Essex County Seal Medical Services

Tappahannock Free Clinic
The Tappahannock Free Clinic is a community based organization providing quality health care by professional and clerical volunteers. Our patients are those who are uninsured or underinsured and have met the federal income guidelines.

The Tappahannock Free Clinic is a 501( c)(3) non-profit organization that relies on funding from sources such as grants and donations from both individuals and the business community.

Dr. James Ledwith, a primary care provider in the town of Tappahannock, had long dreamed of opening a free clinic for those people in the community who had limited, or no access to medical care. His first step toward developing the free clinic was to see his own patients who were finding it difficult to pay for medical services and medications. He saw a few patients after hours, but soon realized that this was not meeting the needs of his patients, or the poor and uninsured in the community.

Dr. Ledwith was attending a study at Tappahannock Memorial United Methodist Church when he shared his great dream: a Free Clinic for Tappahannock. The group was inspired by his vision, and pledged to help. From this group came nursing and clerical volunteers who began working in the evening clinics.

In July of 2005, Dr. Ledwith was offered a teaching position and directorship of a free clinic in Massachusetts. It was at this time that the group decided to form a Board of Directors for the Tappahannock Free Clinic and began in earnest to open the clinic on a regular basis.

On December 7, 2005, a Board of Directors was elected to provide the continuity and oversight needed and began the process of becoming a tax-exempt organization. Dr. Ledwith graciously allowed the clinic to continue at his office rent free, and a twice-monthly schedule was set up. Tappahannock Free Clinic was officially born.

On February 14, 2006, Tappahannock Free Clinic became incorporated with the State of Virginia and on February 20, 2007, it became 501 ( c)(3) approved. The twice monthly clinics continued to grow while the office gathered and developed the necessary forms and papers needed to operate the facility. Various community groups began to hear of the Free Clinic and small donations began to arrive. Riverside Hospital made inquiries as to the needs of the Free Clinic and filled a seat on the Board of Directors.

In April of 2007 it was decided that the clinic would begin seeing patients every Monday, with a goal of twice a week in 2008. In August, a Charity Care Agreement was reached with the Riverside Health System. This provides services such as blood work, x-rays and procedures at no cost to the Tappahannock Free Clinic patient. Also, Riverside Health System Foundation has awarded the Free Clinic $90,000 in matching funds. The first match of $20,000 is due April, 2008. From its inception, Tappahannock Free Clinic has been staffed entirely by volunteers. They stand in the gap of your community's health care needs.
Board Members
  Dianne Dillin - board secretary
Charles Gilchrist, O.D.
E. Allen Joslyn, M.D. - medical director
Doris Loomis - board treasurer
Liz Martin - board vice president
Neils Oster, M.D.
Joyce Payne
John Rellick - attorney
Carol Smith
Colin Smith - board president
Jane Wills
Robert McKinley

Web page last updated: April 30, 2008

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