VHCF awards $1.2M in grants to improve access to health care safety net

The Virginia Health Care Foundation recently awarded $1.2 million in grants to health safety net organizations throughout the commonwealth to improve access to medical, dental and behavioral health services.

 

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Virginia communities severely affected by COVID-19 face an extraordinary challenge, said Deborah Oswalt, VHCF’s executive director.

“With the tremendous increase in the number of Virginians filing new claims for unemployment insurance and the significant numbers of those still unemployed as a result of the pandemic, the need for the state’s health care safety net is greater than ever. These grants will help ensure Virginians have access to the health care they need during these difficult times.”

The primary care grants will go to:

Primary Medical Care

  • GPW Health Center (GPW) – $175,000 to help expand the prenatal and primary care services available at GPW’s Manassas and Dumfries locations by adding ultrasound to the services provided.
  • Sinclair Health Clinic (SHC) – $136,105 to support the salary and benefits of a full-time Nurse Practitioner, who will offer prenatal care services and help meet growing demand for primary care services in Winchester.
  • Tri-Area Community Health (TACH) – $132,628 to underwrite the salary and benefits of a full-time Nurse Practitioner to serve as the primary medical provider at TACH’s new site in Grayson County.
  • Health Brigade (HB) – $115,000 to underwrite the salary and benefits of a full-time Medical Director to lead the Richmond clinic’s transition to a hybrid clinic capable of treating both uninsured patients and those with Medicaid health coverage. The grant will also support a full-time tri-lingual Licensed Professional Counselor to expand HB’s behavioral health program and help make mental health care more accessible to the clinic’s Spanish and Portuguese speaking patients.
  • New Horizons Healthcare (NHH) – $56,160 to help underwrite the salary and benefits of a full-time Physician Assistant, who offers same day, evening, and Saturday appointments for acute care to better accommodate patients’ work schedules.

Behavioral Health Care

  • Eastern Shore Rural Health System (ESRHS) – $132,100 to support the salary of a new Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner who will treat ESRHS patients onsite in Eastville and at other ESRHS sites via tele-health appointments.
  • Johnson Health Center (JHC) – $134,375 to support the salaries and benefits of a full-time Behavioral Health Specialist and a full-time Mental Health Clinician in Lynchburg, who will work alongside JHC’s psychiatrist and primary care team to implement an integrated behavioral health program.
  • Bradley Free Clinic (BFC) – $125,000 to help with construction of several rooms to house the clinic’s new behavioral health services in Roanoke.

 Dental Care

  • Community Health Center of the New River Valley (CHCNRV) – $83,475 to help underwrite the salary and benefits of a full-time Dentist at CHCNRV’s Pulaski County clinic.
  • Bland Ministry Center (BMC) – $75,000 to help support a Dentist and Dental Hygienist at Big Walker Dentistry, BMC’s dental safety net clinic in Wythe County.
  • VCU Health Community Memorial Hospital (CMH) – $56,250 to help underwrite the salary and benefits of a full-time Dentist at CMH’s Family Dental Clinic which serves the residents of Mecklenburg County.

Virginia’s Medicaid expansion has led to a historic drop of 7.9% in the number of uninsured individuals. The data, from the U.S. Census Bureau, is the first to reflect rates since Medicaid expansion became effective after it was implemented in early 2019.

 

Virginia Health Care Foundation

 

The foundation’s Profile of Virginia’s Uninsured shows the following statistics. These figures don’t reflect the impact of the Medicaid expansion.

  • 10.2% of Virginians under age 65 are without health insurance – 712,000 uninsured Virginians.
  • 12.4% of Virginians ages 19 to 64 years of age had no health insurance — 623,000 non-elderly adult Virginians.
  • 7% of Virginia children are eligible for Medicaid/FAMIS, yet not enrolled (52,000). These 52,000 children are 58.4% of all uninsured children in Virginia.
  • Most uninsured Virginians are part of working families (80%) — about half (51.7%) with at least one full time worker.
  • Uninsured Virginians under age 65 represent every population in Virginia: 43.4% are white non-Hispanic, 22.2% are African American/Black, 25.4% are Hispanic, 5.3% are Asian/Pacific Islander and 3.7% identify themselves as “other” or as a member of multiple racial groups.
  • There are 409,000 uninsured Virginians ages 19 – 64 years old, with household income ≤200% FPL.
  • There are 318,000 uninsured Virginians ages 19 – 64 years old, with household income ≤138% FPL.
  • From 2009 – 2017, there was a 3.6 percentage point decrease in the uninsured rate among Virginia adults, ages 19 – 64 (16% to 12.4%). This is a drop from 779,000 to 623,000 adult Virginians, ages 19 – 64.
  • From 2009 – 2017, there was a 3.6 percentage point decrease in the uninsured rate among Virginia children, ages 0 – 18 (16% to 12.4%). This is a drop from 84,000 to 52,000 Virginia children.