With a goal of improving access to quality health care for southwest Virginia residents, the United Health Foundation and The Health Wagon – a free clinic that provides health care to the medically underserved population across six counties in Central Appalachia – are teaming up to help thousands of underserved individuals get the testing and treatment they need, when they need it.
A three-year, $1 million grant from the United Health Foundation announced this week will help fund new, no-cost diagnostic and specialty services at The Health Wagon, such as mammography, ultrasound, x-ray and expanded dental services.
“Ultimately, our shared goal is to help people live healthier lives and improve the health care experience for patients,” said Tracy Malone, president of the United Health Foundation.
The Health Wagon delivers care via two mobile units and two stationary clinics, as well as several health events. In 2018, The Health Wagon served more than 4,700 people and provided more than $5.6 million in health care services.
“For nearly four decades, The Health Wagon has provided critical health care services for Virginians,” said Sen. Mark Warner. “This new partnership with the United Health Foundation will increase the reach and scope of the work The Health Wagon is doing to make sure people in southwest Virginia are getting the care they need.”
More than 700,000 Virginians under the age of 65 are uninsured, according to the Virginia Health Care Foundation. In particular, the uninsured rate among nonelderly adults in Southwest Virginia is nearly 15%, among the highest rates in the state.
“We know from experience that early detection and treatment of disease is vital for improving the health and well-being of the people we serve,” said Dr. Teresa Tyson, executive director of The Health Wagon. “We welcome the United Health Foundation’s partnership in expanding life-saving specialty and diagnostic care for thousands of medically underserved individuals and families living in southwest Virginia.”
To date, the United Health Foundation has committed $430 million to programs and communities worldwide.