WHAT MATTERS Warren — In this sobering video, you’ll be in awe as Christa Shifflett, Executive Director of the Warren Coalition, discusses the COVID pandemic’s implications on the disease of addiction. In all of 2019, Warren Memorial Hospital reported 85 overdoses. By mid May of this year, WMH has treated over 100 cases. March saw a 55% increase in alcohol sales and opioid overdoses which were decreasing are now on the rise again.
Shifflett frankly explains that one in three people biologically have a predisposition to become addicted to substances if exposed. A genetic test is now offered for those who face pain management issues which could save lives of those at risk whom, if armed with the knowledge of their potential to develop an opioid use disorder, would seek other pain reduction alternatives. Many of those struggling with opioid use disorders innocently took pain medication after surgeries or injuries and fell in love with the euphoric feeling the prescriptions prompted.
Christa encourages all to remember that words matter and that people-first language around the changes to the brain that is caused by addiction is essential to helping those with substance use disorders seek the assistance they deserve and require to live a healthy life. She rightly insists we must remove the word “addict” from our vocabulary as she points out that people suffering from cancer aren’t called “cancerous” nor are they labeled and judged due to their illness. Likewise, those fighting the battle of addiction should not be classified by disempowering terms.
She also reminds healthy individuals of their responsibility to check on friends and neighbors and to notice if they have increased their alcohol consumption or appear stressed, traumatized or otherwise struggling with adapting to the current state of the world. Now is a time when a rise in substance misuse, increased cases of substance use disorders and relapses are common. She discusses the eye-opening findings from the recent study by the Recovery Village during the interview:
Shifflett also references an alarming statistic purporting a 578% increase in a certain prominent wine club’s sales during the month of March. To read more thought provoking facts about the increase in alcohol consumption throughout the pandemic click on this article in Forbes magazine.
To get support, find support for a loved one, or just develop a greater understanding reach out to Christa about a presentation for your group on topics like understanding the disease of addiction, how childhood trauma impacts adult health/life spans, how to help build resilient communities or learn more about how you can play a role in helping to prevent or heal substance use disorders visit www.warrencoalition.org
ABOUT THE WARREN COALITION:
Warren County Community Health Coalition – Warren Coalition – is a nonprofit agency established in 1994 to help fill the gaps in health care and substance abuse awareness to the community. The Coalition began under the guidance of Warren Memorial Hospital as an outreach project, but has since grown and was incorporated in 2001. The office is currently located in the Warren County Community Center. We continue to work towards making Warren County a safe, healthy, and drug free community through the many programs we provide.
538 Villa Avenue | Front Royal, VA 22630
WHAT MATTERS INITIATIVE
Are you or your group in need of a free video that could be created to help market your cause or event? Beth’s WHAT MATTERS Warren videos post on Facebook and YouTube.
Learn more Beth’s nonprofit, WHAT MATTERS, a 501 (c) (3), at www.whatmattersw2.com – check out the “Community” section to request a TOWN TIP or WHAT MATTERS WARREN BETHvid or contact her at 540-671-6145 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
About WHAT MATTERS:
WHAT MATTERS is a 501(c)(3) that focuses on local and global outreach to help spread the word, support and raise funds for causes that matter (primarily through Facebook). WHAT MATTERS has ZERO overhead as 100% of the expenses are funded by Beth’s real estate business thanks to her clients and supporters. Every cent raised goes to the cause she’s promoting and most are matched by Beth. If you’d like to get involved or travel to Africa with her on a future trip to work with the children of Light up Life Foundations, please visit www.whatmattersw2.com.
Elks Lodge donates to FR United Methodist Church student meals program
Jim Sheppard, Exalted Ruler of Front Royal Elks Lodge # 2382, delivered a donation of $5,500 to the Front Royal United Methodist Church Backpack Program. They are currently providing weekend meal supplements to 67 children, and the number keeps rising.
Their goal is to provide some form of meals on Saturday and Sunday and any school holiday. Church members and volunteers meet each Thursday to pack the bags, consisting of breakfast, lunch, fruit and snacks. They are then delivered to seven school locations in the community.
With the rising cost of food, this should help support the Backpack Program goal of $38,190 for the 2021-2022 school year. The donated funds were provided by the Elks National Foundation thru their Spotlight and Beacon Grants.
(From a release by Elks Lodge 2382)
Mackenzie Tolliver of Front Royal named to UA Presidents List
Mackenzie Tolliver was named to The University of Alabama Presidents List for Fall Semester 2021. Mackenzie is a 2019 graduate of Skyline High School. MacKenzie’s mother Tina Tolliver is very proud of her daughter.
A total of 11,979 students enrolled during the fall 2021 term at The University of Alabama made the dean’s list with academic records of 3.5 or above (on a 4.0 scale), or the president’s list with academic records of 4.0 (all A’s).
The UA dean’s and president’s lists recognize full-time undergraduate students. The lists do not apply to graduate students or to undergraduate students who take less than a full course load.
For more information visit news.ua.edu.
LFCC students now have immediate access to free mental health support and counseling
All LFCC students are now able to get immediate help for mental health and other wellbeing needs – at absolutely no cost – through TimelyMD, the leading telehealth company specializing in higher education.
TimelyMD developed its proprietary TimelyCare technology to offer students 24/7 health and counseling resources that are as easy and convenient as making a video or phone call. Through the TimelyCare app on their phone or other device, LFCC students can now select from a wide-ranging menu of virtual care options from licensed physicians and counselors in all 50 states – at no cost to them and without the hassle of traditional insurance – including:
- On-demand mental health support (TalkNow)
- Appointment-based mental health counseling
- Psychiatric support
- Health coaching
While students can log into TimelyCare to set up a counseling appointment, students in crisis can get immediate support through TalkNow. With TalkNow, they can reach a behavioral health professional 24 hours a day to talk about any issues they may be having, such as suicidal thoughts, exam anxiety, stress and relationship issues.
The health coaching feature includes unlimited virtual sessions with a nutritionist, as well as coaching in a variety of topics, including exercise, healthy sleep habits, blood pressure issues, mindfulness, gut health, eating disorders, and more.
TimelyCare allows students to see the profiles, faces and specialty care details of a diverse range of licensed physicians and counselors available to them. They can choose to meet with a specific provider or select the first available. Typical consultations begin within 5-10 minutes – less than the amount of time it takes to walk across campus.
TimelyCare’s ease of use, convenience and immediacy make it easier than ever for LFCC students to get the help they need, when they need it. In fact, 60 percent of all students who have sought mental health support from TimelyMD said they would have done nothing if the service were not available to them.
“This is the first time LFCC has ever been able to offer mental health counseling and psychiatry to our students,” said Caroline Wood, associate vice president of student services and academic support. “We would think it’s a win if every student signed up to use it.”
If a student doesn’t feel a need for counseling, perhaps they’d enjoy participating in free yoga classes, she said.
Previously, the college would refer students seeking mental health help to the community services board serving the area where they lived. And, with the dearth of psychiatric providers in the region, students would sometimes have to wait months for an appointment, according to Wood.
Dean of Students Amber Foltz said students can access TimelyCare online or through its mobile app. She said there will be more than 250 counseling slots – in addition to the Talk Now feature – available each week to students in the Virginia Community College System.
“It’s open to all LFCC students, whether they enroll in one credit, or 18 credits,” she said.
Demand for teletherapy visits in particular skyrocketed during the pandemic, and mental health remains the top concern of college and university presidents. A recent survey found the majority of college students feel even more stress and anxiety than they did a year ago as Covid-19 continues to disrupt their plans to resume everyday activities and enjoy a more “normal” semester.
“College students said the number one thing their campuses can do to support them right now is provide more virtual services focused on their health and well-being, such as telehealth and teletherapy,” said Luke Hejl, TimelyMD CEO and co-founder. “Through TimelyCare, we are proud to deliver best-in-class virtual care to help LFCC students thrive.”
Students can sign up for the program at lfcc.edu/timelycare.
Founded in 1970, Lord Fairfax Community College is a multi-campus public institution of higher education. With four locations — Middletown, Warrenton, Luray-Page County and most recently, Vint Hill— the College serves eight localities in the Shenandoah Valley and northern Piedmont regions. The localities are the counties of Clarke, Fauquier, Frederick, Page, Rappahannock, Shenandoah and Warren and the city of Winchester. LFCC offers more than 75 associate degree and certificate programs in a wide variety of disciplines, in addition to providing access to bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degree programs offered on site by a four-year institution. LFCC also serves the business community by offering workforce preparation programs for employees and employers. LFCC serves more than 9,000 unduplicated credit students and more than 11,000 individuals in professional development and business and industry courses annually.
Lord Fairfax Community College (LFCC) is accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools to award associate degrees. Contact the Commission on Colleges at 1866 Southern Lane, Decatur, Georgia 30033-4097 or call 404-679-4500 for questions about the accreditation of Lord Fairfax Community College. Lord Fairfax Community College is an equal opportunity institution providing educational and employment opportunities, programs, services, and activities and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, sex, age, religion, disability, national origin, marital status, political affiliation, sexual orientation, or other non-merit factors. LFCC also prohibits sexual misconduct including sexual violence or harassment.
TimelyMD is the leading telehealth provider specializing in higher education. Its mission is to improve the well-being of college students by making virtual medical and mental health care accessible anytime, anywhere. The comprehensive TimelyCare solution optimizes campus resources and supports clinical staff by delivering continuity of care to hundreds of thousands of students at more than 130 colleges and universities. Customizable by school, TimelyCare’s wide-ranging telehealth and teletherapy services – including on-demand and scheduled medical care, on-demand and scheduled mental health counseling, psychiatric support, health coaching, and faculty and staff guidance – are designed to help students thrive in all aspects of their lives. Visit timely.md for more information.
The Blue Ridge Area Food Bank promotes food finder tool amid winter weather, rising food prices
Following another weekend of winter weather, many individuals and families across the region are experiencing hunger because they could not afford to both heat their home and buy food. For those facing this tragic dilemma, the Blue Ridge Area Food Bank has an online tool for people to find food assistance in their community.
Improved and re-launched in the spring of 2021, the user-friendly and mobile-accessible Food Finder tool can be navigated in 12 different languages and displays a broad range of partner and program sites (including mobile food pantries and more). Search results can be filtered by service type, days of operation, distance and even the availability of evening hours.
Compounding the hardships stemming from winter weather, food prices also continue to rise. Food-at-home prices (e.g., groceries) were up 6.5% in December 2021 from December 2020, according to the latest Consumer Price Index. Meat, fish, poultry, and eggs rose 12.5% over the same period.
At least one in 12 people in the Blue Ridge area experiences hunger, with children and the elderly suffering the worst consequences.
“We are in the midst of the coldest part of the year, and with more winter weather on the way, many people are faced with the impossible question of, ‘Do we heat our house today or buy food?’” said Michael McKee, CEO of The Blue Ridge Area Food Bank. “We understand the gravity of these situations, and we are committed to offering resources to those facing these difficult decisions. We’ve already seen the positive impact of Food Finder, and we hope more across our service area can find help through the tool should they need it.”
For those interested in utilizing Food Finder, go to: foodfinder.brafb.org for more information.
About the Blue Ridge Area Food Bank
Founded in 1981 and headquartered in Verona, Virginia, the Blue Ridge Area Food Bank is the largest organization alleviating hunger in western and central Virginia. The Food Bank serves an average of nearly 119,000 individuals each month across 25 counties and eight cities through distribution centers in Charlottesville, Lynchburg, Winchester, and Verona. Together with our network of 207 community partners and 187 program sites, we’re serving record numbers of Virginians during a prolonged pandemic and its associated economic impacts. We pledge to continue innovating and adapting to secure, store, and distribute more food to more individuals, families, children, and seniors experiencing hunger. The Food Bank is a member of Feeding America, a national food bank association that supports 200 food banks across the United States providing 6 billion meals to 42 million people through 60,000 partner pantries. For more information, visit www.brafb.org.
Blue Ridge Wildlife Center Patient of the Week: Red-shouldered Hawk
Why are hawks so often hit by vehicles?
This Red-shouldered Hawk was admitted last week due to a vehicle collision. This hawk had a guarded prognosis on intake due to the severity of head and lung trauma.
This bird improved over the first few hours with supplemental oxygen and pain medications, but was quiet for a few days after admission. Over time, this patient’s breathing improved as did the head trauma.
Now, after a week in care, this patient has been moved to an outdoor enclosure. Though able to fly, there are still some coordination and endurance issues.
We are hopeful that this hawk will recover fully and be released!
We are only a couple of weeks into January, yet we have already admitted six raptors for confirmed vehicle collisions this year.
Why does this happen so often? And how can you help?
We all know that littering is bad. But it may surprise you that biodegradable items like banana peels, apple cores, and other food waste are especially dangerous to wildlife! Often, people will toss these items out of their car window thinking they are harmless and will biodegrade quickly. In reality, the food scraps attract prey species to the roads, and then predators, like hawks, follow.
Don’t give these birds of prey more of a reason to frequent roadways. Help wildlife by disposing of your trash properly!
Looking for an easy way to help native wildlife? Become a monthly BRWC donor! For as little as $5/month, you can provide year-round, sustainable support that helps us fulfill our mission.
Summary of the Warren County EDA meeting of January 14, 2022
The Board of Directors of the Front Royal and Warren County Economic Development Authority held the first board of directors’ meeting of the New Year via Zoom. The meeting was authorized under Governor Northam’s executive mandate for the health emergency.
The Board adopted two resolutions.
The first resolution the board unanimously approved was a one-year lease with a 60-day notice clause for 1329 Happy Creek Road. The house is part of a settlement on the Jennifer MacDonald bankruptcy.
The second resolution supports Sands Anderson, EDA’s legal counsel, in the lawsuits to recover lost funds during the Jennifer MacDonald tenure as executive director. The resolution authorizes the EDA Chairperson, Jeff Browne, to direct Sands Anderson in trial strategy as necessary regarding claims and defenses based on the EDA’s strategies.
Beginning with the January 14, 2022 meeting, committee reports are in writing and submitted prior to the meeting with the board report. The committee reports along with the agendas of each meeting will be posted on the website prior to the meeting. The January committee reports are posted. The committee chairs highlighted the items in the reports and answered questions.
Board Vice-Chairman and Asset Committee Chair Greg Harold discussed the long-term need for housing in the community to support businesses brought to the county in the future. Tom Patteson presented an oral report on the staffing for the EDA. Dr. Patteson expressed disappointment that several qualified candidates interviewed but took other positions. He recommended expanding the advertising for the Executive Director position to include the IEDC, an association of professional economic developers.
Dr. Patteson resigned effective January 31, 2022, at the end of his four-year term. The board as a whole and individual board members expressed their gratitude and appreciation for all his work on the board including serving as treasurer. Dr. Patteson provided a balance to the board, attention to detail, and business acumen.
As of January 31st there will be two open positions on the board. Jeff Browne emphasized a full board is needed especially now with the board managing much of the day-to-day operations of the EDA.