There’s a desperate need for clean water in Flint, Michigan, and some Virginia churches want you to help out.
The Fresh Water For Flint campaign is underway, and is in need of donations of bottled water. It's a ministry of the Baptist General Convention of Virginia.
Donations will be accepted through March 1, and there are three collection sites in Richmond. Gallon containers of water are requested, but all sizes of bottled water will be accepted.
The Michigan city’s municipal water supply is contaminated with lead and other substances, and there’s no easy fix. Virginia Tech researchers have helped in identifying the problem and have been asked by the community to further monitor the water. Lead contamination puts children at risk. Small amounts in the blood may lead to lower IQ and attention deficiencies, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
“It just tugs at our hearts, and we realize it’s a long-term need,” says Elisha Burke, an organizer of the drive. Burke notes that the drive is a natural for the convention and its Social Concerns Commission and Health Ministry.
You can bring donations to the following locations:
- Fourth Baptist Church, 2800 P St., from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday to Thursday
- First African Baptist Church, 2700 Hanes Ave., from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday to Thursday
- Fifth Baptist Church, 1415 W. Cary St., from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday to Thursday
Financial donations also will be accepted.
“As compassionate citizens, we have a great opportunity to assist families in need of help by coming together in this effort,” says Emory Berry Jr., pastor of Fourth Baptist and co-chair of the commission, in a news release. “We realize that none of us are immune to misfortune and it is our responsibility to help where we can.”
The water will be trucked to Flint and distributed through the Hand of God Ministries there. A second drive may follow, says Burke, director of Health, Wellness, Men & Social Justice for the convention.
The Baptist General Convention includes more than 900 congregations and 29 associations in its membership. For additional information, call Burke at 228-2431, or Berry at 644-1013.
Have a Heart
The American Heart Association’s annual Richmond Go Red Luncheon is set for Friday, Feb. 26, at The Jefferson Hotel, 101 W. Franklin St.
The event will feature a silent auction and a “What’s in Her Bag” purse auction, from 10:30 a.m. to noon, with a heart-healthy luncheon from noon to 1:30 p.m. Tickets are $150. Call Lauren Schingh at 965-6522, or email Lauren.Schingh@heart.org.
How’s your heart health? You can take a free risk assessment online, courtesy of Bon Secours.
The assessment will take about seven minutes to complete and you’ll get a confidential snapshot of where you stand, heart-wise.
More Virginians signed up for health insurance through the federal marketplace than expected.
There were 421,900 state residents enrolled through the program, about 5 percent more than the 400,000 projected to participate, according to information released Feb. 11 by the office of Gov. Terry McAuliffe. Nationally, enrollment increased by 4 million from the inaugural year for the program, to about 12.7 million people.
The enrollment period ended Jan. 31.
Top Docs Count Underway
The votes are in, and we’re busily tabulating results in our annual Top Doctors survey.
There were 708 participants in the online vote this year. They were tasked with identifying the best of their peers in 89 medical specialties and fields. Winners will be announced in our April issue.
Participants also helped us identify some Richmond health care professionals worthy of special recognition, shared story ideas and cited concerns and issues that hinder their work. Thanks for the input: Expect some stories and profiles in the coming months based on your ideas and concerns.
This year’s special honors go to a doctor and a nurse with the best bedside manner, a hospital volunteer, a gift shop worker, a medical social worker, a chaplain and a dedicated billing department worker. We’ll publish the profiles in April.
We don’t want to make the survey unwieldy, but we wish there was a way to honor more people for their good work, people like Roxie White, a medical assistant at Virginia Women’s Center. Here’s what one doctor had to say about her:
“She is unfailingly polite, she is professional and empathetic. She makes patients … feel welcome and comfortable. (W)hile a visit to the GYN is no one’s favorite place, her warm, gracious bedside manner makes even the most nervous person feel at ease … She remembers patients’ names (and) names of their children. She is missed when she is not here. Patients ask in horror if she has retired or relocated. She is simply the best.”
White, who has worked with Virginia Women’s Center since 1999, said Thursday that patients are always her priority. The Chesterfield County resident says she focuses on getting to know the patients and listening to them, helping them to relax.
“It just goes better when they’re comfortable,” she says. “It makes it more relaxing, because they are already tense and nervous.”