The partnership between Kendal and the Rockbridge Area Health Center (RAHC) may have officially started in 2022, but the idea to co-locate a RAHC medical office on the Kendal campus was born years before. There was a strong desire on the part of the Kendal Board to have medical services more easily accessible to the residents, the staff, and the community at-large. When the Kendal renovations were completed, the timing was good to begin on-site care at Kendal.

Community health centers like RAHC, are unique health delivery systems that focus on providing primary health, dental,  behavioral health, pharmacy, and substance-use disorder services in areas with limited access to affordable health care. It is important to note that “access to care” is not confined to affordability, but may also apply to a lack of providers within a geographic area.

A good example of what it means to have a community health center in our neighborhood is illustrated in “Jane’s” experience at the Rockbridge Area Health Center.

Jane was in significant discomfort because of a toothache. She didn’t have insurance and had very little money. A friend recommended that she call the Health Center. She called and was seen the same day for a limited dental exam that included x-rays and an exam by a dentist.  The dentist ordered antibiotics and scheduled her to return in a week. Upon leaving she expressed concern about her ability to pay for her treatment. The health center employee at the front desk contacted a community health worker who told Jane about the health center’s sliding fee discount program, which adjusts the cost of care based on household income, and helped her apply for health insurance, which Jane had never done, thinking she could not afford it. She was thrilled when they discovered that there was great coverage available for her.

Upon Jane’s return to the dentist she felt short of breath, so the dentist referred her to the medical department which, after a full physical examination, immediately ordered tests—including a mammogram, colonoscopy, and cardiological tests.

“Jane” is a pseudonym for a real client, and her story is not unique. This kind of collaborative continuity of care is available to anyone seeking access to health care services.

The RAHC office at Kendal is staffed four days per week, typically Monday through Thursday, though not always with a doctor. Dr. Roger Clevenger has office hours Tuesdays and Wednesdays. Dr. Raeanna Simcoe has office hours on the last Friday of the month. Additional information about our providers can be found here RAHC at Kendal services are available to residents in independent living and assisted living. Services are also available to all Kendal employees and their families, and to the general public. As demand for care increases, RAHC plans to increase the doctors’ time at the Kendal location.

Full dental services are available at the RAHC main site on Northridge Lane and on Magnolia Avenue in Buena Vista. If there is sufficient demand, the same services could be delivered to Kendal residents, staff, and the wider community via the RAHC mobile dental unit.

Questions about RAHC and its services maybe be directed to Mary Looney at or 540-464-8700, ext 7127.

 Written By: Dennis Cropper, Kendal resident and Chair of the RAHC Board