Sentara Healthcare invests $11 million to support Marshall-Ridley Choice Neighborhood Initiative in Newport News

Funding supports collaborative partnership to transform neighborhoods of concentrated poverty into neighborhoods of opportunity

Sentara Healthcare announced today an $11 million investment in the Marshall-Ridley Choice Neighborhood revitalization initiative in Newport News, Va. This project is part of the Choice Neighborhood Initiative, which leverages public and private investments to replace distressed public housing and transform neighborhoods of concentrated poverty into neighborhoods of opportunity.

Sentara is providing $11 million in financial support for loan financing to complete Phase Two of the project, which is focused on the overall rejuvenation of the former Ridley Place neighborhood in the city of Newport News. The goals of the project are to provide a variety of housing options to meet the needs of a diverse community; integrate housing types in an indistinguishable manner; provide affordable housing in an equitable way; increase homeownership rates; and foster community. The City of Newport News, Newport News Redevelopment and Housing Authority, and Pennrose are leading the development of the project and Breeden Construction is managing the construction. Construction for Phase Two is expected to be complete in late 2024.

“Sentara’s support of the Marshall-Ridley Choice Neighborhood Initiative is another step in our ongoing journey to improve community health and wellness, create economic opportunity, and address social determinants of health,” said Aubrey Layne, executive vice president of governance and external affairs for Sentara Healthcare. “We are pleased to serve as a trusted community partner in this exciting initiative as we collaborate to bring hope, health, opportunity, and critical services to the residents of Newport News and the surrounding communities.”

“This significant investment from Sentara Healthcare ensures citizens in Newport News have access to the housing options and resources they need to thrive,” said Newport News Mayor McKinley L. Price, DDS. “We are honored that Sentara is partnering with us to reinvigorate this historic part of our city and influence health outcomes in a positive, transformative way. Their commitment to Newport News will improve the health and well-being of residents for generations to come.”

The project design plans for Phase Two include a three-story apartment building with 41 units on the corner of Jefferson Avenue and 16th Street. The building will have space for retail activity on the ground floor. The project also will include 14 two- and three-story buildings with 114 townhomes, a walking and bicycle trail for community use, and an early childhood development center.

“Sentara is leading the way in addressing social determinants of health by investing in high-quality, affordable housing to improve outcomes in our most vulnerable communities,” said Patrick Stewart, regional vice president at Pennrose. “We are incredibly grateful for their support, which will help complete the City’s transformative vision for the Choice Neighborhoods Initiative, providing additional families, seniors, and individuals of all ages with access to affordable housing, robust community services, and amenities.”

“There is a direct correlation between high-quality housing and positive community health outcomes,” said Karen Wilds, executive director of the Newport News Redevelopment and Housing Authority. “Sentara’s strategic commitment to the Choice Neighborhood Initiative ensures equitable health outcomes for all residents, regardless of their race and socioeconomic status. When we welcome individuals and families home to this community in 2024, they will have access to the homes, resources, and amenities they need to lead healthy lives of opportunity and purpose.”

In 2019, the City of Newport News and the Newport News Redevelopment and Housing Authority were awarded a $30 million grant from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Choice Neighborhoods Initiative. The city developed a community-driven transformation plan for the Marshall-Ridley area of the Southeast Community to create new housing options, community services, recreational opportunities, and parks. The city just celebrated the grand opening of Phase One housing, which includes a mixed-use development featuring apartments, townhomes, and retail space.

Partnering to Create Healthier Communities

Sentara is committed to addressing social determinants of health, which account for nearly 80 percent of an individual’s health outcomes, directly within the communities where people live – not just when they are under our care. Every year, Sentara provides financial support to numerous community partners and faith-based organizations in Virginia and North Carolina who work to address social determinants of health and promote equitable access to care in traditionally underserved communities. In 2022, Sentara awarded more than $10 million in funding to nearly 170 partner organizations. Sentara’s investments in these programs aim to improve the health and well-being of community members beyond traditional healthcare services, with an elevated focus on behavioral health services, housing, workforce training and career development, food security, and social determinants of health.

In 2021, Sentara invested $254 million to support Virginia and North Carolina communities, including $23 million in health education and prevention programs, $48 million in teaching and training opportunities for healthcare professionals, $16 million in community giving, and $167 million in uncompensated patient care. To learn more about the many ways in which Sentara is partnering with the community to improve health equity, visit Sentara’s 2021 Community Engagement and Impact Report.