November 2021

Teamwork and Gratitude

By Quentin R. Johnson, Ph.D.

As leaves and temperatures fall, people bundle up in sweaters and jackets. Warm camaraderie overcomes the chill in the air. This seasonal change provides an apt setting for the annual observance of Thanksgiving, and I feel truly grateful for so many of life’s blessings.

I am thankful for the opportunity to work among a supportive team of colleagues at Southside Virginia Community College, and I am thankful for our students, people who come to SVCC from all walks of life. As they pursue academic attainment and job training options, sometimes in the face of tremendous challenges, their dedication provides inspiration.

SVCC’s faculty, staff, and students are perhaps the most visible face of our college, but they are not the only members of our college’s team. Many volunteers also work behind the scenes, diligently serving on various boards that help us fulfill our mission. I am especially grateful for the dedication and hard work of these too-often unrecognized team members.

The Local College Board is one example. Its members provide guidance to ensure that SVCC delivers instructional programming to meet a diverse range of needs. Another example is the SVCC Foundation Board that guides activities to provide money, personnel, and other resources that help strengthen the college and its programs, including scholarships for students and other contributions to educational and administrative needs. In addition, Advisory Boards in specific program areas help ensure that student experiences are properly aligned with current needs among local employers.

Carla Sanford, RN, BSN, who serves as Clinical Nurse Manager of L.D.R.P. Unit, is a member of one such board. She explains her role. “The advisory board allows me to collaborate with SVCC faculty, staff, and students so we can continue to improve the student’s learning experience.”

John Lee, President and CEO of Mecklenburg Electric Cooperative, EMPOWER Broadband, Inc. and EMPOWER Telecom, Inc. serves on another Advisory Board. He says, “Through their utilization of business leaders on strategic oversight panels such as the Power Line Workers School (PLWS) Advisory Committee, SVCC receives valuable state-of-the-industry input that allows them to adjust or amend their programs to better fit the most recent and constantly changing industry needs for those positions. For example, at the PLWS, they have made curriculum and program adjustments based on the very input they are receiving from those who are actually hiring their graduates. It’s another win-win scenario for the very successful business/education partnership we built while establishing the school, a place that is literally changing the lives of those who enroll and succeed there.”

Robbie Pecht, a member of the Foundation Board, sums up the feelings of many when he says, "SVCC is such a vital part of our community and I am honored to serve on the SVCC Foundation Board.  I see our work to assist the college and SVCC students as an investment."

I am grateful for the dedication of community-minded people such as Mr. Pecht, Mr. Lee, and Ms. Sanford. Their willingness to be involved on behalf of our students and the communities we serve stands as an example, and their excellent leadership skills help us stay on course.

I am surrounded by people who continually give me reasons to be thankful. As you gather with your family and friends to celebrate Thanksgiving this year, I hope your list of blessings is as long as mine.

________

Dr. Quentin R. Johnson 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 quentin.johnson@southside.edu.

Virginia State Police Investigate Single Vehicle Crash Resulting In A fatality

Carrsville, Va: On November 33 at approximately 9:35 A.M., the Virginia State Police was called upon to investigate a single vehicle crash which resulted in the sole occupant, the driver, succumbing at the scene. 

Troopers were at the 900 block of Myrtle Road, investigating a log truck that has overturned, entrapped and due to injuries sustained, killing the driver. 

Investigations reveal that the driver of a 1999 Western Star Tractor Trailer, Linda G. Tomlin, was traveling southbound on Old Myrtle Road, loaded with logs. Tomlin, ran off the road onto the soft shoulder, causing the tractor trailer to turn on its side. The cab was crushed by the logs that were being carried in the rear of the trailer.

Linda Gail Tomlin, 54 YOA, of the 100 block of Louis Street, Emporia, Virginia, died at the scene from injuries sustained in the crash. Tomlin was not wearing his seatbelt at the time of the crash. Notification was made to family members.

Thomas Edward “Eddie” Taylor, Sr.

July 9, 1940 - November 24, 2021

Visitation Services

Sunday, November 28, 2021, starting at 1:00 P.M.

Echols Funeral Home
806 Brunswick Avenue
Emporia, Virginia

Sunday, November 28, 2021, 2:00 P.M.

Emporia Cemetery
806 Brunswick Avenue
Emporia, Virginia

Thomas Edward Taylor, Sr., “Eddie”, 81, passed away on November 24, 2021. He was the son of the late, Lena P. Taylor and Jessie Edward Taylor. He was preceded in death by his parents, and sister, Jean Taylor Drake. He is survived by his wife of 60 years, Joan S. Taylor of Emporia, VA., brother, Earl Taylor (Barbara) of Emporia, VA., daughter, Amy Taylor Dianis (Walter) of Emporia, VA., son, Thomas “Jonny” E. Taylor, Jr. (Stacy), of Emporia, Va., grandchildren, Dustin Jake Taylor (Kailey), Morgan Elizabeth Dianis, Daniel Taylor Dianis, Drake Parker Taylor, Hunter Allie Taylor, great-granddaughter, Makenzie Taylor, god child, Allison Fetko Jones, brother-in-law, Harvey Smith (Pat), niece, Karen Drake Reidy, nephew, Robbie Drake.

Eddie was a member of Calvary Baptist Church and was the manager of Harding Grizzard Auto Parts, he retired from the VA Dept. of Corrections, he also served in the United States Navy.

A Visitation will be held at Echols Funeral Home on Sunday, November 28, 2021, starting at 1:00 P.M.

A funeral procession will follow the visitation to Emporia Cemetery for a graveside service at 2:00 P.M. with Rev. Bob Pipkin officiating.

Online Condolences may be made at www.echolsfuneralhome.com

VIRGINIA STATE POLICE TROOPER SELECTED FOR I.A.C.P. LEADERSHIP LOOKING BEYOND THE LICENSE PLATE AWARD

2020 Mecklenburg County Traffic Stop Earns Trooper National Recognition

RICHMOND – The Virginia State Police (VSP) is proud to announce the selection of Virginia State Police Trooper Jonathan R. Davis as the recipient of the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP) 2021 Leadership in Looking Beyond the License Plate Award. Trooper Davis, who is assigned to the Area 22 Office in the VSP Appomattox Division, was recently presented his award by Colonel Gary T. Settle at the VSP Superintendent Awards Ceremony in North Chesterfield County.

“The Virginia State Police is extremely proud of Trooper Davis for being the only law enforcement officer in the nation to be selected for this esteemed recognition,” said Colonel Gary T. Settle, Virginia State Police Superintendent. “Trooper Davis’s extraordinary efforts not only disrupted a major credit card theft operation, but also prevented countless, innocent people from being victimized by these suspects. Virginia, and especially Mecklenburg and Lunenburg counties, are fortunate to have Trooper Davis on patrol and protecting their communities.”

The IACP award announcement described the investigation as follows: Trooper Davis has pursued a path of valor, service, and leadership. Trooper Davis's traffic stop on a minivan and the legal search of the vehicle ultimately uncovered a credit card theft ring that was operated by two foreign nationals residing in New York. The search of the vehicle yielded the discovery of a large bag containing a credit card skimmer, 14 debit/gift cards, and $140,000 in US currency. Trooper Davis proactively contacted the United States Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to determine if the agency had any intel or interest in these two individuals. An agent was dispatched to respond to the scene. The DHS agent ran all the cards through a mobile scanning device and determined that seven of the cards had been rewritten with stolen credit card identifications. Trooper Davis also contacted the VSP High-Tech Crimes Division for analysis of cell phones and other electronics seized from the vehicle to bolster his case and assist the federal agents with their investigation. Trooper Davis pursued state charges while a grand jury indicted both individuals on more than six felony charges.

The traffic stop took place April 23, 2020 along the southbound lanes of Interstate 85 near South Hill, Va. The purpose for the traffic stop was initially for a speeding violation of 84 mph in a posted 70 mph zone. Upon his approach of the vehicle, Trooper Davis observed a homemade, paper license plate taped to the upper left hand corner of the rear window. The license plate information and title the driver presented to him did not match nor were valid, which led Trooper Davis to further investigate and uncover the illegal credit card theft and skimming operation.

The IACP Leadership in Looking Beyond the License Plate Award recognizes the dedication and initiative of individual police officers whose daily efforts during traffic stops play a large part in preventing additional, more severe crimes. This award is designed to substantiate and document the importance of license plates as law enforcement tools and recognize officers who use license plates to prevent and detect both civil traffic violations and further criminal conduct.

Trooper Davis, 32, joined the Virginia State Police in July 2018 as a member of the 129th Basic Session Academy Class. He has been assigned to Area 22, which encompasses South Hill and the counties of Mecklenburg and Lunenburg, since graduating from the academy.

Governor Northam Announces Virginia’s Unemployment Rate Falls for 17 Months Straight, Lowest in Mid-Atlantic

Unemployment rate drops to 3.6% in October, with employment increases across ten out of eleven major industries

RICHMOND—Governor Ralph Northam today announced that Virginia’s unemployment rate dropped to 3.6 percent in October, which is 2.5 percentage points below the rate from one year ago. Virginia’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate continues to be below the national rate of 4.6 percent.

The Commonwealth’s labor force participation rate rose to 63.0 percent. This rate is above the national rate of 61.6 percent. 

“Virginia’s economy is making great strides, with the lowest unemployment rate since the COVID-19 pandemic began,” said Governor Northam. “The positive trend is the result of careful fiscal management and our extensive work to make Virginia a welcoming and open place. This approach has served Virginia well and continuing it will deliver further economic gains for the Commonwealth.” 

Total nonfarm payroll employment increased by 19,400 jobs in October. The labor force increased by 5,918 to 4,256,634, as the number of unemployed residents decreased by 7,566 to 154,126. The number of employed residents rose by 13,484 to 4,102,508. In October 2021, Virginia saw over-the-year job gains of 2.0 percent. 

“The declining unemployment rate and growth across many industries suggest that Virginia’s economy is as dynamic as ever,” said Secretary of Labor Megan Healy. “Employers and employees are working together on our economic recovery, and we should all be proud of how far we have come.” 

“The Commonwealth’s job market recovery maintained its momentum through October, another positive sign of what’s to come for Virginia’s post-pandemic economy,” said Secretary of Commerce and Trade Brian Ball. “With nearly 20,000 jobs added and growth across ten of the eleven major industrial sectors since last year, Virginia’s economy continues its favorable growth trajectory.”

Compared to a year ago, on a seasonally adjusted basis, ten of eleven major industry divisions experienced employment increases. The largest over-the-year job gain occurred in leisure and hospitality, up 25,200 jobs or 7.6 percent. The next largest over-the-year job gain occurred in professional and business services, up 24,500 jobs or 3.2 percent. Government experienced the third-largest over-the-year job gain of 9,700 jobs or 1.4 percent. 

For a greater statistical breakdown, visit the Virginia Employment Commission’s website.

Coming Soon: “The Bank - Inspired by Lucy and Linda”

The Mayor and City Council would like to welcome a new eating establishment to our Downtown area. “The Bank - Inspired by Lucy and Linda” will be located at 401 South Main Street, Emporia Virginia and plans to be open prior to the beginning of 2022. 

The INSPIRED menu will include local favorites such as chicken, pork, seafood, and beef dishes. They will also serve sandwiches, great appetizers, and desserts. INSPIRED will also have a full bar including mixed drinks, wine, and beer.  A children’s menu will also available. Their plans are to be open on Tuesday through Saturday during lunch and dinner hours. 

Clifton and Kimberly Threat are the owners of the new restaurant and Tomaya Turner is part of the management staff.  Mrs. Threat hopes that the restaurant will serve in "bringing family together with some good southern food, one plate at a time."

The City is excited to see the restaurant reopen and bring additional business downtown. Please look out for times and dates to open as well as advertisements for the hiring of people from the food-service industry.

Molly’s Bicycle and Colonial Heights Rotary Help Jackson-Feild

Colonial Heights Rotarians teamed with the staff at Molly’s Bike Shop to help

restore wellness and support the children at Jackson-Feild who are suffering from severe mental illness and emotional trauma.

A bad storm in August caused a tree to fall on the covering under which bikes were stored, destroying several bikes. The bikes were a great source of fun and recreation for residents.

A Rotarian who leaned of this issue donated three bikes and reached out to Louis Sheer owner of Molly’s to service the donated bikes.

Molly’s is a wonderful community partner who lends a helping hand to young and old in the community. Rotary is in international service organization which has helped millions around the world since 1905.

Over the years, the Colonial Heights club has helped the children at Jackson-Feild repeatedly and has conducted countless service projects in the Petersburg- Colonial Heights area since its inception.

Tyler Andrew Barton

July 21, 1987 - November 10, 2021

Services

Thursday November 18, 2021 at 2 PM

Echols Funeral Home
806 Brunswick Avenue
Emporia, Virginia

Tyler Andrew Barton, 34 of Emporia, found his peace on November 10, 2021. Tyler is survived by his adoring wife, Erica, his three beautiful children, Shelby Grace (mother, Sara Mayton), Liam Buck and Korrine Rose. He is also survived by his loving parents, David Barton (Havre de Grace, MD) and Linda Perkins Barton (Danieltown). Tyler had many wonderful friends that share the most amazing memories of his life, including Wil Daniel, Matt Barnes, Bobby Burrus and Terry Burrows. Tyler has an extensive family of grandparents, in-laws, aunts, uncles, cousins, nieces and a nephew, that he also leaves behind to cherish his memory. Tyler was a devoted father and enjoyed nothing more than spending time with his children and giving them the experiences that his parents shared with him growing up. Tyler loved hunting, fishing, and baseball and took pride in creating those memories with his children. Tyler never met a stranger and was always willing to lend a helping hand. This amazing personality led to his career advancement at Penske Truck Leasing, where he started as a diesel technician at the Chester location and ended up as a Branch Service Manager in Chesapeake. The memorial services to honor Tyler’s life will be held, Thursday November 18, 2021 at 2 PM at Echols Funeral Home in Emporia. In lieu of flowers, monetary donations can be made to benefit his children’s future.

"It's no Accident"

It's easy for people to say
that they don't like it a bit
yet the trash aside our hyways
is because some threw it.
 
The scenery is ruined
for tourists traveling through
still they are just as responsible
as the likes of me and you.
 
We all know when you take a trip
trash is sure to accumulate
yet when we stop for gas or the night
to get rid of would be great.
 
Yes trash in the ditches and on the road
is not a pretty sight
now wherever you come from or who you are
we all know it's not right.
 
Now to stop it won't be easy
but it sure is worth a try
but the effort is for everyone
not just you and I!
 
                         - Roy E. Schepp

Jackson-Feild Re-Accredited by the Council on Accreditation

Jackson-Feild Behavioral Health Services (JFBHS) received a three-year re-accreditation by the Council on Accreditation (COA).  COA is an international, independent, nonprofit, organization that partners with human service organizations to improve service delivery outcomes by developing, applying, and promoting accreditation standards.

Jackson-Feild is pleased to announce that the organization received no out-of-compliance ratings for any standard.  This is an amazing achievement. In its on-site review, the COA inspector noted that JFBHS was the nicest program she had ever visited and was highly impressed with the campus.

Reaccreditation is a noteworthy achievement that recognizes JFBHS as a residential treatment provider that successfully implements high performance standards delivering high quality services to mentally ill children.  

Through objective and reliable verification, accreditation instills confidence and provides credibility to Jackson-Feild’s parents, donors, board members, community partners and stakeholders. 

The accreditation process involves a detailed self-study that analyzes both administrative operations and service delivery practices.  Organizations are measured against national standards of best practice, and examine their operations and practices to ensure they are accessible, appropriate, responsive, evidence-based and outcomes-oriented.  It confirms that services are provided by a skilled and supportive workforce and that children are treated with dignity and respect.  Accreditation is conferred on the entire organization and not just one specific program or service with the intent to inspire confidence, credibility, integrity and achievement.

President and CEO Tricia Delano notes that “This is a noteworthy milestone. An extensive amount of time and hard work went into this process but it is well worth the investment of time, energy and effort. I salute our dedicated staff members who ensured that JFBHS was re-accredited. I want to especially commend Tanyah Jones who coordinated the accreditation efforts.”

Meet the new dentist at CMH Family Dental Services

Abdallah A. S. Al-Oweidi, D.D.S., known as “Dr. A,” among his colleagues and patients, recently joined CMH Family Dental Services in South Hill.

Sometimes you can just tell when physicians really care about their patients. Dr. Abdallah A. S. Al-Oweidi, D.D.S., is one of those physicians. Known as “Dr. A.” among his colleagues and patients, Al-Oweidi comes to CMH Family Dental Services from private practice in Richmond.

Meet Dr. A. at our next virtual Community Out-Reach Education program on December 1, 2021, at noon via Zoom. Learn how to avoid gum disease, dentures and root canals. Visit vcuhealth.org/cmh-core for the link.

“I love to help people any way I can,” said Dr. A. “People feel more confident when they have a good smile. I want to be involved and have a positive impact on my patients’ overall health — not just their dental concerns.”

Dr. A. has several family members who are physicians, so dentistry was a natural career choice for him. He earned his doctor of dental surgery from the University of Jordan in Amman as well as VCU School of Dentistry. He completed an internship at the Ministry of Health in Amman and spent a month at an externship performing simple surgical extractions at Cook County Hospital in Chicago. Dr. A. is an Invisalign-certified provider. He is a member of the American Dental Association, Virginia Dental Association and Richmond Dental Society. He is fluent in English and Arabic.

Dr. A. has an uncle who is an oncologist, and cancer has reared its ugly head in his family, so he took a year to study cancer biology and therapeutics in Boston and conduct stem cell research in Chicago. First-time patients will notice the in-depth health history he takes that covers the whole body, not just dental health.

“My education focused on comprehensive care for patients and took a holistic approach,” he explained. “As a dentist, I need to know if my patients have had chemo because other complications can occur.”

Dr. A. understands the financial burden patients face in this area. He wants to make sure patients don’t have to choose between medical bills and food. CMH Dental Services accepts Medicaid and families with no ability to pay who have been approved for CMH Financial Assistance. The practice is supported by a grant from the Virginia Health Care Foundation.

“I walk the extra mile to empower my patients to ensure they have the health knowledge, experience and education to live a comfortable life,” he said.

When Dr. A. is not working, he enjoys climbing, cycling and Crossfit. He enjoyed volunteering with Rotaract Clubs overseas, which are Rotary-affiliated organizations for students and young adults. There he served elderly and underprivileged communities with financial and food-related support.

Dr. A. is located in the C.A.R.E. Building at 1755 N. Mecklenburg Avenue in South Hill. Make an appointment today by calling (434) 584-5590 or visit VCU-CMH.org for more information.

McEachin Highlights Impacts of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Package for Virginia

“The Infrastructure Investment & Jobs Act Will Revitalize the Commonwealth’s Infrastructure”

Washington, D.C. – Today, Congressman A. Donald McEachin (VA-04) highlighted key provisions of the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, also known as the Bipartisan Infrastructure Package, and their impacts for Virginia.

“I was proud to help pass the Bipartisan Infrastructure Package to deliver historic investments to the Commonwealth and improve the lives of Virginians,” said Rep. McEachin (VA-04). “The legislation will provide our great state with crucial funding to rebuild our roads, bridges, and highways, bolster our public transit system, improve our water infrastructure, and expand access to broadband internet for communities that are currently lacking it. The package includes important provisions for superfund remediation and lead-based paint and pipe replacements to ensure all Virginians can breathe clean air and drink clean water. Finally, it takes important steps in developing the necessary infrastructure to support the transition to electric vehicles and clean-energy alternatives. I am confident the Bipartisan Infrastructure Package will save Virginians time and money, create thousands of new jobs, and make a meaningful difference for the Commonwealth.”

Over the next five years, the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act will provide Virginia with:

  • $7 billion to repair and rebuild our roads and bridges through federal-aid highway apportioned programs.
  • $537 million to repair and replace bridges that are in poor condition.
  • $1.2 billion to improve public transportation options, like our passenger rails, throughout the state.
  •  $106 million to support the expansion of electric vehicle charging stations across the Commonwealth.
  • $100 million to help provide broadband coverage to all Virginians, including the 473,000 who currently lack it.
    • 1,908,000 Virginians (23% of the population) will be eligible for the Affordable Connectivity Benefit to help low-income families afford internet access.
  • $15 million to protect against wildfires and make our infrastructure more climate resilient.
  • $21 million to protect against cyberattacks and ensure our state’s continued security.
  • $738 million to improve water infrastructure, including wastewater management and lead pipe remediation to ensure clean, safe drinking water for all Virginians.
  • $386 million to improve our airports and develop new airport infrastructure.
  • $238 million to support the Chesapeake Bay Program to restore and preserve the Chesapeake Bay.

The Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act passed the House with bipartisan support (228-206) on November 5th and was sent to President Biden’s desk for signature.

Read more about its impacts for Virginia here.

Governor Northam Dedicates Virginia’s 26th State Forest

New state forest is Charlotte County’s first publicly accessible land

CHARLOTTE COUNTY—Governor Ralph Northam today announced the dedication of the Charlotte State Forest, opening the first publicly-accessible state land in Charlotte County. The 5,004 acre state forest is Virginia’s 26th state forest in the Commonwealth. The Virginia Department of Forestry will sustainably manage the forest under Sustainable Forestry Initiative and American Tree Farm Standards, conserving key habitat areas and providing new public access to outdoor recreation activities.
 
“Virginia’s state forests are critical to preserving environmental sustainability and a strong economy across the Commonwealth,” said Governor Northam. “Charlotte State Forest will conserve wildlife habitats, enhance water quality, provide recreational opportunities for the public and support local economies. We look forward to enjoying this new outdoor asset.”
 
The forest was owned by Governor Thomas B. Stanley, who served from 1954 to 1958, and the Stanley Land and Lumber Corporation prior to The Conservation Fund’s purchase in 2019. It was used to provide shortleaf and Virginia pine, as well as white oak and hickory, to local mills for furniture.
 
Virginia’s forests contribute $21 billion annually to the economy and employ more than 108,000 workers. Charlotte County is located within the state’s highest timber producing region. The river, stream and wetland resources on these forests drain into Kerr Lake, which provides drinking water to nearly 500,000 residents in Virginia and North Carolina. 
 
“As Virginia’s third largest industry, forestry plays an essential role in Virginia’s economy,” said Secretary of Agriculture and Forestry Bettina Ring. “Close collaboration between the Virginia Department of Forestry, The Conservation Fund, the Stanley family, and other public and private partners made this important acquisition possible and will ensure that it is sustainably managed for current and future generations.” 
 
“This property is a very special place. Its legacy of sustainable management for both timber and wildlife habitat, combined with its important water resources have made it an important location here in Charlotte County,” said State Forester Rob Farrell. “Today we celebrate the future of Charlotte State Forest, its continued sustainability, its contribution to Virginia’s economy, and its importance to the many individuals and families who will have the opportunity to enjoy recreational activities here.”
 
“Ensuring the integrity of large forested landscapes and keeping them in sustainable management is one of the most important conservation strategies today,” said The Conservation Fund Virginia State Director Heather Richards. “By continuing the legacy of three generations of the Stanley family and the Stanley Land and Lumber Corporation and creating Virginia’s newest State Forest, we are safeguarding the forest’s ability to provide vital climate, economic and ecological benefits for generations to come. We are grateful to our partners in the Commonwealth and the U.S. Forest Service, support from Virginia’s U.S. Congressional delegation, and funding from the federal Land and Water Conservation Fund and the Richard King Mellon Foundation. Together, we made this wonderful outcome possible.”
 
To acquire the forestland from The Conservation Fund, the Virginia Department of Forestry leveraged federal, state and private funding through the USDA Forest Legacy Program, the federal Land and Water Conservation Fund, agency mitigation funds, and additional Land and Water Conservation Fund Stateside grant funding.
 
“The United States Forest Service is pleased to support and partner with the Virginia Department of Forestry to protect this important and historic working forest that will provide wildlife habitat, abundant recreational opportunities, and timber resources through ongoing sustainable management,” said Southern Regional Forester Ken Arney. “Forest Legacy projects can take several years to accomplish and require a high degree of commitment from partners and landowners. We applaud the amount of work that went into making this happen.”

Carolyn Faye Jenkins Harris

October 30, 1941 - October 28, 2021

Services

Friday, November 5th at 2:00PM

Independence United Methodist Church
4438 Independence Church Road
 
Emporia, Virginia

Carolyn Faye Jenkins Harris, 79, passed away on October 28, 2021.  Faye lived the last several decades of her life in Powhatan, Virginia.  She is preceded in death by her parents Sarah Phillips Jenkins and Leon Humphrey Jenkins of Emporia. She is survived by two children:  Lee Harris and his wife, Tina Boling of Midlothian, VA; and Courtney Harris and her husband Dave Forrest of Yorktown, VA. Faye is survived by three grandchildren.  Faye will also be missed her extended family, and many special close friends from Powhatan. She was an avid follower of University of Virginia basketball through many seasons. Faye loved living in the countryside, and was devoted to her many animals.

A graveside service will be held on Friday, November 5th at 2:00PM, at Independence United Methodist Church in Greensville County, VA.

Donations in her memory can be made to the Cemetery Fund of the Independence United Methodist Church, 5334 Dry Bread Road, Emporia, VA., 23847, or to the Lonesome Dove Equestrian Center 6137 Old Buckingham Road, Powhatan, VA., 23139.

Online condolences may be made at www.echolsfuneralhome.com

 

McEachin, Davis Introduce Bipartisan Legislation to Prevent Increased Prescription Drug Costs

Washington, D.C. – Today, Congressman A. Donald McEachin (VA-04) and Congressman Rodney Davis (IL-13) introduced the Help Ensure Lower Patient (HELP) Copays Act to protect patients from increased out-of-pocket prescription drug costs.

The bipartisan bill builds on previous efforts to lower out-of-pocket (OOP) costs for patients by prohibiting the use of copay accumulator programs, ensuring insurers cannot exclude the value of pharmaceutical manufacturer cost-sharing assistance from counting toward an enrollee’s annual cost-sharing limit.

“Access to life-saving prescription drug medications should not be complicated by undue financial barriers,” said Rep. McEachin (VA-04). “As Americans continue navigating the coronavirus pandemic, we must take steps to protect them from undue out-of-pocket expenses. I am proud to introduce this bipartisan legislation, alongside Congressman Davis, to protect patients who rely on copay assistance.”

“Making prescription drugs more affordable for everyone is one of my top priorities and a bipartisan goal shared by Congress,” said Rep. Davis (IL-13). “Especially with the costs of goods and services on the rise, patients shouldn’t have to face complicated financial barriers when purchasing prescription drugs. Every dollar saved counts. That’s why I’m proud to join Congressman McEachin in introducing this bipartisan legislation so we can provide financial relief to patients and promote their health at the same time.”

Historically, when a patient has utilized cost-sharing assistance at the pharmacy counter, the amount has counted towards a patient’s deductible and maximum out-of-pocket limit, thereby lowering patient’s overall out-of-pocket spending. In June 2020, former Trump Administration HHS Secretary Alex M. Azar, II finalized the 2021 NBPP rule, reversing that policy and allowing health insurers to adopt “copay accumulator adjustment programs.” These programs permit issuers to exclude cost-sharing assistance towards a patient’s OOP maximum, making it difficult for patients to afford their medicines. Moreover, allowing copay accumulator programs also impedes patient access to treatment amid an unprecedented pandemic and economic crisis.

“The National Hemophilia Foundation thanks Congressman McEachin and Congressman Davis for introducing the HELP Copays Act,” said Dr. Leonard A. Valentino, President/CEO, the National Hemophilia Foundation. “This critical bipartisan legislation will prevent health plans from implementing programs that are creating significant treatment access barriers. Considering the ongoing challenges that COVID-19 poses for many, this is an especially positive step in protecting patients with any sort of pre-existing, complex, or chronic health conditions.”

“Patients with HIV, hepatitis, and other chronic illness are struggling to afford their medicines as health care costs continue to rise. The bipartisan legislation introduced by Representatives McEachin and Davis will provide relief to many individuals who are facing the tough choice of paying for necessities like rent and groceries and filling a prescription for a life-saving medication,” said Rachel Klein, Deputy Executive Director, The AIDS Institute. “We urge Congress to take swift action to protect patients, ensuring that patients living with serious, complex chronic illness can get the health care they need.”

“Copay accumulator programs from insurance companies disproportionately affect those who are the sickest among us. Ensuring that copay assistance is counted toward the deductible and out-of-pocket maximum will ensure that patients receive financial relief immediately, and protecting essential health benefits ensures that individuals living with autoimmune disease and other chronic diseases aren’t treated differently just because they live with a chronic disease,” said Molly Murray, President & CEO, Autoimmune Association. “On behalf of the millions of patients living with autoimmune disease, we applaud this bipartisan bill that addresses out-of-pocket costs and protects essential health benefits for patients during a time that financial security and health is paramount.”

Reps. McEachin and Davis have continuously advocated for patients and have been outspoken critics of copay accumulator programs. Earlier this year, they sent a letter to President Joe Biden urging him to reverse the copay accumulator policy change included in the 2021 NBPP. Last Congress, Reps. McEachin, Davis, and Wattson Coleman introduced the Preserving Patient Savings on Drug Costs Act to take immediate action on the NBPP rule during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Read the Help Ensure Lower Patient (HELP) Copays Act bill text and fact sheet.

Ladies of the Lake Cancer Support Team reaches $50,000 milestone

Organization supports cancer care

Sue Williams, Suzie Goertemiller, Teresa Collins, Sandy Burch, Fran Steiert

The Ladies of the Lake Cancer Support Team is a long-time supporter of VCU Health Community Memorial Hospital. They’ve been donating to the Cancer Care Fund for many years and most recently donated $1,000, bringing their lifetime donations to $50,000.

“The Ladies of the Lake have met the CMH Foundation’s Cornerstone Gold level,” Interim Director of Development Brenda Palmore said. “This is an amazing accomplishment. We are so grateful for their continued support.”

The Ladies of the Lake is a service organization that benefits cancer patients in the five counties surrounding Lake Gaston in Virginia and North Carolina.

One member, Suzie Goertemiller, has a sister in Utah undergoing cancer treatment. She understands how travel costs can add up for cancer patients. Because she can’t be there in Utah to help her sister, she donates money to help those like her sister who are dealing with the disease. Ladies of the Lake funding helps cover travel expenses for patients visiting the Hendrick Cancer Center or Solari Radiation Therapy Center for daily chemotherapy and/or radiation services.

The oncology team thoroughly evaluates each patient request to determine exactly what assistance is needed and decide if the Cancer Care Fund is an appropriate resource.

“Support for the Cancer Care Fund can give these patients monetary support, and also give them peace of mind, knowing that the inability to cover these costs will not stand in the way of their treatment,” Radiation and Medical Oncology Director Teresa Collins explained.

The Ladies of the Lake is gearing up for its Holiday Homes Tour, which returns this year on the first Saturday of December. Tickets will be available at the South Hill Chamber of Commerce.

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