New leader fit for duty

Published 7:45 pm Saturday, January 3, 2015

The Suffolk Partnership for a Healthy Community continues to make great strides in its effort to promote healthy lifestyles for residents of Suffolk.

Founded in 1998, the organization started as an all-volunteer group with a vision, according to its website, of “a healthy community where all people will be inspired and enabled to make healthy lifestyle choices, to use preventative health care and to access resources to live in a safe and wholesome environment.”

From its smoking cessation programs to its community gardens to 5K runs and walking programs, the Partnership continues to find engaging and interesting ways to encourage health and wellness in a community with some significant health challenges. The organization hit an early home run with the Western Tidewater Free Clinic, which has since been spun off as its own nonprofit organization.

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A new executive director, Regina Brayboy, should bring a new set of skills and talents to this effort, along with a fresh perspective that should ensure even more fresh ideas about how to educate Suffolk residents about healthy choices and encourage them to take healthy actions.

Brayboy is a former chief operating officer for WHRO-TV, serves on the Riverside Health Systems board of directors and previously worked with an anti-crime initiative in Newport News that partnered with different community agencies and services.

The Newport News work, especially, could serve as a template for what she’d like to accomplish here in Suffolk, where she now lives with her husband and their two Labrador retrievers.

“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.”

Suffolk can look forward to new and exciting things from the Partnership, and Brayboy seems like just the person to lead the effort.