ESRH Receives Grant for Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner

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By Stefanie Jackson – Eastern Shore Rural Health (ESRH) has received a $132,100 grant from the Virginia Health Care Foundation to hire a psychiatric nurse practitioner at the Eastville Community Health Center.

“The Virginia Health Care Foundation applauds this important addition of mental health services at Eastern Shore Rural Health System and is happy to make it possible,” said VHCF Executive Director Deborah Oswalt in a Jan. 11 press release.

Since Eastern Shore Rural Health was established in 1976, it has been known primarily for providing medical and dental care, but the Eastville Community Health Center will be the first ESRH location to offer mental health services.

“Addressing the shortage of mental health services in Virginia is one of VHCF’s priorities. This has become even more important with the stresses created by the COVID-19 pandemic,” Oswalt said.

The psychiatric nurse practitioner will treat patients onsite at Eastville Community Health Center and via telehealth appointments.

The grant ESRH received was one of 11 grants totaling more than $1.2 million from VHCF to health safety net organizations in Virginia.

The grants will give Virginians who are uninsured or medically underserved more access to medical, dental, and behavioral health services during the COVID-19 pandemic.

VHCF was created in 1992 by the Virginia General Assembly and its Joint Commission on Health Care.

VHCF is a nonprofit public/private partnership that has funded 437 community-based projects affecting more than 700,000 Virginians to date.

For more information about the Virginia Health Care Foundation, visit www.vhcf.org or call 804-828-5804.