News ReleaseExpanded Vine Hill Community Clinic Expanded Vine Hill Community Clinic Marks New Era in Service to Nashville (05/25/07)
Nashville, TN -- University Community Health Services has expanded capacity at the Vine Hill Community Clinic, which handles the primary care needs of more than 8,000 traditionally underserved individuals. The clinic has more than doubled its size and expanded its services to meet the growing needs of residents throughout Davidson County.
The clinic is affiliated with Vanderbilt University School of Nursing's education and research programs and Vanderbilt faculty deliver patient care services at the Vine Hill site.
"We are committed to serving the underserved population in our community -- the homeless, the pregnant adolescent, international political refugees, disabled adults in state custody, families who do not quality for Medicaid/TennCare but who cannot afford health insurance, and the list goes on," said Bonnie Pilon, D.S.N., UCHS Chief Operating Office and Acting Executive Director. "It is important that patients have a primary care home and not have to rely on area emergency departments for primary care."
Vine Hill currently treats about 65 scheduled patients a day with episodic illness, chronic illness, minor injuries and physicals including well-woman exams. With the additional space, managers say they will be able to handle up to 90 patients a day. With additional funding, the clinic may offer dental checkups in the future. The enlarged space includes increased square footage on the first and second floors increasing the number of exam rooms from eight to 13, offices for providers and space for patient support services.
"We provide accessible, affordable, holistic care to patients throughout their lifespan," said Terri Crutcher, MSN, R.N., clinical director, Primary Care and Women's Health. "Thanks to the expansion, we have added many much-needed services that will make it easier for patients to live in good health."
The clinic is staffed by nurse practitioners, clinical nurse specialists and certified nurse midwives. In addition to primary care and mental care services, the clinic is expanding its array of services including midwifery care and specialty gynecological care.
The clinic serves uninsured, TennCare, Veterans, and commercially insured patients from a variety of cultural backgrounds and more than 29 countries of origin. The clinic has a Spanish language translator who assists patients with questions over the phone and who is available to translate during health care visits.
In addition to its outreach to the community, the Vine Hill Community Clinic regularly participates in cutting-edge research. The clinic has a special camera that examines the eyes for early signs of damage related to diabetes. Studies have shown that this technology can help save eyesight in a significant number of people. With an entrenched mental health component among its services, the clinic is also participating in a nationwide study on depression.
Vine Hill Community Clinic is a University Community Health Services health center and was established in 1991 by Vanderbilt University School of Nursing. The clinic began in the Vine Hill Towers with a grant from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation. Residents in surrounding neighborhoods in this medically underserved area, as well as throughout Davidson County, use the clinic to access primary care, mental health services and prenatal care.
"Vine Hill is a model of care for the city and for the country," said Colleen Conway-Welch, PhD, dean of the Vanderbilt University School of Nursing. "Our society is only as strong as those most vulnerable among us. Vine Hill's structure shows us how advanced practice nurses are uniquely qualified to reach out to those who need it most."
In addition to Vine Hill, the University Community Health Services, in affiliation with the Vanderbilt School of Nursing, operates several other clinics around Davidson County and Middle Tennessee, totaling nearly 20 locations. They include Parthenon Towers Clinic, Hadley Park Towers Clinic, Madison, the West End Women's Health Center, three school-based clinics for children, and several other locations. In addition, UCHS has several contract employer based primary care sites in Middle Tennessee and Kentucky for employees and their dependents. The proceeds from these programs go to support the Vine Hill Community Clinic.
The expansion project at Vine Hill was made possible by major support from the following agencies: The Memorial Foundation, Vanderbilt University Hospital, Tracey and Scott Hamilton, Vanderbilt University School of Nursing, Metropolitan Development and Housing Agency. The seed grant funding to open Vine Hill Community Clinic was provided by the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, in 1991.