Bradley Free Clinic opens new outreach site in Salem

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SALEM, Va. (WDBJ7) In Salem, a well-known non-profit and a local church are teaming up to improve access to health care.

The Bradley Free Clinic is establishing a new outreach site at the Salem Church of Christ.

The free clinic has been serving residents of Salem, and the rest of the region, from its facilities in Roanoke for 45 years.

But the site in Salem is something new.

"This is our first effort to go out and sit in a different location to invite people there where it's more accessible to them, it's closer, easier access." said Director of Operations Ruth Cassell, "and really give them a chance to find out what Bradley really does.

Salem Church of Christ is hosting the outreach site.

Church leaders say their participation began with a question a year and a half ago: If the church were to close, would the community really care? Since then, they say they've been searching for like-minded organizations focused on helping people.

They're starting out with free health screenings, available to everyone regardless of income.

Taylor Plott is the Youth and Family Life Minister.

"Right now, we're starting out basic. We're offering basic services, basic answers to questions, setting up appointments as needed for people down the road," Plott said, "but I would love for this to become a full-service opportunity to provide for different health care needs that people have."

Peer recovery specialists and other volunteers from the Hope Initiative will also be involved, to help people who are suffering from substance abuse.

"It being more centralized, more accessible, I think will make a big difference in getting people the help they need," said Hope Initiative Administrator Christine Baldwin, a Certified Peer Recovery Specialist.

The Salem Outreach Site for the Bradley Free Clinic will be open on the first and third Monday of each month from 4 to 7 p.m.