- Free health clinics facing crisis of increasing demand, reduced funding
- Dominion employees have direct hand in helping make donation possible
- Clinic grant follows more than $1 million given to food banks in December
RICHMOND, Va., June 2 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Dominion Resources Inc., parent company of Dominion Virginia Power, announced today it is donating $1 million to free health clinics in Virginia and 13 other states (see list here: http://www.dom.com/news/2009/pdf/free_clinic_list_060209.pdf).
"The current economic times have produced hardships not seen in several generations," said Thomas F. Farrell II, chairman, president and chief executive officer of Dominion. "We want to do our part to make sure medical services are available to those who are uninsured or can't afford to see a doctor.
"This is a serious and growing problem in many of the communities we serve and elsewhere," Farrell continued, "and we challenge all financially able companies to do what they can to make sure health care is available to those in need."
Recognizing the growing economic hardships faced by many because of the deep recession, Dominion has refocused its corporate giving on basic human necessities such as food, shelter and health care.
Five months ago, Dominion gave more than $1 million to food banks in 14 states, providing for more than 20 million pounds of food and grocery products. Earlier, the company provided $6 million to EnergyShare, a program it created to help people in need pay heating and cooling bills.
"Dominion's 18,000 employees have a direct hand in making possible this donation to free clinics," Farrell said. "Part of the funding is coming from foregoing our Dominion Day employee recreational activities. Our employees know this, and they have been very supportive of redirecting the funds to help neighbors in need."
Dominion is making the grant through the Dominion Foundation, the company's philanthropic arm. Dominion Foundation grants are funded by shareholder dollars, and the cost of the grants is not borne by customers.
Farrell cited the extraordinary service performed every day by doctors and nurses at health clinics in Virginia, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, West Virginia and other states where Dominion operates. Services at the clinics generally are provided free or at very low cost.
"The people who staff these health clinics -- many of them volunteers -- are to be heartily commended for their service to the people who enter their doors," Farrell said. "They are providing quality medical care to literally thousands of people who might otherwise go without treatment."
Free clinics have a record of providing $5.40 worth of health care for every dollar spent.
The $1 million in grants will be provided to more than 100 free clinics in 14 states where Dominion operates. In general, the funds are being distributed in proportion to the number of employees Dominion has in each of the states.
The grants will be used for immediate medical care for the uninsured and underinsured. They may be used to fund doctor exams, prescription medications, laboratory work and diagnostic tests, such as X-rays.
Total grants by state are:
Free clinics nationwide are reporting that the number of people using their services is growing rapidly during the current economic crisis.
The clinics typically serve large numbers of low-income working families, immigrants and others who cannot afford medical care. Recently, the clinics have been serving significant numbers of laid-off workers who lost the health insurance they once had through their employers.
"Since the 1960s, free clinics have been serving America's working poor, and over the last year our patient base has grown to include white and blue collar workers who have lost their jobs and health insurance," said Nicole Lamoureux, executive director of the National Association of Free Clinics. "The Association would like to express its gratitude to Dominion for this generous donation which will allow free clinics to continue to provide quality compassionate health care to those in America who need it the most."
According to the latest government statistics, about 46 million Americans, or 18 percent of the population under age of 65, were without health insurance in 2007 -- and that number has undoubtedly grown considerably since then. More than 8 in 10 uninsured people come from working families.
In 2008, Dominion, its charitable foundation and employees invested more than $20 million and 100,000 volunteer hours in programs that help improve the quality of life for people in the states where Dominion operates power stations, natural gas and other energy facilities.
Grant focus areas included preservation of natural and historic resources, work force development and education, diversity initiatives, neighborhood and community development, and meeting basic needs for food, health and shelter.
Dominion (NYSE: D) is one of the nation's largest producers of energy, with a portfolio of more than 27,400 megawatts of generation. Dominion serves retail energy customers in 12 states. For more information about Dominion, visit the company's Web site at http://www.dom.com.
|SOURCE Dominion Resources Inc.|
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