874,000 Virginians have no health insurance. Many suffer from chronic illnesses, such as hypertension, diabetes and heart disease. Others have serious diseases that are undetected because they are unable to pay for regular screenings.
Because they cannot afford care, uninsured Virginians see their diseases run out of control. They suffer strokes, heart attacks and other crises that could have been prevented. Instead of inexpensive maintenance care, they wind up hospitalized and with their lives and future health at risk.
VHCF makes primary health care available to as many of these uninsured Virginians as possible — tens of thousands each year.
How VHCF is helping
- Establishing community health centers in medically underserved areas of the state.
- Underwriting the salaries of physicians or physician assistants to bring care to underserved communities.
- Funding the salaries of full-time nurse practitioners to enable free clinics to provide more patient visits and deliver greater continuity of care.
- Broadening the scope of services provided at free clinics and community health centers, allowing them to grow beyond primary medical care and provide specialty medical clinics, dental or mental health services.
- “Bricks and mortar” assistance to allow health centers to expand to better serve their communities.
- Grants for education and outreach to help patients better control chronic diseases.
- Technology funding to establish telemedicine links between major medical centers and remote or rural communities.
In addition to providing health care safety net grants to improve access to medical care across the Commonwealth, VHCF assists safety net providers through:
- Professional Development grants to help current health safety net grantees achieve greater success.
- Specialized information targeted to meet the specific needs of nurse practitioners at free clinics and community health centers.
- Leadership development through VHCF’s Leading for the Long Term.
Through these and other programs and grants, the Virginia Health Care Foundation is achieving its mission of improving access to primary care for uninsured and underserved Virginians.