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Dumfries Local

Man wearing wig robs TD Bank near Dumfries

From a press release: 

Bank Robbery – On May 23 at 2:25PM, officers responded to the TD Bank located at 16714 Jefferson Davis Hwy in Dumfries (22026) to investigate a robbery. The investigation revealed the suspect approached the teller counter and passed a note demanding money. The teller complied and the suspect fled with an undisclosed amount of currency. No weapon was displayed and no injuries were reported. A police K-9 and helicopter assistance from Fairfax County police aided in the search for the suspect who was not located. The investigation continues.

                  Suspect Description:

                  Black male, unknown age, approximately 5’10”, 140lbs with a thin build

                  Last seen wearing a long, dark colored wig, a black & white skirt, black socks, black sandals, and a black jacket, carrying a black purse

Without the MISSION Act, millions of veterans will lose access to care

Since the Veterans Administration (VA) scandal broke in 2014, Veteran Service Organizations (VSOs) across the country have worked with Congress to ensure greater accountability, transparency, and efficiency in delivering quality care to our veterans.

The current VA Choice Program is one of those opportunities. With over two million veterans using the Choice Program to schedule over 39 million essential appointments, it is in danger of running out of funding by the end of the month. Without funding, millions of our nation’s warriors will lose access to the care they desperately need. 

The MISSION Act, supported by over 38 National VSOs—a staggering and unified number—strengthens the VA’s ability to deliver efficient and immediate care to our veterans. It does so by providing over $5 billion to prevent disruptions of care in the Choice Program, modernizing VA healthcare, creating integrated networks of high-performing providers to support the VA, creating a commission to review current VA facilities, and making it possible for World War II, Korea, Vietnam, and Gulf War veterans with severe combat-related disabilities to receive comprehensive caregiver assistance. 

Last Wednesday, 70 Democrats in the U.S. House of Representatives voted against the MISSION ACT and voted for political games over improving healthcare for those who served our country.  Without immediate passage of the bill in the Senate, veterans could lose a critical support line to receive the care they require—and will again be forced to face long waiting periods to receive treatment.

Such waiting periods have led to veteran deaths in the past, and we cannot let a single veteran die waiting for the care they need simply because of Congressional delays.

As one who wore an Air Force uniform for 30 years and later chaired the Joint Virginia House-Senate Military and Veterans Caucus that is the legislative clearing house for bills on behalf of 800,000 Virginia veterans, I know first-hand that the MISSION Act is crucial.

I strongly encourage those reading this letter to call Senators Warner and Kaine, urging them to support this bill that ensures that our nation’s heroes receive the care they deserve.

In Manassas, across the commonwealth, tourism spending is on the rise

Governor Ralph Northam today released 2017 preliminary state economic impact data from U.S. Travel Association. This information depicts the impact tourism and domestic travel has on the economy.

Local impact data is not yet available for Manassas; however, the preliminary numbers indicate another record year for tourism spending as consumers seek out more experiential opportunities.

Tourism is an essential part of our local economy. Few localities have experienced such seminal events as Manassas did during the Civil War. The Manassas National Battlefield Park, Liberia Plantation and Manassas Museum continue to serve as key attractions.

Increasingly, visitors are also drawn to the charm of Historic Downtown, its specialty shopping and dining, and crowd-pleasing events.

In 2017 over 369,000 people attended one of the city’s many popular events: 1st Friday’s, Bands, Brews and Barbeque; Wine and Jazz Festival, Farmer’s Market (VisitManassas.org).

According to the Virginia Tourism Commission (VTC), tourists spent more than $68 million in Manassas last year and generated $1.8 million in local tax revenues; not including indirect or multiplier impacts.

Data breaches: How to keep your digital information safe

Digital data breaches go well beyond debit or credit card theft. In fact, it is fair to say that debit and credit card theft is the least of your worries.

Chris Albright

Your bank and credit card companies have safeguards in place to return your funds to you, but most other data cannot be retrieved once breached. Even when stolen data is recovered and new security is put in place, the breached information is in the hands of the hacker.

With the increasing amount of private, sensitive and business-critical data stored digitally, this can be detrimental. Chris Albright of CMIT Solutions of Centreville has some tips for minimizing your risk of a data breach.

Understand the Need for Security

Many businesses and everyday individuals severely underestimate their level of risk. You might be a small or mid-sized business, but the data you store digitally can be a hacker’s goldmine. Take a look at some of the major organizations who have been breached in the last couple of years.

  • The Pennsylvania hack of the Department of Education’s website compromised the information of 360,000 employees.
  • The City of Atlanta’s recent ransomware attack halted essential municipal services, leading to ATL airport shutting down their Wi-Fi.
  • Due to deceiving third-party agreements, 50 million Facebook users unknowingly had their posts, private messages, and data accessed without their consent.
  • The 2016 Banner Health cyberattack exposed the private health information of 3.7 million patients in 27 locations across the nation. This type of data can sell for 10 times more than credit card information.
  • The Equifax credit reporting bureau was breached in 2017 leading to 147.9 million Americans’ personal information being leaked, placing all involved at higher risk for identity theft.
  • The 2017 WannaCry ransomware attack was the largest in history and affected thousands of businesses and individuals from around the globe.

If these organizations can be breached, many of whom must comply with strict industry digital data storage regulations, SMBs and everyday online accounts are vulnerable as well.

Reducing Your Risk

First and foremost, there is no way to 100 percent guarantee that your data will never be breached. but there is much you can do to reduce the likelihood:

Passwords: Change your passwords at least twice a year. Use strong passwords, preferably with a password manager that encrypts your passwords. Password protect all electronic devices, as many of them autologin to all the accounts you’ve logged into. Also, upload a lockout feature so that if your device is lost or stolen, passwords are erased.

Delete: Delete old digital accounts that you no longer use, or you may forget about them and the information they contain. Also, create a list of all online accounts and mobile apps that require logins. Even a one-time purchase to an e-commerce site can lead to a data breach, from a place you don’t even remember ordering from.

Be mindful of what you share: Your Facebook profile alone shares information such as where you were born, where you went to school, your kids’ names, your pets’ names and more. These are often the answers to three-factor authentication designed to improve your security. Never ever share, electronically or in person, your login information. Look through your Facebook messenger feed, you may be surprised at the amount of personal information you share there. You may want to reconsider going forward.

Never open suspicious emails: It’s easier said than done as hackers are good at sounding legitimate. This is particularly challenging at work where you won’t know everyone who sends you an email. If you open something that feels fishy, follow your company’s procedures to scan your device. If at home, run a security scan on your own.

Improve your security: Upgrade to newer software and technology, such as from a magnetic strip debit card to an EMV card if it’s available. Upgrade your website with an SSL Certificate. Perform all software and app updates ASAP, as they contain security patches and updates. Encrypt your data. Restrict remote login. Set up automated alerts for abnormal activity, such as on your debit card when you travel or make an unusually large purchase. Have a digital security professional scan your network and devices for security risks and set up an automated system for determining a hack or data breach.

Stay up to date: Online security is constantly evolving, so you must keep up. What minimizes your risks today may not be relevant in a year or less.

We are at a point at which we don’t think twice about our most private and personal information being stored digitally. For example, you may even communicate with your physician via email or use health and fitness apps in which you store in-depth health information. Just a decade ago we would have been a bit more mindful, but the convenience and functional factors have become of such great benefit that we will continue to store more information digitally, not less. This means data breach security must be top of mind for personal use, professional use and even for the kids in our family.

CMIT Solutions of Centreville provides a strategic approach to IT consulting that improves the performance of your business technology in the most cost-effective way possible. Assisting businesses across Northern Virginia, CMIT Centreville can help you achieve the fastest return on your technology investment. Call 703-881-7738 today to see how CMIT Centreville can help your business stay in business.

Sentara’s Daisy Team Award winners served food, gave dry, clean toiletries to a nearby homeless encampment

The team at Sentara Northern Virginia Medical Center is dedicated to serving our patients every day.

One group is recognized for their hard work- not just inside the hospital, but outside the walls as well.

The ICU Team was named this year’s Daisy Team Award winners.

This team spearheaded an initiative to serve food and provide dry, clean toiletries to a nearby homeless encampment, and this meant coming in several weekends to sort and prepare donated items.

Then, on the weekend they were serving food- it poured! The team didn’t give up though, they toughed it out- and many folks who might have gone hungry that day had a hot meal.

The Daisy Foundation was formed by the Barnes Family in 1999 after the loss of their 33-year-old son J. Patrick Barnes. The nursing care that their son received when hospitalized profoundly touched his family, and they wanted to recognize nurses that provide exceptional care…while often stating, “I am just doing my job.”

Your jobs touch the hearts and lives of more than you know. The Daisy Foundation was developed to celebrate nurses.

The Daisy Nurse award is presented quarterly to SNVMC nurses who meet a high standard of care provided. The award was developed for the celebration of nurses who provide extraordinary compassionate and skillful care every day.

The Daisy Team award is presented yearly.

Potomac Local Parent of the Month: Kristina

Potomac Parent is a monthly column that looks at life through the eyes of real parents. This month, we interview Kristina.
 
1. What time you do wake up?
I’m still on chemotherapy treatments until around August, so getting out of bed is not my favorite.  I’m usually up around 7, 7:30, but not functionally out of bed until 8 or so. 

2. What are your children’s names and ages?
Riley is 14, Logan is 12 and Savannah is 10.

3. What’s the most difficult part about your morning routine?
Our mornings usually work pretty well, actually.  Each of my kids has a laminated sheet with their morning list on it, so they do their chores, eat breakfast and get ready for the day on their own.  It’s a perk of having older kids.  We homeschool, so as long as they’re ready to start devotions by 9 a.m., they’re good to go.

4. What is your morning beauty or grooming routine?
I tend to shower at night so that I have time to do my hair, so in the mornings I keep it pretty basic — just brushing, moisturizing, and clothes, although if I’m going out I’ll do my makeup. I am trying to be better about that now that I’m in my mid-thirties. I’ve definitely noticed that people react better to my face when it’s made up, and they ask me if I’m feeling okay if it’s not. That’s definitely a sign I need a little help!

5. Are you a coffee or tea person?
Yes.  I enjoy a nice cappuccino or hazelnut latte, but at home I usually go for tea.  Iced Lipton with lemon (no sugar), or Numi Organic Chai with half and half and honey, or Tazo Lemon Cake are some of my favorites. 

6. What do you do once the kids are in school?
My kids are homeschooled, so when they’re in school, I’m in school.  Balancing their coursework with my own responsibilities can seem like a lot, but for the most part, we’ve got it down to a science. I write, run my website and plan my lessons for classes I teach outside our home in the “between times” when everyone is working independently.  
 
7. What kind of work do you do outside the home?
Until January, I was Delegate Rich Anderson’s community outreach coordinator, and I run PwcMoms.com.  I also teach classes at Capital Baptist Coop, and I volunteer in our community and through our church. However, I think that my work inside our home raising our kids is the most important thing that I do, and I think that it’s okay to think that. For a lot of moms that choose to stay home, it can feel like people are looking down on your decision, so I just want to validate that it’s a legitimate choice.

8. What is the biggest challenge of trying to get work done – any work – with your schedule and responsibilities?
I think that as moms, prioritizing our time is really hard because we’re all kind of stuck in that “If You Give a Mouse a Cookie” mode where you start one thing and then notice another that needs to get done.  It’s really easy to walk downstairs with a basket of laundry and notice the kitchen needs cleaning and then realize you  haven’t started dinner and then you get a phone call for work — it just kind of snowballs.  I try to take time to plan the deliberate parts of my day — phone calls scheduled during certain times, to-do list items that must get done, and then I can always go back to my list to feel like I’ve accomplished something that day when I see the completed tasks.

9. What do you wear during the work week?
If it’s winter, I’m probably in jeans and a sweater, wishing I lived in Southern California.  If it’s not winter, I’m a big fan of dresses and skirts.  Since I generally work from home, it would be really easy for me to stay in pajamas or sweats all day, but I did the Fly Lady system for a long time, which requires you to get up and get dressed and take your day seriously, and that really stuck with me.

10. What’s the craziest thing that happened to you so far this week?
I’m teaching a Biography in Writing class at our homeschool coop this year, and that can get really dicey when people cancel at the last minute — so probably having to ad-hoc a class around watching a YouTube video interview of Colonel Sanders from KFC fame.  

11. Do you have pets?
We do not. We have had bunnies in the past, but right now we are pet-free, which is, honestly, kind of nice. I still want a dog though, but that would require my husband completely abandoning all of his moral principles, so it’s probably not gonna happen.

12. How do you get through the hard times?
Without sounding preachy, I am a big believer in relying on God. My Christian faith helps me to keep things in perspective, and to know that there is someone bigger than me that I can lean on when things are overwhelming. It also provides me with other women to look to as mentors, and friends who will pray for me and help me during the really hard times.  Having been through two cancer diagnoses, my definition of “hard” is also a lot different now than it was before.  Crying kids and burning dinner pale in comparison with facing your own mortality at 29, so I keep things in a lot better perspective because of that. There’s a tradition in Judaism (my degree is in comparative religion) where you break off a piece of bread dough and burn it as an offering to God before you make the loaves, and I love that, because the idea is that you’re giving your sacrifice before you know how it turns out and God honors your effort, not the outcome.  As moms, we’re working every day on these little people and we’re not really able to see the outcome yet, but I believe that God accepts our efforts in much the same way. We’re all just trying our best.

13. What’s you favorite color?
Grey. And glitter. 
 
14. What kind of car do you drive?
A Dodge Grand Caravan.  If you would have told me that a minivan would become my dream car, I probably would’ve jumped off the Empire State Building in my junior year of high school, but I really do love it.  I wish it had the automatic sliding doors, though, because my children’s friends are super confused by the fact that they have to shut the doors themselves.
 
15. If you could be any animal, what would you be and why?
This question legitimately seems like something you got from my children to torture me with.  They love asking me random, frequently ridiculous, hypothetical questions. I refuse this question on principle.

Manassas City officials pause each May to recognize businesses

With roughly 1,600 establishments, the City of Manassas is fortunate to have a thriving base of business and industry to support the local economy. 

These businesses provide essential employment opportunities, generate tax revenues, and make other significant contributions to our community that improves the quality of life of our citizens.

It is for this reason, City officials pause each May to recognize businesses and express gratitude for their unique role in enhancing the economy. 

More than 100 businesses gathered at the Center for the Arts yesterday morning for the City’s 4th Annual Business Appreciation Breakfast.  This is a rare opportunity for City officials, community leaders and businesses of all sizes to engage one another and make lasting connections. 

Dr. Scott Ralls, President of Northern Virginia Community College provided keynote remarks on the critical role of higher education in economic development.  He specifically focused on new initiatives and programs at the college to better support the workforce needs of local employers. 

The City’s Department of Economic Development also released its Annual Report which provides highlights of new and expanding businesses as well as key performance indicators used to track our progress.  Most of these are trending in the right direction. 

The employment rate closed the year at 96.5% (by all measures extremely high), household incomes and median home prices rose, the number of business establishments increased, meals and sales tax receipts went up and the number of visitors to Manassas increased year over year. 

For read the full report or learn more about how the City supports its business community, visit www.choosemanassas.org

Specialized treatment helps most stubborn cuts at the Sentara Wound Healing Center

Chronic wounds affect about 6.5 million patients in the U.S. every year.

Over the last year, Howard Holcomb has become part of that group. The 76-year-old suffers from cellulitis, a condition where bacteria enters the skin and becomes inflamed. In Holcomb’s situation, his extremities filled with liquid. 

“My skin is very tender, and I bleed easily,” explains the Woodbridge resident. “I had wounds on my arms, and my left leg looked like a balloon, it swelled up so badly.”

After spending nearly two weeks in the hospital and receiving a course of antibiotics, Holcomb was released, but an incision that doctors had made in his leg to relieve pressure wasn’t healing as it should.

He was referred to the Sentara Wound Healing Center at Sentara Northern Virginia Medical Center.

“I went to the Wound Healing Center there at Sentara and met Dr. Shapiro and her incredible team,” says Howard smiling, “They made all the difference.”

The Sentara Wound Healing Center, led by Dr. Carol Shapiro, is committed to determining the right plan of care for its patients.

“Many of our patients are diabetics dealing with ulcers,” explains Dr. Shapiro, Medical Director of Sentara Wound Healing Center.

“Really, our patients are people with a wound that’s not healing. That can be from surgery where it opens up. It can be from an infection. It can be because somebody gets a cut in a briar patch and it’s not healing because of a foreign body in the wound. Any reason a wound’s not healing, we see them.”

The Center, comprised of a team of experienced wound healing specialists, work with the patient and his physician to assess symptoms, determine the underlying cause of a non-healing wound and customize the most effective treatment plan to stimulate healing.

“Our patients have access to our multi-specialty capabilities and specialists,” explains Dr. Shapiro. “We have infectious disease doctors, plastic surgery, great general surgeons, podiatrists and an emergency department nearby for patients that have to be admitted for one reason or another.”

Mr. Holcomb says while he still has a long way to go, he’s noticed a difference, “Before the Sentara Wound Healing Center, I didn’t even know these services existed! They took care of all the wounds on my arms- they’re all healed.”

He recommends Dr. Shapiro and her team to everyone he meets, “There have got to be a lot of people that need this kind of help. They are the most incredible group I’ve ever been around. They’re so knowledgeable and experienced, but yet so personable, you just don’t mind going there at all, and I love visiting with everybody. Everybody’s so friendly.”

The team members at the Sentara Wound Healing Center pride themselves on delivering that kind of care and following up with everyone who comes through their doors. They’re also excited about a recent renovation and expansion of services.

The remodeled first-floor space allows for easy access with larger doorways, halls, and storage so patients and practitioners can move from room to room. T

The expansion also included room for the introduction of a Hyperbaric Oxygen Chamber or HBO therapy. HBO, as it’s known, is used in the treatment of complex wounds and illnesses.

“The purpose of Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy is to promote healing on wounds which are stalling either because of a systemic disease like diabetes and vascular, or areas treated with radiation. By breathing this 100% oxygen, wounds heal quicker, there’s disease to blood vessels, and this opens them,” explains Dr. Shapiro.

Dr. Shapiro says this is just one more way the Sentara Wound Healing Center is working to treat the community, but she advises everyone to never let an unhealing cut, especially on your foot, go too long.

To schedule your appointment with the Sentara Wound Healing Center, call 703-523-0660.

A sweet treat for two at Chick-fil-A Bristow: $5,000 in scholarship funds

For two Chick-fil-A employees, earning a combined $5,000 in scholarship money was sweeter than the milkshakes sold behind the counter. 
 

Kifer


Catherine Kifer, 19, and Lauren Purdue, 18, were awarded $2,500 each in scholarship funds by on Tuesday, May 8. The awardees’ parents looked on, and the patrons who filled the restaurant applauded. 
 
Kifer is the Drive-Through Coordinator with two years of experience working at the restaurant, and Purdue works the drive-through and

Purdue


front counter. 
 
The two co-workers applied together for the scholarships. Purdue, a soon-to-be graduate of Kettle Run High School in Fauquier County, came to Kifer, her supervisor, told her about the company scholarship and asked for a recommendation. 
 
“Wow, how do I write this,” said Kifer, who said it was the first time anyone had asked her for a letter for a recommendation. 
 
She wrote it, and and, then decided she, too, would apply. 
 
After putting in two years at Northern Virginia Community College, Kifer will use the funds to transfer to Messiah College, a small Christian school in Mechanicsburg, Pa. to study psychology. 
 
Purdue will attend Liberty University in Lynchburg in the fall where she plans to study early childhood education. She’s already spent time teaching small children at church while her father, a pastor, preaches from the pulpit. 
 
“Having Sunday’s off of work really helps,” said Purdue. 
 
The women will take with them to college some of the skills they’ve learned while working at Chick-fil-A. For Purdue, it’s her newfound communications skills that have allowed to her open up and meet new people. 
 
Kifer say’s she’s learned to multitasking while serving customers. 
 
“I can work a shift with 10 to 15 people under me, do an $11,000 lunch shift, help manage the front and work in the back,” said Purdue. “It’s taught me that if the professor is late to class, I’ll just take out my work and start doing it there on the desk while I wait.” 
 
Both students will be able to re-apply for more scholarship money from Chick-fil-A next year as long as they’re still employed by the company. Both students said they’d be back to work during college breaks and holidays. 
 
Kifer and Purdue’s parents joined their daughters at a special ceremony where Lovitt handed out the awards. He purposely used his booming voice to announce to his customers that filled the dining room of his employees’ accomplishments. 
 
Afterward, he served cake to not only the awardees but to every guest in the restaurant, too. 
 

Port city no more: Dumfries keeps its colonial story alive with its upcoming Charter Day celebration

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JES Foundation Repair wins 2018 Fantastic Fifty Award

Five-time award winner credits growth to homeowner satisfaction

JES Foundation Repair was recently honored with a Fantastic 50 award for being one of the 50 fastest growing companies in Virginia. Since 1998, JES is one of eight companies in the state to achieve the award five times. The Fantastic 50 award program is organized and sponsored by the Virginia Chamber of Commerce.

“We’re humbled to be recognized alongside such outstanding Virginia companies” said Cary McGuckin, CMO. “It’s a testament to our employees who are always willing to go the extra mile and to the homeowners who put their trust in us.”

JES qualified for the 2018 Fantastic 50 list by growing over 200% from 2013 to 2016, the period measured by the Chamber to qualify.

“The growth of JES has been amazing,” said Matt Malone, CEO. “It’s the result of a hardworking, passionate team that truly believes in our mission to provide homeowners with the highest level of service and support.”

Malone joined the team as co-owner and managing partner in 2016, and is leading the continued growth throughout the eastern United States.

About JES Foundation Repair – JES Foundation Repair is a subsidiary of Groundworks, a family of companies that specialize in residential foundation repair, crawl space encapsulation, basement waterproofing, and concrete lifting. It is the nation’s largest foundation services company with the corporate office in Virginia Beach, Virginia. Groundworks is comprised of JES Foundation Repair, Tar Heel Basement Systems, Indiana Foundation Service, and Mount Valley Foundation Services. Celebrating 25 years in business, JES has helped over 70,000 homeowners since 1993.

JES Foundation Repair, together with the other Groundworks subsidiaries, operate out of eight offices that serve Virginia, Maryland, North Carolina, West Virginia, Indiana, South Carolina, and Georgia. JES has been named to the Fortune 5000 Fastest Growing Companies, Virginia Chamber of Commerce Fantastic 50, Inside Business Roaring Twenty and Best Places to Work. For more information about JES Foundation Repair, please visit www.jeswork.com

About the Awards – Virginia’s FANTASTIC 50 award program is a signature event of the Virginia Chamber of Commerce. Now in its 23rd year, the FANTASTIC 50 program is the only annual statewide award recognizing Virginia’s fastest growing business.

Nominations for the 2018 FANTASTIC 50 were sought last fall from local chambers of commerce, economic development organizations, and through the sponsors’ networks; companies may also nominate themselves.

To be eligible, a company must be privately held with headquarters in Virginia, show revenues between $200,000 and $200 million, and demonstrate positive revenue growth and positive net income in its most recent fiscal year over the previous year. Companies are judged on four-year revenue history. The professional service firm Dixon Hughes Goodman verifies all award entries.

The Fantastic 50 award program is sponsored by the Virginia Chamber of Commerce, Cox Communications, Inc., Hunton Andrews Kurth LLP, Dixon Hughes Goodman, J.P. Morgan Chase, the Westfields Marriott, SunTrust Bank, Virginia Business Magazine and the Fairfax County Economic Development Authority.

About the Virginia Chamber of Commerce
The Virginia Chamber of Commerce is the largest business organization in the Commonwealth, with more than 26,000 members. The Chamber is a non-partisan, business advocacy organization that works in the legislative, regulatory, civic and judicial arenas to act as the catalyst for positive change in all areas of economic development and competitiveness for Virginia.

In December 2017, the Chamber released an update to its long-term strategic economic development plan, Blueprint Virginia 2025, which engaged over 6,000 business and community leaders to lay out a plan to getting Virginia back to the top of national business climate rankings. Learn more at www.vachamber.com.    

 

Hematology Oncology Associates of Fredericksburg expands to Stafford County

Hematology Oncology Associates of Fredericksburg (HOAF), a healthcare organization recognized for providing world-class cancer care in state-of-the-art facilities, is expanding its practice to a second location in Stafford County that will offer the same level of care and treatment for cancer patients across a wider range of the Northern Virginia region.

The 7,048 square-foot cancer care office, located at 125 Woodstream Boulevard in Stafford and scheduled to open on Monday, May 14, will be known as Hematology Oncology Associates of Fredericksburg at Stafford.

HOAF officials believe that the new location in Stafford County will have a positive impact on health outcomes throughout the Northern Virginia region by increasing access to cancer specialists and advanced cancer therapies.

“Many of the patients who currently come to our offices in Fredericksburg live in the rapidly-growing North Stafford area,” said Dr. Charles L. Maurer, president of HOAF. “We saw a need to help patients in Stafford County, as well as those in Prince William County and other localities along the I-95 corridor, stay closer to home for their appointments and treatments.”

When HOAF at Stafford opens, the six physicians in the Fredericksburg location will rotate to Stafford weekly. Also, there will be a dedicated nurse practitioner and staff to provide consistent, compassionate care for patients. The Stafford facility will offer the same leading-edge services that are available at the Fredericksburg office.

HOAF offers a full spectrum of comprehensive services to treat all forms of adult cancers. A snapshot listing of services includes:

• Hematology
• Medical Oncology
• Infusion
• Chemotherapy
• Iron Replacement
• Holistic Care
• In-house Physician Dispensary
• Surveillance Clinic

“By elevating the quality of care in North Stafford with our second location, we’re keeping patients and their families in the community,” said Dr. Maurer. “Our passion is our patients and we are deeply committed to supporting them every step of way on the journey to recovery.”

Dr. Maurer also noted that renovations to the existing office in Fredericksburg are underway, which will expand the research department and increase the size of the pharmacy, among other improvements. “These exciting initiatives align with HOAF’s long-term goals for future growth of the practice,” he concluded.

To learn more about HOAF and its capabilities for cancer care, visit hoafredericksburg.com.

Code strokes are more common than you think. That’s why Sentara Northern Virginia Medical Center is going to bat to raise stroke awareness.

Being early is ideal for a lot of things, but it can be a game-changer when it comes to a stroke.

The American Heart Association estimates someone in the U.S. has a stroke nearly once every 40 seconds.

These numbers don’t surprise the doctors, nurses, and staff in the Emergency Department (ED) at Sentara Northern Virginia Medical Center. The ED is usually the gateway for Prince William County’s stroke patients.

“It’s an extremely rapid fire pace once a potential stroke patient arrives, time is brain,” explains Jessica Silcox, RN, MSN, ED Team Coordinator and founder of the hospital’s stroke team.

The team is just that and extends outside the hospital walls to Prince William County’s first responders.

“We look to Emergency Medical Services (EMS) as being the green light for the whole thing. They can let us know before a patient gets here what we can expect,” explains Silcox.

That’s when a CODE STROKE is called. It alerts the teams, within Sentara Northern Virginia Medical Center, a possible stroke patient is on the way. In addition to the doctors and nurses in the Emergency Department, the alert signals to the teams in radiology (CAT scan) and a number of other departments, an emergent case is imminent.

“You lose two-million neurons a minute, so every minute, literally, does count when you’re talking about stroke,” says Silcox.

Time is of the essence when it comes to stroke. That’s why as soon as a stroke patient arrives at Sentara Northern Virginia Medical Center, a specially certified team of nurses, a stroke coordinator and a stroke facilitator instantly take that patient to get a CAT scan. It’s at that point telemedicine is incorporated for expedited care.

“We have a machine we bring into CAT scan and the tele-neurologist can actually log on, wherever they are, and visualize that patient. They do an exam, speak to that patient. The technology is actually pretty advanced,” explains Silcox. “The tele-neurologists have cameras they can zoom in to the point they’re looking into a patient’s pupil to do an exam. That way the neurologist can determine quickly, if that patient is eligible for a clot-busting medication, or if another therapy is necessary.”

That’s why education is vital. Sentara Northern Virginia Medical Center, along with the Potomac Nationals, will be teaming up again this year for the Strike Out Stroke event.

“This event has been a huge success,” exclaims Kim Houser, RN, the new coordinator of the stroke team. “This is a huge community-based project to raise awareness and educate through a fun night. People can come out and support the community and those touched by stroke.”

This year’s event is happening on May 5 at Potomac National’s Richard Pfitzner Stadium.

Remember STROKE is an Emergency. Every minute counts. ACT F.A.S.T.

  • Face: Face drooping, Does one side of the face droop when smiling?
  • Arm: Arm Weakness, Ask the person to raise both arms. Does one arm drift down?
  • Speech: Speech Difficulty, Is speech slurred or strange?
  • Time: Time to Call 9-1-1. If you observe any of these symptoms, call 911 immediately.

Wood wins Dumfries: The results from Tuesday’s town elections in Prince William County

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Bird seed weighs down bags containing Ku Klux Klan propaganda

From a press release: 

Suspicious Incident – On April 28 at 7:42PM, officers responded to the 4500 block of Forestburg Ln in Triangle (22172) to investigate suspicious pamphlets depicting hate propaganda found on multiple residential lawns in the area.

A caller reported to police that they had located a bag on their front lawn that contained birdseed and the pamphlets which appeared to be recruiting material for the Ku Klux Klan and included anti-Semitic and anti-African American verbiage. During a canvass of the neighborhood, multiple bags were reportedly located by residents over the past two days.

The bags were seemingly thrown at random on front lawns and driveways in the area; however, some were found on the property of African-American residents. The bird seed appeared to have been used to weigh the bags down, possibly in an attempt to throw the bags from a vehicle. No suspicious persons or vehicles were reported in the area around this time.

The pamphlets did not contain any threats and did not appear to target anyone specific in the neighborhood. No property damage was reported. The investigation continues. 

Going from Red Flag Warning on Monday to red hot by the end of the week

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This week is devoted to infertility awareness

For millions of women, it’s an issue they’re all too familiar with and it’s something they deal with every day.

April 22-28 is designated National Infertility Awareness Week. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimate 1 in 8 couples have trouble conceiving, that’s 15% of American couples.

It’s something Dr. Richard Jenet, Chairman of Obstetrics and Gynecology at the Women’s Health Center at Sentara Northern Virginia Medical Center and practicing physician at About Women OB/GYN, sees too often.

“We often times have to really calm people down. People get really anxious if they try for one month and haven’t gotten pregnant,” he explains.

Dr. Jenet says when a patient comes to him wanting to start a family, he starts with the basics – getting blood work and taking both general and reproductive histories.

“We talk about some healthy life choices and have people try to get pregnant on their own. Unless there’s something obvious, we don’t talk about infertility until after a year of trying.”

Most couples get pregnant within that year, but if not, Jenet starts looking at other factors, “Several items are taken into account: age, weight, health conditions and lifestyle, just to name a few.”

If there are no obvious problems, Dr. Jenet says that’s when a reproductive endocrinologist is recommended to help pinpoint the issue.

But, Jenet says the advances in medicine, over his nearly 30 years in practice, allow women more alternatives than ever before, “There are more medications. There are more treatments. There are a lot more options.” And, that means more hope for women trying to get pregnant.

To learn more about OB/GYN or endocrinology services near you, call 1-800-SENTARA or go to sentara.com.

Roofing contractors in our region are backlogged thanks to March wind storm

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