Rappahannock Region and AHEC

Discover Virginia’s Rappahannock Region and AHEC

Northeastern Virginia

Northern Neck - The Northern Neck region, Middle Peninsula and Greater Fredericksburg

The Northern Neck region, Middle Peninsula and Greater Fredericksburg


Health Care Workforce in the Rappahannock Region

The Rappahannock Region, bordered by the Chesapeake Bay, Potomac River and York River, has over 2,000 miles of shoreline. The region includes the counties of Caroline, Essex, Gloucester, King George, King and Queen, King William, Lancaster, Mathews, Middlesex, Northumberland, Richmond, Spotsylvania, Stafford, Westmoreland, and the City of Fredericksburg, is home to hospitals, health systems, Community Health Centers (CHC), and community colleges that offer health professions career studies, internships, training and job opportunities.


Bay Rivers Telehealth Alliance (BRTA) Area Health Education Center (AHEC)

The Bay Rivers Telehealth Alliance Area Health Education Center (BRTA-AHEC) is a Area Health Education Center serving the Rappahannock region of Virginia. Based in Tappahannock, VA, Bay Rivers Telehealth Alliance (BRTA) is a non-profit consortium of health care organizations created 10 years ago to increase the health and well-being of the medically underserved communities in rural northeastern Virginia by expanding access and reducing health disparities through implementing an open Telehealth system. This telehealth network serves the residents of the Northern Neck, Middle Peninsula, and Eastern Shore of Virginia.

In September of 2014, BRTA accepted the federal AHEC award from the Virginia Health Workforce Development Authority (the prime recipient of the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) AHEC grant #5 U77HP26289-02-00) to conduct initiatives aimed at: 1) educating and training students to become culturally competent primary care health professionals who provide health care in underserved areas and to health disparity populations; 2) increasing the number and variety of primary care health professionals who provide care to underserved populations in Health Professional Shortage Areas (HPSAs) and other medically underserved areas; and 3) recruiting into health careers individuals from underrepresented minority populations or from disadvantaged or rural backgrounds.

BRTA-AHEC works closely with the Riverside Center for Excellence in Aging and Lifelong Health (CEALH), which provides evaluation, project and agency management services to the organiztion. CEALH is dedicated to improving the quality of life for older adults by promoting understanding of the aging process and how it impacts not only older adults, but also the entire community. CEALH's multi-dimensional approach successfully manages a Geriatric Assessment Clinic, Clinical Rsearch Studies, Driving Rehabilitative Services, and Commnity and Health Services Research and Training for Health Professionals, Lay Trainers and Family Caregivers working with the issues of aging.

Bay Rivers Telehealth Alliance (BRTA) Area Health Education Center (AHEC)
659 Hospital Road
Tappahannock, VA 22560

Phone: (804) 449-6286
Website: www.bayriverstelehealth.org

Donna Dittman Hale, MHA, CTC - Project Director

Donna Dittman Hale, MHA, CTC

Donna Dittman Hale is the Executive Director of the Bay Rivers Telehealth Alliance (BRTA) and the Project Director of the BRTA AHEC. She serves as the Evaluation and Coordinator for the HRSA funded “Bridges to Behavioral Health” project which seeks to evaluate the effectiveness of providing behavioral health services to rural Nursing Homes through Telehealth.  The Center for Excellence in Aging and Lifelong Health (CEALH) contracted with Bay Rivers Telehealth Alliance to serve as the Evaluation and Project Management Team for this 4 year project. She is Certified Telehealth Coordinator.

Ms. Dittman Hale is the founder and owner of Common Purpose Solutions—Helping to Build Capacity to Create a Healthy Community.  The CPS team assists health and human service organizations, hospitals, advocacy organizations, the arts, funders, and other community organizations to discover new ways to organize their services, evaluate their successes and activate their volunteer resources.  She facilitates community initiatives by gathering key stakeholders, leading discussion through collaborative planning, partnerships and funding application procedures. 

Donna has coordinated in the development and funding of regional Health Care Workforce Partnership, Senior Services Coalition, HIV/AIDS CARE Consortium, and a number of other Coalitions and Community Services.  Donna has a Bachelor of Science in Psychology from St. Lawrence University and a Masters in Health Administration from the Medical College of Virginia, and did her residency at Maryview Hospital, where she developed Health Promotion and Occupational Health Services. 

After serving as Regional Director of Programs and Communications for the American Heart Association, she co-authored an article in the Archives of Internal Medicine about a community partnership to provide HIV/AIDS Care with Stephen Green, MD, Patrick Haggerty MD, describing a physician-coordinated system of volunteer care on the Peninsula, that provided services to patients with AIDS, when many doctors would not accept or  discontinued care for patients with HIV/AIDS. This program served over 600 people with HIV/AIDS during it’s active period from 1988-1998.  

Ms. Dittman Hale served as Executive Director of Peninsula AIDS Foundation for 5 years. From 1997-2005 she served as the Director of the Community Grants Program at the Williamsburg Community Health Foundation responsible for the review, selection and distribution of over $3.1 million in grants made over 8 years.  During this time she coordinated an Outcomes Initiative, providing training to over 40 agencies in the development and utilization of outcome measures to assess their organization’s effectiveness. She has served as Interim Director for Colonial CASA, The Arc of Greater Williamsburg, Williamsburg AIDS Network and Crater District RSVP. As Principle Investigator of a U.S. Department of Justice grant, she was a  founder of the Historic Triangle Substance Abuse Coalition.

She is an experienced facilitator of focus groups, support groups, coalitions, crisis intervention services, and meditation workshops, community planning and problem solving meetings.  She has experience working with Foundations, Non-profits, Government Agencies, Contractors and Private Businesses.  She is her neighborhood’s CERT Team Captain,(Citizen Emergency Response Training/Team),  Chair of Public Affairs for the Am. Red Cross Disaster Management Committee and serves on the CERT Advisory Council for James City County.

Her recent clients the Senior Services Coalition of Greater Williamsburg; Lackey Free Clinic, Peninsula Council for Workforce Development; Interim Director of Colonial CASA and The Arc of Greater Williamsburg; Strategic Planning for Colonial Heights Food Pantry, Virginia Conservation Network and Lutheran Family Services of Virginia.


Live, Work and Play in the Rappahannock Region

The City of Fredericksburg lays claim to a rich and distiguished historical heritage. The city, which traditionally served as the trading and financial center of the region, is one of the nation's most beautiful historic attractions, home to four major Civil War battle locations. A nearby favorite includes Lake Anna, one of Virginia's largest lakes and renowned state park.

Wine and dine along the Chesapeake Bay Wine Trail. Escape to Ingleside Vineyards located in Virginia's Northern Neck and embracing the lifestyle of the Chesapeake region. Nearby, visit the birthplaces of George Washington, Robert E. Lee and James Monroe. Get a glimpse of the Ingleside Plantation built in 1834 initially as the Washington Academy boys school. During the Civil War the Plantation was used as a Garrison and later a Courthouse. Since 1890, the Flemer Family has owned and operated the estate as a dairy farm evolving into a vineyard.

Local Vineyards
Belle Mount Vineyards
Dog and Oyster Vineyard
General's Ridge Vineyard
Good Luck Cellars
The Hague Winery
Ingleside Vineyards
Jacey Vineyards
Oak Crest Vineyard and Winery
Vault Field Vineyards

Explore the history and heritage of the Northern Neck region. The Dahlgren Heritage Foundation is opening a new museum that will be a center for community education, recreation, unique exhibits and stunning naval artifacts (www.dahlgrenmuseum.org). The Mary Ball Washington Museum and Library, named in honor of George Washington's mother, features exibits from 1797-1830 (www.mbwm.org). Menokin, the home of Declaration of Independence signer Francis Lightfoot Lee circa 1769 (www.menokin.org).  The Steamboat Era Museum, created to preserve, educate and interpret the era of steamboats the navigated the waters of the Chesapeake Bay (www.steamboateramuseum.org). Stratford Hall, built in the 1730's, was the birthplace of Robert E. Lee and home to Declaration of Independence signers and brothers Richard Henry and Francis Lightfoot Lee. Visit the Great House, the Mill, and the rare Miocene Cliffs (www.stratfordhall.org).

Places to stay
Bed & Breakfast/INN
The Boat


Counties and Cities in the Rappahannock Region

 The counties and cities in the Rappahannock Region include CarolineEssexFredericksburgGloucesterKing GeorgeKing and QueenKing WilliamLancasterMathewsMiddlesexNorthumberlandRichmond CountySpotsylvaniaStafford, and Westmoreland.


District Health Organizations and Hospitals

Mary Washington Hospital
Rappahannock General Hospital
Rappahannock Health District
Riverside Health System
Riverside Regional Medical Center
Riverside Tappahannock Hospital
Riverside Walter Reed Hospital
Spotsylvania Regional Medical Center
Stafford Hospital
Three Rivers Health District


Community Health Centers (CHC)

Caroline Family Practice
102 W. Broaddus Avenue
Bowling Green, VA  22427
Phone: (804) 632-1030

Community Health Center of the Rappahannock Region
2217 Princess Anne Street
Fredericksburg, VA 22401
Phone: (540) 735-0560

King William-Dawn Community Doctors
11814 King William Road
Aylett, VA 23009
Phone: (804) 769-3022

Town Center Physicians
10980 Buckley Hall Road
Mathews, VA 23109
Phone: (804) 725-9191

Westmoreland Medical Center
18849 Kings Highway
Montross, VA 22520
Phone: (804) 493-9999  

Find Local Support

Blue Ridge Region AHEC – Shenandoah Valley

Capital Region AHEC – Richmond Metro and surrounding areas

Eastern Virginia Region AHEC – Southeast Virginia and Peninsula

Northern Virginia Region AHEC – Northern Virginia

Rappahannock Region AHEC – Northern Neck, Fredericksburg, and Middle Peninsula

South Central Region AHEC – Lynchburg, Danville, and surrounding area

Southside Region AHEC – South of Richmond

Southwest Virginia Region AHEC – Roanoke Valley and West