Clinics in the News

$50,000 Grant Helps HELP Inc's 3D Printing Lab

2/1/2026 - CBS3
As a free clinic, HELP Inc operates on a tight budget. Being able to bring down costs is now a reality for their 3D printing lab to create nightguards, crowns and dentures. "For the crown, I needed to put it bluntly, it was about a tenth of the cost," said Executive Director Matthew Stearn.

Free Clinic of Franklin County at Bernard Healthcare Center There For Those in Need

2/1/2023 - Roanoke Times
For more than 30 years, the Free Clinic of Franklin County at the Bernanrd Healthcare Center has been a viable option for the uninsured around Rocky Mount, although some are still only learning about the clinic now. “We are the same as any other doctor’s office,” Executive Director Ellen Holland said.

VIDEO: Goochland Cares Making a Difference in RVA

1/30/2023 - CBS6

MolinaCares Accord Donates $150,000 for New Pharmacy at CrossOver Healthcare Ministry

1/26/2023 - Business Wire
CrossOver Healthcare Ministry Clinic will be breaking ground on a new pharmacy this spring thanks to a $150,000 donation from the MolinaCares Accord. “As the only charitable clinic in Richmond with a licensed pharmacy on site, CrossOver’s community pharmacy is vital to the more than 6,600 clients we serve every year,” said Julie Bilodeau, CEO of CrossOver Healthcare Ministry.

Pulaski Free Clinic to Begin Accepting Medicaid

1/26/2023 - WXFR
A big change could expand healthcare access for a lot of people in Pulaski County. Since 1984, nearly 40 years ago, the Pulaski Free Clinic has been providing free healthcare to the county’s uninsured residents. Now, they are taking things one step further by accepting Medicaid patients as well. "What we discovered was that, although the community the free services, they also needed Medicaid services,” said Linda Frank, Executive Director of Pulaski Free Clinic.

Chesapeake Free Clinic Volunteer Top Dentist in VA

1/25/2023 - Smithfield Times
The Top 100 Registry has unveiled its list of the top 100 dentists in the US and Dr. Jayme Oliveira Filiho has been recognized as the top dentist in the state of Virginia. Owner of his own practice in Chesapeake, Dr. Oliveria also volunteers at Chesapeake Care Clinic.

Winter Wander Awards Grant to Charlottesvlile Free Clinic

1/25/2023 - CBS19
A holiday light display has now helped out five area nonprofits.The Boar’s Head Resort teamed up with the University of Virginia for the Winter Wander Trail of Lights. It raised $10,000, and the money has been divided between the nonprofits, with each one getting $2,000.The selected nonprofits are the Blue Ridge Area Food Bank, the Charlottesville Free Clinic, Habitat for Humanity of Greater Charlottesville, the Boys and Girls Clubs of Central Virginia, and the Charlottesville-Albemarle SPCA.

Help, Inc Expanding Services

1/24/2023 - ABC13
Help, Inc will be expanding its 3D dentistry program to fellow VAFCC member Lackey Clinic and Olde Town Medical Center thanks to a $50,000 grant. The organization uses a 3D printer to make more affordable dentures, crowns, night guards and bridges and can be delievered to patients in under 48 hours.

Op-Ed: Free Clinics Are Filliing the Mental Health Gap

1/23/2023 - Richmond Times Dispatch
Virginia is facing a mental health crisis. In the annual survey of member clinics, the VAFCC noted that anxiety and depression are some of the most diagnosed conditions.  Gov. Glenn Youngkin has addressed this crisis as well, unveiling a three year plan to combat the challenges this is placing on Virginians.

Two Clinics Awarded Chain of Checks Grant

1/18/23 - The Winchester Star
The Chain of Checks charitable fund sponsored by the Community Foundation of the Northern Shenandoah Valley announced five local nonprofits as recipients of grants. Two of the recipients are members of the Virginia Association of Free and Charitable Clinics - St. Luke Community Clinic's dental program and Sinclair Health Clinic will both be receiving $5,000.

America's Tooth Fairy visits Augusta Free Clinic

1/17/2023 - Trendeepro
America's Tooth Fairy awarded Augusta Free Clinic with a grant and supplies to continue their mission. The North Carolina based organization works with 53 clinics in 24 states offering dental supplies and grants. Over the last year, the organization's efforts have enabled clinics to serve 15% more patients. “The grants and donations have been a breakthrough for our clinic this year,” says Sophie Parson of Augusta Regional Dental Clinic in Fishersville, Virginia, where there simply aren’t enough dental professionals to serve their community.

Free Clinic of Culpeper and Less Cancer Partner Up

1/9/2023 - Yahoo! Finance
Noting the rising cancer rates in their community, Culpeper police, the Free Clinic of Culpeper and Less Cancer are partnering up to increase awareness of getting annual cancer screenings. "Cancer doesn't discriminate," says Culpeper Police Sergeant Norma McGuckin. "[We're] joining efforts to remind the community of Culpeper about the importance of yearly screenings. Early detection is key to preventing many types of cancer. Don't remain silent when it comes to your health. Ask your doctor."

Bradley Free Clinic Dentist Named to 40 Under 40 List

1/6/2023 - The Roanoker
Earning the 36th spot on tthe Roanoker's '40 under 40' list is a Bradley Free Clinic dental volunteer, Dr. Laura Garden. In Roanoke, owns her own root canal therapy and microsurgery practice. "I strive to [patients] overcome lifelong fears of the dentist through a positive experience in my office," Dr. Garden said about her practice, “My hope is that I have created an environment that is comforting and painless to all of my patients."

Loudon Free Clinic Awarded Chamber Foundation Grant

1/4/2023 - Loudon Times-Mirror
The Loudoun County Chamber of Commerce is supporting 11 of the county’s nonprofit organizations with a $4,000 grant for each of them, according to a Wednesday press release. Loudon Free Clinic was one of the 11 nonprofits included in the grant. “Loudoun is so fortunate to have so many outstanding nonprofits, whose dedicated staff and devoted volunteers work tirelessly to serve our families and neighbors in need," Tony Howard, president of the chamber said.

Doctor Spends Retirement Volunteering at GoochlandCares

1/3/23 - ABC8
“It’s very important. It’s critical,” said GoochlandCares executive director Sally Graham. Six patients are all the program started with, and Graham said it has grown tremendously over the years. After some sticker shock on the price of insurance following his retirement, Dr. Bruce Silverman decided to give back, becoming one of GoochlandCares six or seven unpaid volunteers.


OPED: As the Mental Health Crisis Worsens, VTMHI Could Be a Lifeline

12/31/2022 - The Free Lance Star
The diagnosis is in: America is experiencing a mental health crisis. Clients know it. A survey earlier this fall from CNN and the Kaiser Family Foundation found that nine in 10 Americans believe that the mental health of the country is in peril. It’s been a one-two punch. On the heels of the opioid epidemic, the abiding impact of COVID has accelerated a rash of social stressors like anxiety and depression. Stress and trauma related to finances, health and family are fueling the need for professional help — help that all too often is unavailable, unaffordable or inaccessible.That is where the Virginia Telemental Health Initiative can step in.

VIDEO: Culmore Clinic Receives a Gift

12/16/22 - YouTube
After Culmore Clinic provided free healthcare to one of their priests visiting the US from Ghana, the Ghana Catholic Community wanted to repay the blessing. In this video, community member Rose Mesah presents a check for $5,000 to Culmore Clinic's Board President Pastor Greg Loewer and Co-Founder Terry Lavoie at Culmore Clinic's 2022 Open House.

Can't Afford a Doctor? The Heart of Virginia Free Clinic is Here

12/16/2022 - The Farmville Herald
As winter brings the return of the cold and flu season, the Heart of Virginia Free Clinic is ready to help people stay healthy despite their financial struggles. The Heart of Virginia Free Clinic is open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesdays through Thursdays at 401 E. 3rd St., Farmville. For the past 10 years, the Heart of VIrginia Free Clinic has provided primary medical care for the nine counties of Prince Edward, Cumberland, Charlotte, Buckingham, Nottoway, Lunenburg, Amelia, Appomattox and Mecklenburg.

Free Mental Health Services to Launch in Richmond, across Virginia in January

12/15/2022 - ABC8
Health Brigade will begin offering mental health therapy via telehealth through the Virginia Telemental Health Initiative (VTMHI), a program first launched at the Faquier County Clinic this week. The VTMHI will expand to six total clinics in January and intends to fill a gap for mental healthcare throughout Virginia. A statewide survey conducted by Virginia Telehealth Network in 2021 showed the widespread need for more mental health services, especially among free and charitable clinics.

Virtual Mental Health Therapy For Uninsured Available in Fauquier County

12/15/2022 - Fauquier TImes
Uninsured or underinsured residents of Fauquier County who need mental-health services may be eligible for free telehealth services under an expanded program starting this week at the Fauquier Free Clinic. Patients can contact the clinic directly to determine their eligibility and make appointments. Call 540-347-0394. The Virginia Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Services, the Virginia Telehealth Network and the Virginia Association of Free and Charitable Clinics announced this week the launch of Virginia Telemental Health Initiative to tackle challenges related to access to mental-health care, according to a news release.

Charlottesville Free Clinic To Launch New Mental Health Teleservice

12/15/2022 - NBC29
Charlottesville Free Clinic will be one of the first clinics across the state to participate in the new Virginia Telemental Health Initiaive (VTMHI). THe program aims to give under and uninsured Virginians access to mental health care services at several clinics in Virginia beginning in January. “We’re trying to marry these needs for people being able to access care, who may not have insurance, and helping to connect them with workforce development opportunities,” Robin Cummings, special project manager with the Virginia Telehealth Network said.

Health No Gamble For Healing Hands

12/14/2022 - WCYB5
Bristol Casino: Future Home of the Hard Rock is already making their impact on the community felt with a holiday gift. Healing Hands was one of five local organizations to receive part of a $50,000 gift from the future business. "Today's donations will go a long way in helping underwrite the care for the patients that call Healing Hands home," said Kemple. "They desperately need to have a place that they can come and be treated with dignity and respect."

Western Tidewater Free Clinic Earns Norfolk Southern Grant

12/12/2022 - Norfolk Southern
As part of its $5 million pledge to help the Hampton Roads area, railway giant Norfolk Southern announced in a press release that Western Tidewater Free Clinic was one of the 57 recipients to receive a piece of their annual grant. "Generations of Norfolk Southern employees have lived, worked, and raised their families in the Hampton Roads community. Today, our railroaders and retirees continue to be engaged in the region and invested in its future," said Norfolk Southern President and CEO Alan H. Shaw. "We are partnering with the Hampton Roads Community Foundation to award the first tranche of this $5 million fund and continue our support for a community that means so much to us."

Sentara awards Blue Ridge Free Clinic Part of $500,000 Grant

12/7/22 - Augusta Free Press
As part of the fall 2022 grant cycle, Sentara was able to support nearly 100 partner organizations in Virginia and North Carolina with $5 million in funding, which included the Blue Ridge Free Clinic. “The Sentara Cares grants are so important because they directly address the most pressing needs of our neighbors,” Sentara RMH Medical Center President Doug Moyer said. “The funding extends our reach and allows us to improve the total health and wellness of our community on many different levels. That’s our mission and the shared mission of the partners agencies we’re assisting.”

Volunteer With Arlington Free Clinic this Holiday Season

12/2/22 - Arlington Magazine
Arlington Free Clinic provides free, high-quality medical and dental care to low-income, uninsured Arlington County adults. This holiday season, consider making a donation or volunteering at the clinic. Clinic staff shared what is most in need,While we have been steadily returning to onsite services, interpreting is still predominantly being done remotely either via phone or video call, depending on the appointment type. You can also hold a drive for items on our Amazon wish list and help us start the new year off strong!” Donations can be mailed directly to the clinic at 2921 11th Street S., Arlington VA, 22204, or dropped off Monday-Friday 9 a.m.-12 p.m. and 1 p.m.-4 p.m. Questions about volunteering? Email

Arlington Free Clinic Receives Funds from CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield

12/1/22 - CityBiz
Today, CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield (CareFirst), a not-for-profit and the largest health plan in the mid-Atlantic region, announced nearly $8 million in investments to 19 community-based organizations in Maryland, Washington D.C., and Northern Virginia including the Arlington Free Clinic. These multi-year grants will work to address the unprecedented impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on the mental health of the region’s children, adolescents, and families. With a focus on eliminating barriers in access to services and expanding the number of providers available in the behavioral health workforce, the initiatives stand to collectively impact nearly 25,000 people. 

Member One Credit Uniion Donates to Bradley Free Clinic

12/1/22 - WDJB7
Very excited to learn of Member One Federal Credit Union's recent $50,000 donation to Bradley Free Clinic to support community outreach of its resources and services to vulnerable community members about. The funds will help more than 3,000 people across the Roanoke Valley. ”It was really a great Christmas gift to be able to get this money from Member One,” Janine Underwood, Clinic Executive Director said. ”I think our community outreach was the one area that we don’t have any specific grant funding for.”

Longtime Richmond HIV Doctor Urges Testing 

12/1/22 - CBS6 News
It's World AIDS Day, an opportunity to spread awareness and encourage progress in HIV/AIDS prevention, treatment and care around the world. Member clinic CrossOver Healthcare Ministry's Dr. Vivian Bruzzese, who has served as HIV program director for the past 25 years, urges testing and knowing your status. “If more people are aware of their status and treated, we can really decrease the number of people who are affected and infected worldwide. It’s really a global pandemic,” Bruzzese explained.

Governor Youngkin Donates Pathways His Paycheck

11/30/22 - CBS6
Governor Glenn Youngkin (R - Virginia) donated his fourth-quarter salary to Pathways in Petersburg. He presented the $43,000 check to the organization at a Wednesday morning ceremony. “Pathways is a great local resource that is having a profound impact and changing lives in Petersburg,” Youngkin said. “They provide comprehensive and sustainable solutions to unique challenges in Petersburg and serve as a prime example of our shared goal for the Partnership for Petersburg.”

Augusta Regional Dental Clinic seeks support this Tuesday for school program

11/28/22 - Staunton News Leader
The Augusta Regional Dental Clinic (ARDC) will participate in Giving Tuesday on Nov. 30 with the goal of raising $5,000 for its preventative dental care school program.The ARDC seeks support from the community to fund its school program called ORCAS (ORal Care atSchool), the release said. Through ORCAS, the clinic’s team provides dental visits at no out-of-pocket cost to elementary school students in the Waynesboro and Augusta County area, per the release. The program also includes educational sessions to discuss the importance of a balanced diet and good oral hygiene habits.

Guadalupe Free Clinic Receives Donation

11/26/22 - Free Lance-Star
Guadalupe Free Clinic of Colonial Beach recently received a $2,500 donation from the Colonial Beach Fraternal Order of Eagles. Clinic Director Lance Carrington, center, accepted the check from Tommy Edwards, Aerie 4315 trustee and VA State past president, and Sharon Schellin, Aerie 4315 president and VA State trustee. The money will be used for clinic operations as the facility recently moved to a larger location in the town's Food Lion shopping center, at 700 McKinney Blvd., Suite 1100. The new location provides more than twice the space and four exam rooms instead of two, doubling the need for medical equipment and supplies, Carrington said. The clinic is a ministry of the Catholic Diocese of Arlington. Its team of medical providers volunteer their services to care for the poor of uninsured of Westmoreland County. 

Support GoochlandCares' Food Pantry

11/23/22 - CBS6 News
GoochlandCares works hard to support families in our community. Sally Graham, Executive Director of the organization stopped by to share more about how you can support their mission this season including donating to their food pantry. 

America's ToothFairy Supports Augusta Regional Dental Clinic

11/22/22 -  Dentistry Today
More kids can access dental care than a year ago, according to reports from safety-net dental clinics receiving resources from America’s ToothFairy, a nonprofit organization that works with corporate donors to provide dental supplies, equipment, and educational materials to increase access to dental services for children in underserved communities. This includes the Augusta Regional Dental Clinic in Fishersville, VA. As a member of the Dental Resource Program of America’s ToothFairy, the nonprofit clinic qualifies to receive resources that help them provide access to care for more children. “The grants and donations have been a game changer for our clinic this year,” said Sophie Parson of Augusta Regional Dental Clinic in Fishersville, Virginia, where there simply aren’t enough dental professionals to service their community. “With the cost of supplies on the rise, we were expecting to not be able to offer complimentary oral health goods to our patients enrolled in our school program,” she continued. “We simply could not include that in our budget anymore. It was a difficult decision since we know many children in our community do not have access to such goods. But thanks to America’s ToothFairy, every child coming through our clinic’s doors and participating in our school-based program has received a toothbrush, toothpaste, floss and oral health education materials. This is huge!”

EVMS & ODU Join Forces to Provid Dental Care for Underinsured Patients

11/21/22 - EVMS News
The EVMS HOPES Free Clinic teamed up with the Old Dominion University School of Dental Hygiene to provide dental services to under-insured, spanish-speaking pediatric patients.

Charlottesville Free Clinic Reaches 30 Years of Serving the Community

11/21/22 - NBC12 News
The Charlottesville Free Clinic is marking 30 years of serving the community. The clinic provides free services, including dental care and prescriptions, to uninsured and under-insured adults. Executive Director Susan Sherman says the clinic opened to serve as a stopgap until universal health care was applied. “Thirty years later, it’s not the law of land. So, there are still thousands of people that don’t have insurance that don’t have enough money to be able to pay for their own insurance or out-of-pocket medical expenses,” Sherman said. The Charlottesville Free Clinic will schedule an appointment for anyone who does not have insurance, including Medicaid. After your first visit, the clinic takes an attestation regarding income level to confirm that you will continue to qualify for services. If you wind up not qualifying, it will help get you connected to the right provider. If you qualify for Medicaid but are not yet enrolled, the Charlottesville Free Clinic will help get you enrolled.

Brock Hughes Medical Center Receives Grant

11/18/22 - SWVA Today
This fall, the Community Foundation of the New River Valley (CFNRV) awarded a total of $208,366.99 through its Responsive Grants program to 71 nonprofits serving the New River Valley. This total represents the most the CFNRV has ever given out during its competitive grants process. Since 2002, the foundation has awarded nearly $7 million in grants. Wytheville’s Brock Hughes Medical Center (BHMC) received $4,000from the Ghia Borg Memorial Health Care Fund & the Wythe County United Legacy Fund. BHMC is a nonprofit organization that provides primary health care services to those who have Medicaid or Medicare coverage or no health insurance coverage at all in Wythe and Bland counties. BHMC is currently providing almost 5,000 healthcare visits a year to over 800 patients, of all ages-birth to geriatric.

Doctors Urge Families to Eat Fewer Carbs This Thanksgiving

11/17/22 - CBS6 News
November is dedicated to recognizing the impacts diabetes has on millions of Americans. Nearly 800,000 Virginians are living with chronic diabetes as we near the upcoming Thanksgiving and December holidays. Those days are often filled with overeating sweets at work or school and large meals with friends and families. Crossover Healthcare Ministry on Quioccasin Road is a nonprofit that provides wraparound health services at no-cost or low-cost to families. They also serve as a member of the Virginia Association of Free and Charitable Clinics. “Unfortunately, in our American diet, we eat a lot of carbohydrates. It’s not just in sweets but in our lunch and dinner, as well. We eat rice, bread and pasta,” said Dr. Danielle Avula, Crossover’s Associate Medical Director. “Just being aware that sugar is everywhere and that in prevention of diabetes, specifically, you really want to limit the amount of the carbohydrates or the sugar that you're taking it on a regular basis.”

Health Wagon Expanding Clinic Hours

11/15/22 - Times News
November is seeing some new holiday season activity by The Health Wagon. Paula Hill-Collins, nursing director for the Wise-based free clinic, said Monday the health care organization will be offering extended Thursday and Saturday hours at its Clintwood clinic in the Happy Valley Industrial Park starting Thursday. Hill-Collins said the extended hours — 5-9 p.m. on Thursdays and 10 a.m.-2 p.m. on Saturdays — will be for patients in Dickenson and Wise counties. She said Dickenson County no longer has an urgent care facility, and the new hours will be for people who need after-hours care but not at an emergency room level.

Blue Ridge Free Clinic Working to Education Community Members with Diabetes, Provide Supplies

11/15/22 - WHSV New
November is National Diabetes Month and according to the Virginia Department of Health, over 700,000 people in the state live with the disease. For the Blue Ridge Free Clinic in Harrisonburg, it is the second most common chronic disease staff treat after hypertension. “It doesn’t do any good to diagnose somebody with diabetes if you can’t treat their diabetes. So we work really hard to raise funds to buy bridging medications and that’s one of the things we’re so grateful to the community. They have supported us being able to purchase insulin which is incredibly expensive until we can get someone enrolled in a medication assistance program, or get them enrolled in Medicaid if they’re eligible,” Volunteer Director for BRFC and Family Nurse Practitioner Susan Adamson said. Adamson says patients with the disease are also given all of the tools they need to maintain proper blood sugar, blood pressure, and glucose levels.

Free Mental Health Clinic Closes From Staff Shortages

11/14/22 - Free Lance-Star
Fredericksburg Counseling Services Inc., a free clinic that provided services to low-income and uninsured patients in the area, is closing after 60 years because it cannot find people to run the program. The closure impacts both those who have been receiving care as well as future practitioners who were working toward certification. Over the years, FCSI has provided as many as 17 internships a year to graduate students who did their clinical training in Fredericksburg. “Letting go has really been a struggle and what breaks my heart most is that it’s needed the most now,” said Catherine Jennings, FCSI’s board chair. “But you can’t run something without staff.”

Lynchburg Grant Program Helps Free Clinic Expand

11/13/22 - News Advance
The Lynchburg Office of Economic Development and Tourism’s Local Redevelopment Program just completed its 10th cycle of offering incentives to local businesses. The program is designed to support small- and medium-scale investments in commercial property within the city of Lynchburg and supports a portion of qualified expenditures. The Free Clinic received $15,000 from the program and used it towards its $700,000 renovation at its offices at 1016 Main St. Ula Kauppi, director of development at the Free Clinic of Central Virginia, said renovations included opening up the lobby area, which was cramped before, adding new ceilings, light fixtures, flooring, and paint and update exam rooms. It also took office spaces and created a classroom. “What we’ve found is it has really improved patient flow, patient privacy, care coordination, which were are all goals we had,” she said. “Our patients love the enhanced environment.” Kauppi said it’s important to the clinic that the experience a patient has is equal to, if not better than, that at any other doctor’s office in town. “Just because you’re coming here and getting your care for free doesn’t mean that it should feel uncomfortable, and we’ve gotten a lot of positive feedback from the patients and we feel like we’ve accomplished that,” she said.

Diabetes Awareness: VA Free Clinics to Offer No Cost, Affordable Prevention Care

11/10/22 - ABC13 News
November is National Diabetes Month and free clinics across Virginia want to make sure people in need are aware of available no-cost and low-cost healthcare services to identify and manage diabetes. Approximately 733,000 Virginians are affected by diabetes, a chronic illness that occurs when blood glucose is too high. Diabetes increases a person’s risk for heart disease, stroke, amputations, blindness, and kidney disease. According to the Virginia Department of Health, the prevalence and hospitalization rates of diabetes in the state have steadily risen since 2016. Members of the Virginia Association of Free and Charitable Clinics (VAFCC) focus year-round on educating patients about diabetes. In addition to diagnosing chronic disease, free and charitable clinics work to help patients better understand how to prevent, delay and manage diabetes.

Free Clinic of Franklin County Celebrates 30 Years

11/8/22 - Franklin News Post
The Free Clinic of Franklin County, now called Bernard Healthcare Center, will celebrate 30 years of continuous medical service to the vounty on Nov. 15, from 4 t 6 p.m. The event will feature tours and refreshments. All are welcome to attend. Founded in 1992, the Free Clinic of Franklin County’s mission is to provide quality primary medical care and prescription medications for low-income uninsured and under-insured adults. The Clinic is located at 1171 Franklin St. within Schewel’s Plaza in Rocky Mount.

CrossOver Healthcare Ministry Honors Volunteers

11/7/22 - Henrico Citizen
Three nurse volunteers were honored Oct. 20 at CrossOver Healthcare Ministry’s 13th annual Compassionate Care Awards.  More than 300 guests attended the fundraising event at the Jefferson Hotel, with proceeds benefiting a new community pharmacy for the uninsured to be constructed at CrossOver’s Henrico Clinic. The planned pharmacy will more than double the size of the 150-square-foot pharmacy now located at CrossOver’s Richmond Clinic. This year’s theme was “Nursing in Action,” and the focal point of the program celebrated and honored three CrossOver volunteer nurses:  Karen N. Murphy; Helen Q. Nunley; and Cathy Tuck.

Health Wagon's Teresa Tyson Named Fierce Healthcare Leader

11/7/22 - Fierce Healthcare
St. Mary's Health Wagon's Dr. Teresa Owens Tyson is on a mission to address disparities in the Appalachian region -- and as a result, she has been named a fierce healthcare leader. Born a coal miner’s daughter, Teresa Owens Tyson, FNP-BC, was surrounded by the abject poverty that overshadows the rural Appalachian Mountains of Virginia. It's poverty perpetuated by the dying singular economy of coal that weaves a narrative of desperation for the area's residents. Meanwhile, a much greater natural resource also has emanated among the mountain people—that of resilience and self-reliance. Tyson demonstrates these characteristics in her leadership by changing and saving lives daily, turning back the tide of ever-worsening healthcare disparities with grassroots organizing and galvanizing resources in ways that have never been seen before in central Appalachia.

Tyson maintains a clinical practice, called the Health Wagon, which cares for the uninsured and underinsured (patients who cannot afford co-pays and deductibles or have catastrophic insurance plans). As the oldest free mobile clinic in the nation, the nonprofit organization serves some of the nation's poorest individuals in six Virginia counties. The Health Wagon is a free, nurse-managed health clinic consisting of four mobile and four stationary clinics. Appalachia's mountains, hollows and winding roads make healthcare a challenge; so too does the poverty. The Health Wagon tries to solve these challenges by meeting its patients where they live. More often than not, Tyson and her team drive their mobile clinics to remote roadsides, so they can reach the patients who can't come to them. In 2021, the Health Wagon documented 35,250 visits and encounters serving 10,857 unduplicated patients. The average patient is 41 years old. Patient census demonstrated the top chronic conditions treated were cardiovascular disease, hypertension, endocrinology needs, diabetes, pulmonary, depression and cancer. The Health Wagon travels throughout the community to more than 11 different sites to deliver care on a biweekly and monthly basis.

Healing Hands Health Center Expands Services

11/2/22 - WCYB5
On Wednesday, a check for $400,000 was presented to the Healing Hands Health Center in Bristol, Tennessee. The project will increase the number of dental operatories from 9 to 13, add a second sterilization room, 2 offices, and a second x-ray room. Construction began Monday on the clinic's new expansion. "Last year we provided about three thousand six hundred patient visits, so we will increase that number by, probably twenty-five percent at least by adding these operatories," said Executive Director, Helen Scott. The new space will allow Healing Hands Health Clinic to treat additional uninsured and underinsured dental patients in our region. They have also applied to become a Virginia Medicaid provider for adult dental patients and they are waiting for approval.

Culmore Clinic Participates in Fall Fast

10/30/22 - Annandale Today
Children were treated to a haunted house, candy, and other giveaways at the Fall Festival at Bailey’s Community Center on Oct. 28, while local agencies and nonprofits shared information about their programs including Culmore Clinic which shared information about their health services. “A lot of kids don’t get opportunities like this. They’ve never been to a haunted house,” said Bryan Linton, youth and family director at the community center in Bailey’s Crossroads, which is operated by the Fairfax County Department of Neighborhood and Community Services.

New Behavioral Health Wing at Bradley Free Clinic Helps Meet Rising Demand

10/28/22 - Cardinal News
Lisa Lipscomb had survived tough times before, having worked on a short-staffed hospital unit during the worst days of the COVID pandemic. Transporting patients and working in housekeeping, suffering post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Upon discharge from a psychiatric unit in April, she needed follow-up care, but her options were limited. She has Medicaid but not all private practices accept it, and those that do often have long waiting lists. Lipscomb was referred to the Bradley Free Clinic in Roanoke where she now sees a psychiatrist and a counselor. “I’ve come so far from where I was when I first came here,” she said. “They’ve helped me tremendously. And, I feel good. Every day I get up and look forward to it.” Lipscomb is one of many patients who receive services in the William and Margaret Robertson Behavioral Health Wing, which opened in July. The new wing is helping Bradley meet increasing demand for mental health services.

Blue Ridge Free Clinic Receives SVEC Donation

10/26/22 - WHSV3
 The Shenandoah Valley Electric Cooperative’s (SVEC) Round-Up Committee has awarded $13,000 more dollars in grants to local non-profits. It’s all done by customers as a small and simple gesture. “Our members can round up their electric bills each month to the nearest even dollar. That extra added money rounded up goes to this pool of money that then can go out to non-profits in our service territory,” said Preston Knight of the Shenandoah Valley Electric Cooperative. The grants will be going to eight different non-profits this cycle including the Blue Ridge Free Clinic in Harrisonburg. 

Dentalpalooza Event Served 55 Low-Income, Uninsured Patients

10/24/22 - Augusta Free Press
The Augusta Regional Dental Clinic held a free dental clinic day on Saturday for uninsured adult residents of Augusta County. Seventeen volunteers from local dental offices reinforced the clinic’s staff to provide care to 55 patients. General dentistry services including consultations, fillings, extractions and cleanings were available. “It was wonderful. Low anxiety from the beginning to the end. The entire staff was pleasant and personable,” wrote a Dentalpalooza patient after their visit. Appointments were free of charge tanks to sponsors including NIBCO, Dental Health Associates, Patterson Dental and the Virginia Association of Free and Charitable Clinics. “Paying for dental insurance out of pocket can be unattainable even when you work a full-time job, especially in the current inflationary context”, said Sophie Parson, ARDC executive director. “Our clinic is proud to welcome and help uninsured members of our community on a daily basis. Our goal is to bring Dentalpalooza to the community twice a year to cut wait times and offer dental appointments on a day when most people are off.”

Moss Free Clinic Partners with Germanna Community College for Dental Program

10/19/22 - Livability
Germanna Community College in Locust Grove, Virginia, is offering a certificate program in dental assisting and an associate degree in dental hygiene and partners with the Lloyd F. Moss Free Clinic in Fredericksburg for dental students, creating a more community-focused experience. Dental Hygiene Program Director Misty Mesimer explains,  “Our programs are very open to students who already have dental assisting experience. And they’re encouraged to come in and do our Expanded Functions Program and gain some additional credentials.” Some examples of those expanded functions include packing, carving and polishing amalgam restorations; placing and finishing composite restorations; placing non-epinephrine retraction cord; and taking final impressions and providing final cementations of indirect restorations.

PATH Foundation Funds Free Clinic of Culpeper

10/18/22 - Star Exponent
Aweek after a surprise gift of $15 million from the former wife of Jeff Bezos, The Path Foundation is paying it forward with its latest round of “flexible funding” awards to 56 local nonprofits totaling $1.5 million. The money supports their missions to strengthen the health and vitality of everyone in the communities of Culpeper, Fauquier and Rappahannock. The Free Clinic of Culpeper received $50,000 to support its efforts to increase access to healthcare to vulnerable community members. 

Health Wagon Awarded $500K Grant for Dental Services

10/17/22 -  WCYB News
The Health Wagon has been awarded a $500,000 grant for dental services. The project will cover Buchanan, Dickenson, Lee, Russell, Scott, and Wise counties. It will help with the education and training of new dental professionals and provide oral health care services. The project will also create four jobs (a dentist, dental hygienist, dental assistant, and a dental case manager), improve 2,000 patients through the provision of oral health services, and improve 6 trainees through clinical workforce training over the course of a year.

Healing Hands Health Center Celebrates 25 Years of Caring

10/13/22 - Herald Courier
Local community leaders, politicians, doctors, and volunteers gathered at the Healing Hands Health Center to celebrate 25 years of providing medical care to low income, uninsured Bristol residents. During the celebration, Helen Scott, the executive director of Healing Hands, acknowledged the many people who have given their time and supported Healing Hands over the course of 25 years. Scott also highlighted how the project has grown since 1995. “We started with a really small budget Frank DeFriece, through his foundation and personally, I believe, gave $100,000. So, that was a great start. We’ve grown so much, and our annual operating budget right now was 1.4 million. So, we’ve really come a long way,” Scott said. Scott emphasized Healing Hands has become a teaching facility for young dental students from the University of Tennessee in Memphis and East Tennessee State University, who take part in a two-week rotation program.

Sinclair Health Clinic Emerges From Pandemic Stronger Than Ever

10/12/22 -  Winchester Star
Sinclair Health Clinic strives to offer complete wellness solutions rather than simply treating illnesses and dispensing medications. If a patient is hungry because they can't afford food their dietary needs must be addressed before they can fully recover from whatever ailment or condition brought them to the clinic. "I want this to be a clinic where I would want my best friends and family to go and be taken care of from top to bottom," Katrina McClure, Clinic ED said. Sinclair Health Clinic emerged from the pandemic this year stronger than ever and with nearly 2,200 clients — a thousand more than when McClure was hired in 2019 and the highest number since the nonprofit first launched in October 1986 as the Free Medical Clinic.

Moving forward, McClure said the clinic's 17 staffers and approximately 150 volunteers hope to offer limited pediatric care for children 12 and older while connecting with more low-income patients who could benefit from its services. "The people who are here care deeply and profoundly about the mission," she said. "They could work anywhere but they have chosen to work here because they believe all people should have access to life-saving healthcare services."

Arlington Free Clinic Receives Dominion Energy Grant

10/12/22 - ARLNow
Dominion Energy is providing grants to the Arlington Free Clinic to help increase medical access to the county’s most vulnerable. The power company announced that its charitable foundation is providing $5,000 to Arlington Free Clinic for medications and vaccinations. “One of Arlington Free Clinic’s most important services is to provide access to prescription medications and vaccinations to our patients that get them healthy and stay healthy,” CEO Nancy White shares. “Support from Dominion Energy helps ensure that this vital program will continue.”

Community Foundation of the Northern Shenandoah Valley Awards Grants to Area Free Clinics

10/6/22 - Winchester Star
Several area organizations and businesses were recognized on Tuesday for the grants they received through the Community Foundation of the Northern Shenandoah Valley. These organizations included two area free clinics, the Sinclair Health Clinic for their program A Place for Moms: A Pregnancy Centering Care Space and St. Luke Community Clinic for their dental program.

Brock Hughes Medical Center Has New Look

10/6/22 - SWVA Today
Nine years ago, the Brock Hughes Medical Center was given the building at 450 W. Monroe St. in Wytheville, where the center is now located. Unfortunately, the roof was in dire need of replacement and the parking lot needed to be repaved and striped. The previous roof was flat and collected standing water rather than directing it to downspouts. As a result, there was damage to the roof and constant leakage through the ceiling beams. Now, thanks to “Project Raise the Roof,” the center’s roof and parking lot have been repaired and improved. “This project was a matter of safety, not just beautification, however the end result is a stupendous transformation”, said Executive Director Stacey Linkous. “Now it looks like a medical facility, the exterior matches the quality services on the interior.”

Free Clinics Partner for Collective Impact

10/4/22 - Annandale Gazette
We love to see the collaboration involved with the Place-Based Initiative (PBI) for Bailey’s Crossroads and Culmore, known unofficially as the Culmore Collective. A coalition of organizations that includes Virginia Association of Free & Charitable Clinics members Culmore Clinic, Mason and Partners Clinic, NOVA ScriptsCentral, its working to “build community leaders, grow community engagement and ownership, and foster strategic collaboration toward positive community change.”

Lackey Clinic Receives Grant

10/2/22 - WYDaily
Williamsburg Community Foundation presented grants totaling $83,715 to 20 organizations at its Fall Grant Awards Luncheon this week including $5,000 to Lackey Clinic for its Connected Care Program which works to empower patients to better control their hypertension or diabetes with remote monitors and a team of coaches, healthcare providers, and counselors.

Bradley Free Clinic is Working to Meet Demand for Behavioral Health Services

9/23/22 - VTN
Telehealth served not only as a solution for Bradley Free Clinic, and many other, to continue seeing existing mental health patients during the onset of the pandemic, but it also allowed Bradley to support its community when the demand for mental health skyrocketed. In just over two years, Bradley increased its mental health patient load from 40 to more than 450 and launched a new behavioral health wing. Thinking back on it now, Bradley’s behavioral health program manager Christine Wright remembers, “We started using telehealth just a few weeks before the onset of the pandemic, because we didn’t have enough physical space in the building to see all patients in person,” Christine recalls. “And then, this perfect storm of COVID-19 and an increased patient load all happened at once, and everything went virtual. It became the only option for care, and our mentality was, ‘we’ll figure it out.’” And they did just that. Bradley never shut its doors for medical or mental health services throughout the pandemic.

Blue Ridge Free Clinic Emphasizing Importance of STD Testing

9/22/22 WHSV News

To combat a sharp increase in rates of sexually transmitted diseases across the country, experts at the Blue Ridge Free Clinic in Harrisonburg are focusing on prevention. “Sexually transmitted diseases are actually a very serious issue, and we really encourage people to get screened. Sometimes there’s hesitancy. People are embarrassed or they’re ashamed, but we just want to help them stay healthy,” Family Nurse Practitioner and free clinic leader Susan Adamson said. Adamson has seen an increase in adults coming in requesting STD testing at the clinic, mostly due to lack of access during the pandemic. The free clinic offers STD testing and operating hours are 9 a.m. to noon on Mondays and Thursdays and 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Tuesdays.

Augusta Regional Dental Clinic Receives $100,000 Grant

9/21/22 - Augusta Free Press
The Virginia Healthcare Foundation has awarded at $100,000 grant to the Augusta Regional Dental Clinic to provide affordable dental care to low-income residents. “We cannot express the relief this grant will bring to our organization and community”, said Sophie Parson, executive director of the Augusta Regional Dental Clinic. “On a daily basis, we receive over 20 calls from new patients wishing to establish care with us. And the number keeps going up. Most dental offices around us are full or not accepting new Medicaid patients. Patients have called the entire county to find a provider with no luck. This is now about to change.” With the grant, the ARDC says they will be able to provide dental care to approximately 920 low-income residents by June 30, 2023. Located in Fishersville, the ARDC has been supporting medically underserved patients in Staunton, Waynesboro and Augusta County for nearly 30 years. Since 2020, the clinic has been focusing on providing affordable and high-quality dental care to community members.

Free Clinic to Close After Years of Service

9/28/22 - Virginian Review
For more than a decade, the Christian Free Clinic in Botetourt has stood in the gap for those who could not afford health insurance. Now, after 14 years of service to the community, the free clinic is permanently closing its doors this fall due to a steady decline in patient numbers. The Christian Free Clinic in Botetourt served the healthcare needs of the uninsured in Botetourt County beginning back in 2007. At its peak the free clinic saw 417 uninsured patients in a year. However, due to a decline in patient count and despite broad community support, the Board of the Christian Free Clinic in Botetourt voted to cease operations following dwindling patient numbers. “We were hoping to see an increase in the number of patients this year. That increase has not materialized despite numerous efforts to bring in new uninsured adult patients in the area,” shared Jenny Daniels, Executive Director. “Even with additional outreach to raise awareness, we are not seeing enough patient demand to justify continuing operations.” The clinic is currently working to help patients make the transition to new medical providers. Following, the board will begin closing operations with an anticipated completion day of November 1, 2022.

Brock Hughes Medical Center Receives Funds from Wythe-Bland Foundation

9/19/22 - SWVA Today
The Wythe-Bland Foundation has announced its grant recipients for this year. The foundation offered 40 grants totaling $3,068,850 to various nonprofit organizations in Wythe and Bland Counties including almost $500,000 to the Brock Hughes Medical Center which received $481,000 to support operations, pharmacy, and transportion programs. "I am pleased that so many organizations were successful in receiving grant funding opportunities from the foundation this fiscal year. Through this funding, our not-for-profit partners will be able to improve and grow services offered to the citizens of Wythe and Bland counties," said Travis Jackson, foundation executive director and CEO."

Loudoun Free Clinic Unveils $500K Renovations

9/13/22 - Loudoun Now
Exciting news for the Loudoun Free Clinic which has just completed $500,000 in renovation of its clinic facilities allowing the clinic to grow its capacity to see more patients by a third (now the clinic can see up to 1,500 patients). “I just can’t thank everybody enough. The $500,000 renovation project was supported by a grant from the Claude Moore Charitable Foundation—money that went much further thanks to services donated by E4H Architecture and WSP systems engineering company. With that money and working within the same footprint at Inova Loudoun’s Cornwall campus, the waiting room was expanded, more private office spaces and patient care rooms were created, the nurse’s station was renovated for safety and privacy, the utility room was split into separate “clean” and “dirty” rooms, and other work to improve the clinic’s capacity, quality of care, and the safety of its employees. ‘Thank you is not a strong enough word,” shares Executive Director Maribeth Sheehan. “I’m just so proud of what we’ve accomplished here." 

Charlottesville Free Clinic to Benefit from Feature Solo Performance

9/10/22 - Augusta Free Press
Six-time Grammy Award winner Brandi Carlile will present a solo performance on Sunday, Oct. 9, at 7 p.m. at the Ting Pavilion in Charlottesville. The event is the 18th annual benefit concert to support the Charlottesville Free Clinic. The concert also coincides with the nonprofit’s 30th anniversary of service to the Charlottesville community. Proceeds from the benefit concert enable the Free Clinic to provide high-quality medical care, mental health services, dental care and prescription medications to uninsured and under-insured individuals, at no cost to them. “The Free Clinic was founded 30 years ago by two UVA medical residents who came to realize that thousands of people in Charlottesville were regularly forced to choose between paying rent and seeking medical attention or buying groceries and getting dental care because they had no insurance,” said Susan Sherman, the Free Clinic’s executive director.

Greene Care Clinic Prepares for First Ever Health & Wellness Fun Fair

9/1/22 - Daily Progress
The Greene Care Clinic is teaming up with other local healthcare organizations for a free event on September 11.The Greene Care Clinic is a non-profit organization that provides free health care and behavioral health support services to uninsured adult Greene County residents (ages 19-64) who are not eligible for Medicaid/Medicare and who earn less than 300% of the Federal Poverty Level. “Since I’ve been the Executive Director of the Greene Care Clinic, I often come across residents of Greene County that aren’t aware of the health care and mental health services available to them – regardless of their insurance status,” said Pam Morris, the Executive Director. “Sometimes even the organizations don’t know as much about each other’s services as we should. So, our goal is to host an event where the community comes together for a fun day where they also learn about a variety of health care and mental health care-related services that could benefit them, a family member, a neighbor, or a work colleague. Our goal for the FUN FAIR is to increase awareness and to have a little fun at the same time.”

Blue Ridge Free Clinic Faces Tension Providing Mental Health Care

9/1/22 - The Breeze
There have been many days where Susan Adamson, a nurse practitioner and the executive director of the Blue Ridge Free Clinic (BRFC), and her team of volunteers have planned to work for four hours, only to find themselves at the clinic eight hours later. “We’ve been overloaded with patients at times … The nature of our volunteers is when they see need, they dig their heels in and just stay and we get the job done,” Adamson said. “But that’s not sustainable indefinitely.” Adamson said the clinic’s services —medical, dental and mental health — have been utilized three times what the clinic expected since they opened in April 2021. Although the BRFC provides services for a variety of health-related issues, Adamson said around 20% of patients have associated mental health conditions. Adamson said she’s seen more mental health needs and stressors  in the last year and a half than she’s seen in the last 30 years. “Counseling is where there’s such a shortfall right now, and so we’re struggling along with other practitioners trying to find places to get adjunctive counseling,” Adamson said. “We had hoped to have it embedded in our office, but we just can’t find counselors, there aren’t enough out there.”

Gloucester Mathews Care Clinic Raises Funds

8/31/22 - Gazette-Journal
The 12th annual Golf Classic to benefit the Gloucester Mathews Care Clinic was held Friday, Aug. 19, at Piankatank River Golf Club, Hartfield. More than 100 community members hit the course, raising $28,000+ which will be used for patient programs, resources, medication and staffing. 

Elected Officials Praise GMU's Mason & Partners Clinic

8/31/22 - GMU News
Community partnerships and community-based care play an integral role in addressing the growing shortage of health care workers and the increasing demand for low-cost or free care among vulnerable populations across the Commonwealth of Virginia. At a shelter for unhoused individuals in Woodbridge, Mason and Partners (MAP) Clinic staff work alongside the Department of Social Services and the Prince William County Health Department to deliver care and educate students. A delegation of state and local leaders visited the Mason and Partners Clinics to discuss how the MAP Clinics’ network of 10 clinics in Fairfax and Prince William counties helps serve underrepresented communities. "The MAP Clinics are important partners in the communities we serve. The unique bridge-care model and co-location in places such as shelters address community gaps in service,” said Cheryl Oetjen, Interim Director of George Mason’s School of Nursing.  The MAP Clinics are offered by the George Mason University College of Health and Human Services and School of Nursing.

Senator Warner Visits Health Wagon Medical Mission in Wise County

8/22/22 - Herald Courier
U.S. Senator Mark Warner visited The Health Wagon's Move Mountains Medical Mission in Wise County to formally present $1.25 million for its new dental clinic expected to open this fall and operated in cooperation with the new Lincoln Memorial University dental school. “We’ll have a 10-chair dental teaching clinic. It has a tele-dentistry clinic, a crown mill and a generous waiting room. It is designed for COVID with negative air flow. Its state-of-the-art dentistry,” Dr. Joe Smiddy, chair of the Health Wagon reports.

Free Clinic of Culpeper Gets Little Free Library

8/21/22 - Star-Exponent
A valuable investment in childhood literacy, a Little Free Library was recently installed at the Free Clinic of Culpeper. “This project started when one of our patients suggested to us many of our families do not have access to books and reading materials, particularly books with diverse representation and bilingual books,” Free Clinic patient coordinator Becca Buncie said. It sparked her interest in making children’s books available for clients. “It all came together in such a wonderful way,” Free Clinic Director Tammy LaGraffe added. “Around the same time, I met Culpeper resident Sarah Taylor, who expressed interest in doing a volunteer project for the clinic. It turned out that Sarah and Becca are neighbors, and the free little library idea became a project,” LaGraffe said in a statement. On Aug. 16, a staffer from the office of Rep. Abigail Spanberger, D-7th, stopped by the clinic to drop off some books. The lawmaker’s office had received surplus books from the Library of Congress to be donated. “The clinic’s Little Free Library books are available to anyone who wants to come by, and everyone can play a role in keeping the library stocked with good reading material,” Buncie said.

MicroGEM Donates Fast PCR Testing for Move Mountains Event in Wise County

8/20/22 - Augusta Free Press
MicroGEM, a Charlottesville-based molecular biology company, announced that it is providing saliva tests to The Health Wagon to provide free COVID testing at its Move Mountains Medical Mission under way this week at the Wise County Fairgrounds. The Move Mountains Medical Mission provides free dental, vision and medical care to thousands of people who are uninsured, underinsured, or who cannot afford to pay and is held in partnership with the Department of Defense’s Innovative Readiness Training Program. The IRT program helps prepare U.S. armed forces medical personnel to provide medical support when deployed. Patients are required to pre-register and have a COVID-19 test prior to receiving medical services. MicroGEM’s Sal6830 will be used to test symptomatic patients who have a negative antigen test. “It has been our privilege to partner with The Health Wagon to bring fast saliva PCR testing to its clinics and the communities it serves,” said Peter Lee, MicroGEM’s vice president of strategic and corporate development. “This week, we are honored to provide them with our Sal6830 COVID-19 testing systems, at no charge, in support of the Move Mountains healthcare initiative. “Serving underserved and rural communities without access to an easy, comfortable saliva PCR test is central to our mission to simplify molecular biology technologies to ensure that everyone has access to state-of-the-art diagnostics,” Lee said. The Sal6830 is the first-of-its-kind point of care test for SARS-CoV-2 to use easy-to-collect saliva rather than nasal swabs and provide PCR results in just minutes.

Health Brigade Issuing Free Self Defense Kits to Some Patients

8/18/22 - CBS6 News
The Health Brigade, formally known as the Fan Free Clinic, is distributing free self defense kits to transgender patients who may have experienced gender-based violence thanks to funding from Allen, Allen, Allen & Allen Law Group. 

Shenandoah Community Health Clinic Celebrates 20th Anniversary

8/17/22 - Northern Virginia Daily
Shenandoah Community Health Clinic invites the community to come celebrate its 20th anniversary. On Saturday, the clinic will hold a ribbon-cutting ceremony along with the Shenandoah County Chamber of Commerce to mark the clinic's two decades of offering medical, dental, and mental health services. According to, the clinic was first opened in 2002 by community leaders who recognized a desperate need for health services in Shenandoah County. Interim Executive Director Amanda Palmer said that that the support of donors, volunteers, and especially the community are the reasons the clinic is still up and running. 
“We have a very strong community and we’ve had just tons of support throughout the years and there’s no way we could’ve done it without them,” Palmer said. For more Information, contact the clinic at 540-459-1700.

Doctors Volunteer to Expand Free Virtual Urgent Care Statewide

8/17/22-  Gazette-Journal
Doctors across the state are volunteering their time through Lackey Virtual Urgent Care to provide free medical care to those in need anywhere in Virginia. The program was launched by Lackey Clinic, a free and charitable health care center serving the uninsured. “Our program is designed to provide easier access for people with immediate needs who do not have a primary care physician,” said Larry Trumbore, CEO of Lackey Clinic. Anyone in Virginia can book a virtual video appointment online with one of the doctors for an urgent but non-life-threatening condition. To book a Lackey Virtual Urgent Care appointment, visit For more information about volunteering, visit: For more information on the VAFCC, visit

Joint Military-Civilian Free Clinic Provides Double Benefit for Patients & Medical Personnel

8/16/22 - Times News
A military training exercise in Southwest Virginia translates into free health care to the region for the next eight days. Area free clinic The Health Wagon is conducting its second partnership with the Department of Defense to host an Innovative Readiness Training Exercise at the Wise County Fairgrounds through Aug. 24. In this case, the exercise is about 100 Army, Navy, Air Force and National Guard medical personnel setting up a free clinic with support from Health Wagon volunteers and medical staff. IRT spokesperson and Air Force Capt. Christina Wiskowski said Monday the exercises are conducted across the U.S. and provide a double benefit — training in deploying medical facilities in the field and providing needed medical care to civilians. “This is great training for us and, as far as the types of services we’re providing, this is well within our scope of practice,” said Wiskowski.

Health Wagon CEO Dr. Teresa Tyson said the IRT means an opportunity for uninsured and underinsured Southwest Virginia residents to access free medical care. “With inflation and the cost of gas and groceries, this gives people a chance to receive thousands of dollars in care for free,” Tyson said. Health Wagon Nursing Director Paula Hill-Collins said the IRT also means turning a corner to help people in need of their services to start going back to the doctor. “We’re trying to bring back that pre-COVID momentum after people seemed to avoid going to the doctor,” Collins said. “We are stressing preventive care. If patients have a prescription for services, we can fill those prescriptions here.”

Warner & Kaine Announce $2.1 Million in Funding to Address COVID-19 in Rural Communities

8/12/22 - Royal Examiner
U.S. Senators Mark R. Warner and Tim Kaine announced $2,124,300 in emergency rural health care funding to bolster federal support in addressing the COVID-19 pandemic. $36,800 went to the Ledwith-Lewis Free Clinic in Tappahannock, VA, to provide COVID-19 testing kits, rapid testing supplies, and vaccinations, as well as additional staffing to meet the needs of the rural counties served. “As Virginia communities continue to grapple with the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s critical that we provide resources to help protect Virginians,” said the Senators. “That’s why we are pleased to see these grants go towards COVID vaccination and testing, telehealth and food assistance services, ventilation systems, and financial aid.” This investment will benefit approximately 27,350 residents. This funding was awarded through the Community Facilities Emergency Rural Health Care program at the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA).

Community Access Network Receives $65K in Advance Health Equity

8/11/22 - News Advance
U.S. Senators Mark Warner and Tim Kaine announced $1,768,500 in federal funding for health centers across Virginia, including Lynchburg's Community Access Network, to advance health equity through better data collection and reporting. The Community Access Network Inc. in Lynchburg, a Health Center Program Look-Alike (L2C), will receive $65,500 in funding. L2Cs are community-based health care providers that do not receive Health Center Program funding but are eligible to apply for some federal benefit programs. According to a news release from Kaine and Warner, the federal funding will support data modernization efforts aimed at better identifying and responding to needs of patients and communities through improved data quality; advancing COVID-19 response, mitigation, and recovery efforts; and helping prepare for future public health emergencies. The funding was made available by the American Rescue Plan, which Warner and Kaine helped pass last year. The funding was awarded through the Health Resources & Services Administration.

Derriere de Soie Supporting the Charlottesville Free Clinic

8/9/22 - CBS19 News
Derriere de Soie will be holding a Shop for a Cause event this week to benefit the Charlottesville Free Clinic. 
The local, woman-owned and gender-inclusive bra-fitting and intimate apparel store will donate a percentage of its sales from Aug. 11 through Aug, 13 to highlight health care needs that predominantly affect women, such as breast and cervical care. The proceeds will help women access routine health care needs. "It's a bit cheeky, and it's a bit fun, to partner with a lingerie brand that, you know, they make items that cover your top and your bottom, and so it makes sense to highlight health care concerns that impact, [breast health] and [cervical health]," said Rachel Buckland, Marketing Associate for the Charlottesville Free Clinic. Last year, the Charlottesville Free Clinic was able to provide 337 pap smears and 425 mammograms to low-wealth, under-insured, and un-insured women in the community. These health care needs can be cost-prohibitive, and often one procedure can cost as much as one week of rent.

Fauquier Free Clinic's Rappahannock Rough Ride Returns

8/9/225 - Culpeper Times
The Fauquier Free Clinic's Rappahannock Rough Ride returns this fall! A good time for a great cause, interested participants can come together in support of improving health care access. Riders of all ages and experience levels are welcome to explore the beautiful backroads of Rappahannock County during this full day bike tour on September 17 with various routes to choose from, including both gravel and paved courses with a range of distances.

Colonial Beach Clinic Joins Statewide Network, Just as Patient Count Grows

8/9/22 - Free Lance-Star
Lance Carrington discovered that membership has its privileges. For five years, the Stafford County resident has been the executive director of the Guadalupe Free Clinic of Colonial Beach, which has served uninsured residents of the town and Westmoreland County since 2005. It recently achieved full member status in the Virginia Association of Free and Charitable Clinics, which will open up the Guadalupe clinic to new funding streams as well as the network of 60 free clinics across the state. Carrington already has sought help from the state association’s CEO, Rufus Phillips, about specific matters. “The next thing I know, an alert goes out to all directors and two or three reply, saying, try this or try that and here’s a contact,” he said. “That to me has been invaluable.”

Roaring Twenties Gala Raises Funds for Mel Leaman Free Clinic

8/8/22 - SWVA Today
Thanks to sponsors and donors who supported a recent Roaring Twenties gala, the Mel Leaman Free Clinic got a needed financial boost to continue its work. During the July 23 gala, a number of speakers shared how the clinic impacted their lives. Jenny Miller Heldreth, a patient for seven years, said the clinic saved her life after she had lost her insurance in 2015 when she changed jobs. "I had blood pressure issues and other medical problems and needed to find health care quickly. I knew of the Mel Leaman Free Clinic and applied and received my first appointment." Heldreth said the quality of healthcare she received “had been, hands down, the best care she has had in her adult life.”

Free Virtual Urgent Care Visits in Virginia Expand Statewide

7/27/22 - Williamsburg Family
Doctors across the state are volunteering their time through Lackey Virtual Urgent Care to provide free medical care to those in need anywhere in Virginia. The program was launched by Lackey Clinic, a free and charitable healthcare center serving the uninsured. “Our program is designed to provide easier access for people with immediate needs who do not have a primary care physician,” said Larry Trumbore, CEO of Lackey Clinic. Anyone in the state of Virginia can book a virtual video appointment online with one of the doctors for an urgent but non-life-threatening condition. “It is so gratifying to help patients that really need the help,” said Dr. Ralph Robertson, who volunteers from his home in Kilmarnock. “Many, when they come to us are feeling desperate because they are in pain and afraid because they can’t imagine how they will find or afford the care they need.”

Fauquier Free Clinic Looking for Volunteers

7/26/22 - Fauquier Now
he Fauquier Free Clinic is looking for volunteers to help host its free community dental day event taking place Oct. 15. The event, dubbed Piedmont Smiles, provides free dental care to hundreds of adult area residents. The clinic is looking for clinician and general volunteers to help run the event. General volunteers are needed for food service, registration and logistics and other positions that will keep the event running smoothly. The clinic is also looking for dentists, oral surgeons, endodontists, dental students, dental assistants, hygienists, X-ray technicians, doctors, nurses and physicians' assistants to provide services to residents

Walmart Donates Appliances, Awards Grant to Gloucester Care Clinic

7/20/22 -  Gazette Journal
Recent donations from the Gloucester Walmart will help the Gloucester Mathews Care Clinic serve patients in two programs. The store has donated two refrigerators from its pharmacy and a chest freezer to the clinic. One refrigerator will be used in the GMCC pharmacy. The other, as well as the freezer, will be put to use storing perishable food for the new GMCC food pantry. Store manager Rick Helton was instrumental in filling the needs of the clinic. Last month, he presented a $1,000 Walmart Foundation Community Grant to GMCC executive director Arlene Armentor. When she accepted the gift, she explained the needs for the clinic’s new food pantry program and said the clinic would like to buy a refrigerator from Walmart. “I think we can do one better than that for you,” Helton replied.

Claude Moore Foundation Awards Grant to Loudoun Free Clinic

7/19/22 - Loudoun Now
The trustees of The Claude Moore Charitable Foundation this week approved $1.8 million in grant awards for Loudoun-based charities and one of those awards went to the Loudoun Free Clinic. Since the foundation was created by Sterling resident Dr. Claude Moore in 1987, it has provided more than $90 million to support charitable causes, including $28.4 million in Loudoun County.

St. Luke's Community Clinic Expanding Services, Raising Funds

7/19/22 - Royal Examiner
If Vicki Davies’ fondest wish came true, every eligible client who needed healthcare—including dental work and mental health services—would be seen at St. Luke’s Community Clinic. The free clinic expanded dental services and currently has a dentist who works 3 days a month; a second dentist would see patients one day a week. Patients can receive dental x-rays, extractions, fillings, root canals, and dental hygiene. St. Luke’s has also hired a dental assistant who typically works when the dentist is scheduled and Davies says she hopes to hire a dental hygienist to work one day per week, who could potentially see six patients per day. The need for mental health services in the community outpaces the number of providers, Davies stated. St. Luke’s has a counselor now who works part-time, but the hope is to expand the number of days the provider is available.

Cancer Patient Finds Comfort in Community Free Clinic

7/17/22 - Free Lance-Star
Robert Patterson has terminal cancer and pain so fierce, he said it feels like a knife in his stomach. But no one would know it by the look on his face or the tone of his conversation. As he's battled nausea from chemotherapy and dizziness from pain medicine, Patterson has been determined to leave a legacy. He wants others to know how he found healing, of the mind, body, and soul -- at the Living Waters Community Clinic in Locust Grove. "I just hope this will help at least [others] see what ya'll have done for me," he said about those who donate their medical, counseling or administrative skills to the clinic. "I think other people need to know that there is good organizations out there that want to help people."

‚ÄčFormer Moss Free Clinic Patient Now on Staff, Helping Others

7/16/22 - Free Lance-Star
When patients at the Lloyd Moss Free Clinic in Fredericksburg come into Cassandra Singleton’s office for help with paperwork, she knows exactly what they’re going through. Not long ago, Singleton was on the other side of the desk. She was a patient at the free clinic from 2011–17, after she moved to Virginia and didn’t have a job or health insurance. Since November, she’s worked as office manager at the facility that provided $8.5 million in free services to more than 1,110 local residents in 2020. While Singleton, 63, has a background in health care—she worked in hospitals and medical offices—she also has “a really good heart for the work that we do here,” said Karen Dulaney, executive director. “It’s extra special because of her past experiences.” As a former patient, Singleton recalled the way staff members, volunteers and providers who donated their time to the clinic helped when she needed regular checkups, mammograms or treatment for a rotator cuff issue. “They were so warm and helpful with me when I was going through different issues and they treated me so good,” she said.

Bradley Free Clinic Behavioral Health Wing Grand Opening

7/13/22 -  WSLS10
Roanoke is taking big strides in an effort to increase accessibility to mental healthcare, Donors and other community members gathered to celebrate the opening of the new Bradley Free Clinic in Roanoke Wednesday morning. The Robertson Behavioral Health Wing will offer services to low-income residents, including those without insurance. The expansion includes six new counseling rooms and group counseling spaces. People at the clinic said they hope the new services will help bridge the gap for those who otherwise would not have access to the services.

We Should Be Investing in the Health of Virginians

7/13/22 - Virginia Mercury
In 2021, Virginia’s 60-member network of free and charitable clinics provided $100 million in care to more than 63,000 vulnerable patients. It’s a remarkable number given the trials and tribulations of the last few years and underscores the substantial community contributions clinics make to improve Virginia’s overall health through accessible, inclusive and quality health care. With a legacy of service starting 50 years ago, free clinics in Virginia continue to provide unwavering care for people in need. If any reminder of the network’s steadfast commitment to supporting Virginians is required, one only needs to look back on the past two years and their response to the COVID-19 health crisis. 

Almost overnight, clinic teams innovated, procured personal protective equipment and jump started telehealth solutions to continue safely caring for the state’s uninsured populations, numbers that ballooned because of job losses. Clinics kept patients out of strained emergency rooms and helped Virginians manage pre-existing chronic conditions that could not be ignored during the pandemic. In short, Virginia’s free clinics never slowed down in the face of our generation’s most significant public health emergency. But as the network of clinics has grown smarter, more resilient, and even more agile in the face of COVID-19 and its many variants, significant, systemic health care challenges remain.

Health Wagon to Host Summer Free Medical Clinic

7/13/22 -  TimesNews
The Health Wagon continues its two decades of free summer medical clinics in August with the Move Mountains Medical Mission. Health Wagon CEO Dr. Teresa Tyson said this year’s clinic will be on an appointment-only basis for Aug. 15-24 at the Wise County Fairgrounds in order to protect patients, staff and volunteers from COVID-19 exposure. "(COVID-19) numbers have been going up in the region,” Tyson said, “and we want to protect everyone involved.” The Move Mountains Medical Mission will bring medical personnel from branches of the armed forces to help provide care through the Department of Defense’s Innovative Readiness Training Program, Tyson said. Those personnel, along with area civilian doctors and medical professionals, will provide a range of dental and medical services.

RAM Partners with Page Free Clinic to Bring Free Health Care Services

7/10/22 - WHSV3
Remote Area Medical - RAM and Page Free Clinic partner to bring free health care services to Page County. “We saw the great need for specialty care like vision, the great need for dental care and it was beyond the scope of what we could offer in the four walls of the free clinic so we wanted to do a little bit bigger to serve a bigger population,” Ben Dolewski, executive director of the free clinic said. 

St. Luke's Community Clinic Shares Medical Supplies

7/1/22 - Royal Examiner
Often, following the death of a loved one, families are left wondering what to do with items no longer needed, such as medical equipment and supplies. Some organizations St. Luke’s Community Clinic in Front Royal, which serves low-income and indigent patients, will happily accept all types of medical equipment and supplies. St. Luke’s Executive Director, Vicki L. Davies, says that the clinic frequently gets donations when medical equipment and supplies are no longer needed. Many of the donated items go to local residents who have expressed a need and can be kept permanently or returned when no longer needed. Davies says typical items donated to St. Luke’s include walkers, wheelchairs, shower chairs, etc. 

AARP Funds Gloucester Mathews Care Clinic

6/30/22 - AARP News
AARP is working in partnership with local leaders, organizations and dedicated residents to help make that vision a reality. As part of that effort, AARP is excited to announce the largest investment of grant dollars to date through the Community Challenge grant program. Grantees include the Gloucester Mathews Care Clinic which was funded to establish a food pantry and vegetable garden to provide healthy food to patients. “AARP Virginia is committed to working with communities to improve residents’ quality of life through tangible changes,” said State Director Jim Dau. “We are proud to collaborate with this year’s grantees as they make immediate improvements in their communities to jumpstart long-term change, especially for Virginians 50 and over.”

Health of Madison County Improves

6/29/22 - Madison Eagle
When the Virginia Department of Health released the 2022 health rankings by locality last month, Greene, Madison and Orange all showed improvement from 2021. Health outcome is a measure of both length and quality of life. Access to care was a negative for all three counties as well with prevalence of physicians, mental health providers and dentists being significantly lower than the state average in all three counties. All three counties had a higher than average number of uninsured patients; both Greene and Madison had an uninsured rate of 11% with Orange at 10%. The results came as no surprise to Jana Jackson, Executive Director of the Madison Free Clinic. Jackson has worked to increase the profile and expand services at the Madison County non-profit. Since taking the reins as director, Jackson has expanded both dental and mental health services. “I’m still surprised that so many in our community still don’t know about us,” said Jackson. “I encourage anyone who needs help to come in- even if you don’t qualify for services we can guide you to help find a provider.”

Sentara RMH Funds Blue Ridge Free Clinic

6/23/22 - Daily News-Record
Sentara RMH Medical Center recently announced the distribution of more than $1.2 million in grant funding to local organizations including $205,000 to the Blue Ridge Free Clinic. The grants are part of Sentara's "Sentara Cares" program, which aims to advance health equity and accessibility. "We are thrilled to have the opportunity to implement a Sentara employee-led fund, allowing team members to voice how funds are distributed among charitable organizations to meet the needs of our community further," Catherine Hughes, vice president of operations for Sentara RMH Medical Center.

Community Foundation of the Rannahannock River Regin funds Moss Free Clinic

6/12/22 - Fredericksburg Today
The Women and Girls Fund of The Community Foundation of the Rappahannock River Region has awarded $50,000 to three regional nonprofit organizations working to meet the needs of women and girls in our community. The Lloyd F. Moss Free Clinic received $20,268 to support their "Focus on Women's Health" program. 

CrossOver Receives Funding to Address Health Equity in Richmond

6/9/22 - Times-Dispatch
The city of Richmond has chosen three local organizations addressing health equity to share $230,000, the beginning of a two-year effort to fund organizations that address health disparities. The city chose Crossover Healthcare Ministry, among others, to increase access to health care, support people released from prison and address substance abuse recovery. Crossover Healthcare Ministry, a local nonprofit and free clinic, will receive $50,000 to provide additional bilingual medical assistance and increase the organization’s capacity.

Williamsburg Health Foundation Funds Free Clinis

6/9/22 - Virginia Gazette
The Williamsburg Health Foundation recently approved nearly $4 million in grants for their first round of giving this year. The Board of Trustees approved 22 grants, with the largest share of grants seeking to “strengthen the healthcare safety net for uninsured and underinsured individuals.” A significant amount of grant funding was awarded to support local clinics and medical centers in an effort to “strengthen the healthcare safety net for uninsured and underinsured individuals" which included two free clinics: Gloucester Mathews Care Clinic and Lackey Clinic for the Chronic Care Collaborative program.

The Community Foundation Serving Southwest Virginia Funds Free Clinic of Franklin County

6/3/22 - Martinsville Bulletin
The Community Foundation Serving Western Virginia has awarded $100,000 from a private foundation grant to three area social service non-profits in the Roanoke Valley including the Free Clinic of Franklin County (FCFC) which was awarded $40,000 to support its Medicaid Expansion Initiative. FCFC provides basic medical care such as physical examinations, diagnostic testing, treatment plans, referrals, wellness screenings, women’s wellness, health education and prescription medications to Franklin County area adults who are below 300% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines and have no or limited access to insurance. About 9,000 people in Franklin County currently qualify for Medicaid, far outpacing the capacity of the local doctors’ offices. Grant support will help cover the start-up costs of the FCFC’s Medicaid Expansion Initiative and the addition of 2 new part-time employees to manage the increased patient load. “The Free Clinic of Franklin County appreciates support from the Community Foundation. This particular grant was a surprise and a blessing. The funding will allow us to provide Medicaid services for up to 300 new patients,” stated Free Clinic of Franklin County Executive Director Ellen Holland in the release.

Culpeper Wellness Foundation Funds Area Free Clinics

6/1/22 - Star-Exponent
The Culpeper Wellness Foundation announced it had awarded $120,116 in Healthy Living Grants to 17 organizations proposing health and wellness projects within its service area of Culpeper, Orange and Madison. This included both the Madison Free Clinic, whish received $10,000 for community health through an awareness and education effort that promotes increased understanding of vital signs and availability of blood pressure cuffs to clinic patients for self monitoring as well as the Orange Free Clinic, which $10,000 for its Cares program to alleviate patients’ out-of-pocket health care costs through access to medications, medical supplies and medical devices for self-monitoring.

Hampton HELP Clinic Offering 3D Printed Dentures for Fraction of the Cost

5/27/22 - WTKR3
A free clinic in Hampton is using cutting-edge technology to help their patients walk away with a smile. HELP Inc. executive director Matthew Stearn said they're now able to 3D-print dentures for a fraction of the cost for their patients. “Having the technology here allows us to provide not only more affordable care but faster care for the folks who need it most,” Stearn said. The dentures are printed in just a handful of hours using hundreds of layers of resin to create a perfect replica of a person's mouth. After a 10-minute wash and a minute being cured, they're ready for use. In a private practice, Stearn said a full set of dentures could cost anywhere from $1,500 to $3,500. He said they're able to print them for $500. Taking care of oral health can be a luxury, Stearn said. He's hoping now it will be within reach. “It can be one of those expenses that’s just insurmountable, and it’s one of the first to go when you’ve got other bills to pay like rent or a car payment," Stearn said.

Local Giving Circle Supports Crossroads Medical Mission

5/26/22 - Elizabeth Star
Members of the giving circle 100+Tri-Cities Women Who Care selected Crossroads Medical Mission as the recipient of the 13th Big Give event. In total, members and friends have pledged to donate over $10,000. The announcement was made at a live event held at the Watauga Brewing Company earlier this month. Crossroads Medical Mission delivers primary, urgent and chronic care to approximately 2,000 uninsured and low-income patients per year in the Tri-Cities area. They recently purchased a building in Bristol to better serve the needs of the community. Cindy Rockett, Executive Director of Crossroad Medical Mission stated, “100+Tri-Cities Women Who Care is such a remarkable and effective model of philanthropy! Joining together so many women can make such a huge impact as evidenced by their effect on Crossroads Medical Mission. “Combined, the contributions are helping furnish a procedure and exam room in our new expansion clinic in downtown Bristol, helping us to continue providing healthcare free of charge to the uninsured of the region.”

Virginia Could Lose Access to Medicaid as Eligibility Gets Reexamined, But How Many is 'a Very Big Unknown'

Virginia Medicaid rolls have swelled from around 1.5 million to over 2 million people since the COVID-19 public health emergency began in March 2020. As part of a federal bill from that month, states could not remove anyone from their rolls. But as the country transitions out of the early pandemic phase and the public health emergency comes to an end, the Virginia Department of Medical Assistance Services will reexamine who is eligible to remain on the rolls. Every one of those 2 million members will have to be evaluated to see if they are still eligible for Medicare coverage over a 12-month period. And various health groups do not have an idea of exactly how many Virginians will lose access to Medicaid. “We expect that a fair number of people through this process of redetermination will no longer be covered by Medicaid for various reasons and some of those may be become uninsured,” said Rufus Phillips, chief executive officer of the VAFCC. He said VAFCC member clinics are pushing to spread the word about how important it is for Medicaid members to update contact information, even before a date is assured for the end of the public health emergency. And for those who fall through the cracks, free and charity clinics will be available for services, Phillips said.

United Way Northern Shenandoah Valley Grants Funds to Area Free Clinics

5/23/22 - Northern Virginia Daily
The United Way of Northern Shenandoah Valley (NSV) has announced the beneficiaries of this year's Community Impact Grant Program. A total of $540,000 in grants were awarded to 36 educational, financial stability and health programs in the Northern Shenandoah Valley. Recipients of funding included Sinclair Health Clinic ($35,000) and Shenandoah Community Health Clinic ($41,000). "Our team is incredibly proud to be giving out more than half a million dollars in local funding," Kaycee Childress, president and CEO of United Way NSV, said. "We look forward to measuring the direct impact these grant dollars will produce over the years to come and the lives we will impact through these life-changing funds."

Health Wagon Delivered Substantial COVID Care, Saving "Hundreds"

COVID-19 has claimed more than 700 lives across the region’s coalfield counties, but that total could easily have been much higher without the work of the Health Wagon. A health care institution serving residents of central Appalachia since 1980, the Health Wagon treated double its average number of patients in 2021 and modified its core mission to make treatment of the novel coronavirus one of its four “pillars of care,” along with medical, vision and dental. Health Wagon Medical Director and Board Chairman Dr. Joseph Smiddy of Kingsport shares that over the past two years, "There would have been hundreds of people die that have been saved by the Health Wagon. Because I am a doctor, I get to say everything that happens at the Health Wagon is real. There is no fake medicine, no fake treatment. Everything that has happened has been to encourage patients with COVID, and their underlying diseases, that they can get help. We worked on an outpatient basis. It’s been a very stressful and very busy time but also a very needed time.”

GMU Receives $2.6 Million Grant as Part of AmeriCorps and CDC Partnership

5/17/22 - GMU.EDU
The College of Health and Human Services (CHHS) has been awarded $2.6 million over three years as part of the new Public Health AmeriCorps program, an interagency agreement between AmeriCorps and the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). The College’s project is led by Rebecca Sutter, Director of the Mason and Partner (MAP) Clinics and recently-promoted professor of Nursing, and Janusz Wojtusiak, Director of the Center for Discovery Science and Health Informatics and associate professor of Health Administration and Policy. With the grant funding, the College aims to increase community-based connections and improve patient referrals to both health and social determinants of health needs through the use of data analytics and community-based relationships. “Mason is uniquely positioned to lead the way at this intersection between the CDC and AmeriCorps because of our expertise in health informatics, dedication to health equity, and long-standing relationships in our local communities,” said Sutter. “These AmeriCorps volunteers will be our next public health leaders, and we are excited to prepare them to use data to guide public health strategy and create stronger connections to underserved Northern Virginia families.”  

Fauquier Free Clinic is Expanding & Integrating Care Through Telehealth

5/18/22 - VTN
The Fauquier Free Clinic had just hired Shannon Raybuck as its first mental health care coordinator in 2016. Creating a new practice area is always a challenge, but for Shannon there were some atypical complications, the biggest one being that the facility had no onsite mental health practitioner. Not only that, there really were no available therapists anywhere around, a drought that was particularly acute in Virginia. But in the world of telemedicine, none of that matters. And before long, Shannon was recruiting mental health professionals as far afield as California and Boston. “Our mental health patients have used telehealth from the get-go,” Shannon says. What’s remarkable about the two-footed leap into telemedicine for mental health patients is that most of the patients were already being treated at the clinic in person for other medical needs. Behavioral health was being integrated into the practice, but only through telehealth. “Both our free medical providers as well as the community-based medical providers in their brick-and-mortar practices – they all recognized that patients were coming through their doors with increasing mental health needs,” Shannon explains. And so, it just made practical sense to begin coordinating mental health services as part of the clinic’s comprehensive services.

VAFCC Advocates for Equitable Health Care Access

5/18/22 -
In Virginia, VAFCC serves more than 60 free member clinics where the mission is to extend comprehensive quality health care to all. Virginia’s free and charitable clinic system is growing just as it is working to help support the statewide implementation of Medicaid expansion that began in 2019 and that increases the number of people eligible for public health assistance. Working individuals and families with steady but modest incomes, or those who live paycheck to paycheck, may not think of themselves as candidates for free clinic care. But unexpected medical debt can be devastating. Free clinics ensure qualified patients receive needed preventative care while limiting the potential that health care costs will lead to spiraling financial uncertainty. And that leads to better outcomes in communities.

Free Clinics Help, But Country Needs Comprehensive Care

5/15/22 -  Daily Progress
The Greene Care Clinic started in 2005 in the hallway of the local public library. It has since moved to Stanard Street. It treats adults ages 19 to 64 with incomes between 138% and 300% of the federal poverty level. That’s the space where America’s working poor fall through the cracks for Medicaid coverage. The clinic gives these people free care that meets or exceeds the quality of health treatment and maintenance they could get at any of area’s private practices or medical centers. The clinic is good at managing chronic diseases such as high blood pressure. It offers COVID vaccinations. “We keep people out of the emergency rooms,” Pam Morris Executive Director added. “That’s a huge service.”

Cost of Insulin Adding to the Burden of Inflation

5/11/22 - WFXR
n an effort to lower costs, President Joe Biden continues to call for a price cap on insulin. Insulin can already cost hundreds, if not thousands of dollars. WFXR News spoke with a Roanoke pharmacist who says he can’t imagine the burden of affording it now and dealing with the high cost of other day-to-day items amid increased inflation rates. “The fact that you can’t afford your insulin and it’s hard to afford your food makes it even more challenging for people,” said James Black, a pharmacist with the Bradley Free Clinic. Not everyone can qualify to get their insulin completely covered, leaving many to pay hundreds and nearly thousands of dollars at the pharmacy counter. “Unfortunately, a lot of people, either they don’t have insurance or have insurance with a high deductible or high copay, which means they can’t afford their insulin,” said Black. Meanwhile, putting food on the table is more challenging these days. The recommended diet for diabetics — including fresh fruit, vegetables, and proteins — is costing more because of the rising inflation. “If you wanted to buy fresh fruits and vegetables now, first of all, it takes time to prepare it, but second of all, they’re really expensive,” Black added

Free Dental Care Returns to Wise in July

5/10/22 - TimesNews
The Virginia Dental Association Foundation’s Mission of Mercy free dental clinic returns to Wise this July. The Wise clinic events started in 2000 in conjunction with the Remote Area Medical summer free clinics and have continued since. This year’s clinic will be on Friday and Saturday, July 22-23, at UVA Wise’s David Prior Convocation Center. According to VDAF’s website, more than 24,000 Southwest Virginia area patients have received for free a total of $21.1 million in dental care. In conjunction with the dental clinic, The Health Wagon will have a mobile clinic onsite each day to provide women’s free health services, according to Health Wagon CEO Dr. Teresa Tyson. The Health Wagon will also handle referrals for dental care after the MOM clinic, Tyson said.

Pop-up Clinic Offers Free Healthcare Services to Roanoke's Homeless Community

5/5/22 - WSLS
A pop-up clinic is offering free healthcare services to the homeless community and healthcare workers say there is a bigger need than they realized. Since January, the Fralin Free Clinic made nearly 200 encounters in the community, providing physical exams and mental health services. The clinic’s healthcare services manager, Pam Milkowski said most of the patients are afraid to seek help at hospitals or can’t afford to refill their medications. “We are gaining more and more patients at these locations,” she said. “Word of mouth is spreading. More referrals. We are being directed to locations that we didn’t even know existed and have a need.”

Mel Leaman Free Clinic Cleans Up Following Storm Damage

5/9/22 - Herald-Courier
The Mel Leaman Free Clinic in Marion is recovering after it sustained significant damage following a storm Friday evening. The clinic is temporarily closed and is working closely with Emory & Henry College to address the situation. “I want to thank Emory & Henry for stepping it up and getting us help right away,” clinic leader Susan Ferraro said. The clinic will be closed for the remainder of the week with staff members reaching out to patients to reschedule appointments and arrange for medications to be picked up.

As Demand for Dental Care Skyrockets, Medicaid Providers Struggle to Find an Empty Chair

5/3/22 - Yahoo News
The Augusta Regional Dental Clinic in Fishersville, like many others that serve Medicaid customers across Virginia, has been very busy for months — especially as more and more have learned about the expanded benefits for adults, according to Sophie Parson, director of the clinic. The need for services is so great, people have called the clinic trying to get an appointment from Louisa County, roughly 60 miles away. The number of dental providers that accept Medicaid patients has fallen to 1,888 from a peak of 2,031 in 2017, according to data provided by Virginia Department of Medical Assistance Services. Staff of other dental clinics across the commonwealth, such as in Suffolk, also said they are struggling to meet the demand for services. Facilities such as Western Tidewater Free Clinic in Suffolk set in motion plans to expand services, but those don’t materialize overnight, according to Ashley Greene, director of the development, “There is a gap between need and availability, is what I’d say for sure,” Greene said. Western Tidewater is doubling its dental chairs, from two to four, she said. “We hope to be up and running and operational by spring and summer 2023,” Greene said. “It can’t come soon enough.” In and around Goochland, west of Richmond, clinic GoochlandCares started the process to become a Medicaid dental provider last year after realizing the shortfall in care that would happen in the area, according to an email from Adina Keys, clinic director. “We learned last summer that about 1,300 Goochland residents would be eligible for Medicaid in our county,” she said. “A survey of the few dentists in our area showed that none would be accepting new Medicaid patients.”

Mother of Mercy Free Clinic Sees a Need for Eye Care

5/2/22 - Catholic Herald
Alexandra Luevano, director of the Mother of Mercy Free Clinic, needed glasses. Optometrist Gregory Johnson, with Virginia Vision Therapy, was looking for ways he could volunteer. When Johnson learned that Luevano, his new patient, was the program director of Catholic Charities Mother of Mercy Free Medical Clinic, he realized he had his answer. Less than a year after Johnson and Luevano met, the Mother of Mercy clinic in Woodbridge began offering in-house eye care for clinic patients. On the opening morning, April 25, Johnson saw five patients, including William Brefo. Though he’s long had problems with his eyes, it’s been difficult for him to receive medical care. “I’m very grateful because I haven’t had my eyes checked in a long time, over five years. I lost my insurance from work and I’m not working right now,” he said. “(Mother of Mercy helps) with my medication, my treatments, all of my health problems. They’re doing great.” Through his work, Johnson has seen what a difference having healthy, functioning eyes makes in a person’s life. “A lot about how we see is how we think, and our emotions and our vision are intertwined very deeply,” he said. “So changing how someone sees can really make or break their life.”

Lackey Clinic Expands Telehealth Services to Homeless Population Through Partnerhip

5/1/22 - WTKR3
A free clinic in York County was recently awarded a $105,000 grant to expand their virtual health program. The Lackey Clinic will now service the homeless population on the Peninsula by offering telehealth services to those people who utilize the Four Oaks Day Service and Training Center in Newport News. “Our population really hasn’t had access to health care services on a regular basis," said Four Oaks director Quincy White. "So, being able to build that relationship with a primary care physician on a regular basis, having access to health care services, is going to be monumental.” On the other end of the telehealth call will be a medical provider with the Lackey Clinic. The grant, given by Sentara Healthcare and Optima Health, provides funding to staff the program, as well as hire a part-time community health worker. “It’s a really great way to increase health access across the state of Virginia for those who can’t afford to go to the doctor or may have social determinants of health barriers, such as transportation, lack of childcare, having to take time off of work. It’s something they can do right on their lunch break,” said Lackey Clinic Director of Eligibility and Community Outreach Amber Martens. The virtual health appointments are free, just like all of the services the clinic provides. They offer dental services, medical, vision and even have a pharmacy to fill prescriptions.

GoochlandCares Celebrates Volunteer Appreciation Week

5/1/22 - Times-Dispatch
During last week’s Volunteer Appreciation Week, GoochlandCares recognized and thanked over 225 volunteers who support the nonprofit organization’s mission to provide quality health care and basic human services for Goochland residents in need. While many things have changed during the past year, GoochlandCares volunteers and staff have been able to maintain all programs for clients. In 2021, volunteers donated 17,587 hours at GoochlandCares – a value of over $884,172. Throughout the week of April 18-22, GoochlandCares celebrated volunteers with special treats, client testimonies and a meal provided by Lasagna Love. GoochlandCares appreciates its volunteers every day, but Volunteer Week is dedicated to honoring all volunteers as well as encouraging volunteerism throughout the year. Visit GoochlandCares any day of the week, and you will see volunteers donating their time and talents. They are bringing food curbside to clients, sorting donations in the Clothes Closet, taking blood pressure at the Free Clinic, answering and making phone calls, and much, much more. A group of teen volunteers works monthly to pack grocery bags. Local churches provide dinners for staff while the building is open late on Tuesday evenings. Performance Food Group donates turkeys and sides to clients for Thanksgiving and sends volunteers to help distribute.

Fralin Free Clinic in Roanoke is Turning 20

5/1/22 - Rescue Mission
In July, the G. Wayne Fralin Free Clinic is turning 20 years old. The clinic provides critical, life saving care to those who are homeless in the community. For many of those experiencing homelessness, the thought of affording a medical bill is out of reach, the idea of making it to a doctors appointment across town too much, and the hope of consistent care is often a hope, not a reality. 

New Health Rankings Raise Concerns in Tidewater

4/29/22 - News- Herald 
Suffolk ranks in the upper tier of Western Tidewater localities in health outcomes and the health factors that lead to them, while neighboring Franklin is near the bottom of the state rankings, according to new city and county health rankings published by the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute. The Western Tidewater Free Clinic, which served 1,223 patients in 9,942 visits in 2020 from Suffolk, Franklin, Isle of Wight and Southampton, continued to provide in-person visits during the year in spite of the COVID-19 pandemic, serving the poorest of the region’s population. In that year, 80% of the clinic’s patients lived at or below 150% of the federal poverty level, which was at an annual income of $39,750 for a family of four, while 90% of them had multiple chronic diseases such as hypertension, heart disease and diabetes. Last year, 77% of patients lived at or below 150% of the federal poverty level of $41,625 for a family of four, while 58% of patients lived at or below 100% of the federal poverty level $27,750 for a family of four. Of its 2021 patients, 36% worked either full or part-time, many with more than one job, while 58% of its patients were women, and 78% of its patients were at least 40-years-old and 61% were African American.

Lackey Clinic Celebrates 27 Years of Service

4/25/22 -  WYDaily
The Lackey Clinic started with Devine inspiration. The late Dr. Jim Shaw and his wife Cooka felt a pull to serve the underserved within York County and the surrounding municipalities. On April 20, 1995, the Shaws began a partnership with Rising Sun Baptist Church on Old Williamsburg Road. One night a week the Shaws and a handful of volunteers would operate a free clinic. Eventually York County gave permission for the clinic to use the Charles Brown Community Center in Charles Brown Park. While that move gave the team much needed space, the Shaws saw that the needs of the poor were growing. As a result they began looking for ways to open a fully funded permanent facility. In 2003 the Shaws and their volunteers were able to open the Lackey Free Clinic at its current location on Old Williamsburg Road. Since then Lackey Clinic has been able to grow not only the square footage of the facility, but also the number of services it offers. Currently it is the primary care and dental provider for 1,655 low-income and uninsured Virginians.

Healing Hands Health Center Cuts Ribbon on New Facility

4/21/22 - Herald Courier
Healing Hands Health Center cut the ribbon a new facility that includes six dorm rooms for visiting medical students which will allow the facility to expand the number of dental students who come from the University of Tennessee for training. The main floor of the facility will serve as office and meeting space for the organization. For seven years, students from the University of Tennessee College of Dentistry in Memphis have been driving to Bristol to get first-hand experience at Healing Hands. The organization wanted to expand the program, but with only a small two-bedroom house to serve as student housing that wasn’t possible. The six dorm-style bedrooms with a laundry facility, kitchen and common area will allow the program to house up to 14 students. “We want to attract more students from out-of-town to be able to come help us get their hands-on experience,” Scott said while explaining a larger staff will give Healing Hands the ability to help more people

A Lifesaving Investment

Working towards a Virginia where all people have access to comprehensive, quality healthcare by supporting and advocating for our member clinics so that hardworking individuals and families are protected from healthcare crises.