Nov. 15, 2018
CONTACT: George Jones, Public Relations, Richmond City Health District
PHONE: (804) 381-2622
Henrico, Richmond unify leadership of local health districts
Officials from the City of Richmond, Henrico County and the Virginia Department of Health joined public-health workers and members of the community at St. Luke Apartments today to announce the unification of the leadership of the two local health districts under the direction of Dr. Danny Avula.
The Virginia Department of Health recently appointed Avula into a dual health director role, which is a model for regional public-health collaboration. It is the first appointment of this kind in VDH’s Central Region.
The appointment creates a joint executive public-health leadership team for Richmond and Henrico. The two health districts will continue to maintain separate staffs and operations.
City and county officials applauded the opportunity to expand regional cooperation to protect the health of the neighboring populations and to improve implementation of public health services.
“We need strategic partnerships and closer collaborations to move our region forward,” Richmond Mayor Levar M. Stoney said. “We can measure our success as a region in many ways, but the health and wellbeing of our citizens are central. Dr. Avula is widely recognized for his vision and innovation in public health.”
Henrico Board of Supervisors Chairman Frank J. Thornton added, “Good public health practices, policies and ideas should be able to travel easily between Richmond and Henrico. The county is excited about this partnership and the ways it can serve the residents of both localities.”
Avula joined the Richmond City Health District as deputy director in 2009 and became director in 2016. He began serving in an additional capacity as acting health director for Henrico in 2017. Following discussions between VDH and officials from both localities earlier this summer, Avula agreed to accept the offer of uniting both health departments under his leadership.
Avula is a graduate of the University of Virginia who attended the Virginia Commonwealth University School of Medicine. He completed residencies at VCU and Johns Hopkins University, where he also received a master’s degree in public health. He is a board-certified pediatrician and a physician specializing in preventive medicine.
“I’m excited about the opportunity to serve both of these fantastic organizations, and the visionary leaders at their helm,” Avula said. “So much of our work already has a regional footprint and, by focusing on the root causes of health and wellbeing, we can create opportunities for residents to take charge of their health and pursue full, thriving lives in Richmond and Henrico.
“We are grateful to our partners at VDH, Henrico County and the City of Richmond for coming together to make this partnership possible for our residents.”
Nov. 14, 2018
CONTACT: Veta Herbaugh, Executive Assistant, Henrico County Board of Supervisors
PHONE: (804) 501-4208
Tuckahoe Town Meeting Nov. 20 to provide ‘Ask Your Supervisor’ forum
Tuckahoe District Supervisor Patricia S. O’Bannon will host a Tuckahoe Town Meeting on Tuesday, Nov. 20 to allow residents to ask questions and highlight concerns for Henrico County.
The “Ask Your Supervisor” meeting will be held with sessions at 1 p.m. and 6 p.m. at Gayton Branch Library, 10600 Gayton Road. Residents are encouraged to submit questions in advance at email@example.com so officials can be prepared to provide detailed answers at the meeting.
For more information, call (804) 501-4208 or go to patobannon.com.
Nov. 13, 2018
CONTACT: Neil Luther, Director, Henrico County Division of Recreation and Parks
PHONE: (804) 501-5119
Henrico, YMCA of Greater Richmond joining forces to build Henrico Aquatics Center
Two-pool recreational center expected to open in early 2020 on Laburnum
Henrico County and the YMCA of Greater Richmond will partner to build and operate the Henrico Aquatics Center, an indoor swimming facility that is expected to open in early 2020 on North Laburnum Avenue.
“An indoor recreational pool has long been a dream for Henrico County,” said Board of Supervisors Chairman Frank J. Thornton, of the Fairfield District. “We are thrilled to partner with the YMCA of Greater Richmond to make this dream a reality. The Henrico Aquatics Center — like the new Fairfield Area Library across the street — will be a wonderful addition to the Laburnum corridor, promoting exercise, good health and endless fun for the entire community.”
Officials from Henrico, Henrico County Public Schools and the YMCA of Greater Richmond announced plans for the $8 million, 20,000-square-foot aquatics center today during a news conference at the Eastern Henrico Recreation Center. The recreation center is across Watts Lane from the 6-acre site where the aquatics center will be built.
The facility will feature an eight-lane, 25-yard pool and a warm-water instructional pool with zero-depth entry, a family spray area and a waterslide. In addition, the center will include family-friendly locker rooms, retractable spectator seating and parking.
“The Henrico Aquatics Center will be a game changer for youth and families,” County Manager John A. Vithoulkas said. “In addition to family swim times, the facility will offer swimming lessons, host practices and meets for our high school swim teams and get plenty of use by Henrico’s youth summer camps and community groups like the Police Athletic League.”
The YMCA of Greater Richmond currently has 17 locations throughout the region. The Henrico Aquatics Center will be located roughly 5 miles east of the Northside YMCA and about 9 miles northwest of the Chickahominy YMCA.
“The impact this aquatics center will have for Henrico County is tremendous,” said Tim Joyce, president and CEO of the YMCA of Greater Richmond. “Together, we are investing further in our youth by giving them access to life-saving aquatic skills. The Y believes that is something every child should be given access — no matter their zip code or financial situation. This project is an extension of the Y’s continued commitment to accessibility, opportunity, equity and inclusion.”
Henrico County Public Schools Superintendent Amy E. Cashwell said the aquatics center will support the school system’s initiatives on student safety and wellness.
“Academics are the core of what we do, but that’s not all we do,” she said. “Preparing students to be ‘life ready’ involves key partnerships of community stakeholders. In this instance, a community-supported aquatics program would allow us to add one more layer of critical ‘life ready’ skills to prepare students for the rest of their lives.”
Henrico will contribute $8 million to the YMCA of Greater Richmond to fund construction and other project costs as well as finalize a 20-year lease of the property. The nonprofit organization will build, manage and operate the facility, which will be open to the public through means-based memberships as well as daily rates.
Henrico has been working on plans for an aquatics center since early this year. At a retreat in January, the Board of Supervisors identified a recreational pool as a priority for the community and asked county staff to identify potential partners. The area along Laburnum near Watts offered a county-owned site as well as complementary public facilities nearby. The Eastern Henrico Recreation Center opened in 2011, followed by the Henrico County Health Department East Clinic in 2014. In addition, a new Fairfield Area Library is under construction on a 10-acre site southeast of Laburnum and Watts, with an opening expected in October.
The Board of Supervisors is scheduled to consider the appropriation of funds and lease agreement for the aquatics center after public hearings on Dec. 11. The board also will consider at that meeting authorization of an operating agreement with the YMCA of Greater Richmond. Construction would begin in March, and the aquatics center would open in early 2020.
Nov. 7, 2018
CONTACT: Jon Clary, Solid Waste Division Director, Henrico County Department of Public Utilities
PHONE: (804) 727-8774
Henrico County to begin 2018-19 leaf collection efforts Monday
Henrico County will begin providing annual leaf-collection services Monday, Nov. 12, with both free and paid options available for county residents.
Free collection of bagged leaves is scheduled from Nov. 12 through Feb. 10. Crews will work week to week in five zones. Each zone will receive two pickups between Nov. 12 and Feb. 10.
For a schedule and map of zones, residents can go to Henrico’s bagged-leaf information webpage. Collection is provided automatically for residents living in the designated zones; residents living outside those areas can place an order for free pickup by calling (804) 727-8770.
Bags of leaves should be free of trash and other debris and placed at the curb or road’s edge by 7 a.m. on the Monday of the assigned pickup week. Any number of bags will be collected, but they must be accessible from the street as crews are not authorized to enter private property.
Henrico also will offer vacuum leaf service by request during two collection periods. A fall collection will occur from Nov. 13 through Dec. 29 followed by an early spring collection from Feb. 25 through March 29. Leaves should be placed at the curb or road’s edge and be free of trash, sticks and other debris.
Residents can order the $30 vacuum service online or by calling (804) 501-4275.
Whether using the bagged pickup or vacuum service, residents are encouraged to avoid piling bags or loose leaves in traffic lanes, parking spaces, storm drains or ditches. In addition to creating a potential traffic hazard, misplaced leaves can block drainage and contribute to stormwater pollution.
Henrico’s public-use areas, located at 2075 Charles City Road and 10600 Fords Country Lane, offer residents another leaf-disposal option. Bagged leaves will be accepted at no cost from Nov. 12 through Feb. 10 and for $3 per visit at other times. Loose leaves and other yard debris are accepted year-round at no charge. The public-use areas are open daily from 7:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. except for certain holidays.
Additional information is available at henrico.us/utility.