The Health Place
PHOTO: The Health Place

The Health Place: Page County, Virginia

History, Mission and Vision of The Health Place

The Health Place is a satellite of the James Madison University Institute for Innovation in Health and Human Services. As such, it embraces the mission of the IIHHS which is to engage students in career preparation by promoting scholarship, providing interprofessional learning experiences, and connecting our campus with communities through innovative programs that advance quality of life. The Health Place responds to community identified need, with unduplicated services, by partnering with faculty, students and community partners, to develop innovative, interprofessional services and programs that advance the quality of life.

The Health Place was established in 2000 through collaboration by the Nursing Research and Outreach Center led by Dr. Vida Huber, and the Blue Ridge Area Health Education Center led by Mr. Christopher Nye. Dr. Emily Akerson, who at that time was a nurse practitioner at Page Memorial Hospital, was hired to develop The Health Place.

Current partners include Healthy Families Page County, JMU’s Counseling and Psychological Services and Vocational Counseling through the Department of Aging and Rehabilitation Services. Partners have included the Parent Infant Education program, CHOICES, the Shenandoah Area Agency on Aging, Shenandoah Valley Child Development Clinic, Page Memorial Hospital, the Page County Health Department and others.

Healthy Families Page County

Healthy Families Page County is an accredited program of Healthy Families America, a national program model that provides education, resources and support for vulnerable first time parents through intensive home visiting by trained home visitors with the goal of promoting positive parenting outcomes and preventing child abuse and neglect. The program is voluntary; strength based and serves families with a child from birth through age five.

JMU Counseling and Psychological Services

JMU’s Counseling and Psychological Services program, under the leadership of Dr. Tim Schulte, in partnership with Dr. David Switzer of Page Memorial Hospital, have developed an Integrated Primary Care Behavioral Health program in which patients are seen collaboratively at The Health Place and at Page Health Care Associates.  Integrated primary care and behavioral health practice embraces the World Health Organization statement that there can be “no health without mental health”.  The program leads to improved coordination of care thereby improving patient satisfaction, provider satisfaction and health outcomes, and provides an important training opportunity for graduate level psychology and counseling students to work in an interprofessional collaborative practice setting.

Department of Aging and Rehabilitation Services

The Department for Aging and Rehabilitation Services (DARS) provides quality programs and services that empower individuals with disabilities to maximize their employment, independence, and full inclusion into society. Jessica DeCarlo, a vocational rehabilitation counselor, serves Page County residents at The Health Place each week.

The Health Place
294 East Main Street
P.O. Box 12
Stanley, Virginia 22851
(540) 778-4061

For more information, please contact:
Emily Akerson DNP, RN, FNP-BC
Director, The Health Place
Coordinator for Clinical and Interprofessional Initiatives
Institute for Innovation in Health and Human Services
MSC 9010
Harrisonburg, Virginia 22807
(540) 568-6120