Tazewell County directs $363K in CARES funding to Carilion Clinic
Funds will be used to expand telemedicine, COVID-19 testing
As Southwest Virginia continues to see a spike in COVID-19 cases, the Tazewell County Board of Supervisors announced Tuesday it is allocating $363,000 in federal CARES Act funding to Roanoke-based Carilion Clinic to be used to expand telemedicine and COVID-19 testing, as well as to improve access to primary care and specialty care services.
“The [Tazewell] Board of Supervisors remains committed to supporting our emergency health response by strengthening testing resources across our community,” Mike Hymes, Tazewell County Board of Supervisors member and a board member of Carilion Tazewell Community Hospital, said in a statement. “We appreciate Carilion Tazewell Community Hospital’s partnership and are grateful for the sacrifices its employees make on a daily basis to battle the coronavirus.”
At the outset of the pandemic, Carilion transitioned to telehealth appointments, a practice that has continued to be made available to patients as needed.
“Access to health care regularly comes up as a top need in our Tazewell Community Health Assessment,” Carilion Clinic President and CEO Nancy Howell Agee said in a statement. “That’s why we will use the CARES Act funds to build on our existing telemedicine network and improve access to high-quality care close to home.”
In October, Carilion also received a $947,983 U.S. Department of Agriculture Distance Learning and Telemedicine grant to help the health system with its Telemedicine Expansion and Optimization Project, which will offer new ways for patients to use telehealth services. Virtual care centers will be established at the Carilion Family and Community Medicine sites in Galax and Wythe County and at Carilion Tazewell Community Hospital to offer telemedicine tools allowing rural patients to connect to specialty care.
“In a world where you can order nearly anything online with next-day delivery, you shouldn’t have to take a day off work to travel for care,” Agee said in a statement. “Today’s gift will help us make that future a reality.”
With 13,000-plus health care employees, Carilion Clinic is the largest Roanoke Valley employer. Also in the health system’s plans is a $1 billion expansion, including a $500 million overhaul of Roanoke Memorial that would make it one of Virginia’s largest hospitals.