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Tazewell County Makes

Strides to Improve

Healthcare Outcomes

By Lydia Freeman

In Tazewell County, poor healthcare

outcomes have led to action from the

Board of Supervisors.

“Several years ago Tazewell County

ranked 131 out of 133 which was very

poor,” said Eric Young, Tazewell County

Attorney. “Since then, the Board of

Supervisors and our industrial development

authority have taken opportunities to try

and address that problem.”

The Virginia County Health Rankings

lists counties by their health outcomes.

Counties ranked toward the top have residents with better length

and quality of life. Counties listed lower are experiencing the


According to the County Health Rankings, Tazewell County

has improved health outcomes: the county currently ranks at 119,

in comparison to the 2015 ranking of 131. Much of this rise can be

credited to the Tazewell County Board of Supervisors’ recognition

of the poor healthcare outcomes, and the work that has been done

to expand residents’ access to healthcare.

Four major initiatives have been employed to cause this

dramatic increase in residents health: utilizing the Virginia

Coalfield and Energy Coalition, the creation of a Veterans Affairs

clinic, recruiting Trina Health to work with diabetic patients, and

partnering with Virginia Tech faculty to research causes of cancer

in Tazewell County.

One avenue that the Board has taken to provide residents with

quality healthcare is a partnership with the VCEDA (Virginia

Coalfield Economic Development Authority). VCEDA is a regional

economic development organization created by Virginia’s General

Assembly in 1988 to enhance and diversify the economic base.

“If we have employees that are high wage and highly trained,

it benefits our economy,” explained Eric Young.

The Board has also made use of capital resources to promote

new healthcare resources. Tazewell County had two buildings that

were vacated: a former health department building in Tazewell and

a school building in Falls Mills.

“We took the old healthcare building and sold it to Southwest

Virginia Community Health Systems at a discount like a grant,”

explained Young. “They provide healthcare to underinsured and

uninsured on a sliding scale based on income. We feel like that is a

really good project.”

The school was donated to the Appalachian Agency for Senior

Citizens (AASC) in Cedar Bluff in order to build an adult daycare

center. The new center, when complete, will provide adult daycare

services, nutrition programs for the community, care coordination

and the services available through AASC’s Program for All-

Inclusive Care for the Elderly (PACE).

“For example, if your dad can’t take care of himself and might

wander off and get lost, you can take him there while you go to

work,” explained Young. “This is fantastic for a lot of people.

They’ll check his blood pressure and temperature and make sure

he takes his medicine or ensure. That’s a very big health benefit

to the elderly.”

This June, Governor Terry McAuliffe recommended more

than $500,000 be given in an Appalachian Regional Commission

(ARC) grant for this daycare center.

Other new health facilities include the Trina Health Center

in Pounding Mill, which provides an innovative treatment for


Tazewell County is working hard

to help diversity and attract hi-

tech companies to our region.

We are now, more than ever,

“Open for Business.”

• Aggressive Business


• Pro-Business Environment

• Enterprise Zone

• Workforce Training

• Competitive Utility Rates

• Abundant Natural Resources

• Affordable Land

• Safe and Economical Place

to Live

• Excellent Quality of Life







diabetes, and the Community Based Outreach Clinic for Veterans

in Tazewell.

“We worked in 2016 with Carilion and the State Department of

Veterans Affairs to establish a VA Clinic,” said Young. “We have

a very high population of veterans, and previously they’d have to

drive to Salem or Beckley. Now they can get treatment here. This

is huge boost.”

Another concern that the Board worked to address were cancer

rates in Tazewell County.

Susan Marmagas, faculty at Virginia Tech, worked closely on

this research. She said that while it was difficult to use the data

on cancer rates to make strong conclusions, they did determine