Welvista’s staff, partners and supporters took time Tuesday to celebrate the nonprofit’s 25th anniversary, but made clear that those 25 years are only the beginning, or, as the programs printed for the occasion put it, “the first quarter.”
The second quarter began along with the celebration, as Welvista opened its new building at 121 Greystone Blvd. in Columbia. “I’m very excited to be in this new building, said Welvista CEO Juanita Wright. “We feel we can do so much more with the space that we now have.”
Welvista’s mission is to help uninsured and underserved South Carolinians gain access to essential health services while reducing the long-term health care costs that can result from untreated conditions. According to Wright, the organization has filled more than 152,000 prescriptions this year, serving more than 16,000 people.
“We believe that no one should be without basic health services,” said Wright. “We directly address this gap by mobilizing resources that make essential services like chronic disease medication and pediatric dental care available to this population at no cost, and without transportation barriers. In doing so, we are directly improving lives while reducing the long-term costs of health care in our state.”
The new building, covering 5,288 square feet, brings an 85% increase in space from the previous Welvista location, as well as new technology including robotics to help fill prescriptions faster.
Wright said Welvista will add vision services to its program in 2017, along with over the counter medications for those who cannot afford them. “A healthier SC will mean a healthier state government,” she said.
“Welvista would not be where it is today without our partners,” said Board Chair Lathran Woodard. “It takes a team.” The people and organizations who helped make the new building possible were recognized Tuesday with Welvista Champion awards.
Welvista provides free medications for the treatment of chronic disease to more than 14,000 adults each year and provides routine dental care to more than 3,600 children in four school districts. Its pediatric dental clinics are located on school grounds, removing transportation barriers in South Carolina’s rural communities.
Wright described the work of her team at Welvista as “Looking beyond situations others would find too cumbersome and responding instead with a positive outlook and a reminder that all things are possible.” Looking at the new building, she added “The building behind me is just one example of the physical evidence of this spirit. It symbolizes a new day for Welvista and a new outlook on what is possible.”
More information on Welvista and the services it offers is available online.