NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) – It’s been six months since Sentara Healthcare began its Community Care program, and it says the benefits have paid off almost immediately.

An SCC Center opened inside the Union Mission Ministries homeless shelter in Norfolk in August 2022 and since then, there has been a steep decrease in EMS calls or transports from the area.

Prior to the clinic’s introduction, Union Mission staff called for emergency medical help an average of 10 times per month.

In a five-month period between August and December 2022, there were just 11 total emergency department transfers made, meaning 911 calls from Union Mission Ministries has dropped 80%.

Sentara said this is just one of a number of ways its Community Care program has helped the region’s residents in the past six months, as the program aims to expand and improve healthcare access and outcomes for underserved communities while offering help to Medicaid members, the uninsured and underinsured while helping with insurance enrollment.

The SCC program currently operates in Hampton Roads and northern Virginia, but has plans to expand to other parts of the state throughout the rest of the year.