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Thursday, October 8, 2015

Bailey's Health Clinic moving to Merrifield

The reception desk at the Bailey's Health Clinic.
The Bailey’s Health Clinic is moving from the Willston Shopping Center to Fairfax County’s new Merrifield Center at 8221 Willow Oaks Corporate Drive, Fairfax, next month.

The new facility will be larger and nicer, but harder to access for the clinic’s clients who live in the Seven Corners area. There is Metrobus service (Route 1A) between the Willston area and the new location but a bus ride would take nearly 40 minutes.

“We understand the move may create some difficulties for folks who live right in that area. We’re doing our best to get information about the move out to our clients so they will be able to arrange transportation,” says Health Department spokesperson John Silcox.  

The Bailey’s Health Clinic will close at noon on Nov. 19 and will reopen on the fourth floor of the Merrifield Center at 10 a.m. on Nov. 24. The clinic’s lease was set to expire at the end of October, although it did get a three-month extension. It’s been at the Willston Shopping Center for 25 years.

The clinic provides primary care for low-income residents of Fairfax County and Falls Church who don’t have health insurance. It offers such services as vaccinations, blood pressure checks, treatments for non-emergency concerns such as sore throats and back pain, and assistance with some mental health issues, says Peggy Melton, a nurse at the Bailey’s clinic.

It’s one of three clinics in the Fairfax County Health Department’s Community Health Care Network (CHCN). The Bailey’s clinic, officially known as CHCN-Bailey’s will be renamed CHCN-Merrifield. The other two are in Reston and the Route 1 corridor in Alexandria. Fairfax County has a contract with a private company, Molina Health Care Inc., to operate the clinics.

The clinic will have more space in the Merrifield Center and will be co-located with other health programs. “We hope to better integrate health care with mental health services and dental care,” says CHCN Director Arsenio de Guzman.

Having the clinic in the same building as other services and on the Inova campus makes it easier for staff to coordinate services, Silcox added. It’s not clear how referrals will be handled, however, and having services co-located doesn’t mean clients will get all their needs met in one visit.   

The Merrifield Center opened in January 2015. It houses a variety of mental health, substance abuse, and other health-related programs operated by Fairfax County and the Fairfax-Falls Church Community Services Board

After the move, the clinic will maintain the same schedule: 10 a.m.-6:30 p.m. on Monday and Tuesday and 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday.


  1. Why is Supervisor Gross moving these important services away from the people who need them the most?

    A 40-minute bus ride and how long a wait at the bus stop? This might be ok if the person is healthy and going for a vaccination. What if the person is sick? What if a mother with children is trying to get a sick child to Merrifield for care?

    What is going on in Mason District? Supervisor Gross is moving health services out, yet still has a budget for her $125m human services building at Willston.

    What gives?

    1. I agree. It makes no sense.

  2. so a bailey's center not at bailey's? makes sense. thanks supervisor gross!

  3. It's actually a much much better facility, though. And the county will be saving money on rent by having it in a county building instead of a rental storefront. Don't you all want to save money?

    Bailey's Clinic is not a place where people go for urgent care, that's still (unfortunately) the ER, Bailey's is where extremely poor and uninsured people go to get primary-care appointments and chronic conditions treated.

    If we closed the Medicaid gap in VA, we could pretty much close down Bailey's entirely.

  4. TO: Anonymous10/9/15, 3:34 PM

    Merrifield Center cost taxpayers $80+m in an Economic Development Authority Bond. Taxpayers don't get a vote on those but they get to pay off the debt via higher taxes. When another government building is constructed it also creates ongoing expenses and deepens the debt. EDA bonds are a lot of the county deficit and paying them off plus interest runs up our taxes.

    Right next door to the Merrifield Center Dewberry has available for lease 187,000 sq. ft. of office space. Leasing is better than putting the taxpayers in such long-term debt. Government should support business and help fill office vacancies. Government should be more eco-friendly and stop paving greenspace unnecessarily.

    As a taxpayer I don't want to see an increase in my taxes for a building that isn't necessary and pretends to save money...Saves money how and for whom? The Merrifield Center and Gross’s $125m center at Willston are unneeded. The buildings may last 50 years, but are paid for at the expense of taxpayers today. No thank you. These projects only benefit developers and their cronies who get plans passed by the BOS.

    Bailey's, Culmore and Seven Corners have the bulk of the county's poor. Why make it inconvenient and make the poor incur travel expenses to get help? You said, “Bailey's is where extremely poor and uninsured people go to get primary-care appointments and chronic conditions treated.” This is exactly my point. Now they have to travel 40+ minutes by bus and wait how long at the bus stop? This doesn't make any sense at all.

    Medicaid legislation isn't under the purview of the county. We need to concentrate on what the county can do, not what it can’t.

    Supervisor Gross and county advisors are irresponsible in making it difficult for people to access help. Mason District and Seven Corners and Bailey’s Crossroads in particular, have a plethora of available vacant office space that could house medical facilities for the poor.

    What does Supervisor Gross plan to do with her government building at Willston? Will she spend even more money to bring services back that didn't need to be moved in the first place and waste more taxpayer dollars? Then again, why build at all. Use available office vacancies, save money and preserve our limited greenspace.

    1. Because we not only get the bulk of the poor, but we have to have all of the free services facilities as well? No thanks. Let's spread that around the county. If Merrifield can get all the fanfare and glory that came with Mosaic, they can withstand to provide some services for the poor, too.

  5. That's pretty cold.

    Best to get the county to provide affordable housing throughout the county instead of centralizing poverty in Mason District.

    Now all the medical services for the poor will be in Merrifield. That area didn't include any when building Mosaic. It's all high end there and those people dont have a need for the Merrifield Center health resources. Mosaic residents aren't poor.

    Mason District's and the County's governance is broken.

    Vote for change on Nov. 3

    1. Plenty of the individuals using these services have cars.

      The county cannot create entire neighborhoods of low-rent, old, run down, post WWII apartments in other districts. We just happen to not be in the boonies, and therefore had dense patches developed long ago, which are aging and are now attractive to indigent folks.

      That does not mean that we need ALL of the social service facilities in our district now.