Local organization announces healthcare project, brings more services to rural Southside, Southwest VA

The Virginia Rural Health Association received over $1.5M for their healthcare training program

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BLACKSBURG, Va. – A variety of healthcare workers will be trained for locations in rural Southside and Southwest Virginia, thanks to this funding.

On Wednesday, the Virginia Rural Health Association announced over $1.5 million in funding through the Health Resources and Services Administration Rural Public Health Workforce Training Network Program.

VRHA said they will use the grant to train around 110 new healthcare workers, including Community Health Workers, doulas, LPNs, Peer Recovery Specialists, and other similar positions at the associate degree level or below.

Through the training, the public health safety net in rural Southside and Southwest Virginia will be strengthened, according to VRHA, and also increase career opportunities in those areas.

Not only that, but the VRHA said it will also increase access to care and resources in those rural communities with residents in need of a wide variety of services, including prenatal care and recovery services.

Partnering organizations will recruit people to participate and coordinate with local community colleges to assure scholarship eligibility, according to the release. Those organizations include New River-Mt Rogers, Blue Ridge, and Western Piedmont Workforce Development Boards, while Carilion Clinic and Sovah Health will serve as trainee sites.

The release said that the project will target certain areas in the Southside and Southwest regions of Virginia that are experiencing shortages.

All of the targeted areas have Mental Health Professional shortages, four of the six hospitals in the areas offer no services for labor and delivery, and the other two have no certified doulas., according to the VRHA.

The project will target the following areas, according to the release:

  • Franklin
  • Giles
  • Henry
  • Pittsylvania
  • Rockbridge
  • Tazewell
  • Danville
  • Martinsville
  • Lexington

You can learn more about the Virginia Rural Health Association on their website.

About the Author:

Alli Graham came aboard the digital team as an evening digital content producer in June 2022.