Local Human Rights Committee

The Roanoke-Catawba Local Human Rights Committee ( LHRC) is comprised of five or more members who have an interest in mental health, intellectual disability, or substance abuse issues. Members are broadly representative of various community, professional and consumer groups. Consumers and their family members are an integral part of the committee’s composition. The Catawba LHRC seeks to maintain objectivity through balanced diversity of membership. Members are unpaid volunteers who serve terms of from one to three years. The LHRC meets quarterly at Catawba Hospital.

For more information about LHRC membership, please contact Mykala Sauls, Human Rights Advocate (540-375-4321 or mykala.sauls@dbhds.virginia.gov). A personal interview is required of all applicants for committee membership. The State Human Rights Committee makes final decisions regarding appointments after consultation with the Commissioner of the state Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Services.

Vital Role of Local Human Rights Committee

Local Human Rights Committee members perform a vital role in community oversight of facility and community programs and practices. The committee also hears complaints that cannot be resolved at the facility level.

Functions of the Local Human Rights Committee:

  • Review any dignity or freedom restriction on the rights of an individual that lasts longer than seven days or is imposed three or more times in a 30-day period
  • Conduct interviews for Next Friends as part of the authorized representative process
  • Conduct fact finding hearings and make recommendations for resolution of complaints not resolved at the provider level
  • Review behavioral treatment plans that incorporate the use of seclusion, restraint and time out
  • Receive, review and act on applications for variances to the human rights regulations
  • Focus on providing due process for individuals
  • Review and approve provider program rules if requested by the LHRC or Advocate
  • Identify violations of applicable rights or regulations during complaint resolution along with any policies, practices or conditions that contributed to those violations.

The LHRC normally meets on a quarterly basis at Catawba Hospital.

2019 meeting schedule:

  • March 20, 2019
  • June 12, 2019
  • September 11, 2019
  • December 11, 2019

All meetings are scheduled for 1pm and are located in the first floor conference room in the main Catawba Hospital building. The agenda deadline is 4 weeks prior to the meeting date.