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Jos. A Bank has permanently closed in Reston Town Center (staff photo by Jay Westcott)

Jos A. Bank has officially closed its doors in Reston Town Center.

A primary care practice — One Medical — will take over the former location of the men’s clothing store (11930 Democracy Drive).

One Medical is a membership-based, tech-integrated primary care practice that offers virtual care and in-person visits. The company says it aims to reinvent the healthcare experience by providing quick access to medical care. Other locations offer 24/7 virtual access to appointments.

Amazon hopes to purchase One Medical’s parent company, 1Life Healthcare, Inc. The company has 188 clinics in 29 markets across the country, including one in Fairfax and Tysons.

A spokesperson for Boston Properties confirmed that the company’s lease ended today (Tuesday). Jos. A Bank, which was established in 1905, specializes in suits and has more than 180 retail locations. It still has other local locations in Fairfax and Leesburg.

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Virginia State Capitol in Richmond (via Doug Kerr/Flickr)

As the Virginia General Assembly convenes this week for its 2023 session, local lawmakers hope to pass bills highlighting campaign finance reforms, raising teacher pay, paid sick leave, and other issues.

The General Assembly will meet in Richmond on Wednesday (Jan. 11) for a 46-day session lasting until Feb. 25, though special and reconvened sessions later in the year are possible.

Members have been allowed to pre-file bills since November, and Fairfax County’s delegation held a public hearing on Saturday (Jan. 7) where community members shared their thoughts on what should be prioritized.

Members have until Wednesday morning to pre-file bills.

Facing a divided General Assembly, with Republicans controlling the House of Delegates and Democrats holding the Senate, local representatives likely won’t see all of their bills become law, but here are 12 proposals worth noting:

Campaign finance reform

  • Limit political donations to $20,000: Introduced by Sen. Chap Petersen (D-34), SB 803 would prohibit individuals from making a single donation to anyone vying for state office for more than $20,000.
  • Prohibit contributions from public utilities: Also filed by Petersen, SB 804 would prohibit candidates from accepting contributions from any public utility company. Petersen has introduced versions of this bill before but hasn’t succeeded in getting it passed.
  • Prohibit personal use of campaign funds: The potential new law HB 1552, introduced by Del. Marcus Simon (D-53), would ban candidates from using campaign funds for personal use, something that’s already prohibited in many other states.

Education 

  • Alternative learning assessments in schools: SB 819, pre-filed by Sen. Barbara Favola (D-31), aims to allow each local school district “to use any nationally recognized, research-based assessment or screener” as an alternative to Virginia Department of Education-approved tests. This comes after new state-proposed history standards were rejected by the Board of Education in November. Revised draft standards were released Friday (Jan. 6).
  • Higher teacher compensation: Del. Kaye Kory (D-38) is co-introducing HB 1497, which calls for state funding to be used to compensate public school teachers at or above the national average. Currently, the average pay for teachers in Virginia is about $7,000 below the national average.

Gun Control

  • Unattended firearms in motor vehicles: SB 901, introduced by Sen. Dave Marsden (D-37), would make it illegal to leave a firearm unattended in a motor vehicle unless it’s locked up in its own compartment or container.

Health care

  • Prohibit warrants for menstrual health data: SB 852 would prohibit the issuing of warrants for the search and seizure of any device containing digital information related to menstrual health data. Filed by Favola, the bill addresses fears from some that period-tracking apps could be used against someone considering an abortion.
  • Paid sick leave for health care and grocery store workers: Introduced by Sen. Scott Surovell (D-36), SB 886 would require health care and grocery store employers to provide paid sick leave. As noted in the bill, current law only requires paid sick leave for some home health care workers. A version of this bill passed the Senate last year but failed in the House.
  • Treatment for “problem gambling“: With sports gambling now legal in Virginia, Del. Paul Krizek (D-44) is proposing HB 1465, which would establish a committee to help “reduce the negative effects of problem gambling.”

Rights 

  • Bars insurrectionists from holding public official: Del. Dan Helmer (D-40) is introducing HB 1562 to bar those “convicted of participating in an insurrection” from ever holding a position of “public trust.”
  • ASL interpreters in courtrooms: Surovell’s SB 814 lets the court appoint a certified American Sign Language interpreter itself for the courtroom.
  • No arrest for assault on law enforcement in mental health emergency: HB 1561 from Del. Vivian Watts (D-39) exempts individuals from being arrested or prosecuted for assaulting a law enforcement officer if they’re experiencing a mental health emergency. A study done last year showed that about 10% of those charged with assault on law enforcement officers had a history of mental illness.

Transportation 

  • Pedestrian signals apply to bicycles and scooters: Favola’s SB 847 calls for pedestrian control signals to also apply to those riding bicycles, mopeds, electric bikes, scooters, and all other forms of electric motor transportation. A companion bill is being filed by Del. Rip Sullivan (D-48) in the House.

Photo via Doug Kerr/Flickr

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A grand opening for the dentistry is set for Thursday (via Rosemary Ahanor)

A new dental studio has opened Sunset Hills Road in Reston.

Aglow Dental Studio is planning to host an official grand opening today (Thursday) from 4-6 p.m. in suite 303 at 11150 Sunset Hills Road.

The business is led by Rosemary Ahanor, who graduated from St. Elizabeth Hospitals in D.C.

“Aglow Dental opened its doors in August 2020 during a time when it was difficult to host social gatherings,” the company said in a press release. “Therefore, we are so excited to celebrate with the Reston and neighboring community on this special day.”

Services include oral cancer screening, dental exams, cosmetic dentistry, whitening, implants, root canal treatment, veneers and crowns.

To celebrate its grand opening, the dentistry is taking appointments for free cleaning and extractions, according to a statement from the business.

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PetMedic Urgent Care will open a clinic in Tysons in 2023 (via PetMedic)

Tysons’ gradually expanding network of health care services will soon include a new option for pets.

PetMedic Urgent Care, a small but growing franchise based in Massachusetts, will open its first location in the D.C. area at Tysons West (1495 Cornerside Blvd) next year, the company announced yesterday (Tuesday).

The clinic will operate similarly to human urgent care centers, providing medical services for non-life-threatening conditions after regular business hours and on the weekends, according to the press release, which was previously reported by the Washington Business Journal.

“We are thrilled to be offering veterinary urgent care in Virginia,” PetMedic founder and Chief Medical Officer Dr. Nir Ben-Ari said in a statement. “The need for urgent care in the veterinary space is high to alleviate burnout in our teams and to provide a stronger continuum of care.”

From the news release:

The clinic is staffed by an experienced emergency medicine team and is complete with a modern surgical suite, laboratory, digital X-ray, ultrasound, and cutting-edge software that allows for an efficient workflow for team members.

PetMedic won’t offer vaccinations, wellness visits and other “routine” services provided by veterinary practices. Patrons will be able to make same-day appointments online.

Founded in January 2020, PetMedic currently has three locations: two in Massachusetts and one in Portland, Maine. According to its website, the business has four new clinics in the works, but the Tysons one is the only expansion outside of those two states.

“Pet parents love the after-hours and weekend options, and our healthcare network appreciates the extra hands when they’re overloaded,” Ben-Ari said. “It’s a win-win for the community in every respect.”

To address humans’ medical needs, Tysons welcomed an emergency room from Reston Hospital Center this summer to support the area’s growing population. The Johns Hopkins School of Medicine also opened a primary care office in McLean in February.

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Inova Fair Oaks Hospital (via Google Maps)

Updated at 9:45 a.m. on 8/16/2022 — Hektor Fernando Alvarez’s employment at Virginia Hospital Center was terminated on Friday (Aug. 12), the hospital says.

Earlier: A man from Falls Church has been arrested after allegedly sexually assaulting a patient under his care when he worked at Inova Fair Oaks Hospital (3600 Joseph Siewick Drive), the Fairfax County Police Department announced today (Friday).

The victim — a patient who was receiving long-term care at the hospital — told a hospital technician on July 7 that his previous caretaker had “fondled the victim’s genitalia on two separate occasions,” police said.

Detectives from FCPD’s Major Crimes Bureau began an investigation on July 8. They identified the caretaker as 21-year-old Falls Church resident Hektor Fernando Alvarez, who was working for a company called Metropolitan Healthcare Services (MHS) that Inova had contracted “to provide sitter services for patients,” according to police.

The FCPD says Alvarez is no longer employed by MHS, but he was working as a medical technician at Virginia Hospital Center in Arlington. There have been no incidents reported at that hospital, according to the department.

Alvarez was arrested after a month-long investigation on Aug. 9 and has been charged with aggravated sexual battery with a victim through mental incapacity or helplessness.

“He was held on no bond but later released on a secured bond,” the police department said, which means the money was primarily covered by a bond company.

Prosecutors had argued for Alvarez to be denied a bond, but the judge rejected their recommendation, FFXnow was told.

Online case information indicates that Alvarez was arraigned at the Fairfax County General District Court on Wednesday (Aug. 10) and had a bond hearing yesterday (Thursday). A court employee told FFXnow that the bond was served this morning.

Inova Health System says it has been working with the victim’s family and MHS to respond to the assault allegation.

“Inova has been in contact with the patient, their family, and the contracted staffing agency in regard to this troubling alleged incident,” a spokesperson for the nonprofit said in a statement. “Safety is central to everything we do at Inova, and we expect all who work or provide services in our care sites to meet that high standard.”

The FCPD says anyone with additional information about the case can contact its detectives at 703-246-7800, option 3. Tips can also be submitted anonymously through Crime Solvers by phone (1-866-411-TIPS), and online.

“Anonymous tipsters are eligible for cash rewards of $100 to $1,000 dollars,” the FCPD said. “Please leave contact information if you wish for a detective to follow up with you.”

A preliminary hearing for Alvarez has been set for 2 p.m. on Sept. 28.

Photo via Google Maps

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Morning Notes

A flock of birds flies over Route 123 in Tysons (staff photo by Angela Woolsey)

Real Estate Taxes Due Today — For Fairfax County property owners, it’s the final day to send in the first installment of your annual real estate taxes, which saw significant increases this year even with a 3-cent reduction in the county’s rate. Payments can be made to the Department of Tax Administration by phone, mail, drop box, mobile app and online. [DTA]

Springfield Man Convicted in 2020 Murder — A jury convicted Carlington Fitz Auther Campbell yesterday (Wednesday) for shooting and killing Anthony Sullivan outside a West Springfield apartment in November 2020, Commonwealth’s Attorney Steve Descano announced. Campbell was found guilty of second-degree murder and a weapons charge, which carry possible prison sentences of five to 40 years and three years, respectively. [WUSA9]

Decision on Mosaic District Skating Rink Postponed — “Because of some public pushback, unresolved questions and a legal-advertising snafu, the Fairfax County Board of Zoning Appeals (BZA) on July 13 deferred until September its decision on whether to allow temporary ice- and roller-skating rinks in Merrifield’s Mosaic District.” [Sun Gazette]

Fairfax City Veterinarian Helps Ukraine Animal Shelters — “Dr. Courtney Katsur chokes up when she describes what she saw while volunteering for two weeks in Ukraine. The veterinarian with Town & Country Animal Hospital in Fairfax tried for months to find a way to get to the war zone to help animals she was seeing in the news.” [Northern Virginia Magazine]

Clinics Available for Required Student Vaccinations — “Before students return to school in late August, families can check to ensure their students are up to date on immunizations required at Fairfax County Public Schools. The Fairfax County Health Department is offering appointments at upcoming immunization clinics.” [Patch]

Inova to Rebrand Urgent Care Centers With Partnership — Inova Health System will soon let patients make appointments, check wait times and more through the on-demand health care platform GoHealth Urgent Care. Announced yesterday (Wednesday), the joint venture will convert seven existing Inova Urgent Care locations in Northern Virginia into Inova-GoHealth Urgent Care centers later this year, with additional locations planned. [Inova]

Penn Daw Firefighters Help Mow Lawn — “Recently, Station 11, Penn Daw, B-Shift responded to a routine EMS incident for an elderly gentleman experiencing distress while mowing his lawn on one of the hottest days of the year. The #FCFRD crew assisted the gentlemen, and then completed mowing his lawn prior to leaving.” [FCFRD/Twitter]

Park Authority Fall Registration Begins Next Week — “Fairfax County Park Authority registration for fall classes and programs opens Aug. 2, 2022. Fall classes will be in full swing with programs at Rec Centers, nature centers, historic sites, lakefront parks, golf courses and schools. Virtual classes are available for those who prefer or cannot attend in person.” [FCPA]

McLean Lidl Hosts Kids’ Drawing Contest — “Lidl is holding a drawing competition for children at its new McLean store as part of a benefit for the SHARE of McLean food bank. Starting Wednesday, children can participate in the drawing competition, with a chance to win a $100 Lidl gift card…Once the competition closes on Wednesday, Aug. 3, Lidl will narrow down the entries and ask McLean community members to vote for their favorite piece of art.” [Patch]

It’s Thursday — Humid and mostly cloudy throughout the day. High of 86 and low of 75. Sunrise at 6:08 am and sunset at 8:25 pm. [Weather.gov]

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D.C. region price increases over the last decade for basic needs (via Fairfax County)

Sufficient health care, college degrees, and homeownership are becoming increasingly unattainable for Fairfax County residents with low to moderate incomes, a new report finds.

Late last month, Fairfax County released its “Needs Assessment” study, which comes out every three years with data on the current economic conditions in the county and the impact those conditions have on residents.

The report paints a pretty harrowing picture in light of the pandemic and recent inflation, particularly for lower-income residents. Low to moderate incomes are generally defined as those earning 60% or below the area median income. In 2021, that number was $77,400 for a family of four.

Just in the last year, those living on a limited income are having more trouble affording basic needs, as rising cost-of-living expenses mean lower-income households are spending more than they did in the past.

“Fairfax County residents with moderate to low income may have little to no money remaining after covering essential expenses, such as food and housing,” the report says. “This limits a household’s ability to build savings and restricts economic competitiveness.”

According to the report, household incomes have not kept pace with rising costs of essential expenses over the past decade.

In Fairfax County, the median household income has gone up about 21% since 2012. However, food, housing, and transportation all have risen more in that timeframe. Most notably, health care costs have risen by a whopping 41% in the last decade.

“Longer-term, health care costs have increased the most over 10 years, which may present challenges for residents who do not have health insurance coverage,” the report says.

As a result, the lowest-income households in the county are spending much more on health care, percentage-wise, than other income brackets.

The lowest 20% of households by income are spending nearly 29% of their expenses on health care, while those in the middle are spending between 15% to 17%.

Consumer prices have also gone up more in this past year than at any other point in the previous four decades. Tuition and child care now cost nearly 4% more than last year, housing more than 5%, health care 7%, and food 8%, according to the report. Read More

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Morning Notes

The “Ascent” sculpture at the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum’s Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center in Chantilly (staff photo by Angela Woolsey)

Rabies Confirmed in Biting Coyote — The Fairfax County Health Department confirmed yesterday (Monday) that a coyote that bit four people and two dogs over the weekend in the Lake Accotink area was infected with rabies. Anyone who touched or was bitten or scratched by the animal should call the county health department’s rabies program at 703-246-2433, TTY 711. [FCHD]

Confederate Soldier’s Tombstone Defaced — The letters ‘CS,’ ‘NVA,’ and a Star of David were spraypainted on the tombstone of Armistead T. Thompson in the Thompson Family Cemetery by the Pan Am Shopping Center in Merrifield. Fairfax County police received a report last Tuesday (May 31) and said the property management is working to remove it, though as of Sunday (June 5), the graffiti was still there. [Patch]

Homicide Investigation in Reston Continues — “Detectives and officers are canvassing in the area of Springs Apartments & Hunters Woods Plaza in Reston after Rene Alberto Pineda Sanchez was found deceased on May 31. Call detectives at 703-246-7800, option 2 w/any info.” [FCPD/Twitter]

Inova Opens Northern Virginia’s First LGBTQ-Focused Clinic — “Inova’s Pride Clinic will be open to anyone who needs services. It will begin small as a primary care practice for patients of all ages and then grow to include specialties…The Inova Pride Clinic ribbon-cutting will be Wednesday, June 8 at 10 a.m. in Falls Church at 500 North Washington St., Suite 200.” [WTOP]

Tysons Emergency Is Now Open — “HCA Virginia held a grand opening ceremony on Friday, June 3, 2022 for its new freestanding emergency room in Northern Virginia…The state-of-the-art ER will be staffed with board-certified emergency medicine physicians and nurses, 24-hours a day, 365 days a year, just like an emergency room that is housed within the walls of a hospital.” [HCA Virginia]

County Puts Food Inspection Reports Online — “The public can now access retail food establishment inspection reports more quickly and easily, as part of an update to the county’s new online PLUS platform…Environmental health staff inspect restaurants and other retail food service establishments to make sure employees follow safe food handling practices, covering sanitation, food storage and preparation, and have adequate kitchen facilities.” [FCHD]

Wolf Trap Nonprofit Awarded by Governor — A provider of short-term, overnight care for children with intellectual disabilities, Jill’s House was honored on May 26 with the second ‘Spirit of Virginia Award’ given by Gov. Glenn Youngkin and First Lady Suzanne Youngkin since they took office in January. The organization has served more than 1,000 families since it opened in 2010. [Sun Gazette]

Annandale Park Gets Clean-up — “A big thank you to community volunteers who came out to Backlick Park this past weekend and held a spring clean-up. This successful venture was a wonderful way to mark World Environment Day and the National Great Outdoors Month.” [FCPA/Twitter]

Chantilly Neighborhood Watch on the Lookout for Thievery — “Rob, 53, was already a neighborhood watcher in his Brookfield community…before the ransacking incident two years ago but he said it made him increasingly aware neighborhood watch is a needed position to mitigate this from happening to one of his neighbors.” [Fairfax County Times]

It’s Tuesday — Mostly cloudy throughout the day. High of 74 and low of 62. Sunrise at 5:45 am and sunset at 8:34 pm. [Weather.gov]

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Updated on 6/8/2022Tysons Emergency is now in service after a grand opening on Friday, June 3.

Earlier: There’s nothing like a two-year-long pandemic to drive home the importance of access to quality health care services.

Reston Hospital Center was planning a new emergency department in Tysons before COVID-19 showed up, but the pandemic heightened the sense of urgency around the project, particularly as hospitals continue to see increased demand, Tysons Emergency Medical Director Saad Amin says.

“With Covid having come around, it’s been a real important endeavor that HCA [Virginia] and Reston Hospital have been trying to get done,” Amin said, referring to the company that owns the hospital. “We’re very excited to have this open to the community.”

Tysons Emergency hasn’t opened just yet, but it’s expected to by the end of May. HCA hosted an open house and power lunches this past Thursday and Friday (May 19-20) to introduce community members to the nearly 14,000-square-foot facility.

Located at 8240 Leesburg Pike, just east of the Route 123 and Route 7 interchange, the standalone emergency room features 10 private exam rooms, including one where the furniture is bolted down for cases that raise behavioral health concerns.

Other amenities include on-site lab testing, imaging technology, a resuscitation room, a triage room near the waiting area, and a decontamination room with doors that can control the air flow and separate occupants from the rest of the ER.

Operating 24 hours a day, seven days a week, the facility is expected to accommodate about 22 patients on a typical day, according to the staff. The main ER has a TV with real-time data tracking the number of patients and wait times for both Tysons and Reston Hospital.

Serving both adults and children, Tysons Emergency will start with one physician and a support nursing staff on site at all times, but the staffing will increase as more patients come in, Saad says.

Like a standard emergency room, it will be equipped to address life-threatening, critical situations, such as heart attacks and drug overdoses, as well as more routine issues, like a stubbed toe or animal bites.

“We can handle anything that comes in through that door, and we’ll get them to the correct level of care afterwards,” Saad said.

Patients who need to be admitted for a more long-term condition will be transferred by ambulance to Reston Hospital (1850 Town Center Parkway), at no cost. There is also complimentary valet parking with 60 spaces available, saving visitors from the stress of finding a spot themselves, according to Tysons ER Director Kimberly Riley-O’Bannon.

As Tysons’ population has grown, so has the need for medical and emergency services to support those residents.

In February, the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine opened a primary care office just to the north in McLean, and the Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department added a new Scotts Run fire station last fall to serve Tysons East. Plans to relocate and add capacity to Fire Station 29 are now in the works.

Riley-O’Bannon says Tysons Emergency staff have met with all of the fire stations in a 20-mile radius to familiarize them with the new facility, which is expected to shorten travel times for first responders.

“The hope is they’ll come here and be able to drop off their patients and get back out into the community,” Riley-O’Bannon said. “That’s a big selling point for them, so they’re very anxious for us to open.”

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Inova’s new cancer screening and prevention center in Merrifield is the first facility of its kind in the D.C. area, the nonprofit health care system says.

Inova marked the official opening of the Saville Cancer Screening and Prevention Center with a ribbon-cutting ceremony on Wednesday (May 4).

First announced in late 2020, the center occupies 24,000 square feet of space in the Inova Schar Cancer Institute at 8081 Innovation Park Drive, according to a news release. Inova says the facility is rare for enabling patients to get prevention, screening, and treatment services in the same place.

“While most people know that early detection saves lives, not everyone knows where to start or has access to quality care,” Dr. Rebecca Kaltman, executive director of the Inova Saville Cancer Screening and Prevention Center, said. “This new state of the art facility provides greater access to routine cancer screening as well as a comprehensive approach to minimizing cancer risk through techniques including biometric assessments, genetic testing and novel, minimally invasive tools to improve early detection.”

The center was built with a $20 million donation from Paul and Linda Saville. Paul Saville is the president and CEO of the Reston-based construction company NVR Inc.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, cancer is the second-leading cause of death in the U.S., as of 2020, below cardiovascular diseases and right above COVID-19.

With health concerns and capacity limitations keeping many people away from hospitals and doctors’ offices, the pandemic led to nearly 22 million cancer screenings getting canceled or skipped between June 2020 and March 2021, the American Cancer Society reported in September.

More recently, health care workers across the country say the severity of cancer cases coming in has increased, particularly among people of color.

“We hope that by providing our neighbors with accessible, multidisciplinary screening and prevention services and a ‘one-stop-shop’ approach, we will help our community get back on track with their health and cure more cancers through early detection and intervention,” Inova Schar Cancer Institute President Dr. John Deeken said.

Appointments at the Saville center can be scheduled online or by calling 571-472-4724. A referral isn’t necessary to receive services, according to the press release.

The center will host a free cancer screening and prevention fair from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on June 11. Expected to become an annual occurrence, the event will feature free cancer screenings and information sessions with medical staff as well as food trucks, entertainment, kids’ activities, healthy cooking demonstrations, and more.

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