Sentara celebrates local non-profits and strengthens community relationships

Investing more than $2 million in the Northern Virginia community since 2021

(Woodbridge, Va.) – Leaders from 35 non-profit organizations in Northern Virginia were invited to Sentara Northern Virginia Medical Center (SNVMC) on Friday, Dec. 8 for a Community Partner Celebration hosted by Sentara to recognize these service organizations that are changing lives every day and tackling disparities in our communities.

Between 2021 – 2023, Sentara invested $2,085,815 in grants to these community non-profit organizations. The grants were provided through Sentara Cares, the organization’s initiative to strengthen communities and advance health equity.

Community partners who have received grants provide wide-reaching services that include behavioral health, food security, education and training, medical access, and more. During the event at SNVMC Hylton Education Center, these community partners were encouraged to engage with one another with the intention of strengthening existing relationships and establishing new community connections.

“By understanding the assets and resources that we have, we can work smarter, not harder, and that is the reason we asked you all here today,” said Sentara Executive Director of Community Engagement & Impact Sherry Norquist, “Together, we can focus on the urgent here and now issues, but also focus on long-term transformations that decrease disparities.”

Todd McCormick, executive director of The House, Inc., a student leadership center based in Woodbridge spoke about the powerful impact of his organization’s The Hangry Truck – a mobile food market and street kitchen conceived and run by local students that distributed 800,000 meals last year and is supported by a recent Sentara grant. “The face of hunger has changed, and so has its address. Philanthropy does not look like a handout. In fact, if you’re with us, it may look like a block party,” shared McCormick.

The Hangry Truck and Sentara’s Family Health Connection Mobile Clinic were parked outside of the building during the event and guests were encouraged to tour the vehicles which are representative of the outreach, programs, and services that are collectively making a difference in our communities.

A few community partner highlights shared at the event:

  • Legacy Impact is a grassroots organization working to eliminate poverty cycles in the community. The grant launched a program that trains and places adult high level English students into local classrooms as teaching assistants. These opportunities have led to permanent employment. Said Felcity DiPettie, Legacy Impact’s executive director, “Our teaching assistants are so driven and now walk with a confidence we can’t explain.”
  • The ARC of Greater Prince William is celebrating 60 years of serving individuals throughout the lifespan who are developmentally disabled. They are utilizing their Sentara grant to improve the wellness and mental health of those they serve through various leisure and recreation programs such as support groups, wellness classes, and upcoming cooking classes.
  • NOVA ScriptsCentral provides lifesaving medicines and health services to the uninsured. With Sentara’s support more than $3 million worth of medicines have been provided through access programs and free clinics in the Greater Prince William area and free education workshops are offered throughout the community.
  • Lorton Community Action Center began its All Can Be Healthy Initiative this year to offer healthy food and nutritional education through its community food pantry, help individuals better understand health access challenges, and connect other service providers with the goal of eliminating barriers to services within the community.
  • Nueva Vida is a cancer support network for the medically underserved and under resourced immigrant Latino community in Prince William County. They have provided clinical exams, mammogram screenings, diagnostic exams, ultrasounds, transportation, translation services, and mental health support groups made possible by the Sentara grant.

“One organization, one provider, one service agency cannot do it alone. It requires partnership and collaboration. All of us serving this region must communicate and work together to make the most of the vast resources that are available,” said Jeff Joyner, president of Sentara Northern Virginia Medical Center. “That is what Sentara believes in and is working to support.”