The Richmond Register

Local News

June 24, 2009

Health, Now! clinic opens in new location

Tuesday was the first day of operations for the Health, Now! clinic since it was relocated to the basement of Richmond City Hall.

Volunteer Doug Henson, who was a long-time Health, Now! patient at its former Collins Street location, calls the clinic “a blessing.”

“I found out I had diabetes through this clinic,” he said.

Other ailments discovered through the clinic included high blood pressure and a bulging disc in his back.

Why does he consider it a blessing? It was all done virtually free of charge.

The Health, Now! clinic is for those with no insurance or are under-insured, said Sheila Virgin, clinic director and nurse practitioner.

Visits to the clinic are only $15, but if a person is unable to pay, they are never turned away, Virgin said.

“Money is not an object,” she said. “We’re not for profit.”

The clinic provides primary health care and can serve as a person’s primary care provider, she said.

The former location on Collins Street was being shared with Grace Now, a local food bank, but now they have the entire space to themselves, Virgin said.

The Richmond City Commission allowed the clinic to move into the basement of city hall rent free. It is the former location of the Richmond Police Department and emergency dispatch center.

The move allowed the clinic to triple its size, said Carey Lake, a registered nurse who volunteers at the clinic.

“This gives us a lot more room to take care of the patients,” he said. “We have more light, more space and more storage areas.”

Henson’s experience with the Health, Now! clinic made him want to give back, he said.

“It touched my heart, and it made me want to touch other people’s hearts and give whatever I could give,” Henson said.

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