WINCHESTER — The Dr. Terry Sinclair Health Clinic has hired Katrina McClure, 34, as its new executive director.

McClure has an extensive background in public health. She graduated in 2007 with a bachelor’s degree in health and societies and philosophy, politics and economics from the University of Pennsylvania. She later earned her master’s in public health from the Yale School of Public Health in 2011.

McClure said she’s passionate about improving the patient experience and access to care for under-served communities. Providing health care for those who can’t afford it is “rewarding” work, she added.

“For patients without the resources to have access health care, it’s a hard life to have the issues they have to deal with on top of the stress of making ends meet,” McClure said. “Taking care of just this one thing — their healthcare — and making it accessible so that they can live, that’s an incredible mission.”

McClure knew she wanted to pursue public health in college when she realized some people have a higher or lower life expectancy depending on where they live. Public health can tweak certain factors and possibly save lives, an aspect of the profession she found fascinating.

McClure is originally from Sacramento, Calif. She recently moved to Berryville from Baltimore, Md., with her husband and two daughters.

Her previous work experience includes serving as a senior performance improvement consultant at the University of Maryland Medical System. Prior to that she was a healthcare information analyst working with the division of organ transplants and preventing organ rejection at the University of Maryland Medical Center.

Elizabeth “Libba” Pendleton, chairwoman of the clinic’s nine-member board of directors, said she was impressed by McClure’s work and educational experiences.

“She’s just going to be a very dynamic leader, and we’re excited to have her,” Pendleton said.

McClure will replace Brandon Jennings, who left the position March 29 after serving as director for about 17 months. According to Jennings’ LinkedIn page, he founded a consulting firm called Abilyn Consulting LLC in May.

Jennings’ departure came shortly after a major transition for the clinic. In January, the clinic began accepting patients who receive Medicaid, as the state expanded the number of people who qualify for the program. In September, Jennings said about 1,600 of the clinic’s 2,000 patients at the time would qualify for Medicaid.

Before the expansion, the clinic served uninsured people and those earning up to 200 percent of the federal poverty level annually.

Jennings had said he was concerned about getting the federal Department of Health and Human Services, which oversees Medicaid, to pay the same amount that the state was paying the clinic for uninsured patients. The clinic will get fewer state funds as the number of uninsured patients decrease.

As of Thursday, Pendleton said the clinic has yet to find out how much federal funding the clinic will receive. She also said the number of patients has been steady every month, with a combination of new and converted patients.

The clinic is going through other changes as well. For the first time in 20 years, the clinic won’t hold its primary fundraiser — The Taste of the Town — this year. Plans for a new fundraiser haven’t been announced yet.

Pendleton declined to specifically say how much McClure will earn annually as executive director, but she had previously told The Star the position pays between $75,000 to $100,000.

— Contact Anna Merod at amerod@winchesterstar.com

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