The University of Virginia plans to create a clinic at UVa-Wise to provide students, staff and faculty with improved primary health care on campus.

The clinic, located in Cantrell Hall, will be staffed by a nurse practitioner and would include telehealth care access to physicians at the University of Virginia Medical Center. The nurse practitioner and a full-time nurse would have oversight from a UVA physician via telemedicine.

In addition, the clinic, which could open as early as June, would allow UVa-Wise nursing students another opportunity for clinical observation experience. The telemedicine system would provide access to UVA specialists. The plan would also offer additional internships in telemedicine for computer science students.

Funding for the clinic, which totals about $273,000, would come from UVA. The facility would also generate revenue and would accept the College’s employee health care insurance. There would be no copay.

Chancellor Donna P. Henry said the clinic would give employees and students convenient access to health care, and would allow the University to offer more of its BeWell programs to the College at Wise.

“The clinic would increase access to health care for our employees and students,” Henry said.

Dr. Rick Shannon, executive vice president of health affairs, presented the plan to the Board of Visitors and the Committee on the College at Wise earlier this month.

Shannon’s presentation included an overview of the current health care situation on campus. He spoke about the lack of timely access to primary health care due to a shortage of providers in the area. In addition, behavioral health resources are limited, and access to specialty care requires an extensive drive time.

UVa-Wise contracted with Norton Community Hospital on the current health services offered on campus. The contract will end this spring. Chancellor Henry thanked NCH for its service to the College, and added that NCH will still be used for referral services and its laboratory would be used for tests.

“Our strong partnership with Norton Community Hospital will continue in new ways,” Henry said.

Renovations to the current health services suite in Cantrell Hall could begin soon.