The University of Lynchburg Community Health Center first opened its doors in the fall of 2011, and was known 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 professor Stephen Elam, PT, DPT, GCS, OCS, CLT.
The Lynchburg College Free PT clinic was marketed to patients in the community who were uninsured, underinsured, or had exhausted their insurance benefits. By the spring of 2011, the students of the class of 2014 were treating a handful of patients, many of whom had been referred by the Free Clinic in downtown Lynchburg. Within a year, over 20 patients had come to the clinic for therapy.
In 2013, Dr. Elam helped restructure the free 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 name officially changed to the University of Lynchburg Community Health Center to allow for expansion and inclusion of other health-related disciplines. Jason Grandeo, PT, DPT, OCS, FAAOMPT, now oversees the student board, made up of eight 2nd year students. SPI members as well as student volunteers from all three cohorts are currently able to provide pro bono physical therapy to up to 24 patients a week. Members of the LC DPT faculty and PTs in the area have continued to volunteer time to supervise students as well as teach practical skills necessary for patient care, making it possible for students to continue to gain hands on experience and making it possible for the clinic to continue to grow to meet the needs of the community.
- 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.
- We will become a collaborative, interdisciplinary clinic that provides services to meet the health needs of persons who are under and uninsured throughout the greater lynchburg community.
- We will grow as individual professionals and as a clinic, providing quality care to an underserved population.
- We will be a leader among pro bono health clinics.
- We will transform pro bono health care, one patient at a time.