HealthWorks for Northern Virginia celebrated 10 years of service in Loudoun County on Thursday evening.
HealthWorks is a non-profit community health center, with locations at 163 Fort Evans Road NE in Leesburg and at 1141 Elden St. in Herndon. It was created to provide health care for those who cannot afford treatment at a for-profit clinic either because of their income or a lack of health insurance.
Addressing a crowd of about 100 at HealthWorks’ Leesburg office, County Chairwoman Phyllis J. Randall (D-At Large) said she knows first hand the difference a good community health center can have on residents.
As a mental health and substance abuse therapist, she’s checked many patients in to publically funded health centers. She commended those at HealthWorks for treating their patients with respect and dignity. “You’re treated like a human being and not a number. … You don’t always see that,” she said.
The center has served 15,000 people, 90 percent of whom have a salary at or below the national poverty line, according to Jeff Clayton, president of the HealthWorks board of directors.
He told the story of one patient, William, who had just arrived from El Salvador and had never been to a dentist. He had several cavities that were so painful he had a hard time sleeping. Clayton said William also avoided smiling because the cavities had turned his front teeth black.
“After treatment, when the dentist handed him a mirror, it was a gratifying moment—he grinned,” Clayton said. William now smiles with ease and has no more pain.
During the event, HealthWorks gave special recognition to six partners that have supported the organization in the past decade. They included Inova Loudoun Hospital, Cardinal Bank, Leesburg District Supervisor and former mayor Kristen Umstattd, Bobbi Schaufeld, Lynn Rubin, and 100WomenStrong.
HealthWorks CEO Carol Jameson and Clayton thanked them for their support, without which the health center would not be possible.
“We’re ready for the next decade,” Clayton said. “As long as there is a need in the community, we’ll work to fill that need.”
Learn more about HealthWorks for Northern Virginia at hwnova.org.