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Neighborhood Health director says new location will boost West End coverage with room to grow

A young boy is tested for COVID-19 at a Neighborhood Health testing facility outside Casa Chirilagua in Arlandria (Staff photo by James Cullum)

Healthcare non-profit Neighborhood Health is hitching its wagon to the great West End migration as it joins several city services in a new ‘West End City Hall‘ at the Mark Center.

The building at 4850 Mark Center Drive, officially the Redella S. “Del” Pepper Community Resource Center, will be a new hub for offices like the Department of Community and Human Services (DCHS) and the Alexandria Health Department.

A lease for Neighborhood Health’s 11,424 square foot wing of the new location is heading to the City Council at the meeting (docket item 11) tomorrow (Saturday). Dr. Basim Khan, executive director of Neighborhood Health, told ALXnow the move will help position Neighborhood Health closer to some of the residents most reliant on the non-profit’s services.

“We’re excited to be part of this move because a lot of residents who need our services are located in and around the West End,” Khan said. “One [of our clinics] is in the DCHS St. Asaph Street building, the other is in the Alexandria Health Department King Street building. Given that those buildings are closing, we’re happy we’ll have space in the Mark Center.”

Khan said Neighborhood Health’s mental illness and dental programs will be moving to the Mark Center location. The new Mark Center location, Khan said, will also allow Neighborhood Health to be a little less constrained. While Neighborhood Health’s other clinics in Alexandria will remain open, Khan said the new locations will let Neighborhood Health expand somewhat and relieve some of the pressure on the overcrowded clinics.

“Over the last several years, we’ve struggled with high demand but limited space,” Khan said. “This gives us a chance to decompress a little bit. That additional space will be helpful to help us provide services.”

Khan said another advantage of the West End location is being adjacent to many other city programs Neighborhood Health patients utilize.

“Many of our patients access DCHS and Health Department services, so my hope with being located is that it improves access to those services and vice versa,” Khan said.

The West End is one of the most densely populated sections of Alexandria and many residences like Southern Towers act as some of the city’s last bastions of market rate affordable housing.

“We do have a lot of demand from patients who live around the Mark Center,” Khan said. “We have a lot of patients from those zip codes and having a site in the West End should be a great benefit.”

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