The 40th anniversary of Southwestern Virginia Community Health Systems offers the Saltville community an opportunity to remember the past, celebrate the present and look to the future.

A resolution was adopted by Gov. Ralph Northam recognizing June 20 as the official anniversary date.

According to the resolution, Southwest Virginia Community Health Systems was formed in 1979, following the closing of Olin Corporation earlier in the decade which left 1,500 people in the community without a job and access to health insurance for them and their families.

SVCHS is a member of the Virginia Community Healthcare Association and is a Joint Commission accredited institution governed by a community board as not-for-profit Community Health Centers.

The healthcare system has grown from one health center in Saltville to four health centers serving the populations of Bristol with Twin City Medical Center in 2003; Tazewell with Tazewell Community Health Center in 2006; and Meadowview with Meadowview Health Clinic in 2007.

In 1997, the Migrant Health Network was established to provide basic health services for migrant and seasonal farm workers and their families in Southwest Virginia.

Southwest Virginia Regional Dental Center opened in 2010 in Saltville, and Tazewell Community Health Center opened a dental center in 2018, to provide access to quality oral and dental care to patients in a medically underserved area.

SVCHS provide services, such as adult and geriatric care, pediatric and adolescent care, pharmacy, x-ray and laboratory, minor procedure, optometry, dental, acute care, behavioral health counseling, medication assistance program, telemedicine, medication assisted treatment: substance misuse and abuse, education and self-management.

In 2016, New Day Recovery was established to combat substance abuse and addiction across Southwest Virginia and to provide high quality treatment services to help with the problems of substance abuse under the direction of Marcy Rosenbaum, director of the New Day Recovery and Behavioral Health, who also serves on the Advisory Committee on Opioids and Addiction.

The mission of SVCHS focuses on being the core of the local health care system, delivering high quality, cost-effective, accessible primary and preventive care to all individuals, regardless of their ability to pay.

SVCHS has collaborations and partnerships with the University of Virginia, Emory & Henry College, East Tennessee State University, Blue Ridge Job Corps Center, Elgin Foundation, Highlands Community Services’ Children’s Advocacy Center, Mount Rogers Community Services Board, Cumberland Community Services Board, and Highlands Community Services Board.

SVCHS served 12,386 patients over the past year with 42 percent using Medicare, 30 percent Medicaid, 17 percent private insurance, and 11 percent self-pay for medical services.

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