Carilion Clinic Receives 2012 VHHA Community Benefit Award

The award was presented to Carilion for the Adolescent and Student Health Services Program of Carilion Clinic Children's Hospital

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Pictured are, from left: Linda Staley, brand manager; Kim Robertson, practice director; Brooks Michael, adolescent health educator; Allen Blackwood, M.D., medical director; Melina Perdue, executive vice president; Bill Hazel, Virginia Secretary of Health and Human Resources


VHHA News Release


Wellmont Health System Named as Finalist

Richmond. In recognition of its efforts to improve the health of their patients and community, Carilion Clinic in Roanoke was awarded the Virginia Hospital & Healthcare Association’s 2012 Community Benefit Award for its Adolescent and Student Health Services Program of the Carilion Clinic Children’s Hospital. Wellmont Health System was named a finalist for its Wellmont Osteopathic Family Medicine Residency Program at Lonesome Pine Hospital in Big Stone Gap.

The VHHA Community Benefit Award recognizes member organizations that have aided their communities in extraordinary ways, and it was founded on the belief that the partnerships between a hospital and its community are necessary to build and sustain health. Through health care, economic or social community outreach programs and services, the infrastructure is created to bring about changes to improve the health and well-being of the community.

“Virginia’s hospitals and health systems provide over $1.2 billion in community benefit to the Commonwealth and its citizens each year,” says Laurens Sartoris, President of VHHA. “The exceptional community benefit programs of Carilion and Wellmont recognize the continued commitment and value hospitals and health systems have to the communities they serve. We congratulate and thank Carilion and Wellmont for their remarkable community support.”

Carilion Clinic Adolescent and Student Health Services

In 1991, Roanoke City had the highest pregnancy rate in the state among teens aged 15 to 19. Widespread media coverage galvanized the community to find ways to reduce teen pregnancies. In response, the Roanoke Adolescent Health Partnership was established in 1992 by Carilion Clinic and its community partners to improve access to health care for children aged 10-19, provide pregnancy prevention education and confidential services for teens and reduce the rate of teen pregnancy in Roanoke through community-based and school-based health care services.

With continual funding from Carilion, the state and grant opportunities, the program now has two high school-based clinics and a community clinic, where they had over 2,300 patient visits in 2011. Teen pregnancy rates have dropped from a high in 1995 of 72.8 per 1,000 females to 42.8 per 1,000 females in 2010.

This program has been a true public-private partnership throughout its history, with support from Carilion, the Roanoke City Health Department, Roanoke City Public Schools, the Roanoke Redevelopment and Housing Authority, the Better Beginnings Coalition and the Barnhart Fund.

In January 2011, Carilion assumed ongoing responsibility for the three teen health centers and the program is now known as the Adolescent and Student Health Services, operated by the Carilion Clinic Children’s Hospital.

In honoring Carilion with this award, several judges noted that with strong community support, the program has been meeting its goals and will be well served in the long run by Carilion’s continued leadership.

“We are honored by the selection of our adolescent health initiative for this year’s VHHA Community Benefit Award,” said Nancy Howell Agee, President and CEO of Carilion Clinic. “The personal investment of our providers and staff and the community’s embrace of the program have been uplifting to witness. Improving the lives of our young people is an investment that will benefit our community and the Commonwealth for years to come.”

Wellmont Health System Osteopathic Family Medicine Residency Program

Wellmont Health System is being recognized as a finalist for the 2012 VHHA Community Benefit Award for its Wellmont Osteopathic Family Medicine Residency Program at Lonesome Pine Hospital in Big Stone Gap. The town has a population of under 6,000 and is fortunate to have a hospital that offers hands-on training for new doctors in Southwest Virginia.

The average age of physicians in the surrounding counties of Wise and Lee is 50, so the availability of doctors to treat sick and injured residents in the future is of great concern to the hospital and the health system.

In partnership with Lincoln Memorial University’s DeBusk College of Osteopathic Medicine in Tennessee, Wellmont created the Osteopathic Family Medicine Residency Program at Lonesome Pine, and in June 2009, the American Osteopathy Association approved the program for up to 24 family medicine residents.

That same year, Wellmont renovated a former convent in Norton to provide third and fourth year medical students with free housing, allowing these students to gather with peers and share experiences during their clinical rotations. Through Wellmont’s support of the program, each resident becomes an employee of the system and receives a salary, an educational allowance and other benefits.

Dr. Derek Harman was one of the first residents accepted into the program in July 2010, and he began seeing patients at the Wellmont Family Medicine Residency Clinic in Norton. On speaking about his experience, Dr. Harman stated, “It’s good to have one-on-one teaching in medicine. I like the size of Lonesome Pine Hospital because you are getting bread-and-butter medical training. You would be surprised at the range of illnesses you see in a small community.”

By July 2011, the program had 10 additional residents and soon will be expanding to Lee Regional Medical Center in Pennington Gap and Mountain View Regional Medical Center in Norton.

“Wellmont Health System is honored to receive this award and appreciates the recognition from VHHA of our work to improve the lives of patients in Southwest Virginia,” said David Brash, President of Lonesome Pine Hospital. “Our partnership with Lincoln Memorial University and the DeBusk College of Osteopathic Medicine will help us provide outstanding physicians to an underserved area and demonstrates our commitment to the patients that we are privileged to serve.”

About the Awards

The awards are selected by an independent panel of judges with an interest in health care in the Commonwealth. The program is open to VHHA institutional members, and all nominated programs must have been implemented by a VHHA institutional member or one of its affiliates and primarily serve Virginians. To be considered, programs/activities must meet the definition of community benefit reflected in Schedule H of IRS Form 990 and must have been ongoing for at least one year prior to December 1, 2011. The awards were presented at the VHHA Spring Conference April 26 in Williamsburg.


The Virginia Hospital & Healthcare Association is an alliance of hospitals and health delivery systems that develops and advocates health care policy for the Commonwealth. Its vision is to achieve excellence in both health care and health.

Photos and more information on the awards are available.

Sheila E. Gray

Assistant Vice President

Virginia Hospital & Healthcare Association

P.O. Box 31394

Richmond, VA 23294

(804) 965-1212