The most critical factor in making treatment available to uninsured and medically underserved Virginians is having a sufficient number of doctors, dentists, nurse practitioners, licensed clinical social workers and other health professionals in all corners of the Commonwealth.
How VHCF is helping
Utilizing a multi-pronged approach to help increase the number of providers in Virginia’s medically underserved areas, VHCF has:
- Given $13 million in grant funding to community health centers throughout the state to hire medical, dental and mental health personnel;
- Enabled 27 free clinics to increase patient capacity by hiring nurse practitioners and physicians’ assistants;
- Provided the financial wherewithal to attract more mental health professionals to rural areas.
- Completed comprehensive surveys of Virginia behavioral health workforce issues, receiving input from Community Health Centers, Community Services Boards, Free Clinics, and Nurse Practitioners
In addition, VHCF-funded providers serve as training sites for a variety of health professions students. More than 6,500 students have participated in clinical experiences as a result of VHCF funding.
VHCF also is helping Virginia colleges and universities initiate innovative approaches to training health professionals, from underwriting dental preceptorships at free clinics to funding a program that pairs psychology doctoral students with medical residents to provide mental health care at an ambulatory care clinic.