Four Hampton Roads health safety net organizations received grants from the Virginia Health Care Foundation.
The nonprofit doled out more than $1 million in grants to free clinics, community health centers and other health safety net providers across the state to help them at a time when they're seeing "record-breaking numbers" of uninsured patients, the foundation said.
The local recipients:
*Project CARE of Newport News received an $84,000 grant to hire an executive director to oversee a new, regional initiative that provides uninsured Peninsula-area patients with pro-bono primary and specialty health care.
*Catholic Charities of Eastern Virginia, based in Virginia Beach, received $41,264 to support two counselors for its Access to Therapy initiative. The program provides mental-health counseling to low-income, uninsured adults in its Chesapeake, Norfolk, Virginia Beach and Newport News offices.
*Western Tidewater Free Clinic in Suffolk received $34,550 to purchase dental equipment and supplies so the clinic can start offering dental services.
* Gloucester- Mathews Free Clinic in Hayes received $29,200 to increase its pharmacists' hours to fill an additional 24,000 prescriptions annually.
The foundation received a record number of requests this year, Executive Director Debbie Oswalt said in a news release.
"Virginia's free clinics have been deluged with over 18,000 new patients in just the past six months, and have had to turn 40 percent of them away due to a lack of resources," she said.
The majority of those seeking help are people who have lost health insurance and/or jobs due to the recession, the foundation said.Copyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun