In August of this year Valley Health received a $1 million Emergency Rural Health Care Grant. This taxpayer money is to “remediate the impact of COVID 19 and to improve health and access to care in Page County.”
Three months later, they closed the only Wellness Center in Luray due to…the impact of COVID 19. Of the five Wellness Centers managed by Valley Health, Luray is the only one to achieve profitability. Our community is the only one without a similar facility to fill the care gap Valley Health leaves behind.
Valley Health did not even try to find another operator for the facility. They did not take some obvious steps to manage for even larger profits. They just abandoned us.
Page County has among the worst rates of obesity, diabetes and heart disease in the state. The Wellness Center helped hundreds of people lose weight, reduce their dependence on insulin, and avoid costly medical care. It also provided supervised preoperative fitness programs to improve surgical outcomes. It gave people with physical therapy programs a place to continue healing. Our first responders had a place to manage the stresses of their work.
It is encouraging that the County may, someday, build a new facility. But until that day, Valley Health’s decision has done a great disservice to our community.
They should reconsider.
Ken Johnson ~ Luray, Va.
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