VHCF Outreach Workers Help Economic Victims of Covid-19 Obtain Needed Health Insurance Via a New Partnership

Outreach Workers available to help those economically impacted by COVID-19.

[Richmond, Virginia, January 12, 2021] – The COVID-19 pandemic has left hundreds of thousands of Virginians without jobs and health insurance coverage. Project Connect, a special new partnership between the Virginia Health Care Foundation (VHCF), the Tobacco Region Revitalization Commission (TRRC), the Virginia Department of Medical Assistance Services, and three private funders, has been launched to help residents economically affected by COVID-19 in Southside and Southwest Virginia obtain needed health insurance from the state.

The Project Connect initiative will fund an Outreach Worker at each of the following organizations to provide information and one-on-one application assistance to adults and families. The assistance is available to all, with a special focus on those who have lost their jobs and health insurance as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic:

Danville-Pittsylvania Community Services (DPCS) – With funding and support from TRRC and the Danville Regional Foundation, VHCF Outreach Worker Francina Jones is available at DPCS to help those who live in Danville and Pittsylvania County. She can be reached at (434) 770-1641.

The Health Wagon (THW) – With funding and support from TRRC and the Virginia Department of Medical Assistance Services, VHCF Outreach Worker Donna Crabtree is available at Health Wagon sites to help those who live in Wise and Dickenson Counties and surrounding communities in Southwest Virginia. She can be reached at (276) 870-2379.

Martinsville-Henry County Coalition for Health & Wellness (MHCCHW) – With funding and support from TRRC and the Harvest Foundation, VHCF Outreach Worker

Ann Walker is available at MHCCHW to help those who live in Martinsville and Henry County. She can be reached at (276) 732-0509.

Virginia Legal Aid Society (VLAS) – With funding and support from TRRC and Sentara/Optima Health, VHCF Outreach Worker Liz Cunningham is available to help those in Halifax County. She can be reached at (434) 515-0497.

“COVID-19 has brought record job loss to Virginia with hundreds of thousands of hard-working adults losing both their jobs and their health insurance,” said Deborah Oswalt, VHCF’s Executive Director. “Many of these newly unemployed and uninsured Virginians may not realize they now qualify for Medicaid coverage. VHCF’s Outreach Workers are specially trained to assist local citizens with the application and enrollment process to ensure they have coverage for the medical care, behavioral health services, and prescription medicines they need.

“There is nothing more important than the health and well-being of our communities and I am proud that the Commission is supporting this effort to ensure that as many people in Southern and Southwest Virginia have access to care as possible. While the Tobacco Commission is usually associated with job creation efforts, it is important that we have a healthy workforce, if we are to realize the Commission’s vision of developing a diverse economy in the regions we serve,” said Ed Owens, TRRC Chairman.

There are multiple ways to apply for Medicaid health coverage. VHCF’s Outreach Workers can help individuals and families navigate the Medicaid application process safely in a remote or socially distanced way. A person can also visit coverva.org or call Cover Virginia at (855) 242-8282 for additional information about Medicaid or assistance applying for coverage.

The Virginia Health Care Foundation is a non-profit public/private partnership with a mission to increase access to primary health care for uninsured and medically underserved Virginians. The Foundation was initiated by the General Assembly and its Joint Commission on Health Care in 1992. Since its inception, it has funded 437 community-based initiatives across the Commonwealth, and its programs and partnerships have touched the lives of more than 700,000 uninsured Virginians.

For more information about VHCF and its programs, partnerships, and initiatives, visit www.vhcf.org or call (804) 828-5804.