People on the Move is a rundown of recent hirings, promotions, appointments and other notable movements by professionals in the state. If you’re interested in submitting an entry, please contact [email protected]
Governor Bethany Governor Hall-Long announced Alexia Wolf, MPH, will be lead coordinator of the Behavioral Health Consortium (BHC).
Wolf brings over 20 years of experience in community behavioral health including her most recent role as Chief of Social Determinants and Social Supports for Delaware’s Division of Substance Abuse and Mental Health (DSAMH). In that role, Wolf led efforts around homeless outreach, recovery services, and improving health outcomes in vulnerable communities. Wolf previously worked in several academic, non-profit, and governmental capacities that aimed to improve behavioral health resources for those in need.
As lead coordinator of the Behavioral Health Consortium, Wolf will help guide the BHC’s multi-year strategy around prevention, treatment, access, and stigma for Delawareans struggling with addiction and mental illness. The BHC is an advisory body of community advocates, law enforcement, healthcare professionals, and state leaders that work to tackle issues around prevention, treatment, and recovery for mental health, substance use, and co-occurring disorders.
Nemours Children’s Health named Meghan Walls, PsyD, director of external affairs, Delaware Valley. Dr. Walls will work to build awareness of the Nemours Children’s Health mission and garner support for its strategic objectives with elected officials and community leaders. Dr. Walls will provide recommendations on public policy matters involving state and local governments, and lead and direct legislative and regulatory matters with key external stakeholders.
In 2022, Dr. Walls began serving as Legislative and Policy Advisor in Nemours’ Division of External Affairs for Delaware Valley. As Legislative and Policy Advisor, she was focused on advocating and lobbying for policy that benefits the health of children and their families. She has been integral in the successful passage of policy innovations related to behavioral health, telehealth, paid family leave, and healthcare access. As New Castle County resident practicing psychology at Nemours Children’s Health Jessup Street, Dr. Walls is deeply embedded in the community and invested in advocating for the children of Delaware and beyond.
“After working for Nemours Children’s in a clinical capacity for 11 years, I am eager to be expanding my role and to continue partnering with policy makers in our state,” Meghan Walls said in a statement. “I look forward to supporting Nemours with a shared purpose of changing children’s health for good.”
As a nationally recognized innovator, a Governor-appointed member of Delaware Early Childhood Council, as well as the Behavioral Health Planning and Advisory Council. She is also co-chair of the Lt. Governor’s Behavioral Health Consortium Data and Policy Committee and appointed by the Delaware Secretary of Education to serve on the Pathways Middle School Steering Committee. Dr. Walls has served as the Electronics Communication Chair for the Society of Pediatric Psychology Board of Directors.
Dr. Walls has been honored with several awards including the 2020 DBT40 (Delaware Business Times 40Under40), Delaware New Journal’s 2020 Most Influential Delawareans in Politics, the 2019 Nemours Physician Excellence in Community Service Award and the 2019 National Alliance on Mental Health, Delaware Healthcare Provider of the Year.
The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) awarded James Ellison, M.D., MPH, the 2022 Exemplary Psychiatrist Award for his exceptional contributions to improve the lives of people with mental health conditions.
A specialist in geriatric psychiatry, Dr. Ellison was recruited to Delaware in 2015 to help ChristianaCare’s Swank Center for Memory Care and Geriatric Consultation improve the care of older adults whose lives are affected by neuropsychiatric conditions. With the help of his colleagues, Ellison expanded the Swank Center’s services to include general geriatric health care consultation, fall prevention assessments through their Safe Steps program, and community education about healthy cognitive aging through their Memory Ambassadors program. The center now serves Delawareans from three locations and anticipates adding more.
“Dr. Ellison is a true gift to Delaware,” Dr. Joshua Thomas, CEO of NAMI Delaware said. “I have personally witnessed the respectful and dignified way he presents information, offers reassurance, provides hope and works to surround individuals and families with needed care and support.”
Progress has been made in understanding late life depression, bipolar disorder, anxiety, and neurocognitive disorders. However, research is still needed on how to prevent, identify, and treat dementia, especially in its earliest stages. Dr. Ellison sees good reasons for hope.
Working with Dr. Ellison, NAMI Delaware added a special session to their training for law enforcement personnel on how they can help older adults experiencing confusion, agitation, psychosis, and depression.
WDEL-AM/FM and WDEL.com announced Mark Fowser and Rachel Suga have joined the WDEL news team.
Fowser is a former News Director at WXDE/Delaware 105.9 in Lewes and WILM in Wilmington. The Claymont native is also a past president of the Delaware Press Association and Chesapeake AP Broadcasters Association.
Suga is a recent journalism graduate of Penn State’s Bellisario College of Communications, where she reported for The Daily Collegian and PSN TV, including international reporting from Penn State-Scotland and hosting coverage of PSU’s THON fundraiser.
“Our commitment to our listeners and Delaware news has never wavered,” Chris Carl, WDEL’s Director of News & Programming said. “Mark and Rachel to the staff will only bolster our efforts to cover the news and issues that affect Delaware.”
Shore United Bank congratulates Leslie Matthias on 20 years of service. Matthias began her career with the bank in September of 2002 at the Glen Burnie branch in Maryland as a self-proclaimed “accidental banker”. Before starting her banking career, she attended the EMT Program at Anne Arundel Community College.
Matthias’ first position at the Bank was on the teller line, and later as a Customer Service Representative, followed by the role of Assistant Branch Manager.
For the past 11 years, she has held the position of branch manager in Glen Burnie, supporting her valuable team and showing up every day, prepared to work alongside her team to do their best to help their clients.
“I would not be where I am today without my team! We have been together for a long time, and we help each other with whatever tasks need to be completed,” explains Leslie regarding the value in her work. “I only hope my team knows how valuable they are to me,” she adds.
“Leslie’s commitment had been outstanding. Over the past 20 years, she has been serving the northern Anne Arundel County community through volunteering her time to many organizations and providing banking solutions to a wide array of individuals and businesses,” says Jim Henstrand, Regional Retail Manager.
Beyond her responsibilities at the branch, Leslie likes to get out into her community and help those in need. “I enjoy helping people. Every day I get to help someone with an issue, solve a problem and relieve some of their stress,” Matthias said.
Mike Smith has relocated his business development firm, MSBD, Inc., from northern Virginia to Ocean View, Delaware. He is working with environmental and technology companies to secure visibility and funding. Mike is also a staff reporter at Coastal Point in Ocean View covering environment and education. He serves on the boards of the National Press Club, the Interfaith Partners for the Chesapeake Bay and the Quiet Resorts Charitable Foundation. MSBD was founded in 2000 as a business strategy firm. Clients have included the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science, America’s Watershed Initiative, and Watershed Results.