Free medical clinic in Winchester receives grant

The Free Medical Clinic of the Northern Shenandoah Valley was awarded an $89,343 grant to expand behavioral health services by hiring a full time mental health nurse practitioner.

Stefan Lawson, executive director of the Free Medical Clinic of Northern Shenandoah Valley, said the clinic was awarded the grant from the Virginia Healthcare Foundation to expand services to the uninsured by hiring Belinda Walsh, a double board certified nurse practitioner in women’s health and psychiatric mental health.

“The grant goes solely to the hiring of Belinda,” he said.

Walsh will be based in the Free Medical Clinic’s new Behavioral Health Unit, which was constructed through an American Woodmark Foundation grant.

Lawson added that Walsh began work at the clinic on July 5.

“She is a full time mental health nurse practitioner and will be providing behavioral health services to Free Medical Clinic patients,” he said.

In addition to her work at the free clinic, Walsh will also spend one day a week at the Winchester Medical Center Transition Clinic.

The full time position was also funded by an additional $47,462 cash and in-kind services from the Valley Health System.

The Free Medical Clinic of Northern Shenandoah Valley provides medical care to the uninsured and low-income families in Winchester, Frederick County and Clarke County.

Lawson added that patients must be uninsured or have a household income at or below 200 percent of the federal poverty level.

“Primary health care, behavioral health, women’s health, orthopedic health, physical therapy are all provided on site,” he said. “We also have a discount pharmacy that is open to the public. For all other services we are able to refer our patients to over 70 physician offices in the Winchester area at no cost to the patient.”

Lawson added that in 2015 the clinic saw 1,159 patients and in 2016 it is anticipated that the clinic will see 2,000 patients as this grant will provide 700 patients with behavioral health services.

The clinic is located on the Our Health Campus at 301 N. Cameron St. in Winchester, 540-536-1680.

Contact staff writer Kaley Toy at 540-465-5137 ext. 176, or ktoy@nvdaily.com