County planners just released images of what a new health clinic in eastern Henrico could look like and how it could help hundreds of families in need.
This vacant lot off of Laburnum Avenue near the Eastern Henrico Recreation Center is where the county plans to build the new health clinic.
Right now, there's just not enough room at the current facility on Nine Mile Road. People come to the modular unit for many things, from family planning to STD screening. But staff also share the limited space with the county's WIC program which helps low income mothers. The building is aging while the population is growing.
"It's small. But although it's small they still get people in and out fast," said Barbara Moody. Her family takes advantage of WIC's services.
Staff says more than 100 clients a day come in for help. Moody said sometimes you can't even find parking.
Another problem is the lack of chairs in the waiting room for all of the people that walk through these doors and whenever there's a class or a clinic at the current facility there are many people who can't even get in.
There is a plan to build a new clinic with an estimated price tag of $6.2 million. County planners say the money will come out of the Capital Improvement Program. At 13,000 square feet, the exam rooms will be state-of-the-art and there will be more space for more clinics.
"Our goal is to expand those services and offer it more than once a week," said Carla Bennett, an administrator with the county's health department.
Bennett tells us a new facility is necessary in the community.
"You have to think about where we are in terms of medical care services we need to make sure we have the right tools and resources to provide the best services to the client."
Fairfield board supervisor Frank Thornton is looking forward to the new health clinic in his district.
"The east probably represents the new thrust in Henrico County," he said. "I usually say to people we probably can't go further west, so the new direction is probably in the eastern part. I think it's very timely and the people will be well served by this facility."
Now developers hope to break ground on the facility by this summer. It's a deadline Thornton says is approaching quickly, but hopes the community's desire for it will pressure the board to approve the plan.
The development plan still needs to be approved by the Henrico County Board of Supervisors.
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