P.O. Box 450/215 Main Street Brookneal, VA 24528

July 14, 2015


Meeting held at the Brookneal Community building--261 Main Street


7:00 PM – The regular meeting of the Brookneal Town Council

The municipal government of the Town of Brookneal met with the following members present:

Phyllis Campbell, Mayor

James Nowlin, Vice Mayor

Barbara Laprade, and Mark Wilkes, Council Members 

Russell Thurston, Town Manager

Bobbie Waller, Clerk/Treasurer

Mike Crews, Public Works Director

Ricky Baldwin, Chief of Police

Absent:  Richard Adams, Robert Jean, and Joseph B. David, Jr. Council members

Not enough members were present for a quorum (due to a last minute emergency of one of the members).  No actions were taken.

Approximately 100 individuals including local, county, and state officials as well as local business owners and citizens attended the meeting.





The following individuals from Centra Health were present for the presentation:

Beth Bankston—Vice President of Central Medical Group Operations

Dan Carey, M.D.—CMO

Less Reed, M.D.—President, Centra Medical Group

Jim Cure, M.D.—Medical Director of Primary Care

Brenda Blanchette, Director of Operations for Centra Medical Group

The following local, county and state officials were also present:

J. T. Davis, Member, Halifax County Board of Supervisors

J. D. Puckett, Member, Campbell County Board of Supervisors

Haywood Hamlett, Member, Charlotte County Board of Supervisors

Sheila Bradley, representing James Edmonds, Delegate, Virginia 60th District

Each representative expressed sentiments from their localities. 

Mayor Campbell suggested that an ad hoc committee be organized and possibly comprised of someone from the Brookneal Council as well as J. T. Davis, J. D. Puckett, Haywood Hamlett, James Edmonds, Frank Ruff, Bill Stanley, Kathy Bryon, and some local citizens to help recruit physicians and work on programs for loan forgiveness. 

Dr. William Jones, of the Brookneal Medical Center expressed his sentiments from the local practice and emphasized that there are not enough hours in his day to see all patients at the practice that need to be seen.  He then introduced the Centra representatives. 

Beth Bankston of Centra Health recognized Dr. Don Carwile for his 37 years of service and Dr. William Jones for his 32 years of service to the Brookneal Medical Center.  She spoke about Centra’s mission statement and excellent care for life.  She said there is a primary care shortage in Virginia.  Ms. Bankston also recognized Ben Rayhorn, PA for his 2 years of service at Brookneal Medical and announced that Allison Maddy, NP would be starting at the Brookneal practice 2 days a week in October 2015.  Ms. Bankston said that Centra is committed to Brookneal and recruitment continues for a full time primary care physician for this practice. 

Dr. Less Reed, M.D. also recognized Dr. Don Carwile and Dr. Williams Jones at the Brookneal Medical Center.  He mentioned a focus on team based patient care for a diabetic patient that includes the nurse practitioner, physician assistant, doctor and patient.  Dr. Reed spoke of the challenges of rural recruiting.  He said locally the end of the Blackstone Residency Program has impacted the area.  He said they have been in contact with 17 candidates concerning rural opportunities.  He said 6 of the candidates considered the opportunity and 3 visited the practice.  He said incentives are in place to encourage primary care providers to come to Brookneal.  He said they will do everything they can to continue the relationship that Dr. Don Carwile and Dr. William Jones have here.  He said that Dr. Jim Cure is supposed to come and work in the Brookneal practice a couple of days a week in the near future.

At this point, the floor was opened for public input.  There were 13 different speakers that asked questions and commented on the medical care in Brookneal and about the Brookneal practice. Ms. Judy Connelly commented that since Centra has been recruiting for 3 years for the Brookneal practice and still does not have a doctor, that common sense would tell you to up the salary enough to get someone to come to Brookneal.   Ms. Brenda Short said that she thought things should have been planned better since Centra knew Dr. Jones and Dr. Carwile are both aging.  Ms. Iris Guthrie said that this was a wonderful facility here.  Mr. Watt Foster said that he had to wait 3 months for an appointment at the Brookneal Medical Center, but that there is “great care at Centra”.

Mr. Alan Tibbs noted that in a 20 mile radius of Brookneal there are 75,000 people in this area.  He said that anything Centra can do for us would be appreciated.   Ms. Meg Tibbs said that Brookneal needs assurance that Centra is going to stick with us here, 3 months is a long time to wait to get an appointment.  She said emergencies happen, and we need emergency services here in Brookneal.  Residents have to travel a long ways to get those services.  Mr. Joe Lunsford said that he felt that with the resources Centra has, they could recruit physicians.  He noted that emergency care is needed.  He said he had two employees that had on the job injuries, and they were told to go to the Lynchburg ER.  He said one hit his head and needed care right now, not to travel another 45 minutes to Lynchburg.        

Tom Lamartina of Brookneal Drug complimented the area and the doctors at the local practice.  Deborah Foster said that doctors with the Centra group need scribes with them instead of doctors being required to enter data as they meet with the patients.  Autumn Burch of Heritage Hall noted that the Brookneal Medical Center means a lot to Heritage Hall, and Dr. Jones sends patients to Heritage Hall as needed. 

Three speakers made comments on items unrelated to the Centra presentation:

  • Mary Barka of Church Street asked for a slow or handicap sign to be put up on Church Street
  • Brandon Angel of Booker Road wanted to comment on the vineyard, and Mayor Campbell told him that the vineyard was not being addressed tonight at this meeting. 
  • Annabel Maley said that they she had a FOIA request for Bobbie Waller concerning the vineyard

Mayor Campbell recognized a few other citizens in attendance at the meeting including Mike Davidson from Campbell County Economic Development, Dr. Richard Fisher, local dentist and Conner Francis, William Campbell student. 

Sheila Bradley, representing James Edmonds, talked about a bill that had been passed for scholarships for rural doctors but the funding is not in place for it.

The meeting was adjourned by Mayor Campbell.

_____________________________                                    _______________________________

Phyllis Campbell, Mayor                                                   Bobbie A. Waller, Clerk/Treasurer

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