Great Things from Little Communities

A small community with a huge heart ensures that all its members have access to health care.

In just its first two years of operation, the Shenandoah County Free Clinic served nearly 1,000 patients and provided more than 2,693 patient visits. Even though it is only open one night a week in a small, rural county, this little clinic provides medical, dental, and mental health services.

It is unusual for such a small clinic to offer such a wide variety of services. It wouldn’t be able to do so without the hard work and dedication of a great team of people. Each year, more than 100 people volunteered at the clinic, logging thousands of hours. A majority of the medical providers who live in Shenandoah County volunteer at the clinic.

Along with a great volunteer force, financial support from the local community has been vital to SCFC’s early success. In its first year, clinic volunteers raised over $175,000 from community supporters for the clinic. In 2004, a time of local budget cuts, the clinic was the only agency to receive an increase in support from the county.

Another key to SCFC’s success has been reaching out to get help when it was needed. Staff and board members have taken advantage of VHCF’s scholarship assistance program to build skills in fundraising and nonprofit management. In July, the Board of Directors used VHCF’s technical assistance money to hire a consultant to lead them in a strategic planning process.