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Mental health services expand in Martinsville and Henry County

Here’s a roundup of brief news from Southwest and Southside. Send yours for possible inclusion to [email protected]

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Mental health services to expand in Martinsville and Henry County

The Harvest Foundation provided a $685,993 grant to the Martinsville-Henry County Health and Wellness Coalition to expand its telepsychiatry program.

Disclosure: The Harvest Foundation is one of our donors, but donors have no say in news decisions; see our policy.

Telepsychiatry is coming to Martinsville-Henry County as the need for access to psychiatric care has increased dramatically, largely due to the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, the foundation said in a statement.

“This expansion of telehealth services translates into strong, reliable systems that everyone can access for health services, regardless of their financial circumstances or other barriers they may face,” said Sheryl Agee, head of operations at the Harvest Foundation, in a statement. “It also increases the network of high quality professionals available to our community. This is particularly important as we unfortunately live in a culture where often negative stigma is attached to mental health symptoms and services, which prevents people from seeking the care they need. By integrating behavioral health services into a system that already provides a variety of health services, patients can feel more comfortable accessing the care they may need.

Use of telehealth has increased dramatically in recent years and accelerated rapidly with the COVID-19 pandemic, Marcus Stone, executive director of the MHC Coalition for Health and Wellness, said in a statement.

“In rural communities like ours, where there are fewer behavioral health care providers, telehealth can connect patients with providers in other locations,” Stone said. “This not only increases access to behavioral health services, but it can also increase their privacy and protect their anonymity.”

The foundation said the investment supports its strategic plan priority of building a vibrant community by building a strong health safety net system and expanding behavioral health services for Martinsville-Henry County residents.

To learn more about telepsychiatry at the MHC Health and Wellness Coalition, visit or call (276) 629-1076 (Bassett Family Practice); (276) 956-2233 (Ridgeway Family Health) or email [email protected]

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Appalachian Regional Commission awards grant for broadband in Carroll County

The Appalachian Regional Commission awarded Carroll County $582,479 for a broadband project, according to the statement from U.S. Senators Mark Warner and Tim Kaine, both D-Virginia.

The Pipers Gap Fiber Project will install 8.2 miles of fiber to extend wireless broadband and fiber to extend access to 402 homes that currently do not have high-speed internet.

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VCEDA Awards Grant to Russell County Dance Company

Jasmine Adams. Courtesy of VCEDA.

The Virginia Coalfield Economic Development Authority provided a $10,000 seed capital matching grant to Elite Motion Dance Company, Inc., in Lebanon.

The company expects three full-time employees and five part-time employees within five years, Jonathan Belcher, executive director/general counsel of VCEDA, said in a statement.

The company is owned by Jasmine Adams. She currently has up to 60 regular students ages six months to 18 years old and has just started an adult health and fitness group. In addition, she manages a competitive dance team, which competes from March to May in several age categories. Training for competitive teams, however, she says, is a year-round initiative.

Adams worked with the Small Business Development Center (SBDC) at Southwest Virginia Community College (SWCC) to develop his VCEDA application and received a letter of support from the Russell County Industrial Development Authority.

About the Virginia Coalfield Economic Development Authority Seed Capital Matching Grant Fund: For-profit businesses in the VCEDA region one year and under with fewer than 10 full-time employees are eligible to apply for dollar-for-dollar matching grants of up to $10,000 from the VCEDA Seed Capital Matching Fund. Applicants work with the Small Business Development Centers at Mountain Empire and Southwest Virginia Community Colleges to prepare VCEDA applications that include detailed business and financial plans. Businesses must be located or plan to operate in the VCEDA region of Southwest Virginia, which includes the counties of Buchanan, Dickenson, Lee, Russell, Scott, Tazewell, and Wise and the city of Norton.

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Bristol Casino Pitch Competition Finalists Announced

Virginia Community Capital and Hard Rock Casino Bristol have announced the ten finalists for the final round of the SWVA Regional Bristol Casino Pitch Contest. Finalists include:

▪ Alpha Lit – Washington County

▪ Anne Vaughan Designs – Floyd County

▪ Beagle Ridge – County Wythe

▪ Clinch Life Outfitters – Wise County

▪ Clinch Valley Print – Tazewell County

▪ Rising Sun Loaves – Henry County

▪ Stormbrew Farm – Washington County

▪ The Orange Bandana – Montgomery County

▪ Pakalachian Truck – Washington County

▪ Virginia Mountain Vineyards – Botetourt County

An awards ceremony will be held in partnership with the Virginia Small Business Administration, Friends of Southwest Virginia, Virginia Tourism Corporation, Virginia Highlands Small Business Incubator and SWVA Small Business Development Centers. The ceremony and reception will be hosted by Hard Rock Casino Bristol. Judges and community partners will view the contestants’ three-minute pitch videos and five winners will be selected to receive $10,000 each for business expenses.

All contestants who participated in the pitch competition will be considered sellers at the casino. Contest winners will be announced on December 8.