More than 30 years of helping people challenged with substance use has influenced many lives and relationships.
Rob McCartney can share countless examples of hope and healing from families he’s worked with, as a mental health clinician and an administrator. McCartney is the CEO of The Barry Robinson Center (BRC).
This week, more people know about his work. McCartney received the Virginia Summer Institute for Addiction Studies (VSIAS) Visionary Leadership Award at the VSIAS conference in Williamsburg, Virginia.
VSIAS awards the Visionary Leadership Award each year to an individual who has demonstrated significant leadership and contribution to the substance abuse prevention, treatment and recovery field. VSIAS faculty select the most deserving candidate based on the nominees submitted for review.
“This award may have my name on it, but so many colleagues, friends and families contributed to whatever success I’ve achieved,” McCartney said. “I’m grateful to all of them for their support and encouragement, and I truly appreciate VSIAS for recognizing me.”
McCartney’s nomination highlighted his 32 years of experience in the mental and behavioral health field. Specifically, the nomination recognized his dedication to increasing services for youth in southeastern Virginia. Chief among these services is McCartney’s innovation to create an intensive outpatient program for adolescents struggling with substance use disorder.
“McCartney forged new relationships with community partners and developed professional training programs, all to achieve the goal of increasing awareness of substance use illness among our community’s youth,” wrote Katie Ross, director of BRC’s Community Based Services. “Due to his dedication for supporting this underserved population, at least three lives have been saved and many more teens have entered recovery, finding hope in their future once again.”
His focus on working with clients using mind-altering substances began during McCartney’s clinical training. He spent the early years of his career working as an administrator of a dual diagnosis intensive outpatient program for adults.
“As I worked more closely with this population, I realized how critical education is during treatment,” McCartney said. “It’s imperative we enable clients to understand their disorder and help them accept they need to be fully committed to recovery.”
Since moving to southeastern Virginia in 2012, McCartney has led BRC to its position as one of the region’s premier behavioral health care centers. Significantly, he recognized a gap in services for children in the military and veteran community. Over the past several years, he ensured BRC met infrastructure and staffing standards to care for these children.
Through his dedication of time, resources and administrative backing, McCartney continues to support mental health clinicians and families. And he’s a strong advocate for increased mental health services in state and federal communities of influence.