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April 2019

GREENSVILLE/EMPORIA DEPARTMENT OF SOCIAL SERVICES

LOCAL BOARD MEETING

The Greensville/Emporia Department of Social Services Administrative Board will hold its regular meeting Thursday, June 20, 2019, at 3:30 p.m. The meeting will be held at the Greensville/Emporia Department of Social Services located at 1748 East Atlantic Street.

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Dr. Quentin R. Johnson Hired as the Next President Southside Virginia Community College

RICHMOND– Dr. Glenn DuBois, chancellor of Virginia’s Community Colleges, announced today that Dr. Quentin R. Johnson, currently of Mooresville, North Carolina, will become the next president of Southside Virginia Community College. He will assume the role at the beginning of July. Johnson’s selection marks the end of national search that attracted 81 applicants.

“Quentin Johnson brings to the table a strong student services background, and a deep understanding of the needs of nontraditional students – a group that we need to focus on,” said Glenn DuBois, chancellor of Virginia’s Community Colleges. “And he believes deeply in what we do. In fact, his son is currently attending one of our community colleges.”

Johnson has worked in higher education senior leadership roles for more than 20 years. That includes, beginning in 2004, serving as the president’s chief of staff and acting vice president for Student Life and Enrollment Management at the University of Maryland Eastern Shore. In 2011, he became senior vice president for Enrollment and Student Services at Fairmont State University and Pierpont Community and Technical College in West Virginia.

Johnson moved to Guilford Technical Community College in North Carolina in 2012 to become the vice president of Student Support Services, the position he holds today. He also has some Virginia experience, previously serving as the assistant dean for Enrollment Management & Student Services at the UVa School of Nursing.

Johnson earned a doctorate from the University of Maryland Eastern Shore; a master’s degree from Bowling Green State University; and a bachelor’s degree from Defiance College in Defiance, Ohio.

"After a thorough and fruitful search process, our board is delighted that Dr. Quentin Johnson will be the next president of Southside Virginia Community College.  He brings an energy and insight that will prove to be invaluable in taking SVCC to the next level of service in our communities," said Betsy Sharrett, chair of the Southside Virginia Community College local board.

Johnson will succeed Dr. Al Roberts, the college’s fifth president, who announced last fall that he was retiring at the end of June, having served as president for five years.

SVCC serves one small city and spans ten rural counties across southern Virginia. The college offers 23 degrees at the associate level, a host of shorter-term academic and workforce development programs, opportunities for dually enrolled high school students, adult basic education, and other transitional services for non-traditional students.

“(Weather)-2 (Farmers)-1”

One can wager on your favorite team
and there might be times you win
yet if you bet on the weather
your chances are real thin.
 
Yes the weather changes often
leaving many farmers sick
it matters not the crop abundance
if the fields are too slick.
 
It’s a challenge for most of them
needing rain when it is dry
then when it’s time to harvest
it’s too wet to even try.
 
One must give the farmers credit
for all the obstacles they face
each and every year they enter
but only a few will win the race.
 
Farmers never know the ending
though all may start quite well
yes from day to day and year to year
the weather casts its spell.
 
Now the farmer is the backbone
of the good ole U.S.A.
yet the government and the weather
determines what he does every day.
 
                         - Roy E. Schepp

Edith Christine Ferguson

Visitation Services

Tuesday, April 16, 1:00 pm

Echols Funeral Home

815 Brunswick Ave

Emporia, VA

Tuesday, April 16, 2:00 pm

Echols Funeral Home

815 Brunswick Ave

Emporia, VA

Edith Christine Ferguson, 95, died Thursday April 11, 2019 after a brief illness.

A native of Brunswick County, she was born January 27, 1924 to the late Edward Esua “Teso” Wrenn and Allie Richard Hobbs Wrenn. In addition to her parents she was preceded in death by her beloved husband Marshall Jackson Ferguson, four brothers and three sisters.

A Homemaker’s Homemaker, she was an accomplished seamstress, making dance costumes for her children and others. Christine excelled at housekeeping, cooking, gardening, canning, freezing, making pickles, jams and jellies and needlework. She was a longtime active member of Main Street Methodist Church where she was instrumental in the creation of Chrismons for the church Christmas tree. She assisted with Girl Scouting for many years and chaperoned while her late husband drove the bus for the Greensville County High School Band.

Christine is survived by her daughters; Joyce Potter and her husband Robert of Charleston, SC, and Bonnie Ferguson of Florence, Alabama, a sister Marjorie Wrenn Sheppard of Portsmouth, VA, grandchildren; Wendy Gordon and her husband Ken of Midlothian, VA and Tracy Edgerton and her husband Todd of Crozet, VA, great grandsons; Julien, Simon, and Marshall Gaudet, and Potter and Alton Edgerton.

Funeral Services will be held Tuesday April 16, 2019 in the Chapel of Echols Funeral Home at 2:00 P.M. with Rev. Tom Durrance officiating. Entombment will follow at Greensville Memorial Cemetery. The family will receive friends at the Funeral Home from 1:00 P.M. until Service time.

Online condolences may be left at echolsfuneralhome.com.

Brunswick Academy Career Day

The Brunswick Academy PTO hosted a Career Fair for our Viking students on Tuesday, April 9, 2019.  The day was designed for our 3rd through 12th grade students to learn about the job possibilities in today's world.  Professionals in attendance were an Archaeologist, Engineer, Electrician, Welder, Nurse, Dentist, Physical Therapist, Banker, Author, Pharmacist, Teacher, Attorney, and many more.  We thank all of them for coming and being part it.  To conclude the day, the VCU Health Med Vac Team landed on the football field.  It was a great and informative day that was enjoyed by all. 

Picture 2 - Loretta Bottoms and Kerrie Combs of Southern Virginia Regional Medical Center, showing students a "glitter bug" hand washing demonstration.

Picture 3 - Amanda Lipscomb, Pharmacist at Walmart in Emporia, speaks to students.

Picture 4 - Brunswick Academy Fifth Graders enjoyed the presentation from Jessie Doyle at BSV.

Picture 5 - Author, Houston T. Kidd reads his book, "Willow the Water Bear" to the Brunswick Academy PreSchool Class.

Picture 6 - The VCU Health Med Vac Team talks to B.A. High School students.

Let’s Get REAL about Education for Inmates

By Dr. Al Roberts

I believe in the transformative power of education.

Earlier generations considered high school completion the key to success. Many viewed postsecondary education an extravagance because folks with high school diplomas could secure good-paying jobs. Today, that is no longer the case. Finding a job with family-sustaining wages often requires education beyond high school, whether it be the completion of a certificate program, the attainment of industry-recognized credentials, or earning an Associate’s or higher academic degree.

When it comes to recognizing the benefits of education, incarcerated people are often overlooked. This lapse may be counterproductive. A study completed earlier this year by the Vera Institute of Justice and the Georgetown Center on Poverty and Inequality revealed that inmates who received college-level education were much more able to reenter communities successfully upon release. The report concluded, “Expanding access to postsecondary education in prison is likely to reduce recidivism rates, resulting in a decrease in incarceration costs across states of $365.8 million per year.”

Lisa Hudson, Coordinator of SVCC’s Campus Within Walls program, has seen compelling evidence regarding the value of education for inmates. “Our prison college program not only benefits Virginia and makes fiscal sense, it also positively impacts our students. We believe that human beings have value and are capable of making positive life changes. We know that 95% of people in prison will eventually be released.  In Virginia, the 13,000 people released annually from prison represent an opportunity.  Through college classes, we prepare incarcerated Virginians to reenter our communities as educated, employable, and taxpaying neighbors.”

Accessing postsecondary education in prison can pose a challenge, however. Individuals with substantial financial need often receive Pell Grant assistance, but in 1994, federal lawmakers instituted a ban on Pell Grants for inmates. Without funds for tuition, the number of education programs available to people behind bars plummeted. A recent trial program, the Second Chance Pell Experimental Sites Initiative, lifted the ban on Pell Grant eligibility among incarcerated populations at 67 sites across the nation. Data indicate that when inmates access higher education in prison, they are 43 percent less likely to reoffend after release when compared with inmates lacking a similar opportunity.

The 116th Congress is preparing to consider the legislation “Restoring Education And Learning (REAL) Act of 2019” to reinstate Pell Grant eligibility for incarcerated individuals. Because education is one of the best and most cost-effective means of helping former inmates avoid a subsequent term behind bars, its potential is as REAL as its name.

Education remains key in efforts to transform lives, families, communities, and the local economy. SVCC remains committed to the belief that all people should have educational opportunities, and that includes the incarcerated people in our service region.

Dr. Al Roberts is president of Southside Virginia Community College, an institution of higher learning that provides a wide variety of education opportunities to a diverse student population within a service area that spans ten counties and the city of Emporia. He can be reached via email at al.roberts@southside.edu.

ATTORNEY GENERAL MARK HERRING HONORS VICTIMS’ ADVOCATES FROM AROUND THE COMMONWEALTH

~ AG Herring presented awards to six honorees at the 3rd annual Unsung Heroes Awards ceremony this afternoon ~

RICHMOND (April 11, 2019) – This afternoon, Attorney General Mark R. Herring commemorated National Crime Victims’ Rights Week by honoring six victims’ advocates at the third annual Unsung Heroes Awards ceremony in Richmond. The Unsung Heroes Awards honor Virginians who have dedicated themselves to serving victims and fighting for their rights.

“Today, we are honoring the men and women who have dedicated their time and efforts to victims’ services, but who too often go un-thanked, with theUnsung Heroes Award,” said Attorney General Herring. “These kind, generous Virginians have put in countless hours to make sure that victims know they have someone to turn to when they may feel lost or alone. Each person honored today has provided unmeasurable comfort and support to victims or survivors during their darkest time. It is my honor to recognize these incredible men and women today and thank them for their crucial work.”

Below are the recipients of this year’s Unsung Heroes Awards:

Lalita Brim-Poindexter, Attorney, Poindexter Law LLC

Lalita Brim-Poindexter is the attorney/owner of Poindexter Law, LLC in Southwest Virginia. She has been in the legal field for 15 years and began her career as an Assistant Commonwealth’s Attorney in Roanoke City, where she prosecuted crimes against children and victims of domestic violence.  Now, she devotes her work to assisting victims with protective orders and in child custody disputes. She is also a certified Guardian ad litem for children. Over the past year, she has volunteered for TAP (Total Action for Progress), providing legal consultations and pro bono services. She has also partnered with TAP and the Virginia Sexual and Domestic Violence Action Alliance as part of their Project for the Empowerment of Survivors (PES) to ensure that victims in the Roanoke Valley obtain adequate and affordable representation for civil and family law cases when they need it. 

Steve W. Edwards, Deputy Commonwealth’s Attorney for Isle of Wight County

Steve Edwards is Deputy Commonwealth Attorney for Isle of Wight County. He has prosecuted crimes against children and sexual assault cases for over 20 years. Along with his daughter, Ashley, he has conducted training programs and demonstrations using horses to teach effective means of communication with severely traumatized witnesses and victims. These sessions are available to law enforcement, prosecutors, social workers, victim witness advocates, guidance counselors and all others whose occupation brings them into contact with people who have suffered brutal trauma. He often brings victims out to his farm to interact with the horses as part of trial preparation. As Executive Director of Gwaltney Frontier Farm, a non-profit equine breed conservation program, he has conducted free weekly sessions working with horses for inpatient PTSD survivors from the Hampton Veterans Hospital.

Anita Gonzalez, Founder, Peninsula Families United Together

Originally from Brooklyn, New York, Anita relocated to Virginia in 2014 with her family to escape crime and gangs, only to have her 17-year-old son, Jermell Hayes, shot and killed in 2016. Following this tragedy, Anita saw opportunity and wanted to work to promote healing and curb the violence by turning towards advocacy and connecting with the Catalyst Effect. She talked with leaders involved with the Pastors’ Dialogue on Racism, Poverty and Violence, where she had served on a panel with other mothers of murdered children, and launched “Peninsula Families United Together”, a support group of mothers that meets monthly to help participants work through trauma, forgiveness, accountability and restorative justice. The group works to provide a network for families, responding quickly to offer support during times of tragedy and has met with local law enforcement, prosecutors, faith leaders, funeral homes and human service providers. They are also engaged in outreach and speaking engagements throughout the community to help curb violence and to reach out to others.

Carly Mee, Senior Staff Attorney, SurvJustice

Carly Mee is an attorney who provides direct legal assistance to survivors in the campus, civil, and criminal systems. She has represented many survivors in Title IX campus hearings since joining SurvJustice in 2016 and has significantly increased the rate of success for survivors in campus proceedings. In 2017, she also assisted international law firm Steptoe & Johnson in establishing a historic new victim-advocate privilege in federal court. Carly also serves as a liaison to the American Bar Association Commission on Domestic & Sexual Violence. As an undergraduate at Occidental College, she spoke publicly about her own experience of reporting sexual violence and went on to co-found the Oxy Sexual Assault Coalition with other students and professors.

Brad Roop, Detective, Washington County Sheriff’s Office

Brad is a native of Radford, VA and currently serves as the Crimes Against Children Detective for the Washington County Sheriff’s Office. Brad began his law enforcement career 21 years ago after being honorably discharged from the United States Air Force. Early in his career, Brad realized that he possessed a passion for helping children and saw the need for someone to specialize in the investigation of crimes against them. Brad is a graduate of the Virginia Forensic Science Academy and was trained as a Child Forensic Interviewer at the National Children’s Advocacy Center. He has received extensive training related to child abuse investigations, child physical abuse reconstruction techniques and perpetrator behaviors. His specialized skills, passion and dedication have aided in bringing countless children to safety and their abusers to justice.

Kristina Vadas, Victim Services Programs Manager, Department of Criminal Justice Services

Kristina Vadas is the manager of the Victims Services Team at the Virginia Department of Criminal Justice Services (DCJS), where she provides oversight of all Victims Services initiatives and monitors victim-related legislation, conducts studies, and promotes best practices in service delivery for victims of crime. Kristina represents DCJS on statewide committees and task forces that address human trafficking, underserved victims of crime, services for victims of sexual and intimate partner violence, and other related issues. Previously, Kristina served as the Sexual Assault Program Coordinator for DCJS, where she managed the statewide sexual assault victim services programs, including the Sexual Assault & Domestic Violence Grant Program (SADVGP) and the Sexual Assault Services Program (SASP). She provided technical assistance, consultation, and training to victim advocates, law enforcement, prosecutors, and others requesting information and resources on sexual assault. She also developed resources, policies, and procedures to improve services to sexual assault victims, including those related to Sexual Assault Response Teams (SARTs). 

Southern Virginia Regional Medical Center Announces New Chief Nursing Officer

Emporia, VA - Southern Virginia Regional Medical Center (SVRMC) is pleased to announce Susan Williams, BSN, MBA/HCM, as Chief Nursing Officer. She joins SVRMC from The Villages Regional Hospital (TVRH), a 307 bed hospital in The Villages, Florida. Williams started her career at Vanderbilt University Medical Center and brings diverse leadership experience from her numerous administrative nursing roles at acute care hospitals in Tampa, Orlando and Miami. “SVRMC is focused on the needs of patients, community and staff members and I’m excited to be part of this collaborative team,” Williams said.

During her career as Administrative Director of Nursing at TVRH, she implemented plans that increased patient satisfaction by 30%. She also made significant impacts on hospital-wide throughput initiatives, staff recruitment, and service line development such as Critical Care, Orthopedics and Wound Care programs. In her role she also led TVRH’s Stroke re-Accreditation and Chest Pain Accreditation. Williams states that, “It is my goal, as well as all other staff at SVRMC, to provide top quality, compassionate care.”

Williams has been instrumental in creating multidisciplinary teams of providers and staff to ensure communication within her facilities. She is deeply committed to building relationships and working together with all stakeholders to ensure the highest quality of care and service.

She earned a Bachelor of Science in Nursing from Tennessee State University and a Master of Business Administration in Health Care Management from the University of Phoenix. She has received numerous awards and accolades from Nursing Who’s Who and Advance for Nurses. Williams and husband Bruce were high school sweethearts and are looking forward to exploring Emporia with their grandson, Elijah.

GO Virginia Region 3 announces successful project award for GO TEC

Up to $4.9 Million to be awarded to broaden the talent pipeline in Southern and Southwest Virginia

GO TEC (Great Opportunities in Technology & Engineering Careers), a workforce development approach in Southern and Southwestern Virginia, was awarded the largest grant to date from the GO Virginia Competitive Funding pool. The investment by GO Virginia is matched 1-to-1by support from over 15 local partners.

Workforce training will be provided by seven higher education institutions to address current and future market demand in areas such as precision machining, welding, IT/cyber security, advanced materials and robotics, automation and mechatronics. At the foundational level, K-12 systems are creating Career Connection Labs that introduce middle school students to these in-demand occupationsand then connect their training opportunities to high school and ultimately to higher education institutions. And at the policy level, businesses will be included on the leadership board.

The GO Virginia State Board approved an investment of up to $4.9 million in the GO TEC project Tuesday morning. The "hub and spoke" workforce delivery system focuses on occupations that have been identified asin-demand in GO Virginia Regions 1, 3 and 4, an area that encompasses many of Virginia’s rural southern counties stretching from Wythe County to Greensville County. For businesses, GO TEC will answer a market need with  a strong pipeline of skilled workers that can support the job requirements of both existing and new employers.

"It is exciting to see the breadth and depth of regional collaboration among education partners for economic development results that will occur through this unique partnership," Region 3 GO Virginia Council Chairman Charles Majors said. "We are even more pleased that the State GO Virginia Board concurred with our recommendation to support this unique talent development model. We know that the collective work of seven educational partners, in conjunction with the K-12 systems in Southern and Southwestern Virginia, will create a strong tool for talent retention, business retention, and business attraction."

The GO TEC project leverages existing mastery-level training expertise in seven higher education partners: Southside Virginia Community College, Danville Community College, Patrick Henry Community College, Wytheville Community College, the Southern Virginia Higher Education Center in South Boston, the New College Institute in Martinsville, and the Institute for Advanced Learning & Research in Danville. Each of these partners contributes an element of the career paths identified as areas of critical need in the Regions 1, 3 and 4's Growth & Diversification Plans.

"I am exceptionally pleased with the level of support from localities and organizations across the regions," said Region 3 Vice-Chairman Randy Lail. "Creative thinking, and building impactful partnerships is the way that rural Virginia can successfully create healthy economies, and this is an example of rural leadership in action."

GO TEC expands existing outcomes that began with a pilot pre-GO Virginia initiative based at Danville Community College and the Institute for Advanced Learning and Research in 2016.The success of that launch resulted in approval for the first Phase 1 investment by GO Virginia in 2018 when the Region 3 Council was authorized to invest its Per Capita funds. That scale-up wasdesigned to increase the geographic reach of the program, increase the Career Connection labs, and develop the curriculum. 

This 2019 expansion of GO TEC gives economic developers in Regions 1, 3 and 4 both a stronger workforce system, and more effective marketing message to use in their business attraction efforts.This grant will continue to expand the regional brand of workforce training and increase the number of K-12 divisions that will house Career Connection Labs.

"GO TEC is an example of the types of effective partnerships that the Regions seek to build through the GO Virginia program," said Julie Brown, interim director of the GO TEC team. "We are excited that our team of higher education partners identified this opportunity and that we were able to demonstrate to the leaders of GO Virginia that GO TEC can successfully scale-up to create an extensive talent marketing message for these three regions."

Virginia student-athletes receive further concussion protection

By Andrew Gionfriddo, Capital News Service

RICHMOND --  A new state law will require Virginia schools to regularly update their policies on educating coaches, student-athletes and parents about concussions and on when student-athletes can return to play after suffering such an injury.

Under the law, which takes effect July 1, the Virginia Board of Education must collaborate with brain-injury and other experts to biennially update state guidelines on policies related to concussions. Using those guidelines, local school boards then must revise their policies and procedures on how to handle suspected concussions received by student-athletes.

The law is the result of House Bill 1930, which was sponsored by Del. Richard “Dickie” Bell, R-Staunton, and passed unanimously by the General Assembly.

“Concussions can be a serious medical concern and should not be taken lightly,” Bell said. “It is critical that we keep our guidelines up to date to ensure that we protect the health and well-being of our student-athletes, and that is what HB 1930 aims to do.”

Gov. Ralph Northam signed the legislation into law on Feb. 22, saying it builds on efforts he advocated when he served in the Virginia Senate in 2013.

“As a state senator, I introduced and passed legislation directing the Board of Education to develop these guidelines and requiring local school divisions to create policies for identifying and handling suspected concussions,” Northam said.

“Del. Bell’s legislation will strengthen this practice by requiring the board’s guidelines and divisions’ procedures to be updated biennially, which will help account for new research and enhanced knowledge.”

Among the stakeholders working with the Board of Education are the Virginia High School League, the Virginia Department of Health and the Brain Injury Association of Virginia.

“We are fortunate to have open lines of communication and the ability to share feedback with one another,” said Chris Robinson, assistant director for athletics for the VHSL.

He said that over the past decade, there has been “a heightened awareness of the inherent long-term effects of head injury have increased.”

“This has created the need to change many rule codes to protect athletes at all levels from these types of injuries,” Robinson said.

An estimated 1.6 million to 3.8 million sports-and recreation-related concussions occur each year, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The Brain Injury Research Institute says high school athletes who suffer a concussion are three times more likely to suffer a second.

Football accounts for more than 60 percent of concussions suffered in organized high school sports.

Sports leagues at the professional, collegiate and high school levels have already taken strides in improving safety measures and helmet technology for contact sports to mitigate concussions. Some experts say rule changes in certain sports might be the next step in protecting players.

Patrick Bowdring, 23, who is majoring in interdisciplinary studies at Virginia Commonwealth University, said he received more than one concussion while playing lacrosse at West Potomac High School in Fairfax County.

Bowdring said student-athletes should take such injuries seriously -- and make sure they have fully recovered before resuming their sport.

“Your brain and your future are so much more important,” he said. “If I were to go back, I would have sat out even longer. It’s your life; it will have an effect on you

USDA Announces Buy-Up Coverage Availability and New Service Fees for Noninsured Crop Coverage Policies

Changes apply Beginning April 8, 2019

WASHINGTON, April 8, 2019 – USDA’sFarm Service Agency (FSA) today announced that higher levels of coverage will be offered through the Noninsured Crop Disaster Assistance Program (NAP), a popular safety et program, beginning April 8, 2019. The 2018 Farm Bill also increased service fees and made other changes to the program, including service fee waivers for qualified military veterans interested in obtaining NAP coverage.  

"When other insurance coverage is not an option, NAP is a valuable risk mitigation tool for farmers and ranchers,” said FSA Administrator Richard Fordyce. “In agriculture, losses from natural disasters are a matter of when, not if, and having a NAP policy provides a little peace of mind.” 

NAP provides financial assistance to producers of commercial crops for which insurance coverage is not available in order to protect against natural disasters that result in lower yields or crop losses, or prevent crop planting.    

NAP Buy-Up Coverage Option

The 2018 Farm Bill reinstates higher levels of coverage, from 50 to 65 percent of expected production in 5 percent increments, at 100 percent of the average market price. Producers of organics and crops marketed directly to consumers also may exercise the “buy-up” option to obtain NAP coverage of 100 percent of the average market price at the coverage levels of between 50 and 65 percent of expected production. NAP basic coverage is available at 55 percent of the average market price for crop losses that exceed 50 percent of expected production.    

Producers have a one-time opportunity until May 24, 2019, to obtain buy-up coverage for 2019 or 2020 eligible crops for which the NAP application closing date has passed.    

Buy-up coverage is not available for crops intended for grazing. 

NAP Service Fees

For all coverage levels, the new NAP service fee is the lesser of $325 per crop or $825 per producer per county, not to exceed a total of $1,950 for a producer with farming interests in multiple counties.  These amounts reflect a $75 service fee increase for crop, county or multi-county coverage.  The fee increases apply to obtaining NAP coverage on crops on or after April 8, 2019. 

NAP Enhancements for Qualified Military Veterans

The 2018 Farm Bill NAP amendments specify that qualified veteran farmers or ranchers are now eligible for a service fee waiver and premium reduction, if the NAP applicant meets certain eligibility criteria.  

Beginning, limited resource and targeted underserved farmers or ranchers remain eligible for a waiver of NAP service fees and premium reduction when they file form CCC-860, “Socially Disadvantaged, Limited Resource and Beginning Farmer or Rancher Certification.” 

For NAP application, eligibility and related program information, visit www.fsa.usda.gov/napor contact your local USDA Service Center.  To locate your local FSA office, visit www.farmers.gov.  

USDA is an equal opportunity provider, employer and lender.

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.

George Thomas Delbridge, Sr.

Visitation Services

1:30 PM, April 14, 2019

Liberty PH Church

1468 American Legion Rd.
Roanoke Rapids, NC

3 PM, April 14, 2019

Liberty PH Church

1468 American Legion Rd.
Roanoke Rapids, NC

George Thomas Delbridge Sr., 81, of Gaston, North Carolina, formerly of Emporia, Va. Passed away Friday April 5, 2019 at Vidant Medical Center.  He was preceded in death by his mom, dad, and two siblings.

Thomas is survived by his wife of 59 years Alice Patrick Delbridge of Gaston; his children Wanda Brown of Lake Gaston, and her two daughters Amanda Yarborough of Roanoke Rapids and Amber Keeter and husband AJ, of Knightdale, NC; Tommy Delbridge. Jr. and wife Gail  of Augusta, Ga, and their children Tommy Delbridge and wife Amanda of Greenville, TN, Elaine Martinez of Albuquerque, NM, James Delbridge, and wife Ashley, of Pineville, LA, Brandon Delbridge of Augusta, Ga, and Samantha Brown and husband Marcus, of Las Vegas, NV, Joseph Delbridge of Midlothian, Va; and Doris Delbridge and daughters Megan of Roanoke Rapids, two sisters Molly Harrup of Emporia, VA, and Brenda Romines and husband Olin, of Franklin, VA, Christine Williams of Sidney, OH. Fifteen great grandchildren, multiple nieces, nephew and cousins.

A memorial service will be held 3 PM, April 14, 2019 at Liberty PH Church, 1468 American Legion Rd. The family will receive friends from 1:30 to 2:30 PM prior to service at church.

In lieu of flowers make monetary donations to Hockaday Funeral Service, 507 US Hwy 158, Roanoke Rapids, NC, 27870.

Fairy God Mothers Work Their Magic

 

Jackson-Feild Behavioral Health Services (JFBHS) is a non-profit behavioral health organization serving adolescent children with severe mental health disorders. Founded in 1855, JFBHS serves more than 100 children annually

For the past thirteen years Collegiate School students have collected and provided prom outfits to residents through The Fairy Godmother Project. Their mission is to provide a high school prom experience for children whose circumstances would prevent them attending a high school prom.

Throughout the year, Collegiate School students collect donated prom attire and conducted fund raisers to purchase supplemental items such as shoes and accessories. 

On Saturday, March 30, 2019, was the “shopping day” for the girls of JFBHS. Collegiate students were able to transform the JFBHS gymnasium into a boutique filled with six racks of prom dresses. Three tables were lined with shoes, an accessory station and even a table for the girls to pick out their make-up.

The gym was filled with laughter and excitement as residents had smiles from ear to ear on their faces after their successful “shopping experience”. The Collegiate students helped the find the right ensemble that will make them feel and look good at the upcoming prom. The student’s generosity and kindness was much appreciated by both children and staff.

CBD and THC-A Oil Dispensaries Set to Open Across Virginia

By Ben Burstein, Capital News Service

RICHMOND -- Virginians with a doctor’s recommendation soon will have access to CBD and THC-A oil dispensaries throughout the state. The Virginia Board of Pharmacy has approved five companies to open the dispensaries -- one in each of the commonwealth’s five health service areas.

The dispensaries will provide CBD and THC-A oils to approved patients only. The Board of Pharmacy met in private to review 51 applicants before selecting five: PharmaCann, Dalitso, Dharma Pharmaceuticals, Green Leaf Medical and Columbia Care. Background checks will be conducted before each company receives a license.

There are no scheduled opening dates for the dispensaries, but it's possible they could be operational by winter.

"Under the terms of their conditional approval, they all have to be open by the end of 2019," said Diane Powers, director of communications for the Virginia Department of Health Professions. The companies do not have to operate on any other specific timeline.

The dispensaries will offer welcome relief to patients suffering from a range of health problems, according to medical cannabis advocates. Legislation passed in 2018 allows medical practitioners to issue a certification for CBD or TCH-A oils for patients who would benefit from such substances. Dispensaries are only able to provide up to a 90-day supply at a time.

Stephanie Anderson of Richmond is considering CBD oil as an alternative treatment for her son's ADHD. She wanted her son to have safe and legal access to CBD products.

"I've been hesitant to try CBD from online sources, so the idea of having in-state pharmaceutical processors puts my mind at ease," she said.

PharmaCann, founded in 2014, currently operates medical marijuana facilities in five other states and is licensed to operate in three more. Its dispensary will be in Staunton in Health Service Area I, which stretches from Fredericksburg to the Shenandoah Valley.

Dalitso is a Virginia-based company that will specialize in the production of CBD and THC-A oils. It is in the process of obtaining approval to open a processing facility in Prince William County. Dalitso will open a dispensary in Manassas, which will serve Health Service Area II, including Fairfax and Alexandria.

Dharma Pharmaceuticals will open its dispensary in Bristol, covering  Health Service Area III, which encompasses southwest Virginia. Dharma is an international producer of medications for hepatitis, cancer and other diseases.

Green Leaf Medical will set up its dispensary in the Swansboro neighborhood in city of Richmond, serving the surrounding area south to Emporia in Health Service Area IV. Green Leaf is a producer of CBD and THC-A oils, along with other medical marijuana products available in almost 30 locations in Maryland.

Columbia Care will be based in Portsmouth and provide CBD and THC-A oils in Health Service Area V to residents in the Tidewater area to the Eastern Shore. Columbia Care is an international cannabis-focused health-care company with locations in 13 states, Puerto Rico and the Mediterranean nation of Malta.

Each dispensary submitted a $10,000 application fee and must pay an additional $10,000 per year to renew its license.

Heated Debate at City Council

The April 2nd meeting of the Emporia City Council started with the usual agenda items. The only difference at this meeting was that Council Member Woody Harris asked that one item be removed from the bills not paid. The item in question was an invoice from Troutman Sanders for $1,016.20. The expense wan incurred when other members of City Council had questions about the appointment of Marva Dunn to the School Board. The motion to not pay said invoice carried.

There was no other discussion about the minutes, bills or reports and the agenda was approved.

City Council presented a resolution to Thelma Adkins-Riley for her work in Civil Rights, a photo and story will follow at a later date.

Shawn Nicholson, of Crater Workforce Development Board (http://www.craterworkforce.org/) made a presentation on some new workforce programs in the City.  Shion Fenty was also involved in the presentation. Ms Fenty is the representative in charge of the Emporia Center.

The program – P.O.W.E.R. (Promoting Outstanding Work Ethics & Responsibility) is available to young people age 17-24 who may have impediments to entering the workforce. The program targets 11th and 12th graders, High School Graduates, Dropouts, GED Students and people who have a criminal record.

Services offered through the P.O.W.E.R. program include job search assistance, Paid Job Training, GED preparation, work readiness skills, a financial education and more. The program also offers career exploration and planning with individual assessments to help participants determine a career path. In addition, there are support services and follow-ups.

The program was created and is funded thanks to the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act. There are centers in Emporia and Petersburg.

For those interested in more information, the Emporia Center is located at 1300 Greensville County Circle, Suite C and may be reached at (434)632-0935.

A presentation was also made with information on the upcoming U. S. Census. Shirley Gilliam made a presentation that stressed the importance of counting all of our citizens. The Census occurs once every ten years, and is the basis for nearly all federal funding, representation to the U. S. House of Representatives and is the basis for redistricting, at all levels - local, state and federal.

City Council also approved a 180 day extension of the Electronic Gaming Machine Moratorium, giving the City Manager, Commonwealth’s Attorney and others time to formulate a plan on how to deal with the machines going forward.

Council Member Harris made a motion for an Operation Rule for City Council. This rule would require all expenditures made by members of City Council or officers/employees of the city to gain approval from the Council before any funds are committed or spent. Council Member Yolanda Hines suggested that the item be tabled so that it could be discussed further and the procedures of other localities could be explored.

In the Public Comments, Jesse O’Neary asked that the City Council consider bringing back the Pork Festival, in cooperation with Greensville County. This festival was good for the City and County, and is “too old for us to get rid of, so let’s fall in love with it.”

Debra Brown addressed the vote to not pay a bill. She stated that the bill should be paid and was only incurred because the City’s attorney “can’t read or comprehend” the code. She also added that “you knew that you violated the code four years ago and turned around and violated it again in December;” in reference to the appointment of Marva Dunn to the School board. It is the opinion of Troutman Sanders that the appointment was unlawful.

Melvin Hines also rose to address City Council, saying that it is a “waste of time to talk about not paying this law firm,” and calling the actions of City Council “nonsense and a waste of time. You’ll pay now or pay later.”

After the public comments, City Council recessed into closed session to discuss “a matter involving the acquisition of real property for public purposes because discussing in an open session would adversely affect our bargaining position.”

After the closed session (Editor’s Note-I stayed to see if there would be any information about the real property as this has been a closed session item at several meetings, but no action was taken on whatever was discussed in closed session) Council Member Carol Mercer made a motion to reconsider a previous action taken by City Council.

Council Member Mercer moved to reconsider the removal of the Troutman Sanders invoice from the rest of the bills and not paying it. The motion was seconded by Council Member Hines.

After the motion was seconded, Council Member Harris objected to allowing Council Member Hines to second the motion, believing that only a member of the prevailing side could second a motion to reconsider. A copy of Robert’s Rules of Order was found, at Council Member Harris’ urging, and the rule was looked up. According to Robert’s Rules of Order, any member of a voting body may second a motion to reconsider.

On a vote of 4-3, the motion to reconsider was carried.

Another motion was required to take action on payment of the invoice, and that action carried, also on a vote of 4-3. The Troutman Sanders invoice will be paid with the rest of the bills presented to City Council.

The motion to reconsider was the most drama-filled portion of the meeting.

During the discussion of the invoice from Troutman Sanders, the Mayor pointed out that thousands of dollars were spent on phone calls to the law firm when Council Member Harris’ wife applied for a job. This prompted a “point of personal privilege,” during which he accused the Mayor of throwing “another stick of dynamite” on the fire.

Mayor Mary Person told Council Member Harris that she would not be bullied. Council Member Harris stated that he thought that some bulling had taken place during the recess – implying that Council Member Mercer was forced into making the motion to reconsider.

This discussion became heated at times, and at one point, Council Member Harris raised his voice at the Mayor. The Mayor showed some frustration, but she did not respond to Council Member Harris in-kind.

Council Member Harris also stated that it was his belief that the contract with Troutman Sanders only allowed questions from the City Attorney or City Manager, as opposed to any member of Council being able to call and run up a bill. City Manager William Johnson stated that there was no contract.

Jackson-Feild Makes Presentation to Placement Professionals

Jackson-Field’s, Donna Creasy, presented information regarding Neurofeedback to a symposium of professionals who are tasked with finding the most appropriate and effective treatment for their locality’s youth with emotional and behavioral issues. The topic was Neurofeedback and its utilization in residential treatment

There was a keen  interest on the part of these professionals regarding Neurofeedback and its effectiveness in treating specific disorders including substance abuse. Neurofeedback is an evidence-based practice that uses electroencephalography or EEG to map brain activity.

The goal is for youth to understand their brain functioning and gain control over their thoughts and behaviors. They learn how to connect stimuli which are undesirable that associate with negative thoughts and emotions such as depression, anxiety, impulsivity, etc. They learn how to manage these thoughts and feelings and control and improve their behaviors.

Jackson-Feild has used Neurofeedback as an effective treatment intervention for over twenty years.  It is the only nonprofit organization in Virginia that uses it. Jackson-Feild does not receive any reimbursement for this service. JFBHS believes so strongly in this intervention since it has been so effective that it raises funds to cover this expense.

Ms. Creasy’ s presentation was very well received and participants walked away with a new appreciation and understanding about the importance Neurofeedback could make in helping their youth.

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.              

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