As Sr. Vice President for Psychosocial Services and Community Affairs at The Institute for Family Health, Virna Little is responsible for the administration and delivery of behavioral health, community and grant-funded programs in 26 centers throughout New York City and New York State’s Hudson Valley Region. Ms. Little is also responsible for many of the services the organization provides to the uninsured and for the development of community partnerships.
Ms. Little has extensive experience providing behavioral health services in healthcare settings as well as developing and operating community programs. She is knowledgeable about special populations such as the homeless, those with HIV/AIDS or substance abuse, and the chronically medically and mentally ill. Ms. Little is known nationally for her work in the area of integrated care and for the development and implementation of integrated models in a multitude of settings.
Before joining the Institute, Ms. Little provided social services at the Department of Corrections and was a domestic violence coordinator chosen by the Mayor’s office to promote family violence identification and prevention in New York City and Health and Hospital Corporation. She received advanced training in working with trauma survivors, disaster mental health and critical incident debriefing. Ms. Little is a Department of Transportation and federally certified Substance Abuse Professional and a certified New York State Mandated Reporter child abuse trainer.
Ms. Little earned her doctoral degree in psychology and holds a master’s in social work and bachelor’s degree in both psychology and social work. She was a former adjunct professor at Westchester Community College and the College of New Rochelle. Ms. Little has received awards for her work in behavioral health including the Eleanor Clarke award for innovative programs in healthcare (2004) and the National Association of Social Workers Image award (2006).
Ms. Little is a member of the Society for Social Work Leaders in Healthcare, the National Association of Social Workers, the Community Health Care Association of New York State, the American Play Therapy Association, the National Council for Community Behavioral Healthcare Providers, the Association for Clinical Social Work and the American Professional Society on the Abuse of Children. Ms. Little serves on the boards of the New York Association of Play Therapists, the Association of Clinicians for the Underserved and the Reproductive Health Access Project.