RHA Health Services Welcomes Howell Support Services

RHA Health Services is pleased to announce the acquisition of Howell Support Services, a provider of residential and community-based support services in Goldsboro and Kinston, NC. 

Jerry Howell, Founder of Howell Support Services, said of the acquisition, “We are glad to have partnered with RHA Health Services throughout this process. The people we have supported since 1997 are truly the core of our business, and we know they will continue to receive high-quality service through RHA. We are happy to have found such a good fit for this acquisition.” 

Throughout the acquisition, RHA worked to ensure that those receiving services from Howell Support Services did not experience any interruption to services and that former Howell Support Services employees were seamlessly hired by RHA. 

“We are excited to welcome Howell Support Services to the RHA family,” said Jeanne Duncan, CEO of RHA Health Services. “Together, we will carry on their tradition of providing high-quality services. We look forward to working with people supported, families and guardians, employees, and other partners.” 

RHA is continuing to grow our services across more communities. Are you interested in exploring an acquisition with RHA? Click here to learn more or contact Shaun Roark, Vice President of Business Development, at shaun.roark@rhanet.org. 

About RHA 

Founded in 1989, RHA began as a small provider of support services to people with intellectual and developmental disabilities in North Carolina. Over the years, we have expanded to include a broad range of disability services and continue to add other types of services across multiple states to meet our communities’ needs. Today, RHA provides disability services in Georgia, North Carolina, Pennsylvania and Tennessee. In North Carolina and Pennsylvania, RHA also provides a wide variety of mental health and substance use services as well as support services for those who are Deaf and Hard of Hearing. 

We focus on helping people live their best lives through setting and reaching personal goals, forming and sustaining meaningful community connections and relationships, achieving positive outcomes in health and wellness, and more. Learn more. 


Employee Spotlight: Celebrating RHA Team Leads at the Place Where Humans Bloom!

Carlina S. and Nicole K. are Team Leads in North Carolina who recently celebrated five years with RHA.

Carlina is a Peer Support & Bridge Home Team Lead for RHA along the coast of North Carolina. Carlina began her journey at RHA as a Qualified Professional on the Transitional Management Services team in New Bern, a role she filled for a little over three years before transitioning to her current role as Team Lead over the Peer Support Team almost two years ago. In her current role, Carlina has been an instrumental part in establishing two new Trillium Bridge Recovery Homes in Greenville, North Carolina. Under Carlina’s leadership, the programs have seen such impressive success and growth in the Community Peer Support team’s caseload that they were able to split the team into two community Peer Support teams – one serving Greenville and New Bern, and the other serving Craven, Carteret, Edenton, and Elizabeth City.

Carlina is admired by her coworkers and has been referred to by peers as a great example of a strategic leader.

Nicole K. is a Transitional Management Services (TMS) Team Lead, also located along the east coast of North Carolina. Since Nicole came on board five years ago, she has been instrumental in training leaders within the company — Carlina being one of them.

Nicole maintains a full caseload and is often the first point of contact by Trillium Health Resources when they have a new member who needs to be transitioned to a TMS team in the New Bern area. Nicole is reported as  willing to drop everything to see a new individual and get them started with services. Coworkers described Nicole as a leader that is invested in the wellbeing of people, and someone who would willingly sacrifice anything to help a person supported.

We are so grateful to have Nicole and Carlina at RHA, and for the work that they are doing to help people we support live their best lives.

Interested in joining our team? Visit rhajobs.com to view available positions near you.

Peer Support Brings Added Value to Recovery at RHA

Peer Support Services are recovery-focused, person-centered services for adults living with mental illnesses or substance use disorders.

At RHA, individuals who receive peer support services are paired up with a certified Peer Support Specialist (PSS) who will help guide them on their recovery journey. A PSS is someone with lived experience who has graduated from recovery courses and gone on to receive specialized training in how to support others on their journey.

With the help of a certified Peer Support Specialist, people learn how to manage their own recovery and build self-advocacy skills. Having guidance and support from someone who has “been there, done that” is what many in recovery value the most about peer support services. A PSS serves not only as a mentor but also as a source of hope and inspiration to people who are beginning the recovery process.

Brenden was a recipient of peer support services at RHA Health Services. With the help of a PSS, Brenden was able to access services that changed his life, including Individual Placement and Support (IPS) Supported Employment. He shares his experience in a video filmed by UNC Psychiatry:

Thank you, Brenden, for sharing your story!

Are you looking for support on your recovery journey? Visit us at https://rhahealthservices.org/behavioral-health-services/ to view behavioral health services by state.

Peer Support at RHA Inspires Those in Recovery to Give Back

Donna received peer support services from RHA during her recovery – now, she’s a certified peer support specialist at RHA.

At RHA, individuals who receive peer support services are paired up with a certified Peer Support Specialist (PSS) who will help guide them on their recovery journey. A PSS is someone with lived experience who has graduated from recovery courses and gone on to receive specialized training in how to support others on their journey.

For some, peer support services are so impactful on their individual recovery journey that it inspires them to give back. This was the case for Donna, a Peer Support Specialist with RHA who utilized our peer support services during her own recovery journey. In this video from UNC Psychiatry, she talks about her experience:

Donna’s story echoes that of many of the peer support specialists at RHA Health Services, including team members like Cole, Ethel, and Tanya, whose stories you can read by clicking here.

If you’re interested in becoming a Peer Support Specialist or helping people in recovery, visit rhajobs.com to learn more and view available positions near you.

Thank you to Donna and others for sharing their stories and providing inspiration and support for others in recovery!  

Seeking Behavioral Health Clinicians to Join RHA’s Team — Where Humans Bloom!

People are at the center of everything we do at RHA — including the people we support, their families and communities, and our valued team members. It is because of our dedicated team of professionals that RHA continues to be a place #WhereHumansBloom!

This video highlights the incredible work that our Behavioral Health Clinicians do every day. If you or someone you know is interested in joining our team, please visit our Careers page to see our current openings and apply now to join us in making a difference in the lives of others.

RHA Helps Person Supported Achieve His Goal of Owning Chickens

Alan, a person supported by RHA in Tennessee, recently achieved a longtime goal of his by becoming a caretaker to his very own flock of chickens.

At RHA, Direct Support Professionals (DSPs) work closely with the people they support to identify and achieve individual goals. While goals look different for every individual, one person supported by RHA in Tennessee named Alan had a particularly unique goal.

“When I first met Alan, he told me that he wanted some chickens to raise,” said Brandon C., a Direct Support Professional who works with Alan. “The first home he moved into, the landlord didn’t allow them– but I promised him that he would have them one day!”

Brandon and one of his Direct Support staff members, Ramona, smile while Brandon holds one of his chickens.

Alan recently moved to a new location where he found out he was allowed to keep chickens.

“His dream of owning his own chickens came true! He purchased a good size coop to keep them in and he tends to them daily,” said Brandon.

By all reports, Alan has been an excellent caretaker to his chickens, and has even been enjoying collecting eggs to use weekly.

If you’re interested in helping people like Alan achieve their goals, then join the team at RHA as a Direct Support Professional! Visit us at rhajobs.com to view available positions near you, or learn more about the role.


RHA’s Peer Support Services Empower People in Recovery to Help Others

Ethel A. and Tanya S. graduated from substance use programs at RHA – now they work for RHA in North Carolina helping others in recovery.

At RHA, Peer Support is an important part of our substance use services. Our Peer Support Specialists are people with lived experience who have graduated from recovery courses and gone on to receive specialized training in how to support others in recovery.

While Peer Support is not a required element of programs like SAIOP at RHA, most people elect to participate.

“Since embedding Peer Support into SAIOP our success rates and our graduation rates have absolutely skyrocketed,” said Cole S., who leads the Alamance, NC SAIOP Peer Support Team. “Our [Peer Support Specialists] provide an added layer of support of people in recovery. They’re more available than a counselor, they meet with you on a weekly basis, and they provide that sort of warm handhold that gives people the confidence to go to recovery groups or participate in other recovery-oriented activities that might otherwise seem intimidating.”

Cole has worked with many people who have gone on to become Peer Support Specialists themselves. One of those people is Ethel.

Ethel was a Peer Support Specialist with RHA for four years until her recent promotion to Certified Drug and Alcohol Counselor. Before that, though, Ethel was a client seeking services with RHA.

“I actually participated in SAIOP [at RHA] three times,” said Ethel. “I was unsuccessful the first two times, but the third time I was in treatment, with the support of my Peer Support Specialist, Cole, I was successful.”

After graduating from SAIOP, Ethel returned to RHA in a job as a Peer Support Specialist, where she went on to work with many people in recovery—one of whom was Tanya.

“I think my experience in SAIOP at RHA absolutely saved my life. I learned a lot about myself, how to cope with my traumas, and about the disease of addiction… and I enjoyed my time in peer support so much that it inspired me to go into this field once I graduated.” said Tanya.

Although Tanya has only been a Peer Support Specialist with RHA for a few months so far, she reports that the work has had a huge impact on her personally.

“This role is impactful. I am reminded every single day of the exact place I was in, and that means a lot to me. I know how hard it is, I know how difficult life seems in early recovery. I can see myself in [the people I support]. It’s rewarding for me, because I understand, and I can offer them hope that the things they’re going through won’t last forever.” said Tanya.

Ethel echoed Tanya’s sentiment.

“It’s very rewarding to be able to give back what was given to me. There’s something special about peer support and working one-on-one with somebody and watching their growth. I tell people that all the time. Like, with Tanya and others who I’ve worked with who are now successful, to know that you really made a difference [in their recovery] is incredible. You come in hoping that you can do that, but to actually see it, it’s just indescribable.”

Sara H., a Behavioral Health Regional Director with RHA in NC, reports that the team has been great for the community.

“Working with the Alamance Substance Use team is a true honor. They strive to guarantee strong recovery principles and aptitude within our agency and community, and Ethel and Tanya are a cornerstone of this team…”

Ethel, Tanya, and Cole are just a few of the incredible team members helping people in recovery every single day. If you’re interested in Peer Supported Services, or RHA’s other Behavioral Health programs, please visit https://rhahealthservices.org/behavioral-health-services/ to learn more.

Thank you to Ethel, Tanya, and Cole for sharing their experiences and for all the incredible work they do every day!

Seeking Direct Support Professionals to Join our Team — Where Humans Bloom!

At RHA, we’re invested in people, and no one on our team embodies that value more than our Direct Support Professionals (DSPs.) We hope that this video will help familiarize you with – and celebrate – the work that our DSPs do every day.

If you or someone you know is interested in becoming a DSP, please visit our Careers page to view our current openings, or apply now to join our team and make a difference at a place #WhereHumansBloom.

RHA Residential Team Lead in NC builds team through referrals!

Paris Capozziello is a Residential Team Leader with RHA’s disability services in Hendersonville, NC, who has recruited more than ten new employees to his team.

“I think I’ve had somewhere around 14 or 15 people [I’ve referred] come in for an interview,” Paris said. “I was in healthcare management prior to joining the RHA team and I had a very faithful staff. Some of them came with me just because they liked being under my management, but there are a lot of good things about RHA that brought people over as well.”

RHA offers several different referral incentive programs, which vary by location, but Paris shared that while the financial benefit of recruiting folks has certainly been an incentive, he is also just proud to bring people on board with RHA.

“I spent a lot of time explaining to each candidate that RHA is a good company to work for. [RHA] definitely shows employee appreciation, they care for their staff, and the management has proven that if there’s an issue they will actively listen and try to fix it.”

Thank you, Paris, for all that you do for the people we support, and for encouraging others to join the team at RHA!

Recognizing RHA START Teams & Outstanding NC START Staff Members

Celebrating the START Community

The 2021 START National Training Institute was held virtually from May 3rd through May 5th 2021. As part of the event, three RHA NC START staff members were awarded for outstanding work. The winners are listed below, along with more details about their individual awards.

2021 START Leadership Award: Demetra Grigley

“Demetra rises to every challenge with positivity and a can-do attitude.  Her perspective as a seasoned member of the START team helped others to stay mindful/focused on the day.”

This START Team Leadership Award recognizes a START Leader who demonstrates a thorough understanding of the START model and has made significant contributions to improving the quality of life for people supported through START. This recipient exemplifies the START philosophy of positive engagement with individuals, families, and the service system.

Nominated by Andrea Caoili; Amy Huff; Ann Doucette; Michelle Klutz – North Carolina West



2021 START Team Member Award | Team Leader / Certified START Coordinator: Luis Hernandez

“Luis is endlessly curious and a fierce advocate for those we support. Luis asks the hard questions and pursues answers utilizing all resources available to him.”

This START Team Member Award recognizes a Certified START Coordinator or Team Leader who demonstrates a thorough understanding of the START model and has made significant contributions to improving the quality of life for people supported through START. This recipient exemplifies the START philosophy of positive engagement with individuals, families, and the service system. START Coordinators should be with a program for at least 1 year and must be certified.

Nominated by Kenya Williams; Suzy Mayberry; Kerri Shaw; Sara Stanton – North Carolina East


2021 Therapeutic Supports Award | Resource Center Counselor: Latoya Ward

“Latoya works tirelessly to find new creative ways to support our guests; to help them feel safe, loved and to feel purpose. she is a calming gentle force which reassures everyone that ‘everything will be ok.’”

This START Team Member Award recognizes a START Resource Center Counselor who demonstrates a thorough understanding of the START model and has made significant contributions to improving the quality of life for people supported through START. This recipient exemplifies the START philosophy of positive engagement with individuals, families, and the service system.

Nominated by Kerri Shaw; Steve Tuzo



Poster Competition

RHA START West submitted and presented a research poster during the Virtual 2021 START National Training Institute. The poster won 2nd Place at the event: the presentation and poster are linked below.

Click here to view a presentation about the efficacy of virtual crisis response during the COVID-19 Pandemic


START stands for Systemic, Therapeutic, Assessment, Resources & Treatment.  START is a comprehensive model of service supports that optimizes independence, treatment, and community living for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD) and behavioral health needs.

The Center for START Services at the University of New Hampshire Institute on Disability/UCED is a national initiative that works to strengthen efficiencies and service outcomes for individuals with IDD and behavioral health needs in the community.

START National Locations

START in North Carolina

NC START consists of several statewide community crisis support programs for individuals with intellectual/developmental disabilities and complex behavioral or mental health needs. Crisis prevention and intervention services are provided through crisis response, clinical consultation, training, and respite.

NC START operates throughout the state of North Carolina as three distinct programs (West, Central, and East). The programs began serving adults (18 and older) in 2009 and expanded to children (6-17) in 2016.

RHA Health Services operates the West and East programs in North Carolina. The NC START West program operates through a collaboration with VAYA Health and includes clinical teams in Asheville and Concord, with a Resource Center in Statesville.  The NC START East program operates through a collaboration with Trillium Health Resources and includes clinical teams in New Bern, Wilmington, and Greenville, with a Resource Center in New Bern.