Bluefield partners on health care - Word&Way

Bluefield partners on health care

POCAHONTAS, Va. — On the site of the former Pocahontas High School — the hub of the rural community until closed in 2008 — leaders from Bluefield College and Clinch Valley Medical Center signed an agreement to create a health care clinic in the old high school that will not only improve access to medical care for local residents, but also provide hands-on experience for students in BC’s new nursing program.

Thanks to the Tazewell County Industrial Development Authority (IDA), Bluefield College gained access to use the former Pocahontas High School shortly after its closure to help launch its new football program. Determined to do more with the facility and to give back to the community, the college pledged to use the building for projects that would not only benefit BC, but also the residents of Pocahontas.

The development of the rural health care clinic will begin first with renovations to convert the administrative section of the old high school into a clinic setting. At the same time, the hospital will begin recruiting and identifying a primary care physician to staff the clinic. The plan is to start providing care on a part-time basis by the summer of 2012 and full time, as demand necessitates, by the fall of that year.

While the principal purpose of the clinic will be to provide primary care, specialists from the hospital may offer services from time to time. In addition to providing the space for the clinic, the college’s role will be to provide health care assistance through students in its new nursing program, set to launch this month.