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2019-4-10

Virginia State Police Department’s K9 Gunner received donation of body armor

Virginia State Police Department’s K9 Gunner’s has received a bullet and stab protective vest thanks to a charitable donation from non-profit organization Vested Interest in K9s, Inc.  K9 Gunner’s vest is sponsored by Margie Bandas of Richmond VA and is embroidered with the sentiment “In honor of Nicolas Castrinos, Richmond VA”

Vested Interest in K9s, Inc. is a 501c (3) charity located in East Taunton, MA whose mission is to provide bullet and stab protective vests and other assistance to dogs of law enforcement and related agencies throughout the United States. The non-profit was established in 2009 to assist law enforcement agencies with this potentially lifesaving body armor for their four-legged K9 officers. Since its inception, Vested Interest in K9s, Inc. provided over 3,300 protective vests in 50 states, through private and corporate donations, at a cost of over $5.7 million dollars.

The program is open to dogs actively employed in the U.S. with law enforcement or related agencies who are certified and at least 20 months of age. New K9 graduates, as well as K9s with expired vests, are eligible to participate.

The donation to provide one protective vest for a law enforcement K9 is $950.00. Each vest has a value between $1,744 – $2,283, and a five-year warranty and an average weight of 4-5 lbs. There is an estimated 30,000 law enforcement K9s throughout the United States. For more information or to learn about volunteer opportunities, please call 508-824-6978. Vested Interest in K9s, Inc. provides information, lists events, and accepts tax-deductible donations of any denomination at www.vik9s.org or mailed to P.O. Box 9 East Taunton, MA 02718.

Northam Signs Proclamation Recognizing Victims of Violent Crimes

By Owen FitzGerald, Capital News Service

RICHMOND — Gov. Ralph Northam signed a proclamation Tuesday declaring April 7-13 as Crime Victims’ Rights Week. Northam emphasized that it is important to treat crime victims with fairness, dignity and respect.

“We have come a long way in understanding the needs of victims since Virginia’s Code was amended to include victims’ rights in 1995,” Northam said. “Victim advocates make it possible for those affected by crime to begin healing, and Crime Victims’ Rights Week is a tremendous opportunity to recognize the important work of the dedicated professionals that serve victims of crime, helping them to access critical support and reclaim their lives.”

Northam, joined by Secretary of Public Safety and Homeland Security Brian J. Moran, signed the proclamation at an event sponsored by the Virginia Department of Criminal Justice Services. DCJS provides more than $60 million in funding and technical support to 420 crime victims projects and agencies across Virginia.

Crime Victims’ Rights Week was established in 1981 to raise awareness of the needs of crime victims and to honor those working to assist them. This year’s theme — Honoring Our Past, Creating Hope for the Future — was chosen to recognize the progress being made in serving victims, and to thank those who have worked for years to help victims of crime.

Smaller victim assistance programs and advocacy groups work with larger organizations to expand public awareness of crime victims’ rights and available services. Those organizations include the Virginia Department of Health, the Virginia Department of Social Services, the Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development, the Virginia Victims Fund, the Virginia Sexual and Domestic Violence Action Alliance, and the Virginia Victim Assistance Network.

“We continue to strive for an innovative and collaborative approach to support victims of crime in our communities,” Moran said. “Partnerships among victim advocates, public safety, and community organizations are essential to ensure the complex needs of victims are met.”

Additional information about victims’ services is available on the DCJS website at www.dcjs.virginia.gov.

Southern Virginia Regional Medical Center Earns ACR Mammography Accreditation

Southern Virginia Regional Medical Center (SVRMC) Mammography Department has been awarded a three-year term of accreditation in mammography as the result of a recent review by the American College of Radiology (ACR). Mammography is a specific type of imaging test that uses a low-dose X-ray system to examine breasts. A mammogram is used to aid in the early detection and diagnosis of breast diseases in women.

The ACR gold seal of accreditation represents the highest level of image quality and patient safety. It is awarded only to facilities meeting ACR Practice Parameters and Technical Standards after a peer-review evaluation by board-certified physicians and medical physicists who are experts in the field. Image quality, personnel qualifications, adequacy of facility equipment, quality control procedures and quality assurance programs are assessed. The findings are reported to the ACR Committee on Accreditation, which subsequently provides the practice with a comprehensive report that can be used for continuous practice improvement.

Breast cancer is one of the most common cancers among women. SVRMC provides helpful services to educate women on breast health, encourages self-exams and routine screenings. CEO Wilson Thomas explains, “We utilize imaging technology that may detect breast cancer at the earliest stages, when treatment can be most effective. The combination of caring technologists and imaging technology allows us to deliver quality care.”

SVRMC offers digital imaging technology for mammograms. With digital technology, radiologists can zoom in on particular areas or change brightness or contrast for even greater visibility, and results can be read immediately. It offers numerous benefits to women, including:

  • Improved accuracy of screening exams, especially for women with dense breast tissue
  • Less radiation exposure
  • Greater image quality, reducing the need for repeat exams

For more information, please contact the Mammography Quality Assurance Technologist at (434) 348-4836. To make an appointment, please have your physician’s office call Central Scheduling at (434) 348-4470.

Making a Difference Every Day

When you are working with people who are literally fighting for their life, motivation is plentiful. That type of setting allows you to leave work each day feeling like you made a difference. It is a workplace that is exciting to Teresa Collins, RN.

Teresa has been named the new Director of Oncology at VCU Health Community Memorial Hospital.

It is a position she feels prepared for. Teresa has been the clinical coordinator for the Oncology Department since 2013.

Although she is leaving her day-to-day interactions with patients as a nurse and clinical coordinator, Teresa has not forgotten the importance of her team’s work.

“We have a huddle (staff meeting) every morning,” she said. “And I like to do leadership rounding as often as possible, I want any new patients who come in to either the medical oncology side or the radiation therapy side to know that we are working with them. I want them to know who all can help them with their journey.”

Teresa is replacing Mary Hardin, RN, who became the Vice President of Patient Care Services at CMH in November. Teresa had been serving as interim director of the Oncology Department since Mary’s promotion.

“I had the opportunity to work with Mary, first as a treatment nurse beginning in 2011 and then as Clinical Coordinator beginning in 2013,” Teresa said. “Having her just a phone call away is comforting.”

Teresa enjoys the more cerebral aspects of her new job as director.

“I like the problem solving and critical thinking that needs to happen as a director,” she said. “I want to always be improving things for our patients and for our staff. It’s a way I can continue to have an impact on the care we deliver. We have a great group of caring individuals in the Hendrick Cancer & Rehab Center and the Solari Radiation Therapy Center. We have outstanding providers who care deeply for our patients and their families.”

Teresa stressed the level of care in the CMH Oncology Department is comparable to any hospital in the region, regardless of size.  But she also thinks the size at VCU Health CMH has distinct advantages.

“We have the ability to change quickly here,” she said. “And that is important because in cancer care, things change sometimes daily. There are always new treatment options and therapies. Our staff embraces that change while still caring deeply for our patients. It makes CMH a very special place.”

Teresa graduated LPN school (Southside Virginia Community College-SVCC) in 2002 and immediately started working at CMH in Med/Surg and telemetry. After becoming an RN in 2006, she worked as a charge nurse on West Wing at the old CMH, as well as a recovery room nurse, and nurse recruiter before moving to the oncology department.

Teresa has her BSN from Chamberlain College of Nursing and is also now working on her MSN at Chamberlain College. She is a certified Oncology nurse and has received the Alice Tudor Professional Nurse Award twice during her tenure at CMH, in 2013 and in 2018.

Teresa, a Lunenburg County native, and her husband, Robert, have three children:  Nicholas, 21, who will be a VCU grad in May; Aylor, 11, a fifth grader at South Hill Elementary; and Cooper, 5, a kindergartener as South Hill.

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