Fire Works American Pizzeria and Bar, located in the Courthouse Plaza of Arlington, at the base of the Residence Inn by Marriott/Arlington Courthouse, is working with INOVA Blood Donor Services to host an Arlington Community Blood Drive with an INOVA Bloodmobile, which will be located near the intersection of Clarendon Boulevard and North Adams Street, on Monday, June 21, 2021, from 11:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

Make Your Lifesaving Appointment Today!

Arlington Community Blood Drive Sponsored by Fire Works Pizza

For more information about blood donation and preparation, visit www.inovablood.org.

Visit https://bit.ly/donatearlington to schedule your appointment or call us at 1-866-BLOODSAVES (1-866-256-6372) and use Sponsor Code 8629, or contact Evan Malone at [email protected]  or Jessica Willis Schnitz at [email protected].

By: Marymount University

June 13, 2021

Marymount University has established a new fellowship program to prepare Clinical Mental Health Counseling graduates to serve high-needs populations and meet the demands of a growing profession.

A $1.2 million grant from the U.S. Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) will fund 84 fellowships for students within the University’s School of Counseling.

“This grant provides an impressive opportunity to support our Counseling students and expand the availability of culturally sensitive Clinical Mental Health counselors,” said Dr. Rita Wong, Associate Vice President for Research at Marymount University. “We look forward to seeing the important work of this proposal unfold over the next four years.”

“HRSA sets high expectations for its grant selections, so we are excited to have our proposed training program chosen,” added Dr. Lisa Jackson-Cherry, Professor and Director of the School of Counseling. “We believe this will assist with increased partnerships in the community and increased visibility of the need for mental health services within medically underserved areas.”

The Counselors Serving High At-Risk Populations and Settings (C-SHARP) program aims to recruit and award fellowships to students pursuing a master’s in Clinical Mental Health Counseling, with an emphasis on Hispanic students, bilingual students and those from medically underserved communities. Students selected for a fellowship will be awarded a $10,000 stipend for their two-semester internship placement in a medically underserved area (MUA), a designation by HRSA for locations that have too few primary care providers or high poverty rates.

“Students will be exposed to various diverse and marginalized populations, and learn how community and multicultural aspects impact mental health integration to the communities and populations,” Dr. Jackson-Cherry explained. “Mental health is still often stigmatized among many marginalized groups, and we hope that exposure to counseling will open up additional support.”

The C-SHARP program will launch at a critical time, as the University has received an increase of requests from local agencies seeking to hire graduates to work with clients from diverse backgrounds. These include Spanish speakers, LGBTQIA+ clients and those from marginalized and rural communities.

This demand has also been felt across the country. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, growth in the counseling profession is expected to increase by 25 percent from 2019 to 2029.

The C-SHARP Fellowship will also provide students with additional clinical training in trauma-informed care, violence across the lifespan, additional ethical and legal issues and telehealth practices. Working in cross-professional settings and collaborative care, Marymount students will become fully equipped to serve the most vulnerable populations.

By: Marymount University

June 10, 2021

This coming Monday, Virginia Governor Ralph Northam will be visiting Marymount University to hold a ceremonial bill signing for House Bill 2123 and Senate Bill 1387.

The legislation will make Virginia students eligible for state financial aid if they are eligible for in-state tuition in the fall of 2022, regardless of citizenship or immigration status. At private institutions like Marymount, this will allow Dreamer students the ability to receive financial assistance through Virginia’s TAG program – increasing higher education access and opening the door for more students to achieve their goals and aspirations.

In addition to the Governor, event attendees include the President of Marymount and several Virginia lawmakers. A Marymount student who will gain access to TAG grant funding will also speak on the importance of this legislation and why it is meaningful to their academic journey.

On the heels of the Biden administration’s decision to redesignate Haiti for Temporary Protected Status (TPS), U.S. Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg and Mary Kay Henry, International President of the two million-member Service Employees International Union (SEIU) will host an immigration roundtable discussion with 32BJ SEIU’s airport workers at National Airport (DCA).

Many of the workers from Washington D.C., Philadelphia, PA, New York City, NY, Fort Lauderdale, FL, and Newark, NJ, have TPS, which allows immigrants fleeing civil strife and natural disaster to live and work in the U.S. legally without fear of deportation. SEIU may have as many as 20,000 members with TPS, many of whom have lived here for decades.

Workers will discuss their experiences as immigrants, risking their lives to keep people safe and airports running during the pandemic and the need for a pathway to citizenship for dreamers, people with TPS, essential workers, and all 11 million undocumented immigrants. They will make the case that legislation is urgent. More than 130,000 TPS holders and more than 200,000 DACA recipients have been working on the frontlines of the COVID-19 pandemic to keep communities healthy and safe. In fact, three in ten home care workers are immigrants. A pathway to citizenship would change the lives of these workers and millions more by allowing them to fully participate in our economy and society. President Biden has introduced the U.S. Citizenship Act of 2021 that would make this a reality while addressing the root causes of immigration.

By: Virginia Hospital Center

May 13, 2021

Virginia Hospital Center (VHC), a community-based hospital providing medical services to the Washington, DC metropolitan area for 75 years, is proud to announce that it has received a Level II Trauma Center designation from the Commonwealth of Virginia, filling a critical community need. Previously, the closest trauma center for Arlington County was in Fairfax or Washington, DC. It is projected that VHC will be able to provide care for about 1,000 trauma patients a year, who otherwise would have had to be transported greater distances to other hospitals.

“As a Level II Trauma Center, we are taking the level of care we provide for our community to a higher level,” says Melody Dickerson, MSN, RN, CPHQ, Senior Vice President & Chief Nursing Officer at Virginia Hospital Center. “Not only do we have an excellent Emergency Department and ICU, as well as multiple critical subspecialties already in place, but 100 percent of our nurses have received trauma-specific training.”

“George Washington University/Medical Faculty Associates provides the specialized trauma surgeons and trauma physician assistants for VHC’s program,” added Babak Sarani, MD, FACS, Director of Trauma & Acute Care Surgery. “Together we’ve been able to set up a great partnership, along with the protocols and evidence-based guidelines that are essential to maintaining a high-level trauma center.”

As a Level II Trauma Center, VHC will treat severely injured patients 15 years of age and older, excluding those with extensive burn injuries. VHC maintains a complete team of healthcare providers specializing in traumatic injury–available 24-hours-a-day, seven days a week, 365 days a year. VHC’s Level II Trauma Center will adhere to a 15-minute response time for trauma surgeons and 30-minute response time for subspecialists who are on-call for trauma emergencies.

“The community needed VHC to take on becoming a trauma center,” says E. Reed Smith, MD, Operational Medical Director, Arlington County Fire & Police Department. “For ACFD, this improves our operation. No longer will our EMS teams have to cross a bridge to get our residents to a trauma center. We can now transport our residents to needed care at VHC, and then get our units refitted and back into service faster after a call.”

To reach Level II status, the Hospital made many supply and equipment purchases, including advanced monitoring units, specialized pumps and operative instrumentation for procedures performed for the severely injured patient population. VHC redesigned trauma bays to provide more space for multiple physicians and their needs. An automated dispensing system is conveniently located within the trauma bay and a trauma cart is ready to be taken into any operating room in the Hospital with all the supplies normally needed for an emergency trauma situation.

About Virginia Hospital Center

Virginia Hospital Center has provided exceptional medical services to the Washington, DC metropolitan area for 75 years and was recently designated a Newsweek 2020 Best Maternity Care Hospital, received a 5-star rating from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) and once again named a Leapfrog Top Hospital in 2019. The Hospital is a proud member of the Mayo Clinic Care Network – a national network of independent healthcare organizations. Virginia Hospital Center is a 437-bed not-for-profit teaching facility and designated as a Magnet® hospital by the American Nurses Credentialing Center.

By: Virginia ABC

May 11, 2021

After more than a year of reduced operating hours in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, all Virginia Alcoholic Beverage Control Authority (ABC) stores will return to pre-pandemic operating hours on May 14, 2021.

All stores will open by 10 a.m. every day, apart from some stores which regularly open later on Sundays. Store closing times, which returned to pre-pandemic hours in June 2020, will remain the same. Closing times vary by store.

“With COVID-19 case numbers falling in Virginia and vaccinations increasing, we feel it is now safe to return to our normal operating hours,” said Travis Hill, chief executive officer of Virginia ABC. “We truly appreciate our retail team’s dedication and flexibility throughout this pandemic, and we look forward to serving our customers with expanded hours soon.”

Safety measures recommended for retailers by the Virginia Department of Health (VDH) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) remain in place in all 393 stores. These include:

  • A face mask requirement for customers and store employees. ABC will continue to make every attempt to provide a face mask to customers who arrive without one.
  • Plexiglas shields at registers
  • Floor markers to ensure customers stand at least six feet apart from one another
  • Daily cleaning and sanitizing with particular attention to most frequented areas including checkout counters and high-touch surfaces such as door handles and knobs, and
  • Hand sanitizer at registers for customer and employee use.

As an alternative to in-store shopping, customers can place orders online at www.abc.virginia.gov for curbside pickup or home delivery in nearly all areas of the commonwealth. A list of ABC stores and their operating hours is available at www.abc.virginia.gov/stores.

While stating unequivocally that “we’re all safer at home” this Cinco de Mayo during the continuing COVID-19 pandemic, a local nonprofit organization today announced that — as a “necessary safety net” to next month’s high-risk, high-alcohol consumption period — free safe rides will be offered to would-be drunk drivers throughout the Washington-metropolitan area on Cinco de Mayo (May 5th).

Offered by the nonprofit Washington Regional Alcohol Program (WRAP), the 2021 Cinco de Mayo SoberRide® program will be in operation beginning at 4:00 pm this Wednesday, May 5, 2021 (Cinco de Mayo) and operate until 2:00 am on Thursday, May 6, 2021 as a way to keep local roads safe from impaired drivers during this traditionally high-risk holiday.

While we’re all safer at home, we are also a public safety organization which regularly looks to mitigate risk,” said Kurt Erickson, WRAP’s President. “We therefore urge all Greater Washington residents to respect public health restrictions this Cinco de Mayo. However, if persons do venture out and alcohol is involved, we are all benefited from the safety net role which the region’s SoberRide program plays to remove drunk drivers from area roadways.”

 During SoberRide’s hours of operation this Cinco de Mayo, area resident’s age 21 and older celebrating with alcohol may download the Lyft app to their phones, then enter a SoberRide® code in the app’s “Promo” section to receive their no-cost (up to $15) safe transportation home. The Cinco de Mayo SoberRide® promo code will be posted at 3:00 pm on May 5th on www.SoberRide.com.

Over a third of U.S. traffic fatalities during Cinco de Mayo involve drunk drivers (39%, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 2015-2019).*

During the 2019 Cinco de Mayo period (COVID-19 prevented last year’s offering), nearly 800 (792) persons in the Washington-metropolitan area used WRAP’s SoberRide® program rather than possibly driving home impaired. The charity also offers its SoberRide® program on St. Patrick’s Day, Independence Day, Halloween and the winter holidays.

SoberRide® is offered throughout Lyft’s Washington D.C. coverage area which includes all or parts of: the District of Columbia; the Maryland counties of Montgomery and Prince George’s; and the Northern Virginia counties of Arlington, Fairfax, Loudoun and Prince William.

 “Lyft is proud of the role ridesharing has played in reducing impaired driving across the nation. Here in the DC area, partnering with the Washington Regional Alcohol Program allows us to take our commitment to providing reliable, convenient, and responsible transportation a step further,” said Geoff Berman, Lyft’s National Regional Manager, East.

Sponsors of WRAP’s 2021 Cinco de Mayo SoberRide® campaign include the 395 Express Lanes, Anheuser-Busch, Brown-Forman, Constellation Brands, District of Columbia Association of Beverage Alcohol Wholesalers, Enterprise Rent-A-Car, Foundation for Advancing Alcohol Responsibility, Giant Food, Glory Days Grill, Kendall-Jackson, Lyft, Molson Coors Beverage Company, New Belgium Brewing, Restaurant Association Metropolitan Washington and the Washington Area New Automobile Dealers Association. In addition, WRAP’s 2021 Public Partner SoberRide® Sponsors include the District of Columbia Department of Transportation, Maryland Highway Safety Office/Maryland Motor Vehicle Administration and the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles.

Since 1991, WRAP’s SoberRide® program has provided 80,190 free safe rides home to would-be drunk drivers in the Greater Washington area.

Founded in 1982, the nonprofit [501(c)(3)] Washington Regional Alcohol Program (WRAP) is a coalition of diverse interests using effective education, innovative programs and targeted advocacy to end alcohol-impaired driving and underage drinking in the Washington, DC metro area. Through public education, innovative health education programs and advocacy, WRAP is credited with keeping the metro-Washington area’s alcohol-related traffic deaths historically lower than the national average.

More information about WRAP’s SoberRide® initiative can be found at www.SoberRide.com.

By: National Landing BID

April 29, 2021

The National Landing Business Improvement District (BID) teamed up with Restaurant Association Metropolitan Washington (RAMW) to provide $100,000 in relief funding to 30 businesses as part of their “Love Local” campaign. Funds are allocated evenly across the eligible National Landing establishments to help cover necessary operator-related expenses including rent and employee wages.

 “Our small businesses are essential to the vibrancy and vitality of the community, and we’re thankful to partner with RAMW to introduce the ‘Love Local’ program during a time of critical need,” said Tracy Sayegh Gabriel, President and Executive Director of National Landing BID. “Seeing firsthand the challenges our retailers here in National Landing continue to face during this time of recovery, it is essential that we support and uplift their efforts in every way we can.”

“Love Local” has offered a much-needed boost to the businesses involved in the program and enabled many to stay afloat or expand their offerings. “I’m incredibly appreciative of the support we’ve received from the BID and Restaurant Association of Metro Washington,” said Rhoda Wheeler, the owner of local retailer Agents of Style Luxury Consignment Boutique. “The funds came at a really great time and covered an entire month’s rent, which will allow us to keep going.”

Nineteen of the establishments receiving “Love Local” aid are restaurants, as the food and hospitality sector was hit particularly hard by the impacts of the pandemic. “National Landing is small business oriented and this funding is going to be so helpful in revamping our menu, allowing us to bring additional fun stuff to the park,” said Giuseppe Lanzone, Co-Founder & CEO of Peruvian Brothers, which operates in the Crystal City Water Park. “With all of the new shops and restaurants, as well as Amazon coming in, National Landing is going to be a prime destination in the DMV.” 

The full list of businesses participating in the “Love Local” program includes: Agents In Style Luxury Consignment Boutique, Asia Bistro, Burn & Brew, CC2 LLC – High Line, Cold Stone Creamery, Commonwealth Joe, Coqui Boutique, Crystal City Sports Pub, Crystal City Wine Shop, Enjera Restaurant, Flowers With Love, Freddie’s Beach Bar, Garden Fantasy, La Bettola Italiano, Mind Your Body Oasis, Pentagon City Wine Merchant, Peruvian Brothers, Potomac Social Tavern, Pure Barre Pentagon City, Real Jewelers, Ristorante Portofino, Saigon Saigon, Schakolad Chocolate Factory, Ship’s Hatch, Subways #51334 and #55931 and Crystal City, Taj of India, Total Party – Party, Costumes & Novelties and Universal Gourmet 3.

Over the course of the pandemic and ongoing recovery, both the National Landing BID and RAMW have prioritized and recognized the importance of our region’s restaurants and small businesses. Together, they remain committed to driving the economic recovery of the retail, hospitality and tourism industries. Both parties are actively involved with Hook Hall Helps, an ongoing relief program that provides free meals and supply bags to industry workers in need. Last spring, the National Landing BID executed a small business grant program in partnership with Arlington County, providing relief funds to more than 70 local retailers and restaurants in need.

To learn more about this program, visit www.nationallanding.org/lovelocal.

By: Virginia Hospital Center

April 28, 2021

Virginia Hospital Center Chair of Emergency Medicine Selected as Medical Director of the Year by Alteon Health

Virginia Hospital Center (VHC), a community-based hospital providing medical services to the Washington, DC metropolitan area for 75 years, is pleased to announce Michael Silverman, MD, FACEP, chair of emergency medicine, was recently selected as one of five 2020 Facility Medical Directors of the Year by Alteon Health, the industry-leading national medical group that has managed VHC’s emergency medicine program since 2001.

The award honors medical directors from across Alteon’s more than 125 clinical sites who exhibited exemplary leadership and professionalism in 2020, mentoring their physicians and advanced practice providers while improving department performance. Throughout 2020, Dr. Silverman played a critical role in VHC’s COVID-19 Task Force, led the physical adaptation of the Emergency Department to safely meet patients’ evolving needs, and worked with the Hospital’s public relations team to provide the community accurate and timely health information. In December, Arlington Magazine recognized Dr. Silverman as “Best of Arlington” for COVID information. He also led his physician team in designing and delivering a 12-part lecture series for the department’s physician assistants and nurse practitioners, equipping them to comfortably managing the higher acuity patient population.

Five Virginia Hospital Center Nurses Honored with Washingtonian Magazine Excellence in Nursing Awards

Virginia Hospital Center (VHC), a community-based hospital providing medical services to the Washington, DC metropolitan area for 75 years, is proud to announce that five members of the nursing team were selected by Washingtonian Magazine to receive Excellence in Nursing Awards. Throughout the pandemic, nurses served on the frontlines caring for patients and this award honors their efforts to go above and beyond every day for their patients and colleagues.

“The strength and resilience our entire staff have displayed over the last year has been truly remarkable,” said James B. Cole, President and CEO of Virginia Hospital Center. “This award recognizes the hard work of not only these incredible nurses, but the entire VHC team.”

The five Virginia Hospital Center nurses are included in a group of 50 exceptional nurses selected from hundreds of nominations. The VHC employees who have been named 2021 Exceptional Nurses are:

  • Meghan Bozzelli, BSN, RN, CEN, Patient Care Director, Emergency Department
  • Melody Dickerson, MSN, RN, CPHQ, Senior Vice President & Chief Nursing Officer
  • Loan Nguyen, BSN, RN, Medical Stroke Unit
  • Sally Parris, MSN, RN, COHN, Director of Occupational Health
  • Lorraine Waltz, BSN, RN, OCN, Patient Care Director, Oncology

By: Arlington Rotary Club

April 26, 2021

The Arlington Rotary Club has honored school counselor Laurie Dodson as Arlington Key Elementary School’s “Educator of the Year” and presented two Arlington high school students scholarships totaling $18,000 at the club’s annual education awards event.

  • Emma Newman, a Washington-Liberty senior, is the recipient of a $10,000 scholarship over four years to attend Virginia Tech. She plans to major in psychology and hopes to pursue a career helping people who live with mental illness.
  • Sarai Joya Argueta, a graduate of Arlington Community High School is the recipient of the $8,000 Audra Rafter Scholarship. She begins studies at Northern Virginia Community College this month to study information technology and hopes for a career in the medical and pharmacy field.

“The awards reflect Arlington Rotary’s ongoing commitment to education,” said the club’s interim Education Fund President Steve Klemp. “We are proud to honor a leader of the present and two leaders of the future. They are assets for our community.”

The club presented the awards on April 22 in an event held virtually because of the pandemic. Lisa Fikes, Acting President and CEO of Volunteer Arlington’s Center for Leadership Excellence, was the keynote speaker.

Arlington Rotary is a partner with Key School, supporting it with special activities throughout the year.

Laurie Dodson was commended for helping Key School-Escuela Key, the county’s bilingual Spanish immersion K-5 elementary school, to achieve national recognition from the American School Counseling Association as a model for its data-informed counseling program.

Dodson also coordinates the school’s “Adopt a Child and Family” holiday gift campaign that matches community donors with over 60 families in need.

Linking Rotary’s motto of “Service Above Self” to education, Fikes noted that “Taking the time to listen and learn is a form of civic engagement” and then taking what you learn “to make a difference.”

“During a time of isolation and fear during the pandemic,” Fikes also observed that “organizations, businesses and individuals came together” to meet community needs. “Creativity will continue [and] Arlington has a right to be proud.”

Klemp voiced appreciation to all whose support make the Rotary Club’s scholarships and service projects throughout the year possible. Event sponsors included:

  • AHC, Inc.
  • Art-Eclectic, a subsidiary of the Lott Family, LLC
  • MESH — Masonic & Eastern Star Charities
  • Carol Sutfin, Broker, MCM Realty Company
  • Claude Moore Charitable Foundation
  • Embassy of the United Arab Emirates
  • John P. and Priscilla C. Becker
  • Kim and Dave Durand
  • Steve and Karen Klemp
  • Gary and Janice Long
  • Steve and Nancy Silcox
  • Phil Traina

By: Arlington Parents for Education

April 21, 2021

Arlington parents frustrated by Arlington Public Schools’ unwillingness to add more in-person instructional days this school year will rally ahead of the next school board meeting to let their voices be heard.

When: Thursday, April 22
Time: 530p – 7pm (ahead of the next Arlington County School Board meeting which begins at 7pm)
Where: Outside APS Syphax Building, 2110 Washington Blvd, Arlington, VA 

More than a year later, Arlington Public School students are without full-time in-person instruction.  Arlington is in the clear minority:  more than 2/3 of Virginia districts have returned a substantial portion of their students to full-time in-person instruction;  more than 60% of students nationwide are in classrooms five days a week.   And this week Fairfax County, the state’s largest and Loudoun, its third largest, returned students to more days of in-person instruction.

What about Arlington? Superintendent Francisco Durán says it would be a “monumental logistical challenge” to get our students back in classrooms for more days for the remaining 8 weeks of this school year.    The school board gave a collective shrug to this claim, no vote, no deliberation and no debate.

Eight weeks remain in the school year – that’s almost 20% of the entire school year. If APS can’t return more fully this spring, what will be different in the fall?  And why not give families and staff the confidence about next year by showing them what APS could get done still this year?

Arlington parents want more action from the Arlington School Board and APS leadership and they want more in-person days this school year.

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