STATE-NEWSRICHMOND, Va. (AP) _ The Virginia Hospital and Healthcare Association says the state’s hospitals are under serious financial strain and need help. The association held a news conference Wednesday at the Richmond Community Hospital to highlight the role hospitals play in Virginia’s economy and the need for government action. Hospitals have tried unsuccessfully to convince the GOP-controlled General Assembly to pass Medicaid expansion. The association is launching a statewide public awareness campaign that will “educate Virginians about the serious challenges facing Virginia hospitals.” Virginia hospitals employ 115,000 people and generate $36 billion in economic activity for the state, according to the association.