Virginia Sen. Tim Kaine (D) on Thursday sharply criticized a provision of the federal energy permitting reform bill that would force the completion of the controversial Mountain Valley Pipeline, saying that “it could open the door to serious abuse and even corruption.”
“If they demonstrate on the merits that they should be entitled to build a pipeline … then build it by all means,” Kaine said in a lengthy speech on the U.S. Senate floor. “But don’t embrace the need for permitting reform and then choose one project in the entire United States affecting my state and pull it out of permitting reform, insulating it from the normal processes.”
The completion of the 303-mile Mountain Valley Pipeline, intended to carry gas from the Marcellus shale fields in West Virginia to southern Virginia, has been a political flashpoint in Virginia since it was first proposed in 2014.
Opposition to the project has led to numerous court challenges, a settlement with Virginia over more than 300 environmental violations, and the yanking of multiple federal permits by judges in the Richmond-based U.S. 4th Circuit Court of Appeals. Today, most of the unfinished portion of the pipeline lies in Virginia’s Giles, Craig and Montgomery counties.
This August, the project grabbed national attention when Sen. Joe Manchin, D-West Virginia, said he had agreed to support Democrats’ sweeping Inflation Reduction Act in exchange for approval of separate legislation to reform the nation’s energy permitting processes. A one-page summary of what the legislation would do included the completion of Mountain Valley.
The text of the bill, which was released Wednesday, would require the federal government to issue outstanding permits for the project within 30 days, including authorizations from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to protect endangered species, from the Bureau of Land Management to allow the pipeline to cross the Jefferson National Forest in Virginia and from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to approve its remaining crossing of federal waters.
The legislation says that none of those actions would be subject to review by the courts. Additionally, it would transfer any other legal action related to the pipeline or challenges to the act itself from the 4th Circuit to the D.C. Circuit.
On Thursday, Kaine said Congress should not interfere with specific judicial and administrative review cases and called the transfer of jurisdiction away from the 4th Circuit “a very, very dangerous precedent.”
“What ground would there be for such a historic rebuke of my hometown federal circuit court, to say that just because they ruled against a powerful energy corporation, we will in an unprecedented way strip jurisdiction away from them in a pending case that is midstream and not allow them to hear it?” he asked.
Manchin’s proposal, known as the Energy Independence and Security Act, is attached to Congress’ stopgap spending bill, which is intended to keep the government operating after the end of the fiscal year on Sept. 30. A vote on the spending bill is expected next week.
Manchin’s office did not respond to a request for comment about Kaine’s remarks.
by Sarah Vogelsong, Virginia Mercury
Virginia Mercury is part of States Newsroom, a network of news bureaus supported by grants and a coalition of donors as a 501c(3) public charity. Virginia Mercury maintains editorial independence. Contact Editor Sarah Vogelsong for questions: email@example.com. Follow Virginia Mercury on Facebook and Twitter.
Laurel Ridge Community College selected for FAA training program
Laurel Ridge Community College is excited to announce that its drone program has been accepted by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) for the Unmanned Aircraft Systems-Collegiate Training Initiative program (UAS-CTI).
The college offers two career studies certificates (CSCs) related to drones, also referred to as small, unmanned aircraft systems, or sUAS. One CSC is for sUAS Flight Operator, designed to help students prepare for the FAA Remote Pilot Certification Exam, known as Part 107, in addition to training them in general maintenance and repair, data collection and processing of aerial images, videos and spatial data.
The second CSC is for sUAS Flight Technician, preparing students for flight mission planning, ground control operations, crew management, sensor selection, drone programming, geospatial analysis and more. Students can use both certifications towards the completion of an associate of applied science degree in technical studies.
“Our two certificates recently received approval from our regional accreditor and the program is now an FAA-approved Collegiate Training Initiative program, which when combined with our assortment of enterprise-level multirotor and fixed-wing drones, will provide our students with the knowledge, skill, and flight time to launch a career as a remote pilot,” said Dr. Craig Santicola, dean of Laurel Ridge’s School of Professional Programs. “We are excited to be a regional resource for uncrewed aircraft systems and look forward to serving our students and community in this capacity.
“Being a part of the FAA UAS Collegiate Training Initiative provides us access to a wealth of opportunities. Not only will we help lead the regional dialogue with local governments and industry to address labor force needs, our students will benefit from a variety of training tools, resources, and guidelines that will prepare them for careers. In working with the FAA and our regional partners, the goal is to prepare a pipeline of sUAS professionals while continuing to maintain the safety of the National Airspace System.”
Members of the UAS-CTI are invited to participate in annual meetings and other FAA events, and the FAA will serve as a facilitator for developing and sharing best practices.
“As a UAS-CTI member, Laurel Ridge will receive numerous benefits, including recruiting and marketing opportunities, access to FAA resources, having our name listed on the FAA’s website and technical support,” said Computer Science Professor Melissa Stange, who is a certified remote pilot. “More importantly, our students will receive help with job placements, internships and other opportunities. Not only are drones a career field, but part of a growing technology key to other programs the college offers, including Administration of Justice, Computer Science, Emergency Medical Services, Information Systems Technology and Cybersecurity.”
Dean Santicola noted that since the sUAS industry is still relatively new, many people might not have considered drone pilot as a viable career option.
“However, we are seeing an increase in use across many industries in Virginia and the region as a whole, and our career studies certificates are focused on training students to operate high-quality, enterprise-level drones for commercial applications,” said Dr. Santicola. “Sure, flying them can be fun, but ZipRecruiter has the average salary for commercial remote pilots in Virginia listed at $70,905 and the demand for highly-qualified flight operators and flight technicians is increasing quickly. “
To qualify for the FAA’s UAS-CTI initiative, schools must offer a bachelor’s or associate degree in UAS, or a degree with a minor, concentration, or certificate in UAS. Schools must provide curriculum covering various aspects of UAS training, including hands-on flight practice, maintenance, uses, applications, privacy concerns, safety, and federal policies concerning UAS.
Learn more about Laurel Ridge’s drones courses at laurelridge.edu/drones.
The Port of Virginia completes deal for 5 ship-to-shore cranes to support preparedness, modernization plan
The Port of Virginia® recently finalized the terms of purchase for five new ship-to shore cranes that are part of an equipment renewal plan that ensures the port’s container terminals and cargo handling equipment are modern and prepared for the future.
“In order to maintain our efficiency and competitive edge, it’s important to be continually upgrading with modern equipment,” said Stephen A. Edwards, CEO and executive director of the Virginia Port Authority. “These cranes will ensure our lift capacity, berth productivity and the ability to handle multiple ultra-large container vessels (ULCVs) simultaneously at our primary container terminals, Virginia International Gateway (VIG) and Norfolk International Terminals (NIT).”
These cranes will be able to accommodate the ULCVs, that are making regular stops in Virginia and even higher-volume ships of the future. Each crane has the capacity reach across a vessel that is 26 containers wide, which is three-to-four containers beyond the reach of most cranes.
Delivery is set for December 2024 with two of the units going to VIG and three to the South Berth at NIT; the port will retire an equivalent number of existing cranes at those facilities. Once in place, the port will have 30 ship-to-shore cranes at work in the Norfolk Harbor and the ability to service the biggest container ships at sea.
“We are in an expansion phase and we must be able to further improve our productivity and capabilities,” Edwards said. “We are showing our customers and port users that they can continue to count on The Port of Virginia as they grow their vessel sizes and cargo volumes.”
The port is engaged in a significant rail capacity expansion program at NIT and nearing the start of the civil engineering needed to begin a complete renovation and modernization of NIT’s North Berth.
- Builder: Shanghai-based Zhenhua Heavy Industries Co., Ltd, (called ZPMC),
- Crane height = 170’ above the dock
- Boom-out length = 226’ from the rail closest to the water
- Per unit weight = 1,827 tons
- Combined total cost (5 units) = $61.6 million, delivery included
(The Virginia Port Authority (VPA) is a political subdivision of the Commonwealth of Virginia. The VPA owns and through its private operating subsidiary, Virginia International Terminals, LLC (VIT), operates four general cargo facilities Norfolk International Terminals, Portsmouth Marine Terminal, Newport News Marine Terminal and the Virginia Inland Port in Warren County. The VPA leases Virginia International Gateway and Richmond Marine Terminal. A recent economic impact study from The College of William and Mary shows that The Port of Virginia helps to create more than 437,000 jobs and generated $1 billion in total economic impact throughout the Commonwealth on an annual basis.)
Dr. Robert Kidd named dean of Shenandoah University’s Bernard J. Dunn School of Pharmacy
Robert Kidd, Pharm.D., Ph.D., a stalwart of Shenandoah University’s pharmacy program, is the new dean of SU’s Bernard J. Dunn School of Pharmacy.
Dr. Kidd, who has served as interim dean of SU’s pharmacy school since the departure of Rob DiCenzo, Pharm.D., in October 2021, moves into the role full time effective immediately. Kidd has been a faculty member in Shenandoah’s School of Pharmacy since 1998, when the school’s first graduating class was beginning its third year in the program.
A highly competitive national search was conducted for the position, and Kidd’s appointment was strongly supported by both the Shenandoah’s search committee and the campus community.
“I am honored to be selected as the dean of Shenandoah University’s Bernard J. Dunn School of Pharmacy,” Kidd said, “and I am excited to work with everyone in the school and university to continue to advance the school, the university, and the pharmacy profession.”
Kidd holds a Bachelor of Science in Biochemistry and Cellular Biology, a Master of Science in Pharmaceutical Sciences and a Doctor of Pharmacy (Pharm.D.) from the University of Tennessee, as well as a Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Pharmaceutical Sciences from The Ohio State University.
His research interests are pharmacokinetics and pharmacogenomics, and he frequently involves students in his research projects. Kidd has authored over 90 peer-reviewed publications, book chapters, abstracts, and national presentations. He is a two-time recipient of the American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy (AACP) SU teacher of the year award and is a fellow of the American Foundation for Pharmaceutical Education (AFPE).
In 2020, Kidd led the development and implementation of Shenandoah University’s SARS-CoV-2 pooled saliva surveillance testing program, which played a central role in maintaining the health and safety of the university and the surrounding community throughout the height of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Dr. Kidd is an essential part of the Bernard J. Dunn School of Pharmacy and is held in high regard by his colleagues and students. He supports the individual development of all in SU’s pharmacy program, and his rational, transparent and collaborative approach to decision-making stands out to all who interact with him,” said Shenandoah Provost Cameron McCoy, Ph.D. “Dr. Kidd has displayed tremendous leadership during his time as interim dean, and I’m excited to see that continue. His long-term commitment to Shenandoah University and the level of trust he has built with faculty, staff and students make him an excellent fit as the leader of the School of Pharmacy.”
Shenandoah University’s Bernard J. Dunn School of Pharmacy has 41 faculty members and over 450 students enrolled in its traditional and non-traditional Doctor of Pharmacy programs, as well as dual degree programs: Pharm.D./Master of Science in Pharmacogenomics & Personalized Medicine; Pharm.D./MBA; and Pharm.D./Master of Public Health. These programs are offered at Shenandoah’s Health Professions Building in Winchester and at its Inova Center for Personalized Health in Fairfax, and online.
The school’s Doctor of Pharmacy program is fully accredited by the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education (ACPE).
For more information about Shenandoah University’s Bernard J. Dunn School of Pharmacy, visit su.edu/pharmacy.
Maryland’s legal cannabis market to be shaped by many hands
With lawmakers facing a July 1 deadline to provide a framework for the legal use, possession, and sale of cannabis after voters approved full legalization in November, it’s clear, just a week into the General Assembly session, that the task won’t be straightforward.
While the public is generally enthusiastic about legalization, which passed with 67% support and received more votes than new governor Wes Moore, legislators have a lot of work to do to build a legal market that fulfills their commitments on issues like equity, public safety, taxation, and revenue.
“The people of this state have spoken, and they have spoken loudly,” said Moore at a press conference Thursday. “We cannot, and we will not repeat the mistakes that the state has made when medical cannabis was legalized…we have to get this right from day one.”
While lawmakers are committed to meeting the July 1 deadline, the state of the legal cannabis market nationwide remains an unwelcome specter hanging over the process. An oversupply crisis has depressed cannabis prices, decreasing margins for producers and making it far more difficult for small producers to compete with well-established companies that can produce and distribute at scale. The national spot price of legal cannabis reached an all-time low of $950 per pound in December 2022, according to Cannabis Benchmarks.
Without what they feel is a viable model to look to, lawmakers are instead trying to avoid other states’ mistakes.
“We’re starting from the ground floor,” said Del. C.T. Wilson, D-Charles, chairman of the House Economic Matters Committee. “All we know is what they didn’t do right.”
Wilson and his committee colleagues will have an important role to play in the legalization process: regulating the supply of legal cannabis through licensing and taxation.
The number of licenses distributed and the process of obtaining a license to produce and sell cannabis products in Maryland will largely dictate who can enter the legal market. Moreover, supply will play a large role in determining the price Marylanders pay for cannabis products, a crucial factor in convincing consumers to abandon the illicit market, according to the Marijuana Policy Project.
Given the less-than-successful history of the United States’ war on drugs and its disproportionate impact on Black Americans, legislators seem committed to fostering equitable access to the legal market.
“I’m very worried about this issue…this is always how we’ve done things, where we allow rich people to capitalize and profit, and then we put some minor appeasement in there to placate people that have been harmed (by marijuana) and don’t have the equity, the money upfront, to get involved,” said Sen. Jill Carter, D-Baltimore City.
“I think equity has to be across-the-board considered for everything we do,” said Del. Lily Qi, D-Montgomery, who, along with Wilson, is a member of both the Economic Matters Committee and the Cannabis Legalization Working group, which held hearings on several aspects of the legalization process while the General Assembly was out of session.
While neither Wilson nor Qi explicitly answered what percentage of licenses should go to members of marginalized groups, Wilson hinted at a few policies his committee was considering to ensure an equitable system.
Foremost among them is keeping the license application fee reasonably low. In some states, this cost can reach six figures, according to the Marijuana Policy Project, and serve as a significant barrier to entry for small business owners without a lot of startup capital.
“(The application fee) cannot be high, and it must be refundable,” said Wilson, who added that six-figure application fees were “not the goal.”
Also of concern is keeping taxes low, which lawmakers said they hope will have the dual effect of allowing more producers to enter the market and keeping legal cannabis prices reasonable, an important factor in allowing new market entrants to chip away at the illicit market.
For some advocacy groups, guarantees on equity in employment and working conditions in the industry are just as important as equity in ownership or licensing.
“As a union, we bring a lot of concern around employment practices and how employees are treated, how well they’re compensated, and are they able to share in the success of their industry,” said Jonathan Williams, spokesperson for UFCW Local 400, which represents cannabis workers in Maryland.
Economic Matters will be just one of several committees to work on a chunk of the cannabis framework. The House Judiciary Committee, and perhaps others, will look at undoing another one of the lasting legacies of the war on drugs: thousands of convictions for cannabis-related offenses, which can often serve as barriers to the job market for those convicted.
Judiciary Committee member Christopher Bouchat, R-Carroll, who was convicted of a crime and charged as an adult at age 16, recalled firsthand the impact of such a criminal conviction.
“For the rest of my life, I have that assault conviction on my record. And I think that having felt that, I understand the impact that cannabis convictions have on adults trying to get employment.”
For the new governor, expungement is a crucial part of the legalization process, and righting the wrongs of the last 40 years has been central to his message on this issue.
“As we have said, we cannot talk about the benefits of legalization if we’re also not willing to wrestle with the consequences of criminalization,” said Moore at the press conference.
While Moore supports expunging records of all those convicted solely of marijuana possession, other lawmakers worry that his plan does not go far enough to protect those convicted on other charges or of a cannabis-related felony.
“We know that felony convictions are what harm people from getting jobs, housing, and other opportunities. The stigma of felonies is the problem. Misdemeanor possession is hurting very few people,” said Carter, a Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee member. She added that institutions, including many police departments around the state, now allow officers with prior misdemeanor possession convictions on the force. Carter has introduced legislation to give judges more flexibility in expunging records.
Lawmakers are also tasked with figuring out a plan for the tax revenue cannabis legalization will generate. In a meeting with the House Cannabis Referendum and Legalization Workgroup during the interim, consultants from the Marijuana Policy Project suggested that cannabis legalization could generate over $1 billion in revenue for the state.
Responsibility for that tax plan will fall to the House Ways and Means Committee, whose membership includes Prince George’s County Delegate and Cannabis Working Group member Darryl Barnes.
“This is an exciting time in the history of the state of Maryland,” said Barnes, adding, “we have an opportunity to put forward legislation that impacts a billion-dollar-plus industry that’s coming, but, more importantly, to frame the conversation around equity and inclusion. And that is the most important thing to me, as well as looking at how we will tax this where it’s fair and equitable for those participating.”
By GREG MORTON
Capital News Service
Maryland makes history with Moore’s inauguration
ANNAPOLIS, Maryland – In a star-studded inauguration ceremony Wednesday, newly sworn-in Maryland Gov. Wes Moore captivated the crowd with the same energy and vision that launched his political ascension last year. Emphasizing themes of unity and forward progress, Moore promised to lift people out of poverty, become a leader in clean energy technology and create a path of service for the state’s youth.
“No, yes, Aruna’s and my portraits are going to look a little different from the ones we’ve always seen in the capitol. But that’s not the point. This journey has never been about ‘making history.’ It is about marching forward,” Moore said. “Today is not an indictment of the past; it’s a celebration of our future. And today is our opportunity to begin a future so bright it is blinding. But only if we are intentional, inclusive, and disciplined in confronting challenges, making hard choices, and seizing the opportunity in front of us.”
In a ceremony emceed by Anne Arundel Executive Steuart Pittman, Moore became the 63rd governor of Maryland and the first Black governor in state history. He is the fifth Black governor in U.S. history and only the third elected Black governor.
His ascension in politics has brought him national renown and attracted celebrity guests to the inaugural, including media mogul Oprah Winfrey; former Maryland Lt. Gov. Michael Steele, the first Black man elected statewide; President Bill Clinton’s daughter, Chelsea Clinton, and former Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley, among others.
“I always walk away from a conversation with Wes Moore with a new perspective, with new ideas, with a new way of seeing things. A new burst of positive energy. That’s what you do for people,” said Winfrey, who introduced him to the audience arrayed in front of the portico steps of the Maryland State House. “This might be his first day as an elected official, but Wes Moore has been a public service servant his entire adult life. There’s so much more to come. He’s just getting started.”
Moore took the oath of office at noon on a Bible that once belonged to author and orator Frederick Douglass, who was born enslaved in Maryland and later became known for his fight for the abolition of slavery.
Moore acknowledged Maryland’s history of enslaving people and its great civil rights leaders.
“As I stand here today, looking out over Lawyers’ Mall, at the memorial to Justice Thurgood Marshall, it’s impossible not to think about our past and our path. We are blocks away from the Annapolis docks, where so many enslaved people arrived in this country against their will. And we are standing in front of a capitol building built by their hands,” Moore said. He said those people’s history was lost or stolen, but progress has been made, and he promised to continue it.
“And it is a shared history – our history – made by people who, over the last two centuries, regardless of their origin story to Maryland, fought to build a state, and a country, that works for everybody,” Moore said.
In the Democratic primary, Moore received 33.8% of the vote, enough to beat out competitors Tom Perez (28.3%) and Peter Franchot (21.5%). Moore then went on to defeat Republican Dan Cox overwhelmingly in the General Election, capturing 64.5% of the vote.
Aruna Miller, also sworn in Wednesday as Maryland’s 10th lieutenant governor, is another historic first, becoming the first woman of color to be Maryland lieutenant governor and the first South Asian lieutenant governor in U.S. history.
Miller was born in Hyderabad, India, and moved with her family to the U.S. at age 7. She is a civil engineer who worked with the Montgomery County Department of Transportation for 25 years and served in the General Assembly from 2010 until she was tapped to be Moore’s running mate.
“We will address the inequities of the past and build a Maryland where everyone will thrive. Our fortunes are tied together in ensuring that we create a state where we grow equitably. It will take all of us together to achieve this vision,” Miller said. “Together, with you, we will write the next chapter of Maryland’s history, a chapter that will be filled with real-time heroes like you.”
During his inaugural address, Moore also reflected on his life’s journey to Annapolis. Specifically, he highlighted how his time in the military shaped his leadership style and will inform his legislation.
“My years of service transformed me. My character was strengthened, my vistas were widened, and my leadership was tested. I want every young Marylander, of every background, in every community, to have the opportunity to serve our state,” Moore said. “That is why we will offer a service year option for all high school graduates. A year of service will prepare young people for their careers — and provide our state with future leaders: public servants we desperately need.”
Moore, who graduated from Valley Forge Military College, served as a captain and paratrooper with the U.S. Army’s 82nd Airborne, including leading troops into combat in Afghanistan. Two members of his Cabinet, Secretary of Housing & Community Development Jake Day and Secretary of Veterans Affairs Anthony Woods, also are combat veterans. Moore said service could be a catalyst for young people in Maryland, as it was for him.
The governor challenged the state to reject the norms that have failed many and enter this period of change with optimism and unity.
“Maryland is home to spectacular natural beauty, dynamic industries, and people as talented as they are determined. But…the truth is: Maryland is asset-rich and strategy-poor and for too long, we have left too many people behind,” Moore said. “We’ve been asked to accept that some of us must be left behind. That in order for some to win, others must lose. And not only that: We have come to expect that the people who have always lost… will keep losing. Well, we must refuse to accept that.”
While Moore has made it clear that tomorrow is a working day, today allows Marylanders to envision a brighter future.
By MICHAEL CHARLES
Capital News Service
New Year, New You: Tips for a healthy start to 2023
The beginning of a new year symbolizes a fresh start and, for many of us, it provides a renewed focus on our overall health and wellbeing. That’s why so many of us set New Year’s resolutions intended to improve our wellness. Turning the page on the calendar gives us a chance to turn the page on old unhealthy habits, commit to being better, healthier versions of ourselves and look to the future with hope for what’s to come. Living a healthier life can reduce your risk of illnesses like heart disease, diabetes and cancer; and it can help to boost your energy, sharpen your memories and stabilize your mood, leading to a noticeable improvement in your overall health.
If you have intentions of leading a healthier life this year, you are not alone. We asked our Primary and Specialty Care professionals what their top three recommendations are to stay healthier, longer.
Kearn Ghuman, DO
Fauquier Health Primary & Specialty Care at Lake Manassas
- Pack a gym bag the night before. Packing a gym bag and taking it to work with you is a simple way to encourage yourself to go to the gym before or right after work. Let’s be real – work and life can get hectic and busy, especially around the holiday season. After a long day, depending on your schedule, you may not have the energy to work out. That’s why early morning workouts can be just what you need. They are a great way to get the blood flowing to your brain and will help you stay focused at work. Remember 30 minutes of moderate exercise at least 5 days a week is the goal!
- Put down your phone. This may sound simple, but it is becoming increasingly difficult. Disconnecting is a great way to mentally refresh. We need to remind ourselves to take a break in a world where we are always connected. That includes turning off the TV. Instead, grab a book, take a bath or shower, and take it easy for an hour before bedtime. Only use your bed for sleeping, that means no watching TV or reading in bed. Optimizing your sleep hygiene will help you fall asleep faster and stay asleep during the night.
- Meal planning. Meal planning for the week during the weekend is a great way to stay on track for a healthy diet. You can find easy recipes online, for example Mayo Clinic Diet online offers some sample menus and meal plans. Don’t forget, balance in your diet is important!
Hasina Hamid, MD
Fauquier Health Primary & Specialty Care at Lake Manassas
Piedmont Internal Medicine, Warrenton
- Drink more water. Drink at least 64 ounces of water each day. If you engage in regular physical exercise, you may need more water to stay hydrated. Sports drinks can be helpful to replace salts and provide some sugar if you are especially active. Sodas, energy drinks, fruit juices and alcoholic beverages are a big source of extra sugar. Cut them out. Find alcohol-free drinks, mocktails, that you can make. By cutting out alcohol, you’ll cut out a lot of empty calories. You can also choose water, tea, coffee, or other unsweetened beverages.
- Prioritize your sleep hygiene. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), a third of U.S. adults say they typically get less than the recommended amount of sleep. Poor sleeping habits can raise your risk for high blood pressure, increased stress, weight gain, depression, loss of motor skills and poor heart health. If you are having difficulty maintaining good sleep hygiene or are experiencing any of the symptoms of a sleep disorder, it’s important to contact your healthcare provider to determine the best treatment for you.
- Schedule an annual check-up with your provider. There’s no better time than the start of a new year to schedule your annual check-up or any other health screenings you may need. Annual wellness exams and recommended health screenings give you and your provider the opportunity to catch health issues before they become serious and avoid any potential complications that arise from delaying care. Scheduling your annual check-up or screening is also a great way to stay on top of things like recommended immunizations and any other needed procedures.
Jenna Wong, DO
Fauquier Health Primary & Specialty Care at Lake Manassas
- Be realistic. As we kick off the New Year, you may reflect and decide to make some changes. Make sure you are making realistic lifestyle changes. Keep in mind, crash diets will make you more likely to yo-yo in weight and overall health.
- Be specific. Set specific, concrete goals for yourself. For example, “I will lift weights for X minutes, X times per week and jog for X minutes, X times per week.” Another great example to help mentally prepare you for each day would include, “I will meditate every morning when I wake up for X minutes, X times per week.”
- Food pyramid 101. As children we learned about the food pyramid and how many servings of which food to strive for daily. Then as adults, we tend to lose sight of that. I recommend you strive to eat five servings of fruits and vegetables every day. Change your mindset to focus on incorporating nutrients, rather than focusing on the avoidance of unhealthy, “yummy” foods.
If you need a primary care provider, Fauquier Health can help. Call 540.316.DOCS or visit the Find a Provider tab at FauquierHealth.org to get connected with quality care today.