Local free health clinic receives federal grant

The Rockbridge Area Free Clinic provides medical care for people who cannot afford it.

By Billy Crosby

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services is giving the Rockbridge Area Free clinic an $80,000 planning grant to assess the needs of the county.

Suzanne Sheridan, executive director of the Free Clinic, says the grant will help it plan how to become a federally qualified health center.

This means that the Free Clinic will be eligible for more grants and have more complete coverage for Medicaid and Medicare. The closest federally qualified health center is about 40 miles away in Arrington.

The clinic will soon create a committee to conduct an assessment of the health needs of Rockbridge County. Sheridan said the clinic will hold a press conference in a few weeks to give a more detailed outline of its plans.