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State Leaders Honor Roanoke Mental Health Champion Polly Boone 

During its “Cheers for Champions!” event, The Virginia Health Care Foundation (VHCF) welcomed state leaders to honor the hard work of behavioral health organizations and other health care safety net professionals throughout the Commonwealth for their expertise, success, and dedication to help uninsured and medically underserved Virginians obtain the health care they need.

VHCF and its partners dedicated significant resources and attention to increasing the availability of basic mental health services throughout the state over the past year, via VHCF’s three-pronged, behavioral health initiative, Brighter Days Ahead: Addressing Virginia’s Mental Health Crisis.

“Virginia is fortunate to have both executive and legislative branch leaders for whom access to mental health services is a priority,” says The Honorable Margaret G. Vanderhye, VHCF Board of Trustees Chair and master of ceremonies for the event.

Virginia’s Secretary of Health and Human Resources John Littel, introduced and recognized VHCF’s six Mental Health Champions, who went above & beyond to improve the mental health of their organizations and/or their patients/clients, communities.

Blue Ridge Behavioral Healthcare (BRBH) Crisis Stabilization Unit Clinical Manager, Polly Boone, LCSW was one such honoree. Boone’s passion is supporting those who need a hand up, and she demonstrates this both in her role at BRBH and as a community volunteer.

“Your deep understanding of mental illness and heart for community service have changed countless lives,” said Secretary Littel. “You are the perfect match for your position as Inaugural Clinical Manager of Blue Ridge Behavioral Health’s Crisis Stabilization Unit.”

Since becoming the inaugural clinical manager of BRBH’s Crisis Stabilization Unit, she has made significant improvements by introducing evidence-based practices in daily services and ensuring treatment plans are individually specific to client needs and preferences. Boone is also mindful of her staff’s well-being, and her open-door policy makes sure they have the support they need when working overtime or are in need of a break.

Delegate Mark Sickles closed out the event by recognizing and thanking VHCF’s many financial supporters, including the Collis Warner Foundation, which gave VHCF $500,000 as a 3:1 Challenge Grant for VHCF’s Brighter Days Ahead initiative.

“Behavioral health continues to be a top priority for us,” says Oswalt. “We are delighted to celebrate and fund organizations and professionals like these champions who work to ensure Virginians have access to the behavioral health care they need.”

Boone was one of the many professionals honored during the annual Cheers for Champions! event. You can read about them all here.

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