The Jeanie Schmidt Free Clinic, currently located at the Connections for Hope office, has merged with HealthWorks for Northern Virginia and will open a new health center in the Town of Herndon.
Photo by Alex McVeigh.
The Jeanie Schmidt Free Clinic, which served nearly 2,000 low-income patients without health insurance last year, has merged with HealthWorks for Northern Virginia. Founded 10 years ago, the clinic was founded at Herndon Middle School.
“This allows us to take what we do well, and what [HealthWorks] does well, and combine it to better serve patients with low incomes. We anticipate this merger will allow us to serve triple the number of patients within a few years.”
-- Carol Jameson, executive director, The Jeanie Schmidt Free Clinic
“We’re always looking for ways to expand capacity, because the need is always there,” said Carol Jameson, executive director of the clinic. “We had reached the point where we were looking at having to create a waiting list.”
HealthWorks, formerly known as Loudoun Community Health Center, is a federally qualified health center that provides healthcare as well as preventative care.
Due to Herndon’s high concentration of low-income residents, HealthWorks put in an application in 2010 to open a center in Herndon, but it was not funded.
“In 2012, we began discussions, and eventually decided that it would be better to expand capacity while making the best uses of our combined resources,” Jameson said. “This allows us to take what we do well, and what [HealthWorks] does well, and combine it to better serve patients with low incomes. We anticipate this merger will allow us to serve triple the number of patients within a few years.”
Currently located at the Connections for Hope offices on Dulles Technology Drive, the new location will be next to the Amphora Diner, bringing the clinic back to within the Town of Herndon borders.
According to the clinic, the new facility will feature an additional five exam rooms, 12 up from the current seven and treat children age 2 and up, as well as adults with conditions such as hypertension and diabetes. They also hope to eventually open a diabetes treatment center.
“We’re a safety net program, but it’s time to start looking at what the barriers are to being healthy,” Jameson said. “If we continue with a more educational approach, it will empower our patients, give them a chance to take ownership of their health in a more holistic way.”
The new facility is scheduled to open in mid-December.