It was announced on Wednesday, Sept. 12 at Reid Street Art Gallery in Chatham that Piedmont Access to Health Services (PATHS) is investing nearly $3,000,000 in an expansion in the former Hampco building. The expansion will allow PATHS to double in square footage and create 21 new full time jobs.
"PATHS has clearly been invested and supported by this community," Virginia Deputy Secretary for Rural Development Cassidy Rasnick said. "It has become a model for the state. Ensuring that all Virginians have access to quality affordable health care is a top priority for Governor Ralph Northam and organizations like PATHS are critical to this mission."
From primary and specialty care to case management and dentistry, PATHS provides invaluable services to the community according to Rasnick.
"We thank the organization for its significant contributions to the region's health care," Rasnick said.
PATHS purchased the building in February of last year.
The Hampco building consists of about 19,000 square feet, compared to their current location, which has about 7,000 to 8,000 square feet. The Hampco building also has two floors and is located next to Bolanz Corner, a current beautification project by Chatham First.
PATHS started in 2001 as Project Access, with Danville area physicians volunteering time to treat uninsured, low-income patients at no cost.
The successful program was the first of its kind in Virginia. In 2004, PATHS assumed management of two community health centers in Danville and Martinsville.
“It was my goal when we started this because we are a nonprofit that any revenue that we generate goes back into patient care,” PATHS CEO Kay Crane said. “We do continue to see large numbers of patients who live at low poverty level.”
Many of the patients that PATHS helps have day-to-day worries about putting food on the table and paying their rent.
“We want to be there as their healthcare provider,” Crane said. “Make no mistake, we offer quality healthcare and we’re there for everybody in this community. That’s what we want to do be, the healthcare provider for Chatham and Pittsylvania County.”
One of the things that PATHS will do with the expansion is establish a full service women’s center. Crane said this is one the things that peaked her interest with the expansion because there are approximately 125 women per year who go to social services and the health department and end up having to go to North Carolina.
“This is a very exciting day for the Town of Chatham, Pittsylvania County and all of Southern Virginia,” Danville Pittsylvania County President and Ceo and Tobacco Commission representative Alexis Ehrhardt said. “We know that the health and well-being of our community is critical for its success and its interwoven with initiatives related to education, economic development and public safety.”
Other speakers at the announcement to give remarks and congratulate PATS on the expansion included Virginia Delegate Les Adams, Pittsylvania County Board of Supervisors members Ronald Scearce and Charles Miller, Danville Regional Foundation Senior Program Officer Annie Martini and Chatham Mayor Will Pace.
“We are thrilled to see PATHS expand,” Pace said. “Especially in the location where they are moving.”