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Manassas News

The many benefits of a healthcare system committed to community

Sentara Northern Virginia Medical Center is committed to our community.

For the last 45 years, Sentara Northern Virginia Medical Center has been devoted to our patients and their care. We take our role as a nonprofit healthcare provider very seriously, never turning away anyone in need.

Our mission is exemplified through our Family Health Connections Mobile vans that provide free and sliding scale healthcare to working families 200 percent below the poverty line, who wouldn’t otherwise receive care. The Sentara 3D digital mobile mammography van travels to community sites around Northern Virginia to provide accessible mammograms.

We partner with many organizations, such as the National Coalition of 100 Black Women to provide cancer and diabetes awareness, which includes health screenings. Members of the team are also actively involved in community charity activities such as the March of Dimes walk, United Way Day of Caring, ACTS iWalk, and the American Cancer Association to name a few.

Thank you for your ongoing trust, confidence, and partnership. We look forward to working together to create a healthier, stronger community and improve health every day.

Visit Sentara Healthcare’s Community Benefit Report to learn more.

Manassas police apprehend fugitive

MANASSAS — Police in Manassas say they have their fugitive.

Cameron Alexander Neal, 27, is in custody, according to city police spokesman Chuck Sharp.

Neal is suspected of driving on a revoked license for the third time in 10 years, marijuana possession, and eluding police.

The Great Xcape a treasure waiting to be discovered

We found the pirate treasure near Manassas.

A group of eight recently solved the clues and opened the locks that revealed a chest of pirate gold and jewels.

This adventure took place at The Great Xcape located at 8314 Browns Lane just outside Manassas. Our group of youth and chaperones from Haymarket Baptist Church ranged in age from 14 to, um, let’s say 50ish.

As with the typical escape room, we were locked in a room filled with clues and false leads and given an hour to solve the puzzle. Unlike other scenarios of this type, instead of escaping, solving the riddles resulted in locating and opening the locked treasure chest.

The current rooms are designed for adults to solve the problems, but without our group of teenagers in the Shipwrecked room, the adults would probably not have made it out before the clock ticked down.

There were written clues that helped to open simple locks and letter locks along with carvings and maps that gave hints to directional locks.

The Great Xcape offers four rooms for puzzle solvers: The Mystery of the Missing Millions, Shipwrecked, The Following, and the Mad Scientist. A fourth room, Earth Defense Network is coming soon for children ages 6-11.

Solving all of the clues in the allotted time took teamwork, a variety of knowledge, and determination. Just about the time, we thought we had it all figured out; we discovered another obstacle. The designers have created an entertaining but “doable” experience.

We will be returning to The Great Xcape. Because rooms are limited to eight puzzler solvers, some of our group had to wait at home, much to their disappointment. They have already vowed to plan their own trip for this adventure.

As our group exited the building, we were celebrating our success and already discussing what room we want to attempt next.

‘West Nile Virus is one of several mosquito-borne diseases that occurs in our area’

During hot summer months lounging by the beach, we often think of sharks as one of the most menacing creatures in the world. 

But mosquitoes and the viruses they carry pose a very imminent threat.

From the Prince William Health Department: 

Alison Ansher, MD, director of the Prince William Health District said, “Most of the mosquito species that carry disease breed in standing water within a few hundred feet of homes, especially after the recent heavy rains. Taking steps to prevent mosquito breeding around the home is the most effective way to reduce the risk from bites.”=

Remember to “Tip, Toss and Cover” to prevent mosquito bites:

  • Tip containers such as garbage cans, pool covers and flower pots that might collect water where mosquitoes could breed,
  • Toss items outside that you don’t use, that might collect water; and
  • Cover exposed skin with an EPA-registered insect repellent and wear long, light-colored clothing, shoes and socks.

West Nile Virus is one of several mosquito-borne diseases that occurs in our area. Fortunately, only a few types of mosquitoes are able to spread illnesses, and only a small number of mosquitos actually carry these viruses. Most people bitten by a mosquito do not get sick. People who do get sick usually suffer a mild, flu-like illness. Children and older adults are at greatest risk of serious illnesses that affect the nervous system. Those illnesses include encephalitis (inflammation of the brain) and meningitis (inflammation of the lining of the brain and spinal cord). Very few people who contract the virus from a mosquito suffer these more severe symptoms. There was one confirmed human case of West Nile Virus in Prince William Health District in 2017.

Prince William County’s Mosquito and Forest Pest Management traps and tests mosquitoes throughout the summer and early fall to determine the risk to residents of mosquito borne diseases. When they find mosquitoes that test positive, they treat those areas to kill adult and larval mosquitoes.

For more information on mosquito borne diseases, visit the Virginia Department of Health website at

2 area students make Deans’ lists

From an email: 

Eddie Campell of Manassas, VA (20110) was named to the Dean’s List for the spring 2018 semester at Washington University in St. Louis. Campell is enrolled in the university’s College of Arts & Sciences. To qualify for the Dean’s List in the College of Arts & Sciences, students must earn a semester grade point average of 3.6 or above and be enrolled in at least 14 graded units.

Teagan Nurnberger, of Stafford, Deaf/Hard of Hearing/El, The following students have earned the esteemed honor of placement on the Dean’s List at The College of New Jersey for the spring 2018 semester. To achieve this honor, a student must carry 12 or more credits that semester and earn a 3.5 (or above) grade point average.

Stevenson University congratulates Darian Hileman of Bristow, Va. for being named to the Dean’s List for the Spring 2018 Semester.  Stevenson University student Darian Hileman is honored for being named to the Spring 2018 Semester Dean’s List. Students who earn the Dean’s List honor must carry at least 12 graded credit hours and earn a grade point average of a 3.50 or better.

Congratulations to Calvin Michie, of Dumfries, for graduating from Stevenson University on May 17, 2018. We wish Calvin the best of luck in the future!

Stevenson University is a coeducational, independent institution widely known for its unique synthesis of traditional liberal arts education and exceptional career preparation. The 4,200 students receive an innovative education from the six academic schools- Business and Leadership, Design, Education, Humanities and Social Sciences, Sciences, and Graduate and Professional Studies. 


Police search for driver in violent hit and run crash

PRINCE WILLIAM COUNTY — Police are searching for the driver suspected of causing a violent chain-reaction crash.

Five people on Tuesday were in an SUV traveling south on a two-lane portion of Route 234 toward Interstate 66. As the SUV approached the Manassas Campus of Northern Virginia Community College, an oncoming driver swerved into their lane at 5 p.m.

The driver of the SUV took evasive action trying to avoid the collision, ran off the road and rolled the SUV multiple times with four passengers inside.

A third driver who is suspected of causing this chain reaction crash, and fled the scene. That person is believed to have been driving a silver Toyota Prius pulled, and pulled out of the college parking lot in front of the car that was traveling north on Route 234, causing it to swerve into the path of the oncoming SUV.

Police are searching for the driver of the Prius and have asked anyone with information to call 703-792-7000. 

Of the occupants inside the SUV, two suffered serious injuries while three others suffered injuries that did not appear to be life-threatening. One occupant was flown to an area hospital, but all are expected to survive, said Prince William police spokesman Nathan Probus.

The driver of the car that swerved into the path of the SUV was not injured. Police are investigating the crash as a hit and run.

The portion of Route 234 at the college where the crash occurred was closed for at least two hours Tuesday night for the crash investigation.

Sentara pledges $130 million to EVMS

Sentara Healthcare will triple its financial support for Eastern Virginia Medical School (EVMS) with a commitment of $130 million over the next five years. For the period 2018 through 2023, annual funding given by Sentara to EVMS will increase from a previous amount of $9 million per year to $26 million per year.

“After 46 years working together, the relationship between Sentara and EVMS has never been stronger,” said Sentara Board of Directors Chair, Henry U. ‘Sandy’ Harris. “Together, we are demonstrating the missions of both institutions and keeping the focus on patient care and innovation during this time of change in the health care landscape.”

“Sentara’s increased support will be transformational for our community,” said David Arias, Rector of the EVMS Board of Visitors. “It will boost the educational and research capacities of both organizations — advancing our reputations regionally and nationally while enhancing the quality of care and making a real impact on the lives of Hampton Roads residents.” 

The additional funds from Sentara will allow EVMS to establish new academic programs, bolster existing ones and continue to advance its status as a nationally recognized medical school while supporting the development of the two organizations’ shared medical campus in Norfolk as a quaternary mid-Atlantic regional medical center.

“Sentara and EVMS have worked together as partners serving eastern Virginia for over 45 years. These two great community institutions work hard to anticipate the evolving needs of the many communities we serve,” says Howard P. Kern, President and CEO of Sentara Healthcare. “We appreciate the exceptional physician and advanced practitioner graduates EVMS trains for our community, and we are proud to help them advance academic and research programs to help us both fulfill our community missions. It is Sentara’s hope that this increased funding will enable EVMS to move forward with its strategic plan to ensure their strength and stability long into the future.”

EVMS has been a community-based medical school since its inception in 1972. Under a long-standing partnership, Sentara hospitals provide clinical teaching environments for EVMS students and residents, especially at Sentara Norfolk General Hospital, where EVMS physicians oversee the region’s only Level I trauma center and provide tertiary and quaternary-level services found in university-based regional academic medical centers.

“On behalf of the EVMS faculty, staff and students, I want to express our grateful appreciation to the Sentara Healthcare Board and management for their extraordinary support of our missions to educate and train the next generation of the healthcare workforce, advance medicine through new discovery, and provide care to those in greatest need,” said Richard V. Homan, MD, President and Provost, Eastern Virginia Medical School and Dean of the School of Medicine.

“I am confident that, through this increased funding, we have established a seminal and historic relationship between EVMS and Sentara which will support our faculty and provide many new and mutually beneficial programs to improve the health of the communities we serve.”

Funding from Sentara will support collaborative plans to establish the following EVMS initiatives:

— A Masters’ Degree program in Healthcare Analytics and Delivery Science supported by two full-time PhD faculty members to conduct research and performance improvement initiatives in healthcare disparities and population health management.

— The new collaborative Research Fund also will support translational research partnerships in biosciences and biotechnology research and development across multiple academic centers in Virginia and advance clinical best practice and outcomes research within the communities that we serve.

— $10.5M in endowments over three years through the EVMS Foundation to support endowed academic and clinical department chairs to support research and development of quaternary programs.

The Sentara mission to improve health every day ranges from providing Level I trauma services in partnership with EVMS to enhancing population health and disease management with innovative best practices through its clinical teams and Optima Health Plan. EVMS prides itself on its stated goal to be the most community-focused school of medicine and health professions in the nation while supporting world-renowned research in fertility, diabetes, and cancer.

Driving safety for older adults

Families slowly transition their teenagers into driving, but most likely don’t think about transitioning heir older adult loved ones our of driving.  As a result, the decision to give up the car keys is often the result of a crisis – a crash or another unfortunate incident.
The Home Instead Senior Care® network hopes to educate professionals and families about the importance of developing a plan to help older adults move out of the driver’s seat when necessary while still remaining engaged with their friends, family and community.
The goal of this Let’s Talk about Driving program are to:
• Enable families to work with their older adult loved ones to develop a plan to transition out of driving before a crisis occurs.
• Provide a new way of thinking about transportation – dispelling the notion that there are not options other than driving.
• Seek out solutions and resources to help older adults remain active and engaged after giving up their keys.

Participants in this webinar will be able to:
• Identify the potential signs that an older adult might be an unsafe driver on the road
• Understand some common conditions of aging symptoms that can impact driving
• Gather tops on how to help reduce the potential for isolation and depression after an older adult stops driving

August 8, 2018
10:00 AM (PT) / 11:00 AM (MT) / 12:00 PM (CT) / 1:00 PM (ET)
These CEUs are offered in cooperation with the American Society on Aging.  For more information and to complete the required pre-registration, go to 

Aurora Flight Sciences to expand, promises 135 new jobs

CEO credits Flory Small Business Center for success

MANASSAS — Aurora Flight Sciences will expand its headquarters at Manassas Regional Airport.

Gov. Ralph Northam on Thursday announced the expansion, saying it would mean an additional $13.75 million invested into the city’s economy and  135 new jobs.

From the governor’s press release:

The company, which was acquired by The Boeing Company in 2017 and is headquartered in Manassas, plans to build a robotics and integration facility that will consist of a manufacturing unit, a research and development lab, a hangar, and office space.

“Since choosing the Manassas Airport to locate our headquarters nearly 27 years ago, we have prided ourselves in bringing new technology to the region and becoming one of the largest employers in the City. Now as part of The Boeing Company, we are able to continue our expansion in developing next-generation autonomous systems that will transform transportation.”

— Founder and CEO of Aurora Flight Sciences John Langford.

Officials in Manassas said those chosen to fill the 135 new positions will make more than $100,000 annually.

They also included a statement from city Mayor Hal Parrish II in a press release:

“Aurora is a vital part of the Manassas business community and exemplifies everything a locality wants from its corporate partners – steady growth, community engagement, and great jobs – helping make us a regional employment center with one of the highest percentages of high wage jobs in professional and technical services in Virginia, especially for companies engaged in the fields of aerospace and advanced manufacturing.” 

— Mayor Harry J. Parrish II.  

Aurora Flight Sciences got its start with help from the Flory Small Business Center in Prince Willam County, and it’s executive director Linda Decker. 

“I don’t think we would be where we are today as a company if it wasn’t for Linda Decker,” Langford told Potomac Local on Thursday. 

In the early days, the Alexandria-based start-up company had about 10 employees and was working form a garage. 

“We were looking for an airport that had hangar space, particularly on the cheap, and we found that Manassas was willing to work with us,” added Langford

He also credited the Flory Center with introducing his firm to local and state business leaders, and with providing invaluable “advice” that helped the company grow. 

Last year, Aurora was acquired by Boeing after it has established itself as a leader in the field of autonomous flying aircraft.