Bernard hopes to improve the area through health, wellness, and economic development.
Last weekend, a piece by Bon Secours CEO Peter J. Bernard ran in the Richmond Times-Dispatch.
In it, Bernard discusses the aims and goals that Bon Secours and their partners have for the East End.
From the article:
“…we know that even the highest quality health care is just one aspect of overall community health. So we, along with our partners and neighbors, have charted a course that brings a comprehensive understanding of health and wholeness to the neighborhoods in which we serve…Our work in Richmond’s East End exemplifies this philosophy.”
Bernard goes on to discuss the series of community discussions and events that took place in 2010 which have formed the backbone of a plan to help establish a “healthier, more vibrant Church Hill/Nine Mile Road Corridor.”
Here are the accomplishments Bernard outlines in the remainder of the piece:
- Get Fresh! East End – A partnership with Tricycle Gardens, the Richmond City Health District, and the Get Fresh! Task Force to increase access to fresh foods in East End stores.
- The 2011 Supporting East End Entrepreneurship Development (SEED) Initiative – A partnership with the Virginia Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC) to provide grants to individuals interested in growing businesses in the East End. Bernard states in his article that so far, a total of $150,000 in grants has been rewarded to fourteen different businesses. For those interested, the SEED application can be found here.
- Affordable Housing – A partnership with Project: Homes, Habitat for Humanity and the Better Housing Coalition that seeks to develop affordable housing the East End through rehabilitation and new construction.
- The 7th District Health and Wellness Initiative – Provides the East End community with “exercise and fitness classes, case management services, health fairs, health assessments and health education efforts.” This specific push for wellness has been led by 7th District Councilwoman Cynthia Newbille, who had this to say about the planning process in 2010:
There have been seven spectacular days in the East End of Richmond…there has been good planning for our community with a vision for Richmond’s East End community.”
- Movin’ Mania – A partnership with Family Lifeline, Peter Paul Development Center, Child Savers, The Friends Association, the Richmond Cycling Corps, Church Hill Activities and Tutoring, the YMCA to increase youth engagement in an active lifestyle, which includes better eating habits and community engagement.
These initiatives, drives and goals are all aimed at developing an infrastructure to expand Richmond Community Hospital and further development through partnerships:
In the coming months, along with our partners, particularly the city of Richmond and Richmond Redevelopment and Housing Authority, we will bring a fresh look to the neighborhood with tangible physical impacts in landscape and streetscape improvements, redevelopment of vacant and blighted properties, and additional access to affordable housing.
You can find the specifics of the plan here.
For for information regarding the plan, you can contact Peter Bernard at Peter_Bernard@bshsi.org or via phone at 804-281-8330.
Photo courtesy of: Bon Secours Virginia Health System