Howard Center appoints Simha Ravven, MD as Chief Medical Officer

Howard Center is pleased to announce its appointment of Simha Ravven, MD as Chief Medical Officer following a competitive national search. In this role, Dr. Ravven will direct psychiatric and clinical care services for the agency to ensure the delivery of high quality medical, nursing, and clinical care.

Howard Center CEO Bob Bick says, “Dr. Ravven stood out in a field of qualified candidates. We were impressed with her experience, clinical expertise, passion for our mission, and commitment to ensuring the highest quality person-centered community-based services to people with mental health, substance use, and developmental needs.” The selection process included multiple interviews and forums with clients and families, board members and staff, and community partners and stakeholders—all who took the time to participate and provide feedback.

Dr. Ravven succeeds current Chief Medical Officer Sandra Steingard, MD who has been with the agency for 25 years and has been a leader and a scholar in her field. Dr. Steingard has led many agency and statewide initiatives to ensure the best possible medical oversight and clinical care for those served by the agency. Known for her relational, compassionate approach in working with people and their families, Dr. Steingard will retire later in 2020. She will closely support Dr. Ravven’s transition to Howard Center.

Dr. Ravven comes to Howard Center from the Brattleboro Retreat where she has served as Senior Medical Director and as Interim Chief Medical Officer. Additionally, she is clinical assistant professor of psychiatry at the Yale University School of Medicine; president-elect of the Vermont Medical Society; chair of the Vermont Associations for Hospitals and Health Services-Psychiatric Medical Directors Group; member of the Vermont Department of Mental Health Ten Year Planning Think Tank; member of the Vermont Board of Medical Practice Medical Marijuana Review Board; associate editor, Harvard Review of Psychiatry; and serves on the American Academy of Psychiatry and the Law Human Rights and National Security Committee. She holds ABPN (American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology) Certifications in Adult and Forensic Psychiatry.  Dr. Ravven graduated from the University of Iowa Carver College of Medicine, completed her psychiatric residency at Cambridge Health Alliance and served as a Clinical Fellow at Harvard Medical School. She completed her Forensic Psychiatry Fellowship at Yale University.

Dr. Ravven has received numerous professional honors and recognition, has presented extensively at conferences and symposia, and has published research, chapters, and books.

With a staff of more than 1600 in 60+ locations, and a budget of $109 million, Howard Center is the state’s designated agency for Chittenden County and the largest community-based agency in the state. Dr. Ravven will join the executive leadership committee for the organization which along with the leadership team provides vision and oversight for the agency’s support to more than 16,000 people each year, about one tenth of the population of Chittenden County. In addition to working with Howard Center’s board, leadership, and staff, Dr. Ravven will work with a broad array of key stakeholders and community partners on the local, state and national level.

Dr. Ravven says, “I am honored to have the opportunity to return to community mental health and continue the long tradition of Howard Center’s service to diverse populations in the community. I will support educational opportunities for our staff and community and continue the important advocacy work in the field. I look forward to meeting our clients and staff and rolling up my sleeves and getting to work.”

Ravven’s orientation aligns directly with Howard Center’s mission, vision, and values and its work around issues of diversity, equity, inclusion and improving access to care. She brings her philosophy of medicine as a profession of service and an inherent belief that it is the physician and medical system’s task to meet people where they are and make adjustments to meet people’s needs when they seek support and treatment.

Dr. Ravven will begin as Howard Center’s Chief Medical Officer on September 1, 2020.