Meet Helen Catchings, a passionate registered nurse, who started a business where she could provide quality home health care for those in need over 30 years ago. She energetically developed a plan which resulted in the founding of Caring Nurses Advocate for Patients (CNAP), which has been in service for 30 years in the state of Virginia. Helen has worked at the INOVA Urgent Care Center in Vienna, Fairfax Hospital, and later at the Home Care Agency. After working in these centers, her passion turned into spending quality time with her patients. She did this by providing quality home care and finding services, a few being physicians, dentists, and ministers that could come to her home bound patients. In addition, she recruited volunteers to help with maintenance and up-keeping their homes. She believes she was put on this earth to serve others, and has demonstrated that calling in her work. Giving back is who she is
CNAP has provided quality health care as well as employment for many women over the past 30 years. In 1991, CNAP started out with 6 nurses and has since employed 45 employees. It is the oldest existing Black owned and operated home care agency in VA and is still run by the same founding owner. In 2001, Helen opened a CNA training school, allowing her to train her own staff, many of which have been with her since the beginning. Helen realizes that the pandemic has caused a lot of stress, heartache and strain for many families leaving people in difficult situations. In effort to help, Helen will be offering a virtual (Zoom) Personal Care Attendant training course beginning in April 2021 to teach home care skills to those who are care givers, caring for themselves and/or who wish to be employed as a home care provider with a PCA certificate. The class will be taught on Zoom, studied at home, and practiced in a two-hour face to face session with Helen, which will adhere to CDC guidelines, social distance specifications, masks, and will limit to two people at a time with the instructor. The registration fee is $75, which covers the cost of the course. If you are interested in taking this course, please call CNAP at 571-432-0230 for more information.
The Providence District is home to many passionate individuals who are always willing to lend a helping hand for the betterment of the community. As a way to celebrate these outstanding individuals, we will be featuring them and their work in our monthly Providence Spotlight. This month, we are shining the spotlight on our 2021 Providence Community Champion, Judith Schneider-Fletcher.
Due to COVID-19, food insecurity is on the rise and families have relied on Food for Others three times more to feed their households. Judith organized the Miller Heights food drive and made a positive impact on our most vulnerable population in the County. She brought her community together and donated over a thousand pounds of food to Food for Others. With her dedication, she has inspired and encouraged her neighbors to be involved in tackling the food insecurity within the Providence District.
Judith is the kind of woman who does it all. As the President of the Miller Heights Neighborhood Association, she makes sure her neighbors are always heard and prioritizes the neighborhood’s best interest. She has stepped up in a time of need and brought her community together to tackle this pressing issue. Her unwavering dedication to serving the community is admirable and continues to inspire those around her.
Eli Edwards, a Scout in BSA Troop 987, worked towards receiving his Hornaday Badge by leading a project that consisted of pulling invasive plants, primarily, pachysandra, from a section of the Gerry Connolly Cross County Trail off Miller Heights Road in Oakton. The BSA Hornaday Badge is a prestigious award created by conservationist Dr. William T. Hornaday that requires a scout to lead a conservation project, complete several merit badges, and meet rank requirements.
With support from Hornaday advisor Sara Holtz and sponsor Fairfax County Park Authority’s Invasive Management Area (IMA) program, he was able to get the job done. The goal was to replace the pachysandra with native plants and trees. During this project there were 164 volunteers who removed 124 bags of invasive plants from the parkland and 170 native plants were planted. Volunteers planted a wide variety of new plants to replace the invasive plants. Eli set the goal of removing the entire area of invasive plants to stop the plants from spreading, to prevent seeds from entering the watershed, to minimize erosion, and to grant native plants space to grow and spread. Native plants increase biodiversity by providing habitat and food to a variety of wildlife, insects, and birds that the surrounding community can enjoy viewing.
Eli is a determined and hardworking individual who has significantly given back to his community. Thanks to his dedication, the Gerry Connolly Cross County Trail is a step closer to being free of invasive plants.
Phylicia L. Woods, JD, MSW is an active member of the Providence community. She represents the Providence District as a Vice Chair on the Fairfax County Commission for Women (CFW). The CFW is charged with supporting and promoting policies and initiatives to promote gender equality, eliminate violence against women, and honor women and girls in Fairfax County. In her work as Vice Chair, Ms. Woods works to advance the mission of the CFW by being an advocate for women and girls, and increasing diversity and equity in the Fairfax Community.
Ms. Woods is the Executive Director of the Cancer Policy Institute (CPI) at the Cancer Support Community, focusing on legislative, regulatory, policy, and research priorities that are important to cancer patients, survivors, and those impacted by cancer. Prior to this role, she was the Director of Federal Relations at the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN) where she worked on policy initiatives related to cancer prevention and early detection, and affordable health care for people living with cancer, survivors and at risk of cancer.
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