State Office of Rural Health

 

The Virginia State Office of Rural Health (VA-SORH) was established in 1991 to create, fund and support quality and sustainable rural healthcare infrastructure.  VA-SORH is a designated, federally funded office by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) Federal Office of Rural Health Policy (FORHP). The purpose and mission of VA-SORH is to address and rectify health disparities affecting the state’s rural residents.  For nearly 30 years, VA-SORH has provided funding that connects small rural communities with state and federal resources with the goal of developing long-term solutions to address the root causes of rural health disparities.

Community Spotlight:

"The Stroke Survivors Support Group" through Longwood University's speech-language pathology graduate program launched this month in Farmville, VA. The group provides a safe space for stroke survivors and their caregivers.

The group's leader, Sally Wilson, "regularly works with stroke survivors, and she will now be able to help students who are part of the school's speech, hearing and learning services program to learn more about helping stroke survivors and practice some of their skills on actual patients." Sally grew up in rural Virginia and understands the importance of accessible support for families dealing with the struggle of a loved one needing to regain speech.

The no-cost support group plans to meet monthly at The Woodland, which was was generous to provide space for meetings so that they are easily accessible by the community.

For more information, please read this article or contact Sally Wilson by email at wilsonsk@longwood.edu or by phone at 434-395-2713.

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The Eastern Shore Health District, with support from the Virginia Department of Health, is in the process of installing a total of 23 SaveStations in public spaces throughout the counties of Accomack and Northampton. The current project will expand to include the placement of 3 additional AED cabinets on Tangier Island. According to SaveStation this will be the largest installation of outdoor 24/7 access AEDs in North America. SaveStations are designed to house any AED and provide critical education about CPR and how to use an AED so that the public feels confident to quickly take action in an emergency. These 24/7 accessible SaveStations are being placed in parks, schools, athletic fields, marinas, and other places where people congregate outdoors!

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Radford Public Library (RPL) utilized some of their CDC-VR3 grant funding to support their teen patrons who daily come to the library after school in search of a safe space. RPL strives to increase opportunities for stress relief, mental health support, and cultivate general engagement with library staff and between teens, improving socialization and connectivity.  Library staff welcome teens at RPL to their designated teens-only space. With the support of the grant funding, RPL is able to elevate its favorable reception in creating a welcoming environment for teens with food offerings, gaming stations, comfortable furniture, and the company of a trained service dog.

Oliver, a trained Saint Francis Facility Dog who works at RPL and is funded with grant money, interacts with teens and patrons in a variety of ways.  Oliver opens the stocked refrigerator for teens who are looking for chilled snacks.  He knows more than forty commands and can provide pressure or lean against patrons, engage in interactive games, pick up and deliver items as requested, and also receive pets and grooming attention – all of which provides a level of physical assistance, support and comfort to teens and all patrons.

In a continued effort to show care and attention to the physical health and wellbeing of the community from youth to seniors, RPL addresses food insecurity by offering fresh foods and snacks as well as full meals during scheduled programs.  Additionally, training opportunities regarding mental health and wellness has been made available to library staff and the general public. Training on mindfulness, adverse childhood experiences, mental health first aid, and yoga techniques have all been made available and have been well attended.

By providing patrons with food, RPL also directly serves individuals needing assistance with food insecurity and shelter needs, connecting individuals with appropriate community resources beyond the library.

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Hero’s Bridge® is dedicated to serving elderly veterans, aged 65 and older by bridging veterans to a better quality of life through our age-specific and innovative programs. These services are available to our heroes wherever they call home, at no expense to them or their families.

Hero’s Bridge programs include:

  • Battle Buddy: Hero’s Bridge signature program bridges younger and older veterans in a special model of care that decreases social isolation and increases advocacy. Battle Buddy services are also provided nationwide through the Hero’s Bridge Call Center: 866-OLD-VETS, which launched in June. Since then, over 500 veterans nationwide have been served through the call center, many of whom reside in rural areas.
  • Honor Guard: Bridges our veterans to better mental health by facilitating a healthy processing of their time in service.
  • Paw Patrol: Bridges veterans and animals to significantly reduce pain, anxiety, depression, and a variety of other issues.
  • Home Front: Bridges our older heroes to healthy and safe housing conditions.

Hero’s Bridge provides in-person services to veterans who live in Orange, Madison, Culpeper, Rappahannock, and Fauquier counties.

Hero’s Bridge is the only non-profit organization focusing exclusively on providing rapid and direct assistance to aging veterans. “Our purpose is to see that none of our senior heroes are living in social isolation, severely substandard living conditions, food insecurity, or battling substance abuse alone,” said Molly Brooks, Hero’s Bridge CEO and Founder.

To that end, Hero’s Bridge is embarking on an innovative new pocket community for senior elderly veteran care with the Hero’s Bridge Village. “The need for affordable, accessible housing for Fauquier seniors living on fixed incomes is severe, it is a crisis that no one is talking about. With waits of 2- 3 years at senior apartments, our elders are seeking housing wherever they can find it and it is almost always unaffordable, substandard, unsuitable for the aging, and in many cases, all three. This is unacceptable in the 29th wealthiest county in the nation,” said Brooks.The Village will be a first-of-its-kind community and a place of rest and beauty for our senior veterans.

Subscribe to the Hero’s Bridge newsletter to stay current on how Hero’s Bridge is changing elderly veteran care.

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Literacy Volunteers of the New River Valley is a non-profit organization whose mission is to foster, support, advocate for, and instruct adults in the New River Valley of Virginia who seek opportunities to achieve greater independence through literacy. Services are provided to help adults improve basic skills to achieve personal, employment, and civic goals through instruction in reading, writing, math, and GED preparation; English for Speakers of Other Languages and U.S. Citizenship test preparation; digital literacy; financial literacy; family literacy; and health literacy.

Powered by 150 volunteers and free for all participants, LVNRV’s core program is year-round one-to-one tutoring to help local adults overcome barriers and achieve their individual goals. In addition to tutoring, several special programs are held throughout the year; the Fall 2023 semester includes:

  • Family READS (Reading and English to Achieve Dreams and Success): our signature family literacy program with English language instruction for adults, learning activities for children, and family time together focused on improving English vocabulary
  • Skill Up VT and Skill Up BRP: partnerships with Virginia Tech and Blacksburg Refugee Partnership include workplace skills training and English language instruction tailored to the specific needs of participants in these programs
  • Basic Computer Skills: digital literacy classes for beginning computer users to develop workplace skills and stay connected with family and community
  • Be WELL NRV: a new health literacy program for English language learners, providing instruction in medical-related topics, including understanding medical directives and prescription medication, when to use emergency vs. urgent care, and family wellness
  • English for Life: our English language learning umbrella program that includes multi-level learning classes and conversation groups throughout the New River Valley
  • GED to Go!: our new individualized GED preparation program provides an online study platform so students can work at their own pace and on-call tutors to help in the specific areas needed

Involvement with VA-SORH:

LVNRV participated in the VA-SORH mini-grant program which aids local health districts in partnering with community-based organizations to address secondary and tertiary effects of COVID-19 with CDC funding. Through this funding opportunity, LVNRV was able to hire an additional program coordinator and launch the new Be WELL NRV health literacy initiative. 3 classes were held in Spring 2023 with much success and will be repeated in Fall 2023, including the addition of a session for native English speakers.

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The Page Alliance for Community Action (PACA) is a non-profit coalition committed to promoting healthy life choices for the youth and families in Page County.

They have been very busy this summer providing opportunities and resources focused on preventing substance misuse among our youth and combating childhood obesity with physical activities and nutritional education. Recent projects include:

  • Sending two teams of youth to YADAPP (Youth Alcohol and Drug Abuse Prevention Project)
  • Sending a team of youth and adults to CADCA (Community Based, Advocacy Focused, Data Driven, Coalition Building, Association) Leadership Trainings
  • Getting ready to participate in back to school events at both area high schools to talk to youth about building resilience.
  • Holding two “Free Market Fridays” in their community gardens so far this summer which provide community members with information and free produce.
  • Speaking at the Senior Center about the importance of prescription drug monitoring, storage, and disposal.
  • Holding three weeks of summer enrichment programs for their CCLC (21st  Century Community Learning Center) programs at Luray Elementary School and Page County Middle School where students went to the Science Museum of Virginia, the Shenandoah National Park, and the Warehouse Art Gallery.
  • Hosting two-week free swim lessons for 60 Kindergarten through 5th grade students at Lake Arrowhead and Hawksbill Pool.

Upcoming Events:

Involvement with VA-SORH:

PACA participated in the VA-SORH mini-grant program which aids local health districts in partnering with community-based organizations to address secondary and tertiary effects of COVID-19 with CDC funding. These funds allowed PACA to expand the reach of their Porch Visit Program and two community gardens.

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These photos were taken during Page Alliance for Community Action swim lessons, Community Garden visits, Free Market Friday, and youth leadership events:


 


 

Updates from Facebook:

FREE MEDICAL EXPO! Join The Health Wagon on March 27th (Wise, VA) & 28th (Clintwood, VA) for FREE health screenings, services, food, educational opportunities, gifts, and more! Specialty services include dental exams/extractions*, ultrasounds, EKGs, breathing tests, x-rays, bone density screenings, and MUCH MORE! *Appointments are recommended for dental services - call (276) 328-8850 to schedule your appointment before spots fill up. ... See MoreSee Less
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The Hopewell Farmers Market is looking for additional vendors to join their market family in Hopewell. If you're interested, please click on the link to complete the free application. For more information, send an email to the market manager at hopewellfarmersmarket@gmail.com.To apply, please visit: managemymarket.com/landing.aspx?orgID=2398 ... See MoreSee Less
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