Southwest Virginia Community Health Systems officially opened the new, state-of-the-art, $3.2 million Tazewell Community Health facility on Thursday, October 25, 2018.
Ground was broken on the facility a little over a year ago after nearly two years of waiting to begin the project.
Tazewell Community Health began operations in May 2006. At that time, there were three total staff members, a medical provider, nurse and clerical position. Today, the operations have grown to a total of 12 staff members. Currently, there are two medical providers, three nurses, behavioral health counselor, behavioral health case manager, medication assistance outreach, outreach and enrollment for health insurance, two front end clerical positions and a site manager.
Since 2015, Southwest Virginia Community Health Systems have pursued building a new facility for the people of Tazewell and the surrounding areas for better access quality healthcare at 386 Ben Bolt Avenue, Tazewell Va. at the old health department building. This new site, in order in better serve our current Tazewell patients as well as to make room for more patients, is a larger service delivery site to replace Tazewell Community Health’s previous building. The new site will increase the scope of services to include dental, pediatric, optometry, and radiology services and will employ eight additional health care professionals. The total square footage of the previous building is approximately 3,600 sq. ft. The project will increase square footage to 9,732 sq. ft. and the number of exam rooms will increase from eight to 14. The opening of this facility will also have an economic impact on the area by increasing healthcare professionals from 13 t0 20 and being able to increase potential patient capacity. This new building will allow more needs of the community to be met through facility appropriateness and efficiency, increased capacity to provide services, and increasing the scope of services available to patients compared to what is currently available at the existing site.
“Being a community health center is a source of great pride for the Board and staff of Southwest Virginia Community Health Systems. Not only do we pride ourselves in the healthcare given to our patients but we also strive to be a vital part of the communities we serve. Staff members of Tazewell Community Health live in the community and there is an advisory Board of local residents who provide valuable information to us about the health and overall conditions of the greater Tazewell community,” said CEO of Southwest Virginia Community Health Systems, Bryan Haynes.
Currently, the financial backing of the project is a $1 million grant from the Health Resources & Services Administration, $10,000 from The Carilion Foundation, $115,000 grant from the Tobacco Region Opportunity Fund (TROF), and a 1:1 match grant of $100,000 from the Virginia Health Care Foundation. For every $1 donated, the amount of this grant was doubled up to $100,000.
“As the health care status indicates, there is a tremendous need, and Tazewell Community Health is stepping forward to make a difference in the health of this community. We could have not achieved this endeavor alone. We have garnered support from many levels from the federal and state governments, along with regional and local foundations and individual support,” said Haynes.
Tazewell County has a significant low-income and underserved population and access to healthcare is an important component of addressing their needs. The county is ranked 118 out of 133 in health status and outcomes in the entire Commonwealth.
“This project has been such an important project for the residents of Tazewell County. We, at Southwest Virginia Community Health Systems, feel passionately about providing affordable and accessible healthcare for this area because of their current limited access, and we, as an organization are happy to meet the unmet needs,” said Haynes.
United States Congressman Morgan Griffith from Virginia’s 9th District, Delegate Will Morefield, Tazewell County Board of Supervisor, Mike Hymes, Tazewell County’s Industrial Development Authority Chairman, Kyle Hurt, Tazewell County’s Interim Administrator and County Attorney, Eric Young, and Chairman of Southwest Virginia Community Health System’s Board, Mike Leake, was there to make remarks regarding this facility and the importance of the facility.
“For many Southwest Virginians, Community Health Centers provide access to vital medical services. The opening of Tazewell Community Health offers a brand-new facility providing more patients with a variety of services from medical professionals. I strongly back federal support for Community Health Centers, and I am honored to be part of this important event for the people of Tazewell County who depend on Community Health Centers,” said Congressman Griffith.
“This is an exciting day for the Town of Tazewell, the surrounding community, and those who are in need of greater access to quality healthcare. A healthy community is a prosperous community and we are honored to have played a role in seeing this project come to fruition, said Delegate Morefield.
The facility will be opened for patients on Monday, Nov. 5.