December 14, 2022

VB Strong Center services to continue until 2024

Current VB Strong Center staff to continue serving clients at Landstown Commons

The VB Strong Center, a partnership between Sentara Healthcare and the City of Virginia Beach, is committed to empowering and uplifting those affected by the Municipal Center shooting on May 31, 2019, in their journeys to healing and resiliency.

"Three years later, the VB Strong Center continues offering services and programs to meet the needs of those affected," says Bernie Boone, President of Sentara Virginia Beach General Hospital and system executive for Sentara Behavioral Health Services. "Feelings of trauma and grief can continue indefinitely. The need for services is ongoing and Sentara is here for the long haul."

A federal Justice Department grant which has been funding the VB Strong Center since late 2019 has been extended under a new funds manager; the Virginia Hospital & Healthcare Association Foundation (VHHA). The foundation is the VHHA's non-profit arm, which distributes and manages grant funds from multiple sources for service projects by member health systems across Virginia.

"The VB Strong Center has done, and continues to do, vital work to support community members impacted by the Virginia Beach municipal center tragedy," said Virginia Hospital & Healthcare Association (VHHA) President and CEO Sean T. Connaughton. "This initiative is a shining example of public-private collaboration between the City of Virginia Beach and Sentara Healthcare to meet community needs during a difficult chapter in time. Sentara's quick action to establish the VB Strong Center in the wake of the tragedy exemplifies its work as a community-minded not-for-profit health system. VHHA and the VHHA Foundation are proud to have the opportunity to support Sentara in its continuing, important work through the VB Strong Center."

To ensure the VB Strong Center is providing the most needed services, Bernie Boone adds that Sentara will conduct a needs assessment among those eligible to see how the VB Strong Center can adjust its program to meet current needs.

"Sentara continues to be a strong collaborator with the City of Virginia Beach as part of our ongoing resiliency efforts," said Patrick Duhaney, Virginia Beach City Manager. "They continue to do great work with our employees, families and first responders. We share the same mission to provide access to mental health services for our organization and our community."

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