Service Spotlight: Project SEARCH

In late May, Project SEARCH celebrated the conclusion of a year of hard work for Pitt County Schools students with disabilities.

Project SEARCH is a combined education and internship program for students with Intellectual/Developmental Disabilities, who have completed their high school or community college academic requirements, but who have not yet officially graduated. It is designed to give them the skills to gain employment after high school and contribute to their communities.

The Pitt County Project Search program is a partnership between Vidant Medical Center, Pitt County Schools, RHA Health Services and the N.C. Division of Vocational Rehabilitation Services.

Students in the program work on employability skills in the classroom for the first hour and last half hour of the day. The rest of their day is spent at an internship for which they applied, interviewed and were selected.

At the ceremony in May, students received their certificates and had an opportunity to reflect on their time in the program. After graduation the students will receive assistance with finding gainful employment.

WATCH THIS VIDEO from WNCT to see interviews with the May 2019 Pitt County Project SEARCH graduates.

Since its inception, Project SEARCH has grown from a single program site at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital to over 300 sites across the United States and Canada, England, Scotland, Ireland, and Australia. Project SEARCH’s primary objective is to secure competitive employment for people with disabilities.

Learn more about all of RHA’s Employment Services programs.

The Partnership for Substance Free Youth in Buncombe County Hosts Medication Drop-off Sites for National Prescription Take Back Day, Oct. 26

On Saturday, October 26, 2019, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., The Partnership for Substance Free Youth in Buncombe County, will host several medication drop-off sites in collaboration with local businesses and law enforcement as part of the federal Drug Enforcement Agency’s National Prescription Drug Take Back Day. RHA Prevention Resource Centers is a member of the Partnership for Substance Free Youth in Buncombe County.

The event will take place at multiple locations across Buncombe County from 10 a.m.-2 p.m.:

Walgreens: 1124 Patton Ave, Asheville
Walgreens: 1835 Hendersonville Road, Asheville
Walgreens: 91 S. Tunnel Road, Asheville
Walgreens: 841 Merrimon Avenue, Asheville
CVS: 425 W State St. Black Mountain
Asheville Airport – Public Safety Building, Fletcher
SONA Pharmacy: 805 Fairview Rd, Asheville
Asheville Mountain Pharmacy: 1272 Tunnel Rd. Ste 20, Asheville

Note: Please remove identification from all medications, and separate pills, liquids and inhalers into different bags or containers. We cannot accept radioactive medications such as cancer medications. Also, we cannot accept needles or sharps. All medications collected during the event are considered anonymous and will be incinerated by the Drug Enforcement Agency.

For the first time, the DEA and The Partnership for Substance Free Youth in Buncombe County, will also accept vaping devices and cartridges at any of its drop off locations during the Take Back Day. Many concerns have been raised lately across the United States over illnesses and death caused by vaping and the high youth vaping initiation rates. In an effort to support a healthy lifestyle and energetic population, especially amongst Americas’ youth, DEA is committed to doing all it can to help safely dispose of vaping devices and substances.

Through these events and permanent medication drop boxes in our community, The Partnership for Substance Free Youth in Buncombe County has already collected 400 pounds of unneeded or expired prescription medications in 2019.

Download 2019 Buncombe County Prescription Take Back Day Event Flyer in English

Download 2019 Buncombe County Prescription Take Back Day Event Flyer in Spanish

National Prescription Drug Take Back Day Background

Last fall Americans turned in nearly 469 tons (more than 937,000 pounds) of prescription drugs at nearly 6,300 sites operated by the DEA and almost 5,000 of its state and local law enforcement partners. Overall, in its 17 previous Take Back events, DEA and its partners have taken in more than 11.8 million pounds—approximately 5,900 tons—of pills.

This initiative addresses a vital public safety and public health issue. Medicines that languish in home cabinets are highly susceptible to diversion, misuse and abuse. Rates of prescription drug abuse in the United States are alarmingly high, as are the number of accidental poisonings and overdoses due to these drugs. The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s National Survey on Drug Use and Health shows year after year that the majority of misused and abused prescription drugs are obtained from family and friends, including someone else’s medication being stolen from the home medicine cabinet. In addition, Americans are now advised that their usual methods for disposing of unused medicines—flushing them down the toilet or throwing them in the trash—both pose potential safety and health hazards.

Participating in National Prescription Drug Take Back Day provides community members with an opportunity to help prevent prescription and over-the-counter medicine misuse and abuse by disposing of unused or expired medicines in a safe, convenient, and responsible way.

For more information about the disposal of prescription drugs or about the October 26 National Prescription Drug Take Back Day, go to

How to Safely Store Medications

Store medications in secure locations such as:
• Medication lock box
• Cabinet with lock
• Or other lockable spaces

Avoid storage places where children and others can easily access, such as:
• Nightstands
• Or kitchen cabinets

How to Dispose of Medications

Once finished with a medication, you have three options for disposal:

  1. Safely dispose of medications by placing them in a local Buncombe County drug drop-box:
    • Lobby of Buncombe Sheriff’s Office – 339 New Leicester Highway, Leicester
    • Lobby of Buncombe County Courthouse – 60 Court Plaza, Downtown Asheville
    • Lobby of Asheville Police Department – 100 Court Plaza
  2. Take advantage of community drug take-back programs that allow the public to bring unused medications to central locations for proper disposal.
  3. No drop-box or take back near you? Dispose medications safely at home:
    • Remove pills from bottle and mix them with undesirable substances such as kitty litter or coffee grounds.
    • Throw away the sealed mixture into the trash.
    • Remove the prescription label and dispose of the empty bottle.

The Partnership for Substance Free Youth in Buncombe County

Contact: Michèle Barkett, Coalition Coordinator 828-348-2641 [email protected]

Learn more about RHA Prevention Resource Centers, a program of RHA Health Services.

RHA Employee Lacretia Hill Named TNCO Outstanding DSP for Western Tennessee

Lacretia Hill, an RHA Health Services group home supervisor at the Dawn Hill home at RHA’s Memphis, TN unit, was named Tennesse Community Organizations’ (TNCO) 2019 Oustanding DSP for Western Tennessee. She was honored at TNCO’s Annual Awards of Excellence Luncheon on October 16.

PHOTO: Lacretia Hill (middle) with her husband Ricardo Hill, Sr. (right) and RHA Administrator Salihah Jenkins (left) at TNCO’s Annual Awards of Excellence Luncheon on October 16.

Lacretia began working with RHA as a direct support professional in 2007 and since that time she has been promoted to group home supervisor.

RHA Administrator Salihah Jenkins wrote of Lacretia in her nomination letter for the TNCO award: “Lacretia cares deeply about her individuals that she supports and goes above and beyond to ensure that they have a good quality of life and that their needs are met. Lacretia Hill with Kevin ScarboroughShe is very well respected by her staff in her leadership role… It is her priority to ensure that the individuals supported are well taken care of and she helps them advocate and learn about their rights on a daily basis. Lacretia ensures that the individuals supported are valued members of their communities… [Lacretia] does her job with dignity and reflects the core values of RHA on a daily basis.”

PHOTO: Lacretia Hill with Kevin Scarborough of TNCO at the annual awards luncheon on October 16.

RHA thanks and celebrates Lacretia for her dedication to the individuals she supports and for being a role model to others.

Tennessee Community Organizations (TNCO) is a statewide trade association for service provider organizations that support people with intellectual and developmental disabilities in Tennessee.


Interested in pursuing a career as a Direct Support Professional with RHA?
Visit our Direct Support Jobs web page for full details.

Two RHA Direct Support Professionals Recognized by The Council on Quality and Leadership During DSP Week

Direct Support Professional Recognition Week, September 8 to 14, 2019

During Direct Support Professional Recognition Week, we thank and celebrate all the Direct Support Professionals in our RHA family, who are dedicated to making a difference in the lives of people with intellectual, physical and developmental disabilities every day. Direct Support Professional Recognition Weeks is presented by the American Network of Community Options and Resources (ANCOR), The Council on Quality and Leadership (CQL) and the National Alliance for Direct Support Professionals (NADSP).

This year, The Council on Quality and Leadership has recognized two RHA Direct Support Professionals who are going above and beyond to support the people they serve in setting and meeting goals and pursuing their dreams. Read excerpts of their stories below and click the links to read the full articles on the CQL website.

Beth Triplett: A Positive Source of Support

Beth Triplett works as a Direct Support Professional for RHA Health Services, a CQL-accredited organization providing a broad range of person-centered, integrated, and high-quality supports to thousands of people in Georgia, Florida, North Carolina, and Tennessee.

Beth has used the Personal Outcomes Measures® as a valuable tool to gain a better understanding of individually defined outcomes and then use that information to help support opportunities for a more meaningful day. Beth has made such a difference in so many lives, one in particular being Tammy.

Read Beth and Tammy’s full story on CQL’s website.


Carla Garrision Greene: Outcomes on the Ballot

Carla Garrision Greene never tells the people she supports that they can’t pursue their dreams. Instead, Carla works to empower people to make their dreams come true. Carla is a Direct Support Professional for RHA Health Services, a CQL-accredited organization providing a broad range of person-centered, integrated, and high-quality supports to thousands of people in Georgia, Florida, North Carolina, and Tennessee.

During a Personal Outcome Measures® interview with Mary, a person receiving supports through RHA Health Services, Carla discovered Mary’s passion for the election process. After observing campaign activities and at one point being turned away from a voting site, Mary made clear in her interview that she wanted to vote in local and national elections.

Read Carla and Tammy’s full story on CQL’s website.



Interested in pursuing a career as a Direct Support Professional with RHA?
Visit our Direct Support Jobs web page for full details.

The Council on Quality and Leadership is a leader in working with human service organizations and systems to continuously define, measure, and improve quality of life and quality of services for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities, psychiatric disabilities, older adults, and youth. CQL offers accreditation, training, certification, research, and consultation services to agencies. RHA is proud to be a CQL-accredited organization.

Employee Spotlight – Taylor Tanner, DSP

We have a fabulous staff and team at the Barnsley Home in Adairsville, GA. Direct Support Professional (DSP) Taylor Tanner is certainly one of them!

Taylor goes above and beyond to make sure that the people she serves are treated with dignity and respect. It is also very important to her that they enjoy all kinds of life experiences. She loves to plan fun events like a field trip to the Tellus Museum because of these activities provide hands-on experience with science and promote new learning opportunities.

This past Halloween she not only dressed up but made sure that everyone had a costume. The home was beautifully decorated in full Halloween decor and there was plenty of candy to pass out to their neighbors! Taylor is a “team” player and loves providing a sense of community for everyone at the group home. Outside of the workplace Taylor enjoys spending time with her family and friends. She loves the theater and is currently acting in a dramatic play. As you can tell in her picture she has a bubbly personality and she enjoys life.

Thank you Taylor for the dedication to our home and the positive energy that you bring our way.

RHA Georgia provides a full continuum of residential options for people with disabilities to live in a safe and healthy environment. Our goal is for people to achieve the highest level of independence at home and in the community. Our interdisciplinary teams work closely with family members and guardians and we encourage involvement in all aspects of their loved one’s lives.

For more information about our Georgia programs: contact [email protected]

RHA Behavioral Health North Carolina Issued CARF Accreditation

We are pleased to announce that RHA has received a 3-year accreditation from CARF International for specific programs located at 24 sites in North Carolina. Carmela Phillips, MBA, CCP/Executive Director of Compliance & Quality Assurance for RHA Health Services says, “CARF accreditation of these six key substance use services signifies RHA meets the best practices for clinical and person-centered supports.

This is the highest level we could have received and are proud of the positive
feedback both verbally and in writing regarding the quality of our services.”


Defining Quality & Setting The PACE For Excellence in Health Care



Programs falling under the accreditation

  • • Crisis Stabilization: Mental Health (Adults)
  • • Day Treatment: Alcohol and Other Drugs/Addictions (Adults)
  • • Detoxification/Withdrawal Management: Alcohol & Other Drugs/Addictions (Adults)
  • • Intensive Outpatient Treatment: Alcohol & Other Drugs/Addictions (Adults)
  • • Outpatient Treatment: Integrated: AOD/MH (Adults)
  • • Outpatient Treatment: Integrated: AOD/MH (Children and Adolescents)


Jeanne Duncan, RHA Health Services CEO says, “I want to congratulate the team that worked on the 3-yr CARF accreditation. RHA received a glowing report and this accreditation was a team effort. Job well done.”

RHA has a continued focus on innovation and quality and is also the
longest-standing company with continuous Council on Quality Leadership
(CQL). RHA is CQL accredited for all of our I/DD programs, and most
Behavioral Health programs.

“Your organization should take pride in achieving this high level of accreditation. CARF will recognize this accomplishment in its listing of organizations with accreditation and encourages your organization to make its accreditation known throughout the community”, states CARF International President and CEO, Brian J. Boon, Ph.D.

CARF accreditation has been the recognized benchmark of quality health and human services for more than 50 years.

For more information on CARF & CQL contact:

Carmela E. Phillips, MBA, CCP Executive Director of Compliance & Quality Assurance [email protected]

RHA Employee Thomas Carter Recipient of the 2019 Relationships Award

May 17, 2019

National Disability Provider Association Names Thomas Carter Recipient of 2019 Relationships Award

 Recognition honors excellence in workforce providing long-term supports and services to individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities

WATCH:  Augusta GA News Channel 6 Story on Mr. Carter

Thomas Carter receives 2019 ANCOR Relationship Award
Thomas Carter (right) receives the 2019 ANCOR Direct Support Professional Relationship Award

Augusta, GA – On May 8, 2019, the American Network of Community Options and Resources (ANCOR) recognized Thomas Carter, a Direct Support Professional at RHA Health Services in Augusta, GA, with the 2019 Relationship Award.  Thomas joined more than four dozen other recipients of ANCOR’s 2019 Direct Support Professional of the Year awards, chosen from a field of nearly 350 outstanding nominees.

“RHA Health Services is overwhelmingly proud of Thomas, for his award recognition of course, but more importantly for his 40-plus years of dedication and commitment to true community inclusion for the individuals we support,” said Jeanne Duncan, CEO at RHA Health Services. “We cannot think of anyone who more clearly demonstrates the power of person-centered supports, and we’re so grateful that ANCOR has recognized Thomas with this high-profile honor.”

ANCOR Story Room 2019 – RHA Employee Thomas Carter

Awarded annually since 2007, ANCOR’s Direct Support Professional of the Year awards recognize outstanding professionals who provide long-term supports and services to individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD). The awards and the accompanying presentation at ANCOR’s Annual Conference were created to celebrate the important role Direct Support Professionals (DSPs) play in ensuring individuals with I/DD can be included and empowered in their communities, and to raise awareness about a direct support workforce in crisis. Nationally, turnover rates near 50 percent amount to a significant shortage of DSPs.

“Thomas is so excited, and I am super proud of him,” said Tonya Self, Administrator of RHA’s Augusta, GA unit.  “I am so happy he won and that he is getting the recognition he deserves for his service. He really is an awesome person and makes us all want to be the best version of ourselves we can be. He loves this population and it shows in his dedication to those people we support here in Augusta.”

Barbara Merrill, ANCOR’s Chief Executive Officer, added: “I often describe DSPs as ‘community navigators.’ Far more than just caregivers, DSPs do it all. From navigating civic life to supporting individuals to create a sense of community around them, DSPs make magic in their communities every single day. These awards represent just a fraction of the recognition that individuals like Thomas deserve.”

About Thomas’ Contribution

There are no shortcuts to building long-term, successful relationships. With 41 years of service as a DSP, Thomas Carter is a model and mentor for building strong relationships that enrich the lives of the people he serves.

Although he has supported several individuals during his long tenure as a DSP, Thomas has worked with one particular young man since he was a very young child. Over the 21 years that he has supported him, Thomas has demonstrated reliability, constancy and care. Thomas has worked with this young man to learn how to manage his feelings and try new activities to develop friendships—last year, he even learned how to fish while on his first vacation with other men in his group home!

Thomas’ constant support has helped the young man to build trust in others and develop social skills that have enabled him to successfully live in the group home and develop new friendships. By demonstrating how to create and sustain a long and trusting relationship, Thomas has helped the individual he supports to flourish as a young adult.

When Thomas learned that another individual he supports had not seen his family in over 13 years, he worked diligently to find his relatives. As luck would have it, the long-lost family was holding a reunion a few towns over. Thomas drove the individual to a large family reunion where he was able to “reunite with his family and spend time with family members…that had lost contact.” As his colleagues have summarized, Thomas’ “love, patience and… dedication” have changed lives.


For nearly 50 years, the American Network of Community Options and Resources ( has been a leading advocate for the critical role service providers play in enriching the lives of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD). As a national nonprofit trade association, ANCOR represents 1,600+ organizations employing more than a half-million professionals who together serve more than a million individuals with I/DD. Our mission is to advance the ability of our members to support people with I/DD to fully participate in their communities.

RHA Health Services Welcomes Prolex Medical Services

April 9, 2019

RHA Health Services is happy to announce the acquisition of Prolex Medical Services, a provider of Intellectual Disabilities and Developmental Disabilities (I/DD) services in Chattanooga, TN. Prolex joined RHA in March 2019.

Betty White, RN, past President/CEO of ProLex, says, “As my retirement drew closer, I couldn’t have chosen a better company to acquire the clientele and employees of my company. I’ve been associated with the RHA leadership through consultation, both professionally and personally, since their inception to Tennessee services in 2001. I highly support the merger and look forward to RHA’s ongoing success, dedication and care of the I/DD individuals we have served for the past 20 years.”

RHA began offering services in East Tennessee in 2001. Since then, our I/DD services have expanded to include ICF, Waiver, ECF Choices, Vocational Supports, and will soon offer mental health and substance abuse services throughout the state. RHA currently services the following areas in Tennessee:  Chattanooga, Knoxville, Kingsport, Memphis, Murfreesboro, Nashville, Springfield, and Trenton.

RHA’s goal is to ensure that persons-supported are not impacted by this change. To ensure this continuity of care, more than 120 employees were welcomed to RHA as part of this transition.

“I am pleased to welcome the Prolex team to the RHA family,” said Nick Sulaiman, President & CFO of RHA Health Services. “Prolex is a very reputable provider in Tennessee, and we look forward to continue working with persons-supported, families and guardians, local leadership, employees, as well as state and community partners to ensure a smooth transition.”


Media Contact
Nick Sulaiman, President & CFO | 404-364-2939 | [email protected]


About RHA Health Services (RHA)

nurse with person supported in wheelchair

At RHA Health Services, the people we serve and support in Georgia, Florida, North Carolina and Tennessee are at the very center of everything we do.

We are a growing company, with the goal of growing operations in our current communities, as well as the greater Mid-Atlantic and Southeastern United States. RHA provides a broad range of person-centered, integrated, and high-quality supports. RHA focuses on mental health, substance abuse, and intellectual & developmental disability (I/DD) services.

RHA is accredited by the Council on Quality and Leadership (CQL) and Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities (CARF) International. RHA has an organizational commitment to the dignity, independence, and equitable treatment of people, as well as their full inclusion into the communities around them. We provide a holistic, person-centered approach to care guided by a system of values that puts the needs of the people we support at the center of every decision.

Founded in 1989, RHA began as a small collection of group homes in North Carolina developed to offer support to people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Over the years, RHA has expanded to include supported living, vocational and day programs, periodic respite, personal care services, targeted case management, residential ICF/IDD for infants and children up to age 15 who have acute or chronic health challenges requiring 24/7 therapeutic intervention and skilled nursing care, and much more.

In 2006, RHA began offering behavioral health services and is now the leading provider of high-quality supports and services for people with all kinds of mental health and substance use needs. By meeting the behavioral health needs of our consumers and communities, we can greatly reduce or eliminate the fragmentation of services that leaves some individuals without total, holistic, and truly person-centered care.

The IDD Nurse

Our Changing Role In Integrated Care

RHA Health Services - RHA Nurses

Robin Correll, Vice President of Nursing at RHA Health Services and Alena Davis, Corporate Director of Nursing recently presented “The Changing Role of the IDD Nurse in Integrated Care” at the North Carolina Provider’s Council Conference, held in Greensboro, NC.

“It was a privilege to partner with the NC Provider’s Council to help fulfill the mission of the Developmental Disabilities Nurses Association (DDNA) to foster the growth of nursing knowledge through support, education, and advocacy for Intellectual and Development Disabilities (IDD) nurses throughout the state,” said Correll.

RHA Health Services - RHA Nurses“RHA nurses are trained to perform integrated care with our Intermediate Care Facilities (ICF), but many other providers and states don’t have on-site 24/7 nursing staffs. This can become a challenge because the IDD nurse needs to serve as a gatekeeper and educator with the local physicians, hospital networks, and communities.

There is also a challenge nationwide in even training young nurses to serve people with IDD. Most nursing schools in the United States don’t have specific tracks dedicated to the IDD field so it becomes essential that those of us trained in IDD nursing help these young nurses. It is important that we serve as a visiting professor to our local universities and community college nursing programs and participate in local and national forums, conferences and teaching webcasts. RHA Health Services also currently provides specific training and mentoring supports to our nurses when they join the RHA team.

A third very real challenge is the national nursing shortage which we expect to go well into the 2030’s. Nurses in the IDD field don’t always get paid like other fields due to the state’s reimbursement model making training our direct support medical technicians even more important.

“Anytime you get the opportunity to promote the excellence of our profession and share the RHA culture of care and compassion… it allows us to improve the quality of services for those we support,” said Davis. “All while continuously building upon and growing our network of support through other people, providers, and leaders.”

For More information about RHA Nursing Jobs go to RHA Careers.

RHA Acquires Carteret Counseling

RHA Health Services acquired Carteret Counseling, a private counseling clinic located in Morehead City, NC in March.

RHA will provide Substance Abuse Intensive Outpatient Services (SAIOP) which is a structured individual and group addiction service that assists adults and adolescents to begin recovery and learn life skills for recovery maintenance.

Medicaid, Tricare, IPRS and BCBS insurance will be

For more information contact: [email protected]