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Johnson Health Center breaks ground on new Madison Heights facility

See story at Amherst New Era Progress...Johnson Health Center broke ground Tuesday on a new facility it plans to open in Madison Heights in 2024, a center that will expand health care services and space to accommodate more patient visits. 

“This facility will streamline availability for multiple services under one roof,” said Johnson Health Center CEO Gary Campbell. “It’s going to meet the increased demand for dental services due to adult Medicaid expansion and increase space for behavioral health integration, possess X-ray capabilities and [operate a drive-thru pharmacy] with a focus on wellness, exercise and nutrition with a space designated for that.”

The new 22,000-square-foot building will be located next to the existing location at 134 Elon Road on a hill overlooking U.S. 29 Business in Madison Heights and the Amelon Plaza shopping center across the highway. The current location houses administrative offices and clinical services that include primary care for adults and children and behavioral health.

JHC operates two additional sites in Madison Heights: Amelon Square Immediate Care in the Amelon Plaza shopping center and the James River Dental Clinic next to Monelison Middle School. Upon completion of the newly expanded Amherst County Community Health Center, those two sites will close and all operations will be moved to the new building while administrative offices remain at the current Elon Road location.
Services in the new expanded center will include primary care for adults and children, dental, a drive-thru pharmacy that Campbell said has been a request among patients, immediate care and an on-site wellness center.

Campbell said JHC’s mission is to provide affordable and comprehensive health care and strong community partnerships with a never-ending pursuit to improve access to health care for all. It opened the current Elon Road location in 2012 and this year is celebrating its 25th anniversary as a nonprofit, independent, federally qualified health center with locations serving the city of Lynchburg and counties of Amherst, Bedford and Campbell.

The new center will include 20 exam rooms, 11 dental operatories, three behavioral health exam rooms and Campbell described the fitness and nutrition center as state-of-the-art.

“We’re excited about what we’re doing with the new building to free up some more space and that can take care of more people,” Campbell said.

The project has a finance commitment of $9.5 million, he said, with grant funding contributing toward some of it and JHC’s first capital fundraising campaign launched to raise $1 million of that total and bridge some of the cost gaps.

“It’s something I’ve really always kind of dreamt about since I became CEO in 2015 and I’m fortunate to work with some great people to make this happen,” Campbell said, adding: “I’m excited about what it brings to the community in terms of trying to create just a healthier community and giving people the option to take control of their own health destiny.”

All insurances are accepted and reduced fees are offered to those who qualify financially, he said. JHC is proud to offer comprehensive health care services to anyone seeking care in the community regardless of their ability to pay, he said.

The new center is “an opportunity to change and improve a lot of lives, not only with the good work that we’re doing here at Johnson Health Center, but by partnering with you all in this community to make it happen,” Campbell said.

“Opportunity begins with the power of health,” Campbell said. “Access is power.”

He said 13 to 20 new jobs are slated to come to Amherst County through the new center.

Mehgan McCrickard, chief operations officer, said JHC currently provides services to just over 27,000 patients annually in Amherst County with about 100,0000 visits. By consolidating the space, she said, she expects that number to grow to about 40,000 patients annually.

“This is going to allow us to exponentially expand what we’re doing in Madison Heights,” McCrickard said. “Johnson Health Center is really excited to expand our footprint. We’ve been here in Amherst County since 2012 and we’re excited to strengthen our presence in this community.”