HJ749: Commending the Virginia Health Care Foundation on its 15 years of service to the Commonwealth.

HOUSE JOINT RESOLUTION NO. 749
Offered January 15, 2007
Commending the Virginia Health Care Foundation on its 15 years of service to the Commonwealth and its work to increase access to primary health care for uninsured and medically underserved Virginians by growing and strengthening the Commonwealth's health care safety net.

Patrons-- Hamilton, Brink, Jones, S.C., Morgan, O'Bannon, Scott, J.M., Spruill, Waddell and Watts; Senators: Howell, Lambert, Potts, Reynolds and Wampler

WHEREAS, more than one million Virginians are uninsured and have little or no access to health care; and

WHEREAS, the Commonwealth contains 55 health professional shortage areas and 63 dental shortage areas where there are not enough doctors or dentists to provide care to local citizens; and

WHEREAS, the Governor, the General Assembly, and the Joint Commission on Health Care established the Virginia Health Care Foundation (VHCF) in 1992 to help create and grow a health care safety net in the Commonwealth that would increase access to primary health care for Virginia’s uninsured and medically underserved citizens; and

WHEREAS, the VHCF has served the Commonwealth for 15 years, funding a total of 260 projects that have provided more than 1.5 million patient visits to Virginia’s uninsured and medically underserved; and

WHEREAS, the VHCF acts as a venture philanthropist, carefully scrutinizing grant proposals and investing in projects that will be sustained for the long term, a strategy that has facilitated an increase in the number of health safety net providers from 33 to 105 in the last 15 years; and

WHEREAS, the VHCF’s strategy of rigorous project evaluation, three-year limited funding, and focus on long-term community support has resulted in an impressive continuation of 89 percent of the projects that have graduated from the Foundation’s support; and

WHEREAS, Models That Made It, the VHCF’s approach to replicating successful and cost-effective projects, has been lauded as a “philanthropic best practice” by Foundation News and Commentary; and

WHEREAS, with entrepreneurial spirit and innovation, the VHCF has developed tools for the health safety net such as The Pharmacy Connection—special software, which facilitates access to free medications available through the brand-name pharmaceutical companies’ Patient Assistance Programs that helped obtain over $101 million in free medications for more than 53,000 eligible uninsured Virginians last year; undertaken special initiatives to increase access to care such as the Healthy Communities Loan Fund—a low interest rate loan fund made possible through the partnership of BB&T and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, which has provided over $8.8 million in loans to bring 69 new physicians and dentists to underserved areas and has won the prestigious Main Street Award from the American Bankers Association; initiated Project Connect and Covering Kids & Families, two projects that have enrolled more than 37,500 children throughout Virginia in the Family Access to Medical Insurance Security Plan (FAMIS) Programs; implemented Rx Partnership (RxP), which in its first two years of operation has obtained over $10 million worth of free medicines for Virginia’s uninsured via partnerships with GlaxoSmithKline, Merck, Novartis, and Abbott; and established SeniorNavigator—a multifunctional Internet tool that has earned state and national recognition for its success in helping seniors and caregivers navigate the complex array of health and aging services and evolved into a valued and totally independent public service; and

WHEREAS, the VHCF’s unique public/private approach has been recognized nationally by the federal Bureau of Primary Care, the National Conference of State Legislatures, and the Harvard School of Public Health and was most recently the recipient of the Innovation in Government Award by the L. Douglas Wilder School of Government and Public Affairs at Virginia Commonwealth University; and

WHEREAS, partnership has been the watchword for the VHCF in all of its activities and initiatives, resulting in the Foundation and its projects partnering with more than 1,225 organizations; and

WHEREAS, the VHCF provides a tremendous return on the Commonwealth’s investment, averaging a return of more than 11 dollars for every dollar expended for the last 11 years; and

WHEREAS, many of Virginia’s finest corporations and organizations have made financial commitments to the VHCF during the past 15 years including: Abbott Laboratories, AdVantage Creative Services, Altria, AMERIGROUP Corporation, Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield, AOL TimeWarner Foundation, Arenstein Foundation, Arlington Community Foundation, AstraZeneca, Augusta Medical Center, BB&T Corporation, Beirne Carter Foundation, Blue Ridge AHEC, Boehringer Ingelheim Chemicals, Inc., Bon Secours Richmond Health System, Brandywine Realty Trust, Cable & Wireless, Cadmus Communications, Camp Younts Foundation, Capital One, Carilion Foundation, Carilion Health System, Cat and Mouse, Inc., Centra Health, Charlottesville Albemarle Community Foundation, Collis/Warner Foundation, Community Memorial Health Center, Coventry Health Care, CSX Corporation, Danville Regional Medical Center, Delta Dental of Virginia, Dominion, Doral Dental USA, E.L. Hamm & Associates, Eugene and Agnes E. Meyer Foundation, ExxonMobil Foundation, First Piedmont, First Virginia Banks, Food Lion Shop & Share Program, Frances Campbell Foundation, Garland & Agnes Taylor Gray Foundation, GlaxoSmithKline, Gwathmey Memorial Trust, HCA Richmond Hospitals, Holly Delano Design LLC, Inova Health System, iXL, Jenkins Foundation, John Randolph Foundation, Johnston Memorial Hospital, Kaiser Permanente, KOL Bio-Medical Instruments, KPMG LLP, LifePoint Hospitals, Inc., LogistiCare, MAMSI Health Plans, Manor Care Foundation, Martha Jefferson Hospital, Martin Public Relations, Mary Washington Hospital Foundation/Medicorp, McGuire Woods, McWaters Studio, Medical Society of Virginia, Medical Society of Virginia Alliance, MediCorp Health System, Memorial Foundation for Children, Meyer Foundation, Milbank Memorial Foundation, Muse Family Foundation, New River Valley Surgery Center LLC, Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corporation, Nunnally Charitable Trust, Old Dominion Medical Society, Optima Family Care, Owens & Minor, Pfizer, Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America, PharmaCompass, Philip L. Graham Fund, Philip Morris, PhRMA, Potomac Hospital, Potomac Mills, Richmond Memorial Foundation, Roanoke Ambulatory Surgery Center, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, Robins Foundation, Rockingham Memorial Hospital, Roy R. Charles Charitable Trust, Sarah Hollins Foundation, Sentara Healthcare, Shenandoah University, The Silk Purse, Southern Health Services, Stevens/Waterman III Fund, SunTrust, Theresa A. Thomas Memorial Foundation, Tom French Flowers, Trilogy Consulting, Troutman Sanders LLP, Ukrop’s, Ukrop’s Golden Gift Program, UNICARE, United Healthcare, Valley Health System, Venturi Technology Partners, Verizon Foundation, Virginia Academy of Family Physicians, Virginia Association of Health Plans, Virginia Dental Association, Virginia Fibre Corporation, Virginia Hospital and Healthcare Association, Virginia Physicians, Inc., Virginia Premier Health Plan, Virginia Primary Care Association, Visions+Solutions, W.C. English Foundation, Wachovia Corporation, Williamsburg Community Health Foundation, Winchester Medical, and Wyeth-Ayerst; and

WHEREAS, as the VHCF marks its fifteenth anniversary, its combined efforts have helped more than 500,000 uninsured and medically underserved Virginians obtain needed primary care; now, therefore, be it

RESOLVED by the House of Delegates, the Senate concurring, That the General Assembly hereby commend the Virginia Health Care Foundation on its 15 years of service to the Commonwealth and its many successful efforts to increase access to primary health care for Virginia’s uninsured citizens; and, be it

RESOLVED FURTHER, That the General Assembly commend the Virginia Health Care Foundation's many private sector partners and encourage them to continue their support of this effective and dynamic foundation by making significant contributions to increase access to primary health care for Virginia's uninsured and medically underserved citizens; and, be it

RESOLVED FURTHER, That Virginia’s other corporate citizens and philanthropic entities be encouraged to contribute their various talents and resources to the efforts of the Virginia Health Care Foundation; and, be it

RESOLVED FINALLY, That the Clerk of the House of Delegates transmit a copy of this resolution to the Virginia Health Care Foundation, as well as the president of the Virginia Chamber of Commerce, requesting that they further disseminate copies of this resolution among their members in order that they may be apprised of the sense of the General Assembly in this matter.