Each October the Williamsburg Health Foundation (WHF) presents its annual awards to highlight someone or some organization that helps to make Greater Williamsburg a healthier community. WHF has presented awards in the Fall each year since 1999. “On the one hand this year is no different than years past. On the other hand, this year is completely different,” said Glenda Turner, WHF Board Member and Chair of the Annual Awards Committee.

This year’s annual awards are no different than years past because there are honorees that promote the health of the community and there is a video about those honorees. For 2021, the annual awards are presented to James City County’s Emergency Management Department; The City of Williamsburg’s Office of Emergency Management Team; and York County’s Office of Emergency Management. “We honor their innovation and collaboration in response to the pandemic,” said Turner. Each department has received a letter of commendation, an etched-glass award, and $5,000.”

“The Williamsburg Health Foundation believes unequivocally that the emergency management efforts of the City of Williamsburg, James City County, and York County saved lives and prevented illness and immense suffering by lowering the number of cases of COVID-19 through their vaccination efforts,” said President and CEO, Carol L. Sale, RN, MSN.

This year’s awards completely depart from award presentations in the past because this year’s WHF’s annual awards will not happen at a breakfast at a local venue. Instead, the event will happen solely on YouTube.

In another departure from its traditions, WHF this year produced more than one video for the event. WHF created five other “shorts,” short videos under two minutes, about lasting innovations from the pandemic that apply to education, local government, healthcare, recreation, and food service for both for-profit and nonprofit organizations.

In all the videos, WHF focused on “lasting innovations” that will continue “beyond the pandemic.” “We want to highlight not only what happened, but to look forward and highlight what will continue to happen, what changes will stick around,” said Sale.

“It’s completely different for us to have our Annual Awards be 100% virtual and to premiere on YouTube,” said Turner. “

To view the individual videos and the entire awards program described above, visit youtube.com/user/WburgCommunityHealth.