Fauquier Health Supports the Community

Fauquier Health’s mission is to Make Communities Healthier. As the new year unfolds, it seems like a good opportunity to look back on 2017 and see how that is being accomplished. Of course, the staff and physicians with Fauquier Hospital and its ancillary departments – the Wellness Center, Sleep Center, Wound Healing Center – all aim to provide the best care when an patient is not feeling well. But how is the health system working to keep local residents well?

Health Screenings/Special Events

  • In 2017, Fauquier Health offered several opportunities for residents to receive free health screenings. The Family Health Fair was held in April, and featured screenings, demonstrations and education.

  • Screenings were also offered at the Warrenton Town Limits Fourth of July celebration.

  • Fauquier Health joined forces with the American Heart Association for a Heart to Heart event in Warrenton. Those who attended learned about heart-healthy habits -- including enjoying a glass of red wine now and then, or a bite or two of dark chocolate. Two healthy eating demonstrations engaged the group, and a caricaturist and a painting activity provided a little healthy stress relief.

  • Unused Medication and Sharps Collections (Fauquier Health collects unused medications and sharps twice a year. The event disposes of medications safely and keeps prescription drugs out of the landfill and out of the groundwater.)

Charity Efforts

Fauquier Health employees really stepped up their game in 2017. System-wide charity drives benefitted seven different community organizations.

  • Fauquier Relay for Life ($16,000 raised.)

  • The Fauquier Community Food Bank (34,000 servings of food were collected.)

  • F.I.S.H. (131 book bags were filled with school supplies distributed for the start of school. As a result of an effort to provide food for children over the holiday break – when they did not have access to free breakfasts or lunches – 350 children were provided with enough food for the two-week vacation. Fauquier Health employees, their families and friends collected more than $5,000 to buy the food, then spent an evening packing the hundreds of cans, boxes and bags of supplies into bags for the children.)

  • Adopt-a-Child (13 families and eight children received holiday gifts in December from Fauquier Health individuals and departments.)

  • Through the health system’s Pay Up to Dress Down program, funds were distributed to the Liberty Cancer Fund and Hurricane Harvey relief in 2017. SAFE, Inc. – a women’s shelter -- will be the recipient of dollars collected during January and February of 2018.

  • In October, Fauquier Health sponsored three employees to travel to Houston with the group Christ in Action. The trio – Progressive Care Unit tech Carole Pechie, certified occupational therapist assistant Anna Burns and Intensive Care Unit tech Sarah Holbach -- spent about a week working with victims of Hurricane Harvey. The women stayed in a local church and traveled each day to a job site. One day they gutted a house, the next they cleared a yard of downed trees and brush, another day they carted belongs from houses and helped people sort through the rubble – all in 90 to 100 degree Texas heat. Carol Pechie said, “Everyone there had the same spirit. We call worked hard. No one complained. Everyone was cheerful and smiling. We were happy to help.”

  • The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI received $300 from a charity drive during Hospital Week.)

Wellness Initiatives

Fauquier Health employees participated in several events to encourage and celebrate a healthy lifestyle.

  • Bodies in Motion 5/10K Run

  • Mary Walter Elementary School Back to School night and classroom education (Dr. Kyle Song and other staffers of Fauquier Health Family Practice at Bealeton taught children about healthy habits, like handwashing and the importance of exercise.)

  • Community Yoga (Exercise physiologists from the Fauquier Health Wellness Center held regular yogasessions with soccer players from Fauquier High School, improving their strength and flexibility.)

A Focus on Healthy Food

  • The Jr. Chef program (Once a month, students from 10 to 18 gather at the Bistro on the Hill at Fauquier Hospital to learn about healthy eating and how to cook delicious family meals.)

  • The Chef Showdown (This hugely popular event attracted more than 60 residents interested in learning how to cook. Two chefs from the Bistro faced off October 25, to cook mouth-watered meals with simple ingredients – in 30 minutes.

Community Conversations

Health cannot be achieved alone. It takes a community. That’s why Fauquier Health hosted three events in 2017 that encouraged community-wide conversations.

  • “Addressing the Opioid Crisis: Treatment That Works” (A day-long conference sponsored by Fauquier Health, the Mental Health Association of Fauquier, Rappahannock-Rapidan Community Services and the Come as You Are Coalition.

  • “Being Mortal” (A free film screening and discussion about end-of-life care.)

  • “A Conversation in Ethics: Coping Mechanisms for Dealing Successfully with Compassion Fatigue”

Youth Education

Perhaps Fauquier Health’s best-known community program -- medical camps for teenagers -- were held in June and July, attracting about 100 students with aspirations for a medical career. The hands-on camps provide a practical look into a variety of medical fields. Applications for the 2018 camps are due out in March.

Support Groups

  • Addiction Recovery Support

  • Alzheimer’s and Dementia-Related Support

  • Bereavement Support

  • Breastfeeding Support

  • CREW (Cancer Resources, Education and Wellness)

  • Families Overcoming Drug Addiction Support

  • Lyme Disease

  • NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Illness) Piedmont Family Support Group

  • Prostate Support Group

  • Stroke Support Group

  • Fauquier Health has just added a new group called Helping Hands; it is a support group for life limiting Illnesses. The new group meets the first Wednesday of each month at 3:30 p.m. in Fauquier Hospital’s Chestnut Room. For more information, those interested may call Roxanne Woodward at 703-957-1867.

For details on any other support group, call Fauquier Health’s Community Link at 540-316-3588.

Classes and Lectures

Fauquier Health offers many classes and lectures. Several birthing and childcare classes dot the calendar, in addition to CPR, safe driving classes and Medicare and Medicaid counseling. New for 2018 – all classes are free, though registration is still required.

Several lectures are planned every quarter, covering heart attack or stroke, skin care or diabetes. See the Events and Education tab for details, or call 540-316-3588.

Looking Ahead to 2018

Fauquier Health CEO Chad Melton has a passion for community service, and he has made it a priority for the organization. He said, “There are many members of our communities who are in need. The need is not always financial, but they may benefit from a mentor, support as they go through a disease process, or just help in meeting the basic necessities of life -- like food, water, and shelter. I believe that healthcare providers, clinical and non-clinical, have a duty to help improve the lives of others, and be ambassadors for the organization, at work and in the communities we serve. We have a calling to give back to our community (financially and with our time), and to make a difference in the lives of others.”