Blue Ridge Behavioral Healthcare, the community services board that treats some of the Roanoke Valley’s most troubled residents, has named a new executive director.
Debbie Bonniwell, who has more than 12 years of experience in social service and behavioral health care, will start her new job in mid-January.
Bonniwell most recently worked as the clinic manager of the Rappahannock-Rapidan Community Services Board in Warrenton. She will replace Tim Steller, who retired in June.
Blue Ridge Behavioral Healthcare is one of 40 agencies in Virginia that receive public funds to treat people in their regions suffering from mental illness, substance abuse and intellectual disabilities.
It serves the cities of Roanoke and Salem and the counties of Botetourt, Craig and Roanoke.
Bonniwell, a licensed clinical social worker, has masters degrees in social work and business administration.
Her previous jobs include assistant director of the Frederick County Department of Social Services in Winchester and executive director of EastRidge Health Systems in Martinsburg, W.Va.
Blue Ridge “is fortunate to have an experienced leader join our agency as we execute our mission to provide quality community-based services that meet the needs of citizens with mental illness, intellectual disabilities and substance abuse disorders,” the board said in a statement this week.