New Horizons Healthcare was incorporated in March 1999, as Kuumba Community Health and Wellness Center. The origins can be traced to active grassroots efforts initiated in the early 1990s to improve the health of the residents of northwest Roanoke. The Community Health Center model was introduced as one response to this challenge. With guidance from the Virginia Community Healthcare Association, the health center was incorporated in 1999. The original steering committee, led by Reverend Doctor William L. Lee, selected the name Kuumba (translated from Swahili, meaning creativity) to reflect a spirit of innovation in solving problems and meeting community healthcare needs.
The first federal grant was awarded in 1999 from the US Department of Health and Human Services, Health Resources and Services Administration. Loudon Avenue Christian Church, where Rev. Lee has been the pastor since 1977, served as our first home. We moved to a small modular building on Melrose Avenue and opened our doors to patients for the first time in December 2000 with a staff of fewer than 10 employees. In 2001, we added behavioral health services as part of an integrated model of care, with a focus on treating the whole person. We received additional grants over the years to expand our medical services, and quickly outgrew the small clinic space. In 2007, we adopted a new business name, New Horizons Healthcare, and we moved the clinic to Valley View Medical Center, in space generously offered by HCA Lewis Gale Medical Center. We resided there for more than 5 years as we continued to grow to better serve the Roanoke Valley. In 2010, we applied for and received a capital development grant as part of the federal Affordable Care Act, and by 2012 had completed construction on a new 32,000 square foot facility. In October 2012, we relocated New Horizons Healthcare to its new home, returning to our original location on Melrose Avenue. We now employ over 80 team members, and continue to expand our services to meet a growing demand from the community.
Services include primary medical and dental care for all ages, on-site pharmacy and medication assistance program, behavioral healthcare assessment and treatment, care coordination and specialty referrals, and patient and community health education. We offer a sliding fee scale for those who are uninsured or under-insured, based on household income and family size. Our Lee Education Center serves as a training space for staff and patients alike, and frequently hosts community groups and organizations for meetings and educational events.