October 29, 2018


The Health Collaborative’s THRIVE! Initiative celebrated health improvement efforts at the 2018 Health Summit

Danville, VA: Shining a spotlight on organizations, businesses, local government, community groups and residents, The Health Collaborative celebrated the 2018 THRIVE! Awards at its 4th annual Health Summit, on October 25th. Awarded in the categories of program, policy and place, THRIVE! Award recipients are those who are going above and beyond to make the healthy choice the easy choice in the places where we live, learn, work, play, pray and age.

“It is important to make people aware of all the great work occurring in the Dan River Region, so that we can celebrate our wins and discover new and innovative ways to create strong communities,” said Danville Parks and Recreation’s Jason Bookheimer, who serves as Health Summit and THRIVE! Awards Chair. “When it comes to improving our region’s health we know that we still have a long way to go, but we are making great strides, and the THRIVE! Awards are a time to focus on the positive efforts occurring in our communities.”

Program Award Recipients

  • Caswell County Local Foods Council’s Two Bite Club is a children’s incentive program at the Yanceyville Farmers’ Market, which rewards children with a $5 market token for trying at least two bites of healthy, local produce.
  • The Community Health Worker Initiative has graduated 205 clients and has seen a decrease of 32.12% in hospital admits among program participants and graduates, since January 2017.
  • Danville Parks and Recreation’s FitMobile Program, a partnership with Averett University, the Community Health Worker Initiative and Virginia Cooperative Extension provided 572 participants with the tools needed to live a healthier life, by offering free exercise and nutrition classes in Cardinal Village, Pleasant View, and Stonewall Recreation Center.

Policy Award Recipients

  • Caswell County Government’s MyWellness MyWay, supported participants in losing 225.3 pounds.
  • Danville Community College’s THRIVE! Challenge was an opt-in program open to all employees. The goal was to create "mindfulness" when making food and health behavior choices.


Place Award Recipient - Chatham First’s Competition Alley Farmers’ Market provides a place for local farmers and artisans to market their products, helping to keep food and shopping dollars circulating within our region, while creating opportunities for community members to learn about the health benefits of eating fresh, local food.

Change Marker Award Recipient—Jessica Hearne is the principal leader of the Grace and Main Fellowship Urban Farm. She organizes a group of leaders to set policy, work together and be generous providers. The true seal of Jessica’s success with the Urban Farm is the predominance of directly affected leaders in positions of authority and decision-making.

In addition to the THRIVE! Award recipients, the 2018 THRIVE! Initiative participants were also honored at the ceremony. Those recognized were Caswell County Government, Caswell Family Medical Center, Danville Community College, Danville Parks and Recreation, Fresenius Kidney Care, Gateway Health, God’s Storehouse, Pittsylvania County Community Action, Danville – Pittsylvania Community Services, Galileo Magnet High School, Danville Parks and Recreation’s Healthy Kids Play, and Harvest Corner. The THRIVE! Awards are given annually in honor of Laurie Moran, founding convener and Coordinating Committee Member of The Health Collaborative. Her spirited passion and longstanding commitment to building a vibrant, healthier and more resilient Dan River Region, provided inspiration and strategic guidance to The Health Collaborative.

The Health Collaborative is a cross-sector group of passionate individuals and organizations working together to improve the health and well-being of the Dan River Region, which includes Caswell County, NC; Danville, VA and Pittsylvania County, VA. Our goal is to make the healthy choice, the easy choice - at home, work, school and in your community, so that all residents can thrive. To achieve this, The Health Collaborative unites organizations and creates action by building teams of dedicated volunteers to work on initiatives focusing on active living, healthy eating, access to healthcare, creating healthy spaces and leadership and capacity building. The Health Collaborative is a regional initiative supported by our dedicated community partners with direct funding from Virginia Cooperative Extension*, Centra and the Danville Regional Foundation.


* Virginia Cooperative Extension programs and employment are open to all, regardless of age, color, disability, gender, gender identity, gender expression, national origin, political affiliation, race, religion, sexual orientation, genetic information, veteran status, or any other basis protected by law. An equal opportunity/affirmative action employer. Issued in furtherance of Cooperative Extension work, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Virginia State University, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture cooperating. Edwin J. Jones, Director, Virginia Cooperative Extension, Virginia Tech, Blacksburg; M. Ray McKinnie, Administrator, 1890 Extension Program, Virginia State University, Petersburg.