Our mission is to provide individuals with effective mental health and substance abuse services in a safe, comfortable, and supportive environment. In everything we do, we promise compassion and undertstanding, dignity and respect, responsiveness and courtesy; we will strive for excellence, innovation, flexibility, integrity and teamwork.

Our Philosophy

We wholeheartedly commit to the overall biological, psychological, social, and spiritual health and well-being of our clients.

Our focus is on reducing or alleviating the emotional, mental, and behavioral distress resulting from psychiatric and substance abuse conditions. Our goal is to improve each client’s quality of life. River City achieves this goal through the delivery of professional psychiatric and substance abuse services provided by a multi-disciplinary team of mental health professionals who are committed to quality care.


Our History

River City was founded in 2008 by experienced social workers with a vision for innovative and quality mental health and substance abuse services.  These social workers brought years of experience working for notable Richmond area organizations such as: The Daily Planet, Henrico Drug Court, The William J. Farley Center, Virginia Treatment Center for Children, RBHA, Rubicon, Virginia Commonwealth University, Family Counseling Center for Recovery, and Insight Physicians.  In early 2009 River City received its license from the Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Services (DBHDS), opened an office in the growing Manchester historic district, and began providing Intensive In-Home counseling to children in the Richmond area.  Soon after, they expanded their offerings to include Mental Health Support Services (now Mental Health Skill-Building Services) for adults.  In 2012 River City expanded their services to include a full outpatient clinic, and in keeping with their original commitment to revitalizing Manchester, they again selected Hull street for the office location.  Since expanding, they were able to add Crisis Stabilization to their growing list of programs.  That same year they were also awarded an HVRP (Homeless Veterans Reintegration Program) grant to start the VEP (Veteran’s Employment Program).  In 2013, River City opened  a third office location in Petersburg, and the added Alcohol Counseling and Treatment (ACT) and Alternatives to Incarceration (AIP) programs to our service roster. 

River City’s more recent expansion efforts include the relocation of their primary office to Hanover County at 13100 Mountain Road at the end of 2015. This location serves as the main office and also houses River City’s Medication Assisted Treatment (MAT) Program, providing substance abuse treatment and counseling for individuals experiencing opioid addiction. The MAT program has been in operation since March 2016.

Who We Are

  • / Katharine Pornchareon
    BS, QMHP-A

    Program Director

    Katharine relocated from Alexandria to Richmond, Virginia, where she attended Virginia Commonwealth University and received her Bachelors of Science in Psychology in 2014. Ms. Pornchareon has experience working with at-risk children, families and adults who experience various mental health conditions and behavioral needs. She has interned at FRIENDS Association for Children as a Health Education Coordinator for school-aged students and youth enrichment programs, United Methodist Family Services (UMFS) as a Teacher Assistant at the Charterhouse School to students with Asperger’s Syndrome and Autism Spectrum Disorder and Cosby High School’s mentoring program to sophomores interested in pursuing their degrees in Health Sciences and Psychology via VCU’s Health Sciences program.
    In 2013, KMs. Pornchareon became involved with River City CCS’ internship, where she was offered experiential and diverse learning opportunities, paraprofessional training and skills development to further enhance her interest in the social work field. In 2014, she became a part of the River City team, as a Community Mental Health Counselor. Currently, Katharine serves as a Program Director for River City’s Community Mental Health Support Services.
    During her free time, she enjoys watching movies, listening to music, relaxing by the river or beach, traveling, trying new foods and spending quality time with her friends, sorority sisters, family, fiancé and German Shepherd.
  • / Alison Youmell

    Chief Clinical Officer of Community Based Programs

    Ms. Alison Youmell received her Bachelors of Science in Psychology in 2007 and a Masters of Social Work in 2010 from Virginia Commonwealth University. She earned a license in Clinical Social Work in 2015.

    Ms. Youmell has been the Chief Clinical Officer of community-based programs at River City CCS since 2011. She has experience working within the Henrico County School System as a member of the child study and special education eligibility teams as well as experience co-facilitating psycho-educational groups for clients with substance-related legal offenses. In conjunction with faculty from Virginia Commonwealth University, Ms. Youmell has participated in planning and implementing various aspects of multiple grant-funded research studies aimed at promoting tobacco awareness, promoting healthy lifestyles in rural Virginia middle school students, and premature infant attachment. She has performed volunteer work with an array of community organizations including the American Cancer Society, local non-profits, summer camps, and hospitals.

    Ms. Youmell enjoys spending time with family and friends, baking, music, and reading.



  • / Corinne Thompson

    V.P. of Clinical Operations/CSP, Outpatient Therapist

    Ms. Corinne Thompson received her Bachelor of Social Work in 2008 from James Madison University and interned at Children’s Services of Virginia, a therapeutic foster care agency. She then received her Master of Social Work in 2009 at Virginia Commonwealth University completing her internship with Bridging the Gap, a violence prevention program with the Division of Trauma, Critical Care, and Emergency Surgery at VCU Health Systems. While at Bridging the Gap, she worked with at risk youth and young adults, ages 10-24, who had been critically injured through community violence. Ms. Thompson’s most fulfilling therapeutic experiences come from working with young women experiencing Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and self injurious behaviors, empowering and encouraging them to succeed in the face of their environment and/or mental illness. She draws therapeutic inspiration from Desmond Tutu who said, “None of us comes into the world fully formed. We would not know how to think, or walk, or speak, or behave as human beings unless we learned it from other human beings. We need other human beings in order to be human. I am because other people are. A person is entitled to a stable community life, and the first of these communities is the family.” For this same reason Ms. Thompson is dedicated to serving youth in their homes encouraging resiliency and strength that can reverberate out into the community.


  • / Genesa Taylor

    Program Director

    Ms. Genesa Taylor attended the Pennsylvania State University and graduated in 2004 with a Bachelor of Sociology. Since graduating, Ms. Taylor has immersed herself in her passion, to help at-risk children and families through intensive in-home, therapeutic day, alternative education, residential, and adult mental health counseling. She has accumulated 5 years of experience with direct care services as well as case management and supervisory experience. Ms. Taylor has been a part of the River City Comprehensive Counseling team since August 2010 and was recently promoted to Program Director of Community Mental Health Support Services.


  • / Jimmy Christmas

    Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Outpatient Therapist

    Mr. Jimmy Christmas has been a professional social worker in Richmond, Virginia since 1994. He graduated from Virginia Commonwealth University with a Masters in Social Work in 1997 and obtained his license from the Virginia Board of Health Professions to practice as a Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW) in 2002.

    Mr. Christmas has participated on various committees, boards and workgroups, as well as other memberships throughout his career including, but not limited to: United Way, NAMI, NASW, ABCO, etc. Mr. Christmas has provided clinical social work for such organizations as The Daily Planet, Virginia Treatment Center for Children, Hallmark Youthcare, CARITAS, Henrico Mental Health and the Henrico County Drug Court, Rubicon, and Residential Applications. He currently serves as the CEO and Clinical Director of a thriving community mental health organization that he co-founded, as well as provides mental health and substance abuse consulting to Casselton Consultants, a DUI Offender Program; Insight Physicians where he provides individual and family therapy for diverse populations; and Family Counseling Center for Recovery as a Group Therapist. Mr. Christmas has been an adjunct professor at VCU since 2002, and has provided field instruction since 1997.

    Mr. Christmas is motivated by creating, implementing, monitoring, and evaluating clinical, administrative, operational, and financial initiatives that lead to productive systems of care for the citizens of the River City. Throughout his career, he has been commended for his ability to deliver projects on-time and within budget, develop streamlined policies and procedures that align with State Regulatory Authorities, and for managing state licensure projects and leading cross-functional teams that elevate organizational projects to marketplace status.

    Mr. Christmas is a devoted husband, father, all-around family man, and owner of an energetic German Shorthaired Pointer. He is an active runner, plays golf, practices martial arts, is a general outdoorsman, and loves to read.


  • / Kim Engleman

    Community Events Coordinator

    Ms. Kim Engleman grew up in the Shenandoah Valley area before coming to Richmond. She studied art at Virginia Commonwealth University, graduating in 1995 with a BFA. Ms. Engleman focused her concentration in the crafts department, not only pursuing her art, but assisting in the glass department as a teaching assistant. Ms. Engleman pursued a career in art, specifically glassblowing, for several years after college. In addition to her creative endeavors, Ms. Engleman also pursued her love for working with children. Ms. Engleman volunteered at The Boy’s and Girl’s Club, worked in the public school system as a substitute teacher, and assisted with after school arts community projects with at risk youth. Ms. Engleman began working in the mental health field nine years ago. She worked with Dominion Youth Services for seven years in both the residential setting for adolescents and the therapeutic day treatment setting helping children and their families improve their lives. The majority of Ms. Engleman’s career has been focused on helping others through her love for people, dedication, and creativity.  She leads the Art Therapy group at River City.  Ms. Engleman has been a part of the River City team since 2011. She enjoys spending time with her family, dancing, exercising, and making art


  • / Stephanie Bruce

    Senior Program Director

    Ms. Stephanie Bruce received her Bachelor of Social Work from Virginia Commonwealth University in 2009. Her passion and dedication to the field of Social Work led her into Virginia Commonwealth University School of Social Work’s highly competitive one year Advanced Standing Program, where she earned her Master in social work. During her academic career at VCU, Ms. Bruce had a vast array of internships where she was able to gain valuable experience in the field of Social Work. While earning her Bachelor degree, she worked closely with International Hospital for Children, where she worked intensely with families from diverse backgrounds who were in the United States to receive life saving surgeries for their children. She spent a year with Family Counseling Center for Recovery where her main focus was Cognitive Behavioral Therapy working with individuals who struggle with substance abuse.

    Ms. Bruce’s life long experience as an avid equestrian has sparked her interest in researching the effectiveness of Equine Therapy while working with at risk youth. She hopes to one day operate a clinic where she can join her love of horses and passion for social work.


  • / Tonita Christmas

    Chief Operating Officer

    Tonita Christmas has worked in the Pharmaceutical industry over the last 14 years in the area of Research and Development. She was promoted to several positions during her tenure. She, recently, decided to follow her heart and transition back to the Human Services field where she felt she would have the most impact.

    Tonita received a B.S. degree in Psychology from Virginia Commonwealth University in 1997. While attending VCU, she worked for the MCV/VCU Massey Cancer center as a Clinical Research Associate where she managed Oncology clinical trials. The position had a Social Work component and this is where her interest in Human Services grew. Tonita completed Social Work courses as part of her Psychology degree requirements. She also completed an internship with a program that provided support to children of incarcerated parents. Tonita knew that working with people to help them navigate life’s challenges was a direction she wanted to pursue in her career. However, moving in this direction would be sidetracked as she explored Research & Development opportunities with a pharmaceutical company.

    During her corporate years, Tonita supported her husband, Jimmy, in his vision to start a Human Services agency. She gained human services experience working with adolescent boys in a residential setting. She would, eventually, return to her desire to work full-time in his Human Service agency and support it in whatever capacity needed – HR Director, Project Manager, Qualified Mental Health Professional.

    Tonita is a 200-hour Registered Yoga Teacher and conducts classes for the community and a local Richmond company. She has dreams of incorporating Yoga as part of a therapeutic treatment plan for those consumers that are opened to new ways of coping with stress.


  • / Andrew Lester

    V.P. of IT and Facilities Management

    Mr. Andrew Lester joined the River City team in Spring of 2012 as the part-time social media coordinator. Working to develop and maintain an engaging presence on the company’s website and social media platforms, Mr. Lester served on a part-time basis until August of 2013 when he was brought on full-time to continue his work managing media content for River City while also serving as our IT representative. Mr. Lester’s previous experiences includes working with a Richmond-based community outreach organization as well as a Richmond City Public Schools initiative to reduce violence with high school students. These experiences gave Mr. Lester an outlet to interact with others and to help find solutions to problems, both of which are passions of his. He currently serves as the Vice President of IT and Facilities Management for River City. Mr. Lester enjoys music, rock climbing, camping, and biking.
  • / Christy Damrath

    Program Director, Outpatient Therapist

    Mrs. Damrath earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Social Work (2010) and a Master’s Degree in Social Work (2012) from Virginia Commonwealth University. During her undergraduate and graduate studies she interned with multiple agencies to include: The Office on Youth and Human Services, The Richmond City Jail, The Jeannette Lipman Family Law Clinic, and MCV/VCU’s Trauma Unit & Evans-Haynes Burn Center. Mrs. Damrath also volunteers to work with the elderly population using her skills as a social worker. In 2012, Mrs. Damrath began working for River City Comprehensive Counseling Services as a Community Mental Health Counselor and then became a Program Director with River City in 2013. She also serves as an Outpatient Therapist for River City Integrative Counseling.

    Recently, Mrs. Damrath became a Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW) in 2016. In her free time, Mrs. Damrath enjoys activities involving Zumba, listening to music, reading & learning, volunteering, recycling, and spending time with her family.


  • / Katharine Head

    V.P of Clinical Operations, Outpatient Therapist

    Ms. Katharine Head attended the College of William and Mary and received her B.A. in psychology in 2006.  She then moved to New Orleans, Louisiana, where she spent several years completing volunteer work to help rebuild post-Katrina New Orleans.  She received her Masters in Social Work from Tulane University in 2011.  Since relocating to Richmond, she has immersed herself in her passion for helping at-risk children and adults in mental health counseling.  She enjoys travelling, reading, and spending time with her family and friends.


  • / Carrie Meyer

    Program Director, Outpatient Therapist

    Ms. Meyer  began her career in the social work profession in 1996 and has experience in a diverse array of direct service and administrative positions in both public and private sector settings. Ms. Meyer devoted fifteen years to her work with the developmental disabilities population at the Chesterfield and Henrico County CSBs, and served as Residential Services Manager to a large and active unit in the residential branch of Southside Virginia Training Center, as well as gaining experience through internships and employment in a diverse array of settings including St. Joseph’s Villa and the YWCA of Greater Richmond. Ms. Meyer has additional experience working with at risk families and children, homeless mothers and children, the chronically mentally ill adult population, and victims of sexual assault and domestic violence. Ms. Meyer holds interests in working with the autistic population, trauma victims, and schizophrenia, and is excited to be working toward becoming a Licensed Clinical Social Worker. She has been with River City since 2012, where she serves a Program Director in the Mental Health Skill Building program and engages in direct client service with the chronically mentally ill as well as provided counseling as an outpatient therapist through River City Integrative Counseling. She holds an MSW from the Virginia Commonwealth University Advanced Standing Clinical Social Work program.


  • / Craig Swainey

    OTP Physician

    Bio coming soon!

  • / Josh Spears

    Pharmacist In Charge

    Josh Spears, PharmD. graduated from Virginia Commonwealth University’s School of Pharmacy (MCV) in 2011. Prior to attending pharmacy school, Dr. Spears graduated with a BS in Chemistry from the University of Virginia’s College at Wise. He joined the River City team in 2016 as the PIC (pharmacist-in-charge). In addition, Dr. Spears works full time as a Scientist at Pharmaceutical Product Development (PPD) in Richmond, VA. While completing his Doctor of Pharmacy degree, Dr. Spears had the opportunity to work on rotations at Central State Hospital (Petersburg, VA), HealthSouth Rehabilitation Hospital (Richmond, VA), Southside Regional Medical Center (Petersburg, VA), MCV Hospital (Richmond, VA), Chippenham Hospital (Richmond, VA), and Hunter Holmes McGuire VA Medical Center (Richmond, VA). Also, he has 5+ years of experience working in a community pharmacy setting (Kroger, CVS). Dr. Spears has both personal and professional experience with recovery programs and is always available to answer questions regarding the pharmacological treatments of addiction.

    Josh grew up in the heart of the Appalachian Mountains, Big Stone Gap VA. He enjoys all outdoor recreational activities, especially fishing. He is also a self-described “nerd” and expert on all things Star Wars. He moved to Richmond in 2007 with his wife Jamie and their great danes, Thor and Loki.


  • / Ken Tilman

    Chief Financial Officer


    Ken Tilman is a career accountant with a wide range of varied experience.  Mr. Tilman  has worked for a CPA firm, two different Savings & Loans brokerages, a truck parts dealer, a small phone company, a manufacturer and installer of pumps for water treatment plants, and has now found his professional home with River City.  Mr. Tilman is responsible for the billing and accounts receivable posting for River City, and record other transactions and prepare reports.
    Mr. Tilman is a conservative and enjoys NASCAR and cooking. Each year, Mr. Tilman plants a garden so that he can grow tomatoes. Mr. Tilman and his wife have two sons and a daughter-in-law, as well as two Jack Russell terriers and a cat. Mr. Tilman and his wife are “empty nesters”, and spend their free time hiking the Blue Ridge or visiting National Parks with their dogs



  • / Jacob Rheaume

    Program Director, Opioid Treatment Program; Outpatient Therapist

    Jacob Rheaume received his M.S.W. from Virginia Commonwealth University in 2013, and holds a Master of Teaching graduate degree, also from V.C.U.  Jacob has worked with seriously mentally ill populations including those who have been found not guilty by reason of insanity. Jacob has also worked with substance abuse populations.  Currently Jacob is a program director at River City Comprehensive Counseling, providing supervision for QMHPs. Jacob also sees clients individually.  Jacob’s intervention practices draw heavily from motivational interviewing, cognitive behavior therapy, and dialectal behavior therapy.  In his free time Jacob plays the ukulele competitively, and rescues sugar gliders from breeding mills.

    Jacob was a large contributor to the efforts leading to the opening of River City’s Medication Assisted Treatment (MAT) program and now serves as Director of River City’s Opioid Treatment Program (OTP). Jacob also meets with clients as an Outpatient Therapist through River City Integrative Counseling.


  • / Natalie Sanders

    Senior Program Director

    Natalie Sanders has been in the field of Social Work since 1998. Growing up, Ms Sanders-Bryant was taught the importance and value of helping others. At an early age, Ms. Sanders discovered that she wanted to invest her time and efforts in assisting those around her who needed help the most. Growing up, her mother served as a Registered Nurse, and her father who taught high school and remains a minister. It was instilled within Ms. Sanders that to focus on others provides one with a greater reward in life than to focus on self. Ms. Sanders is grateful for the opportunity that has been given to her to pursue her passions professionally with River City Comprehensive Counseling Services, which she notes “has enabled me to continue to live out my daily life mission”.

    Ms. Sanders currently serves as a Senior Program Director for River City’s Mental Health Support Services.


  • / Sarah Matalavage

    Clinical Assessor

    Sarah Matalavage attended Virginia Commonwealth University where she received her Bachelors of Science in Psychology (2009) and Masters in Social Work (2014). She joined the River City team in November 2015 and completes clinical assessments for the community-based programs while also providing outpatient psychotherapy for clients in River City’s Intensive In Home (IIH) program. Mrs. Matalavage has provided IIH, TDT, and MHSS in the local Richmond area for over two years also having formerly served as an IQ assessor and helped with psychological evaluations and disability claims in Summer 2012. She has also held various internships including American Red Cross Disaster Relief Services from 2012-2013 and Bon Secours Bereavement Center from 2013-2014, and volunteered for two summers as a camp counselor for youth with incarcerated parents and identified as ‘at-risk’. Mrs. Matalavage provided direct practice and operated in a supervisory role as Center Coordinator for a local early intervention center that specializes in providing ABA therapy to children with Autism Spectrum Disorder. While doing Applied Behavior Analysis–therapy, Mrs. Matalavage is ADOS-2 certified –and is actively pursuing her ESDM –Early Start Denver Model certification. Mrs. Matalavage is currently receiving supervision to become an LCSW and will be sitting for the exam in Fall 2016.

    Mrs. Matalavage has dedicated herself to working with children, adults, and families in the Greater Richmond area and spends her free time organizing and starting her nonprofit organization, ‘The Enchanting Bookmobile’, that is aimed at increasing access to children’s books in lower socioeconomic areas. Mrs. Matalavage enjoys gardening, hiking, and cooking.


  • / Samantha Grimes
    CSAC, MA, Resident In Counseling

    Program Director, DUI and SUD Programs

    Samantha currently serves as the Program Director for River City’s DUI and SUD (Substance Use Disorder) Programs. She is a 2009 graduate of Eastern Mennonite University in Harrisonburg, VA, where she earned a Bachelor’s of Science Degree with a major in Psychology.

    In 2012, Mrs. Grimes obtained a Certificate in Substance Abuse Counseling Education from J. Sargeant Reynolds Community College in Richmond, VA.  From there, Samantha went on to receive a Master’s of Art Degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling, Master’s of Art Degree in School Counseling and a Certificate of Graduate Studies in Trauma Counseling from Regent University in Virginia Beach, VA in 2015.  In November of 2016, Samantha passed an exam to become a Certified Substance Abuse Counselor (CSAC). Currently, Samantha is in the residency process of working towards becoming a Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC).

    Samantha has experience working with children and adults that have experienced domestic violence, addictions, chronic physical and mental health conditions, as well as children in the school setting with behavioral problems and special education needs.  She is a member of the Virginia Counseling Association and Chi Sigma Iota (CSI) Counseling Academic and Professional Honor Society International.

    Samantha is an active volunteer with Safe Harbor and R-HART (Regional Hospital Accompaniment Response Team) working with survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault.  In her free time, she enjoys spending time with her family and friends, going to the beach, giving back to the community, laughing and having fun.


  • / Tony Johnson

    Project Manager

    Bio coming soon!

  • / Melissa Canaday
    M.Ed, Resident in Counseling

    Program Director, Veterans Employment Program

    Bio coming soon!


  • / Kelly Tumlin

    Team Leader, Veterans Employment Program

    Bio coming Soon!


  • / Emily Ensor

    Accounts Coordinator

    Emily Ensor moved to Richmond from Fairfax, Virginia after she received her Bachelors of Arts in Conflict Resolution from George Mason University. Ms. Ensor graduated with a concentration in interpersonal conflict and communication skills building. She has experience working with incarcerated juveniles, court appointed supervised visitation and family exchange programs. She also advocates for children as a Court Appointed Special Advocated (CASA) for Henrico County.

    Ms. Ensor enjoys cooking while experimenting with food, listening to live music, and spending time outdoors.


  • / Mary Culp
    BA, MS, MBA

    Chief Operations Officer, River City Integrative Counseling; Director of Peer Recovery Support Services

    Mary Culp attended the University of Notre Dame and graduated in 1989 with Bachelors Degrees in Counseling Psychology and Business Management. In 2004 she graduated from Canisius College in Buffalo, New York with a Masters Degree in Science in Communication and= Development. She worked for 12 years managing Operations, Sales, and Construction in Virginia. In 2007 she graduated with her Masters in Business Administration (MBA) from Strayer University and was nominated by her employer to attend the Center for Creative Leadership’s “Leadership Development Program (LDP)”- a leadership development program for Senior Managers. In 2009 Mary completed Satmetrix Net Promotor Certification in Customer Experience Management in San Francisco, California. After a few decades of senior management in the business world Mary circled back to her roots to combine her passion for counseling others and her business experience and completed her Certification in Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Counseling in 2016. Mary serves currently the Chief Operations Officer for River City Integrative Counseling and facilitates Alcohol Counseling and Treatment groups for River City. She also serves as the Director of Peer Recovery Support Services for River City.


  • / Robin Russell

    Clinical Supervisor, Opioid Treatment Program; Outpatient Therapist

    Robin attended Virginia Commonwealth University and received her Bachelors in Psychology (B.S.) in 2000. Robin continued working at VCU to obtain her Master’s Degree in Rehabilitation Counseling (M.S), which she received in 2002. School was a wonderful experience for Robin, providing her with the opportunity to exercise her thirst for knowledge, and her hard work saw her receive honors academically.

    Robin has experience working with at-risk youth as an Intensive In-Home Counselor as well as working with homeless mothers in local shelters. Robin’s other past experiences have included working on a volunteer basis in support of female juvenile offenders and implementing and managing a “Welfare to Work” grant program. She is passionate about recovery personally and professionally and in passing on the message that Hope and Freedom are possible.

    She enjoys beaches and spending quality time with her children.


  • / Janelle Miller-Smith

    Senior Case Manger, Veterans Employment Program

    Bio coming Soon!


  • / Kathryn LaBrecque

    CSP Counselor

    Mrs. LaBrecque grew up relocating often due to her father’s military career.  She has lived in several states and overseas in Guam and Wales. Moving every few years provided Mrs. LaBrecque with the opportunities to experience different cultures.  After settling in Richmond, VA, she attended Virginia Commonwealth University  and graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Social Work. Although it can be hard for Mrs. LaBrecque to be settled in one place she has found herself loving the culture in Richmond and her colleagues at River City Comprehensive Counseling, both places she plans to remain for years to come. She enjoys being a team player, an agent of change and a fighter of social injustice. Mrs. LaBrecque is honored to hear individuals stories and assist them in times of Crisis by using therapeutic interventions and connecting them to local resources.

    When she is not enjoying time with clients she is usually found spending time with her rescue dogs, camping or sitting on her porch with a good book.


  • / Taren Stover
    MS.ed, BS

    Addiction Counselor, Outpatient Therapist

    Originally from Virginia Beach, Ms. Taren Stover relocated to the Richmond, Virginia area in 1993. Ms. Stover graduated from VCU in 2006 with a Bachelor’s of Science majoring in psychology and a Masters of Education in Counseling in 2014.
    A member of the American Counseling Assocation (ACA) and Nationally Board Certified Counselor (NCC), Ms. Stover currently serves as a Substance Abuse Counselor with River City’s Medication Assisted Treatment (MAT) program. When she is not in the office, Ms. Stover is working toward fulfilling requirements to become a licensed professional counselor and a certified alcohol and drug counselor concurrently. Ms. Stover is also a member of the Chi Sigma Iota Honors Counseling Academic and Professional Honor Society International, with previous trainings which have given her experience with the Matrix Model of Intensive Outpatient Treatment, Grief, and LGBTQ community.
    Ms. Stover spends her free time gardening, listening to music and going to concerts, being near water, and enjoying the outdoors.
  • / Gideon Javna

    Director of Field Operations, Addiction Counselor, Outpatient Therapist

    Bio coming soon!

  • / Judy Coleman

    Addiction Counselor

    Bio coming soon!

  • / John Shumate

    Addiction Counselor

    Bio coming soon!

  • / James Thompson

    Medical Director - OTP Program

    James E. Thompson, M.D. attended the VCU School of Medicine (Medical College of Virginia), graduated and received his M.D. in May 2004. He completed internships in Pathology and Internal Medicine and went on to complete his residency in Internal Medicine, also at VCU Health Systems in Richmond, VA. (2009) His involvement with treating addiction began before completing residency when he became a member of the board of directors for Rubicon, Inc., a Richmond based non-profit residential treatment center, in 2008. In 2013 he was made a Diplomate of the American Board of Addiction Medicine and in 2014 a Fellow of the American Society of Addiction Medicine. Dr. Thompson has worked as a staff physician for Rubicon, associate medical director for the Farley Center in Williamsburg and medical director of Williamsville Wellness in Hanover, VA.

    In 2010, Dr. Thompson and John Shinholser of The McShin Foundation founded Clean Life Medical, an experimental outpatient treatment clinic geared toward collaboration with Recovery Community Organizations. This clinic, very much on the front line of the battle with addiction, has helped hundreds of patients on the road to recovery from this illness, patients often with few resources and a long history of perceived failure in dealing with their addiction problems. But it has also served Dr. Thompson as an incubator for a new way of thinking about addiction treatment as a whole. Through his experiences with Clean Life Medical, Dr. Thompson has begun to pioneer a new concept of comprehensive, lifelong outpatient treatment for addiction, a disease properly described as chronic and relapsive but for so long dealt with in an episodic, primarily non-professional manner. Dr. Thompson believes that physicians in this newly recognized medical specialty should bring every effective tool into consideration for each patient and that each treatment plan should be highly individualized. Furthermore, he believes that the fragmented, sometimes adversarial programs and approaches to helping addicts can and must be reconciled if we are to stand a chance against this baffling and deadly disease. “Let’s do whatever works” is a phrase often heard in conversation Dr. Thompson, an attitude he attributes both to his favorite medical professors and to Bill Wilson, the founder of Alcoholics Anonymous. River City CEO Jimmy Christmas, a long time supporter, consultant, and board member of The McShin Foundation met Dr. Thompson 6 years ago and they began to have “long talks” about their shared ideologies regarding individualized and comprehensive psycho- medical approaches to addiction treatment. This dialogue led to Dr. Thompson accepting the role of the Medical Director of River City Comprehensive Counseling Opioid Treatment Program (OTP) in 2015.

    Finally, as both a physician and individual in long-term recovery, Dr. Thompson is committed to helping reduce the personal stigma of addiction and to promote the promises of recovery. He finds this personal advocacy natural and joyful as well as necessary in order to bring more patients to treatment earlier in the course of the disease while also attracting more allies to the cause of addiction treatment.

    Dr. Thompson is a California native and the youngest of five siblings. He has been married to his wife Chantal for 17 years and has three daughters: Ava, age 10, Elizabeth age 8 and Mia, age 6. He and his wife met in college at Brigham Young University where he received a bachelor’s degree in Zoology and in the Humanities. Before attending medical school he worked in his home school district in the San Joaquin Valley as a 5 th grade teacher in an underserved elementary school.


  • / Jennifer Jude
    CSAC A

    Office Administrator, Lead Peer Recovery Support Specialist

    Jennifer Jude joined the River City team in June 2016. Mrs. Jude currently serves as the Office Coordinator for River City’s Medication Assisted Treatment (MAT) Program. Originally from Connecticut, she relocated to the Richmond area in 2003. Mrs. Jude served for many years as an office administrator previous to coming to work with River City, and ultimately made the decision in 2013 to apply her knowledge and skills to assist those battling issues with alcohol and substance abuse.

    Mrs. Jude possesses an extensive knowledge in effects and treatment of pregnancy and opioid addiction, having previously worked closely with the head of NICU at Waterbury Hospital in Connecticut. While there, she observed the effects of neonatal abstinence syndrome and attended over 30 hours of training and lectures on the subject. A current member of the Phi Theta Kappa International Honor Society, she is currently enrolled in the Certification Program for Alcohol and Substance Abuse Counseling which will be completed in December of 2016. Mrs. Jude is also in the process of obtaining her Associate’s Degree in Social Science, with plans to graduate in December of 2017.

    Since 2015, she has also implemented and facilitated peer recovery groups at two MAT programs, including River City. Mrs. Jude is an active member of Discovery United Methodist Church and volunteers with a variety of community events in the Richmond area including annual events such as the Richmond Folk Festival and the McShin Foundation Recovery Fest. Being with her husband and children is one of her favorite ways to spend her free time.

    In Spring 2017, Mrs. Jude obtained her CSAC A certification. Following her certification, she began serving as the Lead Peer Recovery Support Specialist, growing the number of groups offered throughout the week from one to three. She also began facilitating a weekly group for River City’s ACT (Alcohol Counseling and Treatment) Program.

  • / Jocelyn Whitfield

    Addiction Counselor

    Jocelyn Whitfield joined the River City team in March 2017. Mrs. Whitfield currently works as an Addictions Counselor at River City’s Medication Assisted Treatment (MAT) program.

    Mrs. Whitfield relocated from North Carolina to the Richmond area in 2017, having previously attended Livingstone College graduating with her Bachelor’s of Liberal Arts Degree in Sociology in 2013. Mrs. Whitfield continued to follow her passion for knowledge at Grand Canyon University where she obtained her Master’s of Science Degree in Psychology specializing in Industrial and Organizational Psychology in 2016.

    Mrs. Whitfield has an extensive background working in Medication Assisted Treatment programs, holding several credentials and accreditations related to addictions counseling. Mrs. Whitfield is certified to practice in NC & VA as a CSAC (Certified Substance Abuse Counselor). Mrs. Whitfield recently obtained her CAADC (Certified Advanced Alcohol and Drug Counselor), ICAADC (Internationally Certified Advanced Alcohol and Drug Counselor) and SAP (Substance Abuse Prevention) certifications.

    Mrs. Whitfield plans to return to school to obtain her Master’s in Addiction Counseling to achieve her long term goal of practicing as an LPC.


  • / LaToya Simmons

    Lead Nurse

    Bio coming soon!

  • / Elisabeth Butler
    M.ED, Clinical Mental Health and Addictions Counseling

    Addiction Counselor

    Bio coming soon!


  • / Alfreda Best

    Case Manager, Veterans Employment Program

    Bio coming soon!

  • / Madison Cully

    Office Specialist

    Bio coming soon!

  • / Cynthia Ings-Brown

    Outpatient Therapist

    Bio coming soon!

  • / Moses Wright

    Outpatient Therapist

    Bio coming soon!

  • / Ben Wood

    Substance Abuse Counselor

    Bio coming soon!



  • / Ernest Windsor

    Safety Officer, Peer Recovery Support Specialist

    Bio coming soon!



  • Jessica Clarke

    Human Resources Coordinator

    Bio coming soon!



  • / Helene Robinson

    Addiction Nurse

    Bio coming soon!



  • Casey Howell

    Addiction Nurse

    Bio coming soon!