October is Energy Month

October is National Energy Awareness Month as designated by the U.S. Department of Energy, and October 6th is Energy Efficiency Day.

Join Henrico Energy Management to celebrate on Wednesday October 6th from 11:30-1:30 in conjunction with the food trucks in the plaza between the Administration Building and the parking deck. Henrico Public Works, Henrico Libraries, Henricopolis Soil & Water Conservation, and Keep Henrico Beautiful will also be there to share information on their environmental programs. Insulated lunch bags (for first 100 visitors) and other fun gifts will be available. Please wear a mask when interacting with the representatives at the tables. If weather or health conditions cancel the food truck event, then the energy event will also be cancelled.

Energy Awareness Month is an opportunity to focus on the ways we use energy in our lives, and to be reminded of ways to save energy that we can practice all year round. Reducing energy use not only saves money, it also has environmental benefits such as improving air quality and conserving natural resources. There are three main energy awareness strategies: conservation, efficiency, and renewables. Here are some ideas to consider:

  1. Conservation – reducing energy use through simple behavior changes such as:
    1. Turning off lights that aren’t needed
    2. Setting back the thermostat
    3. Unplugging chargers and electronic devices when not in use
    4. Using power-saving settings on computers and printers
  2. Efficiency – making upgrades to perform the same tasks with less energy such as:
    1. Changing out older light bulbs to LEDs,
    2. Adding insulation or weatherstripping to keep conditioned air in
    3. Installing smart devices that adjust/turn off automatically
    4. Replacing inefficient HVAC equipment with new efficient models
  3. Renewables – changing from traditional utility energy to more sustainable renewable sources:
    1. Evaluate homes, businesses, and institutional buildings to see if they’re good candidates for solar systems

For more information about saving energy at your home or business, there are two local non-profit organizations that offer energy education, energy audits, efficiency measures, and support to go solar. Find resources at Viridiant at https://www.viridiant.org/ and Local Energy Alliance Program at https://leap-va.org/.

To learn more about what Henrico County is doing for energy, sustainability, and the environment, go to https://henrico.us/go-green/.  If you have any questions, please contact Henrico’s Energy Manager Carrie Webster at 804-501-5763 or web050@henrico.us.


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Job Burnout: what is it and how the Employee Assistance Program can help

The COVID-19 pandemic has created stress in workplaces. Many workers made significant adjustments to their normal routines. Some worked from home, some were forced to juggle children participating in virtual learning while trying to complete their work, and others were faced with the reality of day-to-day interactions with the public and the increased risk of catching COVID-19. For many people, the stress has accumulated as the pandemic has lingered. A recent research article noted, “COVID-19 has contributed to greater risk of employees encountering job burnout—a chronic stress syndrome, including permanent feelings of exhaustion and a distant attitude toward work”.

The consequences of job burnout can be serious and are compounded by the sense of isolation many people have experienced during the pandemic. Employees may experience decreased job satisfaction, increased irritability and depression, and increased use of alcohol or other substances. In response to job burnout, some workers experience increased physical ailments like headaches, fatigue, and gastrointestinal ailments.

The first step in addressing job burnout is realizing that you are experiencing it. Many workers simply press on with their job paying little attention to their physical and mental health. The Mayo Clinic suggests some questions to ask yourself:

  • Have you become more critical or cynical at work?
  • Do you lack the energy to be consistently productive?
  • Have you been irritable or impatient with co-workers or customers?

It may be beneficial to check with co-workers or family members and see if they notice changes in your behavior or attitude, too.

When people are experiencing burnout, there are some effective strategies to help manage it. For most individuals, regular exercise, healthy eating and planned opportunities to relax can alleviate the situation. Other people may experience more serious symptoms of depression and may benefit from professional help through a therapist or an Employee Assistance Program (EAP).

The Employee Assistance Program also offers free articles, courses, and other resources to help improve your mental and physical health. If you think you are experiencing burnout or simply added stress, please visit the Employee Assistance Program page on the Employee Portal to see what options are available to you and how EAP may help.

Some additional resources include:

Seven Powerful Ways to Beat Burnout (https://www.forbes.com/sites/travisbradberry/2016/11/08/7-powerful-ways-to-beat-burnout/?sh=710f558761e6)

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Breast Cancer – The who, what, where, when, and sometimes, why.

What affects your risk of breast cancer? 

The exact causes of breast cancer are not fully known. No one knows why one person gets breast cancer, yet another doesn’t. However, some things increase (or decrease) the chance of getting breast cancer, called risk factors.

Breast Cancer is complex and likely caused by a combination of multiple risk factors. Some you can control, like leading a healthy lifestyle, while some are out of your control, like getting older.

Since you can only control some factors, you cannot completely avoid the chance of getting breast cancer. Plus, most of the risk factors that can be mitigated have only a minimal effect on the probability of developing the disease. This means no one behavior will prevent breast cancer, but it also means there’s no single factor that will guarantee cancer will develop. The best advice in breast cancer prevention is to talk with your doctor about your risk.

Make healthy lifestyle choices

Most people with breast cancer were at average risk. We don’t know which factors came together to cause breast cancer. However, some healthy lifestyle choices may reduce the risk of cancer:

  • Maintain a healthy weight.
  • Add exercise to your routine.
  • Limit alcohol intake.
  • Limit menopausal hormone use.
  • Breastfeed, if you can.

Get the facts about breast cancer

Because the causes of breast cancer are not fully known, there are many myths about the disease. Here are some basic facts to know:

  • The most common risk factors for breast cancer are being female and getting older.
  • Risk factors can vary by race and ethnicity.
  • Most women who get breast cancer don’t have a family history of breast cancer
  • Drinking alcohol increases the risk of breast cancer.
  • Wearing a bra doesn’t cause breast cancer.

Other Resources

Visit the National Breast Cancer Foundation, Inc. for safe, accurate, and current breast cancer information.

Breast Cancer Risk Assessment Tool (the Gail Model) is often used by doctors to estimate risk. Although the tool can estimate your risk, it cannot tell whether you’ll get breast cancer.

The American Cancer Society provides information on breast cancer awareness, diagnosis, treatment, and staying well after treatment.

Join the Challenge – 35 miles in 31 days

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Now is the time to take care of you… you deserve it.

Human Resources’ Fitness and Wellness Division health coaches are your personal advocates for living an energized life. We work with employees to help create happy, healthy lives in a way that is flexible, fun and free of denial. By working together, the health coach and the employee can discover the lifestyle choices that best support you to reach your current and future health goals.

Our group health coaching is designed to address weight loss, better nutrition, becoming more active and finding balance. Our health coaches understand that getting on the right path toward your health goals is a process that requires support, adjustment, and taking small steps to make lasting and positive changes. Whether you want to lose weight, eat better, be more active or you just want to feel better overall, you have a team of qualified health coaches who are ready to help.

Joey Pacelli is currently leading a group of three individuals working to lose weight and had this to say about the success of the group:  “{They} have become very close and are using each other for accountability measures in multiple aspects of their weight loss journey – this includes keeping each other honest with goals, meal planning recipes, being workout partners, and supporters when someone is having a rough day/week. Through our group and individual meetings, I have challenged each of them to keep a measure of multiple things as a way for us to measure progress. This group is really coming together and forming a tight bond which has visually helped them stay motivated and focused!”

“I joined the health coaching series because I had completely lost all my healthy habits over the last year. While my main goal was to lose weight, I really needed to re-learn healthier habits.  I knew I needed a higher level of accountability if I was going to get back on track.” Recalls Ty Parr, one of the group participants.

“This group has really helped me focus on healthier habits, redefine my relationship with food, and set reasonable goals for my health journey.  It’s easy for me to stay focused on the scale, and struggle with my thought process. This has helped me recommit to a healthier lifestyle.  The social networking and coaching check-ins are encouraging, educational, and motivating. Working with our coach alongside friends pushes me to stay committed and keep the big health picture in mind.”


The next session of health coaching groups begins the first week of October. If you are interested in learning more visit the Fitness and Wellness SharePoint Site

Now is your time! Talk with someone about your health and received the personal attention you deserve!

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The ABCs of Saving: How to teach your college-age kids about money

As a parent, you know staying on track with your finances requires a lot of preparation, focus and discipline.

It’s not always as easy as 1-2-3.

Now put your feet in the shoes of your college-aged child who is trying to learn the ropes when it comes to managing their own income and setting their own goals. Regardless of their grade level, academic major or career path, money can be a tough subject to master. So, it helps to begin with the basics.

If you’re a mom or a dad, you can play a critical role in teaching your kids about the importance of investing in their future and providing them with tips, tricks and techniques to help them be smart with their spending.

Before your student heads back to campus in the fall, hold a short study session to educate them on the “ABCs” of saving.


Back-to-school season is all about hitting the books, but it’s also a great time for you to assign some financial homework.

Start with the topic of earning.

Your child doesn’t need to attend class to understand money doesn’t grow on trees. In the real world, of course, people collect a regular paycheck for completing various tasks and duties related to their profession.

Today, nearly 45% of undergraduate students work on a part-time basis.1 Encouraging your young adult to find a temporary gig or side hustle — and even assisting them in their search — can help them sharpen their savings skills while they’re away from home.2 By putting in a few hours per week at a local coffeehouse, supermarket or bookstore, they can bring in a little extra cash for today while improving their financial standing for tomorrow. In fact, research suggests individuals who hold a job while attending college often secure a larger salary after graduation than their peers who don’t work.3



Needs vs. wants.

It seems like a simple philosophy to follow, but many people can fail the test if they don’t have the right plan in place.

Showing your child how to build a budget can help them realize they don’t have to break the bank to cover common costs associated with college like books, meals and activities. See if a mobile app or online tool can help them organize their expenses, bills and priorities. Have them factor in all their income sources, too. They may have a long list of accounts to manage and balance, such as financial aid, student loans and personal wages, as well as any funds they receive from you and other relatives.

Recording every transaction can help your child gain control of their money and identify some of their unhealthy spending habits — which could help them avoid racking up unnecessary debt in the process.4


Buy now.

Pay later.

While this concept may sound too good to be true to your child, it’s important for you to explain to them how a credit card really functions. After all, more than one-third of college students owe over $1,000 on their credit card as everyday purchases can add up quickly.5 Each swipe can create a deeper hole.

Talking to your child about the benefits, rules and capabilities of a credit card can help them get familiar with credit and use it responsibly. For example, you may simply advise them that a credit card carries a certain limit with a promise to pay back the outstanding balance. In other words, it’s not free money. Make sure they’re aware that if they don’t submit their payments on time, they could be faced with interest charges and late fees, which may negatively impact their credit score down the road.6

1 American Association of University Professors, “Recognizing the Reality of Working College Students,” February 2020.

2 The College Investor, “Side Hustle Ideas: 50+ Ways To Make Money Fast,” July 2021.

3 CNBC, “To get a bigger paycheck after college, start working now,” May 2019.

4 Debt.org, “10 Financial Tips for College Students,” May 2021.

5 CNBC, “Over a third of college students already have credit card debt,” June 2019.

6 Debt.org, “10 Financial Tips for College Students,” May 2021.

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A Win-Win with Food Trucks

If you have been in the Western Government Center around lunchtime the past few weeks, you may have seen food vendors and a small crowd. The “Food Truck Wednesday” events began this past month with vendors scheduled through October. Each week, two area food trucks will be stationed in the common area between the parking garage and the administration building to sell lunch from 11:30 am to 1:30 pm. In case you are curious, her is the why and how all of this came about.

“Unfortunately, there has been a delay in opening Café 1611 and for those that work at the Courts and visitors that are here all day, there’s no onsite food available except vending machines. We knew we needed to address this and who doesn’t love a good food truck?” expressed Deputy County Manager Tony McDowell.

“We were in a staff meeting trying to brainstorm a solution when Tony said, ‘Food Trucks.’ We liked the idea! The more we thought about it, we realized it truly helped everyone. It has been a difficult year for local food vendors, and we wanted to help these small, minority-owned businesses. Plus, it is a safe, outdoor, onsite food option for employees and visitors.” explained Deputy County Manager Monica Smith-Callahan, who is spearheading this venture.

“I reached out to the local Food Truck Association to see who would be interested in participating. We had several responses and will have wraps, pizza, vegan food, southern food, etc.- something different each week. The goal is to have two different genres to mitigate direct competition and to provide more variety. So far, we have had a lot of positive feedback so we will see how long this goes.” she stated.

Many employees have already taken advantage of the opportunity to enjoy the mobile cuisine while socializing with their coworkers. Greg Adams said he is “interested to see the rotation and try different food trucks!” “I love the idea! I usually bring my lunch, but this is a nice little treat! I hope they keep it up!” exclaimed Captain Kim Johnson of Henrico Police.

The exact schedule of the vendors is subject to change but, be on the lookout for the General Notice email each Monday with the menus and trucks for that week. If you have any recommendations for a vendor, please reach out to Monica Callahan-Smith (smi201@henrico.us).

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Smoke-Free Environment

We have all been told that smoking is bad for our health and the health of those around us. It is currently the leading cause of preventable death and is responsible for 480,000 deaths per year in the United States; including more than 41,000 deaths resulting from secondhand smoke exposure. In keeping with Henrico County’s commitment to providing a safe and healthy work environment, as of August 1, Henrico’s Western and Eastern Government Centers are smoke‐free. According to the new policy, “County‐owned and County‐leased buildings over which the County Manager has control shall be smoke‐free, including private offices. For purposes of this policy, this also shall include County‐owned vehicles. The smoke-free designation also pertains to vaping, e-cigarettes, and other like devices.” Subsequently, designated smoking areas, including cigarette boxes, at these locations will be eliminated and new “Smoke-Free Environment” signage will be added.

Employees that do smoke are encouraged to consult a medical professional regarding tobacco cessation. There is no doubt that quitting smoking is difficult, but it is not impossible. It is estimated there are 45 million smokers in the U.S., but there are at least 48 million former smokers, and if they could do it, maybe you could join their ranks. Just remember, most people have to try to quit more than once, so don’t get discouraged if that is the case for you. Consider talking to your doctor about smoking cessation strategies that might be right for you or look into these resources offered to Henrico County Employees:

  1. Employee Health Services (EHS) is available to meet with employees individually to discuss smoking cessation strategies. If an employee prefers a prescribed cessation medication, they will be referred to their Primary Care Physician (PCP). Please contact EHS over the phone at (804) 501-1600 or stop by their office at 7740 Shrader Rd, Suite A, Henrico, VA 23228.
  2. Quit Now is a free service through the Virginia Department of Health that assists Virginians to quit smoking and using tobacco products. They can be contacted at 1(­800) ­784-8669, www.QuitNow.net/Virginia, or via a referral from Employee Health Services.
  3. Anthem members have access to cessation support services and benefits. Please visit anthem.com or reach out to the Human Resources Benefits Division at (804) 501-7371 or HR-Benefits@henrico.us for more information.
  4. The Employee Assistance Program through Optima Health offers My Life My Plan “Staying Healthy” a collection of self-paced at-home programs including a tobacco cessation program called “Get Off Your Butt: Stay Smokeless for Life” and additional resources.

It is your individual choice to quit smoking, but you do not have to do it alone! If you have questions or concerns regarding the new smoking policy, please contact John Neal at John.Neal@henrico.us.

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New Ways to Learn and Lead: OLTD’s Leadership Programs and Learning Opportunities

As we emerge from the COVID crisis this summer, most of us are enjoying the beginnings of getting back to “normal.” Our social routines and work, turned upside down by COVID, may be beginning to normalize. Plus, as our kids return to the classroom this fall, we may be craving our own opportunities for learning and growth. Look no further than Organizational Learning and Talent Development (OLTD) for help!

OLTD is excited to be once again offering in-person learning in fiscal year (FY) 21/22, and in a variety of formats. We also have two leadership programs, including the brand-new Leadership Henrico (LH) program for supervisors, and the Emerging Leaders Certification Program (ELCP), specifically for non-supervisors.

Discover more about our leadership programs and learning opportunities here:

Leadership Henrico:

Registration is now open for our brand new Leadership Henrico (LH) program kicking off on September 29th! Designed for supervisors and replacing the Leadership Development Program (LDP), LH is a contemporary, agile new program open to all supervisors of permanent full- or part-time employees, at all levels of the organization, including anyone who participated in LDP.

There are four “Years,” or levels, in the program, and they include elements like:  

  • Networking: creating continuity of connection throughout the program 
  • Mentoringconversations that will change and adapt with your needs each Year  
  • Guidanceon how to support and grow your employees  
  • Collaborationwith other leaders from all backgrounds and positions 
  • Minimal paperwork: the focus is on experiences, conversation, learning, and giving back  

Check out LH Overview: What’s In It for YOU? for more information.

To register, log in to HRMS, go to Employee Direct Access > Learning, Learner Home > Browse Catalog > Human Resources > Specialized Training > Leadership Henrico Kickoff  

Registration Deadline: August 27, 2021.

Emerging Leaders Certification Program (ELCP):

Designed specifically for non-supervisors, the Emerging Leaders Certification Program (ELCP) provides the framework, tools, and experiences to strengthen leadership skills, self-awareness, and initiative and support leadership in any role. 

The four levels of the program focus on different leadership themes and feature:

  • Instructor-led leadership learning opportunities and experiences
  • Projects targeting different leadership themes
  • Discussion groups focusing on leadership topics
  • Individual and collaborative group reflections on learning and accomplishments

Please see our ELCP Program Overview for details. Application deadline: November 30, 2021

Training Classes: 

OLTD’s 2021-2022 Training Catalog is full of workshops that will be held in-person and also “live online,” so you can take advantage of either learning remotely or conversation and connection in a physical classroom setting.

Just a few of our new classes in FY 21/22 include:

  • Rediscovering Your Mojo: Life Post-Pandemic
  • Candid Conversations on Inclusion and Belonging
  • Immunity to Change: Overcoming Hidden Barriers
  • Communicating with Diplomacy and Professionalism
  • Think Again: Keeping Your Mind Flexible for Effective Leadership
  • Mindful Living: Building Resilience and Wellbeing

For a full listing of classes, check out our 2021-2022 Training Calendar and register in HRMS


When you need knowledge immediately, our just-in-time videos provide quick tips to help you gain the wisdom you need in real-time to succeed. You can access information on topics regarding Leadership/Professional Development, Management, Diversity and Inclusion, Wellness, and Working from Home—just to name a few—anywhere, anytime.

Learning Hub:

If you’re looking for additional resources beyond training classes and programs to add to your knowledge base, our Learning Hub is here to help! It’s your one-stop-shop for information on our leadership programs and learning opportunities. You’ll find resources for OLTD’s training workshops and leadership programs, along with helpful articles and videos to help you increase your expertise in a variety of areas.

OLTD is here for you to help you grow, develop, and succeed, whatever your role. Take advantage of the many opportunities we offer to gain knowledge, learn new skills, and grow and develop as a leader.

If you have questions about any of the above resources, contact OLTD at 501-7201 or red@henrico.us.

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Say ‘Good Night’ to Improve Health

A good night’s sleep is just as important to your health as dieting and exercising. Unfortunately, there is a lot that can interfere with natural sleep patterns and quality. Here are 10 reasons why good sleep is so important.

1. Poor sleep is linked to higher body weight.

Adults that do not get enough sleep tend to weigh significantly more than those who get adequate sleep. In fact, short sleep duration is one of the strongest risk factors for obesity. The effect of sleep on weight gain is believed to be mediated by hormones and motivation to exercise. If you’re trying to lose weight, getting quality sleep is crucial.

2. Good sleepers tend to eat fewer calories.

Sleep deprivation disrupts the daily fluctuation in appetite hormones and is believed to cause poor appetite regulation.

3. Good sleep can improve concentration and productivity.

Sleep is important for various aspects of brain function, including cognition, concentration, productivity, and performance. Good sleep improves problem-solving skills and enhances memory performance in both children and adults.

4. Good sleep can maximize athletic performance.

Longer sleep is shown to significantly improve speed, accuracy, reaction times, and mental well-being – just a few aspects of athletic and physical performance.

5. Poor sleepers have a greater risk of heart disease and stroke.

Sleep quality and duration can have a major effect on many health risk factors such as an increased risk of chronic diseases. For example, sleeping less than 7-8 hours per night is linked to a heightened possibility of heart disease and stroke.

6. Sleep affects glucose metabolism and type 2 diabetes risk.

Poor sleep habits are strongly linked to adverse effects on blood sugar in the general population. Those sleeping less than 6 hours per night have repeatedly been shown to be at an increased risk of type 2 diabetes.

7. Poor sleep is linked to depression.

Mental health issues, like depression, are strongly linked to poor sleep quality and sleeping disorders. Those with sleeping disorders like insomnia and obstructive sleep apnea also report significantly higher rates of depression than those without.

8. Sleep improves your immune function.

Even a small loss of sleep has been shown to impair immune function. Those who sleep less than 7 hours a night are 3 times more likely to develop a cold than those who slept 8 hours or more.

9. Poor sleep is linked to increased inflammation.

Sleep loss is known to activate undesirable markers of inflammation and cell damage. In fact, poor sleep has been strongly linked to long-term inflammation of the digestive tract, in disorders knows as inflammatory bowel disease.

10. Sleep affects emotions and social interactions.

Researchers believe that poor sleep affects the ability to recognize important social cues and process emotional information.


The bottom line… along with nutrition and exercise, good sleep is one of the pillars of health. You simply cannot achieve optimal health without taking care of your sleep.

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2021 NACo Achievement Awards

Since 1985, Henrico County has won 718 National Association of Counties (NACo) Achievement Awards. These awards are given to counties throughout the country to recognize innovative county government initiatives in 18 different service categories. It was recently announced that this year Henrico County earned 38 honors; the most we have won in a single year since 1999. “The NACo Achievement Awards reflect the commitment to excellence and outstanding customer service that employees of Henrico County and Henrico County Public Schools demonstrate to our community every day,” County Manager John Vithoulkas said. “But the sheer number of awards this year is particularly gratifying, because it highlights many of the innovative and creative programs and services that were developed in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. When the needs of our community were greatest, our employees took on every challenge.”

Not only does 38 awards mean we received the most of any county in Virginia for the sixteenth consecutive year, but we also tied to rank sixth nationally for the highest number of awards this year. What is more impressive is that these awards are the work of seven general government departments and Henrico County Public Schools (HCPS). Of the five awards won by the Division of Fire, many included increased communication and collaboration with other departments to proportionally appropriate personnel and resources. Henrico County Libraries won four awards including their Journaling Workshop Partnership with Henrico Prevention Services’ Connect department to help build literacy skills for Henrico youth. HCPS won an amazing 23 awards for programs that allowed them to enroll students virtually, prepare students and their families for online learning, and digitally provide tools to successfully educate throughout the year. The HCPS Office of Equity, Diversity and Opportunity also had multiple programs to start specific conversations and address the issues of social unrest, equity and inclusivity in schools.

Henrico County is committed to partnering with our community to provide the best service possible to our citizens.  Programs like those recognized by these NACo awards are a key part of The Henrico Way.  It is only because of the efforts of our employees – all of you – that these programs happen.  Thank you for all you do!


Please see below for a complete list of winning programs and departments:

Henrico Police Division

Critical Incident Response/Peer Support Team

HPD developed a program designed to supplement existing mental health programs at the peer level for Division personnel. The Division formalized the Critical Incident Response/Peer Support Team (CIR/PST) which provides resources, information, education, and support to Division members involved in critical incidents.


Henrico Area Mental Health and Developmental Services

REVIVE: Sustaining a Life Saving Program during the Pandemic

In 2020, Henrico experienced a 58% increase in heroin and opioid overdoses. HAMHDS leveraged partnerships and technology to develop a strategy to continue providing REVIVE trainings during the pandemic to widen distribution and access to Naloxone.


Henrico County Economic Development Authority

EDA Webinar Series

When the pandemic hit, EDA immediately contacted nearly 2,000 county businesses to showcase Henrico to potential businesses. Each webinar included topics such as reopening, promoting site selection and business leaders, and potential business owners.


Human Resources Department

Supporting Employees’ Development Remotely during Challenging Times

Disruptive and sudden change, like the sweeping transformations caused by COVID-19, can – and did – result in a sense of shock, fear, and anxiety. HR’s Organizational Learning and Talent Development launched a YouTube channel with videos designed to help employees through the pandemic’s stressors while training them in core areas.


Henrico Division of Fire

Alternative Response Units

The Alternative Response Unit model was created to quickly respond to low-risk COVID-19 patients and minimize the use of advanced life support ambulances in order to keep them available for life-threatening emergencies.


Communications Fire Officer Program

This program utilizes Paramedic Fire Officers to ask in-depth questions to citizens and thus make more informed decisions. This program allowed the Division to scale resources when appropriate and directly aided in maintaining a healthy workforce while minimizing PPE usage.


Communications RN Model

In an innovative format, the Division deployed an exciting new model of triaging patient acuity by utilizing Henrico County Public School nurses in conjunction with Paramedic Fire Officers to match risk with response while meeting the needs of the community and balancing risk to firefighters.


Long Term Care Facilities

This program created a multi-agency-focused response to the rapid development of COVID-19 within the nearly 75 Long Term Care facilities in Henrico, to develop a strategic plan, assessments, resources, and training for personnel. 

Survive your 25!

Survive your 25 is an innovative visual approach to spreading awareness about one of the biggest threats to firefighters: cancer. Survive your 25 presents the specific risks, data, and ways to mitigate the risks.


Henrico County Public Libraries

Title Talk

Staff at HCPL developed a series of open-ended book discussion groups called Title Talk, in which library book discussion leaders and attendees could share recommended titles, critique recent reads, and pursue their reading interests in a virtual group conversation. 


Tween Services at Fairfield Library

HCPL took a holistic approach to implement Tween Services at the Fairfield Area Library by hosting Tween programming, creating interactive displays, and providing on-site reference services. The transitional time between childhood and teenage years can be challenging, and these inclusive innovations increased engagement for library users ages nine to 12.


Outreach Call Center

The Outreach Call Center was designed to provide scheduled outreach phone calls to older residents to reduce social isolation and connect them with services during the pandemic.  Library staff with existing customer-service expertise were reassigned to provide dozens of older adults over 1,300 friendly phone calls. 


Journaling Workshop Partnership

HCPL’s Outreach team partnered with Henrico Prevention Services’ Connect department virtual summer camp program to provide journaling workshops aimed at building literacy skills for youth living in subsidized housing communities. 


Division of Recreation and Parks

Soulful Sunday: Celebrating African American Heritage

This program was designed and implemented with the desire to share the triumphs and tragedies of African American life and celebrate the authentic traditions of the Black community through art, music, food, religion, education, and the convictions of hope, determination, and courage.


Aquatic Center Partnership

Henrico County entered into a public/private partnership with the YMCA of Greater Richmond to provide residents in the county access to swim lessons, water fitness classes, and recreational swimming use. The Frank J. Thornton YMCA Aquatic Center is a milestone in Henrico’s effort to make the county drown-proof while partnering with HCPS students for swim lessons and high school swim teams.


Henrico County Public Schools

Bank Partnership Leads Charge in Student Career Prep

HCPS Career and Technical Education programs focus on preparing students for future success in post-secondary education and work. In efforts to support students, HCPS partnered with Bank of America to conduct virtual workshops on resume-building and interview techniques.


CTE Career Rodeo

HCPS endeavors to prepare students to be successful, contributing citizens. The CTE Career Rodeo program helped students showcase their skills, interact, and interview for potential employers. The partnership of the Department of Workforce and Career Development designed a program in which employers could observe the CTE students in action.

CTE Helps Solve the PPE Shortage

Henrico County medical facilities had a challenge providing personal protective equipment early in the pandemic. The Career and Technical Education teachers were able to collaborate on a design, prototype, and then manufacture over 650 face shields to help offset local supply constraints of PPE.


Graphics Program Leads Effort to Reopen Government and Schools

HCPS graphic communications program used print industry-standard equipment to help the school division and county government create the necessary signage for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines. This included considerations for everything from social distancing practices to awareness of proper hygiene protocols.


Live on Location: Exploring Careers During a Pandemic

Middle and high school students interested in exploring different careers had the opportunity to speak virtually with professionals in various fields through “Live on Location” events streamed from a place of business or field location.


Nursing Students Act Locally to Combat Global Pandemic

St. Mary’s Hospital and HCPS have cosponsored a school of practical nursing, which prepares nurses to provide safe, effective and culturally competent nursing care. Henrico County-St. Mary’s Hospital School of Practical Nursing collaborated with Bon Secours Mercy Health System in the rollout and administration of COVID-19 vaccines to health care workers at Bon Secours Mercy Health Systems in Richmond and surrounding areas.


Racing to Graduate: Graduation Victory Lap

As the 2020 school year approached its end, a traditional graduation was not possible. HCPS leaders partnered with Richmond Raceway to create a one-of-a-kind in-person graduation experience that involved taking a victory lap around the complex in their decorated vehicles.


Student-Built Classroom: If You Build it, They Will Come

The Television Production class at Douglas S. Freeman High School struggled to find classroom space during the class time frame. Two HCPS high school centers collaborated to create a solution and reconfigure an existing room to address overcrowding.


Students Help Preserve 125-Year-Old County Artifact

The restoration of the Corey fire hydrant was a way to preserve a small part of Henrico County’s history. The work was led by a county employee willing to donate his time and talents, along with students enrolled in the STEM precision machining program at the Advanced Career Education Center at Hermitage High School.


Symposium Puts Students at Heart of Fashion Industry

The Fashion Symposium was a collaboration between HCPS marketing education and family and consumer sciences programs to expose high school students to the fashion industry, which included photographers, makeup artists, hair stylists, modeling professionals and professionals from the design world.


Watershed Challenge

The Watershed challenge was a way to get students outdoors to explore the environment, think critically, discover issues, and research, find and implement solutions. Students were unable to participate in in-person investigations and this virtual option took positive action toward improving the watershed and pivoting and engaging students in environmental stewardship. 



Culture of Dignity and Responsive Action Plan

The Department of Equity, Diversity and Opportunity developed this plan to address issues of social unrest that affected the well-being and needs of staff. The plan includes affinity groups (collectives), book study and discussions, and an “Ensuring Equity” series of online learning courses in alignment with the Culturally Responsive Education Model (CREM) framework.


Equity Ambassadors

The HCPS Office of Equity, Diversity and Opportunity designed a divisionwide program for high school students that amplifies student voices by engaging and educating them on issues of equity and inclusivity. This year the program focused on empowering students to build bridges toward belonging, inclusion and respect for those within their schools and the greater community.


Language Navigators

This program was created to provide much-needed access to vital school information for Henrico’s immigrant communities. Students divided into 24 groups according to language and collaborated to create and post videos explaining announcements and important details families need to support their children’s education.


Progress Through Community Conversations

The HCPS Family and Community Engagement Department introduced the first of five planned “Community Conversations”. These series were created in response to a need to provide spaces for Black voices in Henrico County and to discuss ongoing and needed progress to ensure safety and equity for all students, staff and families.


Modified Circulation System Gets Books Into Students’ Hands

Research confirms the importance of reading and literacy with preferred physical books. For safe collection handling practices for circulating library materials, HCPS Library Services created a new circulation model to distribute books and other library materials through remote checkout and drive-through pickup.


HCPS University

This platform was designed to meet the ongoing and individualized professional learning needs of staff throughout the school division. In an effort to support both on-demand and collaborative learning opportunities, HCPS U provides a myriad of synchronous and asynchronous robust and high-quality training workshops led by teacher and school division leaders.


Parallel Hybrid Instruction

Parallel hybrid learning occurs when a teacher simultaneously instructs some students in person and some remotely. To do this successfully, HCPS Department of Professional Learning and Leadership established a working committee to address three programmatic goals (website, pilot program testing, and synchronous and asynchronous training sessions).


Edflix Virtual Learning Experience

“Henrico Edflix” inspired by the popular Netflix platform, was a means to provide teachers, students, families, and community members on-demand access to virtual learning opportunities such as “choice boards,” authentic assessments, teacher video segments, technical support, and family engagement sessions.


Help Chats for Virtual Learning

Sept. 8, 2020 may have been the most crucial first day of school in the history of HCPS. To strengthen their resolve, “Virtual Learning Help Chats” was created to support families with every aspect of technology from logging in; learning; prerecorded videos; step-by-step instructions; and live question-and-answer sessions.


Creating Courses to Support Online Learning

“My Schoology Classroom” professional learning series was created to ensure that all students, families, teachers, and administrators had the knowledge and skills to be virtually successful for the 2020-21 school year. This widespread access enabled its use for successful teaching and learning.


Virtual Classroom

The Virtual Classroom project focused on the process to evaluate and implement a videoconferencing tool that enabled HCPS to support a seamless transition of teaching and learning from a physical in-person classroom to a virtual platform in a safe and secure environment.


Creating a School Online Enrollment System

HCPS created an online enrollment system to enroll students safely and effectively at a time when in-person enrollment was not an option. As of mid-January 2021, HCPS had collected and processed approximately 2,550 enrollments and 1,800 re-enrollments.

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