Health Center Meeting Critical Needs

Aug. 7, 2020

Editor, The News-Gazette:

Elected officials across the country are debating solutions to address the COVID-19 pandemic. Community Health Centers (CHCs) like the Rockbridge Area Health Center are a key to ensuring everyone can access affordable and high-quality health care, during and beyond the pandemic.

CHCs are locally run, yet part of a national network, serving almost 30 million adults and children nationwide. They save American taxpayers $24 billion annually in health care costs by preventing and managing diseases. CHCs are not ordinary health care facilities, but are also problem solvers who reach beyond the exam room to care for the whole person by providing integrated care and access to support services such as transportation, translation, case management, health education, and medication assistance.

As unemployment rises and more Americans lose their employer-sponsored health insurance, CHCs will play an important part in keeping America healthy by providing comprehensive and affordable medical, dental, and behavioral health care and support services to anyone, regardless of income, insurance status, or ability to pay.

As a community health center, RAHC’s mission is ‘to promote the provision of high-quality, comprehensive, and affordable health care to improve the health and well-being of our community’ and is a local, nonprofit, patient centered medical home (PCMH) that’s able to respond to the ever-evolving health care needs of the Rockbridge area.

As of June 2020, the total number of RAHC patients served has increased to 8,400-plus, and the expanded facility, along with the additional health care services and providers, was essential as we quickly prepared COVID-19 protocols at the onset of the pandemic. We continue to care for the ever-growing number of patients from all walks of life, and are able to offer both in-person and Telehealth appointments to ensure patients can safely receive screenings and services to maintain their health.

Providing health care during the pandemic has been challenging. But meeting this challenge is critical. RAHC will adjust, pivot and adapt to a strategy that supports our community as we move to a new normal.

As part of National Health Center Week this week (Aug. 9-15), we invite you to show your support for the Rockbridge Area Health Center and celebrate our mission, our accomplishments, and our dedication to serving this community.

We will be here when you need us.

SUZANNE SHERIDAN

CEO, Rockbridge Area Health Center

The News-Gazette

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