Southwest Virginia Community Health Systems’ Tazewell Community Health Center Has Successful Visit from Virginia House of Delegates Select Committee

Southwest Virginia Community Health Systems’ (SVCHS) Tazewell Community Health Center was visited on Monday, April 29, 2024, by the Virginia House of Delegates Select Committee on Advancing Rural and Small Town Health Care. 

McGuireWood Consulting was hired by the Virginia Health Care Association (VHCA) to advocate with the Virginia House of Delegates. Three other such visits will be occurring across the state throughout the summer and fall months.

SVCHS’ Chief of Operations (COO), Chad Brown, said,  “The purpose of the visit was for them to learn more about issues and challenges that FQHCs are facing such as workforce/recruiting, 340B pharmacy program, patient access issues.”

Present for this visit was eight of the 12 members of the Virginia House of Delegates Select Committee on Advancing Rural and Small Town Health Care. These members of state government included two of Delegate Marc Sickle’s staff, who serves as the Chair of the Health and Human Services Committee for the Virginia House of Delegates. Delegate Sickle is the delegate for the 17th district of Virginia, which includes part of the County of Fairfax. Additional members of government included Delegate Will Morefield, who serves as the delegate for the 43rd district. This district included the Counties of Bland, Buchanan, part of Dickenson, part of Russell, and Tazewell. Virginia State Senator Travis Hackworth, serves District 5, which includes all of Tazewell, Pulaski, Smyth, Giles, and Bland Counties, along with all of Radford City and portions of Montgomery and Wythe Counties. Both Morefield and Hackworth were present to explain their experiences of the community and constituents regarding community health centers. Sarah Staunton, the executive director of the Joint Commission on Health Care, and Chandler Brooks from the Division of Legislative Services were also present.

Legislators and staff seemed engaged and impressed with the fact that the center was essentially a one-stop shop for different services including behavioral health/addiction recovery, primary care, and dental that is offered at Tazewell Community Health Center, which allowed the discussion of the importance of 340B programs and the uncertainty created by the actions of manufactures. The 340B Program enables covered entities to stretch scarce federal resources as far as possible, reaching more eligible patients and providing more comprehensive services. Manufacturers participating in Medicaid agree to provide outpatient drugs to covered entities at significantly reduced prices.

This committee also visited Southwest Virginia Community College where they were presented with additional healthcare data points that are plaguing the region as a whole and are being highlighted through collaboration with community health care centers across the state through telehealth visits with the University of Virginia.

SVCHS has community health centers in Meadowview, Va., Saltville, Va., Bristol, Va., and Tazewell, Va., along with pediatric services in Bristol, Va. and Tazewell, Va. SVCHS is currently accepting new pediatric patients. For more information or to schedule an appointment, call 276-496-4492.