MEET OUR TEAM

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Kathy joined the Substance Abuse Addiction Recovery Alliance (SAARA) in October 2018. Prior to joining the SAARA team, Kathy was the Executive Director of the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) of Central Virginia.

 

Kathy has served as a board director for NAMI Virginia, board President of NAMI Central Virginia, and board President of Hanover Community Support Services. Kathy brings effective leadership, advocacy, visionary, and strategic thinking skills to SAARA. She is a trainer of numerous programs including: Family-to-Family Education, Advocacy, Crisis Intervention Teams (CIT), Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training (ASIST), and Mental Health First Aid Youth. Kathy holds a Master’s degree in Public Policy and undergraduate degrees’ in Psychology and Multidisciplinary Studies with business management and education cognates. Kathy has a certificate in non-profit management from Duke University and she completed an extensive internship in biogenetic research at Virginia Commonwealth University. Kathy is the recipient of several awards including the CIT International advocate award.

 

Kathy’s family has personally been affected by Substance Use Disorder (SUD). Kathy is passionate about creating stigma free communities, SAARA’s programs that promote recovery and witnessing the results of SAARA’s services, and advocacy for solutions that create positive change for individuals and families affected by SUD in Virginia.

 

Contact Kathy at kathyh@saaracenter.org for questions related to administration, advocacy, and statewide affiliates. 

          

Executive Director

Kathy Harkey, MA-MPP, BSP, BSMDS

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Kelsi Sober joined SAARA in February 2019 after interning at SAARA for a year. Today, Kelsi is SAARA’s Communications & Development Specialist. Kelsi is a native of Chester Virginia and a proud mother. She holds certifications in Addiction and is in the home stretch of obtaining her Bachelors of Social Sciences degree in Human Services from the University of Phoenix. Kelsi is a REVIVE! Trainer and has completed the Voices of Recovery Training.

 

Substance Use Disorder is near and dear to Kelsi’s heart. As an adolescent, Kelsi began experimenting with drugs and alcohol and admits that this experimentation quickly led her down a destructive path. Kelsi is now living in long-term recovery. She is dedicated to helping and advocating for individuals with substance abuse use and their families.

Contact Kelsi at kelsis@saaracenter.org for information on special events, the website, social media and communications.

Communications & Development Specialist

Kelsi Sober

Carrie Parnell is a Certified Peer Recovery Specialist. Carrie works as the lead coordinator for the Alive RVA Warm-line at the SAARA Center in Richmond, VA. Carrie is a REVIVE Trainer and Voices of Recovery Trainer and Presenter. Carrie completed Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training (ASIST) in August, 2019. Carrie presents at conferences, Crisis Intervention Team (CIT) training in Henrico County, Crisis Stabilization Unit, leads workgroups, and advocates for substance use disorder treatment and recovery to help those affected by addiction in the Commonwealth.  

 

As someone in long term recovery, Carrie uses the lessons she has learned to help others who are struggling with substance use disorder and addiction. Carrie enjoys working on the Alive RVA Warm-line because it provides her the opportunity to offer hope for recovery to the peers she works with. 

Contact Carrie at carriep@saaracenter.org for information on the Alive RVA program.

Lead Peer Coordinator

Carrie Parnell, CPRS

Jason Cox is a Certified Peer Recovery Specialist with Alive RVA and SAARA of Virginia. He has completed the Voices of Recovery Training, Resilience Action Planning Workshop for Peers, and the Virginia Association of Recovery Residences Authentic Recovery Advocacy Training.

 

Jason is living in long-term recovery and plans to continue gaining knowledge to become the most effective Peer Recovery Specialist possible. Jason is truly grateful for the opportunity to give this knowledge to those who need help and seek recovery from substance use disorder and addiction.

Contact Jason at jasonc@saaracenter.org for information on the Alive RVA program.

Peer Recovery Specialist

Jason Cox, CPRS

Jeff McGhee is a Certified Peer Recovery Specialist that works on the Alive RVA Warm Line. Jeff has completed the REVIVE Training, Applied Suicide Intervention Support Training (ASIST), Medically Assisted Recovery Support Training (MARS), and the Voices of Recovery Training. He presents at Crisis Intervention Team (CIT) training for Henrico County, local high schools, and Crisis Stabilization Unit (CSU).

Jeff is a person in long term recovery who uses his experience to support others who are struggling with substance use disorder. He loves working as a Peer Recovery Specialist because it gives him a greater sense of purpose within the community and the potential to offer hope to the peers he interacts with on a daily basis. Advocating is high on Jeff's priority list because it is important to him to help break the stigma for those who suffer from substance use disorder. 

Contact Jeff at jeffm@saaracenter.org for information on the Alive RVA program.

Peer Recovery Specialist

Jeff McGhee, CPRS

Richard Howard is a Peer Recovery Specialist with SAARA of Virginia. Prior to his journey with SAARA, Richard was a Peer Mentor Supervisor at The Healing Place for 7 years where he supervised 14 employees and oversaw roughly 140 program participants. Richard currently coordinates group schedules, facilitators and oversees volunteers and program participants at the SAARA Center.

Richard is in long-term recovery and strives to provide support for individuals impacted by substance use disorder.

Contact Richard at richardh@saaracenter.org for information on peer recovery support services at the SAARA Center.

Peer Recovery Specialist

Richard Howard, PRS

Lynda Clarke is a Peer Recovery Specialist with SAARA of Virginia. She began volunteering with SAARA of Virginia in 2011. In 2012, Lynda opened On Purpose Transitional Recovery/Re-entry, LLC providing women with recovery support and assisting them in gaining employment, computer skills, dressing for success, parenting skills and preparing meals. She has completed the Applied Suicide Intervention Support Training (ASIST) and is a Certified Recovery Coach, Certified WRAP Peer, and Lay Health Promoter. Lynda is currently the Drug Court Coordinator at the SAARA Center where she provides on-on one peer support using her experience with Substance Use Disorder, Trauma Informed Care, and Mental Health Challenges. She facilitates a women's recovery group every Tuesday from 1:00 PM - 2:00 PM.

Lynda is in long-term recovery and strives to be an example for others to see that recovery is possible. "Trust the Process".

Contact Lynda at lyndac@saaracenter.org for information on peer recovery support services at the SAARA Center.

Peer Recovery Specialist

Lynda Clarke, PRS

Contact Mary at maryc@saaracenter.org for information on peer recovery support services at the SAARA Center.

Peer Recovery Specialist

Mary Chamberlain

Contact Chris at chrisp@saaracenter.org for information on peer recovery support services at the SAARA Center.

Peer Recovery Specialist

Chris Pittman

Contact Olivia at oliviac@saaracenter.org for information on the Alive RVA program.

Peer Recovery Specialist

Olivia Claytor

Contact Us

SAARA of Virginia
2000 Mecklenburg Street

Richmond, VA 23223

info@saaracenter.org
Phone: (804) 762-4445 | Fax: (804) 762-4333

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© 2020 SAARA of Virginia.