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Ronda Outlaw Recognized for Work on Forsyth County Jail Diversion Program

Senior Community Executive Ronda Outlaw was recognized recently by Forsyth County District Attorney Jim O'Neill for her help with a deferred prosecution and jail diversion program. 

About a year ago, O'Neill and the Forsyth county manager approached Cardinal Innovations Healthcare's executive management with a request for assistance in developing an incentive-based deferred prosecution or jail diversion program that would provide a treatment alternative to incarceration for individuals with behavioral health needs, particularly opioid or other substance use disorders. The Forsyth District Attorney's Treatment Alternative (DATA) Program is expected to launch in September 2018.

“As the Senior Community Executive, with primary responsibility for working with local county management and elected officials, I provided information, support and linkage with internal Cardinal departments during the year-long program planning process," Outlaw said. 

On July 19, during a presentation to the Forsyth Board of County Commissioners, O'Neill identified Outlaw as “a leader in pushing the initiative forward" and credited Cardinal Innovations with strongly supporting the local effort. 

Outlaw, who works in the Triad Region, oversees relationships with county management and local elected officials in Forsyth, Stokes, Davie and Rockingham counties. She joined Cardinal Innovations in July 2016 during the consolidation with CenterPoint Human Services.

In addition to her work with the Forsyth District Attorney's Treatment Alternative (DATA) Program, Outlaw also was nominated earlier this year by Nicole McKinney, Director of Community Relations, for a Cardinal Leads Award for her commitment to Cardinal Innovations' core values and her exemplary leadership.

Cardinal Leads Award nominees are featured in Leadership in Action articles throughout the year for their commitment to Cardinal Innovations' core values, which include courage, integrity, accountability, compassion and demonstrating a pioneering attitude.

McKinney said Outlaw was essential in reshaping the Triad stakeholder community during the CenterPoint consolidation. She turned one Department of Social Services director from Cardinal Innovations' biggest critic into one of the organization's greatest advocates who praised Cardinal Innovations to other DSS leaders at a statewide meeting.

“Ronda is not afraid to push the envelope and has challenged leadership with grace and assertion to get results for members and stakeholders," McKinney said.  

Outlaw's leadership has directly benefitted her colleagues, Cardinal Innovations members and the company as a whole by helping to co-lead a mental health and intellectual/developmental disabilities advisory committee that has mended and created new positive alignments with influential stakeholders. 

Outlaw said she was drawn to the behavioral health field at a young age. “I wanted to work in human services from an early age," she said. This desire informed my academic and career choices, as I sought degrees and licensure in social work, and that led to employment opportunities in public and private managed behavioral health care companies.

“I enjoy working in the behavioral health field at a systems level to effect the most change for the most people," she said. “Working with counties to address local gaps and needs and to assure broad access to services and supports in extremely rewarding."
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