Leslie Sharp, a native of Giles County, first joined the team at NRVCS in March of 2006.

She holds a degree in Child Development from Virginia Tech and earned her Master’s in Counseling Education from Radford University. Leslie became a Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) in 2014. She has held various positions at NRVCS, including: preschool case manager, clinician for In-Home Services, Early Intervention mental health specialist, program supervisor (for Special Deliveries, Preschool Case Management, Parent Coach Program and CARES), Quality Assurance (QA) Coordinator and QA administrator. Prior to joining NRVCS, Leslie worked with the Virginia Department of Health with the healthy families program for at-risk children. She also once worked as a legal assistant for a law firm.

This August, Leslie will celebrate 20 years of marriage to her husband, Eric. They currently reside in Pearisburg and the couple has two children: Lainy, age 10, and Easton, who is six years old.

Leslie recently took the time to sit down and answer a few questions about her work at NRVCS and related experiences. Her responses are included below:

Why did you choose a career in behavioral health/human services?
I believe in giving back more than you take especially from where you are from. I grew up playing and hanging around my grandfather at the family ran funeral home, realized what I did not want to do early on but the sense of community and being there for others in their time of need is something I took away from this as a child. I grew up being taught in White Gate the importance of community and the importance of being tied to the community. Also, if you say you are going to do something then do it. In a small town, your word is everything.

I think there is a fine line from providing services and needing services. There is no them and us in this world, we all do the best we can with the resources we have. People do not have to be defined by their situation or what they were born into because with support and hope anyone can change their situation. You have no idea what someone is going through and that you could be that one person on that one day that is able to give someone help and/or hope.

What’s the most exciting/appealing part of your new position?
I think it’s important to be able to provide people the tools they need to do their job and give people context to why we ask them to do certain things. QA and IT is something that is crucial to do our jobs well. When there isn’t an issue then we have done our job and being able to problem solve and be preventive is exciting to me. This way staff can continue to provide services to our consumers without a bump in the road and we did things on the backend that no one ever knew about.

I think a strong IT and Quality Improvement partnership is a critical component for any agency to be successful but even more crucial in this day and time. Effective outcomes, accurate data, successful audits, continuous quality improvement and risk management are essential pieces of a bigger picture. The chance to focus on these areas by joining the teams of quality, health information and information technology is an exciting opportunity to strengthen the potential for increased success and excellence at NRVCS.

What’s the biggest challenge/most difficult part?
It’s not the most exciting information and trying to get everyone to understand the importance or the reason why certain decisions are made when they have a hundred other things that they need to do. Also it’s ever changing and making sure that everyone has current information in this ever changing world of QA and IT can be difficult. Also making sure that you are seeing the whole picture for the agency but at the same time paying attention to details, it’s a balance.

Why should QA matter to the rest of us?
The new regulations whether it from licensure or insurance is moving toward quality improvement and risk management. The number of audits were are getting each year continues to increase as well as the importance of outcomes and data reporting being an emphasis. We need to be prepared for what is coming down the pike from MCOs, DMAS and DBHDS to the best of our ability to help us be successful as an agency.

What’s something about you that most people would be surprised to learn?
I always wanted to go into the law field and be an attorney and fight for abused and neglected children. Having a voice for those that don’t have a voice or haven’t found their voice yet is important to me but I feel like I just went into another field that can accomplish that in a different way. I am also very competitive and don’t settle for B’s.

What is it about NRVCS that has kept you here for so long?
I think the support and collaboration is so valuable here. This is difficult work we do and having support from co-workers and an agency is so important. I also truly believe in the work that NRVCS does and how important it is to our clients. I also love that we don’t shy away from challenges and are ready to fill the gaps in our community or take on new requirements no matter how difficult it may be.

“I am really appreciative of all the opportunities that I have been given at NRVCS over the last 12 years and have learned so much,” concludes Sharp.