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Our Team

Bridging the Gap

Zanda Miller

Jarred Barber

Lakesha Crampton

LaRelle Edmonds-Howell

Jarvis Threatt

Tiara Wellman

Kelli Reavis is the Senior Peer Support Specialist with the Injury and Violence Prevention Program with Bridging the Gap and has been employed with this program for a year. Due to her experience with gun violence, she is able to serves as a role model for self-care, help patients identify and build on strengths and assist with setting goals. Working with populations such as substance use, co-occurring disorders, mental health, and those incarcerated, she can incorporate her skills to provide recovery support, coping skills and build connections with individuals. Kelli Reavis plans to continue her education to receive a BS in Psychology and Human Services through Bluefield University.

Darrell Anderson

Taequan Smith

Project Empower

Carol Olson, MA, LPC, ATR, CSAC – Assistant Director of DV-IPV-SV-HT Initiatives and the Counseling Program. She is a licensed professional counselor and holds two master's degrees in counseling and art therapy. She has been working in mental health, trauma, and crisis response for over a decade within community mental health centers, rape crisis, domestic violence centers, and hospitals. She has focused on victims of violence, the impact of trauma, co-occurring mental health, and addiction in women. She has worked in leadership from local centers, regional and statewide agencies to national and international organizations developing intervention and prevention programs. Within VCU Injury and Violence Prevention Program, she manages both Project Empower and IVPP Counseling. She also creates radio programs on anti-violence education, mental health and trauma recovery, and women in leadership.

Reed Bohn, BSW (he/they/Reed) is a LGBTQ+, anti-violence, and reproductive justice advocate with over 15 years of community experience. Presently, his paid work is as an interventionist with Project Empower and the Infectious Disease clinic at Virginia Commonwealth University/Health System (VCU/HS)'s Injury and Violence Prevention Program. Prior to coming to VCU/HS, they were the Crisis Response Team Director/Manager at the Virginia Sexual Assault and Domestic Violence Action Alliance. He is an active volunteer with All Options and was a member of the Virginia Community HIV Planning Group from 2013 to 2020. They have attended and facilitated numerous education and outreach opportunities, training, and technical assistance; in addition to receiving certifications in a variety of modalities. His formal education experience is as an abolitionist social worker (cum laude, BSW, from VCU in 2019). To highlight the words of Lydia X. Z. Brown, "Often, their most important work has no title, job description, or funding, and probably never will."

Kimberly Embe recently joined the Project Empower team as an advocate at the end of 2021 while completing her MSW internship. Kimberly is especially passionate about working with youth and young adults and hopes to have a large social work career addressing trauma and destigmatizing mental health concerns in the BIPOC community. She is excited to start her social work career amongst such a diversely skilled and compassionate team.

Gabby Hutchinson is a new addition to the Project Empower team. She has several years of experience working in local DV centers, the Virginia Sexual and Domestic Violence Action Alliance, and has a BA in Social Justice & Human Rights. Gabby's passion for transformative justice informs her work with survivors of intimate partner and gender-based violence. Gabby believes that all survivors should have equitable access to resources and services to meet their needs to heal and that they deserve to be believed as the experts of their own lived experiences. She is excited to continue serving her community as an advocate with Project Empower.

Starshema Myles has been with the Injury and Violence Prevention team since 2017. A survivor of domestic violence herself, she began her work with the Trauma Program as a volunteer peer advocate. Her hard work and dedication to the patients made her a natural advocate with Project EMPOWER. Star has spent some time working in Bridging the Gap and is again serving survivors in Project Empower. She believes that all survivors deserve to feel heard and supported. She is presently in school to reach her goal of obtaining a Bachelor’s degree in Human Services. She is excited to continue this work with the programs of Injury and Violence Prevention and to continue growing her skills.

Leann Ragland, MSW has been with Project Empower since 2020, starting out as a VCU intern and then joining the team fulltime in 2021. Leann has her Master's in Social Work and a Graduate certificate in Gender Violence Intervention. She is currently a supervisee working towards licensure as a Clinical Social Worker. She is the primary advocate for the Heartbeats project, working with survivors who are pregnant and postpartum. Leann is also a Professional Birth Doula and she is passionate about her work supporting perinatal survivors of violence and abuse.

Kailyn Williams, BA has recently joined Project Empower and is passionate about working with those that have substance use disorder. She has a Bachelors in Psychology from VCU in 2020 and is currently working on her Masters of Social Work. Kailyn is working as a patient coordinator, advocate support, and is also working with the Heartbeats project. She is excited to work with survivors of violence during their perinatal period as well.


Cassandra Michelle, LPC is the therapist for Project EMPOWER and is a licensed professional counselor. She has her Master of Arts in Art Therapy and is a candidate to become a registered art therapist committed to offering individuals a safe and supportive environment to heal and thrive. She has over 5 years' experience working with survivors of violence and abuse. In her counseling sessions, clients will explore and develop important skills through meaning making and creativity as well as evidenced-based approaches to processing trauma such as EMDR, CBT, and DBT.

Tia Cochran, LPC is a therapist working with pregnant and postpartum patients. She is a licensed professional counselor with over three years' experience working with survivors of violence and abuse and those with co-occurring mental health and substance abuse disorders.


Jerry Van Harris currently serves as the Program Manager for GR-ACY and Project IMPACT. Jerry completed his BSW degree from VCU in 2018 and his Master of Social Work in 2020 at Fordham University and has worked in the Injury and Violence Prevention Program since 2018. Jerry is dedicated to assisting the community in reducing and preventing unintentional injuries through education, research, and outreach. Along with a multidisciplinary team and community partners, Jerry uses an interactive educational program to address the choices and consequences of reckless behavior, alcohol, and other drug-related activities.

Taylor Williams, MSW serves as the Project IMPACT Facilitator. Taylor completed her MSW degree from VCU in 2022 and bachelor's degree in Psychology and Spanish from JMU in 2016. Taylor strives to make a difference for the students that are reached through the IMPACT events. She is very excited to continue working with new partners and meeting students around the state.

Charlie Q. Sykes Sr., MA is the GR-ACY Program Facilitator. He comes to the program with a unique educational and work background. He obtained a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from Saint Augustine’s University in 1999 and a Master of Divinity degree from Virginia Union University in 2014. Charlie has 20 years of experience in assisting youth with at-risk behaviors in the school and community setting. Along with his driving commitment to help better his community, Charlie’s goal is to assist adolescents and adults create positive change. Charlie is excited to serve as the newest facilitator for the GR-ACY program.

Falls Prevention

Eve Flippen is the new Aging Life Care Coordinator with VCU Senior Services and Continuum Integration. She will be providing employee caregiver support and coordination of geriatric falls prevention programming. She is a VCU trained Gerontologist and comes from the Senior Connections Care Coordination program, where she assisted with in-home supports for older adults, mostly in Chesterfield county. She has also worked in therapeutic recreation in assisted living, memory care, and skilled nursing. She is excited to be at VCU, and looks forward to working with VCUHS and IVPP to help support the older adults in our community!


Michel Aboutanos, MD, MPH, FACS is a Professor of Surgery and Chief of Acute Care Surgery, and Director of Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) Level 1 Trauma Center in Richmond, Virginia, USA. He is currently the Director of VCUHS’ Injury Prevention Program (IVPP) and of VCU’s Center for Trauma and Critical Care Education (CTCCE). Dr. Aboutanos completed his general surgery training at the Medical College of Virginia Hospitals in Richmond, Virginia, USA, and his trauma & critical care training at the University of Maryland’s R Adams Cowley Shock Trauma Center, Maryland, USA. He additionally completed a residency in Preventive Medicine at Johns Hopkins University where he obtained his Masters in Public Health with emphasis on Injury & Violence Prevention and on man-made disasters. He served for the Pan American Health Organizations (PAHO/WHO) as a violence consultant to the regions of the Americas. He was recently appointed to serve on the Governor’s EMS Advisory Board and asked to serve as Chair of the Virginia Office of EMS Trauma Systems Oversight & Management Committee that oversees trauma system, triage & quality improvement in the Commonwealth. He is a member of multiple national and international surgical and trauma societies. He currently serves as the President on the Executive Board of the Panamerican Trauma Society, which is now headquartered at VCU.

Amy Vincent, MSW (She/Her)is the Assistant Director for the VCU Health Injury and Violence Prevention Program (IVPP). After working in human service in direct practice for almost 15 years, it is a welcome change to serve her community from an administrative position. This role allows her the ability to be an agent of change and to contribute to society in a new way – marrying direct service experience with a love of organizational development. She provides direction, programmatic and technical assistance on violence assessment, prevention programming and program evaluation, including strategies to impact policies, systems and environmental changes within IVPP and the system at large. Amy began her career in Upstate New York, completing her Masters in Social Work at the University at Buffalo and working for a local rape crisis center. Upon moving to Virginia, she developed a passion for public health while acting in various roles at the Richmond City Health District. Amy believes that all individuals deserve the right to be safe, healthy and happy and that the key to success in our communities is the ability to work together.