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Rashida Gray, a psychiatrist at Bon Secours, joins SCAN as a new member of the Board of Directors this year. She first heard about SCAN from her husband, who is active in Richmond’s non-profit community. Through him, she was connected with Executive Director Jeanine Harper and SCAN’s mission to prevent child abuse and neglect in the Greater Richmond area.
Rashida’s connection with the Richmond community dates back to ten years ago when she moved here from her hometown, Philadelphia. Since then, she has worked towards bettering our community in order to provide a safe environment for her patients, family and friends. A conversation with her husband and peer, Dr. Sofia Teferi (a fellow SCAN Board Member) sparked her interest in working with SCAN. “I was struggling with the number of patients that I saw who were dealing with child abuse, and even when they weren’t struggling with the experience of child abuse, the subject always came up. I wanted to do something on the front end to prevent these cases from occurring” Rashida said.
As a psychiatrist for her private practice and St. Mary’s behavioral health group, Rashida sees a lack of awareness in the community, and even literature, of how prevalent child abuse and neglect is among “regular people that everyone knows.” “It’s not a dinner party conversation topic…. People don’t understand how common it is, in every zip code, county, and socioeconomic part of our region, children are being affected.” she said.
While serving on SCAN’s Board of Directors, she expects a primary responsibility to be collaborating with members of our community in order to fundraise and raise awareness for SCAN’s mission. Also, she is looking forward to serving on the Program Committee to help organize events for the volunteers, staff and recent graduates of SCAN’s parenting programs.
Early on, Rashida has strived to connect with the people that keep SCAN’s mission moving forward; the volunteers and staff. “SCAN volunteers and staff are amazing. The amount of time that they give to these children that they have no biological attachment to, just because they know that they can make a difference, is inspiring.” she said. Along with many of SCAN’s supporters, Rashida enjoys meeting people that are so invested in the common cause of preventing and treating child abuse and neglect.
In her role on the Board of Director’s, Rashida hopes to continue driving forward SCAN’s mission by conveying how crucial prevention and treatment of child abuse and neglect is for many aspects of our community, including reducing crime levels and healthcare costs while raising graduation rates. “If people could really see the path and trajectory that results from child abuse, they would realize that if we act now and provide treatment early on, we would reap a tremendous benefit in our overall society, both financial and socially.” Rashida said.