Inova opens new clinic for underserved Mount Vernon community members
Inova Health System leaders, team members, donors and elected officials gathered Oct. 18 at the Mount Vernon Professional Center near Inova Mount Vernon Hospital to celebrate the grand opening of the Inova Cares Clinic for Families (ICCF) and its colocated Inova Juniper Program (IJP).
ICCF provides primary care — including behavioral health services — for patients of all ages, regardless of immigration status, who qualify for Medicaid, Family Access to Medical Insurance Security, Inova’s Financial Assistance Program, or who are uninsured.
IJP, which previously had an office location at 8350 Richmond Highway, is Northern Virginia’s largest provider of HIV/AIDS care, including primary and mental health care, substance abuse and case management services — also regardless of patient financial status or insurance coverage.
With the opening of the new clinic, Inova aims to reduce healthcare disparities and improve access to care for residents of Mount Vernon and the broader Richmond Highway Corridor.
Karen Berube, senior vice president and chief of Community Health and Health Equity at Inova, recalled starting her career as a clinical social worker on Richmond Highway.
“That I’m back in the community 20 years later means the world to me,” she said, adding she hoped the clinic would breach the healthcare disparities she has seen over the course of her career.
One of Berube’s hires back in 2012, Deron Campbell — now director of community health programs at Inova — began his Inova career with IJP, helping deal with dire HIV transmission rates around the Corridor. Now, as a leader, he’s partnering with the community to help bring solutions to the top three challenges it identified in the 2022 Mount Vernon Community Health Needs Assessment — healthcare access, behavioral health and economic stability.
“Ultimately what this clinic echoes is that we heard the community and what they were asking for,” said Campbell. “This clinic and any additional resource that aids in building equity and access for our most vulnerable community members is a win for everyone.”
Other speakers at the ribbon-cutting ceremony included J. Stephen Jones, M.D., president and CEO of Inova; Sage Bolte, chief philanthropy officer and president of the Inova Health Foundation; Alquietta Brown, chief nursing officer and vice president of nursing for behavioral health at Inova Mount Vernon Hospital; Mount Vernon District Supervisor Dan Storck; and Colleen Langner, executive vice president and chief operations officer at Cox Communications, who presented Inova with a ceremonial $250,000 check representing a grant from the James M. Cox Foundation. The grant and additional donations are helping fund ICCF, while funding for IJP was provided by other donors, according to an Inova press release.
ICCF/IJP is located at 8101 Hinson Farm Road, #415 in Alexandria. The clinic is open Monday to Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.