Health Department

CONTACT INFORMATION: Our administration office at 10777 Main Street in Fairfax is open during regular business hours 8 a.m. - 4:30 p.m., Monday - Friday. Clinic services are not offered at this location.
703-246-2411 TTY 711
10777 Main Street
Fairfax, VA 22030
Gloria Addo-Ayensu, M.D., M.P.H.
Director of Health

Health Department Celebrates Rising Stars

On June 7, high school students participating in the Public Health Youth Ambassador Program (PHYAP) as well as teens and young adults who are a part of the Stable Families Thriving Futures Program (SFTF) gathered at West Springfield High School in Springfield, VA to celebrate successfully completing their respective programs. Both programs are managed by the Fairfax County Health Department.

PHYAP graduates
Public Health Youth Ambassador Program graduates

The PHYAP event, emceed by Guy Lambert, news director and anchor for WPGC 95.5 and host of FOX 5 Live Zone, celebrated 87 local high school students who earned certificates of completion from the Morehouse School of Medicine and George Mason’s School of Public Health for successfully completing rigorous introductory healthcare curriculums.  Student speaker Nayla Bonilla-Mendez, a senior at Justice High School, spoke about how the program has empowered her to be an advocate for health services in her community. Nayla also shared her thoughts on the program’s positive role towards influencing her decision to attend the College of William and Mary in the fall as a freshman, while focusing on public health as her major. Keynote speaker Lt. Rashmita Subedi, Public Health Analyst and Project Officer with the Office of Minority Health (OMH), U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), shared an equally powerful testimony documenting her journey emigrating from Nepal, the road to becoming a Lieutenant, and how each reflects the organization’s belief in programs like the PHYAP.

"Our Public Health Youth Ambassador Program graduating class of 2024 embodies the premium PHYAP places on student collaboration, advanced learning, and perseverance,” said Scott Folks, Public Health Youth Ambassador Program Manager. “We're extremely proud of each and every graduate, along with their significant achievement towards a potential future in the community healthcare field."

Begun as a pilot project in March 2022, the Public Health Youth Ambassador Program (PHYAP) provides underserved high school students in Fairfax County, Virginia with insights and knowledge regarding the thriving healthcare industry.  Through a unique collaboration between the Fairfax County Health Department (FCHD), Fairfax County Public Schools (FCPS), the Morehouse School of Medicine (MSM), George Mason University School of Public Health (GMU), hospital systems, non-profits, and other partner agencies, this initiative works to increase diversity within community health professionals, build generational health, and provide participants tools to enhance their post-secondary education and career opportunities. A $3.875 million Health and Human Services, Office of Minority Health (OMH) grant, focused on mitigating COVID-19 pandemic effects through capacity-building, provided the project’s seed money.  PHYAP engages a suite of stellar partners including Healthy Minds Fairfax and Inova Healthy Systems to provide a top-notch experience, while primarily serving students from Fairfax County’s East Central Public Use Microdata Area (PUMA), which includes Annandale, West Falls Church, and Bailey’s Crossroads, Virginia.

Stable Families Thriving Futures graduates
Stable Families Thriving Futures Program graduates

The second event celebrated 40 students who recently completed the SFTF program. The SFTF program aims to improve immediate and long-term health, educational employment, and financial outcomes for pregnant and parenting teens and young adults aged 14 to 25 in Fairfax County. A supporter of the program, U.S. Congressman Gerry Connelly, U.S. representative for Virginia’s 11th Congressional district, spoke about how the program aims to foster responsible parenting while making progress towards their own educational and employment goals.

“The SFTF program has received glowing reviews from its participants, highlighting its profound impact on their lives,” said Blanca Vasques, Stable Families Thriving Futures Project Manager.

“One mom, who had only completed education up to the second grade, felt a renewed sense of pride and motivation after earning her certificate, inspiring her to seize the numerous opportunities available to her. Another mom cherished the graduation ceremony, where a picture of her and her baby symbolized her pride and achievement, something she hopes will make her son proud as well.

The program has also helped mothers overcome negative self-perceptions, with one participant learning the importance of positive self-view for herself and her children, and now she's eager to utilize the resources and spread the word. Additionally, another mom expressed how the program reshaped her perspective on family relationships and their impact on children, while also providing valuable insights into employment opportunities, enhancing her preparedness for the workforce and teamwork skills.”

Sayly Ketevong, Stable Families Thriving Futures Lead Facilitator, added “Stable Families, Thriving Futures is a program that gives each participant the opportunity to achieve their goals and realize their potential, becoming better individuals and role models for their children.”

The Stable Families Thriving Futures program focuses on improving the immediate and long-term health, educational, employment, and financial outcomes of pregnant and parenting teens and young adults in Fairfax County. The program implements a multifaceted peer group education model along with whole-family case management support. SFTF engages pregnant and parenting teens and young adults with members of their households to build capacity for improved health outcomes and whole-family thriving. The program’s education model utilizes evidence-based experiential learning curricula in responsible parenting, evidence-informed co-parenting, trauma and resiliency, health literacy, and financial capability curricula. The program pairs participants and their families with intensive case management providing referrals to local resources, including access to support maternal and child health, affordable housing, food access and nutrition support, childcare, and transportation, as well as education, job skills and employment support, mental health and substance abuse services, and domestic violence prevention support.

See event photos of the Public Health Youth Ambassadors and Stable Families Thriving Futures program participants.

Fairfax Virtual Assistant