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Health Services Coalition Receives $10,000 Grant

Funding will help provide specialty health care to low income residents.

Northern Virginia Health Services Coalition's (NOVAHSC) Specialty Access program received a $10,000 grant to help provide low-income, uninsured patients with access to specialty medical care through a regional network of providers.

"Increased access to specialty care continues to be a challenge for safety-net health care providers in Northern Virginia as the need in our community steadily grows," said Meagan Ulrich, program manager of NOVAHSC's Specialty Access program. "This [grant will] help NOVA Specialty Access to expand our abilities to place more patients from free clinics with the specialty care they need when they need it."

NOVAHSC is a group of clinics that provides medical services for financially vulnerable people in Northern Virginia. The coalition represents clinics and health care providers in Alexandria City, Fairfax County, Arlington County, Prince William County, Loudoun County, Fairfax City, Falls Church City, Manassas City and Manassas Park. The clinics provide specialty care services such as audiology, podiatry and physical therapy. NOVA Specialty Access takes referrals from participating safety -net clinics and links them with volunteer specialists in the community. Each clinic works with individual specialty care doctors who are willing to see patients in their offices.

The grant was awarded by Molina Healthcare, Inc., which helps state agencies in their administration of the Medicaid program. The company currently manages Fairfax County's Community Health Care Network.

"Molina Healthcare was involved in this important initiative from the start through its management of the Community Health Care Network, which has three clinics participating as part of the specialty network," said Jean Glossa, MD, MBA, MPH, medical director of Molina Healthcare of Virginia and the Community Health Care Network in Fairfax County. "As the medical director of these local clinics, I see firsthand the overwhelming need for access to specialty care. It only made sense for us to take it one step farther and demonstrate our strong commitment to help address the unmet needs of such a vulnerable population."

The NOVA Specialty Access program, which was launched last fall, has recruited 97 specialty medical care providers. Program officials say they plan to recruit 200 providers within the next year.