Pitrone’s recent award well deserved

Published 9:10 pm Wednesday, January 20, 2016

By George Y. Birdsong

As the chairman of the Obici Healthcare Foundation, I am pleased that Gina Pitrone, our executive director, received a 2015 Women in Business award from Inside Business at a banquet held recently at the Norfolk Waterside Marriott.

Gina has been passionate about health care for her whole career. She has been the director of three foundations: DePaul Medical Center, Sentara Healthcare and now the Obici Healthcare Foundation.

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She spends her days working to improve the health of Western Tidewater residents, in all stages and ages of life, and upholding the Foundation’s vision: good health and wellness for all.

Gina has been the executive director of the Obici Healthcare Foundation for six years and, along with a strong participatory board, has worked hard to fill those gaps in Western Tidewater’s health care.

She is especially proud of the EVMS Strelitz Diabetes Center of Western Tidewater, established in January of 2014. Addressing the unusually high rate of diabetes in Suffolk and Western Tidewater, the EVMS Strelitz Diabetes Center is located in the medical professional wing of Sentara Obici Hospital. Bringing the center and its talented staff to Suffolk improves the detection, prevention and management of diabetes and its most common complications.

She has guided the Obici Healthcare Foundation in granting more dollars strategically in the area of mental health, and that impact on the community will be profound.

The foundation has a community roadmap for health improvement that encourages our community’s citizens to maintain a healthy weight. The promotion of healthy eating habits and a fitness-oriented culture are goals of this comprehensive plan.

Her goals for the future are to volunteer more and make our community better — especially concentrating on a free regional recovery center for people dealing with addictions.

As humbling as it is to be tapped for this award, Gina is not resting. She will continue to help develop creative ways to form partnerships that mobilize individuals and organizations to work collaboratively toward long-term improvements in the health of our community.

Congratulations, Gina. The Obici Healthcare Foundation joins me celebrating your recognition as a 2015 Women in Business award recipient.

George Birdsong is the chairman of the board of directors of the Obici Healthcare Foundation. Visit the foundation’s website at www.obicihcf.org.