HRV Newsletter Spring 2015

Healthy Roanoke Valley is a partnership of over 50 public and private organizations, academic institutions, community and government leaders who are working to improve the health of those living in the Roanoke Valley. We have over 130 active members who serve on one of our committees and/or Action Teams.

Our five Action Teams have been meeting regularly over the past 2 years, and have implemented several initiatives, which serve the mission of HRV. Some of the initiatives overlap between Action Teams. We have created this newsletter in order to keep you informed of the status of these initiatives.

Wellness Action Team: 

  • Fruits & Veggie Prescription Program (FVRx): The FVRx program is modeled after Wholesome Wave – a national program that has demonstrated success in reducing obesity rates in program participants. Our program will provide nutrition and other health education to adults in a primary care setting who are at risk for, or have diabetes, and will connect these participants to fresh food using a mobile farmer’s market.  Participants will be given prescriptions/vouchers to purchase food at the farmers’ markets. Participants will be followed on a monthly basis to check their blood sugar, blood pressure, and their height and weight. We plan to pilot this program in the Summer of 2015.
  • Eat a Meal with Your Family: Data has shown that children who regularly eat dinner with their families are less likely to participate in risky behavior.  With the Prevention Council of Roanoke County taking the lead, the Wellness Action Team will continue to support the Eat Dinner With Your Family week scheduled in September 2015.  The 2014 program was very successful – roughly 7,000 households were reached.  Families were given an opportunity to take a weeklong pledge to sit down and share a meal with their family.  Forty-eight percent (48%) of the families that participated used the “conversation starters” from the program booklet; 60% reported actually preparing the meal together as a family; and 85% of families reported spending at least 20 active minutes together (walking, biking, etc.).
  •  Healthy Start Initiative:  The Wellness Action Team actively supports the Healthy Start initiative and their partners who work to increase knowledge about nutrition, teach cooking skills, increase access to fresh fruits and vegetables, and connect TAP Head Start preschoolers, Roanoke City Public school children, and their families to healthy resources in the community.

Primary Care/Medical Action Team:

  • The Primary Care Action Team is providing support to other Action Team initiatives, including the Coordination of Care Action Team’s Community Pathways HUB, the Oral Health Action Team’s Medical-Dental collaborative, and the Wellness Action Team’s Fruit & Vegetable Prescription Program.

Oral Health Action Team:

  •  New Horizons Dental Care:  With the support of the Oral Health Action Team, New Horizons opened a dental clinic in November 2014 with over $400,000 in start-up funds.  The dental clinic provides dental clinic to qualified low-income, under and uninsured individuals on a sliding fee schedule.  For more information go to
  •  Roanoke Mini-MOM (Mission of Mercy):  Beginning in June 2014, quarterly “mini-MOMs” are being held instead of the annual Roanoke Mission of Mercy (MOM) dental clinic. The mini-MOMs provide free dental care (fillings, extractions) for uninsured adults at offices of volunteer dentists and dental clinics.  Dates for the upcoming mini-MOMs are: May 8, 2015; Aug. 21, 2015; and Oct. 2, 2015. For more information, or to register someone for a mini-MOM, contact Project Access at: or by phone to: 540-344-4200.
  • Oral Health Day: The Oral Health Action Team is sponsoring an Oral Health Day on April 1, 2015. The Oral Health Day will include different events going on at multiple dental providers, and will provide an opportunity for providers to highlight their dental services as well as educate the public about dental health.
  • Virginia Dental Association Journal article: Dr. David Black, DDS, local dentist and member of the Dental Health Action Team, wrote an article for the VDA January-March Journal. The article, entitled “Star City: Roanoke-Area Dentists Coordinate Access-to-Care,” provides an excellent overview of the oral health “safety net” in the Roanoke Valley. See page 36 of the on-line journal:
  • DentaQuest Foundation (DQF) Grant: On March 9, we were notified that Healthy Roanoke Valley received a grant from DQF. This $50K, 12-month, grant will provide capacity building for oral health advocacy and strategies. Pat Young, Program Manger, and Eileen Lepro, CEO of New Horizons Healthcare and chair of the Oral Health Action Team, will attend a kickoff conference and training session in Boston on March 23-25.   One of the goals of the program is to build and/or strengthen regional collaboratives.

Coordination of Care (CoC) Action Team: 

  • Emergency Department to Primary Care Physician Pathways HUB: The Coordination of Care “Emergency Department to Primary Care Provider” pilot between Project Access (PA) and Carilion Clinic ended December 16, 2014. It proved to be very successful, with 481 referrals made to the HUB since its implementation on June 16. Twenty-three percent (23%) of those referred were seen by a Primary Care Physician in a timely manner. The CoC Action Team is considering options for the continuation of this HUB, or other pathway HUBs.
  • Community-wide, comprehensive healthcare resource directory: A subcommittee of the CoC Action Team is in the planning phase of the creation of a comprehensive healthcare resource directory for the Roanoke Valley.

Mental Health & Substance Use (MH SU) Action Team:

  •  In 2015, the MH SU Action Team will focus on opioid & heroin abuse. Since opioids are often prescribed for pain, they are planning a conference on pain management for the Fall of 2015. Mental Health America is taking the lead on the conference, which will target physicians/healthcare professionals as well as pain patients and the general public. The daylong summit, open to the public, will provide speakers/presentations as well as demonstrations on alternative therapies such as acupuncture, mindfulness, and massage.

Other Important Information:

  •  HRV Web Site: The HRV Web Site ( was published in February 2015. HRV partners can submit items for inclusion, such as events and news releases, via e-mail to
  • 2015 Roanoke Valley Community Health Needs Assessment (RVCHNA): The 2015 Roanoke Valley Community Health Needs Assessment (RVCHNA) is now being conducted in Roanoke and Salem Cities as well as Roanoke, Botetourt, and Craig counties. The last assessment was conducted in 2012. Based on the findings in 2012, Carilion Clinic and Healthy Roanoke Valley partners have been working to improve access to healthcare services, better coordinate care and promote wellness in our communities over the past three years. The 2015 Community Health Survey will be available through April 30, 2015 for all residents, 18 years of age and older, living in the cities of Roanoke and Salem, or the counties of Roanoke, Botetourt, and Craig. Our target population includes low-income individuals, uninsured or underinsured individuals, and those living with chronic illnesses. More information can be found on the CHNA page of our web site.
  •  Partner Satisfaction Surveys: A satisfaction survey is being developed which will address the aspects of the HRV Strategic Framework. It is being written in collaboration with United Way’s other collective impact initiatives – i.e. Financial/Bank On Roanoke Valley and Education/Smart Beginnings Greater Roanoke. We expect it to be distributed in mid April, and all partners are asked to complete it.
  •  HRV Membership Agreements: The HRV Membership Agreement will be distributed electronically in March.  All individual members are asked to complete the agreement.


Click here for a PDF Version of the Newsletter.  HRV Newsletter Spring 2015