Sentara Health Foundation Awards More than $700,000 to Community Organizations
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Sentara Health Foundation Awards More than $700,000 to Community Organizations 

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Beneficiaries are located from Virginia Beach to the Eastern Shore

Norfolk, VA (May 24, 2011)  - Sentara Health Foundation helps improve health throughout Hampton Roads by helping fund community organizations which share the mission of improving the health of the community. For 2011, Sentara Health Foundation announces the award of 29 grants totaling more than $709,200 to organizations promoting health and wellness from Virginia Beach to the Eastern Shore. This continues a long history of community grant making through Sentara Health Foundation. Below are several examples of how funding is being used through 2011 grants, followed by a full grant listing.

For uninsured and underinsured children of Williamsburg, James City County and York County, their smiles and health might be a bit brighter. For the third straight year, Sentara Health Foundation is helping fund a part-time pediatric dentist at Olde Towne Medical Center through a grant of $29,000. This dentist expects to see more than 585 uninsured children from the greater Williamsburg area. In addition to seeing patients at Olde Towne, this dentist is working with area elementary schools to educate students about the importance of caring for their teeth.

“This is a very worthwhile endeavor. If we don’t take care of the oral health needs of children, they can escalate into serious medical conditions,” according to Executive Director of Olde Towne Medical Center David Pribble.

High Blood Sugar isn’t so Sweet - 25% of Patients at Beach Health Clinic Have Diabetes

About 25% of patients at Beach Health Clinic in Virginia Beach have diabetes. Managing this chronic disease is important to eye health, circulation and many other systems of the body. The $20,000 grant from Sentara Health Foundation is assisting nearly one quarter of the clinic’s total patient volume by funding test strips to aid in monitoring blood sugar, medications, and education materials like food and sugar logs, and the salary of a nurse who performs diabetes education.

“When patients are first diagnosed with diabetes, often they have denial about the disease. Since diabetes affects nearly every system in their body, it’s so important for our patients to be educated about how to manage this disease, which could affect their health for the rest of their lives,” says Susan Hellstrom, executive director of Beach Health Clinic. 

Hard Times Hit Western Tidewater And Free Clinic expands Office Hours to Better Serve Community Needs

Western Tidewater Free Clinic is the only free medical facility within its 1,400 square mile service area. This clinic, a part-time physician, volunteers, and a nurse practitioner have been serving an area hard hit by today’s economy, primarily uninsured and underinsure resides of Suffolk, Franklin, and Southampton and Isle of Wight Counties.  About 200 patients are on the current waiting list. With the $25,000 grant provided by Sentara, the clinic is expanding the hours of its physician and associate medical director, now offering services five days each week. With this funding the clinic expects to add at least 500 new patients this year, many with chronic diseases like high blood pressure, diabetes and heart disease.

Community Free Clinic of Newport News Centered in Area of Health Care Need within the City

The Community Free Clinic of Newport News is located in an area of the City where about 22% of the residents are well below the federal poverty guidelines and many families are trying to make ends meet on less than $10,000 per year.  Golden Bethune-Hill, executive director of the newly opened free clinic is excited about the community collaboration surrounding the clinic.

“The community has been extremely positive in responding to our presence, and even patients want to make donations to the clinic when they are among those in the greatest need of health care,” says Bethune-Hill.

The Sentara grant of $179,200 is helping establish this clinic that is now expanding clinic hours and access to both primary care and dental care to Peninsula residents in desperate need of heath care.

“Within one week, we saw five patients whose blood pressure was at stroke level.  Those patients are now on a regime and their blood pressure is coming down to safer levels.  We are seeing patients with very serious medical conditions, because they have not been able to seek care for years” says Bethune-Hill. 

“In one day’s time during our first Women’s Health Day, we treated 66 women who have not had breast exams or gyn exams for years. The additional funding from the Sentara Foundation is making greater access for patients possible,” Bethune-Hill continues.

Full Listing of 2011 Grants

Access Partnership - $50,000
To expand the service area of the Community Access to Care Program, a voluntary coordinated care program which aims to improve the health of uninsured, low-income persons receiving primary care at a safety net provider site who also need specialty, diagnostic and therapeutic care services.

American Red Cross Dental Clinic - $20,000
To expand the number of available dental appointments during the calendar year by opening additional evenings each month.

Beach Health Clinic - $20,000
To provide uninsured, low income diabetics with access to medications, diabetes education, endocrinology appointments and classes on healthy living and diabetes management.

Catholic Charities of Eastern Virginia – $23,000
To support the Training and Therapy for the Uninsured program which offers short‐term counseling services to uninsured adults in eastern Virginia.

Chesapeake Care, Inc. - $13,000
To give targeted individual and group education on self-management and lifestyle changes for patients with Type I and Type II Diabetes Mellitus (DM).

Community Free Clinic of Newport News - $179,200
To establish a clinic to provide primary and dental care for uninsured residents of the Virginia Peninsula.

ForKids, Inc. - $25,000
To provide homeless families with medical case management services.

Foundation for Rehabilitation Equipment and Endowment (FREE) – $10,000
To acquire, refurbish and distribute mobility-related rehabilitative equipment to individuals in the community who need it but cannot afford it.

Gloucester-Mathews Free Clinic - $15,000
To subsidize the funding of prescriptions for new clinic patients who have chronic diseases.

H.E.L.P., Inc. – $10,000
To provide free dental care for uninsured, low income persons at or below 200% of the Federal poverty guidelines as part of the Regional Oral Health Initiative of the Greater Virginia Peninsula Consortium of Free Clinics.

Lackey Free Clinic - $20,000
To continue the Basic Health Services and Pharmacy Expansion project by serving patients with hypertension.

Olde Towne Medical Center - $29,000
To support a part-time pediatric dentist in the dental clinic to benefit children in the Williamsburg area who are medically indigent, uninsured or Medicaid recipients.

Peninsula Institute for Community Health (P.I.C.H.) - $28,000
To support the Medical Home Learning Collaborative on Developmental Screening program, ensuring that young pediatric patients receive a standardized developmental screen and appropriate referrals for those needing early intervention.

Portsmouth Community Health Center, Inc. - $60,000
To support a full-time equivalent family practice physician in the center, which will generate increased patient visits within the year.

RxPartnership - $15,000
To support the efforts of RxPartnership in connecting free clinics and community health centers which serve low-income, uninsured patients with pharmaceutical partners.

Seton Youth Shelters - $12,500
To support the Mobile Street and Van Outreach Program which includes counseling and case management services for at-risk youth and young adults.

St. Columba Ecumenical Ministries - $15,000
To support the Prescription Program, which assists homeless individuals in the city of Norfolk by paying for their medications while long-term resources are established.

The Up Center – $10,000
To expand the services offered by the Seeking Safety program, a collaboration addressing the mental health needs of women who have suffered domestic violence, homelessness and other trauma.

Union Mission Ministries - $35,000
To support the Wellness Program, an initiative providing healthcare coordination to homeless single men and women in the Hampton Roads area.

Virginia Supportive Housing - $10,000
To expand the successful medical and mental health case management activities to formerly homeless individuals residing in VSH’s Supportive Studio Apartments.

Western Tidewater Free Clinic - $25,000
To fund additional physician services to increase clinic capacity to over 500 additional patient visits per year and provide additional on-site guidance of the nurse practitioner.

Williamsburg Area Faith in Action - $8,000
To support the Caring Neighbors program, a service which provides transportation for seniors and adults with a chronic illness or physical disability on an as-needed basis to medical appointments.

Mary Buckley Foundation, Inc. - $5,000
To support “Put Your Brain In Gear,” a project of Mary Buckley Foundation’s Beacon House, which seeks to prevent teenagers from making poor choices while driving.

Peninsula Agency on Aging, Inc. – $5,000
To support the Care Coordination Program, linking frail seniors to medical and other health services.

Sickle Cell Association - $15,025
To help people with sickle cell cope with the severity of frequent, debilitating effects of the disease.

Southside Geropsychiatric Services - $6,475
To provide funding for Senior Care Training Initiative, for updated training materials to enhance the knowledge and skills of long-term care facility staff and caregivers regarding senior adult mental health issues (including dementia).

Suffolk Salvation Army Corps. - $10,000
To provide low-income frail and elderly residents with transportation to medical appointments, pharmacies, and wellness clinics throughout Western Tidewater.

Chesapeake Health Investment Program (C.H.I.P.) – $20,000
To provide prenatal services to uninsured pregnant women in Chesapeake and Portsmouth.

Office of Human Affairs, City of Newport News - $15,000
To support the Resource Mothers Program, a program which assists pregnant and parenting teens in low-income neighborhoods of Newport News.

About Sentara Health Foundation
Sentara Health Foundation was established in 1998 to improve quality of life and further the Sentara not-for-profit mission of improving the health of the community. For the past 13 years, Sentara Health Foundation has touched the lives of many Virginia residents from the Eastern Shore to Greater Hampton Roads through grants supporting community programs.

For more health information and the latest press releases, go to the Sentara news page on

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