PETERSBURG, Va. (WRIC) – Molina Healthcare of Virginia introduced its first one stop resource center in Petersburg, which will opening to the public in September.

Sydney Banks, marketing specialist at Molina healthcare, says the Petersburg center is a one stop shop to address preventable health issues,  improve health outcomes, and help inspire healthy lifestyles for any residents who need the extra help.

“You can come in and you can get help with a job interview. You can use the free Wi-Fi,” said Banks. “There’s resources, pantry resources, there’s clothing if you need to get ready for a job interview.”

According to the Molina Healthcare, data shows Petersburg is the least healthy city in Virginia and residents’ life expectancy is among the lowest in the commonwealth. 

The resource center project is one initiative through the MolinaCares Partnership for Petersburg. Darrin Johnson, Health Plan President for Molina Healthcare, hopes it will become a big part of the community. 

Johnson says the goal of this center is to be a safe haven for community members and hopes it is used regularly.  

“Just like you see your local supermarket, your local doctor’s office, we’re hoping that this community center becomes just like those items,” said Johnson. 

The resource center has been in the planning process for nine months and the Petersburg location is one out of six centers in the commonwealth launching this year. 

In effort to figure out the needs of Petersburg residents, Molina coordinated a listening session during the planning process.

“What we tried to do was to match some of the unmet needs that we heard about in our session,” said Johnson. “If members are suffering with transportation issues, housing, insecurities, any of those things, they’ll be able to come into this center and get assistance through a Molina representative.”