Local Commentary

A Penny for Your Thoughts: News of Greater Falls Church

Health care is a hot topic nationally these days, but health care, at the local level, was deemed so important by the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors in 1973, that it established the Health Care Advisory Board (HCAB), which celebrates its 40th anniversary this month. HCAB was established to assist the Board of Supervisors in developing health policy for the county, and to advise Supervisors on health and health-related issues that may impact people who live, work, and play in Fairfax County.

Eleven citizen members comprise the HCAB, one member from each magisterial district, one member appointed at-large, and one member from the health professions. Rose Chu, from Bailey’s Crossroads, has represented Mason District on the HCAB since 1987. Originally appointed by Supervisor Tom Davis, Rose has developed a unique expertise for the health care needs of our very diverse and growing population.

HCAB’s accomplishments include advocating for smoke-free workplaces and restaurants, establishing an HIV/AIDS Task Force for prevention and treatment services, school health policies and school nurse/student ratios to promote and protect student health, and regularly reviewing medical care facilities for compliance with the county’s Zoning Ordinance. HCAB’s concerns for affordable health care for low-income residents and for medically fragile and homeless populations led to the establishment of the Community Health Care Network and the Medical Respite and Homeless Healthcare Programs. All of these efforts are working to the common goal of healthy people in Fairfax County, which makes us a better community.

The Art at the Mason District Governmental Center exhibit this summer features a teacher and students exhibit by Sleepy Hollow Arts, a local art studio hosted by Rita McCarn. An opening reception Friday night drew young artists and their families to view their creations in the lobby of the Supervisor’s office. The budding artists range in age from six to 17, and demonstrate some very interesting techniques. Self-portraits in pencil were created by Sloane Bailey, Samantha French, Laila Omar, and Julia Tredeau; each picture reflects a lively face, seemingly three-dimensional, not at all flat. Correne Bellem painted “Foxy Prints” that nearly jumps off the wall with its piercing eyes and vivid orange-brown color. Similarly, McKenzie Metzner’s monarch butterfly captures your attention with bright orange, while younger sister Maddy rendered a butterfly in bright pastels. Tony Delgado and Riley Hoang each drew a still life with identical objects – a checkerboard, cone, and ball — yet each interpretation had its own distinct variations. When I asked Cole Determan why his floral vase was called “Flowers of Justice,” I anticipated some philosophical response. Then he told me he named it for the superhero comic book characters, Justice League. Whether a vase of flowers or cartoon heroes, art truly is all around us.

Also included in the exhibit are landscapes and collages by Rita McCarn. The exhibit runs through August 30 at the Mason District Governmental Center, 6507 Columbia Pike in Annandale. Office hours are 8:30 a.m. until 6 p.m., Monday through Friday. The lobby area is open 24 hours a day. Do come by and take a look at the work of these talented youngsters.