Health center provides needed care
Roy Branklin had not had a checkup in more than 20 years when he first walked through the doors of the Fredericksburg Christian Health Center in 2009.
Uninsured and broke, Branklin couldn’t afford an annual physical. But his first appointment cost just $5 at the clinic, which offers a sliding scale of fees for uninsured patients.
Since then, Branklin has been faithful about his yearly checkups. And his life has seen some dramatic changes, Branklin said as he waited for his physical at the clinic last week.
He graduated from college and started two businesses. Branklin is now studying for a master’s degree.
And he has health insurance, making him one of about 6,000 insured patients at the clinic, where about 40 percent of patients don’t have insurance.
It’s a model Dr. Tim Powell has used since starting the clinic in 2003, and the model has mostly been successful. The health center expanded to a new clinic in the Spotsylvania Courthouse area in November.
That center held a ribbon-cutting last Friday afternoon April 18 to celebrate the satellite clinic, which is in donated office space in the Spotsylvania Courthouse Village development, a mixture of office, retail and apartment space.
Business is booming at the clinic located in an area with a dearth of doctors’ offices.
Last year, the health center saw about 10,000 patients, Powell said.
And despite the higher caseload, doctors still give personal attention, Branklin said.
“I’ve never had a doctor just come in for five minutes and walk out the door here,” Branklin said, as he reviewed his diet and exercise habits with Powell.
Branklin said the care he received at the center helped him get back on his feet and inspired him to help others.
“They poured something into me that I don’t know if I can ever pay back,” Branklin said. “They are concerned about me—physically and spiritually.”
Amy Umble: 540/735-1973
WANT TO HELP?
To volunteer or donate, find the Fredericksburg Christian Health Center online at fchc.us or call 540/785-8500.