At the Virginia Foundation for Healthy Youth (VFHY), we understand the ongoing COVID-19/Coronavirus situation has implications for our grant-funded initiatives and the people who support them. Our first step to protect our grantees and stakeholders was to cancel our Reduce Tobacco Use Conference and Substance Use Prevention Summit next month in Alexandria, Virginia.
Our primary concerns during this ongoing situation are the safety and the well-being of our partners and the children they serve. That is why we have worked with the Office of the Attorney General to get guidance on modifying our grant agreements. We have created a plan to allow grant recipients affected by this situation to implement their work differently or complete alternative activities. The Office of the Secretary of Health and Human Resources supports our approach.
Our goal, in offering options to complete the grant work, is to ensure that youth in our communities across the commonwealth will continue to be empowered to make healthy choices for themselves during this difficult and stressful time. We also understand the importance of following through with the financial commitment we have made, including funding about 175 part- and full-time positions. We recognize that what is needed right now is our continued investment and flexibility during this uncertain time.
Current grant recipients have been notified of options to modify their initiatives and are working with VFHY’s regional grant administrators to complete the necessary steps to continue their programs or research and receive funding.
Prevention work is critical right now. We must continue our efforts to ensure the next generation of youth make healthy choices to avoid tobacco and substance use, and reduce childhood obesity.
Thank you for your continued patience as we work to support our network of grantees.