Defense Date


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Public Health


Preventive Medicine & Community Health


Objective: The Hayes E. Willis Health Center (HWHC) was opened in a neighborhood of South Richmond in October 1993 to remove the barriers that prevented South Richmond residents from accessing primary healthcare services. The major objective of this study was to determine the effectiveness of the HWHC in providing primary care to the South Richmond Community deemed to be in need. An additional objective was to describe the changes in characteristics of clinic users and illnesses seen over time.Methods: Patient data was compared from the HWHC�s first full year of operation in which patient data was collected (1995) to the most current year (2003) to determine if the targeted population of South Richmond had been serviced by the HWHC. A combined total of 20,190 visits occurred in 1995 and 2003 by a total of 7,552 patients. A Pearson chi-square analysis was performed to test whether the observed differences in proportions between the two study groups (1995 and 2003) were statistically different for the variable of patient residence location, as well as the variables of race, sex, age, type of insurance used, and clinic visited. Results: The patient population living in the original target area of South Richmond has declined from 82.6% in 1995 to 67.1% in 2003. The proportion of patients residing within the metropolitan Richmond area, but outside of South Richmond, has increased from 13.2% in 1995 to 21.1% in 2003. The proportion of clinic patients residing outside of Richmond completely has nearly tripled � from 4.2% to 11.8%.Conclusions: While the HWHC has gained popularity with non-South Richmond residents, it is clear that it has in fact been successful in offering primary care health services for the residents of South Richmond. The HWHC, and the public health policy that created it, should be viewed as an ideal model for other areas in Richmond, as well as other metropolitan areas across the United States to emulate and implement in their own communities.


© The Author

Is Part Of

VCU University Archives

Is Part Of

VCU Theses and Dissertations

Date of Submission

June 2008