Henrico official named to state mental health task force

Mike O'Connor, the executive director of Henrico's Department of Mental Health and Developmental Services, is one of 37 members appointed by Gov. Bob McDonnell to the newly-created Virginia Task Force on Improving Mental Health Services and Crisis Response.

Yesterday, McDonnell announced the members, who include leaders in the mental health field, law enforcement communities, the judicial system, private hospitals and individuals receiving mental health services and their families. The group will review existing services and challenges in Virginia’s mental health system and make recommendations, including legislative and budget proposals, for critical improvements to mental health procedures, programs and services.

“We must ensure that people experiencing mental health crises are connected immediately to needed services to help ensure their safety and the safety of those around them," McDonnell said. "It is critically important that we expand existing mental health treatment services as needed in order to help prevent mental health emergencies from happening. This task force brings together experts on mental health services from a variety of perspectives. I am thankful for Secretary Hazel and Secretary Rhode for their invaluable leadership of this effort, and to all of the task force members who have agreed to examine these important topics, and I believe they will develop recommendations that can be used to make a real difference for Virginians with serious mental health issues and their families. I am pleased that Governor-elect McAuliffe has stated he will issue a similar Executive Order continuing the Task Force during his administration.”

On Dec. 10, McDonnell issued Executive Order 68, establishing the task force to seek and recommend solutions that will improve Virginia’s mental health crisis services and help prevent crises from developing. The task force will send initial recommendations no later than Jan. 31. It will make additional recommendations on an ongoing basis and provide a final report on all aspects of the executive order to the governor no later than Oct. 1.

The Task Force will hold its first meeting on Jan. 7, at 1 p.m. in the Patrick Henry Building in Richmond.

The complete task force membership is:

Co-Chairs
The Honorable Bill Hazel, MD, Secretary of Health and Human Resources
The Honorable Bryan Rhode, Secretary of Public Safety

Members
The Honorable Kenneth Cuccinelli, Attorney General of Virginia
The Honorable Cynthia D. Kinser, Chief Justice of Virginia Supreme Court
The Honorable Rob Bell, Virginia House of Delegates
The Honorable Joseph Yost, Virginia House of Delegates
The Honorable Emmett Hanger, Senate of Virginia
The Honorable Janet Howell, Senate of Virginia
James Stewart, Commissioner, Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Services
Cindi Jones, Commissioner, Department of Medical Assistance Services
Margaret Schultze, Commissioner, Department of Social Services
Colonel Steven Flaherty, Superintendent, Virginia Department of State Police
Buzz Barnett, Emergency Services Director, Region Ten Community Services Board, Charlottesville
Kaye Fair, Emergency Services Director, Fairfax-Falls Church Community Services Board, Fairfax
Melanie Adkins, Emergency Services Director, New River Valley Community Services, Roanoke
Gabriel Morgan, Sheriff, City of Newport News
John Venuti, Chief, Virginia Commonwealth Police Department, Richmond
James Agnew, Sheriff, County of Goochland, Goochland
Mike O’Connor, Executive Director, Henrico Area Community Services, Henrico
Chuck Walsh, Executive Director, Middle Peninsula-Northern Neck Community Services Board, Saluda
Jeffrey Lanham, Regional Magistrate Supervisor, 6th Magisterial Region
Daniel Holser, Chief Magistrate, 12th Judicial District
Bruce Lo, MD, Chief, Department of Emergency Medicine, Sentara Norfolk General Hospital, Norfolk
William Barker, MD, Emergency Medicine, Fauquier Hospital, Warrenton
Douglas Knittel, MD, Psychiatric Emergency Services, Portsmouth Naval Hospital, Portsmouth
Thomas Wise, MD, Department of Psychiatry, Inova Fairfax Hospital, Falls Church
Ananda Pandurangi, MD, Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond
Cynthia McClasky, PhD, Director, Southwestern Virginia Mental Health Institute, Marion
Scott Syverud, MD, Vice Chair, Clinical Operations, University of Virginia School of Medicine, Charlottesville
Joseph Trapani, Chief Executive Officer, Poplar Springs Hospital, Petersburg
Ted Stryker, Vice President, Centra Mental Health Services, Lynchburg
Greg Peters, President and Chief Executive Officer, United Methodist Family Services, Richmond
Teshana Henderson, Chief Administrative Officer, NDUTIME Youth & Family Services, Richmond
Becky Sterling, Saluda
Ben Shaw, Fredericksburg
Rhonda VanLowe, Fairfax
Tom Spurlock, Roanoke
Bail Bonds Chesterfield VA

Reynolds CC dedicates student center


Reynolds Community College recently celebrated the dedication of the Jerry and Mary Owen Student Center, named for longtime supporters of the college who have made numerous investments in it.

Jerry Owen served on the Reynolds College Board from 1984 to 1988, and he and his wife support the college’s scholarship fund and created an endowment for the Reynolds Middle College, which helps students earn a high school equivalency and transition into a degree or workforce credential program. > Read more.

Capital One sponsors ‘Coders Experience’


Capital One hosted its “Coders Experience” event in Richmond and a number of other state locations Oct. 14. The events attracted hundreds of middle school girls, who learned how to create their own mobile apps, hone problem-solving skills and gain software development knowledge. A second day of Coders Experience events will take place Oct. 21. More than 500 Capital One volunteers are participating in the 10 events. > Read more.

Hermitage band member named All-American


The U.S. Army All-American Bowl Presented by American Family Insurance Selection Tour will visit Hermitage H.S. Oct. 19 to recognize Truman Chancy as a 2018 U.S. Army All-American. Hermitage High School will honor Chancy before his classmates, bandmates, family and friends at the high school’s band room during band practice, and he will be presented with his honorary All-American Marching Band jacket. > Read more.

Crime Stoppers’ Crime of the Week: Oct. 16, 2017


This week, Metro Richmond Crime Stoppers is asking for the public to assist the Richmond Police Department in the identification of wayward artists that were using buildings as their canvas.

In the early morning hours of Sept. 14, four people were recorded on security cameras vandalizing multiple properties in the area of the 2500 blocks of West Main Street and Floyd Avenue. The suspects (pictured) were walking north on Robinson Street and spray painting the properties as they meandered along. > Read more.

Slipping through


Hermitage quarterback Jay Carney escapes defenders during the Panthers' 33-0 win against Godwin Friday night. Hermitage is 8-0 and has won its past four games by a combined score of 172-28. > Read more.

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The Open University of The Shepherd’s Center of Richmond will present Lunch and Life, a four-week series open to all persons 50+ at no charge, at St. Mary Catholic Church, 9505 Gayton Rd. Today’s speaker, Dr. Edward Ayers, president emeritus at University of Richmond, will present “Richmond’s Civil War Legacy.” A bag lunch will begin at noon, with beverages and dessert provided by the church; the speaker will start at 12:30 p.m. For details, call 355-7282 or visit http://www.tscor.org. Full text

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