- Last Updated on Wednesday, 15 May 2013 10:52
- Published on Wednesday, 15 May 2013 10:52
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The following letter to County Administrator Travis Quisenberry was obtained under the Virginia Freedom of Information act. It is being published in the interest of Journal readers. The Journal is not against the concept of the HELP Center, only questions what costs will be incurred by tax payers, which so far have been ignored by the Board of Supervisors.
Travis, I have just read the article in the Journal by Arlene Jacovelli. Knowing that the paper is against the construction of the new HELP Center and is trying to bring closure to its existence prior to its even being built, I can see why they published it.
However, a more serious issue has arisen. Ms. Jacovelli has recently been appointed to my board. At the last meeting she was clear that the services we provide should not be done for our clients. That it is not the government’s duty to provide for our clients.
The article in the paper specifically blasts the free clinic. It is not a clinic for or by Project FAITH, it is run out of this office. My staff and I volunteer to support it, our Doctor comes from Virginia Beach and donates his time and the nurses that reside here in the county also donate their times for our population of adults that are uninsured.
The KGFC is a standalone entity and is incorporated and falls under the State’s Free Clinic guidelines. It has been eluded to that we are taking away from practicing doctors, by having the clinic. The local physicians unfortunately do not take uninsured people, and that is the only type of case that we will take.
We work hand in hand with Moss Free Clinic for their non-chronic clients. Mary Washington Hospital is stepping up to the plate and has verbally committed to helping support the center once it is open. Even with OBAMACare, there will continue to be people without insurance that will need care.
Employers can now reduce staff hours to less than 29 and they do not have to provide insurance. That will cause more people to be poor and reduce their incomes, and as a result will provide a reason for the center to be in operation.
Ms. Jacovelli’s position is in direct contrast to what we do and my staff have asserted that it appears to be a direct conflict of interest to be on our board if she can’t support our programs. She is obviously very verbose about her beliefs and has them published publically, and that is not appropriate and is once again in contrast to support this agency’s program areas.
Is there somewhere I can turn to? I will be speaking with my Board Chair, but feel that since by Board did not appoint her, that there is little they can do. Can you provide me with some direction.
Dave Coman is Director of the King George Department of Social Services.