Free Clinic on their behavioral health services for those in need during the pandemic.
11/6/20 - 10News
The Roanoke Women's Foundation recently awarded the Bradley Free Clinic with a $100,000 grant intended to increase access to behavioral health services and help meet the sharp uptick in demand during the pandemic.
10/30/20 - InsideNOVA
The Arlington Chamber of Commerce presented its 2020 “Best Business” Awards to firms that are providing outstanding customer and community service despite the impacts of the COVID crisis. The 2020 recipients included Arlington Free Clinic as Non-Profit of the Year.
10/29/20 - Johnson City Press
Ballad Health, area health departments and safety net health care clinics across the region have partnered to create a new health care network for low-income people without health insurance. Launched as a pilot program in September, the new Appalachian Highlands Care Network is aimed at bridging gaps in health care access, improving health outcomes and eliminating treatment disparities. As the network grows, its development will follow three distinct phases — care coordination, care management and finally, preventative care for healthier, uninsured populations. Through each phase, Project Access will work in partnership with regional health departments and established safety net free clinic partners, including Crossroads Medical Mission, The Health Wagon, and Healing Hands Health Center.
10/28/20 - WSILTV
Southwest Virginia is seeing a sustained, troubling increase in cases of COVID-19 driven partly by small family gatherings, the governor and top health officials said Wednesday, as one area health system issued a stark warning that its resources were being stretched thin. “To be quite frank, today our region is in a really bad place in this pandemic,” said Jamie Swift, the chief infection prevention officer for Ballad Health, which serves southwest Virginia, as well as adjacent parts of Tennessee, North Carolina and Kentucky. The health system said it had seen a 43% increase in the cases across its region over the past week, 88.5% of its ICU beds were full, and it had 181 team members in quarantine or isolation.
Teresa Owens Tyson, CEO and president of The Health Wagon, a nonprofit that serves the area at mobile free clinics and three stationary sites, said her organization is seeing significant demand for COVID-19 testing and treatment. Tyson, who is a nurse practitioner, said her “biggest fear” is the virus becoming entrenched in the area, which already has a disproportionate number of people living in poverty and with underlying health conditions like diabetes, heart disease and black lung disease. “I feel that we’ve probably got one of the most vulnerable (populations) in the nation,” she said.
10/27/20 - Progress-Index
The John Randolph Foundation is announcing the recent award of over $461,000 in grants to 18 community-focused nonprofits in the Tri-Cities including $15,000 to CrossOver Healthcare Ministry to provide quality, primary medical care for uninsured residents of Southern Central Virginia and $7,500 to Lucy Corr Foundation to support the expansion of oral health services for uninsured or underinsured senior citizens in the Tri-cities area.
10/24/20 - Virginia-Pilot
While statewide spread seems to have stabilized, infectious disease analysts are keeping a close eye on Virginia’s reproduction rate, which in most regions is showing each infected person is passing the coronavirus to more than one other person. Public health officials worry winter could bring an outsized impact on the pandemic. If holiday travel and colder weather lead to a jump in new infections, cases could peak in January, according to a new analysis by The University of Virginia Biocomplexity Institute. The center is partnering with the health department to offer data-based COVID-19 projections.
Virginia officials announced Friday the state had received $22 million in federal aid to prepare its vaccination plan through December. But the Virginia Department of Health estimates the program will cost about $120 million. The state also received $3 million to pass on to free and charitable clinics for COVID-19 expenses, like personal protective equipment, sanitation measures, telehealth services and hiring new staff.
10/23/20 - Virginia.Gov
Governor Ralph Northam announced that the Commonwealth will use $3 million in federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act dollars to reimburse members of the Virginia Association of Free and Charitable Clinics (VAFCC) for clinics’ COVID-19 expenses, including personal protective equipment, sanitation measures, telehealth, and hiring new staff. “Our free clinics are a critical part of our health safety net, providing care for those with no insurance,” said Governor Northam. “Thousands of Virginians access health care through free clinics, and I am glad we can help support those clinics’ needs at this time. This global health crisis truly demonstrates how important it is that everyone has access to health care.”
10/20/20 - WCYB5
The Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) awarded $793,500 to the Health Wagon for the Southwest Virginia Medication-Assisted Treatment Services. So far, the clinic has helped 22 members recover from drug addictions through the program. CEO and President of the Health Wagon, Teresa Tyson, says, "The money will be allocated toward a physician, an addiction specialist and a counselor," she says. "That's important to us to make it a successful program."
10/21/20 - CBS19
The Charlottesville Area Community Foundation has announced 124 recipients of the Community Recovery and Catalyst Grant Program, the third phase of its COVID-19 response following the emergency helpline and the Rapid Response grants. Among the recipients are the Charlottesville Free Clinic, Greene Care Clinic, and Orange County Free Clinic.
10/18/20 - News Advance
Amid the construction work of Lynchburg’s Main Street Renewal Project, the Free Clinic of Central Virginia has joined in getting a facelift. The Free Clinic, which has a budget funded mainly by donations and grants, has provided comprehensive health care to uninsured and underinsured people in Lynchburg and surrounding counties since 1987. Its location on Main Street opened in 1992. The now-defunct pharmacy in the downtown location will be transformed into two private offices, where providers and volunteers can meet with patients for behavioral healthcare, and a classroom space. Delzingaro said the classroom will be a place where patients can learn more about health topics like diabetes, stress reduction, hypertension, women’s health and participate in group therapy. Exam rooms will be upgraded with more modern and efficient lighting equipment and new flooring. The entrance will move to the middle of the building and the side facing Main Street will have bigger windows, with brick on the exterior.
10/15/20 - Times News
Thanks to generous donations from the United Breast Cancer Foundation (UBCF), the Health Wagon — the region’s only free clinic — has dispersed useful, high-quality household items to individuals who need them most during the COVID-19 pandemic. Most recently, thanks to these donations, the Health Wagon dispersed personal hygiene bags to individuals in need at a drive-through giveaway and assisted patients in the enrollment of Medicaid and as new patients in the clinic. Over 500 individuals were served. The United Breast Cancer Foundation ensured the delivery of over 70 pallets of daily household items. “UBCF has worked with Teresa and The Health Wagon since 2012, supporting thousands of deserving and underserved women, men and families — and we’re just getting started!” said Beth Reichart, UBCF’s director of operations. “When people are struggling so hard just to put food on the table, keep the car running or get their monthly prescriptions filled, the gift of a new mattress, some new clothes and beautiful skincare products can lighten the heavy load and bring a fresh perspective to life. One of United Breast Cancer Foundation’s goals is to bring joy to people — and thanks to our work with The Health Wagon, we’re making it happen.”
10/14/20 - Times-Dispatch
Volunteers are worth their weight in gold. the long-term ramifications on the community with volunteerism. A large portion of the county’s volunteers fall into the 50 and older category. Many of them are retired. And among those, many of them have underlying health conditions that put them in the higher risk category for COVID-19. As a result, the Free Clinic of Powhatan needs volunteers to help register patients at the front desk on certain hours on Mondays and Thursdays.
10/14/20 - Winchester Star
The Community Foundation of the Northern Shenandoah Valley (CFNSV) announced this week that it will distribute a total of $61,500 to local agencies through its 2020 grant awards. Two of those recipients include he Dr. Terry Sinclair Health Clinic ($2,800) and St. Luke Dental Clinic ($2,000) from the Paul and Martha Rees Fund, established in 2014 by BB&T Bank in memory of Paul and Martha Rees to offer grants to charitable and nonprofit organizations for the benefit of the people of the Northern Shenandoah Valley.
10/13/20 - CBS19
The Charlottesville Free Clinic is moving its medical and pharmaceutical clinics to the Wellness Center, located at 901 Preston Avenue in Charlottesville after an unexpected lease termination from its present site of 24 years. After a six-month search for a new site, the clinic found a new home just a few blocks away from its present location on Rose Hill Drive. This is the first time the Charlottesville Free Clinic will pay rent. The Charlottesville Free Clinic serves about 2,600 people per year, offering 7,000 visits. It offers medical, dental, and mental health visits, and has been offering services throughout the coronavirus pandemic. "Things like buses and access and visibility, they're just really important to the clinic, so we can serve everybody who needs us," said Charlottesville Free Clinic Executive Director Colleen Keller.
10/13/20 - Virginia Mercury
As COVID cases in some parts of the state begin to increase after a significant drop through much of September — a month that saw Virginia’s percentage of positive tests fall below 5 percent — public health experts worry the lack of protections could hinder testing efforts. Dr. Mike Murchie, the medical director for CrossOver Healthcare Ministry, a free clinic in Richmond, said his office saw testing numbers fall significantly in late July after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention changed its guidelines for when employees should be allowed to return to work after testing positive. He is worried about the possibility that more patients are choosing not to get tested because they don’t have to be, or that less emphasis on testing might mean that some workers are choosing to forgo it rather than risk missing work with no pay.
10/7/20 - WHSV3
The Harrisonburg Rockingham Free Clinic, which provides care to low-income and uninsured adults, will close its doors at the end of the year. The clinic’s board voted unanimously to close the clinic due to changes in its patient base, volunteer provider availability, funding and challenges from the COVID-19 pandemic. The clinic is currently working to help patients make the transition to new medical providers, which the board says this transition is expected to be finished by Nov. 20. After that, the clinic staff will begin closing operations, with an anticipated completion day of Dec. 18. “We are proud of the Clinic’s 30-year life cycle and the quality and quantity of care it provided to many of our community’s most vulnerable citizens,” Josh Hale, president of the Clinic’s board of directors, said in a press release. “It safeguarded the health of many who would have ‘slipped through the cracks’ of the system. We are a healthier community because of the Free Clinic. We are confident that the resources exist in our community today to successfully transition our patients and keep them on the road to good health.”
10/6/20 - WFXR Fox
According to Roanoke, the Valley has an estimated 311 people homeless people, and the Rescue Mission of Roanoke is looking to help out those people in need. Today host Kianna Price talked with Helen Ferguson, Chief Programs Officer for Rescue Mission of Roanoke, about some of the services provided by the Rescue Mission of Roanoke and the G. Wayne Fralin Free Clinic.
10/1/20 - Times News
The Health Wagon continues four decades of growth with the opening of a new clinic site in Dickenson County. Health Wagon Clinical Director Paula Hill Collins said the new center, in the Dickenson County Technology Park in Clintwood, brings a new on-site clinical service available to patients across the Health Wagon’s service area: optometric services. “We opened Monday and made more than 50 pairs of glasses for patients through Tuesday,” Collins said of the Sister Bernie Kenny Medical Missionaries of Mary Clinic. The $1.35 million clinic was funded through a combination of an Appalachian Regional Commission grant, various foundation grants and individual donations.
9/30/20 - WYDaily
The Williamsburg Community Foundation on Tuesday released a list of 14 local organization receiving its fall grants totaling $69,915. The grants are provided through the Community Endowments and Field-of-Interest Funds, with additional support from the Community Emergency Response Fund, “which was established to support basic needs such as food and shelter, resulting from the pandemic,” according to a news release from the foundation. Lackey Clinic is a recipient and funds will be used for building modifications and protective equipment for the safety of staff and patients, as well as help provide more equipment for telemedicine. For example, patients who need to monitor their blood pressure will receive a device to check their pressure from home, rather than having to come into the clinic.
9/18/20 - EurekaAlert
Rebecca Sutter, Associate Professor, School of Nursing, received $62,500 from Action in the Community Through Service (ACTS) for: "ACTSPWC - GMU Collaboration of Care." As part of this project, ACTS will co-host five social work interns with the Mason and Partners (MAP) Clinic in Manassas, Virginia. Additionally, MAP Clinic staff will provide six in-service behavioral health/social determinants of health (SDOH) training sessions to ACTS staff. Social determinants of health are the circumstances in which people live, work, and engage in recreation. These circumstances have far-reaching effects on people's health. Sutter expects that, upon completion of this effort, 80 percent of trained staff will report greater competence when dealing with clients presenting with behavioral health issues.
9/16/20 - WFXR Fox
Dr. Lindsey Bierle, Internal Medicine Resident Physician at Carilion Clinic and volunteer provider at the Bradley Free Clinic, shares the importance of colon cancer prevention and how she's helping the uninsured access it in the greater Roanoke Valley via the Michael Bierle Colon Cancer Awareness Fund established in memory of her father who succumbed to colon cancer. Dedicated to spreading awareness and outreach, this fund provides funding for colon screenings at the Bradley Free Clinic.
9/10/20 - WCYB 5
The Health Wagon Mobile Unit was able to resume services to the medically underserved in southwest Virginia after being forced to suspend mobile sites due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
9/10/20 - Daily Progress
Medical care can be expensive, even if you rarely visit a doctor’s office. One of many resources available to Greene County residents is a Community Medical Supply Closet, in operation since 2018 through the Greene Care Clinic. “This community resource helps reduce the financial stress of those facing a medical condition, especially when the individual has no insurance or has insurance that doesn’t cover these items,” said clinic Executive Director Pam Morris. “It is also a place where unused medical supplies can be donated and be put to use to help others.”
9/9/20 - Roanoke Times
The Roanoke Valley Collective Response’s Blueprint to Action is a two-year effort by hundreds of people who joined together to influence policies and programs so that they could better reach individuals and families affected by addictions and work on the underlying problems that lead to substance use. When the collective formed in September 2018, it had 60 members, each with some piece of the opioid epidemic who were looking to join forces. The Hope Initiative, a volunteer effort to connect people with addictions to services, was sprouting from its nascent origin of limited hours at the Bradley Free Clinic.
Janine Underwood, director of the free clinic and co-chair of the collective’s steering committee, said the collective continues to grow with new partners, and its work has continued throughout the pandemic to address addictions that are worsening under the stress and isolation of the last six months.
9/7/20 - WFXR Fox
Loving Living Local host Kianna Price sat down with Dr. Faith Pasley, a volunteer clinic doctor at the G. Wayne Fralin Free Clinic, and Kevin Berry, Community Relations with the Rescue Mission of Roanoke, to talk about the G. Wayne Fralin Free Clinic for the Homeless, a ministry of the Roanoke Rescue Mission. Hear more about how it operates under a volunteer Medical Director and numerous other volunteer healthcare providers to provide care and services to the uninsured in need.
9/7/20 - SWVA Today
Dr. Shan Fairbanks became the medical director at the Brock Hughes Medical Center (BHMC) on July 1. Fairbanks is a fully board-certified family physician and was also fellowship-trained in sports medicine. He is employed fulltime with Sideline Orthopedics and Sports Medicine. As Medical Director at BHMC, he is treating patients, chairing the Quality Improvement/Quality Assurance Team and providing oversight to certified nurse practitioners Venessa Coake and Amanda Arnold. BHMC, which was established in September 1995 to provide medical care to the uninsured, was named in honor of the late Dr. C. Brock Hughes who was a longtime pediatrician and a much-admired member of the medical community in Wythe County. The clinic provides medical care to those who are uninsured as well as those insured with Medicaid or Medicare.
8/30/20 - Times Dispatch
Clenise and Alex White wanted to do something to help. They didn’t have any clue back in March — when the coronavirus pandemic was starting to blow up and they got the idea that making face shields might be a good way to pitch in — that by the end of August they would have acquired four 3D printers for their home office and become experts at producing the personal protective equipment. At this point, they’ve donated almost 3,000 of the reusable shields to health care personnel at hospitals, free health care clinics and other types of organizations, even barbershops, across Virginia and around the country. One of the grateful recipients of the shields has been CrossOver Healthcare Ministry, one of the largest charitable clinics in Virginia, “This has been huge,” said Dr. Mike Murchie, CrossOver’s medical director, noting the shields are not only free to the clinic, a volunteer-driven organization constantly scrambling to make its limited resources work, but the quality of the shields is “exceedingly high. They’re better than the ones we’ve obtained from any other source that I can recall,” he said. “They’re very comfortable.”
8/30/2 - Times-Dispatch
Concerns about the capacity of the U.S. Postal Service to carry out its “appointed rounds” have reached a fever pitch. While much of the debate has focused on the potential risks to the fall election, there are other serious day-to-day consequences of a debilitated post office, particularly its critical role in delivering lifesaving medications to patients who rely on them. Rx Partnership -- and hundreds of patients with chronic conditions -- depend on the Postal Service for timely, reliable and low-cost delivery of medications, and we are concerned about the negative consequences should support for the postal system be reduced.
8/25/20 - Herald Courier
Due to COVID-19, Healing Hands Health Center will hold its 15th annual Fundraising Gala as an online virtual event. “Mask”erade! will be held Thursday from 6:30-7:30 p.m., and registration is currently open, and there’s no charge. The event will include a live auction that benefits the clinic’s charitable medical and dental operations. The silent auction is open now for bidding. To sign up, go to Givergy.us/healinghands and enter the promotional code 123 while registering. After registration, attendees will receive a link to log in the night of the event. Healing Hands is a Christian ministry that provides charitable health care to the uninsured of Northeast Tennessee and Southwest Virginia. The clinic is at 245 Midway Medical Park in Bristol, Tennessee.
8/29/20 - Freelance Star
On Aug. 22, the Guadalupe Free Clinic in Colonial Beach received a donation of $38,013.30. Before the evening was over, another $1,140 was collected and given to Executive Director Lance Carrington, and his wife, Rosario Carrington, the administrative coordinator. All of the Fraternal Order of Eagles in Virginia raised money for the clinic by holding various events during Edwards’ presidency. And even with COVID-19, the clinic was still able to receive a generous donation. Guadalupe Free Clinic serves the town of Colonial Beach and Westmoreland County. Once again, the Fraternal Order of Eagles does what it does best, People Helping People.
8/24/20 - Free Lance Start
Karen Dulaney, Executive Director with the Lloyd F. Moss Free Clinic, issued the call to wear a mask, wash your hands regularly, and keep your distance when you must be near others. Science has proven that masks are effective in slowing the transmission of the virus. In communities where mask adoption has been mandated or voluntarily embraced, statistics show a reduction in death and infection. As a leader of a health care organizations serving our community, she asks that you please help us keep our communities safe.
8/24/20 - News-Press
The free clinic’s patient population is around 69 percent Latino, but over 90 percent of those who have tested positive were its Latino patients. That included nine who were hospitalized and one male patient who died while dealing with the virus, though the clinic couldn’t say for sure his death was attributable to Covid-19.
A transition to telehealth on March 17 made Culmore Clinic more available to its patients during the pandemic. What was once only operating for in-person visits a day and a half each week jumped up to six days a week, and its medical professionals, who are largely volunteer-based, were happy to be so useful during such a trying time.
Partnerships with NOVA Script Central helped patients get free prescriptions during the first few months of the pandemic, and cooperation with Dar Al-Hijrah Islamic Center helped provide free groceries after a visit. The clinic also offered personal protective equipment onsite to patients at medication pickups as well as when they made home deliveries.
8/24/20 - One News Page
The iRemedy Healthcare Companies, Inc. has shipped Project Restart ‘care boxes’ to 15 more community care organizations providing care to patients in underserved, underprivileged communities and neighborhoods in the U.S.; bringing the total to over 21 shipments since the program’s launch on August 5, 2020. Arlene Armentor, Executive Director of the Gloucester Mathews Care Clinic, stated, “We appreciate iRemedy making PPE available to our Clinic. As a non-profit clinic, any assistance we receive acquiring much-needed PPE is a blessing. Thank you!” Jennifer Hardesty from Lackey Clinic added, “Without the generous support of organizations like iRemedy, we would be unable to provide vital care to the patients in our community.”
8/18/20 - Richmond Times-Dispatch
Health Brigade continues to offer testing with weekly Saturday events for the area’s Latino community. Dr. Wendy Klein, Health Brigade’s former medical director who was instrumental in establishing testing efforts, said the racial disparities that have reared their head in a pandemic “simply reflect the racial disparities in everything we do.”
CrossOver Healthcare Ministry, a clinic whose patient population is 50% Latino and 100% low-income, has provided 482 COVID-19 tests as of July 29. About one in three Latino patients tested positive. In response, CrossOver implemented telehealth appointments and called more than 1,300 of its high-risk patients with chronic health conditions, offering information on reducing spread, educational videos in multiple languages and 250 home health care kits for patients to monitor vitals. But combating the jarring disproportionate impact means breaking down structural inequities that the pandemic laid bare, said CrossOver’s medical director, Dr. Mike Murchie.
8/7/20 - The Valeninte
The first free clinic in Virginia, two doctors, a nurse and a minister founded Fan Free Clinic in 1970. A large population of young, poor students and runaways had moved into the Fan District during the 1960s. Free love, communal living, recreational drug use and protests became the dominant lifestyle of the neighborhood. Skeptical of the judgment of the medical establishment, these young people tended to avoid doctors. When the Fan Free Clinic opened, it provided a revolutionary model for healthcare for a revolutionary generation. Without judgment and only using first names, the staff treated STDs, provided birth control, handled overdoses and treated a wide variety of injuries. They also provided counseling to young people entering into adulthood during this uncertain time.
8/6/20 - Free Press
Josselyn Aguirre-Cabrera went to see a doctor about her nagging headaches and learned she had diabetes. Struggling to find work in Richmond and unable to get health insurance, the 25- year-old native of Central America worried about paying for the essential medication she was prescribed. She’s grateful that, with a friend’s help, she can get her prescription filled at CrossOver Healthcare Ministry’s South Side pharmacy for just $5 a month. “I don’t know what I would do if this was not available,” she said. CrossOver’s ability to supply inexpensive medications is largely due to its connection Rx Partnership, a nonprofit that supplies free and low-cost clinics like CrossOver with free brand name and generic medicines that they can offer at low cost to patients.
8/6/20 - WCYB News5
Student supervisor doctor Rebecca Nunley says the program benefits everyone: “It’s very mutually beneficial because the students need to see the patients and these patients need dental care.” “We don’t cut any corners at Healing Hands here in Bristol, this is top notch equipment procedures I think you’d be hard pressed to find a clinic in the area that’s doing more than we are," Nunley said. Residents without insurance in need of dental or other medical care can go to Healing Hands Health Center's website and apply to be patients.
8/5/20 - WFXR Fox
Janine Underwood, executive director of the Bradley Free Clinic, shares how the free clinic in Roanoke is modifying operating during coronavirus to safely continue to provide care to the uninsured in their community -- in-person and virtually via telehealth. She reports seeing a significant increase in demand as a result of rising unemployment from people losing their jobs.
8/5/20 - Virginia Business
As primary care physicians report that the pandemic has caused financial stress and layoffs at their practices, Gov. Ralph Northam announced the creation of a primary care task force in partnership with the Virginia Center for Health Innovation (VCHI) and Secretary of Health and Human Resources Daniel Carey. Julie Bilodeau, the CEO at CrossOver Healthcare Ministry in Richmond has been asked to serve on the task force.
7/31/20 - TimesNews
Final touches are being applied to a building in Clintwood, which will house a new Health Wagon clinic. The clinic will provide a variety of services and will include a medical lab and have equipment for telemedicine technologies. The Health Wagon runs free clinics and mobile clinics to serve people in Lee, Scott, Wise, Dickenson, Buchanan and Russell counties in Southwest Virginia.
7/30/20 - CBS19 News
The Madison County Free Clinic will be moving to 525 North Main Street next week from its previous location at 410 North Main Street. Brenda Clements, the executive director of the free clinic, said she is excited to finally be moving to a new location. After the clinic was notified it had to move, real estate agency Montague Miller & Co. stepped in to provide the free clinic with a new home. "The location is awesome. It's off the streets, so there is a little privacy but it's very close to the pharmacy and it's right in the downtown area of Madison, so it's very convenient for our patients," said Clements. She said the new place is smaller, but the clinic will be able to provide more services with the addition of a nurse. "We hired a nurse practitioner to do telemedicine with our patients and she will be seeing patients here at the clinic by appointment on Saturdays," Clements said.
7/30/20 - OsytererPoint
Lackey Clinic, a faith-based free and charitable healthcare center in Yorktown, continues to bring light and life to some of the most vulnerable. “When COVID-19 came, our staff and medical director kept saying, ‘We’re going to make this work,” reports clinic l/ader Larry Trumbore. And they did, safely modifying operations to provide services primarily through virtual telehealth appointments, installing equipment to deal with the aerosols released through dental processes, and modified the pharmacy to pickup only from an area created on the side of the clinic building.
7/28/20 - Times-Dispatch
The Free Clinic of Powhatan is kicking its capital campaign efforts back into high gear this summer after several months of lying low because of COVID-19 precautions. The month of July in particular has been busy for the local nonprofit as it renewed efforts on its fundraising, saw work beginning on its future home on Skaggs Road, and reopened its doors for in-person consultation, said Connie Moslow, executive director. The Free Clinic of Powhatan, currently located at 3908 Old Buckingham Road, offers health services (medical, dental, mental health, women's health) free of charge for uninsured and low income residents of Powhatan County.
7/24/20 - Inside Business
When the pandemic cast a dark cloud over the world, the need for medical care increased even while access to that care faded. Chesapeake Care Clinic, a nonprofit organization that provides medical and dental services to low income and underserved individuals throughout the state, has been working to maintain and even increase that access. As the number of people in the region unemployed and without health insurance has grown, clinic director Dourina Petersen wants them to know there is somewhere to turn. “In April we started mailing prescriptions to our patients as long as they can wait two days,” Petersen said. “Which I’m hoping is something that will continue even after the pandemic because a lot of our patients have transportation barriers and this would eliminate that.”
7/21/20 - WSLS News10
The coronavirus pandemic has caused many people to lose their jobs and in turn, their health insurance, putting a huge strain on clinics that provide health care for free. “I wasn’t expecting this. We weren’t expecting this,” said Janine Underwood, executive director of the Bradley Free Clinic. Underwood said they’ve seen record numbers of new patients, registering 45 last week alone, compared to an average of 10 a week before the pandemic. “I’ve never seen that number before,” Underwood said. Mental health services are seeing the biggest spike, with 360 visits in June compared to just 40 last June. “Free clinics have always been here to fill in the gaps and now there’s a huge gap,” Underwood said. The increased demand is also leading to a huge gap in funding for the nonprofit, already struggling from fewer donations and canceled fundraisers.
7/16/20 - RVAHub
Rx Partnership's mail delivery program, which was designed and launched in just 30 days, aims to reduce exposure for free clinic patients, staff, and volunteers to COVID-19 while also ensuring that these vulnerable patients with chronic conditions receive their vital medication in a timely manner. “Mail delivery was a long-term strategic goal to further our mission of increasing medication access for vulnerable Virginians,” said Amy Yarcich, Executive Director. “While the last four months have been extremely challenging for everyone, it has been particularly devastating for low-income and uninsured Virginians who already struggle to get their much-needed medications. Launching mail delivery now was essential.”
7/13/20 UVA Today
TeleHealth Access for Seniors, started by students at Yale University, has recruited more than 210 volunteers – mostly college students – to collect and donate devices to seniors and lower-income communities. So far, they have donated more than 915 devices across 26 states. At UVA, third-year students are leading an effort to donate devices to the Charlottesville Free Clinic, which provides free medical care to more than 2,600 uninsured and underinsured members of the community. Director of Medical Clinic Operations at the Charlottesville Free Clinic, Meghan Hinger reports that the devices provided immediate, tangible relief for patients who previously had trouble accessing telehealth services. “The partnership between the Charlottesville Free Clinic and TeleHealth Access for Seniors helps our patients participate in video visits with their free clinic medical provider,” she said. “This is invaluable, as 91% of our medical clinic visits were completed remotely from March to May.”
7/9/20 - Virginia Mercury
The state also reached out to free clinics, which, like community health centers, offer free or deeply subsidized care. Rufus Phillips, CEO of the Virginia Association of Free and Charitable Clinics, said there are now 27 sites offering testing through free kits provided by the state lab. Like most practices, though, that testing is limited. Dr. Wendy Klein, the recently retired medical director of the free clinic Health Brigade in Richmond, said her office receives a total of 75 kits every week. CrossOver Healthcare Ministry, another free clinic in Richmond, received the same number of kits and tests about as many patients every week, said CEO Julie Bilodeau. “I think in an ideal world, we’d do more testing,” she added. But she also pointed out that manpower is one of the primary restrictions for her practice, which operates largely through volunteers.
7/8/20 - ARLnow
Arlington’s drive-through coronavirus testing site is back in business after a brief hiatus. Quest Diagnostics is now partnering with the county to conduct the testing, taking over from Virginia Hospital Center and working closely with partners like the Arlington Free Clinic to support the walk-up COVID-19 Sample Collection Site at Arlington Mill and additional projects to address the health of the Arlington community. The reopening of the drive-through testing center comes as Arlington sees a minor uptick in new COVID-19 cases. A week after Virginia entered Phase 3 of its reopening, the trailing seven-day rate of new cases in Arlington is now 74. It reached a low of 42 on June 29.
New federal data reveals a clearer and more complete picture: Black and Latino people have been disproportionately affected by the coronavirus (three times as likely to become infected and nearly twice as likely to die from the virus) that spans country, urban, suburban and rural areas, and across all age groups.
At Culmore Clinic, an interfaith free clinic serving low-income adults in Fairfax, about half of the 79 Latino patients who tested for the virus have been positive. “This is a very wealthy county, but their needs are invisible,” said Terry O’Hara Lavoie, a co-founder of the clinic. The risk of getting sick from tight living quarters, she added, is compounded by the pressure to keep working or quickly return to work, even in risky settings.
7/5/20 - News Advance
The Free Clinic of Central Virginia is the inaugural grant recipient of the Greater Lynchburg Community Foundation’s Century Fund. The $100,000 award will partially fund an expansion and renovation of the Free Clinic’s facility at 1016 Main St. in downtown Lynchburg. The renovation will help the Free Clinic meet the growing need for affordable, comprehensive healthcare for uninsured adults in Lynchburg and the surrounding counties by allowing significant expansion of services, especially in the areas of behavioral health and patient education. The Main Street facility will remain open during the renovation, ensuring uninterrupted access to healthcare. Christina Delzingaro, CEO of the Free Clinic of Central Virginia, said, “We are truly grateful to the Greater Lynchburg Community Foundation and to the individual donors whose support has made the Century Fund possible. At a time when healthcare needs and economic inequities are heightened, we stand in the gap to ensure that high-quality healthcare, dental care, and mental health care are accessible to every member of the Central Virginia community.”
7/2/20 - Franklin News Post
The Free Clinic of Franklin County at Bernard Healthcare Center is now testing the uninsured for coronavirus by appointment only on Monday and Thursday mornings. The nasal swab test identifies a current viral infection. It does not test for antibodies from an earlier infection. Results are expected back in three to four days. “We are asking all patients to make an appointment so we can be prepared for their visit,” said Ellen Holland, executive director. “It takes several minutes for staff to put on protective equipment and prepare the kit. A nasal swab will be taken outside in the parking lot, so patients remain in their vehicle. A nurse practitioner will also evaluate and counsel each patient.”
7/2/20 - RVA Mag
As Virginia slowly reopens in time for the summer, the pandemic is still a reality. Richmond’s Health Brigade is providing free testing for Spanish-speaking and uninsured patients every Saturday all summer long. “We do this outside, we have tents set up, we have bilingual registrars who collect information, and we have volunteer providers who do the actual testing,” said Dr. Wendy Klein, the medical director at Health Brigade. “There’s a lot of organizational work and a lot of staff safety officers, but you have to do this right.”
7/1/2020 - UVA Today
Imagine a small neighborhood health clinic that provides free medical care to more than 2,600 uninsured and underinsured members of your community. Then imagine a global pandemic strikes, rendering that work both more important and more complex than ever. Then, to top it off, imagine the clinic loses it’s lease to operate in the facility it has called home for decades, in the middle of said pandemic. These are the real-world operational problems faced by the Charlottesville Free Clinic. “Those were extremely challenging developments, and the shock was profound,” Collen Keller, Clinic Executive Director reports “If we close, people who are uninsured have one avenue for care: the emergency room. We were flattening the curve by helping folks manage underlying conditions and access key medications like insulin.”
7/1/20 - WHSV3
Millions of Americans lost their jobs during the COVID-19 pandemic, causing many to lose their health insurance coverage as well. The Free Clinic in Harrisonburg, which offers affordable health care services to low income and uninsured adults, have helped many new patients who were impacted by coronavirus -- from every industry you can think of, from car dealerships to restaurants. Leon Malca, the clinic’s director of operations reports, “It hasn’t been a struggle, it’s been a blessing because we want to help these people, we want to help the community.” Of the 390 patients the Free Clinic provides care for, 90 of those were added during the pandemic.
7/1/20 - Roanoke Times
Southwest Virginia was insulated from the worst of what the virus brought to the state. But as more and more establishments reopen and people venture out, often without mandated face coverings, and as restrictions ease still more on Wednesday, the tide has turned. “We are having people coming back from vacation. It’s almost exclusively that,” said Nancy Bell, population health manager for the West Piedmont Health District. Nearly all went to Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. Bell talked about the rise in cases in Franklin County, which mirrors what is happening in the Roanoke Valley with the return of South Carolina beach-bathers.
As she spoke Tuesday morning in front of the Stanfield Mortuary Services in Rocky Mount, a line of cars, SUVs and pickups grew along both sides of Main Street, waiting to turn into the Pigg River Community Center for free COVID-19 testing. The line began to form an hour before health care workers with Carilion Clinic and Bernard Healthcare Center and other volunteers planned to begin. They had supplies to test about 220 and had to turn away people when they ran out of kits.
Reps. Abigail Spanberger and Rep. Rob Wittman are urging the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to distribute funding to free clinics and improve access to high-quality treatment for hundreds of thousands of Virginians who rely on them for care. The Spanberger-Wittman effort has been backed by the Virginia Association of Free & Charitable Clinics, which advocates for the concerns of free and charitable clinics in communities throughout the Commonwealth. “We are extremely grateful for the support of both Congresswoman Spanberger and Congressman Wittman as they advocate on behalf of Virginia’s network of free and charitable clinics,” said Rufus Phillips, CEO, Virginia Association of Free & Charitable Clinics. “Free clinics across the Commonwealth have stepped up in a big way in regards to their response to the pandemic. From shifting quickly to telemedicine to obtaining necessary personal protective equipment to curbside pickup and home delivery of medications, free clinics have risen to the challenge of safely providing ongoing, routine and preventative healthcare to the states uninsured population during COVID-19.”
6/20/20 - Star-Exponent
Hundreds of people have healthier, more productive lives because of Eugene Triplett. For 20-plus years, the pharmacist has been one of the mainstays that keep The Free Clinic of Culpeper going. Every week, he volunteers for a couple of days at the clinic next to Culpeper Medical Center, orders medications, fills dozens of patients’ prescriptions, consults with them to avoid medical complications and monitors their progress. And for many of those years, Triplett toiled at the clinic while operating an independent pharmacy in Locust Grove, running a small farm, and serving on the boards of the clinic and the Culpeper hospital. Selflessly, he has streamlined the clinic’s pharmacy operations and upgraded its pharmacy software and technology. “Eugene is one of the heart-and-soul people here,” Tammy LaGraffe, the clinic’s director, said Saturday of the man.
6/19/20 - Times-Dispatch
As Virginia continues to reopen its economy while trying to avoid a resurgence of the coronavirus, the state’s network of free clinics is playing a pivotal role. By screening and testing for COVID-19 in addition to meeting the ongoing healthcare needs of uninsured patients, free clinics are preventing the escalation of the virus, reducing unnecessary emergency room visits and preserving hospital capacity. What’s more, free clinics continue to provide an invaluable range of services that go well beyond primary medical care including dental, pharmaceutical, and behavioral health services as well as programs which address social determinants of health such as food insecurity and lack of transportation.
6/18/20 - WJLA 7
Virginia's Latino community has been the hardest hit with the rate of COVID-19 cases. Mother of Mercy Free Medical Clinic in Manassas has seen the problem firsthand. The number of them that have come back positive for COVID has been tremendous," said clinic director Alexandra Luevano. There are more than 19,000 COVID-19 cases in Virginia's Latino community-- making up 45% of Virginia's cases, despite only being roughly 10% of the Commonwealth's population. Luevano said members of the community often live together in large numbers, are uninsured, and have jobs that put them at higher risk for contracting the disease.
So Governor Ralph Northam promised to push for better communication and access to free testing in Latino communities. “We are not checking papers at these testing events or at clinics. We just want to help you and your families to be safe and healthy,” said Gov. Northam. The Governor said bringing the numbers down is critical as the commonwealth moves closer to a Phase Three re-opening, which will loosen restrictions.
6/12/20 - WHSV 3
The Cargill Global Partnership donated $15,000 to the Harrisonburg-Rockingham Free Clinic recently to help support the clinic's COVID-19 response. In mid-March, the clinic created All-Day Wednesday Marathon Clinics, telehealth appointments and 90-day prescriptions to help provide medical care to uninsured residents in the area. The clinic said they serve many workers who are considered essential, so expanding their offerings was important to help workers stay healthy and continue working. As businesses are opening, the clinic has had to expand its offerings to meet the needs of the community. The donation from Cargill will allow the clinic to take on 24 new patients, operate 56 clinic hours and provide 60 language interpretive services. The clinic said the money also means they can schedule 200 medical visits, dispense 1,200 prescriptions and distribute 1,800 masks to the community and patients.
6/12/20 - News Advance
The Virginia Department of Health offered free COVID-19 tests to hundreds of uninsured and under-insured Lynchburg-area residents for the first time since the pandemic began. Held at the Community Access Network’s clinic on 5th Street, the event represents a key step in the health department’s goal of making mass testing available across the state. “We don’t turn anyone away,” said Christina Delzingaro, the CEO of CAN. “We want everyone to be able to get a test."
6/10/20 - Loudoun Now
The Loudoun Free Clinic has announced that Mary Elizabeth Goldin has been hired as its new Executive Director. She began her duties Monday, June 1. Goldin comes to the clinic with a background in both healthcare management and clinical operations. From 2015 she served as the Executive Director – Consumer Experience with Kaiser Permanente, and was Kaiser’s Director of Surgical Specialties in the Northern Virginia region since 2010. She has experience in both administrative and clinical operations, and one of her proudest achievements was in building the volunteer program at Kaiser from the ground up. “I am honored to become part of the [Loudoun Free Clinic] team to fulfill the vision and strategy of decreasing healthcare disparity in Loudoun County,” Goldin stated. “This is an unprecedented time for healthcare in the United States and the ability of LFC to care for those who otherwise would not have access is only accentuated.”
6/6/20 - Winchester Star
As the Executive Director of Sinclair Health Clinic, protecting my team is my responsibility. They risk their health and that of their families to deliver compassionate, science-based care to those without insurance, COVID-19 or not. Concerned about PPE, the clinic launched our Cover Sinclair: Community Mask Donation Campaign and asked for help. Within days, cloth masks started coming in. These masks were stitched with love and care by selfless volunteers. For over 30 years, Sinclair Health Clinic has been able to treat those without insurance through the help of our supportive community. And that enduring truth was evidenced in every stitch, pleat, and hem.
6/5/20 - WY Daily
Protests are happening in the middle of a pandemic, and there are questions about a possible second wave of the coronavirus. Many who are participating in the protests are part of minority populations that are already at risk of complications from the coronavirus. “It stands to reason that if people aren’t able to follow [Centers for Disease Control and Prevention] and state guidelines, the risk is going to be higher,” said Rufus Phillips, chief executive officer of the Virginia Association of Free and Charitable Clinics. “I don’t know if there’s evidence yet, but there’s been well reported concern about the possible spike in the virus as a result of people being more closely exposed to each other.” Phillips said minority populations, especially African Americans, are more likely to get infected with the virus because they have social determinants that are barriers to care, such as living in closer quarters and having food or housing insecurity. Because of those barriers, many already have chronic health issues that put them at a greater risk. He said many of those populations in Virginia rely on free clinics for care even as coronavirus testing becomes more accessible at health care facilities because they look at the clinics as their primary health care provider.
6/4/20 - CBS19 News
Brenda Clements, the executive director of the Madison Free Clinic, said the event is the clinic's way of making sure residents are safe and healthy, especially those without insurance. "When we saw that there was no way for uninsured residents in Madison to get a test without paying for it, we said wow, this is something we can do," said Clements.
6/4/20 - Fredericksburg Star-Exponent
The testing at the Culpeper Walmart will continue for at least several more weeks. “Health and Human Services and local officials will determine how long the site will be open, based on the needs of the community,” said Rappahannock-Rapidan Health District Director Wade Kartchner. Another location where people can get tested for free is at the Culpeper Free Clinic, for those without insurance. Kartchner said it’s notable that the daily number of new COVID-19 cases in Culpeper has decreased steadily over the past two weeks. “At the height of the peak, Culpeper had the 11th highest number of cases in the state taking in all jurisdictions, and the 8th highest rate,” he said. “Now they rank 14th in total cases and 11th in case rates. The trends are certainly improving.” The local health district Wednesday morning reported on its Facebook page 1,222 cases of COVID-19 in the district, with 727 in Culpeper, 329 in Fauquier, 41 in Madison, 111 in Orange and 14 in Rappahannock.
6/3/20 - Richmond Magazine
When Connie Moslow first moved to Powhatan about 37 years ago, she began volunteering and noticed a lack of affordable medical care. It was after she discovered that Powhatan residents were visiting Richmond’s free clinic in search of care that she decided to create one for her community. “I waited around thinking someone else would start one, and no one did. So I thought, ‘Well, let’s go do it.’ It’s been a great thing for the county, it’s been a great thing for me, it’s been a good thing for our patients, it’s been a good thing for our staff.” Open for 13 years now, the Free Clinic of Powhatan offers medical, dental and mental-health care to low-income residents of Powhatan. Executive Director Moslow, who does not take a salary, recognizes the importance of her clinic now more than ever as the COVID-19 pandemic ravages the country.
6/3/20 - Richmond Magazine
When the COVID-19 crisis hit, Dr. Wendy Klein, medical director at Health Brigade, and her team were forced to act immediately upon realizing that they did not have enough personal protective equipment. They closed most of the clinic (while still safely distributing medications and other essential services) and got their telehealth system up in record time. In some ways, Klein has found that they are more efficient, having learned what is most essential. “Health Brigade is unique in its commitment to health equity and social justice,” she says. “I work with an amazing group of people who share that commitment. I am just so profoundly proud of the way in which everybody rose to the occasion.”
5/29/20 - Loudoun Now
Loudoun County Administrator Tim Hemstreet has organized a COVID-19 Testing Task Force to help make more testing available in Loudoun. The task force is led by Loudoun Health Council Chair Dr. John Farrell and co-chaired by Deputy County Administrator Charles Yudd, and includes representatives from organizations like the Hospital Corporation of America, Inova, HealthWorks for Northern Virginia, the Loudoun Free Clinic, the Loudoun County Health Department and other healthcare organizations. Lack of readily available testing has been an ongoing issue during the pandemic, with the county health department organizing the first free, publicly available mass testing event last Wednesday. The results of the more than 1,800 tests conducted last week contributed to a spike in new identified COVID-19 cases, but also indicated a hopeful trend in the spread of the virus, Goodfriend said.
5/28/20 - WFXR Fox
Ruth Cassell, the Bradley Free Clinic Director of Operations talks about the changes that have been made at the clinic to address COVID-19 and be responsive to patients needs. She also focuses on the need for volunteers at this volunteer-driven clinic.
5/28/20 - Culpeper Times
Community Partners joined the Free Clinic of Culpeper in hosting a drive-through COVID-19 testing clinic on Saturday, May 16, in Culpeper; an inspiring example of community partnerships targeting an urgent need. There were many challenges to meet this need and the success of the clinic was the result of discussions and planning involving many community partners. Turnout for the drive-through clinic exceeded our expectations, with the volunteer staff providing COVID-19 testing for 185 individuals. Because many of the individuals who came to the clinic were from the county’s Hispanic community, the bilingual volunteers who provided information and collected data from those who were tested were critical to the clinic’s success.
5/27/20 - Rappahannock Record
Services at the Northern Neck–Middlesex Free Health Clinic, which have continued with modifications throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, are being further adjusted as Virginia phases in its reopening. “We’ve been able to stay open and deliver patient care in new ways during this crisis,” said chief executive officer Jean Nelson. “This includes some creative initiatives, such as giving blood pressure monitors to patients to help manage their hypertension between visits, redesigning the Dental Clinic, making more use of telehealth services, closely tracking inventory, and delivering medicines outside of the building.”
5/26/20 - Botetourt Bee
As the COVID-19 crisis continues, many people are losing their health coverage as they lose their jobs. The Christian Free Clinic in Botetourt is stepping up to fill in that coverage gap, offering telemedicine visits for new and existing patients. Using a smartphone, and similar to Skype or Facetime, this service is a safe and secure way to talk to a physician. While internet access is necessary, this can be found using a Wi-Fi hotspot. Clinic Director Jenny Daniels has reported “patients without an available smartphone may even access the clinic phones for this purpose, all from the safety and security of their car”. While the free clinic has doctors able to prescribe treatment for respiratory symptoms, they want the public to know that testing for COVID-19 is NOT available. Dental care is still available on an emergency basis only. If you are self-isolating, the clinic will be offering grocery delivery so that you may remain at home.
5/26/20 - Daily Progress
The need to provide long-term testing and treatment for COVID-19 is forcing the relocation of the Charlottesville Free Clinic, making the organization the pandemic’s latest victim. For 24 years, the clinic has been located in the office complex of the Thomas Jefferson Health District on Rose Hill Drive. Now it needs to move its offices, medical clinic and pharmacy by November to make room for additional health district staff. The free clinic has had a symbiotic relationship with the health district, utilizing the district’s clinical facilities after hours. That worked out well in the past because the free clinic medical personnel volunteered mostly after work in the evenings, which is when the majority of clients visit.
5/21/20 - Augusta Free Press
After 27 years of serving approximately 10,000 individual adult patients in the Staunton, Augusta and Waynesboro area, the Augusta Regional Clinic is no longer experiencing the need for its primary care services, and has decided to close the Medical Clinic on July 1. ARC will now concentrate its resources and efforts on the crucial need for dental care by growing its Dental Clinic. In making the decision to close the Medical Clinic, ARC’s Board of Directors emphasized its mission to provide health care services to those residents of our community who cannot otherwise afford access to care and its commitment to assisting if unmet medical needs are identified in the future.
5/19/20 - NBC29 News
The coronavirus pandemic is putting pressure on free clinics across Virginia. They’re providing care to some of the people most vulnerable to the virus at a time when clinic resources are strained. The association that represents 57 free and charitable clinics across Virginia says many are seeing a 10% to 20% increase in patients. "That’s only going to continue to grow bigger. A lot of those people won’t have insurance, might not qualify for Medicaid, and would really need to be seen at a free clinic,” Virginia Association of Free and Charitable Clinics (VAFCC) CEO Rufus Phillips said. Phillips says clinics are gearing up to care for more patients at a time when fundraisers are canceled and donations are dropping. “Without those donations, they are really challenged in terms of being able to continue providing the level of services they typically do,” Phillips said.
5/15/20 - 13 News Now
While hospitals are busy treating coronavirus patients and free clinics are easing the burden by providing non-emergency services to fill the health care gap. "Our patients are chronically sick, and so we see them a lot more often, especially if they're diabetic or have...high blood pressure," said Larry Trumbore, Executive Director of Lackey Clinic. "And so, we have that connection. We're more [like] family." Lackey Clinic has made changes in response to COVID-19, including running a walk-up pharmacy window, providing groceries for people in need, and serving hundreds of patient visits through telehealth programs. With upcoming fundraisers canceled, the clinic is asking for your financial help to continue providing critical health care and counseling to medically disadvantaged people on the Peninsula. "We take resources from the community, whether it's a dollar amount or it's a volunteer or it's a doctor or a nurse that comes to work with us, and we turn that into almost $20 million dollars worth of service every year," said Trumbore. "It's a wonderful thing."
5/15/20 - Green County Record
The Greene Care Clinic in Stanardsville transitioned to “phone only” appointments beginning March 16 in order to protect the safety of its all-volunteer medical team, staff and patients. Since the transition to phone appointments, the clinic has seen and treated a variety of everyday problems from high blood pressure and cholesterol to sinusitis, bronchitis, anxiety, back pain, depression and diabetes. “Telemedicine will give our patients a way to communicate ‘face-to-face’ with our medical providers,” Pam Morris, executive director of the Greene Care Clinic said. “It might also be more convenient for some of our patients who have transportation challenges or help those who can take a short break from work but do not have the time to drive to our office.” The clinic plans to keep the telemedicine option available even after the clinic is able to open its doors to patients again. “It will be especially useful for follow-up appointments with patients where our providers don’t need to recheck a patient’s blood pressure or other health parameter in person,” Morris said.
5/15/20 - CBS19 News
"A lot of the recipients in this program have pre-existing conditions that can make them more vulnerable to something like COVID-19, so now more than ever it's really vital that they have access and the knowledge to consume fresh fruits and vegetables," said Brown. This week, the organization plans to serve more than 300 people and has a goal to serve more than 400 people next week, with a long-term goal of serving 500 on a weekly basis. The Charlottesville Free Clinic is a community partner of the Local Food Hub, and it is one of the locations where food is being distributed.
5/15/20 - Times-Dispatch
In Virginia, people of color make up more than 40% of workers in essential industries, with immigrants forming 16% of the state’s essential workforce, according to the Commonwealth Institute, a nonprofit that researches policy impact on low-income Virginians. Those who are lower-paid, a cluster that heavily includes black and Latino workers, are less likely to work in industries that allow work-from-home scenarios, forcing an already disproportionately impacted group to make a bleak choice: risk their health or lose their jobs.
At CrossOver Healthcare Ministry, which operates in Richmond and Henrico County, 50% of its patient population is Hispanic, with 80% not speaking English as their first language, according to CEO Julie Bilodeau. Of the 34 patients who tested positive, 75% were Latino and often employed as laborers, cleaners and construction workers. Medical director Dr. Michael Murchie said many of CrossOver’s Hispanic patients live with multiple individuals or families, with some having as many as five families within a two-bedroom apartment, making social distancing and isolation impossible.
5/14/20 - NBC12 News
A flight crew delivered donated personal protective equipment from Philadelphia to be given to free clinics across Virginia. Angel Flight East pilot David Isaacs and other volunteer pilots, who typically give free flights to those in need of medical care, delivered 500 face masks and shields at the Hanover Airport. “We are no longer transporting many patients. The idea was about how can we use our pilots and planes to help move PPE around the country,” Isaacs said. The equipment was delivered to Michelle Taylor who works with the free clinics in Virginia.
5/15/20 - WCYP News
Healthcare workers are following strict guidelines to keep themselves and their patients safe. Healing Hands Health Center is no exception. Dentist Dr. Michael Ryan Fuchs says they are using teledentistry and decreasing the number of patients in the office. They are wearing full personal protection equipment and limiting certain procedures. Primary care doctors are also using telemedicine to treat their patients safely.
5/14/20 - US News
Even in the absence of COVID-19 outbreaks, providers are taking steps to prevent the virus from spreading that, in some cases, hinder some of their own efforts to expand access to health care. The Health Wagon's mobile clinics are off the road, and its nurse practitioners are seeing patients via telehealth when they can – a major help, according to executive director Teresa Tyson, but insufficient in a region where internet access is limited. In Wise County, where the clinic is based, less than 70% of households had broadband in recent years.
5/13/20 - Prince William Times
Dr. Rebecca Sutter, co-director of George Mason University's College of Health and Human Services' Mason and Partners Clinics, said that there is “absolutely” a correlation between what the clinic is seeing on the ground and newly released data showing that Hispanic and Latino residents are being hit hardest by the pandemic. According to the Center's for Disease Control, data “suggests a disproportionate burden of illness and death among racial and ethnic minority groups” with key social and economic factors, like living conditions, work circumstances, underlying health conditions and lower access to care, contributing to this disproportionate impact.
5/13/20 - mHealth Intelligence
With COVID-19 limiting the ability for face-to-face patient visits, the Fauquier Free Clinic has expanded its successful telemental health platform, giving patients the ability to access care from an mHealth device at home. “What makes this work is they can (access the service) from wherever they want, and it gives them a safe space to talk,” Raybuck says. “Sometimes they’re dealing with issues that are too overwhelming for a face-to-face visit … and they have a sense of safety in the screen.” The platform also gives care providers virtual access to the patient’s home environment, allowing them to gain more insight into what are often called the social determinants of health – clues that aren’t always apparent or offered in an office or telemedicine room at the clinic. Finally, the platform has also given the clinic resources it normally wouldn’t have. Partnering first with American Well and more recently with InSight + Regroup, Fauquier now offers online access to a broad array of specialists not available in rural Virginia.
5/13/20 - VCU News
Virginia Commonwealth University alumnus Zuhayr Shaikh wanted to make a difference during his time in isolation. An email from a free clinic in his hometown provided an opportunity. Mother of Mercy Free Medical Clinics in Manassas, Virginia, was transitioning to telehealth in mid-March after Gov. Ralph Northam issued a stay-at-home order. The organization sent out a plea for interpreters. Shaikh knew people who were stuck at home and had the skills to provide interpretative services so he reached out to the clinic and offered to help. Soon, Shaikh had a spreadsheet with dozens of names. He connected them with the clinic. He was amazed at the number of people who wanted to volunteer. Mother of Mercy only needed five interpreters but his list grew to over a hundred names. “It has been phenomenal,” Shaikh said. “It’s a whole bunch of people who care and want to help out the community.”
5/12/20 - WAMU
In Fairfax County, Latinos make up close to 60% of the county’s COVID-19 cases, a rate more than three times their share of the population. In Culmore, identified as an “island of disadvantage” in a recent health study, a third of the neighborhood’s children lived in poverty, and more than half the residents were uninsured. Many residents are undocumented. In areas like these, workers are more likely to be exposed to infection at work and then bring it home to their cramped apartments. Culmore Clinic serves primarily Latino patients and has seen an uptick in COVID-19 cases. Terry O’Hara Lavoie, co-founder of the Culmore Clinic, says the coronavirus is stretching the budget of one of the few medical care sites catering to low-income Latino patients.
5/11/20 - WMRA
"I feel like to a certain extent we were ahead of the game for our clinic and our patients. We were sending out information to our volunteer providers, we were sending out information to put patients. The thing that’s been difficult for us is that we do have a majority of volunteer providers who we conversed with and said “Guys, we need you right now to stay home and stay safe.” We’ve been finessing that for a while now and coming up with our Wednesday marathon clinics where we have a 12-hour day with our staff coming in to provide care to patients either in person or via telehealth," reports Summer Sage, ED with the Harrisonburg-Rockingham Free Clinic.
5/7/20 - UVA Today
Dr. Mohan Nadkarni, clinic founder and professor at the University of Virginia School of Medicine, said COVID-19 has certainly presented challenges. “There have been big changes at the Free Clinic in the methods of taking care of patients,” Nadkarni said, “but we want to make it clear that we have been, and will be, there for our underserved population in Charlottesville. Our volunteers have been incredibly dedicated and are still continuing to provide care.”
5/7/20 - Culpeper Star-Exponent
Free Clinic Director Tammy LaGraffe said last week the facility had conducted coronavirus assessments for fewer than 10 patients so far. “Luckily, patients are calling first to be seen or to pick up medications,” she said. “This keeps the amount of people coming and going to a minimum.” LaGraffe said the clinic had adequate PPE and had been working closely with the health department and Culpeper Medical Center for resources and support. “One of our concerns is given the economic impact of the pandemic, and the many, many people who’ve lost their jobs, we anticipate a significant increase in patients over the next several months,” LaGraffe said.
May 5, 2020 - Governing.com
Many of the problems routinely faced by rural communities will make it more difficult to cope with the pandemic and its aftermath. Long-standing deficiencies in transportation systems, employment opportunities, food security and broadband access mean that areas slow to feel the effects of COVID-19 will also be slow to recover. The levels of poverty here are at odds with the area’s natural beauty and proud people. With hospitals and clinics few and far between, the Health Wagon, the oldest mobile clinic in the country, has been meeting the medical needs of the local population since 1980. “We’re the medical home to over 4,200 people that would not have access to health care otherwise,” says CEO Dr. Teresa Tyson.
4/30/20 - Roanoke Times
Roanoke-based Delta Dental of Virginia has donated $500,000 statewide in support of the continued operation of free clinics with safety net dental services in light of COVID-19. “Safety net clinics are the only source many Virginians have to receive critical dental treatment. Those needs can’t be put on hold, and it’s so important that operations continue during this time. Delta Dental of Virginia is humbled to be in a position to help ensure that communities continue to have access to the care they need,” said Frank Lucia, president and CEO. Amounts were based on number of dental patients served and ranged from $10,000 to $22,000 in unrestricted grant funds to 27 free clinics across the state.
4/28/20 - CVILLE
the Charlottesville Free Clinic is offering parking lot dental services for its patients: Two days a week, as many as 15 patients drive up and say “ahhh.” The Free Clinic provides care to those who make too much money to qualify for Medicaid but don’t get health insurance from work. Parking lot dental checkups are just one way the clinic has adapted to life during the pandemic—they’re also doing curbside medication delivery and evaluating patients for financial eligibility over the phone. “A lot of folks are losing their jobs, and therefore their insurance,” says Colleen Keller, the director of the clinic. “We anticipate having a lot of new patients by fall.”
4/25/20 - Daily Press
Before he founded the clinic with his wife, Jim Shaw, a pulmonary specialist, couldn’t find a place to volunteer on his days off from work. So a colleague directed him to see what he could find in the Lackey area, and Jim Shaw found an opportunity to serve. Even after all the changes to the clinic over the past 25 years, staff and volunteers there today say they feel faith and community at the center of all they do. The clinic’s 25th birthday fell during the coronavirus pandemic. Like nearly every other organization in the country, its operations are different. With the pandemic came implementation of telehealth checkups, in which doctors meet with their patients through a video call. Patients without internet access can chat on the phone. Visitors to the pharmacy pick up their medications through the window. Anyone who needs to come into the clinic gets their temperature taken outside and is given a mask. The pandemic highlights the clinic’s role in alleviating pressure on emergency rooms and urgent care centers.
4/24/20 - Loudoun Now
The mission of the Loudoun Free Clinic is to support healthcare services for Loudoun County residents who, as a result of economic or other barriers, would otherwise do without. The COVID-19 virus has not stopped our mission. The Loudoun Free Clinic continues to provide comprehensive healthcare for uninsured residents of Loudoun County since 1999 and remains open through the COVID-19 pandemic while being careful to keep staff and patients safe by modifying patient schedules and protocols. “By staying open, we are doing our part in flattening the curve of this serious pandemic and preventing increases in emergency room visits.” said Board Chairman, Bill Schmidt. “If we can provide continuous care for our patients by phone and provide their medications for pick up, they won’t end up in the emergency room. This is how we are working to flatten the curve. Being open today during this crisis looks different, but we are open and continue to serve the community.”
4/23/20 - Culpeper Star-Exponent
Services at the Living Water Community Clinic are especially crucial as many neighbors find themselves out of work and without medical insurance. This situation has brought many more patients to the clinic with new calls each day for those in need of care they cannot afford. The clinic has not yet seen any coronavirus patients and has updated its protocols to ensure each patient receives safe, effective, and compassionate care while keeping staff member volunteers healthy. The clinic’s partnership with local physicians and communication with other community clinics ensures that COVID-19 patients will get necessary care and testing, the release stated.
4/22/20 - Potomac Local
The Catholic Charities Mother of Mercy Free Medical Clinic opened its second location Monday in Woodbridge. The clinic will operate entirely on telemedicine during the pandemic. the new clinic will rely primarily on volunteer medical professionals and other volunteers to staff the clinic. It will have one full-time nurse and one part-time front office staff member. Alexandra Luevano, BSN, RN, Program Manager, Mother of Mercy Clinic in Manassas, will also direct the Woodbridge office. Medical professionals or other individuals interested in volunteering at the clinic should contact Alexandra at 703-335-2779 ext. 15.
4/21/20 - WAVY.com
The Chesapeake Care Clinic expanded its eligibility requirements last summer, and now with the spread of coronavirus and lost jobs, more people are eligible and the clinic’s services are needed more than ever. With so many people having lost their jobs and their health coverage, the clinic expects to serve even more patients during the pandemic. “I truly expect there’s gonna be an increase, and that’s why we’re here,” said clinic board president Maryellen Remich.
4/19/20 - Fredericksburg Star
If you’ve lost your job and employer-provided health care coverage as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, Bill Botts wants to help you understand your options. Botts is a local certified enrollment navigator for the Affordable Care Act. Normally, the people he helps sign up for health coverage through the ACA Marketplace must enroll between Nov. 1 and Dec. 15, but because of the COVID-19 pandemic, that narrow window is now wide open. Botts, who works out of the Lloyd P. Moss Free Clinic, expects a significant increase in enrollment from people who have lost their jobs because of the outbreak.
4/17/20 - The Denver Channel
In America's coal country, health issues are no stranger. "The cancer rates here are so high for so many diseases," explained Dr. Teresa Tyson. And now, the novel coronavirus is making its way into this rural part of the country. “I feel that we have the most vulnerable population in the United States, in regard to this COVID exposure," Dr. Tyson said. Dr. Tyson leads the Health Wagon in southwestern Virginia. The nonprofit offers free healthcare in an area Dr. Tyson says is especially at-risk for COVID-19.
4/17/20 - NBC12
With Virginia’s healthcare system already strained by the pandemic, community clinics serving some of Central Virginia’s most at-risk and low-income clients and families say they’re more pressed than ever. “These are already vulnerable populations struggling day-to-day,” said the Richmond-based Health Brigade’s Executive Director Karen Legato. The Health Brigade continues to serve thousands of people in need of everything from primary medical care to mental health counseling and drug rehabilitation. But since the pandemic took hold, the 50-year clinic has now completely converted to doing it all virtually in a matter of weeks. The clinic’s entire system is now operating through telehealth, buying new phones and computer equipment and software. "We put out probably about $25,000 just to get started and rolling into this,” said Legato. The Health Brigade’s services that remain in person, like prescription pick-up and the syringe exchange, now have coronavirus precautions in place.
4/16/20 - Orange County Review
During the pandemic, telemedicine has come to the rescue for patients and staff at l
ocal free clinics. According to Dorren Brown, executive director of the Orange County Free Clinic in Orange, “Patients are asked to call the office first for screening and to secure an appointment via telephone. The clinic providers and nurse practitioners are meeting with patients via telephone and Skype when available.” Brown said the clinic’s registered nurse still sees patients for lab work, blood pressure checks and instruction sessions on Mondays and Wednesdays. The nurse practitioners are keeping scheduled appointments with patients in need of procedures and wound care, and patients continue to pick up medications and various other supplies and stop in to ask questions.
In Locust Grove, Living Water Community Clinic has likewise changed its protocols. All patients must call first; no walk-ins are allowed. Debbie McInnis, the clinic’s executive director, conducts the initial screening for everyone who calls in. As a result of the pandemic, providers have transitioned to phone or FaceTime appointments whenever possible. Regular patients may still come by to pick up their medications, but McInnis said they don’t see providers during those visits. “Moving forward, we won’t have as many patients physically on site unless the provider feels that they need to come in,” McInnis said.
4/15/20 - WHSV3
The Harrisonburg-Free Clinic's Director of Clinical Services, Meg Wightman, provides an overview of the many changes they've made to protect their patients, staff, and the community. From implementing telehealth to providing medication for up to 90 days, the clinic is committed to providing care and people folks safe.
4/15/20 - WFXR Fox
During a pandemic and a ‘Stay at Home’ order leading to many working from home, even for health practitioners working from home, it hasn’t been easy, as many are operating on a skeleton crew, sometimes fewer than half of their staff. For instance, Bradley Free Clinic in Roanoke usually operates with around 20 employees at its clinic. Currently, it operates with just eight people on-site. “We limited our staff that are in the building, a lot of our staff are working remotely, but our clinical service staff… we have kind of a skeleton crew and we also stagger the days that they’re here.”Janine Underwood, Executive Director with the clinic.