Sentara and Optima donate $5.5 million for Medicaid expansion


Sentara Healthcare and Optima Health donated $5.5 million to four nonprofits that will help support community health clinics and food banks, which in turn help Medicaid patients. The grant recipients are: the Virginia Community Healthcare Association ($2 million), Virginia Association of Free and Charitable Clinics ($1.5 million), Virginia Health Care Foundation ($1 million) and the Federation of Virginia Food Banks ($1 million).

Foundation announces grant funding


The Western Tidewater Free Clinic received a $41,458 safety net grant to support the clinic’s transition to Medicaid expansion. The clinic estimates 1,000 of its existing patients are now eligible for Medicaid expansion, which began statewide in January. The one-year special grant will cover technology, training and staffing costs associated with the transition.

The Health Wagon brings patients in from the cold


The Health Wagon’s annual Spring Health Fair brought in a steady stream of people seeking physical exams, chest X-rays, ultrasounds, blood work, vaccinations, Medicaid enrollment, health education, social services and even free legal help.

At CrossOver Healthcare Ministry, prospective patients line up once a month for a raffle ticket and hope their number is picked


CrossOver Healthcare Ministry, the largest free health care clinic in Virginia, holds four monthly new patient lottery days, one in English and one in Spanish at each of its two Richmond-area clinics. Last year, CrossOver accepted 1,499 new patients and turned hopefuls away 817 times, a figure that includes people who were turned away more than once. That’s more than twice the 367 times people were turned away in 2017, when the free clinic accepted 1,670 new patients

Sentara Healthcare & Optima Health Donate $1.5 Million to Virginia’s Free Clinics


Sentara Healthcare and Optima Health made history with their recent gift of $1.5 million to the Virginia Association of Free & Charitable Clinics (VAFCC). The largest single donation in the nonprofit organization’s 25-year history, this leadership gift will go to support Medicaid expansion efforts in free clinics across the Commonwealth of Virginia

Virginia Health Care Foundation funds specialty dental care at Augusta Regional Clinic


“VHCF is proud to continue supporting the Augusta Regional Clinic’s growing dental program,” said Deborah Oswalt, VHCF’s Executive Director. “Oral health is a critical component of overall health, but over 3.8 million Virginians have no dental insurance. As a result, even routine dental cleanings are out of reach for many Virginians. ARC’s specialized endodontic dental team will enable hundreds of local residents to obtain the complex dental procedures they need, but could otherwise not afford.”

Gloucester-Mathews Care Clinic expands eligibility criteria


The is now able to see more patients, as it recently expanded its eligibility criteria. According to Arlene Armentor, the clinic’s executive director, the maximum household income it allows its patients to have has increased from 250 percent of the federal poverty level to 300 percent.

Coalfields Medicaid enrollment push planned


The Virginia Health Care Foundation has announced a new initiative to help coalfield-region residents apply for Medicaid coverage, in partnership with the state Department of Medical Assistance Services and the Health Wagon.

Free clinic expands services to reach more people


"There has been a realization that there are many people that desperately need health care & have no access other than the emergency," reports Brenda Clements with the Madison Free Clinic which recently expanded eligibility to 300% FPL.

Guadalupe Clinic receives Mary Washington Hospital Foundation grant


The Guadalupe Free Clinic of Colonial Beach recently received a grant from the Joe and Mary Wilson Community Benefit Fund of Mary Washington Hospital Foundation. The grant will be used to defray operating costs and purchase medications and medical supplies for clinic patients this year.

Health Wagon sets free health fair for March


The Health Wagon will host a health fair offering free exams and and testing on March 6 in Wise and on March 7 in Clintwood.

Virginia’s Network of Free & Charitable Clinics Provided $191 Million in Care


Virginia’s network of free and charitable clinics provided more than $191 million in care to the Commonwealth in 2017, according to the newly released 2018 Impact Report from the Virginia Association of Free and Charitable Clinics. The Impact Report highlights the substantial community contributions clinics make to improve Virginia’s overall health and provide opportunities for all residents to have access to comprehensive quality healthcare.

Remote Area Medical free clinic coming to Harrisonburg


According to U.S. census data, the poverty rate in the city of Harrisonburg is 23.3%, which far exceeds the national average of 12.7%. Nearly one out of every six people under the age of 65 lacks health insurance coverage. The poverty rate in the city of Staunton is 13.3% and 17.4% in the city of Waynesboro. Because of these factors, RAM expects to treat approximately 400 or more people from Harrisonburg and surrounding communities during the two-day clinic.

VAFCC Welcomes Free Clinic of the Twin Counties as Full Clinic Member


The Free Clinic of the Twin Counties joins the ranks of the more than 50 member clinics that make up the full clinic members of the Virginia Association of Free and Charitable Clinics (VAFCC). By becoming a full clinic member, the Free Clinic of the Twin Counties has demonstrated a commitment to serving our state’s sickest, most vulnerable, and voiceless group of patients while also achieving VAFCC’s membership standards
focused on best practices in nonprofit management and patient care.

RAM Smyth County is making plans for May clinic


Do you or someone you know need free medical, dental or vision care? Mark your calendar for May 17-19 for the fourth annual RAM Smyth County clinic at Mountain Empire Airport. The clinic has helped thousands over the past three years in this area and hundreds of thousands worldwide. Organizers do it with volunteers – medical personnel from near and far, and people just like you who help with time and money.

YWCA Richmond announces 2019 Outstanding Women Awards


Eight community leaders in a variety of fields were announced Wednesday as recipients of the YWCA Richmond’s 2019 Outstanding Women Awards. In Health and Science, YWCA Outstanding Woman is Sally Graham, founder and executive director of Goochland Cares, member of the Goochland Rotary, previous board member on the University of Virginia School of Nursing Advisory Board.

VAFCC Annual Conference: November 17-19, 2019


We hope you will make plans to join VAFCC in Harrisonburg for our 2019 Annual Conference at the Hotel Madison on November 17-19, 2019. This event is the premier educational and networking meeting for Virginia’s free and charitable clinics and their safety net partners and advocates.

Free clinic prepared for Medicaid expansion


Medicaid expansion has led to a substantial reduction in the number of Virginians who are uninsured or underinsured, but according to Orange County Free Clinic Executive Director Dorren Brown, the work of the local nonprofit, and others like it, is far from over. As the clinic heads into 2019, the organization is already taking steps to adapt to its new role in the community and to make the most of potential opportunities.

Free Dental Hygiene Day


Virginia Association of Free & Charitable Clinics member Healing Hands Health Center is hosting an upcoming Free Dental Hygiene Day on February 15 for uninsured in southwest Virginia.

Mother of Mercy free medical clinic expands offering prenatal care


Virginia Association of Free Clinics' member, Mother of Mercy Free Clinic recently announced an expansion that includes prenatal care, physical therapy and more for thousands of low-income patients in Manassas & Manassas Park.

Free clinics prepare for transitions with Medicaid expansion


When the Virginia legislature approved a Medicaid expansion program that would make an estimated 400,000 uninsured people eligible for health care coverage, Julie Bilodeau, the CEO of CrossOver Healthcare Ministry and her staff got approval from the board of directors to transform CrossOver from a free clinic to a hybrid one, which would continue to provide free services while also becoming a Medicaid provider, able to bill Medicaid for services to those who are newly covered.

A new standard for healthcare


Traditionally, dozens of free clinics across Virginia have served poorer populations. Those clinics, however, are now facing constraints because Medicaid service requires onerous amounts of paperwork that clinic operations are not set up to handle. So each clinic must decide whether to accept Medicaid and the complications that come with it or refer those new Medicaid patients to another medical service elsewhere. The state could help alleviate these issues by creating liaisons for the clinics to help with the growing mound of Medicaid paperwork.

New federal guidelines allow Mel Leaman Free Clinic to help more people


“The Mel Leaman Free Clinic at Emory & Henry College? has helped me greatly improve my health issues, and I feel so much better. The care that I received at the clinic is excellent,” reports one of 950 active patients who are receiving health care at the clinic. And now the clinic’s services are available to even more people who are in need of medical care and without health insurance. According to Susan Ferraro, the clinic’s new executive director, the clinic can now see patients whose incomes fall at or below 300 percent of the federal poverty guidelines.

Remote Area Medical prepares for 1,000th clinic


VAFCC member, Remote Area Medical has reached a milestone as they prepare to host their 1,000th free medical clinic, just a few months after the nonprofit's founder Stan Brock died. RAM has been serving people all around the world for more than three decades by offering free medical, dental and vision services.

Free clinic expands eligibility requirements to service more people in the Valley


As of January 1st, the Harrisonburg-Rockingham Free Clinic expanded its eligibility requirements to increase healthcare access to thousands in the community. Following the statewide Medicaid expansion, the Clinic realized there were members of the community who did not qualify for government assistance, but still needed healthcare assistance. The Free Clinic Board voted to expand the eligibility requirements for patients to those up to 300 percent of the Federal Poverty Level.

Arlington Free Clinic celebrates expansion of dental offerings


The Arlington Free Clinic recently celebrated completion of a $1.5 million fund-raising drive to support construction and outfitting of a dental facility to support those in need across Arlington. The capital campaign, which was launched by support from longtime volunteer and donor Mary Mellon (whose father died of a tooth infection he could not afford to treat when she was a teen), will allow the clinic to triple the number of dental patients it can serve.

Medicaid expansion in Virginia set to begin in the new year


Among Virginia’s dozens of free health clinics, 10 so far are planning to open up a hybrid model where they will start billing for services provided to Medicaid patients. Officials at free clinics said they are working to make sure donors and legislators know that thousands of Virginians will continue to rely on clinics for care. They include new Medicaid expansion patients who lack access to doctors or other treatment and low-income Virginians who don’t qualify for Medicaid but can’t afford private health insurance. “This is a good start, but the need for free clinics is not going away,” said Teresa Gardner Tyson, executive director of the Health Wagon in far Southwest Virginia.

Greene clinic to stay open


After struggling to decide where it fits now that Virginia has approved Medicaid expansion, the Greene County Care Clinic, will not close its doors. “The research from the Virginia Association of Free & Charitable Clinics showed there could be 400-600 additional people who will benefit from our clinic,” said Janet Call, the nurse practitioner who founded the clinic in 2005. “There is still a need.”

Free clinic adapts, will accept Medicaid payments


The Fauquier Free Clinic on Jan. 1 will begin accepting Medicaid payments for low-income patients in its service area. “Our primary goal is to make sure that the people we serve have access to the health care they need,” reports Executive Director Rob Marino. “Some of our patients have been with us for years. Our clinicians know them well and have developed relationships that allow us to make a real difference in their health.”

Medicaid expansion means critical role for Virginia's free clinics


Who will provide for the health care needs of these hardworking families? The answer lies, at least partially, in the network of more than 60 free and charitable clinics across most of the state. These patient-focused and professional medical facilities, funded by donations and a critical annual appropriation from the commonwealth, have been providing vital health care services to people who would otherwise have no place to turn. Largely supported by volunteer, licensed health care professionals, the clinics are a model of efficiency, annually turning a collective operating budget of $40 million into $191 million worth of care.

Free clinic director appointed to state advisory board


Pam Murphy, Executive Director of Shenandoah County Free Clinic and Shenandoah Dental Clinic was appointed to the Virginia Health Workforce Development Authority. As a member, she’ll be tackling health care workforce shortages in Shenandoah County which is listed as a health professional shortage area for primary care, dental health and mental health.

Enrollment in Virginia’s expanded Medicaid program is beating projections


Virginia is on track to add 375,000 low-income residents to its Medicaid rolls by July 2020, outpacing projections made before the General Assembly agreed to expand the program early this year. The 375,000 enrollment figure is a projection, based on the number of Virginians who have signed up since enrollment opened Nov. 1. More than 117,000 had enrolled through Wednesday, Lee said. Medicaid coverage for the new enrollees will begin Jan. 1.

Virginia looks to boost Medicaid reimbursement to attract more doctors


The Department of Medical Assistance Services has asked Governor of Virginia Ralph Northam to include $19.1 million in his two-year budget to boost #Medicaid reimbursements, “The combination of declining rates relative to other payers, significant limitations in primary care access throughout the state, and the increased demand for primary care services following Medicaid expansion to an additional 400,000 Virginians creates a pressing need to bring Medicaid rates closer to parity with the market,” reports DMAS.

Free Clinics Fill Huge Gaps in US Health Care System


Over 44 percent of Americans report difficulty paying for dental care and 11 percent of adults age 18-64 have foregone needed dental work altogether because of costs.

400+ attend RAM clinic in Gloucester


More than 400 people sought services at the Remote Area Medical free clinic held on Nov. 3-4 at Ware Academy in Gloucester. Throughout Saturday and Sunday, 613 volunteers delivered $226,080 worth of dental, visions, and health care to those in need.

Manassas free clinic is lifeline for sick


He came to the clinic hungry, dressed in worn clothes. He was sick and tired of trying to manage his diabetes. He felt so overwhelmed he wept in the doctor’s office. So the Mother of Mercy Free Clinic in Manassas gave him food, clothing and medical care.

Free Clinic of Franklin County will continue to serve those in need


“One thing we know for sure is that we will always have needy people seeking affordable access to health care,” said Donna Proctor, executive director. “At some point, we may decide to accept Medicaid and possibly other types of insurance. In the meantime, we are expanding our services and reaching to those who will still need our help.”

Thousands in Virginia now eligible for Medicaid enrollment: ‘People don’t choose to be sick’


James Servis works as a carpenter, and health is a critical component of his work. Last year, Servis experienced a health issue so severe, it caused him months of pain, stress, and financial uncertainty. "Extreme pain in my joints, my hands, my feet, my wrists. It quickly progressed to where I was almost unable to walk. I couldn't hold a coffee cup," Servis said. The father of seven does not have health insurance. "My employer doesn't offer health care; due to the economy, that was the first thing that had to go," he said. Servis was connected with Crossover Healthcare Ministry, and doctors were able to prescribe medication to help with his pain, which is now under control. Then, a few days ago, Crossover informed Servis of some other important news. "Now, I'll be eligible for Medicaid due to my income level and number of dependents," he said. "I know its going to help people, but some other people on the other side are going to probably going to be like they are wasting my money; I already pay enough. Yeah I get that but at some point people don't choose to be sick."

Witt Honored


Pamela Witt was honored with the Clinical Champion award from the Virginia Association of Free and Charitable Clinics on Oct. 21. Witt is the director of clinical services at Western Tidewater Free Clinic, and she has been working with the free clinic since its inception.

Medicaid enrollment hotline fields record number of calls on first day of expansion


Thursday was the first day that Virginians could enroll for Medicaid health insurance coverage under the state’s expansion program. An estimated 400,000 Virginians who are currently either uninsured or buying health insurance on the Affordable Care Act marketplace are now eligible for Medicaid coverage if they make less than $16,754 a year as an individual or $28,677 as a family of three.

Care Clinic recognized for help with prescriptions


The Gloucester-Mathews Care Clinic was recently recognized for its role in dispensing nearly $3.9 million in free prescription medication for low-income, uninsured patients through participation with the statewide nonprofit Rx Partnership (RxP). GMCC received its certificate of recognition Sept. 19 at RxP’s 13th Annual Affiliate Roundtable in Richmond.

Madison County prepares for expanded Medicaid sign up


The Madison County Free Clinic is a place where hundreds of low-income residents with no health care coverage can get that kind of assistance. "There are only a limited amount of services the free clinic offers," said Brenda Clements, the free clinic's executive director. Clements said she will be losing some of her clients since they will now be eligible for more services from the state. "We're happy for them because this is coverage that we're not able to offer," she said. The focus now is to make sure people are aware of the new benefits they can receive.

Enrollment in Va.’s expanded Medicaid program starts Nov. 1


Virginians who are newly eligible for government health insurance under the state’s expanded Medicaid program can enroll starting Nov. 1, Gov. Ralph Northam announced. “It was a long time coming, but we’re glad it’s here,” Northam (D) said at a state office building in Richmond. “I really believe that we can be leaders in Virginia and show the rest of the country how to move forward.”

Moss Clinic marks 25 years of 'harmony and healing'


Since 1993, the clinic has served more than 12,000 patients and provided more than $300 million in health care, according to clinic statistics. It’s filled almost 800,000 prescriptions and scheduled almost 200,000 patient visits. The clinic’s staff has grown over the years to include a paid staff of 28 coordinators, specialists and nurse practitioners, but there’s never been a paid doctor, dentist or therapist. The facility relies on volunteers in white coats, and in 2017, there were 50 doctors and 16 dentists who took care of patients’ needs. These days, the facility is open five days a week and offers both day and evening appointments.

Shenandoah free clinic expands to treating adults


With recent renovations complete, a Shenandoah County free health clinic is able to treat county residents of all ages. "We do what we can, where ever we can," said Pam Murphy, executive director of the Shenandoah Community Health Clinic. When the Shenandoah South Wellness Center opened last fall at Ashby Lee Elementary School, staff were providing free medical, mental, and dental care to students at Shenandoah County's Southern Campus in Quicksburg, Va. But after a summer of renovations, the clinic is now seeing adults as well as children.

With Medicaid Expansion, Rural Virginia Clinics Face a Tough Decision


On its face, Medicaid expansion seems like good news for clinics whose mission is to provide care for those who may not otherwise be able to afford it. Although qualifications vary from state to state, in Virginia the expansion population will include people who make up to 138 percent of the federal poverty level. For a family of four, that’s $42,435 per year in 2018. Many of those Virginians are using the services currently available at free clinics. That means, upon their enrollment, Medicaid could be a new source of income for these healthcare providers that typically rely on grants and donations to serve their client population. But these clinics will face significant challenges as they prepare to serve patients who are newly covered by Medicaid.

Virginia’s Medicaid expansion means free clinics may have to rethink their business models


One by one, Virginia’s 63 free medical clinics are deciding whether to change their business models and accept Medicaid in three months, when nearly 400,000 additional Virginians will become eligible. The dozens of providers face a conundrum: Either they spend the money and time to meet the federal insurance program’s requirements, or they risk leaving some of their patients with no place to go.

Therapist earns award for indigent services


The woman who helped to create a holistic, multi-agency approach to address the health needs of the area’s homeless and impoverished residents is being honored by the Virginia Association of Free and Charitable Clinics. Sinclair Health Clinic therapist Lauren McCauley will be presented with the Behavioral Health Champion award Oct. 21 at the association’s 25th anniversary banquet in Fairfax.

Quinn named a 2018 Champion of Health Care


Hayes resident Ann Quinn, a longtime board member, donor and advocate of the Gloucester-Mathews Care Clinic, will be recognized next month by the Virginia Association of Free and Charitable Clinics as a 2018 Champion of Health Care.

Free Clinic of Powhatan celebrates 10th anniversary


The Free Clinic of Powhatan was founded by Powhatan resident Connie Moslow, the first and current executive director. Soon after, Dr. John Carmack became the first medical director of the clinic, and the first board of directors was established with John Rick, Kim Hatcher Wright, Bob Cosby, Margaret Manning, Carolyn Cios Bishop, Nancy Alexander, Sister Maureen Carroll, Kathy Budner, and Ann Hogg. Raymond Crump and Thorton Newlon provided countless hours of legal and financial professional services to officially establish the Free Clinic in Powhatan.

Northam, Hanger honored for Medicaid expansion push


Gov. Ralph Northam and Sen. Emmett Hanger took a bow on Monday when they receive a joint award for their successful push this year to expand Virginia’s Medicaid program.

Sinclair Health Clinic Expanding Coverage through Medicaid


“We are in a health-care professional shortage area. There’s not enough primary care providers in town to handle an influx of 1,600 patients on day one,” said Brandon T. Jennings, free clinic executive director, who also is a clinical pharmacist. “We felt it was necessary to completely change our business model to continue to serve this population.”

Remote Area Medical Loses Founder Stan Brock


It is with great sadness that Remote Area Medical announces the passing of their Founder and President, Stan Brock.

323,000 Virginias will remain uninsured after Medicaid expansion


A massive shift is on the horizon for Virginia’s health care landscape as the state prepares to expand its Medicaid program, but more than 300,000 uninsured Virginians will likely remain, many continuing to rely on the state’s free clinics.

Registration Opens for VAFCC Annual Conference


VAFCC's Annual Conference is the premier educational and networking meeting for Virginia’s free and charitable clinics and their safety net partners and advocates. This year's conference will be geared towards providing professional development and insight on operational and administration topics that will be impacted by impending Medicaid expansion as well as innovative programs and best practices for patient care.

Gloucester Mathews Care Clinic celebrates 20 years of service


After raising more than $74,000 and securing a 1,300-square-foot building donated by Riverside Walter Reed Hospital, the clinic opened Aug. 1, 1998, providing services two nights a week. Founder Ann Quinn recalls sitting on the porch of the clinic on that hot, humid opening night and thinking, maybe the clinic won’t be needed in 10 years. Maybe the national health care system will figure itself out, and people will receive rightful access to health care at no cost.

Charlottesville Free Clinic says it won't accept Medicaid


Six months before an estimated 400,000 Virginians become newly eligible for Medicaid, the Charlottesville Free Clinic has said it will not accept the federal program. The clinic will shift an estimated 400 current patients to other providers, but it is assuring donors and patients that its mission remains the same: serving uninsured and underinsured Central Virginians.

The Free Clinic of Danville celebrates 25th Anniversary


Happy 25th Anniversary to the Free Clinic of Danville, which celebrated this milestone on July 12 when Danville Mayor Alonzo Jones proclaimed it “Free Clinic Appreciation Day” and telemedicine through the University of Virginia was introduced. The clinic provides health care with a focus on education and wellness to qualified uninsured individuals in Danville and Pittsylvania County.

Free Clinic in Lynchburg to accept Medicaid in 2019


With Medicaid expansion less than six months away, the Free Clinic of Central Virginia has taken steps to ensure nearly 3,000 of its patients expected to qualify for Medicaid continue to receive care from the nonprofit.

Calling for Nominations: Champions of Health Care


The Champions of Health Care is a celebration of Virginia’s health safety net. These awards recognize leaders in the community who make a true impact on the health and quality of life in Virginia. We will celebrate these remarkable individuals and entities at VAFCC’s Annual Conference during our 25th Anniversary Banquet on Sunday, October 21st in Fairfax, VA. VAFCC invites all interested parties to submit a nomination to honor individuals and entities who have made a real difference in health care for the underserved citizens of Virginia.

Health Wagon’s Executive Director Featured on Lifetime’s Her America representing the state of Virginia.


The Health Wagon’s Executive Director, Dr. Teresa Tyson, family nurse practitioner is being featured in Lifetime’s Her America. This is a Lifetime digital content series that features the stories of real American women told through films, essays and podcasts. The Health Wagon is honored to have Dr. Tyson represent the Commonwealth of Virginia. Lifetime traveled to all 50 states, asked thousands of questions and arrived at one conclusion. They saw that American women defy labels, don’t fit easily into boxes and despite differences, have lots in common.

Medicaid Expansion in Virginia


On June 7, 2018, Governor Ralph Northam signed the state budget into law. The budget includes funding and language to expand Medicaid to qualified adults up to 138% FPL.

Goochland Nonprofit Unveils New $7M Clinic Facility


A local nonprofit has opened its new $7 million home base. Goochland Free Clinic & Family Services held a grand opening last week for its facility at 2999 River Road W., dubbed Goochland Cares.

$8M clinic opens on Fifth Street, aims to increase health care access in Lynchburg


It is expected to serve about 3,000 patients annually and act as a second location for the Free Clinic of Central Virginia on Main Street, which serves the uninsured, underinsured and individuals with an income less than 200 percent of the Federal Poverty Level — about $24,600 for a family of four.

See The Health Wagon's segment on 60 Minutes


Nurse practitioners are providing badly needed health care to the uninsured working poor in Appalachia -- medical mercy for those left out of Obamacare and ineligible for Medicaid. Scott Pelley reports.