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Sentara in talks to gift building to county

Buckingham County officials have announced a tentative agreement with Sentara Martha Jefferson Medical Group that would see the former Buckingham Family Medicine building and land donated to the county.

Scores of citizens expressed discontent when Sentara announced the impending closure of its Dillwyn location last summer, an act that would leave few local health care options for residents.

Although the location was originally slated to close in October 2020, Sentara later agreed to extend its operation through Dec. 23, 2020.

At the Feb. 8 Buckingham Board of Supervisors meeting, Board Vice Chair and District 4 Supervisor Thomas Jordan Miles III announced a real property donation agreement between the county and Sentara, citing the health care provider had agreed to gift to the county the 2,700 square foot building and the lot it sits on.

Officials were hopeful obtaining the property could aid in finding a new health care provider to occupy the building.

“Having this facility will help us, I think, to find someone to come there,” County Administrator Rebecca Carter stated during the meeting. “We all pretty much know Sentara left for financial reasons, and it’s very difficult there to be financially successful, so I think having this will help attract a doctor there.”

Tuesday, Feb. 23, Miles stated the county has been in formal negotiations with Sentara for several weeks regarding the building donation, although the possibility has been discussed with Sentara leadership since last summer.

“This gives us leverage to attract new business, hopefully a health care provider, to our community,” Miles said.

He added the county is currently working through the legalities of the matter and hopes to have a resolution as soon as possible.

“Many are to be applauded for this great win for Buckingham,” he continued, “namely, the patients and those who have relied in Buckingham Family Medicine for so long, the staff and doctors there, Sentara and their leadership, the leaders of the Buckingham County Chamber of Commerce and, finally, Rebecca Carter, our county administrator, who suggested early on that Sentara gift the county the building and land.”