SVCHS Celebrates National Health Center Week

In celebration of National Health Center Week, Southwest Virginia Community Health Systems (SVCHS) is hosting the third annual, family-friendly 5K Family Fun Water Gun Run/Walk on Saturday, August 10, 2019.

The event is part of a national campaign during the week of August 4- 10, 2019 to raise awareness about the mission and accomplishments of America’s Health Centers and the dedicated staff who bring health care to the medically underserved.

Southwest Virginia Community Health Systems is part of a nationwide network of locally-run health centers that serve more than 28 million people nationwide. They are on the front lines of national public health challenges – whether caring for veterans, providing opioid treatment, or responding to natural disasters. They are also a lifeline in remote and underserved communities where the nearest doctor or hospital can be as far as 50 miles or more away. Nearly half of health centers (44 percent) are located in rural communities.

Highlights of health center accomplishments include:

  • Reducing unnecessary hospitalizations and unnecessary visits to the emergency room;
  • Treating patients for a fraction of the average cost of one emergency room visit;
  • Serving more than one in six Medicaid beneficiaries for less than two percent of the national Medicaid budget;
  • Lowering the cost of children’s primary care by approximately 35 percent;
  • Treating 65,000 patients with Medication Assisted Therapy for opioid use disorder in 2017; and,
  • Serving over 355,000 veterans throughout the country.

This year’s NHCW 2019 will highlight how health centers are at the forefront of a nationwide shift in addressing environmental and social factors as an integral part of primary care, reaching beyond the walls of conventional medicine to address the factors that may cause sickness, such as lack of nutrition, mental illness, homelessness and substance use disorders.  Community Health Centers’ success in managing chronic disease in medically vulnerable communities has helped reduce health care costs for American taxpayers.

The start and finish line will be behind the Saltville Medical Center. Registration starts at 8 a.m. and race to begin at 9 a.m., rain or shine. The registration fee is $20 for adults. Children 10 and under are free.

You must bring your own water gun. All water guns must obviously look like a toy. Water guns that resemble the look of a real gun will not be permitted. Water refill stations will be placed throughout the course. Community members and residents are encouraged to spray the participants with water anywhere along the trail course (Well-Fields, Golf Course, the sidewalk in front of Northwood High School, Town Stage, and the Saltville Medical Center).

Additionally, drivers of motor vehicles should take extreme precaution in town and around the golf course during the hours of 9 a.m. – 10:30 a.m. while the run/walk is in progress.

Prizes will be awarded based upon participation. Registration for this event, vendor and sponsorship information, and frequently asked questions are available online at

If you would like to participate, please email