Virginia Community Healthcare Association

Names 2017 Award Winners, Graduates Twelve Teams from CHC Leadership Institute

Individuals and Teams Honored for their Work on Behalf of Virginia’s Community Health Centers


June 8, 2017

The Virginia Community Healthcare Association has announced its annual award winners. Honorees were recognized at an awards dinner on Tuesday evening, June 6, in western Henrico County. The purpose of the awards is to recognize outstanding and extraordinary work on behalf of and within Virginia’s Community Health Centers.

Virginia has 29 Health Center organizations operating over 145 service sites within rural and urban medically underserved areas across the Commonwealth. Using the Patient Centered Medical Home model, Virginia’s Community Health Centers provide access to convenient, high-quality, affordable primary care regardless of ability to pay, geographic location, culture, age, gender, or religion. Community Health Centers in Virginia log over 1 million patient encounters annually, providing primary care to some of our state’s sickest and poorest citizens.

Below are those recognized at the 2017 Awards Ceremony:

The Tony Lawson Special Recognition Award

Gary Campbell, CEO | Johnson Health Center | Lynchburg, Virginia

This award recognizes an outstanding staff person of a member organization or of the Virginia Community Healthcare Association who is a non-provider or non-volunteer, for their extraordinary efforts in support of the organization’s overall mission.

Through thoughtful and skilled leadership and genuine caring and concern for patients and staff, Gary worked with his health center’s board and staff to create a common vision for improving the health center. Through his visionary leadership, the health center’s patient population increased by 15 percent, the number of patients seeking care to manage diabetes, starting their pre-natal care in their first trimester, and delivering babies using health center physicians also significantly increased. The dental program at the health center logged a 62 percent increase in dental patients.

In addition to the patient and financial gains, under Gary’s leadership this organization was designated an “Employer of Choice”, the very first community health center in the nation to receive this prestigious award.

Said Paul Kopack, Director of Human Resources who along with other staff nominated Gary for this award,

“Gary Campbell is a very rare individual and leader. He is visionary and sets ambitious goals for both himself and our organization. He is a genuinely caring person and has a great appreciation for both our patients and staff. We are privileged to have such an outstanding individual as our leader.”

Volunteer of the Year

Winnie Schamerhorn | Johnson Health Center | Lynchburg, Virginia

This award recognizes an outstanding board member, unpaid staff member, or an individual other than board or unpaid staff who has served voluntarily to promote community health care.

Before her health center had a pharmacy, the entire Medication Assistance Program (MAP), except for its director was totally manned by volunteers. For sixteen years Ms. Schamerhorn has shown up nearly every week allowing her health center’s MAP program to thrive. Many health center patients would not have been able to receive their medications without her. She has participated in all of the steps of the process from computer ordering and verification to calling the patients to let them know their medications are ready for pick-up. She has made it possible for many thousands of patients to receive their medications on a timely basis. Because of her, the health center’s program has had continuity allowing for the continued consistency and efficiency of the program.

Said Harold Wilson, Pharmacy Director of Johnson Health Center,

“Health centers depend upon and greatly appreciate their volunteers. For a volunteer to make a commitment for such a long time is extraordinary. Her commitment and belief that the work being done at Johnson Health Center is important, serves as an inspiration to the staff and patients alike.”

Provider of the Year

Duong Hoang, DDS | Highland Medical Center | Monterey, Virginia

This award recognizes an outstanding health care provider who has demonstrated dedication, expertise and concern for their patients in a compassionate and comprehensive manner.

Dr. Hoang is a dentist at Monterey Medical Center. She was looking to serve a community where the need for dental services is great. There is no other practicing full time dentist in Highland County. In addition to providing county residents regular preventative care, Dr. Hoang has demonstrated selfless services to others in many ways. For example, she has repeatedly donated her time on her days off to drive uninsured patients to Virginia Commonwealth University Dentistry in Richmond for procedures which cannot be performed at her health center. This is a three-hour trip one way! She is known and respected amongst staff, patients, and the Highland County community as a thorough, compassionate, and productive provider.

Said Debbie Perdue, CEO of Highland Medical Center,

“Before Dr. Hoang came to our health center, there was only one part-time dentist available to county residents. It was difficult for people to get in for regular preventative care and get appointments as needed. Our dental office is now open full time and our practice has seen growth. Dr. Hoang will be doing dental screenings in our school in the near future. Dr. Hoang is willing to work with her patients and give them options. She is very humble and she genuinely just wants to help people. In these very busy times these special people need to be thanked and recognized because they lead by example. She is a role model for our staff and for our community.”

Nurse of the Year

Charla Clark, LPN | Blue Ridge Medical Center | Arrington, Virginia

This award recognizes a nurse who has demonstrated dedication, expertise and concern to see that patients are afforded the best quality care and who has demonstrated outstanding quality in working with staff, patients, and family members.

Charla is a dynamic leader within the nursing team. She is exceptionally dedicated to ensuring that an optimal level of quality care is delivered to everyone who enters Blue Ridge Medical Center. She is thoughtful and empathetic of the challenges that various patient populations face, and goes above and beyond to ensure patients stay connected and engaged in their healthcare through both internal case management, and by helping patients navigate external resources. Here’s an example: she wanted to better communicate with the Hispanic population served by the health center and also to extend her cultural awareness, so she independently completed a Spanish speaking course at a local college.

Said Margaret “Peggy” Whitehead, CEO, Blue Ridge Medical Center,

“Confident and capable in her nurse leadership skills, she is an excellent communicator. She is a tireless advocate for patients, and her interactions with them are filled with such empathy and that makes their experiences at Blue Ridge Medical Center so positive. She handles all of her responsibilities with grace and wisdom.”

Team of the Year

The Pharmacy Team from Central Virginia Health Services | New Canton, Virginia
The team is led by Pharmacy Director, David Christian, RPh.

This award recognizes outstanding teamwork within a member organization that demonstrates the ability to work together toward the common goals and missions of the organization.

The Central Virginia Pharmacy Team are individuals who, together, have created a cohesive, mission-driven pharmacy team which is a critical function within the health center. Each day, the pharmacy team works together to fill an average of 725 prescriptions. Medications are dispensed at the windows of both pharmacies of this health center, but hundreds are also mailed to patients at their homes. The team’s patient-centered approach garners numerous positive comments from patients, most of which focus on their patience, courtesy, and respect for the patient. Despite daily challenges, this team takes the time to promote the benefits of using the health center pharmacy stressing to patients that providers at the health center and the health center pharmacy are on the same team which increases the quality of care patients receive. They explain to patients the medications being prescribed and the importance of each medication. They enhance the customer experience with personal calls and face-to-face interactions with patients, and go to considerable lengths to get patients who need help with the cost of medications enrolled in medication assistance programs.

Said Paula Tomko, Interim Executive Director, Chief Operating Officer of Central Virginia Health Services,

CVHS is delighted that the CVHS pharmacy staff has been recognized by their peers in this category.  Their success is a testament to the leadership of the former and current pharmacy directors. They have created and maintain a team that is truly vested in improving our patient outcomes and adding value to support the delivery of quality care across the organization. 

In addition to recognizing annual award winners, twelve Community Health Center (CHC) teams from around the Commonwealth graduated from Virginia Community Health Care Association’s Virginia CHC Leadership Institute.  Virginia Community Healthcare Association provides this nine-month intensive program for teams from its member health centers. The program assists teams of CHC leaders in learning about and implementing best practice strategies in clinical, management, and community settings.

The Virginia CHC Leadership Institute facilitates CHC teams in identifying their own objectives in order to design a Capstone Project which addresses a priority issue at their CHC. With support and training provided by the Virginia CHC Leadership Institute, teams complete their Capstone Projects. Participating teams also present their projects to their cohort teams so that all teams benefit from cohort innovations, experiences, discoveries, solutions, and best practices. This year’s Virginia CHC Leadership Cohort Class included teams from the following health centers:

  • Capital Area Health Network | Richmond, Virginia
  • Central Virginia Health Services | New Canton, Virginia
  • Community Health Center of the New River Valley | Christiansburg, Virginia
  • Daily Planet Health Services | Richmond, Virginia
  • Eastern Shore Rural Health System | Onancock, Virginia
  • Harrisonburg Community Health Center | Harrisonburg, Virginia
  • Johnson Health Center | Lynchburg, Virginia
  • New Horizons Healthcare | Roanoke, Virginia
  • Olde Town Medical Center | Williamsburg, Virginia
  • Piedmont Access to Health Services (PATHS) | Danville, Virginia
  • Rockbridge Area Health Center | Lexington, Virginia
  • Tri-Area Community Health | Laurel Fork, Virginia

Said R. Neal Graham, CEO, Virginia Community Healthcare Association,

“We are extremely proud of these teams and their health center leadership for their commitment to the future of Community Health by participating in our visionary and innovative Virginia CHC Leadership Institute. Their continued drive to join us in remaining on the leading edge of providing convenient, cost-effective, high-quality primary care for all Virginians is admirable and deserving of great praise and respect. We look forward to having all CHCs from Virginia join us in this endeavor.”

Capital Area Health Network
Capital Area Health Network

Capital Area Health Network | Richmond, VA

Daily Planet Health Services
Daily Planet Health Services

Daily Planet Health Services | Richmond, VA

Johnson Health Center
Johnson Health Center

Johnson Health Center | Lynchburg, VA

Rockbridge Area Medical Center
Piedmont Access To Health Services (PATHS)

Piedmont Access To Health Services (PATHS) | Danville, VA

Community Health Center of the New River Valley
Community Health Center of the New River Valley

Community Health Center of the New River Valley | Christiansburg, VA

Eastern Shore Rural Health
Eastern Shore Rural Health

Eastern Shore Rural Health | Onancock, VA

New Horizons Healthcare
New Horizons Healthcare

New Horizons Healthcare | Roanoke, VA

Rockbridge Area Medical Center
Rockbridge Area Medical Center

Rockbridge Area Medical Center | Lexington, VA

Central Virginia Health Services
Community Health Center of the New River Valley

Central Virginia Health Services | New Canton, VA

Harrisonburg Community Health Center
Harrisonburg Community Health Center

Harrisonburg Community Health Center | Harrisonburg, VA

Olde Towne Medical Center
Olde Towne Medical Center

Olde Towne Medical Center | Williamsburg, VA

Tri-Area Community Health
Tri-Area Community Health

Tri-Area Community Health | Laurel Fork, VA