NORFOLK, Va. — Sentara Healthcare unveiled three new community clinics dedicated to helping Virginia's uninsured and underinsured.
The newest clinic can be found on South Main Street in an apartment complex called "The Banks" in the Berkley area of the city.
The clinic joins two others: an existing mobile clinic and a clinic at the Union Mission Ministries homeless shelter on East Virginia Beach Boulevard.
Sentara Healthcare's President and CEO Howard Kern said the goal is to encourage more people through their doors who otherwise would not be able to afford healthcare.
"Healthcare equity has been something that has been focused on for a number of years now, and it makes for a lot of good talks, but frankly, what people want to see is what we are doing," said Kern.
The new clinics will offer a variety of services, not limited to traditional healthcare. Employees will look into matters such as food insecurity, transportation and overall wellness.
Sentara leaders said these services are not a replacement for emergency care, and if a patient requires surgery, they will be directed to a hospital.
"These locations are for preventive measures, chronic conditions, do you have an acute issue? If you are just struggling to make it by, if you need food, to help you get insurance so you can get other care," said Dr. Jordan Asher with Sentara Healthcare.
These clinics will work in tandem with other local community organizations to build connections with each other and the people they serve. Together, they aim to identify gaps in healthcare.
Healthcare leaders hope this is just the start of what they will bring to the Hampton Roads area, setting a goal of 40 locations total in the coming years.