May 2021

A Cybersecurity Attack Can Happen to Your Small Business

By: Martin Short, Lead Economic Development Specialist & Public Information Officer

We are hearing more and more about cybersecurity attacks especially with large companies. Cybersecurity attacks are a growing threat to small businesses as well. What makes some small businesses so vulnerable and attractive for attacks is because they lack the IT security infrastructure. If you are a small business owner, do not think that it can’t happen to you.

The FBI released its 2020 Internet Crime Report indicated an increase of 300,000 from 2019 with reported losses of more than $4.2 billion. The top three crimes reported by victims were phishing scams, non-payment/non-delivery scams, and extortion.

These types of attacks can do astronomical damage to a small business. For some, it could mean a loss in business continuation and possibly cause the business to dissolve. This is what we want to avoid. So how do we avoid and/or prevent an attack?

Business owners can start with learning and educating themselves about cybersecurity and all the risks associated. Find out where your business’s vulnerabilities are and take action to prevent an attack.

First, assess your IT systems such as your website and email platform. If possible, consult with an IT professional. If your budget does not allow for a consultation start the process of learning as much as possible. The most common cyber threats are malware, viruses, ransomware, and phishing. Create a cybersecurity program to prevent these common threats.

Employees and emails are the leading cause of data breaches. Educating and training employees on basic internet best practices can significantly reduce an attack. Your program should be built around the creation of a hygienic prevention cyber-attack culture. Simple practices such as installing antivirus software and updating it on a regular are a start. Using strong passwords and a secure Wi-Fi network makes it secure and hidden.

Do not expect to address this matter by employing just a few practices. Again, consider instituting a culture of prevention and a program to address the most common attacks. The SBA has a webpage dedicated to educating business owners about cybersecurity. In addition, the SBA and resource partners offer training workshops around this. This is a worthwhile investment of time.

Visit the SBA cybersecurity webpage to learn more. Let’s prevent this and not let another foreseeable disaster happen to your business.

Delegate Tyler Hosts Hunting Town Hall Tuesday Evening


Arthur Milton Prince “Preacher”

May 22, 1932-June 12, 2021

Visitation Services

Thursday, June 17 at 1pm

Mount Vernon Baptist Church
16489 Dry Bread Road
Emporia, Virginia

Thursday, June 17 at 2pm

Mount Vernon Baptist Church
16489 Dry Bread Road
Emporia, Virginia

On June 12, 2021, Arthur Milton Prince left this life for his eternal home surrounded by his loving wife and family. He was known to his family and friends as “Preacher” but to his family, he was “Popa”.  

He was born and raised in Emporia, Virginia and most importantly, lived his life on the Dry Bread Road which he loved dearly and never wanted to travel far from. He retired from Johns Manville/Georgia Pacific after 42 years. He enjoyed gardening, fishing, and hunting. He was a man of faith, a strong but gentle man that loved his family with all of his heart.

Left to cherish his memory are his wife of 68 years, Nell Irene Tomlison Prince, his son, Milton Steve Prince and wife Rosemary, grandchildren, Michele Prince Turner (Kenny), Michael Steve Prince (Tonya) and Amanda Prince Sadler (Elliott), great-grandchildren, Kailtyn Turner, Andrew and Avarie Prince, Wyatt and Austyn Sadler. Sisters Lelia Louise Phillips and Mary Bernice Phillips, as well as numerous nieces and nephews.

Preacher was preceded in death by his parents Clarence Lee Prince & Lila Lelia Phillips Prince, brothers James Edward Prince, and Herman Lee “Billy Buck” Prince, sisters Virginia Magalene Banner, Ethel Mae Allen, Shirley Ann Allen and Erma Jean Veliky.

Funeral Services will be held at Mount Vernon Baptist Church on Thursday, June 17 at 2pm. Visitation for family and friends will be an hour prior to the service.   

If desired, memorial contributions can be sent to Mount Vernon Baptist Church. 

16489 Dry Bread Road. Emporia, VA 23847.

Online Condolences may be made at 

Wayne Ah Ching Wong

November 2, 1952 - June 10, 2021

Wayne Ah Ching Wong, 68, of Emporia, passed away Thursday, June 10, 2021. He was the son of the late Ah Ching Wong and Sally & Franklin F. Grizzard. He was also preceded in death by two brothers, Franklin F. Grizzard, Jr. and P.Y. Wong.

Mr. Wong is survived by his devoted companion, Catherine; son, Nigel Wong (Jaclyn); daughter, Sara Wong Pace (Robert); grandchildren, Austin Pace and Brianne Pace; stepchildren, Daniel McElwee (Katie), Amber O’Neal (Nathan), Travis Mahaffey (Robin) and Jamie McDonald; 7 step-grandchildren; brothers, Dale Grizzard and Carl Grizzard (Carol); sister, Aisley Daniels, Lorna Wong and Christina Wong and numerous nieces, nephews and great-nieces and great-nephews.

Wayne requested that there be no memorial service or funeral held.

Online condolences may be shared with the family at

Martha Purnell Byrd

April 15, 1937-June 7, 2021

Visitation Services

6-8 p.m. Thursday, June 10

Owen Funeral Home
303 S. Halifax Rd
Jarratt, Virginia

11 a.m. Friday, June 11

Owen Funeral Home
303 S. Halifax Rd
Jarratt, Virginia

Mrs. Martha Purnell Byrd, 84, of Emporia, passed away Monday, June 7, 2021. She was preceded in death by her husband, Harry F. Byrd and brothers, Jerry Martin Purnell, Swanson Purnell and Ira Poteat Purnell.

Mrs. Byrd was a member of Faith Baptist Church. She had a strong work ethic and had worked at Dan River Mills in Danville before settling in Emporia where she worked at several jobs before using her home as a base for a thrift store selling home furnishings.

Mrs. Byrd is survived by her son, Harry F. Byrd, Jr. (Tane Watson Byrd); grandson, William “Will” Watson Byrd; brothers, John Allen Purnell of San Antonio, TX, Ollie Keith Purnell (Emily) of Roxboro, NC, Ricky Gwynn Purnell of Elgin, SC, and Pete Preston Purnell of Blanche, NC; sister, Clara Jean Purnell of Tight Squeeze, VA and numerous nieces and nephews.

The family will receive friends 6-8 p.m. Thursday, June 10 at Owen Funeral Home, 303 S. Halifax Rd, Jarratt, Virginia where the funeral service will be held 11 a.m. Friday, June 11. Entombment will follow at Greensville Memorial Cemetery.

In lieu of flowers, the family suggests memorial contributions be made to Faith Baptist Church, 951 W. Atlantic St. , Emporia, Virginia 23847.

Online condolences may be shared with the family at

Alzheimer’s and Brain Awareness Month

VCU Health CMH has a neurologist, Yasir Al-Khalili, MD, who is an assistant professor of neurology at Virginia Commonwealth University School of Medicine and treats patients with brain disorders in South Hill.

South Hill, VA (6/4/21) – June is designated Alzheimer’s & Brain Awareness Month. June contains the Summer Solstice: the longest day of the year. To combat the darkness of this disease, the Alzheimer’s Association choose the month with the most daylight. It’s a great time to make sure our loved ones are exercising their brains.

Use it or lose it. While you can’t do much to prevent Alzheimer’s, it is caused by brain cells that die off. The more time spent thinking hard exercises the brain, sending fuel and oxygen to keep it operating efficiently. That’s why it is so important to get involved during retirement – work a part-time job or volunteer in the community to keep your brain occupied. Play games that require periods of deep thinking like Scrabble, Sudoku and crossword puzzles. While age and genetics can make some people more susceptible to forms of dementia, you may be able to improve your chances by eating well, exercising and avoiding tobacco products.

In early 1900s, a German doctor named Alois Alzheimer first connected memory loss with microscopic brain alterations. Across the globe, 50 million people suffer from Alzheimer's and other forms of dementia.

A lot of people confuse Alzheimer’s disease with dementia. Alzheimer’s progressively takes over the brain and is the most common form and cause of dementia. Dementia is not a disease; it is a collection of symptoms to include memory loss, difficulty speaking and comprehension that disrupt normal life.

Alzheimer’s is difficult to diagnose. Physicians look at the medical background, conduct an exam in the office, run blood work, and ask questions about how a patient thinks, acts and behaves in certain situations. Primary care physicians may conclude a patient exhibits overall dementia signs but may not be able to diagnose the specific disease.

VCU Health Community Memorial Hospital (VCU Health CMH) has a neurologist who may be able to help improve symptoms, but there is no cure.

Yasir Al-Khalili, MD, said, “Alzheimer’s is the most common cause of dementia; many conditions can mimic Alzheimer’s disease in the beginning. It is very important to seek neurological advice if you are concerned about a family member as it is imperative to catch early and slow the progression of disease.’’

For those who need an extended level of care beyond what families can provide, VCU Health CMH offers home health, long-term care and hospice to support the families of this community. Call (434) 447-0831 for CMH Home Health and Hospice and (434) 584-4054 for The Hundley Center, a long-term care and skilled nursing facility.

To make an appointment with a primary care physician at VCU Health CMH, call (434) 584-2273 or visit for more information.


Mr. Curtis Wray

September 3, 1930-June 2, 2021

Graveside Services

11 a.m. Saturday, June 5

First Christian Church Cemetery
427 Ruritan Drive
Emporia, Virginia

Mr. Curtis Wray, 90, of Emporia, passed away Wednesday, June 2, 2021. He was preceded in death by his wife, Joyce May Wray; two brothers, Lloyd Wray and Alton Wray; six sisters, Daisy Sutton, Bertha Malechek, Ida Lassiter, Clara Garrett, Anna Malechek and Elsie Lucy

Mr. Wray is survived by a son, Donald Wray; daughters, Debra Ogburn and Donna Allen (Douglas); nine grandchildren and ten great-grandchildren and sister, Thelma Faison.

The funeral service will be held graveside 11 a.m. Saturday, June 5 at First Christian Church Cemetery.

In lieu of flowers, the family suggests contributions be made in his memory to First Christian Church, 427 Ruritan Dr., Emporia, Virginia 23847

Online condolences may be shared with the family at

Glenda Lucy Pope

August 21, 1948 - May 28, 2021

Visitation Services

Tuesday, June 1, 2021, 1:00 P.M

Main Street United Methodist Church
500 South Main Street
Emporia, Virginia

Tuesday, June 1, 2021, Following Visitation

Main Street United Methodist Church
500 South Main Street
Emporia, Virginia

Absence on Earth is presence with the Lord.

Glenda L. Pope, 72, was called to her eternal home on May 28, 2021 surrounded by her loving family. She is preceded in death by her parents, Elton A. Lucy and Lucille B. Lucy. She is survived by her husband, Linwood E. Pope Sr., two sons, Linwood E. Pope Jr., and Charles A. Pope (Christina), four grandchildren, Emily (Joey), Allie, Carter, and Charlie along with, her beloved fur baby, Izzie. Glenda is survived by her brother, Gerald “Jerry” Lucy, nephew Jeremy (Angie), niece, Daisy (Tommy) and numerous great nieces and nephews. Glenda had many friends that she loved like family.

She will always be remembered for her smile, her witty words, taste of jewelry, sense of style, sense of humor, and specifically, her love for her family and friends. Glenda enjoyed many things in life including spending time at Lake Gaston and the Outer Banks, bird watching, gardening, but her biggest love was taking care of others and the love for her family. Glenda was a devoted servant of Christ. Her love touched the lives of many. She was a member of Main Street United Methodist Church and United Methodist Women. Glenda was also a member of the Margaret Parker Circle and the Memorial Committee. She also served in many roles within the community. She was a member of the Daughters of the American Revolution and involved in the Great Peanut Tour for many years. She also served in education for over 31 years for Greensville County School Systems where she was responsible for many things, such as the St. Jude Trike-a-Thon brought to GES in 2008. Glenda was a valuable mentor to so many and has touched the lives of all she encountered. She loved her family more than life itself.

A visitation will be held at Main Street United Methodist Church on Tuesday, June 1, 2021 starting at 1:00 P.M. with a funeral service to follow led by pastor Tom Durrance and Pastor Greg Hand of Pleasant Hill Christian Church at 2:00p.m. Interment following at Emporia Cemetery.

In lieu of flowers, donations are to be made to Main Street United Methodist Church at 500 South Main Street, Emporia, Virginia, 23847.

Online condolences may be made at

Wayne R. Croshaw, Sr.,

April 19, 1939 - May 28, 2021

Visitation Services

5-8 p.m. Monday, May 31

Owen Funeral Home
303 S. Halifax Rd
Jarratt, Virginia

2 p.m. Tuesday, June 1

Owen Funeral Home
303 S. Halifax Rd
Jarratt, Virginia

Wayne R. Croshaw, Sr., 82, of Stony Creek, passed away Friday, May 28, 2021. He was the son of the late Walter and Ada Croshaw and was also preceded in death by two sisters, Freida Bobbitt and Brenda Johnson.

Mr. Croshaw retired from Firestone Corporation in Hopewell and was an avid fisherman and enjoyed working at growing his fruit trees.

Wayne is survived by his wife, Mary Ellen Croshaw; sons Wayne R. “Randy’ Croshaw (Tammi) and Donald Poole (Lynn); daughter, Julie Gordon (Tommy Turner); grandchildren, Elizabeth Croshaw, Shawn Flanagan (Aidan), Hunter Poole (Darianne), Alexis Gordon and several nieces and nephews.

The family will receive friends 5-8 p.m. Monday, May 31 at Owen Funeral Home, 303 S. Halifax Rd, Jarratt, Virginia where the funeral service will be held 2 p.m. Tuesday, June 1. Interment will follow at Concord United Methodist Church Cemetery.

In lieu of flowers, the family suggests memorial contributions be made to Concord United Methodist Church, c/o Alice Spiers, 25713 Courthouse Rd, Stony Creek, VA 23882.

George L. Hill

December 02, 1936 - May 28, 2021

Graveside Services

2 p.m. Friday, June 4

Owen Funeral Home
500 Spring Street
Emporia, Virginia

Mr. George L. Hill, 84, of Emporia, passed away Friday, May 28, 2021. Mr. Hill was preceded in death by his beloved wife, Sarah Jane Tomlinson Hill.

He was a retired insurance agent with Life and Casualty Insurance and a U.S. Army veteran. He was a member of Zion Baptist Church and also was a greeter at Wal-Mart where he enjoyed interacting with former customers and meeting new friends.

Mr. Hill is survived by two daughters, Janice Paige Millias (Jacob) and Rebecca K. Edleman (Jack); grandchildren, Megan Miller (Ryan), Katherine Colson (Nick), Sarah Millias (Michael), Michael Cruz (Manny) and Tabitha Bailey (D. J.); great-grandchildren, Evelyn and Cullen Colson, Eldon Miller, Scarlett and Skylar Tracy, Kaylin Harper, Tyree Harper, Carter Bailey, Amber Bailey, Jack Edleman, Jr., Scott Edleman and Brock Edleman; and great-grandson, Warren Edleman. He is also survived by a number of nieces and nephews.

The funeral service will be graveside 2 p.m. Friday, June 4 at Emporia Cemetery.

Online condolences may be shared with the family at


~ On the passing of former U.S. Senator John Warner ~

WASHINGTON – U.S. Sen. Mark R. Warner (D-VA), Chairman of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, released the following statement regarding the passing of former Secretary of the Navy and United States Senator from Virginia John Warner (no relation), who held the seat Warner now holds from 1979 to 2009: 

“John Warner was a consummate statesman and a public servant who always put Virginia before politics; who put the nation’s security before partisanship; who put the country’s needs above his own.

 “John Warner and I ran against each other back in 1996. I’ve often said since that the right Warner won that race. And one way that I know that is that even though we came from different political parties – even though we ran spirited, albeit respectful, campaigns that year – as soon as the election was called, it was over. And even though John Warner was already a towering institution in Virginia politics, and I was just some young upstart, he allowed me to become his friend. I felt then, as I do today, incredibly privileged.

 “Later, when I became Governor of Virginia, anytime I had to ask folks to take a tough stand in order to do what was right for Virginia, John Warner was always right there, volunteering to put his name and his credibility on the line, because that’s who he was.

 “When John retired from the Senate in 2009, he was able to do so with satisfaction at a job well done, and I was blessed to take his place in the Senate. But truthfully, John’s service to our country never ended; he remained an active participant in public affairs. He was always available with a keen ear, sound judgment, good humor and a few words of encouragement and advice. The last time I saw him just a few weeks ago, he was full of questions about the latest in the Senate and in Virginia.

 “In Virginia, we expect a lot of our elected officials. We expect them to lead, yet remain humble. We expect them to serve, but with dignity. We expect them to fight for what they believe in, but without making it personal. John Warner was the embodiment of all that and more. I firmly believe that we could use more role models like him today. There’s little I’m prouder of than the fact that he twice endorsed me for re-election.

 “I will dearly miss having John’s counsel and wisdom to call upon in the years ahead. But more than that, I will miss his friendship, because I loved him. My deepest condolences go out to his children and his entire family, especially his devoted wife of many years, Jeanne.”

SEEC Vice Chair McEachin Joins Fellow Leaders in Releasing Priorities for American Jobs Plan

Washington D.C. – Today, Congressman A. Donald McEachin (VA-04), Vice Chair of the Sustainable Energy and Environment Coalition, joined his fellow SEEC leaders in the coalition’s release of endorsed priorities for inclusion in the American Jobs Plan legislation. This release comes amid discussions of what a bipartisan infrastructure bill could look like.

The document reads in part:

“Our coalition uniformly believes that we can and must create millions of good, family-sustaining jobs with an equitable recovery plan that simultaneously protects our communities from the ever-increasing threats of climate change while reducing pollution and injustice in historically burdened communities.”

A link to the full list of coalition priorities can be found here. The document includes just over 12 pages of SEEC priorities for jobs, infrastructure, and recovery legislation. It is organized by committee jurisdiction, with the exception of environmental and economic justice, which is covered in a cross-jurisdictional manner. Coalition priorities include but are not limited to:

  • An energy efficiency and clean electricity standard (EECES) to spur job creation and set us on course towards a clean energy economy, further supported by a responsible buildout of transmission infrastructure, a decade-long platform for clean energy tax credits, and policies to electrify our economy.
  • Surface transportation policies that drive job growth, renew dilapidated infrastructure, and reduce greenhouse gas and other pollution, such as fix it first policies and robust funding to transition freight and public transit fleets to zero-emission vehicles and install a national network of charging infrastructure, among other policies.
  • A focus on equity across all our policies to ensure that this recovery helps address long-standing injustices and creates high-road, family-sustaining jobs as we build a new, clean future that supports all Americans.


22 Virginia Traffic Deaths – 5 Motorcyclists – Since Last Friday

RICHMOND – With travel forecasts calling for a significant increase for the Memorial Day weekend from 2020, the Virginia State Police (VSP) is encouraging motorists to bring their “Safety First” mindset to the roadways. This includes obeying all posted speed limits, driving for conditions, buckling up and ditching distractions. Traffic safety is imperative when considering that 22 lives have been lost to 16 reported crashes on Virginia’s highways between Friday, May 21, 2021, and midnight Wednesday, May 26, 2021. Of the 22 traffic fatalities, five were motorcyclists, two were bicyclists and one was a pedestrian. Two of the fatal crashes claimed a total of eight lives.

“As a state of normalcy returns to Virginia’s roadways and families head out for summer adventures, motorists need to remember that as traffic increases so should their vigilance and patience,” said Colonel Gary T. Settle, Virginia State Police Superintendent. “During this holiday weekend, Virginians will see traffic numbers that we haven’t experienced in close to a year. All drivers need to remember to not only comply with posted speed limits, but to also be patient and alert for added congestion on our roads.”

Beginning Friday, May 28, 2021, VSP will join law enforcement around the country for Operation Crash Awareness Reduction Effort (C.A.R.E), a state-sponsored, national program intended to reduce crashes, fatalities and injuries due to impaired driving, speed and failing to wear a seat belt. The 2021 Memorial Day statistical counting period begins at 12:01 a.m. on May 28 and continues through midnight Monday, May 31, 2021. All available state police troopers and supervisors will be on patrol through the holiday weekend to help keep traffic moving safely and responsibly.

During the 2020 Memorial Day Operation C.A.R.E initiative, Virginia troopers arrested 70 drunk drivers and cited 2,469 speeders. Troopers issued 224 citations for failing to wear a seat belt and eight individuals lost their lives in traffic crashes. In addition, VSP personnel assisted 1,460 disabled motorists across the Commonwealth during last year’s Memorial Day weekend.

This year, the Memorial Day Operation C.A.R.E. initiative falls within the annual “Click It or Ticket” campaign. This helps to further emphasize the lifesaving value of seat belts for every person in a vehicle.

“Just within the past six days, 22 people have lost their lives on a Virginia roadway. Preliminary data shows at least eight of those were not wearing a seat belt, to include a 10-year-old boy. Eight lives that may have been saved with the simple click of a seat belt. It’s an easy decision to make – buckle up. And buckle up everyone riding in your vehicle,” said Settle.

With the increased patrols, VSP also reminds drivers of Virginia’s “Move Over” law, which requires motorists to move over when approaching an emergency vehicle stopped alongside the road. If unable to move over, then drivers are required to cautiously pass the emergency vehicle. The law also applies to workers in vehicles equipped with amber lights.

Lifelong Nurse Followed Her Calling to Emergency Department Manager

Tammy Mull, BSN, RN, CEN, of Boydton, recently accepted the ED Manager position at VCU Health CMH.

South Hill, VA (5/26/21) – Tammy Mull, BSN, RN, CEN, grew up in Mecklenburg County. She is the daughter of two hard working parents who instilled in her the drive to help people. She felt the calling to be a nurse as a young child. The first in her family to go to college, she completed nursing school at Virginia Commonwealth University. Tammy worked at VCU Medical Center for thirteen years in pediatrics and the pediatric emergency room. In 1995 she moved back to South Hill for an Emergency Department (ED) staff nurse role at Community Memorial Hospital. Eventually, VCU Health affiliated with CMH, so she found her way back to her VCU roots. After several promotions, Tammy recently accepted the ED Manager position.

Her favorite part of her job is the people, whether it be a team member or a patient. She is passionate about nursing, believes in treating all people with respect and puts herself in their shoes.

“However technical nursing may be, we cannot forget the caring,” she said. “I am very proud of the ER team we have at VCU Health CMH. They practice with passion and caring.”

This past year has been especially trying for emergency room nurses.

“It was an uncertain time for the community and world,” explained Tammy. “Everyone came together to treat the unknown with the ever-present fear of contracting COVID. We followed CDC and Health Department guidelines, which changed constantly.”

Tammy is board certified in emergency nursing and is an active member of the Emergency Nurses Association. She holds several emergency and trauma certifications and has helped lead multiple new initiatives in the ED.

One project focuses on moving less-sick patients through the ER in a timely manner. By making changes in staffing and working with patient flow data, they’ve been able to track a significant decrease in patients leaving without treatment.

“We do not want any patients to sit for extended lengths of time, waiting to be seen by the ER physician,” Tammy explained. “Our focus is to see everyone and treat them timely and efficiently.”

The second project’s goal is to admit patients in a timely manner.

“We worked with the hospitalists and inpatient units to redefine our process,” she said. “We’ve been able to reduce the time it takes to admit patients. Ultimately, our goal is to do what is best for our patients. We are here 24 hours a day, seven days a week.”

The nurse manager role is a new position at VCU Health CMH. One of her main duties will be overseeing the daily operations of the ED. While this may seem like a daunting task for most, Tammy has the experience to do it well. Her biggest adjustment has been moving toward a business professional attire from nursing clinical scrubs to support the nurse manager role.  

“I’ve been wearing scrubs since 1982 and now I have to wear business casual. Each morning is a struggle to pick out my clothes. I see a shopping trip in my near future,” she joked.

Tammy and her husband live in Boydton in a log cabin on 25 acres of land. Her hobbies are reading, cooking, and spoiling grandchildren.

“We have been blessed with two children and four grandchildren,” Tammy said. “Everyone lives in the surrounding area. VCU Health CMH is the hospital for my family.”


~ Legislation would require public companies to disclose training, turnover, workplace health and safety, other human capital metrics ~

WASHINGTON – With more and more businesses rooted in service and intellectual property, U.S. Sen. Mark R. Warner (D-VA) and U.S. Rep. Cindy Axne (D-IA) reintroduced legislation today to require public companies to disclose crucial workforce management metrics, including investments made in skills training, workforce safety, and employee retention. 
“In our information-based economy, workers are easily one of the most valuable assets that a company can have. However, there continues to be too much variability among public companies when it comes to disclosing human capital metrics,” said Sen. Warner. “This legislation will help provide a clearer picture of how public companies are managing, supporting, and investing in their workers – factors that significantly influence a company’s ability to innovate and compete.”
“Over the past century, we’ve seen businesses become less reliant on physical assets and more reliant on their workers, but the public disclosures we ask of our businesses don’t cover the investments they’re making in their employees,” said Rep. Axne. “We expect our public companies to disclose their holdings and their balance sheets – but in an economy that needs people in order to be productive, we must keep that same transparency to make the U.S. a leader in helping investors understand the long-term prospects of the companies they’re investing in. The COVID-19 pandemic has only emphasized how important this information is, especially when it comes to workplace health and safety or the ability to work from home.”
In 1975, more than 80 percent of the S&P 500’s market value was in companies’ tangible assets, such as real estate holdings or purchased equipment. By 2015, tangible assets accounted for less than 20 percent.
The Workforce Investment Disclosure Act would require public companies to disclose basic human capital metrics, which have an increasingly high value across industries in our 21st century economy. These metrics include workforce turnover rates, skills and development training, workforce health and safety, workforce engagement, and compensation statistics. This legislation would build on existing disclosure requirements, which do not currently provide sufficient information for potential workers and investors looking to evaluate modern businesses. 
“This bill takes disclosure on every company’s most valuable asset, People, out of the shadows and into the light. Every public and private company should be sharing these metrics in their public disclosures.” Jeff Higgins, founder and CEO of Human Capital Management Institute.
"We know that human health, safety, and well-being are material to businesses’ bottom line, and human-centered policy interventions are critical to improving employee health, engagement and productivity,” said Rachel Hodgdon, President and CEO of the International WELL Building Institute. “We commend Representative Axne and Senator Warner for their continued leadership and introduction of the Workforce Investment Disclosure Act. This bill, which takes a significant step forward on driving transparency and incentivizing investment in the workforce, will help ensure businesses prioritize the overall welfare of their most valuable asset - their people. By simply compelling businesses to report on their workforce management policies, we can accelerate better corporate practices, recognize market leaders and spur powerful investments in the health, safety and equity of employees around the country."
Gary Gensler, the new Chair of the SEC, recently said that updating disclosure rules on workforce metrics would be an “early focus” and a “top priority” of his tenure. Both Chairman Gensler and his predecessor, Chairman Jay Clayton, have affirmed the need for more information about companies’ human capital.
The bill has the support of the California State Teachers Retirement System (CalSTRS) and the National Employment Law Project. Additionally, notable investment and asset management firms already support updating these disclosure requirements.
In 2019, leadership of major investors BlackRock and State Street Global Advisory both emphasized the importance of human capital — and have indicated the need to create standardized reporting. In addition, research from the Embankment Project on Inclusive Capitalism, a partnership between asset managers directing $30 trillion and large public corporations, found U.S. companies that disclose their total human capital costs outperform those that do not.
Sen. Warner, a former entrepreneur and venture capitalist, has long stressed the importance of updating human capital disclosure requirements to reflect the priorities of modern companies. In a May 2020 letter to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Sen. Warner and Rep. Axne urged the SEC to require that human capital management information be made publicly available in a timely and accurate manner to help determine whether a company will be successfully able to weather risks following the COVID-19 crisis.

Brunswick Academy Announces Honors Graduates

Congratulations to Brunswick Academy’s Class of 2021 graduates. Amidst the difficulties of sporadic periods of online learning as well as the COVID mandates for in-class instruction, this class of thirty-one students has remained diligent, focused, and dedicated to fulfilling the academic requirements for graduation from Brunswick Academy. While each of the thirty-one students worked hard to earn this distinction, the administration, faculty, and staff of Brunswick Academy recognize the impressive accomplishments of its Honor Graduates.

William Hunter Greene, the Valedictorian, is the son of Kevin and Diane Greene of Baskerville, VA. While Hunter considered his college choices of North Carolina State University, Virginia Tech, and The University of Virginia, his future plans are to attend Virginia Tech and major in Electrical Engineering. Brady Jacob Talbert, the Salutatorian, is the son of Darren and Michelle of Lawrenceville, VA.  Brady will be attending Virginia Tech to study Physics.

While Hunter and Brady are applauded for their utmost dedication to achieving Brunswick Academy’s top honors, several students from the Class of 2021 earned the distinction of a 95 or higher cumulative grade point average and are thereby deemed Brunswick Academy Honor Graduates. Kyle Tyler Powell is the son of Timothy and Nevine Powell of South Hill, VA. Although Kyle is undecided in the college of his choice, he does know that he will be studying Computer Science. Robert Tyler Creedle, son of Steve and Susan Creedle of South Hill, VA, has chosen to attend High Point University this Fall and will be focusing on pursuing a Computer Science degree with a concentration in cybersecurity. Brysen Alexandrea Diefert is the daughter of Ron and Brenda Diefert of Emporia, VA. After much deliberation, Brysen has chosen to attend the University of South Carolina to study Biological Sciences. Naomi Rose Sadler, daughter of Hermie and Angie Sadler of Emporia, VA, will be attending Randolph-Macon College to further her softball career as well as major in Biology. Christian Alexandra Williams, daughter of Brian (‘86) and Traci Williams of South Hill, VA, will be attending James Madison University this upcoming Fall; she will focus on the Business and Marketing curriculum. Seong Hun “Peter” Jung, an international exchange student hosted by James and Jayung Kim of Alberta, VA, will be attending Pensacola Christian College to pursue a career in Accounting. Meredith Paige Lucy, daughter of Jeremy and Angela Lucy of Dolphin, VA, has decided that Radford University will be her school of choice; she will be pursuing a Pre-Physical Therapy major and a minor in Dance.

Best wishes and congratulations to the Brunswick Academy Class of 2021 graduates. It is an honor to have been part of their academic journeys. The administration, faculty, and staff of Brunswick Academy look forward to witnessing the future successes of the entire graduating Class of 2021.

"Nature Lover"

I feed the birds and squirrels

though at times it does get rough

yes I have this one squirrel

who never seems to get enough.


It's peanut butter in the feeders

and raw peanuts on the ground

yet the pesky squirrel

eats both if I'm not around.


There are six or seven in the group

and all but one seems quite content

yes "Chucky" is very special

but his habits don't relent.


Chucky doesn't care how many

trips to the feeders I must make

he thinks it all is just a game

I give; and he will take.


It is a pleasure I must say

to watch all come and feed

yes and with all the weather we had for a while

there really was a need.

                         - Roy E. Schepp

VSU Offers Food and Agri-Science Scholarships For Second Year

The College of Agriculture (COA) at Virginia State University (VSU) is proud to offer another opportunity for students to take advantage of the VSU Food and Agri-Science Scholarship Program. Starting May 20, 2021, newly admitted and current VSU students interested in majoring in agricultural degree programs and who meet all scholarship requirements may be eligible to receive a one- or two-year $10,000 scholarship.
The VSU Food and Agri-Science Scholarship Program, authorized by the United States Congress in the 2018 Farm Bill, provides students a pathway to career success in diverse fields of agriculture. The scholarship can be used to cover the cost of tuition, room and board, certain fees and books.
The College of Agriculture offers three-degree programs: Bachelors of Science in Agriculture, Family and Consumer Sciences and Hospitality Management. Within those degree programs, students can select from 11 concentrations, inclusive of Agriculture Business and Economics; Textile, Apparel and Merchandising Management; Dietetics and Nutrition; Plant and Soil Science; Pre-Veterinary Medicine and Environmental Science.
For more information about eligibility requirements, a complete list of concentrations or to apply, visit Applications can be completed online here.

The number of scholarships is limited and will be awarded on a first-come, first-served basis until exhausted.
Questions about the scholarship can be sent to Dr. M. Ray McKinnie, dean of the VSU College of Agriculture, at, or Sylvia D. Jones at

Empowering Youth to Teach Computer Skills to Adults

Virginia State University’s (VSU) 4-H Program recently received a $141,000 grant to expand efforts to empower teens to teach digital skills to adults.

The National 4-H Tech Changemakers (TCM) program uses a teens-as-teachers approach with teen leaders learning digital skills to teach to adults. The teens become certified Tech Changemakers and work in partnership with their 4-H educators to use prepared lesson plans to virtually teach digital skills to adults in their communities. The lesson plans focus on digital skills that help drive economic opportunity, like using Microsoft Word to create resumes or learning to safely navigate the internet to find job search websites.

Tech Changemakers across the country are expected to reach about 50,000 adults in rural communities over the next year and enable them to use the skills they learn to achieve greater economic opportunity. The TCM program is a collaboration between the National 4-H Council, Verizon, Microsoft, Land O’ Lakes and land-grant universities.

Dr. Chantel Wilson, 4-H STEAM Extension Specialist with the Cooperative Extension at VSU, said that the program not only helps youth become leaders and adults become computer literate, but also helps bridge the technology gap, generational gap and foster greater collaboration between youth and adults.

Localities served include two returning communities in Charlotte and Halifax counties and 16 new communities in Amelia, Bedford, Campbell, Clarke, Gloucester, Greensville, Isle of Wight, Madison, Montgomery, Nottoway, Prince Edward and Rockbridge counties as well as the cities of Bristol, Lynchburg, Roanoke and Salem. The program will also include localities closer to VSU, including Prince George County and the cities of Petersburg and Richmond.

Extension is a joint program of Virginia Tech, Virginia State University, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, and state and local governments. Virginia Cooperative Extension programs and employment are open to all, regardless of age, color, disability, gender, gender identity, gender expression, national origin, political affiliation, race, religion, sexual orientation, genetic information, veteran status, or any other basis protected by law. An equal opportunity/ affirmative action employer. Issued in furtherance of Cooperative Extension work, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Virginia State University, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture cooperating. Edwin J. Jones, Director, Virginia Cooperative Extension, Virginia Tech, Blacksburg; M. Ray McKinnie, Administrator, 1890 Extension Program, Virginia State University, Petersburg.

VCU Health Community Memorial Hospital’s April, 2021, Team Member of the Month

VCU Health CEO Scott Burnette and Executive Assistant Sandra Noel

South Hill, VA (5/14/21) – For the past six years, Sandra Noel has worked at VCU Health Community Memorial Hospital (VCU Health CMH) as an Executive Assistant to CEO Scott Burnette. She’s well known in the office and handles a little bit of everything, but mostly serves as the face of administration.

When the COVID vaccine clinics opened at the old hospital, Sandra helped check patients in at registration, escorted them to the vaccination area and answered questions. VCU Health CMH awarded Sandra with the April Team Member of the Month award for STAR service. STAR stands for Safety, Teamwork, Accountability and Relationships. Sandra received the STAR service award, STAR pin, a parking tag that allows her to park wherever she wants for the month of May and a $40 gift card.

“Sandra always made patients feel welcomed and at ease,” said Joanne Malone, Clinical Quality Analyst, on her nomination form. “Daily Sandra provides excellent customer service above and goes beyond the call of duty for everyone she meets, always with a kind word and a genuine smile. Sandra’s caring nature and cheerful personality make her a valuable asset at VCU Health CMH.”

“She is very conscientious about helping wherever she can and provides great customer service,” said Mr. Burnette. “She is a great role model for STAR service.”

“The COVID vaccine clinics were a wonderful experience,” said Sandra. “The patients were so glad to be getting their vaccination, it was uplifting. I was humbled to receive this award; I felt like I was just doing my job.”

Sandra is a firm believer in team effort. “You can’t do anything by yourself,” she said. “It takes a team; lean on others.”

Sandra lives in Valentines and is working on her bachelor’s degree in health care administration. She comes from an extensive background in the insurance industry, where she worked 36 years as an agent. She has a granddaughter in Elizabeth City who is the apple of her eye.

The only other nominee for April was Tracy Bailey in the C.A.R.E. offices.

Social Security Delivers the Most Popular Baby Names in Virginia for 2020

See the list at

The Social Security Administration today announced the most popular baby names in Virginia for 2020.  Liam and Charlotte topped the list. 

The top five boys and girls names for 2020 in Virginia were:

            Boys:                                       Girls:

            1)  Liam                                   1)   Charlotte

            2)  Noah                                 2)   Olivia

            3)  William                              3)   Ava

            4)  James                                 4)   Emma

            5)  Oliver                                 5)   Sophia

The agency announced last week that Olivia and Liam were the most popular baby names in the U.S.  How does Virginia compare to the rest of the country?  Check out Social Security’s website -- to see the top national baby names for 2020.

Social Security encourages everyone to enjoy the baby names list and, while online, create a mySocial Securityaccount at  mySocial Securityis a personalized online account that people can use beginning in their working years and continuing while receiving Social Security benefits.

Social Security beneficiaries have instant access to their benefit verification letter, payment history, and complete earnings record by establishinga mySocial Securityaccount. Beneficiaries also can change their address, start or change direct deposit information, and request a replacement SSA-1099 online.  People receiving benefits can request a replacement Medicare card online.

People age 18 and older who are not receiving benefits can also sign up for a mySocial Securityaccount to get their personalized online Social Security Statement.  The online Statement provides workers with secure and convenient access to their Social Security earnings and benefit information, and estimates of future benefits they can use to plan for their retirement.  Residents of most states may request a replacement Social Security card online if they meet certain requirements. 

The agency began compiling the baby name list in 1997, with names dating back to 1880.  At the time of a child’s birth, parents supply the name to the agency when applying for a child’s Social Security card, thus making Social Security America’s source for the most popular baby names.

In addition to each state’s top baby names (and names for U.S. territories), Social Security’s website has a list of the 1,000 most popular boys and girls names for 2020.

To see the fastest rising girls and boys names in 2020, go to


SVCC Partners with SHINE to Develop Innovative Training Program

A collaborative effort between Southside Virginia Community College and the Solar Hands-on Instructional Network of Excellence (SHINE) is working to develop a new short-term training program with the potential to put thousands of unemployed and underemployed people to work in local communities and across the Commonwealth. The program will teach basic skills necessary for entry into the emerging field of utility-scale photovoltaic installation.

“Utility-scale solar projects represent one of the most significant opportunities for Southside Virginia to expand its business base,” says David Peterson, Executive Director of SHINE. “The Virginia Clean Economy Act, which passed last year, gives the state a mandate to meet certain objectives for renewable energy.”

The Act, which passed in 2020 with bipartisan support among Virginia’s citizens, requires the creation of a renewable energy portfolio that will move the Commonwealth toward a clean-energy goal. Solar energy is an important part of this mix, and investments in utility-scale generating capacity are vital to its success. SHINE estimates that utility-scale solar construction through 2028 will bring upwards of 22,550 megawatts of generating capacity to Virginia and create more than 31,000 jobs across the state. Within the counties served by SVCC, 4,000 jobs are expected within the next few years.

Despite these promising projections, Peterson acknowledges some challenges. “The issue is clouded by the politics of renewable energy, but the economic value and job creation value have tremendous direct economic benefit to the community. Solar installation training opens the door for people who want to start careers in energy fields or move forward in other construction-type career paths.”

SVCC’s Vice President of Academic and Workforce Programs, Dr. Keith Harkins, notes, “The partnership between SHINE and SVCC has set the example of how communities can ensure local residents have the skills needed to take advantage of the growing opportunities in the solar industry. Utility-scale solar projects are on the rise in Virginia, and this partnership has created a foundation upon which other communities can build. We are beyond excited about how this partnership will help our students gain entry into this exciting industry.”

The partnership brings the College and future employers together to shape the program. Peterson explains this dynamic, “The industry professionals who will be doing the hiring are also developing the curriculum. They know what they need in future workers. The college knows how to deliver the training.”

Small test cohorts have enabled groups of students and industry partners to provide input and refine the curriculum in a way that will generate a highly targeted, short-duration program. The emphasis will be on the rapid development of entry-level skills needed for immediate employment. Peterson emphasizes the importance of such a focused effort. He says, “People with families and other responsibilities just don’t have the luxury of spending a long time in training. They need to move quickly into an income generating position.”

Program graduates will receive industry-recognized credentials, such as OSHA 10 and SHINE certifications, which affirm their readiness to enter the solar installation field. In addition, SHINE will facilitate job interviews with contractors who are ready to move forward with construction.

Workers seeking to move up the career ladder will have further opportunities. The certifications are designed to be stackable, so people who choose to continue their education, can pursue additional steps leading to such specialties as operations and maintenance. The earned credentials and work experiences are also transferrable. This will enable people who want to pursue opportunities in other renewable energy or building industries to diversify their skill sets. Some people may even choose to pursue exciting opportunities with utility-scale solar contractors who have a presence across the Commonwealth, across the U.S., and even around the world.

Founded in 2018 with a focus on keeping solar jobs and their corresponding economic benefits in-state, SHINE is a public-private partnership representing members of the Maryland-DC-Delaware-Virginia Solar Industries Association, solar developers, construction companies, energy consulting and recruiting firms, and other industry and education experts. Its purpose is to build innovative solar career pathways in Virginia through the development of a qualified, diverse, equitable, and inclusive solar workforce. For more information about this initiative, visit

SVCC is part of the Virginia Community College System. Its service area spans ten counties in rural southside Virginia. The College provides diverse instructional programs ranging from developmental studies to associate degree curricula in academic areas, technical/vocational fields, lifelong education, and workforce development. For more information about education and training opportunities, visit

Virginia State Police Will Host A Community Day in Emporia This Friday

Emporia, VA- This Friday, May 21st, from 4-7pm, the Virginia State Police will have an open house/community day at its local area office. All are welcome to come by for refreshments, meet & greet and to observe some of the state police's specialty units. Opportunity to ask questions and see members of our K-9 units, Search & Rescue Team, and Criminal Investigators.  The event will be held at 520 South Main Street, Emporia, Virginia 23847. (See attached flyer)
For more information or questions about the event, contact Trooper S. Boone at (757) 803-5459 /

Christian Alexandra Williams is the BA April 2021 Senior Student of the Month

Brunswick Academy is proud to announce our April 2021 Senior Student of the Month: Christian Alexandra Williams.

Christian is the daughter of Brian Williams ('86) and Traci Williams, from South Hill, Virginia. She has three siblings, Brittany, Carson ('22), and Cole.

Christian has been an Honors student at Brunswick Academy since her Freshman year of high school. While the Honors program is the most rigorous program offered by Brunswick Academy, Christian has further challenged herself by enrolling in several Dual Enrollment classes through Liberty University Online Academy and Southside Virginia Community College. Christian is a member of the National Honor Society and is the club’s Secretary. She is also a member of the Art Club, participating as the Treasurer and Secretary. Furthermore, Christian’s high academic achievement earned her the role of a Junior Marshal in 2020.

When Christian is not busy with Brunswick Academy academics and organizations, she volunteers her time to the school. Last year, Christian held a special position- she served as a Morning Greeter for Mrs. Judi’s Pre-K class. During this past summer, Christian was often on campus to assist staff with setting up classrooms according to Covid regulations. She does not limit her giving spirit to just her school, though. Christian also volunteers often for her church, First Baptist Church of South Hill.

In the fall, Christian plans to attend James Madison University to study Marketing or Business, with a possible minor in Human Resource Development. Brunswick Academy is very proud of Christian's academic accomplishments as well as the admirable character traits that she shares with those around her.

Brunswick Academy Baccaulaureate Service and Commencement Exercise

A combined Baccalaureate Service and Commencement Exercise will be held at Brunswick Academy on Saturday, May 29, 2021 at 10:00 a.m.  The guest speaker will be Reverend Lee Foster of Tabernacle Baptist Church in South Hill, Virginia.  Thirty-one seniors will be graduating.

The valedictorian is William Hunter Greene, son of Mr. and Mrs. Kevin Ray Greene of Baskerville.  The salutatorian is Brady Jacob Talbert, son of Mr. and Mrs. Darren Glenn Talbert of Lawrenceville.  Both Hunter Greene and Brady Talbert will be attending Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University.

There will be seven other honor graduates at this year’s commencement.  Kyle Tyler Powell, son of Mr. and Mrs. Timothy Dale Powell of South Hill, will be attending Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University. Robert Tyler Creedle, son of Mr. and Mrs. Steven Hart Creedle of South Hill, will be attending High Point University.  Brysen Alexandrea Diefert, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Ronald William Diefert of Emporia, will be attending the University of South Carolina.  Naomi Rose Sadler, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Herman Marion Sadler III of Emporia, will be attending Randolph-Macon College.  Meredith Paige Lucy, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Jeremy Thomas Lucy of Dolphin, will be attending Radford University.  Christian Alexandra Williams, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Emmett Brian Williams III of South Hill, will be attending James Madison University.  Seong-Hun “Peter” Jung, host student of Mr. and Mrs. Hyogyum James Kim of Alberta, will be attending Pensacola Christian College.

Sixteen seniors are children of Brunswick Academy alumni.  Four of those seniors are the grandchildren of Brunswick Academy alumni.

National Asthma and Allergy Awareness Month

South Hill, VA (5/17/21) - About 25 million U.S. citizens live with asthma. And more than 50 million suffer from allergies. The Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America (AAFA) promotes National Asthma and Allergy Awareness Month in May.

Asthma is a long-term disease that causes your airways to become inflamed, resulting in coughing, difficulty breathing, wheezing and chest pain. While a cure does not yet exist, it can be managed by minimizing risks, taking medications as prescribed and knowing what to do if you have an attack, like carrying a rescue inhaler.

Physicians look at medical history, conduct an exam, perform lung-function tests and may order an X-ray to determine what type of asthma you have and develop a treatment plan that is best for you, including medications and ways to avoid things that may set it off.

CMH Pulmonology Services offers effective treatment for individuals with asthma. Indu Shivaram, MD, is board certified in pulmonary medicine, critical care medicine and internal medicine. “We help our patients get healthy and stay healthy through education, lifestyle changes and access to the latest treatments and therapies. We also will work with you to create a personalized care plan for your long-term health,” she said.

Allergies are twice as common as asthma. Some peoples’ immune systems deal with specific allergens by producing an antibody that results in an allergic reaction. Symptoms range from annoyances like watery eyes, runny nose, sneezing, a rash or hives to more serious swelling in the throat that restricts the airway.

Doctors review your medical history, perform an examination and run a series of tests to identify which allergens make you sensitive. Treatment can include avoidance, medication and immunotherapy.

CMH ENT offers evaluation and treatment for environmental allergies. Saleem Naviwala, MD, is a board-certified Otolaryngologist. “We use a patient-focused approach, providing allergy testing and administration of allergy shots for patients ages 10 and up,” Dr. Naviwala said.

To make appointments with CMH Pulmonology Services or CMH ENT, call (434) 584-2273. For more information on services visit

Golfers Help Jackson-Feild’s Children

On Jackson-Feild Behavioral Health Services (JFBHS) hosted its 26th annual Go Golfing for the Kids tournament at the Golf Club at the Highlands in Chesterfield County. Over the years, this event has raised nearly $600,000. This year, the proceeds will be used towards “building a better future” and addressing campus infrastructure needs.

The event would not be the same without the continued generous support of the tournament sponsor, Boddie-Noell Enterprises. Each year, Boddie-Noell has exemplified their motto, “we believe in people”, providing golfers with Hardees lunches and even participating as players themselves.

Teams traveled from all over Virginia and from North Carolina. Despite rainy forecasts and light showers, the sun came out just in time for golfers to play a round on the green. Following play, golfers were treated to a cookout dinner and awards presentation at the Reserve at the Highlands. Congratulations to the team from Virginia State University on their first place victory!

The Jones LTC Pharmacy team and the Pearson Funeral Home team both finished strong and annually have been in contention for the winning team.

This past year was among the most challenging periods in Jackson-Feild’s 166 year history. JFBHS is incredibly grateful to the numerous supporters who have helped them weather the challenges they have faced. Through their generous contributions, JFBHS is able to create a better tomorrow for all its residents.

Mark your calendars--planning has already begun for the 27th anniversary tournament to be held on May 2, 2022!

Dwaine L. Gable

October 30, 1957 - May 14, 2021

Mr. Dwaine L. Gable, 63, of Emporia, passed away Friday, May 14, 2021. He was the son of the late Elmer Lee Gable and Alice Marie Gable and was also preceded in death by his wife, Maureen O’Connell “Mo” Gable and sisters, Donna Jean Simcox and Denise Marie Allred.

Dwaine is surved by two daughters, Rebecca Grizzard and Kimberly Taylor; grandchildren, Mindi Prince and Holden Taylor; brother, Rodger Dale Gable Betty); sister, Deborah Kay Door (Neil); brothers-in-law, Michael Simcox and John Allred and numerous nieces, nephews, great nieces and nephews and aunts.

The family will schedule a memorial service at a later date.

Online condolences may be shared with the family at


The Pharmacy Connection

South Hill, VA (5/11/21) – VCU Health Community Memorial Hospital (VCU Health CMH) has offered a medication assistance program since 2003. This valuable service is given at no cost to qualifying patients with little to no insurance. The Pharmacy Connection is part of VCU Health Community Memorial Hospital's commitment to the citizens of the communities they serve.

To honor that commitment, they’ve just hired a new Medication Enrollment Coordinator, serving as a liaison between drug manufacturers, physicians and qualifying patients. Meet Kim Bannister, LH, PC Agent, of Skipwith. She’s always had a job in the medical field. She spent 11 years in the military medical corps. She sold health insurance for 15 years and then worked for the Southside Health District for another 10 years as the Medical Reserve Coordinator. She worked closely with VCU Health CMH during her time at the health department and remembers referring clients to the Pharmacy Connection program. Because of the time she spent in other people’s homes selling insurance, she understands the hardships people face, having to choose between paying the heating bill or paying for medications.

Kim has two daughters who are married, one grandson, and another grandchild on the way. She enjoys sports and has spent years umpiring and coaching baseball and softball. She still volunteers for the medical reserve corps with disaster relief and provides training about infection prevention for churches, nursing homes and day cares.

How does The Pharmacy Connection work?

VCU Health CMH's Pharmacy Connection utilizes software provided through the Virginia Health Care Foundation that includes information on more than 7,000 medications. Many prescription drug manufacturers have patient assistance programs for uninsured, low-income patients. This software helps the patient cut through the red tape reducing time, assisting with applications, eligibility, tracking, refills, reports and ultimately helping more low-income, chronically-ill patients get the medications they need to stay healthy. Most patients get the medications at a reduced rate or at no cost to them up to one year and then they have to reapply, and the Pharmacy Connection helps them do that.

Eligibility is based on household income and pharmaceutical manufacturers’ guidelines.  The Virginia Health Care Foundation has a special category of grants for medication assistance called RxRelief Virginia, which is available because of an appropriation from Virginia’s Governor and General Assembly. In FY20, RxRelief Virginia helped 12,063 uninsured Virginians from 75 localities obtain $104 million in free, or low-cost medicines and supplies utilizing only $1.6 million in state funds.

All of the major classes of medication are included, covering chronic diseases ranging from diabetes to hypertension, clinical depression to asthma and more. Since its 1997 launch, The Pharmacy Connection has generated more than $6.3 billion in free medications for more than 351,000 sick, uninsured Virginians via more than 5.3 million prescriptions. Visit for more information.

How do I know if I qualify?

While there are general income guidelines, many manufacturers qualify patients on a case-by-case basis.

Who do I call?

VCU Health CMH's Pharmacy Connection is administered through the CMH Foundation. Patients can be referred by their primary care physician. The number for patients to call for more information or to schedule an appointment is (434) 447-0856. The Pharmacy Connection is open Tuesday through Thursday from 8:00 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. by appointment only.

Howard Rogers Cannon

May 12, 1950 ~ May 11, 2021

Howard Rogers "Roger" Cannon, age 70, passed away following a period of declining health. He was born in Roanoke Rapids, NC and grew up in Emporia, Virginia; the devoted son of William Howard and Edith Rogers Cannon. He served proudly in the United States Army during the Vietnam era and continued to be a strong and unwavering Patriot until his death. He is survived of his wife of 45 years, Amy Zaruba Cannon; two sisters, Ruth Furbee of Montclair, Virginia and DeEtte Wirtanen of Parker, Colorado; his son, Brian and wife, Kelly; two grandchildren, Bennett and Kathryn. He leaves nieces, Angi Williams, Mikhel Wirtanen, Sarah Brogan, Emily Zaruba, Danielle Duerr and Katie Sherron; nephews, Scott Furbee, Mark and Stephen Zaruba; sisters-in-law, Beth Riffe and Cindy Zaruba and a devoted brother-in-law, Mark N. Zaruba Sr.; as well as other extended family members. He is also survived by dear friends, Lawrence and Brooke Hettinger and lifelong friend, Bob Ranson. Roger retired from United Parcel Service after 33 years of dedication. While in his 50's he found what he always wanted to do and took up skydiving. His greatest thrill was jumping out of a perfectly good airplane and enjoyed introducing friends and family to the sport. At his request, there will be no memorial service   but, donations to his favorite charity, Shriners Hospitals for Children, P.O. Box 1525, Ranson, WV 25498, or a charity of your choice would be welcome. Online condolences may be registered at


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