Camping for Hunger: A Conversation About Community Health

community health needs assessments valley health

Today’s conversation on The Valley Today with host, Janet Michael about Valley Health’s Community Health Needs Assessments was pretty eye-opening and insightful. It is part of a community health partnership with Valley Health where Janet talks each month with administrators, physicians, and other Valley Health staff about health topics, events, and the community. Click here to listen to the conversation.

Joining Janet today was Jason Craig, Director of Community Health for Valley Health. He highlighted his professional journey which includes direct experience in social service, education, behavioral health, and healthcare.

They discussed the value of Community Health Needs Assessments to identify and address all the needs surrounding community health. Every three years Valley Health conducts Community Health Needs Assessments for each of their hospitals, identifying priority health needs in the communities they serve. They work with health departments, United Way and other nonprofit agencies, local government officials and other key community stakeholders to learn where gaps in services exist and to identify priorities for action. Each hospital then develops implementation strategies for addressing the identified needs. The draft is expected to be finalized in the coming weeks at which time it will be made public. The results from previous CHNAs can be found by clicking here.

Jason gave examples of the many partnerships they’ve formed with nonprofits, Shenandoah University and other organizations across our communities. He talked of programs focused on workforce development, mental health, substance use, homelessness, and food insecurity. He highlighted a recent $1 million grant awarded to Page Memorial Hospital from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Emergency Rural Health Care Grant Program to remediate the impact of COVID-19 and improve health and access to care in Page County.

The pair also spent some time discussing all the social determinants that play a major role in community health. He spoke of a University of Wisconsin study that highlighted social determinants such as access to healthcare, health behaviors (tobacco use, diet and exercise, alcohol use); physical environment (access to healthy foods, quality of housing, crime and violence); and socioeconomic (education, job status, social support, family support, income, community safety.) He explained that those social determinants can be broken down into five major areas: neighborhood and build environment, health and healthcare, social and community context, education and economic stability.

CPD make an arrest after social media threats toward UVA

Charlottesville Police Department (CPD) report an arrest made after social media threats towards the University of Virginia (UVA).

At approximately 10:30 a.m. Nov. 14 Charlottesville Police and UVA Police were made aware of concerning and threatening social media posts directed toward the school.

At approximately 4 p.m. Nov. 14 Authorities executed a search warrant in the 200 block of West Main Street in Charlottesville and arrested Bryan Michael Silva.

The 31-year-old Silva has been charged with possession or transportation of firearms and ammunition by a convicted felon and possession of a controlled substance.

Silva was also served an outstanding active protective order from Albemarle County General District Court.

Silva’s threats toward the school were not related to the shooting that occurred Sunday night Nov. 13.

Charlottesville Authorities understand the fear and tension caused by Silva’s actions and acted quickly to resolve the issue.

Anyone with any additional information in the incident is asked to contact authorities.

Call the CPD at 434-970-3280 or Crime Stoppers tip line 434-977-4000.

For more news from across the Shenandoah Valley, click here.

Building On Success

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Greetings From The Booth!

The cream is starting to rise to the top with regard to the VHSL football playoffs. Five of our area teams are still alive after quarterfinal action this past weekend and although there were a few surprises, usually when we get to the state semifinal and championship level, the best teams are left standing. One of those teams appears to be Strasburg. The Rams, who will host Stuart’s Draft this Friday night in a Region 2B semifinal, are 10-1, with their only loss coming via forfeit in the season opener. My broadcast partner, Ryan “The Duke” Rutherford, correctly describes Strasburg by calling them almost “militaristic” in their approach. They don’t do anything fancy, but they are always in sync, well-disciplined, and fundamentally sound.  They will be hard to beat on Friday night.

As a football fan, I had a rare “Daily Double” this past weekend (for entertainment purposes only, not in a gambling sense), as my WVU Mountaineers and the Washington Commanders both posted wins. West Virginia beat Oklahoma in Morgantown for their first home victory against the Sooners. This year’s Oklahoma team is a bit down and still not bowl eligible, so this is not like beating your father’s Sooners. We’ll take it. These last few seasons have been lean ones for the Mountaineers, and head coach Neal Brown is on the hot seat. With the exit of WVU AD Shane Lyons earlier this week, Brown would almost certainly have to win out against Kansas State and Oklahoma State (unlikely), then win a minor bowl game to keep his job. Even that might not insure a 5th year for Brown, as there is no Lyons now to act as a buffer. A new athletic director will almost surely want his own guy, so it appears “The Climb” will end sometime shortly after the season ends.

The Washington Commanders shocked the football world Monday night with a win over previously undefeated Philadelphia in Philly. Don’t look now, but the Commanders are 5-5 and have won 4 of their last 5. Washington QB Taylor Heinicke has been the catalyst, and the team has rallied around the ODU product, who has now become a Cinderella story around the NFL. Chase Young is set to return this week, so things are looking up for the Burgundy and Gold as they head to 1-7-1 Houston on Sunday.

Can the aforementioned Mountaineers and Commanders build on the success of their recent victories? In the case of Washington, I’ve seen this movie way too many times before where a great win is followed by an egg-laying performance against a weaker foe. This just feels like one of those games. A win Sunday, however, would set the Commanders up for another winnable game the following weekend against Atlanta and a 7-5 record. Make no mistake–Sunday is an important game for Washington, and they must treat it that way.

It’s a much different situation for WVU. Forget about the angle of “playing to save your coach.” That is overrated. Brown is probably gone already, so their game Saturday against K-State is about finishing strong and building some momentum going into Spring 2023. The Mounties have some nice young players, including QB Garrett Greene, who injected much-needed life into the team in the win against Oklahoma and hopefully will start on Saturday.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I need go to FanDuel about that Daily Double…

Until next visit from The Booth, HTTC & Go EERS!



VDWR is tracking Chronic Wasting Disease

The Virginia Department of Wildlife Resources (VDWR) announced by email that they are attempting to track Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD).

The VDWR is reporting that any deer killed in Orange, Rappahannock and Shenandoah Counties is required to be tested at a CWD sample station.

Hunters are being asked to have any deer or at least the head and 4 inches of  the neck in those counties be taken to any of the sample stations that can be found at

It is illegal to transport whole deer or parts containing brain or spinal tissue from Clarke, Frederick, Shenandoah and Warren Counties to any other parts of Virginia.

CWD has been confirmed in eleven counties in Virginia since 2009.

There is no evidence of CWD being transmitted naturally to humans, pets or livestock but hunters are being warned to wait for testing before consuming game meat.

Hunters are warned not to consume meat of any animal that has tested positive for CWD.

For more news from across the Shenandoah Valley, click here.

VSP investigate a fatal accident in Clarke County

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The Virginia State Police (VSP) report by email the investigation of a fatal accident involving a pedestrian in Clarke County.

Nov. 12 at approximately 8:15 p.m. 47-year-old Gary W. Meadows Jr. of Boyce was walking along Route 340 near Llewellyn Lane without reflective elements and wearing dark clothing.

Meadows was struck from behind by a southbound 2016 Toyota Tundra.

The 57-year-old unidentified male of the Tundra form Berryville was unable to avoid sticking Meadows who died at the scene.

The Tundra driver did stop at the scene of the accident and was uninjured in the incident.

No charges have been placed in the incident.

For more news from across the Shenandoah Valley, click here.

News Maker Michael McKee of BRAFB on feeding the hungry

Food insecurity is a valley and nationwide problem.

We spoke with Blue Ridge Area Food Bank CEO Michael McKee about fighting the problem in our latest news maker.

News makers are brought to you by Warren County Together We are Community.

Michael explains the logistics of trying to battle food insecurity across the valley.

He explains how many miles are involved in bringing food to pantries and food banks in the valley.

Michael also tells us how we can help with efforts like our Camping for Hunger campaign.

Click here for Michael’s news maker.

For more news from across the Shenandoah Valley, click here.