Office of Recovery Services

What we do

Family holding hands on beach
Family holding hands on beach

The Office of Recovery Services (ORS) was created though a collaborative effort by stakeholders who hold a belief that recovery, resiliency and self-advocacy are the foundations of system transformation. Our 2022 Strategic Plan includes the following Vision, Mission, and Values we embody.

Vision: Hope, above all else!


The Office of Recovery Services is comprised of individuals in recovery. Leveraging our personal lived experience, we advocate for, train, and enhance the peer and family support workforce community. We empower individuals exploring and living in successful recovery, as well as their natural supports and family members, throughout the Commonwealth of Virginia.

Values: Compassion – Diversity and Inclusion – Collaboration – Excellence – Integrity – Equality – Justice

A recovery residence is a housing facility that provides alcohol-free and illicit-drug-free housing to individuals with substance abuse disorders
and individuals with co-occurring mental illnesses and substance abuse disorders that does not include clinical treatment services.

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Our team is dedicated to serving Virginia in their recovery endeavors.

Director: Mark Blackwell (

Lead Problem Gambling Coordinator: Donald McCourtney (

Recovery Services Workforce Development Coordinator: Mary McQuown (

Recovery Services Coordinator: Kristine Konen (

Regional Recovery-Oriented Services Manager: Alethea Lambert (

Regional Recovery-Oriented Services Coordinators:

Region 1: Erin Tucker (

Region 2: Jalna Harris (

Region 3: Kim Boyd (

Region 4: Carla Heath and Bently Wood (please contact RBHA for more information)

Region 5: Renee’ Cox-Edwards (

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Virginia Recovery Initiative (VRI)

Stack of hands a teamwork symbol

What is the VRI?

In 2012, Virginia received a Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA)
Bringing Recovery Supports to Scale Technical Assistance Center Strategy (BRSS TACS) grant which supported the development of a statewide team of stakeholders that would champion efforts to emphasize the value of people’s lived experience of recovery from substance use and mental health conditions.

Coalition Building

VRI brings interested stakeholders together to focus on incorporating the voices of people in recovery in all aspects of behavioral health service delivery. Recovery champions meet in each region around the Commonwealth to develop community based strategies to expand the “recovery footprint” in their areas. Each regional group sends representatives to the statewide team that meets bimonthly to develop strategies that are focused on enhancing a Recovery Oriented System of Care for Virginia. 

For information on how to become a Recovery Advocate in your region please contact Alethea Lambert, Recovery-Oriented Services Manager.

What is Peer Support?

Women hugging in rehab group

The provision of Peer Support Services facilitates Recovery from both serious mental health conditions and substance use disorders. Peer support services are an evidence-based model of care which consists of a qualified peer support provider who assists individuals with their recovery.

What is a Peer Recovery Specialist? A Peer Recovery Specialist “PRS” is a self-identified person with lived experience with a mental health condition and/or substance use disorder who is in successful and ongoing recovery from mental health and/or substance use disorders. Peer Support Services and Family Support Partners use their lived experience to support another person’s exploration of recovery based services that can help them overcome the impact of mental illnesses or substance use disorders.

What are Peer Recovery Specialist
PRS Certification and Registration Pathways
Mental Health Run Peer Programs

What is a Certified Peer Recovery Specialist?

Certified Peer Recovery Specialists (CPRS) provide non-clinical, person-centered, strengths based, wellness focused, and trauma-informed support while helping to ensure the person’s wellness-recovery plan reveals the needs and preferences of the person being served to complete their measurable and personalized goals. Certification is not mandatory for employment in Virginia. Certification is mandatory to register with the Department of Health Professions Board of Counseling. Registration with the Board of Counseling is required for billing Medicaid. Certification from any National or State certification body that meets Virginia standards is recognized for the purposes of Registration.

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PRS Supervisor Training

The Office of Recovery (ORS) at DBHDS offers training for supervisors of Peer Recovery Specialist for the state of Virginia. This training is available to anyone, and is mandatory for those who supervise Registered Peer Recovery Specialists whose services will be billed to Medicaid.

For more additional questions or more information about PRS/training dates please contact Mary McQuown Recovery Services Workforce Development Coordinator.

Medicaid Reimbursement

As July 1, 2017, the Department of Medical Assistance Services (DMAS) has expanded the Medicaid benefit to allow for credentialing and reimbursement of Peer Support and Family Support Partner Services. This is in response to a legislative mandate to implement Peer Support Services to eligible children and adults who have mental health conditions and/or substance use disorders. Medicaid will reimburse for Peer services offered at any phase of the American Society of Addiction Medicine Criteria ( ASAM Criteria).

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Recovery Blast

Recovery Blast is a periodic email that the Office of Recovery Services uses to keep people up to date on trainings & certification, recovery-oriented events, job openings, information on evidence-based practices and other important recovery information.

If interested in being added to the email distribution list send a request email to: Mary McQuown Recovery Services Workforce Development Coordinator.

If you are interested in being removed from with the Recovery send a request email to Mary McQuown Recovery Services Workforce Development Coordinator.

Links to Recovery Resources

Links to Recovery Resources

What is Problem Gambling? 

  • Problem gambling–or gambling disorder–includes all gambling behavior patterns that compromise, disrupt or damage personal, family, or vocational pursuits. 
  • Persistent and recurrent problematic gambling behavior leading to a significant impairment or distress. 

The definition, dimensionalization, and assessment of gambling participation ( 

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