Task force members named

Published 10:25 pm Thursday, January 2, 2014

Gov. Bob McDonnell on Thursday announced the membership for the newly-created Task Force on Improving Mental Health Services and Crisis Response.

The membership of the task force, created in response to the suicide of Sen. Creigh Deeds’ 24-year-old son, includes leaders in the mental health field, law enforcement communities, the judicial system, private hospitals, and individuals receiving mental health services and their families.

“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 in the announcement.

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The group will review existing services and challenges in Virginia’s mental health system and make recommendations for improvements to mental health procedures, programs and services.

The task force will send initial recommendations no later than Jan. 31. It will hold its first meeting Tuesday in Richmond.

Members of the task force are:

  • Co-chair, Bill Hazel, secretary of health and human resources
  • Co-chair, Bryan Rhode, secretary of public safety
  • Kenneth Cuccinelli, attorney general of Virginia
  • Cynthia D. Kinser, Chief Justice of Virginia Supreme Court
  • Rob Bell, Virginia House of Delegates
  • Joseph Yost, Virginia House of Delegates
  • Emmett Hanger, Senate of Virginia
  • Janet Howell, Senate of Virginia
  • James Stewart, commissioner of the Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Services
  • Cindi Jones, commissioner of the Department of Medical Assistance Services
  • Margaret Schultze, commissioner of the Department of Social Services
  • Col. Steven Flaherty, Superintendent of Virginia 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 of Newport News
  • John Venuti, chief of Virginia Commonwealth Police Department, Richmond
  • James Agnew, sheriff of Goochland County, 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 of the Sixth Magisterial Region
  • Daniel Holser, chief magistrate, 12th Judicial District
  • Bruce Lo, dhief of the Department of Emergency Medicine, Sentara Norfolk General Hospital, Norfolk
  • William Barker, emergency medicine, Fauquier Hospital, Warrenton
  • Douglas Knittel, psychiatric emergency services, Portsmouth Naval Hospital, Portsmouth
  • Thomas Wise, Department of Psychiatry, Inova Fairfax Hospital, Falls Church
  • Ananda Pandurangi, Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond
  • Cynthia McClasky, director, Southwestern Virginia Mental Health Institute, Marion
  • Scott Syverud, vice chair of clinical operations, University of Virginia School of Medicine, Charlottesville
  • Joseph Trapani, chief executive officer of Poplar Springs Hospital, Petersburg
  • Ted Stryker, vice president of 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