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.
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.
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
Program DirectorKatharine 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.
Chief Clinical Officer of Community Based Programs
Alison Youmell was raised in Connecticut and relocated to Richmond in 2003. She 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 to practice Clinical Social Work in 2015. Alison has been the Chief Clinical Officer responsible for operations of community-based programs (Intensive In-home, Mental Health Skill-Building, and Crisis Stabilization) at River City CCS since 2010. She has experience providing individual and group outpatient therapy in the mental health and substance use fields with older adolescents and adult populations. Alison was previously employed with Virginia Commonwealth University – 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. Alison enjoys spending time with family and friends, traveling, baking, music, and reading.
V.P. of Clinical Operations/CSP, Outpatient Therapist
Mrs. Corinne Thompson was raised in Chesterfield, graduating from Midlothian High School. She received her Bachelor’s 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. She earned her License to practice Clinical Social Work in 2015.
Mrs. Thompson is the VP of Clinical Operations, overseeing Community Based Programs, supervising the Crisis Stabilization Program, and providing Individual and Family Therapy. Her most fulfilling therapeutic experiences come from working with young women experiencing Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, self-injurious behaviors, and eating disorders empowering and encouraging them to succeed in the face of their environment and/or mental illness. Outside of River City, Mrs. Thompson enjoys country living, reading, and spending time with loved ones.
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.
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.
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
Senior Program Director
Ms. Stephanie Bruce is a licensed clinical social worker and has been working as a Senior Program Director for River City for 8 years. Ms. Bruce specializes in working with adults and children who experience symptoms of depression, anxiety, PTSD, trauma and family/relationship issues. She values a holistic approach to the therapeutic process and truly believe in building trusting relationships with each of my clients. Ms. Bruce recognizes that each of her clients have unique needs and she is able to shift her counseling approach to meet the needs of each individual.
Ms. Bruce’s counseling style combines strength-based, dialectical -behavioral, and solution-focused approaches to help individuals achieve their therapeutic goals. Identifying one’s strengths and coping skills that can be used to help work through various issues is an important part of her therapy approach. Ms. Bruce likes to facilitate an environment where each client is the expert on themselves.
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.
Michael Quinn was born and raised in Richmond, VA. He attended St. Christopher’s School where he played baseball and was a member of the orchestra as a cello player. Michael went on to college and obtained a B.A. from VCU in Political Science. After college, Michael traveled abroad to live and work in Australia for one year. Over his professional career he has been an instructor at St. Catherine’s School, a Property Manager for a commercial real estate firm, and over the past two years, he has been a Program Coordinator for the McShin Foundation, where he managed their residential programs and most recently was their Marketing and Community Engagement Director.
Michael is currently a Project Manager for the “Company” which includes, River City Comprehensive Counseling Services, River City Integrative Counseling, Staunton Treatment Center, and Colonial One Investment Group. Michael enjoys seeing his favorite band Widespread Panic, playing golf, and duck hunting with his chocolate lab, Louise.
V.P. of IT and Facilities ManagementMr. 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.
Program Director, Outpatient Therapist
Ms. Christy Damrath is currently a Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW). She currently works as a Program Director and Mental Health Counselor with River City Comprehensive Counseling Services working with clients and supervising QMHP-A/C and QPPMH’s. Additionally, Ms. Damrath is also an Outpatient Therapist with River City Integrative Counseling working with adult clients individually and conducting groups such as the Knowledge Informing Transformation (KIT) Group. Ms. Damrath specializes working with clients diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder, Major Depressive Disorder, Generalized Anxiety Disorder, and Borderline Personality Disorder, among other diagnoses, as well as topics related to self-esteem and survivors of domestic violence.
Ms. Damrath earned both her Bachelor’s Degree (BSW) and Master’s Degree (MSW) in the field of Social Work from Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU). 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 and the Evans-Haynes Burn Center.
Ms. Damrath enjoys volunteering to help her community and advocating for those in need of mental health services. In her free time, Ms. Damrath enjoys sports, music, and activities involving reading and learning.
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. In 2013, Ms. Head began working as a Clinical Director for River City Comprehensive Counseling Services. She became a Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW) in 2015 and currently serves as a VP of Clinical Operations for the community based programs. She also serves as an outpatient therapist for River City Integrative Counseling and enjoys working with couples and at-risk youth. Ms. Head likes traveling, reading, and spending time with her family and friends.
Program Director, Outpatient Therapist
Ms. Meyer joined the River City team in 2012 . She is a licensed clinical social worker who currently serves a program director in the Mental Health Skill Building program and outpatient therapist for River Integrative Counseling. Ms. Meyer earned her Master’s Of Social Work from Virginia Commonwealth University in 2005 and has over twenty years of experience in the mental health field in both the public and private sectors, with focused experience working with autism spectrum disorders/developmental disabilities, personality disorders, anxiety/depression disorders, schizophrenia, domestic violence, substance abuse, and family/individual/couples counseling.
Regional Director, Opioid Treatment Program; Chief Clinical Officer, River City Integrative Counseling
Jacob graduated from Virginia Commonwealth University in 2013 with his MSW and started working with River City Comprehensive Counseling in July of that year. Mr. Rheaume was initially hired as a Mental Health Skill Building and Intensive In-Home counselor. Jacob was then promoted to program director of these programs and worked in that role while simultaneously managing River City’s Crisis Stabilization program. In February of 2016, Jacob was appointed to the role of program director of River City’s Opioid Treatment Program (OTP) where he initiated, developed, and grew what is now a thriving Medication Assisted Treatment center. Jacob was instrumental in development of the OTP’S policies and procedures, and remains the company’s ultimate authority on MAT compliance with regard to SAMSHA, DBHDS, Joint Commission, and DMAS.
During the spring of 2017, River City saw the continued devastation caused by the opioid epidemic signaling the need for additional treatment options for individuals in the Shenandoah Valley. River City opened Staunton Treatment Center and Jacob assumed the position of Regional Director/Compliance Officer. Since that time, Jacob has supervised both clinics, and was most recently promoted to Chief Clinical Officer. Jacob Rheaume has earned his LCSW and CADC. In his free time, Jacob plays the ukulele competitively and rescues sugar gliders from breeding mills.
Senior Program DirectorNatalie Sanders has been in the field of Social Work since 1998. Growing up, Ms Sanders 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 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 –she also began pursuing her LCSW and ESDM –Early Start Denver Model certification. Mrs. Matalavage obtained both an LCSW as well as an EDSM – Early Start Denver Model certification in 2017.
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.
M.Ed, Resident in Counseling
Program Director, Veterans Employment Program
Bio coming soon!
Operations ManagerEmily 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.Ms. Ensor enjoys indoor cycling, listening to live music, and spending time outdoors.
Senior Case Manger, Veterans Employment Program
Bio coming Soon!
Kathryn graduated from Virginia Commonwealth University with a Bachelor’s in Social Work. During her career, she has worked in various capacities, including mental health skill building, intensive in-home counseling, therapeutic day treatment, children’s psychiatric rehabilitation, and residential care. She specializes in crisis stabilization where she is able to utilize solution-focused, strength-based approaches to increase stabilization. She enjoys assisting clients with mobilizing community resources and creates a therapeutic environment of compassion and support for individuals to overcome obstacles and move forward and thrive. Mrs. LaBrecque believes that change occurs when people are offered guidance and resources and are able to draw on their own strengths and realize their potential to live fulfilling, healthy lives.
In her free time, Kathryn enjoys advocating for various causes such as suicide prevention, addiction recovery and mental health awareness. She volunteers and participates in community events and trainings to increase her knowledge of mental health whenever possible.
M.Ed, NCC, Resident in Counseling
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 Association (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 and Alcohol and Counseling Treatment (ACT). When she is not in the office, Ms. Stover is currently in her Residency working towards fulfilling requirements to become a Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC). Simultaneously, Ms. Stover is working towards a certification to become a Registered Play Therapist (RPT). Taren has experience working with children of all ages, particularly in the school setting where behavioral problems and mental health conditions were prevalent. Ms. Stover also has experience working with adults who struggle with addiction (opiates and alcohol) and who also suffer from co-occurring disorders. 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
Outpatient Counselor, Substance Abuse Counselor, Director of Field Operations and University Engagement
Gideon Javna is a licensed clinical social worker with a variety of experience in different clinical settings. Gideon graduated from the VCU School of Social Work in 2013 and worked as a clinician in the field of community mental health for three years. After earning his license in 2016, Gideon has prospered in a variety of clinical roles at River City Comprehensive Counseling. These roles include both working full time as a substance abuse counselor at the agency’s opioid treatment program and as an outpatient therapist at River City Integrative Counseling.
Additionally, Gideon supervises interns as the Director of Field Operations and University Engagement. Gideon takes pride in exposing the agency’s interns to a variety of clinical experiences to refine their professional skills and to further their journey as social workers. Gideon works with interns as a teacher to review appropriate therapeutic modalities, collaborates with interns to design and complete workplace projects, and provides interns with constant supervision to process new workplace experiences.
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.
Case Manager, Veterans Employment Program
Bio coming soon!
Office Manager, River City Integrative Counseling
Bio coming soon!
Bio coming soon!
Human Resources Manager
Jessica Clarke was born in Queens, New York, and grew up in Long Island, New York before moving to Richmond, Virginia in 2002. She attended Hermitage High School and graduated in 2010. Ms. Clarke then went on to get her Associates Degree in Liberal Arts Teacher Prep from J. Sargeant Reynolds Community College in 2014, and her Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology from Liberty University in 2017. She is currently pursuing her Master’s in Business Administration with a concentration in Human Resources Management at Liberty University Online.
Jessica came to River City in January of 2017 as an undergraduate clinical intern. She found her professional home here and was hired on to assist with Human Resources after completing her internship in May of 2017. Her prior work experience includes being the Payroll Processor and Bookkeeper for her father’s company, Clarke Financial Associates, for over 5 years. Jessica enjoys being a mom to her son, singing with her church’s worship team, teaching dance, and spending quality time with her family and friends.