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A Full Plate: Reflecting on the Community’s Role in Nourishing Our Neighbors 

A Full Plate: Reflecting on the Community’s Role in Nourishing Our Neighbors 

By: Deb Fisher

Growing up in a family that watched every penny, my mother’s arrival with bags full of groceries from one of our local churches was always a reason for celebration for my five siblings and me. I remember our excitement while helping our mother put the food away and our anticipation of trying new, mysterious treats that our parents would not usually buy. These bags, filled with new foods, brought a sense of excitement to our dinner table.  

It was not until I matured that I began to understand that the food my mom brought home was from a community food pantry and that we were a family who needed assistance. Despite our limited means, my family of eight never experienced the pangs of hunger thanks to the generosity of our neighbors and programs designed to help keep families fed when faced with challenging times.  


Now, as a Communications Specialist for the Williamsburg Health Foundation, I am honored to be part of an organization supporting local organizations that work to address the same food insecurity issues that touched my family. I have had eye-opening conversations with those at the helm of food pantries in the Greater Williamsburg area about our community’s growing needs. Declines in personal and grocery store contributions forced some pantries to dip into their emergency funds so families in Greater Williamsburg have access to nutritious food.  


The Williamsburg Health Foundation continues to respond to this critical need. Reflecting our commitment to the health and well-being of this community, the Foundation recently awarded a total of $100,000 — $20,000 each to five local sites — FISH, Grove Christian Outreach Center, The Salvation Army, Virginia Peninsula Foodbank, and Williamsburg House of Mercy.  


This is deeply personal. Thinking of our community members receiving help – I reflect on my family who sometimes chose between a meal and a medical bill, rent, or a utility payment. Staff and volunteers of these agencies, and this funding, help ensure families have a lifeline and will not have to make difficult choices alone. 

Williamsburg Health Foundation Welcomes New Board Members

Williamsburg Health Foundation Welcomes New Board Members

Williamsburg Health Foundation Welcomes New Board Members


WHF Staff

The Williamsburg Health Foundation is pleased to announce the addition of two esteemed professionals, Rhiannon Hartman and Lawrence B. Pulley, to its Board of Trustees.

Rhiannon Hartman brings a wealth of legal expertise to the board. Hartman is currently an estate planning practitioner at Carrell Blanton Ferris & Associates in Williamsburg and a former The Heritage Law Group employee. She obtained her Juris Doctor from the University of Richmond School of Law in 2010 after completing her BS at William & Mary in 2004. A Williamsburg resident for over 15 years, Hartman is deeply committed to the community where she raises her two children. She also serves as a Board Member for the Legal Aid Society of Eastern Virginia, highlighting her dedication to legal service and community welfare.


Lawrence B. Pulley is a respected figure in academia and business. As the emeritus dean and TC and Elizabeth Clarke professor at the Raymond A. Mason School of Business at William & Mary, Pulley brings a rich background in economics and education. A proud Phi Betta Kappa graduate of William & Mary in 1974, he earned his Ph.D. in economics from the University of Virginia. His career includes notable roles such as assistant professor of economics at Brandeis University and significant leadership positions within the School of Business at William & Mary. Pulley’s expertise in banking industry structure, international payments, and portfolio management will significantly benefit the Foundation’s strategic direction.


The addition of Rhiannon Hartman and Lawrence B. Pulley to the Board of Trustees signifies the Foundation’s ongoing commitment to leveraging diverse expertise for community health improvement. Their combined experience in legal affairs, academia, and economics will be solid contributions to the Foundation’s mission to “Collaborate, innovate, and invest to impact systems that improve the health and well-being of individuals living in Greater Williamsburg.”


Williamsburg Health Foundation Awards Nearly $1.1 Million to Local Organizations

WILLIAMSBURG, VA – The Williamsburg Health Foundation (WHF) is pleased to announce that the Board of Trustees has approved funding totaling $1,099,300 to organizations providing health-related services to those living in Greater Williamsburg. These grants represent WHF’s dedication to enhancing the health and well-being of the community.


“These investments illustrate our commitment to fostering long-term partnerships and embracing new opportunities,” said WHF President & CEO, Deanna Van Hersh. “Along with continued support for health-related programs, we are excited to provide first-time grants for efforts that align with our community’s evolving needs.”


A substantial portion of this funding, over $500,000, is earmarked for behavioral health services. “As the pandemic’s aftereffects persist, the need for mental health services remains high,” explained Bill Pribble, Vice President of Programs. “Recognizing the elevated need, WHF has increased investment in behavioral health services to ensure vital community support continues uninterrupted.”


WHF has allocated $489,300 to support two-generation family services, healthy eating/active living, and healthy aging strategies that address behavioral and social risk factors throughout the lifespan. Highlights include a new collaboration with the Virginia Down Syndrome Association focused on enhanced care coordination and programming for Williamsburg area individuals with Down syndrome and their families and partial funding for the Active Older Adults program at the R.F. Wilkinson Family YMCA.


Community capacity building remains a key focus, with $99,500 directed toward efforts designed to increase the impact of the Williamsburg Community Growers and the Greater Williamsburg Trauma-Informed Community Network.


These are significant contributions toward a healthier, more vibrant Greater Williamsburg area. They reflect WHF’s resolve to address current challenges and proactively participate in shaping a healthier future for all community members. Please refer to the table below for a complete list of the awarded grants. To learn more about grant opportunities, visit



Organization Name Project Title Project Description Board Approved Amount
Grants for Community Capacity Building
United Way of the Virginia Peninsula Greater Williamsburg Trauma Informed Community Network (GW-TICN) To provide administrative support for the GW-TICN. $7,500
Williamsburg Community Growers Increase Our Impact To increase the impact of the community garden and teaching farm in James City County. $92,000
Grants for Healthy Eating Active Living (HEAL)
The Arc of Greater Williamsburg Fitness Program To provide both clients and caregivers with activities and tools to improve the health of adults with intellectual and/or developmental disabilities. $37,500
Grove Christian Outreach Center Refrigeration Units  To purchase and install new refrigeration units to meet the increased demand for food assistance by low-income families living in Grove. $50,000
Virginia Legacy Soccer Club Virginia Legacy WJCC Recreational Soccer Program To provide recreational soccer free of charge to children in the City of Williamsburg and James City County. $60,000
Virginia Peninsula Foodbank Mobile Food Pantry To provide fresh produce for the Williamsburg mobile food pantry program. $60,000
Grants to Support Two-Generation Family Services
Virginia Down Syndrome Association Williamsburg Community Coordinator To establish a Williamsburg staff position to provide family care coordination and programming for Greater Williamsburg Area families who have a member with Down syndrome. $46,800
Grants for Healthy Aging
Peninsula Agency on Aging Nutritious Noontime Meals To provide home-delivered nutritious meals for low-income, aged 60 and older, residents. $75,000
Peninsula Agency on Aging PAA RIDES To provide non-emergency medical transportation for older adults and people with disabilities. $130,000
YMCA of the Virginia Peninsulas Active Older Adults @ the R.F. Wilkinson Family YMCA To expand social, physical, and educational efforts available to older adults at the R.F. Wilkinson Family YMCA. $15,000
Williamsburg Area Faith in Action In-Home Support Services To provide free, in-home support services for isolated older adults aged 60 and older living in Greater Williamsburg. $15,000
Grants for Behavioral Health Services
Bacon Street Youth and Family Services Support for Operations  To provide support for Bacon Street’s operations. $350,000
Center for Child and Family Services, Inc. The Reboot Program To provide trauma-informed assessments, individual, and/or group counseling for adults who are perpetrators of violence in intimate partner relationships and/or struggling with substance abuse. $133,000
Postpartum Support Virginia, Inc. Healthy Moms, Healthy Babies To increase opportunities in the Greater Williamsburg Area for recovery from perinatal mood and anxiety disorders (PMADs) and to create awareness among maternal and child-focused service organizations, healthcare, and behavioral health providers about PMADs. $20,000
Other Grants
The Doorways Support for Operations To help underwrite lodging and support services for patients (children and adults) and their families from the WHF service area. $7,500














Williamsburg Health Foundation Celebrates Bill Pribble’s 20 Years of Dedication and Commitment

Williamsburg Health Foundation Celebrates Bill Pribble’s 20 Years of Dedication and Commitment

Williamsburg Health Foundation Celebrates Bill Pribble’s 20 Years of Dedication and Commitment

October 13, 2023

The Williamsburg Health Foundation (WHF) is pleased to honor and celebrate the remarkable two-decade career of its Vice President of Programs, Bill Pribble.  Today, we recognize Bill’s extraordinary contributions to WHF as well as his unwavering dedication in supporting countless community partners over the past 20 years.


Bill joined the Foundation in 2002 as a Grants Administrator shortly after graduating from Virginia Tech, when WHF was still a part of Williamsburg Community Hospital. In 2003, he was instrumental in the transition of WHF to a private foundation, and in 2010 he was promoted to Program Officer.  Later, he rose to Senior Program Officer, and finally, as of April of this year, he was appointed to Vice President of Programs, where he is responsible for overseeing the awarding of nearly $5 million annually to local nonprofits and government agencies.   


Throughout his remarkable career, Bill has:


  • Championed Our Mission: He has been a strong advocate for the mission of the Foundation and has consistently worked to improve access to healthcare, promote wellness in the community, and advance our philanthropic efforts. Bill has been particularly involved in managing the Foundation’s grants portfolio in the healthy eating and active living area.
  • Built Partnerships: Bill has been instrumental in forging meaningful partnerships with local healthcare organizations, nonprofit organizations, and leaders in the community, who are focused on improving the health and wellbeing of people in our community. Over the years, he has managed partnerships between the Foundation and Avalon, Bacon Street Youth and Family Services, Center for Child and Family Services, Child Development Resources (CDR), Colonial Community Corrections, Community Housing Partners, FISH, Grove Christian Outreach Center, Virginia Health Care Foundation, Virginia Legacy Soccer Club, Virginia Peninsula Foodbank, and the Williamsburg-James City County School’s School Health Initiative Program (SHIP), among others.
  • Inspired Others: With his affable demeanor and historical knowledge of the Foundation’s work, Bill has been a tremendous colleague, friend, and mentor to those individuals and organizations associated with the Foundation throughout the years.


Deanna Van Hersh, WHF President and CEO, expressed gratitude for Bill’s contributions, saying, “Twenty years is an incredible milestone, and Bill has and continues to make a tremendous impact on the Foundation’s work and throughout the community. I am deeply grateful for his commitment and look forward to many more years of working together.”


Congratulations on 20 years at the Williamsburg Health Foundation, Bill!


The Williamsburg Health Foundation has a corpus of over $135 million and distributes an average of $5 million in grants annually in the Greater Williamsburg Area. The Foundation also convenes agencies to address health-related challenges that cannot be solved by one organization or sector alone. For more information on the Williamsburg Health Foundation, visit

Health foundation grants focus on supporting mental health throughout Williamsburg area

Health foundation grants focus on supporting mental health throughout Williamsburg area

Health foundation grants focus on supporting mental health throughout Williamsburg area


By  | | Correspondent

JAMES CITY — As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Williamsburg Health Foundation said it remains more committed than ever to helping support and increase mental health services throughout the Greater Williamsburg community.

The foundation recently released its 2022 annual report, which revealed a total of $4,886,660 handed out to more than 40 organizations with a focus on mental health. Fifteen of those recipients were first-time grantees.

“The foundation has long recognized the significance of mental health and its connection to overall well-being,” said Bill D. Pribble, the foundation’s vice president of programs. “As the mental health toll from the COVID-19 pandemic became apparent in our community, the foundation prioritized funding in 2022 for programs that increased access to behavioral health services. For this reason, the focus of our 2022 annual report is on mental and behavioral health.”

Grants were awarded in a variety of categories, including advocacy and capacity building, family services, healthy eating, active living, healthy aging, integrated care, behavioral health care, medication access and other services. Individual grants ranged from $3,000 to $670,000.

Williamsburg-James City County Schools received the largest amount of funds for its School Health Initiative Program.

“The 2022 annual report demonstrates the foundation’s $4.9 million investment in both programs and initiatives that target risk factors affecting our population’s health,” Pribble said. “We are most proud of the work our community partners did to address social determinants of health and provide direct care to the underserved, unrepresented, and under-voiced populations in our community.”

Among the 2022 grant recipients for behavioral health care programs were Bacon Street Youth and Family Services, Center for Child & Family Services, Colonial Behavioral Health and Postpartum Support Virginia.

Those who received awards for integrated care programs were Colonial Behavioral Health, Community Access Network, Gloucester Mathews Care Clinic, Lackey Clinic and Olde Towne Medical & Dental Center.

As the foundation’s board reflects on the latest annual report, Pribble said there are still a number of community health issues WHF would like to address.

“The Greater Williamsburg area continues to wrestle with difficult and complicated health issues facing our community,” Pribble said. “The pandemic exacerbated some of these ongoing issues and brought others into stronger focus. Like other localities around the country, for example, Williamsburg must address the needs of our community’s aging population, the shortage of healthcare workers, and strategies for providing responsive and effective care to uninsured children and adults in our community.”

In addition to mental and behavioral health issues that arose from the pandemic, “three other unmet health needs have consistently ranked of highest concern: access to healthy food, affordable housing and transportation,” Pribble said. “The foundation remains committed to providing funding and building partnerships to address these areas.”

The foundation awarded funding for programs related to healthy eating and active living to The Arc of Greater Williamsburg, Colonial CASA, Grove Christian Outreach Center, Virginia Legacy Soccer Club, Virginia Peninsula Foodbank, Williamsburg Community Growers, Williamsburg House of Mercy, Williamsburg Soccer Foundation and Williamsburg-James City County Schools.

The Williamsburg Health Foundation was first established in 1996 to help improve the health and well-being for residents of the Greater Williamsburg area. The foundation has handed out more than $100 million in grants so far to support its mission.

“The Williamsburg Health Foundation remains committed to supporting the important work of our dedicated community partners,” Pribble said. “Through these partnerships, the foundation hopes to continue having an important role in improving the health and well-being of those individuals and families who work, play, and live in our wonderful community.”

To see the complete list of grant recipients, visit

Brandy Centolanza,