Carilion Roanoke Memorial Hospital. Photo by Megan Schnabel.

Here’s a roundup of news briefs from around Southwest and Southside. Send yours for possible inclusion to

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Carilion receives $1.9 million for expansion of opioid use disorder treatment program

The Virginia Department of Health’s Injury and Violence Prevention Program has awarded Carilion Clinic a $1.9 million grant expand its Emergency Department Bridge to Treatment program across the state, according to a news release from the Roanoke-based health system.

The grant will expand the program to seven early implementer hospitals across Virginia and will fund ongoing technical assistance by Carilion teams that will support peers as they build their own programs.

“The collaboration and interest in this program across the state have been astounding,” said Cheri Hartman, ED Bridge project director for Carilion. “Addiction is a disease, and the expansion of bridge programs represents a needed cultural shift in caring for substance use disorder patients, connecting them with compassionate care and significantly increasing their chance for a long-term recovery.”

In the Bridge model, patients who come to the emergency room with a nonfatal overdose or acute withdrawal symptoms or who ask for treatment are connected with follow-up care in the form of prescriptions, peer supports and rapid access to treatment providers. After discharge, patients are evaluated and are assigned to further care, ranging from residential treatment to office-based addiction services.

Carilion launched the program in 2018. Dr. John Burton, chair of Carilion’s emergency department, said that at best only about 10% of patients who came to the emergency room with symptoms of acute opioid use disorder got into treatment prior to the bridge. Since the program started, that rate was 82% in year one, 78% in year two and 71% in year three, according to the release.

The state grant also will fund quarterly Learning Collaborative meetings, sponsorship of a conference mid-September and the creation of an ED Bridge to Treatment Training Toolkit. The target date for completion is June 30, 2024. 

(Disclosure: Carilion is one of our approximately 2,500 donors but donors have no say in news decisions. See our policy. You can donate here.)

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Southwest Virginia Museum Historical State Park to host master plan public meeting

The Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation will hold a public meeting from 6 to 7:30 p.m. April 4 to discuss the Southwest Virginia Museum Historical State Park master plan. 

The meeting will be held at the Southwest Virginia Museum in Big Stone Gap. 

Southwest Virginia Museum Historical State Park. Photo courtesy of Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation.

DCR planners and staff will provide an overview of the park, gather feedback and discuss the process for master plans, which are updated every 10 years. 

The park hosts the Southwest Virginia Museum, which is housed in a mansion built between 1888 and 1895. It serves to collect, preserve and interpret the history of Southwest Virginia through educational exhibits and programs. 

Written feedback on the plan will also be accepted through May 4. Written comments may be emailed to, faxed to 804-786-9240 or mailed to Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation, Attn: Samantha Wangsgard, 600 E. Main St., 24th Floor, Richmond, VA 23219. 

For more information, visit

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Michael Friedlander (left) and Heywood Fralin. Courtesy of Virginia Tech.

Fralin, Friedlander honored for work with Roanoke biomedical institute

Philanthropist Heywood Fralin and Michael Friedlander, founding executive director of the Fralin Biomedical Research Institute at VTC and vice president for health sciences and technology at Virginia Tech, have been recognized by Research!America for their leadership in medical and health research.

Fralin and Friedlander this month received the Gordon and Llura Gund Leadership Award for their work in establishing the institute, recruiting research teams and building partnerships with leading institutions to expand research opportunities and investment across the state, according to a news release announcing the award.

In 2018, the Fralin family gave $50 million to Virginia Tech toward expanding the institute, which was then a decade old and was known as the Virginia Tech Carilion Research Institute. It was renamed in honor of the gift.

Friedlander has led the institute since its inception.

“Mr. Fralin and Dr. Friedlander have led the way in developing a biotechnology hub in the Roanoke-Blacksburg region,” Erin Burcham, president of Verge and executive director of the Roanoke-Blacksburg Technology Council, said in the release. “Our innovation ecosystem owes so much to their vison and leadership. They have certainly earned this recognition and RBTC warmly congratulates them on this well-deserved award.”

Research!America is a nonprofit medical and health research advocacy alliance organized to achieve funding, advocate for policies and promote engagement with medical and health research.

(Disclosure: Fralin is one of our approximately 2,500 donors but donors have no say in news decisions. See our policy. You can donate here.)

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TSA recruiting officers for Roanoke airport

The Transportation Security Administration will host two hiring events in Roanoke as it seeks to staff up at Roanoke-Blacksburg Regional Airport in time for the spring and summer travel seasons.

TSA officials will be at the Williamson Road Library from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. on March 23 and April 20, according to a news release from the agency. Applicants who attend can learn more about the jobs available, take a computer-based test to evaluate English proficiency and on-screen object recognition aptitude, and participate in an interview. After the event, applicants will need to undergo a medical evaluation, drug test and background check.

Applicants are encouraged to apply online before attending one of the events by establishing a profile at They should bring two forms of valid federal or state government-issued ID, plus their smartphone and passwords to access their email and their online USAJobs account.

Applicants must be U.S. citizens or nationals who are at least 18 years old and who have a high school diploma, GED or security experience equivalent. Previous security or law enforcement experience is not required.

TSA has openings for both full- and part-time positions at the Roanoke airport, with a starting annual salary of $36,821 for full-time positions. Part-time salary is $17.64 an hour. All new hires will receive a $1,000 hiring bonus. After July 1, the salary levels will increase.