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Virginia Department of Veterans Services continues phased reopening

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The Virginia Department of Veterans Services (VDVS) continues the phased reopening of offices and facilities that had been closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Veterans and their family members must call or email their local VDVS office to make an appointment to meet in-person with a Veteran Services Representative (Benefit Services division) or a Resource Specialist (Virginia Veteran and Family Support program – VVFS).  All persons entering VDVS offices must wear face masks or face coverings and are asked to not bring along guests to their appointment unless necessary.

Telephone and e-mail services will continue to remain available for veterans and family members.

The following VDVS offices are currently open and accepting appointments for in-person assistance:

Abingdon Portsmouth Naval Hospital
Big Stone Gap Quantico
Charlottesville Richmond (McGuire VAMC)
Hampton Salem VAMC
Hampton Pinewood (VVFS only) Staunton
Fort Lee Strasburg
Loudoun Virginia Beach/Oceana
Lynchburg Williamsburg
Manassas Wytheville
Norfolk

The following VDVS offices are scheduled to open and begin accepting in-person appointments on July 13:

Emporia Pentagon
Fredericksburg South Hill
Fort Belvoir Springfield
Henrico Tazewell
Manassas Virginia Beach/Pembroke

The addresses, telephone numbers and emails of all VDVS offices are available on the VDVS website at www.dvs.virginia.gov/dvs/locations.

Everyone at the Virginia Department of Veterans Services appreciates the understanding and patience of veterans and their families during these challenging times.  VDVS has been working diligently to reopen offices as quickly as possible but only when the safety and health of all veterans and their families and staff members can be assured.

The Virginia War Memorial and Virginia’s three state veterans cemeteries have also reopened:

  • The interior portions of the Virginia War Memorial in Richmond are open Monday-Saturday from 9 a.m.-4 p.m. and Sunday from 12 noon-4 p.m. Social distancing requirements are in effect, facemasks are required, and no more than 50 persons will be permitted inside the Memorial at one time. The grounds of the Memorial are open from daybreak until 10 p.m. daily. Details at vawarmorial.org.
  • The Virginia Veterans Cemetery in Amelia, the Southwest Virginia Veterans Cemetery in Dublin, and the Albert G. Horton, Jr. Memorial Veteran Cemetery in Suffolk are open, but with a limit of 50 persons permitted at committal services. Military funeral honors are provided based on availability of an honors teams from the Department of Defense or a veterans service organization. Details at dvs.virginia.gov/cemeteries.

About the Virginia Department of Veterans Services

The Virginia Department of Veterans Services (VDVS) is a state government agency with more than 40 locations across the Commonwealth of Virginia.  VDVS traces its history to 1928 and the establishment of the Virginia War Service Bureau to assist Virginia’s World War I veterans.  Today, VDVS assists veterans and their families in filing claims for federal veterans benefits; provides veterans and family members with linkages to services including behavioral healthcare, housing, employment, education and other programs. The agency operates two long-term care facilities offering in-patient skilled nursing care, Alzheimer’s/memory care, and short-term rehabilitation for veterans; and provides an honored final resting place for veterans and their families at three state veterans cemeteries. It operates the Virginia War Memorial, the Commonwealth’s tribute to Virginia’s men and women who gave the ultimate sacrifice from World War II to the present. For more information, please visit www.dvs.virginia.gov.

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Fauquier Health employees thank community for support during pandemic by giving back

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COVID-19 has caused a great deal of uncertainty across the region. In early March, the community was quick to rally together in support of Fauquier Health’s frontline healthcare workers and donated endless notes of kind words, treats for staff, meals, care packages and supplies. During trying times, the community’s support gave the Fauquier Health staff members a positive outlook. As the state of Virginia began to slowly reopen, it became a priority for Fauquier Health to give back to the community.

Fauquier Health staff member is pictured here delivering the staff donations to the Culpeper Food Closet.

In the words of Ashley Wharton, Registered Nurse in the Emergency Department at Fauquier Health, “As the months unraveled, I witnessed all of the community support coming into our staff. As a nurse in the Emergency Department, I felt so supported by our community. It made getting through the touch times a little bit easier.”

Fauquier Health staff member is pictured here delivering the staff donations to the Fauquier Food Bank.

During July and August, Fauquier Health partnered with local businesses such as Carousel Frozen Treats, Moo Thru’s Ice Cream Shop, Haute Cakes Pastry Shop, and Red Truck Bakery to provide biweekly treats for staff. This gave staff the opportunity to take a break and grab a sweet treat. As part of the offering, staff were encouraged to bring in a non-perishable item or monetary donation in to enjoy a treat. The local food banks supplied Fauquier Health with a list of requested goods. Those goods were then marketed to the staff members as needed donations. After each treat day, the donations were collectively distributed amongst the Fauquier Food Bank in Warrenton, Community Touch Food Pantry in Bealeton (Clara’s Faith House Food Pantry), and the Culpeper Food Closet. In total, the staff donated $1,376 and nearly a ton of food – 1,787 pounds of food.

Fauquier Health staff members enjoying a cool treat from the Carousel truck after donating for the local food banks.

“It was important that we showed the community how grateful we were for all the support they provided to our team during a trying and stressful time,” said Chad Melton, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Fauquier Health. “This community continues to stand strong in the fight against COVID-19. Our team members, board and medical staff were elated to give back to the community and to say thanks.”

Fauquier Health donates 1,787 pounds of food to local food banks. Clara’s Faith House Food Pantry received nearly 600 pounds of the food and over $330 in staff donations.

Dr. T. Tyronne Champion, Co-Founder & Executive Director of Community Touch Food Pantry in Bealeton, commented, “Community Touch is grateful for the food donation from Fauquier Health. [Their] donation helps us to fulfill our mission of feeding those in need during the pandemic.”


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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Fauquier Health welcomes Dr. Gurwinder Singh at new Internal Medicine clinic in Culpeper

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Fauquier Health announces grand opening of new Internal Medicine office and the welcoming of Dr. Gurwinder Singh, Internal Medicine.

Fauquier Health announced today the grand opening of their new Internal Medicine office located at 1100 Sunset Lane, Culpeper, Virginia 22701. The new office will be joining forces with the already established General Surgery office, which opened back in October 2019.

The Internal Medicine office will be led by one of Fauquier Health’s newest physicians, Dr. Gurwinder Singh. Dr. Singh is board-certified in internal medicine and maintains a strong focus on adult health, diabetes, chronic disease management (such as heart and lung), preventative education, endocrinology and critical care management.

Dr. Singh graduated from the Sri Guru Ram Dass Institute of Medical Science and Research in Amritsar, India in 2014. He completed his residency training at the Mercy Catholic Medical Center with Drexel University in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 2018. Prior to joining Fauquier Health, Dr. Singh spent the last several years in Williamsburg, Virginia working simultaneously at Sentara Internal Medicine Physicians (primary clinic) and Williamsburg Landing Primary Care (secondary clinic).

“Fauquier Health is working towards a long-term plan to expand service offerings and care to the residents of Culpeper County. Dr. Gurwinder Singh plays a large part in this,” expressed Chad Melton, CEO of Fauquier Health. “Dr. Singh will be offering Internal Medicine services to a growing, and aging population. By joining forces with our reputable General Surgeons, Dr. Joseph Brown and Dr. Andrew Gordon, we will now be able to offer multi-specialty services to the residents in the region. We hope to keep expanding access to services in the future so residents do not have to travel far for care.”

Dr. Singh is accepting appointments now and will begin seeing patients starting on October 1, 2020 at the Fauquier Health Internal Medicine at Culpeper office at 1100 Sunset Lane. To schedule an appointment today, please call 540.812.2937.


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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Local farm in White Post, Virginia seeking full-time employee

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CARPENTER’S TRAINEE:
Need immediate full-time help in White Post, VA.

We are looking for an honest, hardworking team player, who wants to develop as a craftsman, and able to follow direction from our Master Carpenter. Must be open-minded and mechanically inclined. Little to no carpentry experience is expected, as our Master Carpenter would like to be able to mold and train. This is an excellent opportunity for a young person, just out of high school or college, to learn a skilled trade and get paid for it!

Monday-Friday from 7am-3:30pm. Excellent fully paid benefit package includes 401k, health, dental & vision insurance and much more.

To schedule an interview, please email your resume to sb546appl@gmail.com or mail it to P.O. Box 98, White Post, Virginia 22663.

  • Applicants must be at least 18 years old to apply.
  • References, background check, valid driver’s license and drug test required.
  • Tobacco-free environment.
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Fauquier Health welcomes new interventional radiologists

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Fauquier Health recently welcomed three new board-certified interventional radiologists to its medical staff this month. Dr. Sandeep Bagla, Dr. Alexander Kieger and Dr. Rachel Piechowiak will bring expanded interventional specialty focuses to Fauquier and the surrounding communities. Interventional radiology (IR) is a subspecialty of radiology. By combining advanced imaging and technology, our interventional radiologists can treat complex conditions — even cardiovascular disease and cancer — less invasively and with unprecedented precision. Since interventional radiology treatments and procedures are typically done as minimally-invasive, patients can experience less risk, less pain, and less recovery time. For example, during a procedure, the interventional radiologist will use the appropriate technology to help guide small instruments (catheters) through the vascular system or other pathways through the skin.

Dr. Sandeep Bagla, Fauquier Health Interventional Radiology

Dr. Sandeep Bagla graduated from the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey in 2003. He later completed his residency training as Chief Resident and Diagnostic Radiology Resident at Albany Medical Center in Albany, New York in 2007. He received fellowship training in Cardiovascular and Interventional Radiology and has procedural expertise in interventional oncology (minimally invasive cancer therapy), arterial and neuro-intervention (stroke therapy, abdominal aortic aneurysm stent grafting, peripheral arterial intervention), pulmonary thrombolysis and prostate artery embolization.

Dr. Alexander Kieger, Fauquier Health Interventional Radiology

Dr. Alexander Kieger graduated with a medical degree from the Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine in Chicago, IL in 2012. The following year, he completed his internship from Northwestern University/McGaw Medical Center in Preliminary General Surgery. He brings over 10 years of clinical experience with him. According to Dr. Kieger, “My practice focuses on minimally-invasive procedures that result in quick recovery and rarely require a stay in the hospital. I am dedicated to spending ample time with my patients and being available to them every step of the way.” Dr. Kieger received fellowship training in Vascular and Interventional Radiology and has expertise in vascular specialties such as dialysis access and catheter placement, central line insertion, Peripheral Vascular Disease and venous insufficiencies

Dr. Rachel Piechowiak, Fauquier Health Interventional Radiology

Dr. Rachel Piechowiak is a Board-Certified Vascular & Interventional Radiologist and joined the Fauquier Health team in 2020. She takes a patient focused approach; she said, “I enjoy helping patients understand the procedure from start to finish, so they feel comfortable and know what to expect.” Prior to her arrival to Fauquier Health she worked at the Vascular Institute of Virginia. She completed her fellowship at New York’s Mount Sinai Medical Center in 2012 and Diagnostic Radiology Residency at Morristown Medical Center in New Jersey, where she was chosen at Chief Resident. She graduated from New York College of Osteopathic Medicine in 2006 and also holds a Master’s Degree in Science (Cellular and Molecular Biology).

“Interventional radiology is an important component of our overall care strategy because it is utilized in so many areas of patient care to diagnosis and treat a wide range of ailments using a myriad of different procedures aided by imaging procedures,” said Christine Hart Kress, Chief Nursing Office at Fauquier Health. “We are excited to welcome Dr. Bagla, Dr. Kieger, and Dr. Piechowiak to the Fauquier Health Team. This specialty allows our entire team of healthcare providers to diagnose and treat patients using the latest minimally-invasive techniques currently available to minimize the risk to the patient and improve health outcomes. Our interventional radiology group brings a variety of specialty focuses and expertise ranging from interventional oncology and treatment procedures to epidural injections.”

Services and areas of specialty include:

  • Dialysis access management
  • Minimally-invasive biopsies
  • Minimally-invasive pain management
  • Peripheral Arterial Disease
  • Prostate artery embolization
  • Uterine fibroid embolization
  • Vascular disease
  • Vein disease and varicose veins
  • Wound healing

For additional information, please visit FauquierHealth.org, keyword “interventional radiology,” or FHDoctors.org.


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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Locally produced short film “The Killer of Grassy Ridge” winning festivals worldwide

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A debut short film produced in Virginia’s Shenandoah Valley is winning film festivals worldwide. “The Killer of Grassy Ridge” has won Best U.S. Short Film, Best Debut, Best Horror, Best Cinematography, and has been selected for nearly 40 film festivals across the world.

The nine-minute independent film was shot in November and December 2019 near Front Royal and Luray’s Lake Arrowhead in the Shenandoah Valley, with additional scenes filmed at a cabin in Rileyville and the mountains of Carter County, Tennessee.

First-time filmmaker Johnny K. of Alexandria wrote and shot the film purely as a personal challenge, giving himself just two months to create a finished product using only the limited gear and resources he had on-hand.

“Last year I became inspired by filmmakers who were out making movies using very little equipment. They were telling amazing stories while I was sitting on the couch complaining that my gear wasn’t good enough to make my first film. I’d been making excuses for long enough, so I wanted to prove myself wrong. Written, shot, and edited in 62 days, “The Killer of Grassy Ridge” is the result. My hope is that my movie will inspire other amateur filmmakers the same way I was inspired.”

With an entirely Virginia-based cast and crew, the film marks the debut of actors Michael Stumbo of Winchester and Arlington native Heather Stone. The movie showcases the natural beauty of the region and the isolated environment and scenic landscapes largely contribute to the tone of the film.

The film has now been selected for nearly 40 film festivals on six continents and shows no signs of slowing down.

“The Killer of Grassy Ridge” is now streaming on YouTube and will soon be available on Amazon Prime.

CLICK HERE to view the entire press kit with more images and details!

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Introducing the 2020 Highland County Barn Quilt Trail Brochure

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The Highland County Chamber of Commerce is excited to introduce a completely revised and expanded version of its popular Highland County Barn Quilt Trail Brochure.  Highland County’s Barn Quilt Trail was the first in Virginia, beginning in 2011 with just 13 barn quilts in the brochure.  The updated brochure has over 50 barn quilts for travelers to explore.

Barn quilts are colorful painted wooden squares and diamonds that hang on barns, outbuildings and homes.  These unique works of art are the merger of traditional roles on the farm, blending the customs of quilting bees together with outdoor barn work into a beautiful combination.

Highland County’s barn quilts have interesting names like “Colaw Apple,” “Tree of Paradise,” “Love in a Mist,” “Five Reds,” and “Spirit Soars.”  There is often a story behind the name that corresponds with the design.  The barn quilt may represent the love of plants, animals or other natural wonders, showcase a business, or memorialize a special friend or moment.  The public is invited to learn about the history and inspiration of Highland County’s barn quilts in the brochure.  Whether viewing the county’s LOVEwork letters in Monterey, striking designs at a former mill in McDowell or an old maple syrup-producing barn with multiple barn quilts on it in Blue Grass, everyone can enjoy the beauty of the towns, hills, hollows, fields and forests of Highland County while experiencing the barn quilt trail.  Can you spot them all?

The Highland County Barn Quilt Trail Brochure will be available at local businesses and The Highland County Chamber of Commerce’s office at The Highland Center in Monterey.  A corresponding website with digital versions of the brochure is available HERE.  For children of all ages, there are even barn quilt design templates online to be printed out and colored in.  For inspiration, use the colors of a current barn quilt on the trail or create your own!  Have fun, and happy trails!

The Highland County Barn Quilt Trail Brochure is brought to you in part through the 2020 Wanderlove Grant from the Virginia Tourism Corporation.


The Highland County Chamber of Commerce is a 501(c)(6) membership nonprofit organization with a mission to lift up local businesses and entrepreneurs, promote Highland County, and champion economic prosperity and quality of life.  For more information, please visit www.highlandcounty.org.

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