ARLINGTON -- The Arlington Community Public Health Nursing Service recently presented a check for $50,000 to the Battenkill Valley Health Center.

The Nursing Service plans to present a matching grant of $25,000 to the center in the near future.

The Nursing Service was approached in May by Mary Ann Carlson regarding a possible donation to the Battenkill Valley Health Center receiving enthusiastic and unanimous support from the 30-member board comprised of volunteer members of the community.

The request spoke directly to the Nursing Services Mission Statement: "Promoting and improving the health of individuals and families in the Arlington, Sunderland and Sandgate areas."

Established in 1946, the Arlington Nursing Service is a nonprofit 501c3 organization. Although it no longer provides direct care, through memorial contributions, donations and fundraising, it provide the funds for many services to the communities which include:

A contract with Manchester Health Service to provide Home Health Care to citizens in need; individual financial assistance by request for special medical or dental needs; providing the funds for dental clinics at the Arlington and Sunderland schools; providing hearing and vision equipment for testing in the schools; establishing four Scholarships for four years for students pursuing health-related fields; monetary support for various other community projects.

Bennington County was the only county in Vermont that did not have a Federally Qualified Health Clinic until The Battenkill Valley Health Center applied and were recently accepted.

By receiving funds from the federal government at an increased reimbursement rate, the clinic will provide comprehensive primary and preventive care to people of all ages regardless of where they came from, their ability to pay or their health insurance status.

Fundraising for costs incurred during the transition continues as there is much to be done.

The Arlington Family Practice building on 7A in Arlington Center must be renovated for the clinic and staff must be hired awaiting the federal funding.

For more information as to how you may help or participate in any way, call Carlson at 802-375-8353 (confidential voicemail).