Newport News Behavioral Health Center is pleased to announce the appointment of Thomas Whinnett to Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Newport News Behavioral Health Center, effective September 6, 2022. In this role, he is responsible for the day-to-day operations of the facility, in all aspects including their Psychiatric Residential Facility and Inpatient Psychiatric unit.
Thomas joins Newport News Behavioral Health Center from Behavioral Health Group where he served as Regional Director.
“I am pleased to join the Newport News Behavioral Health Center team,” said Thomas. “Newport News Behavioral Health Center remains a key stakeholder in the Behavioral Health community in Hampton Roads. I’m looking forward to continuing the pursuit of excellence in our service delivery that is driven by a culture of safety and patient-centered care that is rooted in compassion and empathy. I’m so looking forward to being a part of this great team and having a positive impact on the youth and families we serve.”
From Group Director Jaime Fernandez, “We are excited to welcome Thomas to the Newport News team. We are confident that his extensive background in behavioral health and addiction services will be a major asset to the continued growth of Newport News Behavioral Health Center.”
Thomas is continuing his education with Longwood University where he is pursuing his MBA. He earned his Bachelor’s degree in Sociology from Christopher Newport University. He is a Certified Substance Abuse Counselor and has a BA from Christopher Newport University
We are pleased to announce that Damian Tucker, LPC, has been promoted to Director of Clinical Services. Damian joined Newport News Behavioral Health Center in 2016. He initially served in the role of primary therapist, and lead therapist, prior to his promotion to Director of Clinical Services. Damian holds a B.A. in Psychology from Saint Leo University, and a Master’s in Mental Health Counseling from Capella University. Damian has received training in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Aggression Replacement Training, Trauma Focused-CBT, and Dialectical Behavioral Therapy.
Brian Kates, Director of Risk Management and Performance Improvement for Newport News Behavioral Health Center, was recently selected as one of 66 leaders recognized by Becker’s Healthcare Review “Rising Stars: Healthcare Leaders Under 40.” Brian leads compliance, acts as a hospital liaison for all regulatory visits, and conducts risk assessments and analyses. He focuses on improving patient safety, developing staff training to enhance documentation, and implementing tools to improve the incident reporting process. Brian holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science and Journalism from the University of Mississippi.
September 7, 2019 marks the Hampton Roads Morning of Hope Walk to be held at Mount Trashmore, located in Virginia Beach. The Morning of Hope walk promotes good mental health. The initiative is sponsored by the Hampton Roads Survivors of Suicide Support Group, a non-profit for those who have lost a loved one to suicide. This walk is being held during National Suicide Prevention Week.
Staff and residents of Newport News Behavioral Health Center are pleased to participate in this event.
We are pleased to announce that Larry Kirkland, LMHC, has joined the facility as Interim Chief Executive Officer. Larry will provide oversight for the facility and its leadership team and staff. He holds a bachelor’s degree in psychology, with a minor in communications. He received his Master of Science in Counseling Psychology from Troy State University. He received his Master of Arts in Pastoral Counseling from Liberty University. Larry has worked for over 21 years in the mental health field.
Kathy Parker, Director of Business Development, presented at the National Alliance on Mental Illness Hampton/Newport News monthly open meeting held June 10. NAMI Hampton/Newport News, led by Mozelle E. Steward, President, is an affiliate of NAMI Virginia. NAMI works in the local communities to raise awareness and provide advocacy, and essential education and support group programs. NAMI is the nation’s largest grassroots mental health organization dedicated to building better lives for the millions of Americans affected by mental illness. NAMI advocates for access to services. Newport News Behavioral Health Center is a sponsor of the NAMIWalks awareness and fundraising event.
March 21, 2019
Vickie Madison was one of nine women honored within the South Hampton Roads’ community, recognized as a trailblazer within her profession. Vickie serves as a College and Career Counselor at Newport News Behavioral Health Center. “Her position represents a collaborative partnership with federal programs in Newport News Public Schools, as part of a Title 1 Grant,” according to Michael Rogers, director of education. “She has counseled youth on college and career opportunities, working primarily with ages 16 and older; but has individually met with younger youth as part of meeting IEP requirements for transition planning.”
Vickie holds a Master’s degree in Community/Clinical Psychology. She is also a General District Court Mediator. Vickie is the Founder and Executive Director of Excellence Girls Club, Inc., an organization that helps girls capitalize on their academic and leadership potential while promoting advocacy and social justice.
March 20, 2019
Newport News Behavioral Health Center participated in the Joint Services Exceptional Family Member Program Forum and Resource Fair, held March 20 at the Denbigh Community Center. Shelly Hosler, EFMP Case Liaison, Yorktown Fleet and Family Support Center, joined Wanda Willman, Newport News Behavioral Health Center Service Advocate, to discuss programs and services offered to military youth and families.
January 18, 2019
CEO Paul Kirkham and Director of Business Development Kathy Parker provided a luncheon for the officers, to extend a special thank you for the department’s continued support and dedication to the facility staff and residents. Master Police Officer M. J. Blanks provided a tour of the precinct; while Sargeants Pennington and Punter welcomed facility comments by Paul and Kathy during the afternoon staff briefing.
Newport News Behavioral Health Center participated in a Job Fair December 12, held at Denbigh Community Center, located in Newport News. The staff spoke with interested candidates in various positions open at the facility, including staff positions for Mental Health Technicians, nurses, housekeeping, teachers and drivers.
Aryka Brown, Testing Coordinator (Education Department) and Latrice Perry, Program Coordinator (Program Department) exhibited at the event from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.
In support of the annual National Suicide Prevention Awareness Month, Newport News Behavioral Health Center hosted attendees on September 28 from the Hampton Roads/Newport News area representing schools, police departments, fire departments, private therapists and community service boards, who participated in an on-campus training entitled “Suicide Prevention: Incorporating Current Data, Research and Statistics into Professional Practice.”
Benjamin Newman, LPC, NCC, CSAC, MAC, CSOTP, ACS and co-founder of Artisan Counseling, presented on the most recent statistics and research related to suicide. He also discussed an enhancement of the mental health professional’s ability to apply updated research within their clinical settings and support the development of effective risk assessment strategies.
Newport News Behavioral Health Center provides quality mental health treatment services to children and adolescents in a therapeutic environment. If your child is struggling with behavioral health issues, please call us at 757-888-0400. We offer no-cost assessments 24/7.