Blue Ridge Health (BRH) has served Henderson and surrounding counties
for over 55 years by providing medical, dental, behavioral health, school-based, nutrition and outreach services.
In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, BRH needed to transform the way they deliver care from a traditional patient visit to a virtual patient visit. In late April, BRH received a $10,000 grant from the Henderson County
COVID-19 Response Fund
for laptops and licensing fees to enable HIPPA-compliant online patient visits.
Tanya Burdette with BRH Grants and Foundations spoke about the impact of the grant on some of their clients. "For behavioral health patients, this has been a very scary and worrisome time," she said. "This is especially true for students in Henderson County Public Schools that rely on regular visits with BRH counselors as well as students who have private counselors that have shut down."
She shared a powerful story of one local teenager and his family who have seen a positive outcome from having those services available from home. Shortly after Henderson County Schools were closed due to COVID-19, the Blue Ridge Health School Based Health Centers’ Practice Manager began calling students already in counseling or those having been identified as at-risk to let them know they could have access to virtual (telehealth) care for behavioral health services.
One such call was to the father of a teenager whose mother had unexpectedly passed away a couple of months earlier. The teenager had already been talking to a BRH counselor, but with no insurance and the abrupt closing of his school, the father did not know where to turn. When the Practice Manager called, the father stated he had not realized virtual care was available and began to cry as he talked about how hard the loss of his wife had been on both of them. Now, not only is the son receiving weekly counseling through BRH virtual care, the father (who is uninsured as well) also joins in some sessions as they both work through their loss and try to help each other create a new family dynamic.
Since April, BRH has served 1,753 individuals with behavioral health virtual care encounters. Of those, 160 are school-age children.
United Way has assembled an online guide to local resources serving the community during the COVID-19 health crisis. Click
to find local food pantries, parenting support programs, legal advice and much more.
For a comprehensive list of services, call 2-1-1 or visit