The University of Lynchburg Community Health Center opened its doors in the fall of 2011 as the Lynchburg College Free Physical Therapy Clinic. Thanks to generous donations from Centra and the Bedford Community Health Clinic, students were able to volunteer in a well-equipped clinic under the supervision of Assistant Professor Dr. Stephen Elam, PT, DPT, GCS, OCS, CLT.
The Lynchburg College Free PT Clinic served patients in the community who were uninsured, underinsured, or had exhausted their insurance benefits. By the spring of 2012, students were treating a handful of patients, many of whom had been referred by the Free Clinic of Central Virginia in downtown Lynchburg. Within a year, more than 20 patients had come to the clinic for therapy.
In 2013, Elam helped restructure the clinic to be student run by creating a group within the Student Professional Involvement Program (SPI). The students formed an executive board and refocused the clinic with a new mission statement: “To provide the highest quality, evidence-based health services to patients in a collaborative, supportive environment for student education.”
In 2014, the clinic’s name was changed to the Lynchburg College Community Health Clinic in an effort to become more collaborative with other health-related programs at the College. Associate Professor Dr. Jason Grandeo, PT, DPT, OCS, FAAOMPT took over as faculty supervisor, while the student board continued to grow opportunities to treat patients, raise money to fund the clinic, and expand volunteer opportunities for physical therapists in the Lynchburg area. In 2018, the clinic became one of the University of Lynchburg’s official centers, due to the connection that developed between the institution’s academic community and the broader community of Lynchburg.
The clinic’s vision is to become a collaborative, interdisciplinary facility providing services to meet the health needs of underinsured and uninsured people throughout the greater Lynchburg community. Through this effort, our students grow as individual professionals, providing quality care to an underserved population. We hope to become a leader among student-run pro bono health clinics by transforming pro bono health care, one patient at a time.
- To promote the didactic education of student physical therapists.
- To provide pro bono health services to patients in a dignified manner with excellence and integrity.
- To promote and exemplify the aspect of social responsibility and uphold the APTA core values.
- To promote and grow the profession through exemplary practice and local outreach.
- To grow as well-rounded professionals, working in conjunction with many divisions of business, such as marketing, finance, and fundraising.
- To become a collaborative, interdisciplinary clinic that provides services to meet the health needs of underinsured and uninsured people throughout the greater Lynchburg community.
- To grow as individual professionals and as a clinic, providing quality care to an underserved population.
- To be a leader among pro bono health clinics.
- To transform pro bono health care, one patient at a time.