Charlottesville Free Clinic Expands Service

By: Althea Paul
By: Althea Paul

The Charlottesville Free Clinic has recently hired a nurse practitioner, which now allows the clinic to do something it's never done before, provide health care to those who qualify during the day.

"These daytime clinics will compliment what we're doing in the evenings with our volunteer providers," said the facility's executive director, Erika Viccellio.

The change was made possible through a grant from the Virginia Health Care Foundation. Now, the clinic can see up to 500 more patients and make 2,000 more appointments than before.

"[It will] provide more hours for people to be seen, it'll provide daytime hours for people who can't get here in the evening or who it's difficult for, and also it'll provide some continuity," said nurse practitioner, Barrie Carveth.

Since the Free Clinic started helping the working but uninsured in 1992, the need for their services has only increased.

Recent numbers show that in the Commonwealth of Virginia, 14 percent of the population does not have health insurance. Over 11 percent of those are working.

And even though officials at the Free Clinic are not proud they're needed so much, they're glad they have the opportunity to reach out to more people.

"It's a significant expansion and we're delighted to be responding to the growing need in the community," said Viccellio.

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