Groundbreaking ceremony held for Health Wagon clinic in Dickenson County

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CLINTWOOD, Va. (WJHL) – A state-of-the-art healthcare clinic is on its way to Southwest Virginia – in an area that leaders say needs it most.

The Health Wagon broke ground Thursday morning on its new facility in Dickenson County.

The clinic is named after Sister Bernie Kenny, who founded the Health Wagon.

“This clinic is just so much more than brick and mortar though, the clinic for us represents how we address and care for humanity,” Health Wagon Executive Director Dr. Teresa Tyson said.

The 5,000 square foot facility will offer free healthcare services.

“Specialty, clinics. We will have telehealth. We do more telehealth than anybody in the state of Virginia with the University of Virginia,” Dr. Tyson said.

It’s an area health leaders say is desperately in need of these services.

“Our people here, they live 20 years less than our counterparts out on the eastern shore, and that is simply because we do not have healthcare access as we should,” Dr. Tyson said.

Sister Kenny, who is a nurse practitioner, founded the Health Wagon in Dickenson County 40 years ago.

“In a Volkswagen Bug I went to visit people, and saw the need for a more substantial unit,” Sister Kenny said.

Sister Kenny said this clinic shows the people of Dickenson County matter.

“It’s called Virginia’s baby, which means it’s shoved aside, and this is a way that they can stand tall and look everybody in the eye, as a community that heals each other,” Sister Kenny said.

The $1.3 million facility was made possible thanks to grants and donations.

It’s set to open June 2020.

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