Professor named chair of the Community Health Center Board
Associate Professor of Psychology Tracy Cohn was appointed chair of the Board of the Community Health Center (CHC) of the New River Valley.
Cohn began his involvement with the CHC in 2008 when it was known as the free clinic. The CHC transformed into a Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC) five years ago. In a FQHC, the federal government subsidizes rates for high need, low service areas.
“I love that it is consistent with my value and beliefs in how we take care of marginalized populations,” Cohn said. “It’s a great opportunity for me to live true to my values. The mission is to provide services to all clients regardless of ability to pay.”
The board is composed of attorneys, leaders in education, people affiliated with other healthcare centers, and people who are patients and clients. The federal government requires that the board of a FQHC be comprised of 51 percent of clients.
“I’m a patient at the Health Center and a board member,” Cohn said. “It’s allowed me to develop relationships in the community as well as with other board members. There’s a greater opportunity to be involved with fundraising efforts. Even though the federal government gives a large portion of money, it doesn’t cover all the services.”
Dental, behavioral and medical services are offered at the CHC and its satellite locations in Christiansburg and Giles with behavioral and medical services offered in Dublin.
Doctoral students at Radford University gain hands-on experience with the CHC and its satellite offices by offering mental health services to patients. Anywhere between two to five students provide services each semester. Students also offer services at other clinics in the region.
“There’s a tremendous need,” Cohn said. “Our students provide services to about 10-15 clients each week. A focus of the Psy.D. program is on rural mental health and practicing in a rural area is great experience.”