Where Would We Be Without our Health Safety Net Clinics?

May 6, 2020

A recent USA Today article about health safety net clinics cited that “One in 11 Americans – about 31 million people – depend on safety-net health clinics for care not otherwise available because they have no health insurance, live in isolated areas, speak no English or are homeless.” The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the critical role these clinics play in addressing the broad health needs of the most vulnerable.

In the Richmond region, we’re fortunate to have nine incredible health safety net partners, who are diligently working on the front lines despite significant challenges right now, often with staff or volunteer shortages and new pandemic protocols.

In addition to increasing our funding for these partners in light of COVID-19, we would also like to lift up and acknowledge each of them for their tireless efforts.

It is with gratitude and pride that we highlight these nine partners:

Access Now

Access Now (AN) is a collaborative private sector solution that ensures the highest quality of specialty medical care is provided to the greatest number of patients in need by maximizing the resources of area health systems, physicians and other provider volunteers, lab companies, and other health related businesses thereby granting conscientious stewardship of the community’s charitable resources.

AN is a free clinic without walls and is the only free clinic for specialty medical care for the uninsured in Central Virginia. All patient referrals come through one of 27 partner free clinics, community health centers or other primary care programs. AN coordinates access to specialty medical care unavailable in the primary care sites. This care is provided by more than 925 volunteer physicians across 42 specialties in their community offices. Local health systems provide diagnostic and imaging services, wound care and infusion services, rehabilitation and other therapy, and surgical and procedural services. Lab Corp of America provides lab services. Other community organizations provide home health, medical durable equipment and special items (e.g. glass eyes) as needed. All services are provided free of charge to the patient and are conservatively valued at over $4.5 million annually.

Capital Area Health Network

The ultimate goal of Capital Area Health Network is to eliminate health disparities, respond to diverse community needs, and improve the quality of life for the medically underserved and those experiencing barriers to care. They promote health equity by ensuring access and health literacy designed to empower residents.

CrossOver Healthcare Ministry

CrossOver Healthcare Ministry is called to provide high quality healthcare, promote wellness, and connect community talents and resources with people in need in the name of Jesus Christ.

CrossOver operates two charitable clinics – one in the City of Richmond and one in Henrico County – providing comprehensive healthcare services to the uninsured and medically underserved. CrossOver provides a medical home to its patients, offering an innovative integration of health services under one roof, including primary and specialty care, pediatric care, chronic disease management, medication and medications management, dental, vision, mental health counseling, OB/GYN, HIV diagnosis and treatment, social work case management, and health education. Last year alone, CrossOver served 6,679 clients. CrossOver operates the Community Pharmacy, the only on-site pharmacy operated by a charitable clinic in the Richmond area, which filled 47,025 prescriptions worth an estimated $8,920,972 in FY 2019. The Community Pharmacy partners with six other safety net providers in the area to process and fill prescription requests for their patients. CrossOver also operates Bridges to Health, a weekly hospital discharge clinic program intended to link new patients with the resources necessary to successfully manage their healthcare following a hospital stay.

Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, CrossOver remains open and we are here to care for our neighbors in need. We continue to accept new patients. If you are looking for a way to support CrossOver, make a donation today at www.crossoverministry.org.

Daily Planet Health Services

Daily Planet Health Services’ mission is to provide accessible, comprehensive, and integrated quality health services to anyone regardless of their housing, financial or insurance status. During the COVID-19 pandemic, DPHS has turned one of its buildings into a COVID assessment center, with a focus on assessing medically underserved and at-risk populations, including those who are uninsured or experiencing homelessness.

Free Clinic of Powhatan

The mission of the Free Clinic of Powhatan is building a healthy community one person at a time. The Clinic provides free medical, dental, mental health, women’s health, prescriptions, specialty physician care, vision and lab services to the low income, uninsured residents of the Powhatan community. We have expanded our geographic blueprint to areas (Cumberland, Amelia and parts of Chesterfield) neighboring our county. We care for folks that have no resources or a place to seek health services. We are the only safety net in our rural community where transportation is always an issue. We are the patients’ medical home. We monitor their chronic and other illnesses treatment, follow through check-ups, medication and dietary review and lab testing, etc. We have strong local community support from businesses, churches, organizations and individuals that supply additional funding and options for food, gas, clothing, etc. This is in addition to foundations, state and other funding sources. The Clinic has created in 2019 a mental health counseling program at Powhatan High School and Powhatan Middle School providing a MH counselor and psychiatrist atthe schools to work with the students in need. The Clinic serves the youth population from 12 years to 19 years in the middle and high school counseling program. The Clinic serves from 19 years to 64 (health services) and senior 65+dental) population.

The Free Clinic of Powhatan now has the opportunity to serve more people efficiently, effectively and compassionately. Powhatan County is giving the Clinic space in a now vacated county building. The County will not charge the Clinic rent or fees for utilities. We will now be able to increase hours, programs, services. staff and patients. We are fully engaged in our Campaign for Health and Hope. We are making our community healthier in body, mind and spirit!


GoochlandCares is there to provide basic human services and health care to all their Goochland neighbors in need. We are offering Tele-Medicine and when critical, curbside medical visits. Emergency dental care is also available. During this time, we have been successful in treating our patients’ chronic and minor illnesses – keeping them out of local ERs & reducing the risk of COVID-19 to our community.

Health Brigade

Pictured is Masters in Counseling intern Matt Gamble providing syringe exchange supplies to clients.

Health Brigade (HB) continues a 50-year legacy as Virginia’s oldest free clinic. Health Brigade offers a growing array of medical, mental health, community outreach and care coordination services for low-income and uninsured persons. “The people we serve are the most vulnerable even under the best of circumstances, but in this unprecedented time of COVID-19, they are facing even more challenges,” says Karen Legato, Executive Director.

Health Brigade is in full operation, caring for medical patients and mental health clients through a new virtual telehealth platform. Providers are treating patients and clients by phone or video while continuing to distribute needed medications. HB’s harm reduction syringe exchange program is operating both on-site and with mobile units in the community.

Monetary donations to support this critical work are needed.




Rx Partnership

Rx Partnership (RxP) is a critical part of the health care safety net that provides affordable brand and generic medications to low-income, uninsured Virginians. Our cost-effective programs ensure hardworking, vulnerable Virginians have access to the medications they need to manage their chronic conditions, continue working and live healthy and productive lives. RxP works through a network of 30 clinic partners, with and without pharmacies, across 85 Virginia localities.


The Virginia League of Planned Parenthood

The Virginia League for Planned Parenthood (VLPP) has provided trusted, compassionate, comprehensive medical care throughout the Richmond communities for decades. Through our exceptional staff consistently providing high-quality care, VLPP strengthens the ties with the communities we serve. Reproductive health is community health, and Planned Parenthood is proud to be the leader in reproductive health and family planning services across the Commonwealth. Contact our Patient Services representatives at 804-482-6161 to access telehealth services during the COVID-19 pandemic.