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April 2019

Orthopedic Surgeon Dr. Manish Patel Set To Open New Office in Emporia

Emporia, VA – Southern Virginia Regional Medical Center (SVRMC) is pleased to announce that Orthopedic Surgeon Dr. Manish Patel is will be seeing patients at Six Doctors Drive, Emporia, VA 23847 starting Monday April 15th. Call 757-562-7301 to make an appointment. Dr. Patel says, “There’s a significant need for orthopedic care in Emporia. By coming to Emporia this will provide local access for those who cannot travel long distances for their treatment.”

Most recently Dr. Patel has gained notoriety for a muscle sparing total knee replacement procedure he has dubbed “The Jiffy Knee.” This procedure may mean less pain and a faster recovery for patients. During traditional knee replacement procedures, muscles are cut to replace the knee. Dr. Patel does not cut the muscle during his procedures. Instead he is able to move the tendon and muscle to the side and replace the knee joint. By not cutting muscle or tendon, patients have experienced less pain and shorter recovery times. This also means that Dr. Patel is able to help patients manage pain without the prescribing opioids. “The most rewarding thing about what I do is being able to provide pain relief and mobility to patients,” says Dr. Patel.

Board certified by the American Board of Orthopaedic Surgeons, Dr. Patel specializes in diagnosis and treatment of shoulder, elbow and knee disorders along with emphasis on sports medicine and arthroscopy of these joints. He also treats various hand, foot and ankle conditions along with traumatic injuries. He offers the latest in non-invasive medical and rehabilitative techniques as well as solutions such as joint fluid therapy and arthroscopic surgery. His philosophy of medicine is that he treats every patient as a person and treats them how he would want his family member to be treated if seen by another orthopedic surgeon.

Dr. Patel has advanced fellowship training in sports medicine and arthroscopy principles which he uses for patients of all ages whether or not they play sports. He works closely with parents, trainers and coaches to provide safe and rewarding experiences for athletes. He also focuses on preventive measures for injuries related to sports.

He received his medical degree from the Medical College of Pennsylvania Hahnemann University School of Medicine in Philadelphia, Pa. He completed his orthopedic surgery residency at Temple University Hospital, in Philadelphia, Pa., and his arthroscopy and sports medicine fellowship at Mississippi Sports Medicine and Orthopaedic Center, in Jackson, Miss. He is a member of the American Medical Association, American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine and Arthroscopy Association of North America.

SVRMC offers a wide range of orthopedic care to treat patients in and around Emporia. This includes joint replacements, sports medicine, arthritis care and advanced rehabilitation services. From diagnosing your pain or injury to providing treatment, therapy and surgery, SVRMC’s team is here for you.

To make an appointment with Dr. Patel call 757-562-7301.

Southampton Orthopaedics and Sports Medicine Center - Emporia

Six Doctors Drive
Emporia, VA 23847
757-562-7301

Truck Driver Training Classes

Southside Virginia Community College is offering Truck Driver Training in May at locations in Emporia, Virginia and South Boston, Virginia.  The Emporia class will begin May 6, 2019.  Classes run for six weeks.  The South Boston class begins May 13, 2019.

For information, call Susan Early at 434-292-3101.

State Health Officials Take Steps to Ban Conversion Therapy

By Jayla Marie McNeill, Capital News Service

RICHMOND -- The Virginia Board of Psychology has issued a letter of guidance stating that conversion therapy should be considered a violation of standard practices -- which LGBTQ advocates hope is a major step toward halting the practice.  

Conversion therapy, which aims to change the sexual orientation, gender expression or identity of LGBTQ individuals, has been banned in several states across the U.S. but is still legal in Virginia.

The current debate to outlaw conversion therapy goes back to the state Capitol. In recent years, Democratic lawmakers have proposed bills to outlaw the practice, but the legislation repeatedly died in the Republican-controlled General Assembly. As a result, state agencies are taking the matter into their own hands.

Several of the Virginia licensing and regulatory boards that form the Department of Health Professions are working to end conversion therapy on minors by licensed professionals.

The Virginia Board of Psychology released a guidance document in January that states practicing conversion therapy could result in “a finding of misconduct and disciplinary action against the licensee or registrant.” The board also opened an online forum in February for public comments. That forum, which closed on March 20, received over 500 responses, with a vast majority in favor of the ban.

The Board of Counseling is still currently accepting public comments on a similar document in an online forum open until April 17.

“Conversion therapy is a disgusting practice which seeks to invalidate the LGBTQ community,” stated Zachary Whitten, a proponent of the ban, in the online forum. “I see no way Virginia can proclaim itself an inclusive commonwealth . . . if it allows such a horrifying and undignified practice.”

LGBTQ advocates also support the ban and claim that such therapy inflicts psychological

harm on minors -- even leading to depression and suicide.

“Virginia law already prohibits discredited and unsafe practices by licensed therapists,” stated Equality Virginia, an advocacy group working on behalf of the LGBTQ community in Virginia. “The guidance will curb harmful practices known to produce lifelong damage to those who are subjected to them and help ensure the health and safety of LGBTQ youth.”

Fifteen states and Washington, D.C. have implemented regulations and licensing restriction against conversion therapy.

The Virginia Catholic Conference does not support the proposed ban, claiming it exceeds governmental authority by giving the board “sweeping authority to sanction counselors’ speech and engage in unconstitutional viewpoint discrimination.”

The VCC also argues that the ban violates First Amendment rights and undermines traditional family roles.

Jeff Caruso, executive director of the Virginia Catholic Conference, contends that “parents are closest to their children’s challenges.”

“They know their unique needs and are in best position to identify solutions. ... Just as parents must give consent for over-the-counter medications, field trips, and extracurricular activities, they have the constitutional right to guide mental health care for their children,” Caruso stated.

Many national health and medical associations have dismissed the practice as ineffective and damaging to the health of LGBTQ youth. In 1973, the American Psychiatric Association removed homosexuality from a list of mental illnesses.

According to the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, conversion therapies “lack scientific credibility and clinical utility” and could “increase [the] risk of causing or exacerbating mental health condition in the very youth they purport to treat.”

Almost a year ago, the Virginia Academy of Clinical Psychologists submitted a statement to the Virginia Board of Psychology, which stated that “conversion therapy should be considered as a violation of standards of practice in that rendering such services is considered to have real potential of jeopardizing the health and well-being of patients.”

First Citizen’s Bank Donates $5,000 to VCU Health CMH Foundation

South Hill – First Citizens Bank representatives Cindy Thomas, Tammy Manning and Dean Marion present Ken Kurz, Director of Marketing & Development for VCU Health Community Memorial Hospital, a check for $5,000.  The money donated is part of a $25,000 pledge First Citizens Bank made during the 2016-2017 Health Care For Life Capital Campaign.  Donations for the Capital Campaign are still being accepted, for more information call (434) 447-0855. That campaign helped pay for the C.A.R.E. Building that houses most VCU Health CMH Physician Clinics, Administration, Cardiac and Pulmonary Rehab and the Education Department. For their pledge, First Citizens named the Mammography Suite inside the new hospital.

Helen Harvey Bass

January 25, 1926-April 2, 2019

Visitation Services

6-8 pm, Thursday, April 4

Owen Funeral Hime

303 Halifax Road
Jarratt, Virginia

12 Noon, Friday, April 5

Zion Baptist Church

974 Zion Church Road
Skippers, Virginia

Helen Harvey Bass, 93, of Skippers, widow of Walter F. Bass, passed away Tuesday, April 2, 2019. She is survived by her son, Clarence E. Bass of Skippers, VA; two daughters, Gail B. Veliky and husband, Wayne of Jarratt, VA and Joanne B. Callaway and husband, Larry of Powhatan, VA; five grandchildren, Shannon Phelps and husband, Chad of Jarratt, VA, Jennifer Askew and husband, Ryan of Stoughton, WI, Heather Knicely of Charleston, SC, Brandon Callaway and wife, Shaina of Chesterfield, VA and Brittany Callaway of Richmond, VA; six great-grandchildren, Amber Defibaugh of Starkville, MS, Jackson Knicely of Mars Hill, NC, Madison Phelps of Skippers, Cameron Phelps of Jarratt and Logan and Nicholas Callaway of Chesterfield, VA; great-great-grandson, Martin Padgett of Starkville, MS; step-grandson, Mason Colley and wife, Lori, and step-great-grandson, Trevor Colley, all of of Raven, VA.

The family will receive friends 6-8 p.m. Thursday, April 4 at Owen Funeral Home, 303 S. Halifax Rd, Jarratt, Virginia. The funeral service will be held 12 noon, Friday, April 5 at Zion Baptist Church, 974 Zion Church Rd., Skippers, VA. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests memorial contributions be made to Greensville Volunteer Rescue Squad or to Jarratt Volunteer Fire Department.

 Online condolences may be shared with the family at www.owenfh.com.

Ada King Newsome

October 27, 1926-April 2, 2019

Graveside Service Celebration of Life

11 am, Saturday, April 6

Greensville Memorial Cemetery

Saturday, April 6, Folowing Graveside Service

Victory Fellowship Church - Social Hall

Ada King Newsome, 92, widow of Moses L. Newsome, gained her angel wings Tuesday, April 2, 2019. She now is with her Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ and has joined her loved ones that left her behind. She was preceded in death a brother, Edward King; and sisters Amelia Harris

She is survived by son, Howard Boney and wife, Virginia daughter, Barbara Allen and devoted and loving son-in-law, Gerald Allen; son, Jimmy Boney and wife, Lelia; step-daughter, Connie Moore and devoted and loving son-in-law, Hubert Moore; stepson. Larry Newsome and wife, Carolyn; grandchildren, Wayne Boney, Michael Boney and wife, Mary, Brent Boney and wife, Britany, Brad Boney, Lisa Crickenberger and husband, Josh; step-grandchildren, Larry Newsome, Jr. and wife, Karen; great-grandchildren, Megan Peterson, Tiffany Spenla and husband, Ian, Matthew Boney, Mckaley Boney, Haylee Boney, Courtney Boney, Daniel Boney (Caitlin Rose), Lyndsee, Josh, Emma and Ryan Crickenberger; Owen and Paisley Boney; great-grandson, Zachary, step-great-granddaughter, Mattie Newsome and great-great granddaughters, Ivey and Evie Spenla; two sisters, Sallie Allgood and Lucille Taylor; numerous nieces and nephews; special and loving friend, Maria Ferguson. She is also survived by her beloved furbaby, Angel and grand–furbabies, Tiny, Spitzy and Ellie May.

The funeral service will be held graveside 11 a.m. Saturday, April 6 at Greensville Memorial Cemetery. The family will receive friends at a Celebration of Life visitation immediately following the service at Victory Fellowship Church social hall. Mrs. Newsome loved people, especially her family and her church family. She will be remembered for her bright and cheery smile, her generous spirit and devotion to her church. She had requested that her funeral not be a sad occasion, that people attending dress casually and allow a chance for them to accept Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests memorial contributions be made to Victory Fellowship Church or to the American Cancer

Online condolences may be shared with the family at www.owenfh.com.

 

SVCC Nursing Programs Tops In State According to RegisteredNursing.org

RegisteredNursing.org has just released its list of 2019 Best RN Programs in Virginia, and Southside Virginia Community College's RN programs have been ranked among of the best in Virginia! 

The Christanna Campus program was ranked #3, while the South Boston and Daniel Campus programs were ranked #8 and #9, out of 62 RN programs assessed.

Nursing programs were assessed on several factors which represent how well a program supports students towards licensure and beyond.

Dr. Michelle Edmonds, SVCC Dean of Nursing, Allied Health, and Natural Sciences, said, “This designation is certainly an honor.  It validates all the hard work our faculty and staff do to insure student success.  Our program is very rigorous and this clearly demonstrates our success.”

According to the website RegisteredNursing.org, “Graduates from Southside Virginia Community College in Alberta, Virginia are given five core values throughout the education process including patient-centered care, professional identity, nursing judgement, collaboration and safe and effective care.  These values are what makes the graduates an exceptional addition to the nursing field.”  Christanna Campus scored 97.63 out of 100.

The site also stated, “Southside Virginia Community College’s South Boston campus offers and ADN degree to prepare students for a career in registered nursing. The curriculum includes coursework and clinical learning experiences arranged within the community to give students a complete nursing education.”  The South Boston overall score was 95.55.

And this was noted about the final site, “Southside Virginia Community College’s John H. Daniel campus in Keysivlle offers students an exceptional Associate of Applied Science nursing program.  The dedicated faculty guide students to deftly perform the duties of a registered nurse with confidence.”  Their score was 95.32.

For information on the program at SVCC, contact Rebecca Laben, Health Sciences Counselor, at 434 736 2214.

Walk In My Shoes Takes Positive Steps

Emily Lucy, an oncology clinical nurse, and Sarah Fox, senior medical laboratory technician discover time-saving steps as part of VCU Health Community Memorial Hospital’s Walk In My Shoes program.

An ongoing shadowing program that provides staff at VCU Health Community Memorial Hospital opportunities to work alongside other departments has already brought about time saving procedural changes in health care.

Departments within a hospital tend to have their own unique culture of technical skills, terminology, and workflow practices.

Christina Duke, Laboratory Department Director at VCU Health CMH, said the program emerged following an employee satisfaction survey. In that survey, employees felt there was an opportunity for better communication between departments.

“We speak lab,” Duke said. “We may not speak nurse.”

A subcommittee was formed this past December allowing representatives from various departments to meet and share ideas on where improvements could be made. The “Walk In My Shoes” program was born after Christina Duke shared the idea with clinical practice.

It didn’t take long before interdepartmental shadowing gained results.

Sarah Fox, Senior Medical Laboratory Technician, and Emily Lucy, an Oncology Clinical Nurse, together came up with an idea that has reduced the laboratory processing time for oncology patients who are waiting for treatment by 10 minutes.

Traditionally, a blood sample would be drawn from an oncology patient and then sent to the lab for the processing to begin. The lab has a series of steps to perform with each sample, requiring sanitizing between each step.

“You do not want any contamination,” Duke said. “It is very meticulous because you are multiplying DNA.”

The first step is to spin the sample after it is received, which takes about 10 minutes. The instrument then reads the sample, taking an additional 30-40 minutes to run.

“We saw an opportunity where we could spin the blood sample while waiting for the courier, saving those 10 minutes of testing time in the lab,” Fox said.

Lucy added, “Anything to speed our patients’ time along in the clinic and to make their day a little better.”

Other advantages of the program have surfaced.

 “Staff members are able to see the perspective of other departments and see how busy they are,” Duke said.

As an example, the emergency department learned why analyzing a flu test took so long. “You don’t understand someone else’s role until you see it,” she said, again emphasizing that there are several steps in the process in addition to sanitizing between each to avoid contamination and allow for accurate results.

In many ways, the program has improved communication between departments and has helped develop a greater respect for each department’s role in the hospital.

An opportunity for continued growth in teamwork is vital for relationships and success in health care, according to Duke.

“It has made people feel more comfortable to bring up an idea or issues without feeling judgement,” Duke said.

Duke said she interviewed Lucy after a two hour walk within the laboratory department. Likewise she said she encourages a reflective conversation when laboratory employees visit other departments.

“I like to see the outside perspective,” she said.

The committee continues to meet on a monthly basis to discuss ways departments can continue to partner with one another.

An Open Letter About Cancer Care in Emporia from SVRMC

Dear Emporia residents and our surrounding communities,

I would like to let you know about a change of medical services offered in our facility.

Changes in regulations make us unable to renew the lease for hospital space used by VCU Massey Cancer Center (MCV Associated Physicians'). VCU Massey Cancer Center's last day of service at SVRMC will be April 19, 2019.

VCU Massey Cancer Center has stated that they do not have the resources to ensure a sustainable model for patient care in Emporia independent from SVRMC. We understand the importance of local access to these services, so SVRMC is currently working with regional oncology institutions to gauge their interest in providing cancer care to our community.

SVRMC is available to help existing patients to access quality cancer care in other locations. Southside Regional Medical Center offers high-quality cancer care in Petersburg five days a week with hematology, medical and radiation oncology care. Their oncology team is happy to assist you with scheduling and transportation. The contact information for each of these locations is listed below should you decide to schedule on your own.

SVRMC is pleased to have had a long standing relationship with Massey. It is our sincerest hope that our patients will be able to find the care they need until a new partnership is built to provide cancer care in our community.

Sincerely,

Wilson Thomas

Chief Executive Officer Southern Virginia Regional Medical Center

Contacts:

Southside Regional Medical Center 804-431-1100 - medical oncology 804-765-5850 - radiation oncology 804-765-6113 - Cancer Nurse Navigator, Penny Nunnally

VCU Health Community Memorial Hospital 434-774-2417 - medical oncology 434-774-2481 - radiation oncology 804-828-5116 - new patient coordinators

 

Virginia Preparing for 75th Anniversary of D-Day

By Emily Holter, Capital News Service

RICHMOND — The National D-Day Memorial is gearing up for the 75th anniversary of D-Day, an amphibious invasion considered the largest and most successful in history — and often cited as a turning point in World War II.

The celebration will begin on Tuesday, June 4, and end on Sunday, June 9.

Several events lined up throughout the week include a reception showcasing artwork drawn by soldiers during the war, aerial tributes flown by vintage planes, live footage from the joint ceremony in Normandy, concerts and a parade.

All events will take place in Bedford, about 140 miles west of Richmond. The National D-Day Memorial was erected there in honor of American D-Day veterans, including the 19 young men from Bedford who died during the invasion.

“Right now, we’re 65 days away but you know, who’s counting?” said April Cheek-Messier, president of the National D-Day Memorial.

The organization has been planning for the anniversary for more than two years and has put $800,000 into the celebration.

“I know for me, I’m extremely excited for this,” said Kirk Cox, speaker of the Virginia House of Delegates.

Cheek-Messier pointed out the magnitude of the event and said that every Allied nation during the war will send representatives. About 15,000 people are expected to attend.

Of the 16 million Americans who served in the military in World War II, fewer than 500,000 are still alive, according to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. Cheek-Messier said she would be thrilled to have 50 to 75 veterans in attendance.

The upcoming festivities were discussed at a meeting Tuesday of the Virginia World War I and World War II Commemoration Commission. Cox chairs the commission, which includes state legislators and veterans.

The panel was created by the General Assembly to mark the 100th anniversary of World War I and the 75th anniversary of World War II.

At the commission’s meeting, officials also highlighted recent activities such as:

§  The Profiles of Honor Mobile Tour, which has been bringing an interactive exhibit of World War II artifacts to museums, libraries and historic sites throughout Virginia.

§  “Operation: Digitization,” an effort to scan family photographs or historical artifacts so they can be featured on the commission’s website.

Rusty Nix, the communications manager at Virginia Tourism Corp., said the scanning program is advantageous because the public can access archival information never seen before and people can still hold on to their families memories.

“So far, we have done over 4,600 scans,” Nix said. “We’ve had incredible outreach.”

Jackson-Feild Promotes Tiffany Moses

Jackson-Feild is pleased to announce that Tiffany Moses has been promoted to the Residential Coordinator position plays a key role in our residential program. She will coordinate the daily activities of Gwaltney Cottage. She will directly supervise to staff and residents to ensure that each child’s daily treatment plan and goals are being met.

The Residential Coordinator ensures that each staff members training is up to date, manages staff schedules, that staff are up-to-date with case management responsibilities,  supplies and equipment is available and maintained and ensures that children receive the best possible services and care possible.

Ms. Moses has helping children since 2003 severing in a variety of settings in Maryland and South Carolina. She joined the Jackson-Feild team in March 2018 as a residential counselor and has performed well in this position.

She has earned the respect and apprciation of our children and her peers. We look forward to her service in this new capacity.              

Play Golf to Help Jackson-Feild’s Children

Register/Donate or Sponsor with these links.

If you are a golfer and want to help mentally ill children please make plans to play in Jackson-Feild’s 24th annual golf tournament on May 6th.

Funds raised from this event will be used to purchase special psychiatric furniture which is safe and durable for five cottage’s bedrooms.

The tournament will be held at the Country  Club at the Highlands in Chesterfield County. Lunch is served at noon and the shotgun start begins at 1:00.

Jackson-Feild’s mission is to provide high-quality mental health services to children who have suffered severe emotional trauma heal and restore wellness so that they can return home.

If you would like to enter a team or would like to play yourself please contact Terron Watkins at 804-354-6929 or email him at twatkins@jacksonfeild.org to enter or go to Jackson-Feild’s website (www.jacksonfeild.org).

Community Baccalaureate Service Planned for June

The Greensville-Emporia Ministerial Association will be hosting a Community Baccalaureate Service, tentatively scheduled for Sunday, June 9 at 7 p.m. in the Greensville Elementary School Auditorium. This community service is for ALL graduating high school seniors, regardless of where they attend school: private, public, home-schooled, or Christian school.

Baccalaureate services have traditionally been held for high school and college students, in conjunction with their graduation services. The baccalaureate is sometimes held the night before graduation, but it is often on the previous Sunday. Attendance is voluntary.

Local public schools have not held a baccalaureate in several decades.

The baccalaureate is a religious service and will feature Christian songs and/or hymns, and prayers. There will be a guest speaker or speakers who will deliver a Biblical message of encouragement and inspiration for the graduates.

GEMA would like to invite all high school seniors who live in the Emporia-Greensville community, regardless of church affiliation, to participate. Formal invitation letters will be sent to all local and area schools. You do not have to register to participate, nor be a member of a church: simply arrive at the school by 6:30 p.m.

If a student’s school has its own baccalaureate, he/she is still welcome to come to the community service. Our goal is unity in Christ among all people in our community.

Graduates are asked to wear a white dress shirt, blouse or dress. There will be no distinction among schools. GEMA would like to have all participating students assemble and march in together, then sit together regardless of school affiliation.

The theme of the baccalaureate will be “The 9/11 Generation.” Most of this year’s graduates were born in 2001, the year of the 9/11 attacks. Their world has been changed and will be forever different as a result of that day.

A full program with speakers will be announced later this spring.

Many schools, both public and private, have gotten away from holding baccalaureate services in recent years. GEMA wants to restore this important event as a way to bring our community together, and to let our graduates know that the Christian community loves them and supports them.

Attendance and participation in this baccalaureate service is entirely voluntary; no participants are sponsored by or endorsed by any government agency; no government funds will be used nor will they be accepted for this service. All expenses are being paid with voluntary contributions by individual citizens and/or the Greensville-Emporia Ministerial Association. Any participation by public school employees or other government officials is voluntary and is done as private citizens.

Anyone wishing to make a donation or needing more information can contact Ed Conner at (434) 637-2879.

GEMA began holding Fifth Sunday Community Revivals last year. The theme for GEMA’s community efforts is “Unity in Christ,” based on Psalm 133. GEMA includes churches of all denominations and races and tries to hold events at a neutral location (Greensville Elementary) instead of at individual churches.

Officials Seek to Attract Grocery Stories to ‘Food Deserts’

By Caitlin Morris, Capital News Service

RICHMOND — Reflecting national concerns over “food deserts,” federal and state lawmakers Monday called for legislation to help people in low-income neighborhoods get better access to fresh vegetables and other healthy foods.

The officials discussed food insecurity at a town-hall-style meeting at the Peter Paul Development Center in Richmond’s East End, where poverty is high and full-fledged grocery stores are scarce.

In 2019 in America, “nobody should go to bed hungry at night,” said U.S. Sen. Mark Warner, who hosted the meeting.

“Too often, what we have are communities — urban and rural — where there may be a corner store, but you walk in to that corner store, and you may have large volumes of food, but it’s not healthy food.”

Warner was joined by members of the Virginia General Assembly and Richmond Mayor Levar Stoney, as well as by staff members of U.S. Rep. Donald McEachin of Richmond. About 60 residents also attended the meeting.

Warner and McEachin, both Democrats, are co-sponsoring federal legislation called the Healthy Food Access for All Americans Act. It would provide tax credits and grants to grocery stores, food banks and other organizations that provide healthy foods in underserved communities. Entities would undergo a certification process to qualify for financial assistance.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture estimates that 37 million Americans live in food deserts. In urban areas, individuals are considered to be living in a food desert if they must travel more than one mile to buy affordable, healthy food. In rural areas, it is considered a food desert if access is 10 miles away.

Under the proposed HFAAA, businesses would apply for certification as Special Access Food Providers. A certified store that opens in a food desert could receive a one-time 15% tax credit. Businesses that have been remodeled or rehabilitated to qualify as grocery stores would receive a one-time tax credit of 10%.

To meet these qualifications, at least 35% of a store’s products must be fresh produce, poultry, dairy and deli items.

Under the HFAAA, grants would be awarded to food banks to cover 15% of the costs of building a permanent structure in a food desert. “Temporary access merchants,” such as nonprofit farmers markets and some food banks, could receive grants for up to 10% their annual operating cost.

State legislators in Virginia have also been pushing to address food insecurity. During this year’s legislative session, a bill to provide funding for the construction, rehabilitation and expansion of grocery stores unanimously passed in the Senate but died in the House of Delegates.

SB 999, sponsored by Republican Sen. Bill Stanley of Franklin and Democratic Sen. Rosalyn Dance of Petersburg, would have established the Virginia Grocery Investment Fund and provided $5 million to help approved food providers in underserved communities.

Warner complimented Democratic Dels. Delores McQuinn of Richmond and Lamont Bagby of Henrico for their efforts as well.

“Delores and Lamont and others have been trying to move this issue forward with a series of Virginia-based initiatives,” Warner said. “What Donald (McEachin) and I have tried to do at the federal level is to say, ‘How can we as a federal government provide some additional assistance?’”

Like SB 999 at the Virginia Capitol, the HFAAA before Congress has bipartisan support. Republican Sen. Jerry Moran of Kansas is also sponsoring the act.

Richmond residents at Monday’s discussion agreed that work must be done to address food insecurity in Virginia, but many expressed concerns about how the HFAAA would affect the community.

Individuals said they fear that offering incentives to open grocery stores in underserved neighborhoods would lead to gentrification as wealthier people move in and poorer residents are pushed out. Development in disadvantaged communities could lead to higher rents and the loss of small businesses.

Warner said he wants to make sure residents are protected from negative impacts. He said he hopes to “see if there’s a way in my legislation to give recipients an extra benefit if they live in the community.”

"Looking Past the Problem

I read an article the other day
that should open up some eyes
explaining why you can’t blame motorists
for each pedestrian that dies.
 
Now all of us have problems
no matter what we say
yet laws have to be written
for each one to obey.
 
Using cell phone is a car or truck
you still have some control
still steering a bicycle with just one hand
hit a bump and away you go.
 
Now Pedestrians pop out from the side of the highway
so very much like deer
you don’t know which way they’re headed
until you are quite near.
 
Very seldom do they look both ways
to check if all is clear
no most enter the highway; with their head down
and a cell phone in their ear!
 
                         - Roy E. Schepp

Cancer Care in Emporia

By E. Brent Perkins, M.D., Ph.D., hematologist-oncologist at VCU Massey Cancer Center

More than 20 years ago, VCU Massey Cancer Center founded the Rural Cancer Outreach Program to provide state-of-the-art oncology care in areas of rural Virginia identified by high cancer rates and with limited resources and poor access to oncology care. In Emporia, Massey’s Rural Cancer Outreach Program partnered with the community hospital, Southern Virginia Regional Medical Center (SVRMC), to staff a cancer clinic.

For the last two decades, one or two doctors and one nurse traveled once per week from Massey in Richmond to SVRMC in Emporia. Most recently, that has been nurse practitioner Kevin Brigle and me. We evaluated patients with new diagnoses of cancer, provided follow-up to patients on treatment, made referrals for radiation therapy where appropriate and consulted with local physicians about the care of their patients.

The program was designed to enable the primary doctors to care for their patients when the outreach doctors were back in Richmond. The outreach clinic operated daily, administering chemotherapy, transfusions and monitoring pain under the supervision of the local physicians and nurses.

The goals of the program were to provide as much care as possible within the community; teach physicians and nurses living and serving in this community about the care of cancer patients; and bring advanced treatment through clinical trials.

VCU Massey Cancer Center’s (MCV Associated Physicians’) lease at Southern Virginia Regional Medical Center (SVRMC) has since expired, and Massey was not offered the option to renew it. I regret to share that as of April 19, 2019, Massey will no longer practice at SVRMC.

While Massey would like to remain in Emporia as a cancer care provider, resources are not available to ensure a sustainable model for patient care that is independent from SVRMC. The Outreach Program was designed to operate in partnership with them.

To continue cancer care with Massey, we can offer local patients an appointment with another Massey provider at VCU Health Community Memorial Hospital (CMH) in South Hill. Oncology physicians at VCU Health CMH are part of Massey Cancer Center, are well qualified and compassionate and will be able to continue to provide Emporia-area patients with high-quality cancer care. A fully operational clinic is offered five days a week there with hematology, medical and radiation oncology care. Additionally, Massey is assessing the transportation needs of existing Emporia-area patients and will work with them individually to assist them with their transition of care.

Our providers at Massey’s clinics in the Richmond area are available for referrals and appointments as well. Southside Regional Medical Center, which is not affiliated with VCU Massey, also offers high-quality cancer care in Petersburg that patients may find convenient.

Furthermore, Massey Cancer Center will continue to serve the Emporia and surrounding communities with health education, screening and prevention programs through our Cancer Research and Resource Center in Lawrenceville.

It has been my sincere pleasure to serve this community and to get to know many of you. I will miss spending time in Emporia each week. If my team and I can be of assistance to you, please call us at (804) 628-1918. 

April is National Social Security Month

By Jacqueline Weisgarber, Social Security Public Affairs Specialist in Richmond, Virginia

It’s National Social Security Month and this year we’re highlighting some of the time-saving features of the my Social Security account. Once you create an account, you’ll see that we already have your work history and secure information to estimate what you could receive once you start collecting benefits.  With your personal my Social Security account, you can also:

o    Request a replacement Social Security card;

o    Set up or change direct deposit;

o    Get a proof of income letter;

o    Change your address;

o    Check the status of your Social Security application; and

o    Get a Social Security 1099 form (SSA-1099).

For over 80 years, Social Security has worked to meet the changing needs of the American public. Today, you can apply for retirement, disability, and Medicare benefits online, as well as take care of other business.

Knowledge is power. You care about your friends’ and family’s future, so encourage them to create a my Social Security account. Celebrate National Social Security Month by learning what you can do online anytime, anywhere at www.socialsecurity.gov/myaccount.

Winter realizes a digital dream at VCU Health Community Memorial Hospital

How fun is it to get to be on Facebook, Twitter, and the Internet all day long and get paid to do it?

Jason Winter will tell you it’s a blast.  Winter is the new Digital Marketing Specialist at VCU Health Community Memorial Hospital and his job focuses on the promotion and marketing of VCU Health CMH in all ways digital.

“I get to bring my years of experience in website design, graphic design and videography to the exciting world of health care,” he said. “And specifically to VCU Health Community Memorial Hospital. I enjoy how the job combines my interests and past experience.”

Winter explained that his new position is designed to lead the development of VCU Health CMH’s digital marketing content and exploration of online channels to reach an even broader audience than CMH’s current market footprint.

“We understand that the digital world is expanding,” said Ken Kurz, director of marketing and development for VCU Health CMH. “Jason brings such a wealth of experience to us. We thought he was the perfect fit for this newly created position. We are expecting great things from him in regard to reaching folks in new and exciting ways.”

Winter comes to VCU Health CMH from the Mecklenburg County Public School System. He worked for the schools system for nearly 13 years with the last half of his tenure serving as an Instructional Technology Resources teacher in the school’s technology department.

He also taught middle school and high school English during his time with the schools.

Winter received a bachelor’s of arts degree from Virginia Tech in 2004 and a master’s of science degree from N.C. State in 2007.

Winter and his wife, Melanie, have two daughters, JoBeth and Sue. Winter enjoys gardening and travel during his non-work time.

Clary’s Cool Job Keeps Her Down On The Farm

Bridgette Clary’s job is cool because it allowed her to follow her heart into farming, something she was raised on and dearly loves. She started her new job on March 6 and is the Virginia Territory Sales Representative for Zeigler's Distributor, Lebanon, Pennsylvania.

“I am responsible for overseeing existing accounts and generating new sales for my territory. Zeigler's is a family-owned pet food and supply distributor that distributes several high- quality brands,” she said.

An SVCC alumnus with an Associate of Applied Sciences with specialization in Agribusiness, she said, “When I first started college I was on a totally different career path than Agribusiness, but growing up on the farm and being involved with it my whole life, eventually my heart led me 'home'.”

She notes that she grew up on her great grandparent’s farm near Alberta where they raised beef cattle, tobacco and small grains. She spent her childhood on the farm and her parents often had to beg her to come home. This is also where she was introduced to cattle or ‘moo cows’ and continues her love of raising these animals.

“I currently live on a beef cattle and small grain farm with my fiancé, David, where we breed and raise Sim/Angus and Black Angus cattle along with wheat and soybeans. When I'm not working or showing dogs, I enjoy spending my time riding my horses and working cattle,” she said.

After her graduation from SVCC, Clary continued to work in the agriculture field with a sales job at E.E. Vaughan and Sons in Lawrenceville and, with animals, at Brunswick Veterinary Clinic in Lawrenceville.

“My biggest piece of advice to any new student, or any student for that matter, would be to never give up on your dreams. It was important for me to be able to study the field I wanted to major in and remain close to home on the farm,” she said. 

“I compete in AKC dog shows across the country all throughout the year and being able to remain close to home and study my field of choice while being home on the weekends to attend shows was ideal. I have been involved with competition hunting and showing Coonhounds since I was 13 and currently raise, breed and handle national winning UKC and AKC registered Treeing Walker and Bluetick Coonhounds,” she noted.

About her advisor and AGR instructor,  Dr. Dixie Watts Dalton, clary said she was a huge part of her success at SVCC.

“I will forever be grateful to her and SVCC for offering such an amazing program,” she said.   

In the future, continuing her education in anything that is agriculturally based is very important.  Her goal is to continue to be actively involved with the agriculture field through her current job and any future job as well as to continue to produce and raise beef cattle.

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