VCU Health Community Memorial Hospital Workers Awarded Scholarships

Front Left to Right: Willis Woodall, Dorothy Minter-Saunders, Angie Tanner, Jennifer Weston, Darleen Ferguson. Back Left to Right: Tyanna Jones, Scott Burnette, Nancy Bradshaw and Tamara Starke.

South Hill, VA (8/20/21) – Twice a year, Community Memorial Hospital (CMH) Auxiliary awards hospital employees with a $500 scholarship toward furthering their education through the Tree of Love - Elizabeth T. Moseley Scholarship Fund. The Scholarship is funded by community donations made to the “Tree of Love” in memory of, in honor of, or a military salute to a loved one. Recipients must meet certain criteria, like be employed by VCU Health CMH for at least a year, provide a letter of recommendation from their department director, maintain a 3.0 GPA or greater, and write a 100-word essay on how the scholarship would enhance their lives. The degree or certification pursued must enhance the employee’s capabilities in a position at the hospital.

This year the Auxiliary was able to award four winners due to not having any last year during the pandemic. Winners are: Tyanna Jones, of Brodnax; Tamara Starke, of Emporia; Angie Tanner, of La Crosse; and Jennifer Weston, of South Hill.

Tyanna Jones is a patient access representative pursuing a Bachelor of Science in Health Service Administration from Old Dominion University. She said in her essay, “My goal is to work in Public Health concentrating on maternal and infant health. With this scholarship and the need-based grants I have been awarded, I can complete my education and continue to solve problems and increase healthcare within my community.”

Tamara Starke is a certified pharmacy tech earning her associate degree in Nursing from Southside Virginia Community College. She plans to go all the way through to a master’s degree. She said, “This scholarship gives me the opportunity to not only fulfill my dreams but hopefully keep the community healthy. I appreciate the opportunity to accomplish this goal and make it my duty to always advocate for the patients in my community.”

Angie Tanner is a clinical quality analyst obtaining her bachelor’s degree in business with a concentration in Healthcare Administration from Capella University, Inc. A 20-year veteran of VCU Health CMH, she has held off on her own education to put her two daughters through school and now it is her turn. She explained, “Being the recipient of this scholarship would enhance my life by easing some of the financial burden placed on my family for this tremendous opportunity to learn, grow and enrich my future.”

Jennifer Weston is a cardiac monitor tech also getting her associate degree in Nursing from Southside Virginia Community College. At the age of 20, she had a kidney transplant. “I didn’t know anything about the medical field, but I got exposed to all types of health care professionals and decided that’s where I wanted to be,” explained Jennifer. “I worked as a pharmacy tech for 15 years and decided to switch to the broader field of nursing, where I can move up and choose my own specializations.”

VCU Health CMH is proud of their employees who are pursuing additional education to benefit their career path and improve patient care.

Children Helping Children


In 2020, Ava Rajappa of Richmond founded Art Love – a nonprofit organization dedicated to providing art supplies to children and youth facing hardship.

I started fifth grade in the fall of 2020,” says Rajappa, “and arts and crafts have helped me in life. Sometimes, when I am scared or overwhelmed, I do arts and crafts to calm me down. They are very fun to do and I am hoping other kids who have similar feelings would be able to use the art kits we donate to feel better when they are anxious.”

With the help of her parents, donors, and a grant from Dominion Energy, Rajappa and a team of 50+ volunteers collects art supplies, organizes them into kits, and delivers them to schools, hospitals, homeless shelters, and more.  To date, more than 4,200 kits have been delivered to organizations in nine states, Washington DC, and two countries. 

Jackson-Feild was thrilled to receive a supply of kits from Art Love.  Art teacher Tracie Wilder says, “Youth at Jackson-Feild often are unable to verbalize their thoughts and feelings.  Art is the perfect outlet, and these kits from Art Love will help them tremendously in the healing process.”

For more information about Art Love, visit www.art-love.org.  To make a donation to help supplement and replenish art supplies at Jackson-Feild, please call 434-634-3217.


Committee to Protect Health Care announces first-ever endorsements for House of Delegates candidates

Doctors, medical professionals will lend support to “Health Care Heroes”

RICHMOND — The Committee to Protect Health Care today announced in a virtual press conference its first-ever endorsements for the Virginia House of Delegates. The doctors, health care professionals, and advocates who comprise the Committee have chosen to lend their support to:

  • Delegate Wendy Gooditis, HD 10
  • Debra Gardner, HD 27
  • Delegate Joshua Cole, HD 28
  • Katie Sponsler, HD 66
  • Delegate Roslyn Tyler, HD 75
  • Dr. Jeffrey Feld, HD 81
  • Kim Melnyk, HD 84
  • Finale Norton, HD 100

“As Virginia physicians, we are excited to endorse these candidates for the House of Delegates because of their commitment to putting people’s health and access to health care ahead of partisan politics,” said Dr. Rommaan Ahmad, a pain management physiatrist in Alexandria and Virginia State Lead for the Committee to Protect Health Care. “By designating them as Health Care Heroes, we’re making clear to the voters of Virginia that these candidates will prioritize affordable health insurance and prescription drugs, as well as paid sick leave for working people. We look forward to helping these health care champions get elected so that they can look out for the health of our patients and all Virginians.”

The designated candidates were selected because of their:

  • Support for expanding paid sick leave (1 hour of paid sick leave for every 30 hours worked), which currently only applies to home health workers, to include other private employees
  • Support for the establishment of an independent prescription drug affordability board with the power to review unsupported price increases on expensive prescription drugs 
  • Support for establishing a public insurance option with quality benefits and affordable premiums
  • Promise to fight to protect gains made in Virginia on Medicaid expansion

“All of these Health Care Heroes focus on, and care about, making medical care affordable, in particular the cost of prescriptions,” said Dr. Stewart Pollack, a cardiologist in Albemarle County. “Virginians need affordable health care and prescriptions, and by electing delegates who promote these ideas, we can achieve that.”

Dr. Bickley Craven, a family physician in Big Stone Gap, said: “Virginia has made great progress on health care in recent years by expanding Medicaid. This covers more than 400,000 more people, and enacting paid sick leave for home health care workers has been essential as well. But until all our patients and everyone in the state can access the care they need to thrive and paid time off when they’re sick, we have more work to do. The candidates we’ve endorsed today can be the leaders we need to build on our progress, strengthen families, and save lives.”

About the Committee to Protect Health Care

The Committee to Protect Health Care, formerly known as the Committee to Protect Medicare, is a national mobilization of doctors, health care professionals, and advocates who are building a pro-patient health care majority in Congress and in states so that we can live in an America where everyone has the health care they need to thrive. To learn more: www.committeetoprotect.org

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