Carol — Healthcare Without Barriers
After receiving my master’s degree in social work in the 1980s, I started my nonprofit career working with people struggling with HIV/AIDS. This work opened my eyes to the many and diverse barriers that often prevent people from gaining access to and successfully using healthcare services.
While many social workers prefer to provide individual client assistance, I found a passion for working at the macro level. That focus has provided many opportunities to work with a great diversity of individuals and organizations to build programs and affect community improvements.
A Community Health Center is Born
In 2012, I was the Executive Director of the Jeanie Schmidt Free Clinic in Herndon when we merged with the nonprofit Loudoun Community Health Center, which had been serving the community since 2004. This opportunity allowed us to greatly expand our services to many more individuals.
We adopted a new name: HealthWorks for Northern Virginia, but our mission remained the same: To provide comprehensive, high-quality medical care to everyone, regardless of income, ability to pay, age or whether they have insurance.
With two centers in Herndon and Leesburg, we are now providing comprehensive primary medical, dental, and behavioral health care to nearly 16,000 active patients, 2/3 of whom are Loudoun residents. We also provide onsite optometry, gyn and registered dietician services. Our larger center in Leesburg is home to key partners, including a Loudoun County Health Department WIC program, the Community Foundation for Loudoun and Northern Fauquier Counties, and services from Loudoun Hunger Relief.