About the Bernard Healthcare Center
The Free Clinic of Franklin County, Inc. is a private501(c)(3), independent, non-profit organization governed by a community Board of Directors. Bernard Healthcare Center is a division of FCFC.
A County steering committee, led by Jeanne Bernard, completed a needs assessment which recognized the need and, with the help of many concerned citizens, the clinic opened with a one (Monday) evening clinic/week on November 12, 1992. The clinic was staffed solely by volunteers. Quickly the clinic realized the need for chronic care was great and began a diabetes program which has grown over the years. As years progressed, the clinic grew and needed ever increasing resources, man-power, and space.
- November 12, 1992 First Monday evening “walk-in” clinic in one room of the STEP building.
- December 1992 Carilion provided a part-time nurse manager, who became full time in November 1993
- March 1993 First clinic employee (part-time) Executive Director
- January 1994 Diabetes Management Program began
- July 1994 Pharmacy licensed
- May 1998 Day-time clinic opened and was staffed by a nurse practitioner
- September 2000 Began scheduling a Women’s Health Screening Clinic and Family Practice Physician with weekday clinics.
- April 2004 Moved to larger renovated space in the STEP Building
- March 2005 Began limited Mental Health Services with a psychologist seeing patents at the Clinic. We also began the Hospital Discharge Medication Assistance program.
- December 2008 Hired a Development Director
- October 2009 The Clinic achieved VAFC accreditation
- June 2010 Moved to new location at 490 South Main Street which allows additional space for clinics.
- December 2010 Virginia HealthCare Foundation awarded a grant for the Clinic to hire a full-time, mid-level provider. A waiver was granted by the Board of Medicine to allow a PA to work independently at the Free Clinic; and a PA was hired in February 2011.
- July 2011 The Clinic partnered with the Franklin County Health Department. Dental Services (extractions only) were initiated with a volunteer dentist one day a month.
- March 2012 Initiated health care services for the Franklin County Jail.
- October 2013 Began construction on a new facility at Shewel’s Plaza with funds donated by Guy and Betty Beatty.
- April 2014 Moved to new building at 1171 Franklin Street on Route 40 at Schewel’s Plaza.