Partnership gets new director

Published 9:47 pm Tuesday, December 30, 2014

The Suffolk Partnership for a Healthy Community is starting the new year with new leadership as Regina Brayboy takes the helm as the new executive director.



Robbie Laughton left in October after nearly two years with the partnership to take a job with the Suffolk Family YMCA. Bobbie Chapman has filled in since then.

Brayboy said she stumbled across the job listing while doing research on community health.

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“It seemed like such a good fit because of so many things in my background,” she said.

The Northern Neck native has lived in the Hampton Roads area since the late 1970s. She’s a former chief operating officer of WHRO, is on the Riverside Health Systems board and also previously worked with an anti-crime initiative in Newport News that partnered with many different community agencies and services.

“I’ve always liked projects where you bring together multiple facets of the community,” she said. The Suffolk Partnership job “seemed like such a good fit because of so many things in my background.”

Brayboy said she likes the approach the partnership has taken to many of its projects thus far. In particular, she said, she likes the model it used to start the Western Tidewater Free Clinic, which the partnership incubated for several years and then spun off into its own entity.

“I think that’s a great model,” she said, also noting the partnership’s Suffolk on the Move program is going well.

She said she wants to “expand the thought process with how we’re approaching the gardens,” referring to the community gardens program that grows fresh produce for families in need and for school programs.

“It’s great how Suffolk has been at the forefront of starting a lot of projects that now are coming into vogue,” Brayboy said.

She said she wants the partnership to be more involved in influencing the built environment to be more health-friendly and also in getting the community engaged.

“Suffolk has a lot of wonderful assets, but sometimes people in the community don’t even know about those assets,” she said.

Brayboy and her husband, Samuel, live in the Riverfront area with their two Labrador retrievers, Scarlett and Piper.