Rockbridge Area Health Center receives AFLAC grant

Published: Jun. 29, 2022 at 8:17 PM EDT
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A national grant program targeting medical debt will benefit residents of Rockbridge County.

Wednesday morning, the US President of the Aflac insurance company visited Lexington to highlight the issue and help a local organization.

A park bench featuring the Aflac mascot, and an oversized check for $100,000, provided the photo opportunities, but the insurance company and the Rockbridge Area Health Center hope the impact of the presentation will last much longer than the applause.

Aflac commissioned a national survey, and found most Americans feel they don’t have enough money to pay out-of-pocket medical expenses.

“So it’s 63% nationwide, but it’s 68% here in Virginia. So it’s indexed higher in Virginia,” said Aflac US President Teresa White. “So that’s what brought us to Virginia, but we also looked around and saw people who were trying to fill in the gap, trying to close the gap.”

The Rockbridge Area Health Center will use the grant for school-based wellness education and a program to increase pre-natal and post-natal care.

Suzanne Sheridan is the health center’s CEO.

“We are focused on creating a culture of wellness in our community and we believe success starts with our youth,” Sheridan said.

Lexington Mayor Frank Friedman agreed.

“I have every confidence that we will be able to reach out and change the lives of children in our community, that otherwise may have darker days ahead,” Friedman said.

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