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Virginia and Maryland Senators urge WMATA to prioritize employee and rider safety amid coronavirus threat

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By Swagging – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=76823313

 

WASHINGTON – Today, March 6, 2020, amid reports of the first cases of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) in the national capital region, U.S. Sens. Mark R. Warner and Tim Kaine (both D-VA) and Sens. Ben Cardin and Chris Van Hollen (both D-MD) urged the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA) to continue to work to ensure the safety of employees and travelers who rely on Metro trains, buses, and other facilities. In a letter to WMATA General Manager and CEO Paul J. Wiedefeld, the Senators urged WMATA to continue activating its Pandemic Flu Plan as it closely monitors the outbreak of the virus.

“WMATA provides critical transit services for millions of people in the Washington D.C. region, including thousands of commuters and tourists. Each weekday, Metro trains carry an average of 634,000 passengers, with an additional 359,000 passengers riding Metro buses,” wrote the Senators. “The Metro transit system forms the backbone of travel infrastructure in our area, making WMATA’s coronavirus preparations a critically important part of protecting Washington area residents and visitors to our region.”

“As are many Americans, we are concerned that with the fast-paced spread of the virus, it is inevitable that we will see additional cases in our area. We want to ensure every effort is being made to slow the spread of the virus through our travel centers – particularly our mass transit systems,” continued the Senators. “While many Americans will need to practice social distancing in some way, we recognize that traveling via Metro, for many, is a requirement of their daily lives. That is why we hope that you will continue to do everything possible to ensure the safety of travelers who use Metro services in the coming weeks and months.”


As the capital region’s main transportation system, WMATA is critically important to the functioning of the U.S. federal government. About 40 percent of Metro’s daily ridership during rush hour consists of federal employees who commute to hundreds of federal facilities in the national capital region.

In their letter, the Senators emphasized the importance of slowing the spread of the virus in order to provide health care professionals time to prepare for a potential outbreak. They also urged WMATA and its Pandemic Task Force to continue to monitor COVID-19-related developments and keep the Senators apprised of its ongoing response to the virus.

The letter is available here and below.

Mr. Paul J. Wiedefeld
General Manager and CEO
Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority
600 5th Street, N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20001

Dear Mr. Wiedefeld:

As many organizations around the country formulate their responses to the recent outbreak and spread of the novel coronavirus or COVID-19, we write to discuss the steps the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA) is taking to protect employees and travelers who use Metro trains, buses, and other facilities throughout Virginia, Maryland, and the District of Columbia.

WMATA provides critical transit services for millions of people in the Washington D.C. region, including thousands of commuters and tourists.  Each weekday, Metro trains carry an average of 634,000 passengers, with an additional 359,000 passengers riding Metro buses.  Roughly 40% of Metro’s daily ridership during rush hour consists of federal employees who are commuting to hundreds of federal facilities in the national capital region.  The Metro transit system forms the backbone of travel infrastructure in our area, making WMATA’s coronavirus preparations a critically important part of protecting Washington area residents and visitors to our region.

As the first cases of COVID-19 in the Washington D.C. region were confirmed in the last 24 hours, we appreciate that you have released information publically about WMATA’s preparations, including activating the initial phase of its Pandemic Flu Plan on January 29, 2020, based on early reports that COVID-19 had the potential to reach pandemic status.  We understand that subsequent phases will be activated following an outbreak of confirmed cases in the Metro service area.  As part of the Pandemic Flu Plan, WMATA has stood up its Pandemic Task Force, chaired by WMATA’s Chief Safety Officer.  Metro has taken the following steps to date:

  • Set up direct lines of communication with the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), local and state public health authorities, and other transit systems.
  • Increasing Metro’s on-hand warehouse inventory of essential supplies, such as hospital-grade disinfectants, wipes, face masks, gloves, hand sanitizer, and other items used by Metro’s front-line employees.
  • Established daily absenteeism monitoring across the workforce to quickly detect any significant change in employees illness patterns.
  • Reviewed cleaning protocols and modifications where deemed effective and appropriate, based on medical guidance.
  • Initiated regular communication with the workforce to keep employees informed about the disease, our response, and guidance to prevent the spread of illness.

 As are many Americans, we are concerned that with the fast-paced spread of the virus, it is inevitable that we will see additional cases in our area.  We want to ensure every effort is being made to slow the spread of the virus through our travel centers –, particularly our mass transit systems.  While many Americans will need to practice social distancing in some way, we recognize that traveling via Metro, for many, is a requirement of their daily lives.  That is why we hope that you will continue to do everything possible to ensure the safety of travelers who use Metro services in the coming weeks and months.  The more we can slow the spread of the virus, the more time it gives healthcare professionals in our area to prepare, which will result in better care for those potentially affected.

 As WMATA and the Pandemic Task Force continue to monitor COVID-19-related developments and activate Metro’s Pandemic Flue Plan, we urge you to continue your devotion to passenger safety and the ability to quickly take necessary actions and continue consulting with public health authorities.  We also ask that you please keep us apprised of your ongoing response to the virus.  We stand ready to help in any way we can.

 Sincerely,

 

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Emergency first responders doing vital but dangerous work during the pandemic

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Megan O’Brien is an infectious disease epidemiologist by day, and an EMT by night at the Bethesda-Chevy Chase Rescue Squad in Maryland.

Her title is roving night crew officer, and she works from 7 p.m. to 7 a.m. A volunteer at the rescue squad since 2014, O’Brien believes that it’s a way to be involved in the community, and she enjoys the work.

But the COVID-19 pandemic drastically altered the work for her and her fellow EMTs across the nation. They faced a unique and ever-present danger: 7% of all American frontline deaths due to the pandemic between March 2020 and April 2021 were medical first responders, according to a joint investigation by Kaiser Health News and the Guardian.

Emergency medical services workers are some of the most vulnerable front-line workers, with much of their funding and equipment dependent on the support of local government.


As the coronavirus pandemic raged last fall, a study found that “EMS personnel are at a higher risk of dying from COVID-19 than other healthcare or emergency services professionals.” COVID deaths among emergency services workers were estimated to be three times higher than among nurses and five times higher than among doctors, according to the study, published on EMS1.com, a website that serves the emergency medical services community.

 

 

As in countless other communities, O’Brien’s unit had to overhaul procedures to protect the safety of the EMTs.

O’Brien is the head of the COVID task force with the Bethesda-Chevy Chase station. She helped to develop and implement policies on COVID safety.

“Everything was really designed to try to do everything we could to protect our personnel from getting COVID and then take care of our patients as safely as we could,” O’Brien told Capital News Service.

To limit the station’s exposure to COVID, new guidelines limited the time that EMTs spent in the back of the vehicle with patients and reduced the number of personnel that could be in the station to the minimum. The squad stopped hiring new recruits and followed other requirements put in place by the Montgomery County Rescue Service.

“Montgomery County (has) been very helpful in having policies and procedures in place that we should follow to keep ourselves safe,” said EMS Lt. Jay Gruber, spokesman for the nearby Wheaton Volunteer Rescue Squad. “And they’ve been providing us a lot of PPE. The county’s been very supportive.”

Gruber, who is also the chief of police at Georgetown University and the former chief of police in College Park, Maryland, has been working with the volunteer rescue squad for 35 years.

Montgomery County Fire Rescue Service “pivoted very quickly… helping keep the community safe, and making sure that they get their needs met,” Gruber said.

Protecting the volunteers’ safety also has driven significant changes to official on-scene procedures.

“Normally, an EMS provider will wear gloves… Even during normal times, you have access to face masks, and eye protection,” Gruber explained. “With COVID… we have various types of masks that we wear for various situations. We also have mandatory use of eyewear and gowns on people who are under investigation as COVID patients and multiple layers of gloves.”

After a patient has been transported to a hospital, especially a suspected COVID patient, aggressive cleaning and decontamination of rescue squad equipment – stretchers, electronic equipment, walls, ceilings, floors – follows.

Montgomery County’s emergency medical services system is one of the largest combined career and volunteer emergency services systems in the country, responding to over 120,000 911 calls annually, according to Dr. Meghan E. Quinn, a Navy Medical Corps lieutenant who presented a report about mental health in American volunteer fire/rescue personnel to the American Psychological Association in 2019.

Approximately half of Montgomery County’s approximately 2,500 emergency medical services workers are volunteers, Quinn said in her report.

Many communities across the nation reported that emergency services personnel were quitting or retiring because of the dangers from COVID. With the widespread administration of the anti-COVID vaccines, efforts to recruit and train new EMTs are now intensifying, according to various news reports.

In Maryland, a person can get an EMT license as early as 16 and can certify as a paramedic at 18. Rescue squad drivers must be at least 19.

Iana Sahadzic, 22, has been a volunteer paramedic with the Bethesda-Chevy Chase Rescue Squad since she was 17. She was attracted to the work after watching EMT volunteers driving down the street, lights flashing and sirens blaring and realizing that she has always wanted to be in the health profession and help people.

While a volunteer, Sahadzic is also a student at the University of Maryland, where she studies neurobiology and physiology, with a minor in Spanish.

“Honestly, some weeks I’m not quite sure how I manage to fit everything in,” she told CNS. “I have always been a very organized person, but I think that having to balance both school and volunteering as a paramedic has forced me to manage my time much more strictly – I can’t go anywhere without my calendar.”

Sahadzic volunteers about 36 hours a week, most of which is overnight. During her downtime, she brings her laptop and notebook to study or watch a lecture.

“Everyone has a different hobby and in my mind helping people in a time of need was the way I wanted to spend my free time.,” she said. “Though some days are harder than others, I am proud to have dedicated so much of my time to the community.”

One of the hardest aspects of volunteering to be an EMT during COVID is the strain on the volunteers and their loved ones.

When the pandemic was at its worst, Sahadzic said she showered multiple times before going home to visit family and followed other precautionary measures to ensure she wouldn’t bring anything home.

“I was probably trying to distance myself – because you never knew – and spend a lot more time at the fire station, because I felt like maybe, you know, the less time I spend at home the better,” she said. “But it’s gotten better with the vaccine.”

O’Brien said she slept in her guest room, away from her husband, as a precaution.

“There is a light, we can see the end, which was not the case several months ago,” she said. “I think for health care workers, things have really changed since we got vaccinated because you just don’t have that same level of fear anymore.”

By RAYONNA BURTON-JERNIGAN and LAINA S. MILLER
Capital News Service Washington Bureau

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U.S. Attorney recognizes Police Week, virtual candlelight vigil to be held on May 13th

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ROANOKE, Va., – In honor of National Police Week, Acting U.S. Attorney Daniel P. Bubar recognizes the service and sacrifice of federal, state, local, and Tribal law enforcement. This year, the week is observed Sunday, May 9, through Saturday, May 15, 2021.

“This week is a time to honor our law enforcement officers who have made the ultimate sacrifice in service to our nation,” said Attorney General Garland. “I am constantly inspired by the extraordinary courage and dedication with which members of law enforcement act each day, putting their lives on the line to make our communities safer. To members of law enforcement and your families: we know that not a single day, nor a single week, is enough to recognize your service and sacrifice. On behalf of the entire Department of Justice, you have our unwavering support and eternal gratitude.”

“Every day our police officers put on their badges and risk their lives to protect the safety of our communities,” Acting U.S. Attorney Daniel Bubar stated today.  “They take up the call to serve in the face of great personal sacrifice and increasing adversity.  Specifically, this past year’s global pandemic coupled with rising anti-police sentiment presented unprecedented challenges.  Instead of wilting in the face of these difficult circumstances, these brave men and women provide security and the rule of law against violence and mayhem.  Please join me this week in thanking our law enforcement community and taking time to honor their great sacrifice.”

In 1962, President Kennedy issued the first proclamation for Peace Officers Memorial Day and National Police Week to remember and honor law enforcement officers for their service and sacrifices.  Peace Officers Memorial Day, which every year falls on May 15, specifically honors law enforcement officers killed or disabled in the line of duty.


Each year, during National Police Week, our nation celebrates the contributions of law enforcement from around the country, recognizing their hard work, dedication, loyalty, and commitment to keeping our communities safe. This year the COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted law enforcement officers’ courage and unwavering devotion to the communities that they have sworn to serve.

During the Roll Call of Heroes, a ceremony coordinated by the Fraternal Order of Police (FOP), more than 300 officers will be honored.  Based on data submitted to and analyzed by the National Law Enforcement Officer Memorial Fund (NLEOMF), of the law enforcement officers who died nationwide in the line of duty in 2020, nearly 60 percent succumbed to COVID-19.

Additionally, according to statistics reported by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) through the Law Enforcement Officer Killed and Assaulted (LEOKA) Program, 46 law enforcement officers died as a result of felonious acts and 47 died in accidents in 2020.  LEOKA statistics can be found on FBI’s Crime Data Explorer website.

The names of the 394 fallen officers who have been added in 2020 to the wall at the National Law Enforcement Officer Memorial will be read on Thursday, May 13, 2021, during a Virtual Candlelight Vigil, which will be livestreamed to the public at 8:00 PM EDT. The Police Week in-person public events, originally scheduled for May, have been rescheduled due to ongoing COVID-19 concerns to October 13-17, 2021. An in-person Candlelight Vigil event is scheduled for October 14, 2021.

Those who wish to view the Virtual Candlelight Vigil on May 13, 2021, can watch on the NLEOMF YouTube channel found at youtube.com/TheNLEOMF. The FOP’s Roll Call of Heroes can be viewed at www.fop.net. To view the schedule of virtual Police Week events in May, please view NLEOMF’s Police Week Flyer.

To learn more about National Police Week in-person events scheduled for October, please visit www.policeweek.org.


Memorial Ceremony honoring three local law enforcement officers to be held May 13th

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Honoring our Healthcare Heroes

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What is a hero? Maya Angelou famously said, “I think a hero is any person really intent on making this a better place for all people.”

In my role as CEO of Fauquier Health, I have the privilege of working with an incredible team of healthcare heroes who work tirelessly, each and every day, to make our hospital and our community a better place.

Fauquier Health Hospital

Every May, hospitals and communities across the country recognize and celebrate these frontline healthcare heroes over the course of several weeks: National Nurses Week, National Hospital Week, Skilled Nursing Week and National Emergency Medical Services (EMS) Week. Like many other milestones we’ve experienced during the COVID-19 pandemic, this year’s celebrations are especially meaningful.


I’m grateful for our team members who serve at Fauquier Health and the many paramedics, EMTs and EMS personnel who play such a critical role in helping our community members get the safe, excellent care they need. They are living examples of what it means to be heroes who are focused on making our community a better place through their service to our friends and neighbors.

When I think of everyday heroes, I think of our environmental services team members who take pride in ensuring our patients and their families are cared for in a safe and clean environment. I think of our food service and nutrition staff who prepare healthy and comforting meals for our patients while they are away from home. I think of our administrative team members who welcome patients and visitors to our hospital with their kindness and friendly smiles. I think of our EMS partners who remain calm under immense pressure, providing critical care when every minute counts. I think of our dedicated caregivers, technicians, nurses, physicians and more who demonstrate excellence and compassion in all that they do.

Our local healthcare heroes are truly living out our hospital’s mission to make our community healthier. Importantly, their focus and dedication has played a critical role in helping us to make strong progress towards improving COVID-19 here in our community. While we must continue to stay diligent in doing all that we can to fight the pandemic, I know we are all encouraged by the progress we are making together.

Skilled Nursing Facility (Fauquier Health Rehabilitation & Nursing Center)

As we celebrate this year, I hope you will join me in sharing your thanks and appreciation for the everyday heroes among us. Fauquier Health is honored to serve this community and we are here for you and your family when you need us.

Chad Melton
CEO at Fauquier Health

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Fauquier Health Wound Healing Center recognized nationally for excellence in healing

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Physicians, leaders and clinicians at Fauquier Health’s Wound Healing Center gathered to celebrate their recent achievement of receiving the Robert A. Warriner III, M.D., Clinical Excellence Award. The Wound Healing Center, located in the town of Warrenton, has scored in the top 10 percent of eligible Healogics® Wound Care Centers® on the Clinical Excellence measure, which is the Comprehensive Healing Rate weighted by wound mix. The Center was awarded this prestigious honor by Healogics, the nation’s largest provider of advanced wound care services. This award is named for Dr. Robert A. Warriner III, a pioneer in wound care and the former Chief Medical Officer for Healogics.

Only 10 percent of Healogics® Wound Healing Centers (out of 600 nationwide) receive this recognition. Pictured from left to right is Shannon East, RN Case Manager, Stephanie Supon, RN Clinical Nurse Manager, Betty Simpson, HBO Technician, Mendy Huff, LPN, Milly Byler, Front Office Coordinator, Beth Conover, RN Case Manager, and Gloria Hoobler, RN Case Manager.

Simultaneously, the Fauquier Health Wound Healing Center was also a recipient of the Center of Distinction award by Healogics®. The Center of Distinction award is given to Centers who achieved outstanding clinical outcomes for twelve consecutive months, including patient satisfaction rates higher than 92 percent and a minimum wound healing rate of at least 92 percent within 28 median days to heal. There were 555 Centers eligible for the Center of Distinction award and only 278 achieved the honor.

Holding up their distinction proud (from left to right) is Stephanie Supon, RN Clinical Nurse Manager and Sarah Bales, Program Director.


Sarah Bales, Program Director of the Fauquier Health Wound Healing Center, commented on the momentous occasion, “Achieving the 2020 Clinical Excellence Award and the 2020 Center of Distinction Award deserves celebrating. This recognition is only provided to the top 10 percent of nearly 600 Healogics® Centers nationwide. Despite the challenges of 2020, our team focused on maintaining patient-centered care and the quality outcomes our patients expect and deserve. To say I’m proud of this team is an understatement.”

Dr. Joseph Brown, board-certified general surgeon, has a subspecialty focus on general surgery and wound care. He is often found visiting with patients at the Center.

The Fauquier Health Wound Healing Center is a member of the Healogics network of over 600 Wound Care Centers® and offers highly specialized wound care to patients suffering from diabetic foot ulcers, pressure ulcers, infections and other chronic wounds which have not healed in a reasonable amount of time.

Advanced wound care modalities provided by our wound care experts include negative pressure wound therapy, total contact casting, bio-engineered tissues, biosynthetic dressings and growth factor therapies. The Center also offers hyperbaric oxygen therapy, which works by surrounding the patient with 100 percent oxygen to help progress the healing of the wound.

Dr. Lynn Samuel, Medical Director at Fauquier Health Wound Healing Center, is proud to represent this great accomplishment.

Dr. Lynn Samuel, MD, Medical Director at the Fauquier Health Wound Healing Center, shared “The 2020 Clinical Excellence Award is another indication of the exemplary care provided by our multispecialty physician panel and experienced nursing team.”

About Fauquier Health

Fauquier Health is a community health system dedicated to high-quality, patient-centered care in a unique environment that considers the multiple facets of healing and respects the individuality of each and every patient. Located at 500 Hospital Drive in Warrenton, Virginia, Fauquier Health serves the residents of Fauquier and several surrounding counties. It comprises: Fauquier Hospital, a fully-accredited, 97-bed hospital; Fauquier Health Rehabilitation and Nursing Center, a 113-bed long-term care and rehabilitation facility; the Villa at Suffield Meadows, an assisted living facility; the Wound Health Center and a medically supervised Wellness Center offering health and wellness programs.  Fauquier Health also operates nine physician’s offices, including primary care and specialties. More information on Fauquier Health is available online at FauquierHealth.org or by calling 540-316-5000.

About Healogics

Headquartered in Jacksonville, Fla., Healogics is the nation’s wound healing expert. Last year over 300,000 patients received advanced wound care through a network of over 600 Wound Care Centers. Healogics also partners with over 300 skilled nursing facilities to care for patients with chronic wounds and provides inpatient consults at more than 60 partner hospitals. As the industry leader, Healogics has the largest repository of chronic wound-specific patient data in the country. The Healogics Wound Science Initiative offers peer-reviewed research and advanced analytics in the pursuit of not only better outcomes, but a better way to provide care.

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Biden: ‘America is on the move again’; wants $2 trillion to aid families

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In his first address to a joint session of Congress, President Joe Biden on Wednesday urged Congress to pass a nearly $2 trillion plan to help American families – spending that would build on his administration’s efforts during his first 100 days in office to end the coronavirus pandemic and restore the American economy.

Vice President Kamala Harris and Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi made history as the first women, next in line to the presidency, to occupy the two prominent seats on the dais behind Biden.

After inheriting “a nation in crisis,” Biden told the Congress that a day shy of his 100th day in office, “America is on the move again. Turning peril into possibility. Crisis into opportunity. Setback into strength.”

Only 200 members of Congress viewed the address in-person due to COVID health and safety regulations. Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin III stood in for the rest of the cabinet, while Supreme Court Justice John Roberts represented the high court. The House chamber normally holds about 1,600 people.


The nationally televised Biden speech mixed reminders of what his presidency already has tried to achieve with calls to go bigger – and spend bigger – on a host of new programs.

The centerpiece of Biden’s address was a proposed “American Families Plan,” which would expand pre-K education by two years and make community colleges free; provide affordable child care to lower- and middle-income families; allow up to 12 weeks of paid family and medical leave, and extend a series of tax credits and tax cuts for millions of families.

“When this nation made 12 years of public education universal in the last century, it made us the best-educated and best-prepared nation in the world,” Biden said, adding “the world is catching up. They are not waiting.”

To pay for his plan, the president has proposed increasing the tax rate for the top 1% of earners back up to 39.6%. It was lowered to 37% by former President Donald Trump and congressional Republicans in 2017.

“I will not add to the tax burden of the middle class of this country. They’re already paying enough,” Biden said. “What I’ve proposed is fair. It’s fiscally responsible. It raised the revenue to pay for the plans I’ve proposed that will create millions of jobs and grow the economy.”

Biden’s speech also asked Congress to pass legislation on police reform, just one week after former Minnesota Police Officer Derek Chauvin was found guilty on three charges stemming from the murder of George Floyd last year in Minneapolis.

“We have all seen the knee of injustice on the neck of Black America,” Biden said. “Now is our opportunity to make real progress.”

The George Floyd Justice in Policing Act passed in the Democratic-led House in March and is awaiting action in the Senate.

The president also repeated his call for lawmakers to pass election reform and voting rights laws, both of which are being resisted by the GOP.

“More people voted in the last presidential election than ever before in our history – in the middle of one of the worst pandemics ever,” Biden said. “That should be celebrated. Instead it’s being attacked.”

A bill to protect the rights of LGBTQ Americans also must get to his desk, Biden said, adding that he wanted transgender people to know “the president has your back.”

In support of the right to unionize, Biden called on the members of Congress to pass the Protecting the Right to Organize (PRO) Act. He also urged them to pass the $15 minimum wage and the Paycheck Fairness Act, which would ensure equal pay for women.

The president reiterated his determination to pass a $2 trillion infrastructure package, which he called “a blue-collar blueprint to rebuild America” and the greatest job plan since World War II.

He said he welcomed Republican ideas on infrastructure spending, but warned: “doing nothing is not an option.”

Biden said he wanted to expand cancer research, a topic close to Biden’s heart, as his late son, Beau Biden, died from brain cancer in 2015. He said the National Institutes of Health should embark on a massive effort to create a new center focused on breakthroughs for preventing and treating diseases including not only cancer but also Alzheimer’s and diabetes.

“I can think of no more worthy investment. And I know of nothing that is more bipartisan,” the president said. “Let’s end cancer as we know it. It’s within our power.”

Biden also urged Congress to tackle a host of issues that have eluded resolution for years: stricter gun laws, reform of immigration laws, and lowering prescription drug costs.

While Democrats generally applauded the president’s proposals, Republicans were highly critical.

“Our president seems like a good man. His speech was full of good words,” Sen. Tim Scott, R-South Carolina, said in the official Republican response.

“Our nation is starving for more than empty platitudes,” he said. “We need policies and progress that bring us closer together.”

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Kentucky, called Biden’s speech a “bait and switch.”

“The ‘bait’ was he was going to be a moderate, a unifying force and bring us all together,” the senator said. “The ‘switch’ is that Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vermont, for all practical purposes, won the debate in the Democratic Party over what it ought to look like.”

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-California, tweeted after the address: “This whole thing could have just been an email.”

But House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, D-Mechanicsville, called Biden’s speech “an agenda of justice, equality, security, and opportunity.”

“I was glad to hear President Biden set out his vision and call our country to the higher purpose of living up to the promise of its Founders: that all our people must not only be treated equally under our laws but that all equally deserve a chance to make it In America,” Hoyer said.

Pelosi characterized Biden’s remarks as a “unifying message of resilience, resolve and hope.”

“The Democratic Congress looks forward to working with the Biden-Harris administration to enact this historic vision for lower health care costs, for bigger paychecks, for cleaner government, for the people,” the speaker said.

Sen. Chris Van Hollen, D-Maryland, praised the president’s address, saying Biden “spoke to the country with confidence and conviction; seriousness and resolve; realism about the challenges we face; and optimism about America’s future.”

“The best way to face these challenges is together. President Biden has already worked to bridge the divides of this nation, and we must forge ahead,” Van Hollen said.

Biden began his address by marking his administration’s progress in the first 100 days in fighting the pandemic.

“After I promised 100 million COVID-19 vaccine shots in 100 days, we will have provided over 220 million COVID shots in 100 days,” Biden said. “Our progress these past 100 days against one of the worst pandemics in history is one of the greatest logistical achievements our country has ever seen.”

By LOGAN ARNESON, HANNAH FIELDS, ANEETA MATHUR-ASHTON and JENNIFER MANDATO
Capital News Service Washington Bureau

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Extraordinary registered nurse recognized at Fauquier Health

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Nurses at Fauquier Health are being honored with The DAISY Team Award For Extraordinary Nurses. The award is part of the DAISY Foundation’s program to recognize the super-human efforts nurses perform every day.

The first DAISY Team award recipient for 2021 is Registered Nurse, Meghan Bonner. A strong nomination that came in for Meghan consisted of a special moment that she shared with a patient. The patient, who struggled with dementia and difficulty of hearing, experienced an episode of confusion and frustration. The patient became increasingly scared and Meghan knew she had to act quickly to help calm them. Meghan comforted the patient, put on an old classic movie, and took a seat. As fellow staff members walked by, they witnessed Meghan next to the patient watching the moving, holding their hand. The patient’s whole demeanor changed to a much calmer and happier state.

Meghan Bonnor, RN, was presented with the DAISY Award Certificate. From left to right, Jessica Randall (Director of Acute Care Services), Meghan Bonner (RN), Christine Hart Kress (CNO), Chad Melton (CEO), and Steve Wojcik (Board Chair).

The not-for-profit DAISY Foundation is based in Glen Ellen, CA, and was established by family members in memory of J. Patrick Barnes.  Patrick died at the age of 33 in late 1999 from complications of Idiopathic Thrombocytopenic Purpura (ITP), a little known but not uncommon auto-immune disease.  The care Patrick and his family received from nurses while he was ill inspired this unique means of thanking nurses for making a profound difference in the lives of their patients and patient families.


Meghan Bonnor, RN, received her DAISY pin from Fauquier Health CNO, Christine Hart Kress.

The DAISY Award for Extraordinary Nurses has been adopted by healthcare facilities around the world to celebrate nurses for their extraordinary care and compassion.  The DAISY Team Award is for nurse-led teams of two or more who come together to solve a specific situation by going above and beyond.  Nursing teams may be nominated by patients, families, and colleagues, and they are chosen by a committee of nurses at Fauquier Health to receive The DAISY Team Award. The DAISY Team Award is presented by Nursing Leadership at a surprise presentation.  The DAISY Award winner receives a certificate commending them for being an “Extraordinary Nurse.”  The certificate reads: “In deep appreciation of all you do, who you are and the incredibly meaningful difference your teamwork makes in the lives of so many people.”  The DAISY Award winner also receives a specially engraved plaque engraved with the name of the Team.

Bonnie Barnes, FAAN, President and Co-Founder of The DAISY Foundation said, “When Patrick was critically ill, our family experienced first-hand the remarkable skill and care nurses provide patients every day and night. Yet these unsung heroes are seldom recognized for the super-human work they do.  The kind of work the nurses at Fauquier Health are called on to do every day epitomizes the purpose of The DAISY Award.”

Chad Melton, CEO, and Steve Wojcik,, Board Chair, presented DAISY Award recipient Meghan Bonnor, RN, with the DAISY banner that will be hung in the hospital front lobby. All DAISY Award winners will sign the banner.

Christine Hart Kress, Fauquier Health’s Chief Nursing Officer said, “We are proud to be among the healthcare organizations participating in the DAISY Award program.  Nurses are heroes every day.  It’s important that our nurses know their work is highly valued, and The DAISY Foundation provides a way for us to do that.”

To honor these special nurses at Fauquier Health, a banner has been hung in the main lobby entrance for all to see as they enter the hospital facility. Each DAISY Nurse will have the opportunity to sign the banner recognizing them for their commitment and dedication. For a complete listing of healthcare organizations currently running the program, please go to http://DAISYfoundation.org.

Meghan Bonner, RN, DAISY Award winner for Quarter 1 at Fauquier Health had the opportunity to sign the banner that will hang in the front lobby entrance of the hospital.

The DAISY Award and DAISY Team Award are initiatives of The DAISY Foundation in service to the nursing profession.  Additionally, DAISY offers J. Patrick Barnes Grants for Nursing Research and Evidence-Based Practice Projects, The DAISY Faculty Award to honor inspiring faculty members in schools and colleges of nursing, and The DAISY in Training Award for nursing students. More information is available at DAISYfoundation.org.

Meghan Bonnor, RN, proudly held up her banner. Accompanying her, from left to right, was, Christine Hart Kress (CNO), Steve Wojcik (Board Chair), Sean Thomson (CFO), Jessica Randall (Director of Acute Care Services), Kevin Sale (COO), and Chad Melton (CEO).

About Fauquier Health

Fauquier Health is a community health system dedicated to high-quality, patient-centered care in a unique environment that considers the multiple facets of healing and respects the individuality of each and every patient. Located at 500 Hospital Drive in Warrenton, Virginia, Fauquier Health serves the residents of Fauquier and several surrounding counties. It comprises: Fauquier Hospital, a fully-accredited, 97-bed hospital; Fauquier Health Rehabilitation and Nursing Center, a 113-bed long-term care and rehabilitation facility; the Villa at Suffield Meadows, an assisted living facility; the Wound Health Center and a medically supervised Wellness Center offering health and wellness programs.  Fauquier Health also operates nine physician’s offices, including primary care and specialties. More information on Fauquier Health is available online at FauquierHealth.org or by calling 540-316-5000.

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Upcoming Events

May
19
Wed
12:00 pm Tap into Your CEO Power @ Online Event
Tap into Your CEO Power @ Online Event
May 19 @ 12:00 pm – 1:00 pm
Tap into Your CEO Power @ Online Event
Many business owners struggled with the consequences of COVID-19 in 2020. Now, more than a year later, many of those same business owners have turned chaos into creativity finding new opportunities for growth. The Fauquier[...]
May
22
Sat
10:00 am Backcountry Basics: Earth Connec... @ Sky Meadows State Park
Backcountry Basics: Earth Connec... @ Sky Meadows State Park
May 22 @ 10:00 am – 12:00 pm
Backcountry Basics: Earth Connection Series @ Sky Meadows State Park
Meet at the Carriage Barn in Historic Area. Connect with the park’s landscape and get a taste of the skills you need to thrive in the backcountry. Participants will join experienced outdoor skills instructor Tim[...]
10:00 am Six-Button Mess – Civil War Enca... @ Sky Meadows State Park
Six-Button Mess – Civil War Enca... @ Sky Meadows State Park
May 22 @ 10:00 am – 4:00 pm
Six-Button Mess - Civil War Encampment @ Sky Meadows State Park
Historic Area. Journey back in time and immerse yourself in the sights, sounds and smells of a Civil War Encampment. Interact with the Six-Button Mess as they perform daily tasks of the Confederate soldiers. See[...]
May
23
Sun
10:00 am Six-Button Mess – Civil War Enca... @ Sky Meadows State Park
Six-Button Mess – Civil War Enca... @ Sky Meadows State Park
May 23 @ 10:00 am – 2:00 pm
Six-Button Mess - Civil War Encampment @ Sky Meadows State Park
Historic Area. Journey back in time and immerse yourself in the sights, sounds and smells of a Civil War Encampment. Interact with the Six-Button Mess as they perform daily tasks of the Confederate soldiers. See[...]
May
30
Sun
10:00 am Stroll Along the Stream: Riparia... @ Sky Meadows State Park
Stroll Along the Stream: Riparia... @ Sky Meadows State Park
May 30 @ 10:00 am – 12:00 pm
Stroll Along the Stream: Riparian Buffer Exploration @ Sky Meadows State Park
Meet at Backcountry Trailhead. Explore the Gap Run’s unique ecosystem called a “riparian buffer,” the zone of trees, shrubs, and other vegetation alongside waterways. Discover the amazing ways our native plants protect water quality and[...]
Jun
5
Sat
10:00 am Clean the Bay Day @ Sky Meadows State Park
Clean the Bay Day @ Sky Meadows State Park
Jun 5 @ 10:00 am – 1:00 pm
Clean the Bay Day @ Sky Meadows State Park
Boston Mill Road Trail near Park Office. Learn how fences and tree plantings improve water quality at Sky Meadows State Park. Stop by our Explorer Outpost table along the Boston Mill Road Trail where kids[...]
10:00 am National Trails Day @ Sky Meadows State Park
National Trails Day @ Sky Meadows State Park
Jun 5 @ 10:00 am – 12:00 pm
National Trails Day @ Sky Meadows State Park
Meet at the intersection of the Boston Mill Road and James Ball trails. Get your hands dirty as we work to improve the hiking experience on James Ball Trail. Discover how uncontrolled water erodes topsoil,[...]
11:00 am Backcountry Crash Course: Earth ... @ Sky Meadows State Park
Backcountry Crash Course: Earth ... @ Sky Meadows State Park
Jun 5 @ 11:00 am – Jun 6 @ 11:15 am
Backcountry Crash Course: Earth Connection Series @ Sky Meadows State Park
Meet at the Overnight Parking lot. Ready to try backcountry camping? Spend 24 hours in nature learning backcountry skills and survival techniques with professional outdoor instructor Tim MacWelch. With Sky Meadows’ Backcountry Campground as the[...]
12:00 pm The Farmer’s Forge @ Sky Meadows State Park
The Farmer’s Forge @ Sky Meadows State Park
Jun 5 @ 12:00 pm – 3:00 pm
The Farmer’s Forge @ Sky Meadows State Park
Blacksmith Shop in the Historic Area. The forge is fired up and the blacksmiths are hard at work in the Historic Area. Members of the Blacksmith Guild of the Potomac have set up shop and[...]
Jun
12
Sat
11:00 am VA State Parks History and Cultu... @ Sky Meadows State Park
VA State Parks History and Cultu... @ Sky Meadows State Park
Jun 12 @ 11:00 am – 3:00 pm
VA State Parks History and Culture: Water Powered Mills @ Sky Meadows State Park
Historic Area. Over 50 streams and waterways crisscross Fauquier County, once powering nearly 300 mills and providing an important service to local farmers such as Abner Settle. Located in close proximity to Sky Meadows, along[...]