Howard Center appoints Heidi Melbostad, PhD, MFT as Chittenden Clinic Director

Howard Center is pleased to announce its appointment of Heidi Melbostad, PhD, MFT as the Director of Chittenden Clinic following a competitive search. In this role, Heidi will direct Vermont’s first opioid medication-assisted treatment program and client care services for the agency to ensure the delivery of high-quality client care.

The Chittenden Clinic is a medication-assisted treatment (MAT) program that provides outpatient treatment and pharmacotherapy (methadone, buprenorphine, and naltraxone) for individuals who have Opioid Use Disorder. The Chittenden Clinic staff provides extensive medical, therapeutic, and care coordination services. The Clinic also provides medically supervised withdrawal (MSW).

Dr. Melbostad succeeds current director Dana Poverman, who has been with the agency for over 30 years and has been a leader and an expert in her field. Catherine Simonson, Chief Client Services Officer said, “Dana has devoted herself to over thirty years of service and leadership at Howard Center to better the lives of individuals struggling with substances and life challenges.” We are fortunate that she will closely support the transition in the coming weeks.

Dr. Melbostad holds a PhD in psychology, is trained as a MFT, and recently finished a post-doctoral fellowship at the Vermont Center on Behavior and Health (VCBH) at the University of Vermont. Her work over the past six years has focused on the psychological and behavioral impact of opioid and other substance use disorders.  Prior to pursuing her doctorate, she worked in the community-based system at the Parent Child Center and at Health Care and Rehabilitation Services (HCRS), the local Designated Agency in Springfield, Vermont focused on serving young women and families parenting children. Her 20-year career includes research published in numerous publications and presentations at major conferences, trainings, and seminars.

Dr. Melbostad will join the leadership team which provides oversight for the agency’s support to more than 19,000 people each year, more than one tenth of the population of Chittenden County. In addition to working with Howard Center’s board, leadership, and staff, she will work with a broad array of key stakeholders and community partners on the local, state and national level.

Dr. Melbostad says, “When I learned about the Chittenden Clinic program director opening, it was an opportunity that I couldn’t pass by. More than ever, we need to be supporting the mental health of our community, especially those among us who are most vulnerable. The Chittenden Clinic has played a pivotal role in treatment of opioid use disorder in our community. I am both energized and excited by the possibilities ahead. As a clinician and a researcher, I am dedicated to serving the needs of the clients of Chittenden Clinic and strengthening Howard Center’s mission by bringing innovative, evidence-based treatment practices that are both patient centered and trauma-informed. I am really looking forward to being a part of and leading the talented staff at the Chittenden Clinic and collaborating with our many community partners.”

Dr. Melbostad’s professional background and experience aligns directly with Howard Center’s mission, vision, and values and its work around issues of diversity, equity, inclusion and improving access to care. Dr. Melbostad began serving as the Director of Chittenden Clinic on July 12, 2021.

With a staff of more than 1,600 in 60+ locations, and a budget of $111 million, Howard Center is the state’s designated agency for Chittenden County and the largest community-based agency in the state.