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Bradley Free Clinic to add $1M behavioral health wing

But elevated construction costs due to the pandemic are forcing the clinic to raise an additional $250,000.
Bradley Free Clinic
Bradley Free Clinic(WDBJ7)
Published: Jul. 16, 2021 at 3:50 PM EDT
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ROANOKE, Va. (WDBJ) - The Bradley Free Clinic has provided medical, dental, pharmaceutical and behavioral healthcare for the uninsured and under-insured across the Roanoke Valley for the past 47 years.

But over the last year, the need for their behavior health counseling has grown tenfold, according to executive director Janine Underwood.

“The services went from like 250 visits or appointments to like 2,800,” she said.

Short term, the clinic is seeing most of those new patients through telehealth. But the goal is to add a new 2,000-square-foot behavioral health wing, with a price tag nearing $1 million, thanks to elevated construction costs.

“Now that the economy has recovered and we’re working our way through the COVID crisis, there’s all this pent-up demand that has hit the market and the suppliers have not been able to catch up, so prices have increased tremendously,” said project manager Richard Rife.

“Unfortunately, we budgeted way lower than we expected the bids to be and now we’re going to have to raise money. We’re looking at raising about $250,000, and we weren’t expecting that,” said Underwood.

The increased fundraising goal, on top of grants already secured, will help provide much-needed enhancements: six new counseling rooms, a group therapy room, an isolation space, and an upgraded entrance.

“We don’t have counseling space, we have exam rooms, and our behavioral health patients need to feel like they are a part of the clinic and be able to sit in a counseling room, not in an exam room,” said Underwood.

The clinic hopes to break ground on the expansion next month with a goal of completing the work by late spring of 2022.

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