Virginia Hospital Center Receives 10th Consecutive Recognition for Outstanding Patient Experience

For the 10th year in a row, Healthgrades has selected Virginia Hospital Center to receive the 2021 Outstanding Patient Experience Award. This distinction places us in the top 10% of hospitals nationwide for patient experience.

As one grateful patient, Haddis M. Yazew of Woodbridge, says, “I was admitted at Virginia Hospital Center because I was short of breath associated with kidney disease. I am grateful for all the care you took to make me feel well again. Thank you.”

Healthcare worker reviews documentat with patient

Fighting the Impact of Health Disparities

With your generosity, Virginia Hospital Center Foundation’s For Our Neighbors Fund is ensuring everyone in Northern Virginia has access to the highest quality of care, regardless of their financial status.

This health equity fund has raised over $125,000 to date to help close gaps in healthcare and support the Hospital’s Community Health Clinics — including the Outpatient Clinic and VHC Pedatrics. These clinics provide access to care for over 25,000 underserved people in Arlington.

These programs harness innovations like telemedicine, when possible, to keep patients at home and safe without transportation, childcare and other barriers to receiving care. Both programs also saw an increase in patients during the pandemic as people lost their jobs and became unable to afford healthcare.

Through this fund, donors make a direct impact and improve health outcomes for underserved people in the region.

“Improving the conditions in which we live, learn, work and play will create a healthier population, society and workforce. The Foundation’s support is critical to serving each family with personalized care they may not otherwise receive.”
— Michelle Altman, MSN, MBA, RN, Patient Care Director, VHC Pediatrics & Outpatient Clinic

A generous grant from the Jennifer Bush-Lawson Foundation helped launch OB Connect, which was started during the pandemic to help expectant mothers connect with their care team during an uncertain time. The innovative initiative gives expectant moms a more convenient, time-saving and flexible option for top-quality prenatal care.

OB Connect equips moms-to-be with an at-home fetal heart monitor, as well as a blood pressure cuff for personal monitoring. This way, more prenatal appointments can be done virtually — reducing the need to take time off from work or pay for childcare.

The effort is based on the Mayo Clinic’s successful Nest Program and is the first of its kind in our region. It’s an outgrowth of the Hospital’s membership in the Mayo Clinic Care Network, which makes world-renowned treatments available to our community.

This program will be expanded through a $100,000 grant from the Truist Foundation.

Hospital Nurses Recognized as the Region’s Best

Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, nurses served on the frontlines caring for patients. Five members of our nursing team were selected by Washingtonian Magazine to receive Excellence in Nursing Awards for 2021:

Meghan Bozzelli, BSN, RN, CEN, Patient Care Director, Emergency Department
Melody Dickerson, MSN, RN, CPHQ, Senior Vice President & Chief Nursing Officer
Loan Nguyen, BSN, RN, Medical Stroke Unit
Sally Parris, MSN, RN, COHN, Director of Occupational Health
Lorraine Waltz, BSN, RN, OCN, Patient Care Director, Oncology

Nurses pose for a photo op in an x-ray lab

Honoring Our Nurses on the Frontlines of Care

The Friends of Nursing Program — supported entirely from Hospital donors since 1989 — provides Virginia Hospital Center nurses with the ability to further their education through conferences, workshops, and specialty training and certification classes.

In 2021, 28 nurses were awarded with continuing education opportunities through the program. It’s yet another example of how our donors are directly contributing to ensuring the Hospital continues to provide the highest quality of care. The nurses and program donors will be recognized throughout the month of October.

“Our nurses put their patients first, connecting with them in a way that is indescribable. I’m proud to be a part of this exceptional team of patient care professionals.”
— Melody Dickerson

Virginia Hospital Center Designated a Level II Trauma Center

Minutes matter when responding to a traumatic injury. But there wasn’t an emergency department between Fairfax, Virginia and Washington, DC dedicated to treating trauma patients — until now.

To bring this critical emergency care to our community, Virginia Hospital Center’s Emergency Department was recently designated as a Level II Trauma Center.

“Because of the fundraising efforts of our Foundation,” says Taryn Overman, Associate Vice President Emergency and Outpatient Services, “the Hospital was able to purchase the equipment and supplies required for the Level II trauma designation.”

The $300,000 raised were essential in funding the acquisition of advanced monitoring units, specialized pumps and operative instrumentation for procedures performed for severely injured patients. Additionally, trauma bays were redesigned to offer more space for multiple physicians and their needs.

With the designation, every nurse at the Hospital has now received trauma-specific training. The Foundation is also proud to support trauma nurses with opportunities to improve their life-saving knowledge and skills via scholarships, individualized attention from an experienced nurse, on-site lectures and continuing education workshops.

Our Emergency Department will now be able to care for over 1,000 trauma patients a year. That means 1,000 more patients who don’t have to put their life and recovery at risk by traveling greater distances to other hospitals.

When every minute matters, this can make a lifesaving difference.

The Lola Reinsch family, spanning multiple generations.

Multigenerational Giving Transforms Care: Hospital Receives $5 Million Gift for Expansion

Virginia Hospital Center has received an extraordinary gift of $5 million from long-time donor Lola Reinsch in support of the Hospital’s Outpatient Pavilion, the first major expansion of the Hospital since 2004. The gift is the second highest the Hospital has ever received.

The new seven-story Outpatient Pavilion anticipates the future of healthcare. The Hospital is centralizing all outpatient services in one, easy-to-access location and consolidating outpatient services will open space on the main campus for more inpatient beds. The Pavilion will combine the latest equipment with our region’s best healthcare professionals.

Tony Burchard, President of the Virginia Hospital Center Foundation, says, “Philanthropic commitments, and generous gifts such as these, are crucial in allowing the Hospital to continue to lead in innovation and patient care.”

This donation continues the tradition of Ms. Reinsch’s parents, Dolores and Emerson Reinsch, whose philanthropy with the Hospital goes back to the 1940s.

In 2012, for example, an investment by Lola Reinsch and Al Pierce honored Lola’s mother by establishing the Reinsch Pierce Family Center for Breast Health. This state-of-the-art center offers preventative services and treatment. The goal is to help women lead strong and healthy lives.

“I am so proud to be making this donation to Virginia Hospital Center to promote their outstanding health services in our community. The Hospital provides such wonderful care. I am grateful that my own children and grandson took their first breaths there, and we hope that this gift will help the Hospital serve even more families.”
— Lola Reinsch, CEO, E.G. Reinsch Companies

The Foundation recently honored the Reinsch Pierce family and six other exceptionally generous families at a special Foundation event. Together, they’ve given over $15 million in transformational gifts to the Hospital.

The six other families are the Reva and Sid Dewberry family, the Russell and Joan Hitt Family, the Frank and Marjorie Sands family, the Neal Nichols family, the Herb and Joyce Morgan family, and the Jeanne Whyte Kraft family.

How the COVID-19 Fight Brought Our Community Together

When Virginia Hospital Center Foundation reached out to the community to help fight COVID-19 and support frontline healthcare workers, the response was overwhelming and heartwarming.

As restaurants closed, the Foundation partnered with the Columbia Pike Revitalization Organization (CPRO) to launch the “Buy a Nurse Lunch” program. From March-December 2020, CPRO donated 1,200 meals prepared by local restaurants. The group donated another 360 meals from January-March 2021.

In this way, the community has been helping not only essential healthcare workers at Virginia Hospital Center, but also Arlington’s local restaurants and their employees. “Each purchase from a restaurant is between $400 and $500…” CPRO Executive Director Kim Klingler explains “…and there have been a few times that a restaurant has told us that the income from ‘Buy a Nurse Lunch’ made the difference for them being able to make rent that month.”

In addition, the Foundation partnered with Sarah Goldman Photography to raise funds for the Hospital’s COVID-19 response. Sarah offered outside holiday portrait sessions through The Front Steps Project for all those who gave. This effort raised almost $7,000.

Every gift has made a difference during the pandemic. One young Arlington girl wanted to support the Hospital where she was born. So, she set up a socially distanced lemonade stand and raised $60.

These are just a few of hundreds of inspiring ways our community has come together to support the Hospital’s frontline health care workers in this challenging time.

Donations Provide NICU Families a Chance to Bond Through New Technology

Having a critically ill newborn is a harrowing experience. But for Alison and Josh Stern, what made it even harder were the times when they couldn’t be with their new baby in person. To address this situation — one that so many parents face — the Sterns started a fundraising campaign that will bring AngelEye cameras to the Hospital’s Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU).

Through AngelEye Camera technology, parents can watch a video stream with their baby — from anywhere, whenever they want, and on any device. Throughout the pandemic, these cameras have also helped family members virtually visit the newborn babies.

According to Melody Dickerson, RN, MSN, Chief Nursing Officer at Virginia Hospital Center, “These cameras are just transformational. The camera can be mounted on the incubator or on the crib of an infant and Mom and Dad can tune in to see their baby at any time.”
The campaign exceeded its initial goal of $20,000, raising over $72,000 in less than two months. This includes a $20,000 match by The Superhero Project – an organization that supports families with newborns in the NICU. Many of the donors were former Virginia Hospital Center NICU families themselves.

“We realized that the support from the community – especially from families who had a NICU stay at the Hospital – was really a reflection of the amazing care they had received,” said Josh Stern.

The secure live feeds are password protected and allow parents to watch their child from a phone or computer, reducing their worry and stress levels. They can talk, sing or read, which is a great way to bond with their baby — even when they can’t be next to them.

This wonderful addition to the Hospital will provide extra peace of mind to over 800 NICU families every year.

Why the Women’s Health Circle Chose This Program as Its 2021 Funding Priority

Women’s Health Circle members partner with the Hospital through their personal support, community outreach and program involvement. Each year, the members choose a specific priority to receive their philanthropic dollars. For 2021, the Pharmacy Assistance Program at VHC Pediatrics — a community benefit program of Virginia Hospital Center which serves 10% of patients — was selected.

Finding a pediatrician who accepts Medicaid in Northern Virginia can take months. That’s why VHC Pediatrics is here for the most underserved children in our region — making sure they have everything they need to be healthy and thrive.

VHC Pediatrics relies on the help of the community so every patient has access to the prescription medications that can improve and even save their lives. The Women’s Health Circle has a goal of raising $180,000 for this important effort. Join them in supporting Arlington’s most vulnerable children. For more information about the Women’s Health Circle go to

Girl Scouts Send Their Medical Heroes Hundreds of Girl Scouts Cookies

Virginia Hospital Center is humbled to have been adopted by local Girl Scout troops as their Hometown Hero.

Girl Scout groups participating in their Hometown Heroes program encouraged their 30 troops to recognize the Hospital.

Barbara Studenmund bought 24 boxes of cookies from Troop 3185. “I was looking for a way to express my appreciation to those working at the hospital to save so many lives, putting themselves at risk, and when the Girl Scout cookies became available, it seemed like a win-win”.

The Hospital has received 671 boxes so far. Thanks so much to these enterprising youths and everyone who continues to support devoted healthcare workers for their efforts to keep our neighborhoods healthy and safe.

“It’s very local and very personal,” said Dorine Andrews, the Service Unit Manager for area scouts. “[The Hospital] is a real institution in Northern Virginia.”

Brownie Troop #60229 — composed of six third-grade girls at Glebe Elementary School in Arlington — sold a remarkable 1,415 boxes, of which 395 went to the Hospital. In second place was Troop #60160, which donated 59 boxes.

“The girls are really motivated by giving back to others in need,” said Sheila Herrling and Ilyssa Clay, Troop 60229 leaders. “And with COVID in full swing, and VHC nurses & doctors working around the clock, it was hard to imagine anyone more in need of a little cookie love.”

The cookies are distributed to our staff by an employee who volunteers to wheel a “sunshine cart” through the Hospital. The snacks boost morale, especially among the approximately 140 staff members who work directly with COVID-19 patients each shift.