May 16, 2018

Virginia Premier and The Cameron Foundation in partnership to expand health care access for Petersburg students

Virginia Premier and The Cameron Foundation have jointly announced their financial support for the creation of a school-based health center in Petersburg. The center, which is tentatively scheduled to open by August 2019, will act as a clinic within the Petersburg school system, providing medical services to students.

The City and Schools Partnership in Petersburg is creating the health center in collaboration with the United Way of Greater Richmond & Petersburg. Virginia Premier will fund two years of project management functions that are necessary for the program to move forward. Because of its mission of providing access to affordable, quality health care to individuals in need, Virginia Premier has been playing an integral role in the development of this initiative from inception. The nonprofit managed care organization takes a special interest in promoting good health among children, to have a positive impact on their quality of life.

“The Petersburg school-based health center will be a place where students can get medical attention beyond what the school nurse can medically and legally provide,” said Virginia Premier’s chief medical officer, John Johnson, M.D. “Nearly 25 percent of the children enrolled with a Medicaid managed care organization in Virginia are enrolled with us. Increasing children’s access to health care is one of our major goals. We’re always open to partnerships that make it possible to do more, and it’s a privilege to be working with these fellow organizations to bring more medical care to the youth of Virginia.”

The Cameron Foundation is making a proactive grant to support the technical assistance needed to plan, implement and manage the center in Petersburg public schools.

“In its proactive investments, priority is given to visible, high-impact projects that transform the community and address the social determinants of health. Using this strategy, we hope to improve the foundation’s impact through increased collaboration with community partners. The school-based health center initiative aligns well with our work as a health legacy foundation,” said Cameron President J. Todd Graham.

“I’m very glad to hear about this initiative to provide health services to students in Petersburg,” said 63rd District Del. Lashrecse Aird. “Health care and education are key to improving the quality of life in Petersburg. By giving students the medical attention they need, the school-based health clinic is going to advance both of those priorities.”

“For children to be prepared to learn, they need to be healthy,” said 16th District Virginia Sen. Rosalyn Dance. “Increasing the resources to address the health care needs of students represents an important investment in Petersburg’s schools.”

A recent study by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute listed Petersburg as the least healthy municipality in Virginia. The student-based health clinic will contribute to improving that status and, by treating chronic illnesses, will mitigate one of the factors affecting school absenteeism.

About Virginia Premier
Virginia Premier’s mission is to inspire healthy living within the communities we serve with a focus on those in need. We do this through innovation strategic partnerships, industry-leading health care and the power of VCU Health. Formed in 1995 as a Medicaid HMO, Virginia Premier is the first and only university-based, nonprofit managed care organization in the commonwealth, now serving roughly 220,000 members statewide. In addition to its Medicare and Medicaid plans, Virginia Premier provides third-party administrative services and runs the Virginia Premier Medical Home in Roanoke. It is a wholly owned subsidiary of VCU Health System. For more information, visit

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