Western North Carolina Community Health Services (WNCCHS) is thrilled to announce the promotion of Jessica Parsil to Chief Behavioral Health Officer. This strategic move adds a crucial leadership role to the executive team, underscoring WNCCHS’s dedication to whole-person care.
"Jessica Parsil's transition to Chief Behavioral Health Officer marks a pivotal moment for WNCCHS,” said Kim Wagenaar, WNCCHS CEO. “With key areas like dental, medical, and pharmacy already represented at the senior level, behavioral health’s inclusion signifies our holistic approach to health care – prioritizing the mental, physical, and emotional well-being of our patients equally across all aspects of their care.”
Since joining WNCCHS in June 2022 as the Director of Integrated Behavioral Health, Jessica Parsil has been instrumental in expanding access to mental health and substance use services. Her tireless efforts have led to significant growth in the behavioral health department, including the development of school-based behavioral health services and the expansion of Medication for Opioid Use Disorder (MOUD) services, among other achievements.
Under Jessica’s leadership, WNCCHS has seen notable enhancements in behavioral health services, such as the addition of new staff positions; increased training and certifications for clinical staff; and the integration of youth behavioral health services at three health center locations and six schools in McDowell County. These efforts have laid a strong foundation for further innovations in care.
Looking ahead, Jessica’s vision for the future of behavioral health services at WNCCHS is ambitious and patient focused. She aims to continue increasing access to vital behavioral health services, reducing the stigma surrounding mental health and substance use, and using evidence-based treatments like collaborative care to benefit patients.
“Jessica's proven leadership and vision will be vital as we continue to enhance our services, reflecting the complex needs of those we serve,” Kim said. “We eagerly anticipate the innovations and growth she will bring to this new role."
Jessica brings a wealth of experience to her new role. After receiving a graduate degree in psychology, she began her career as a therapist at a community health center in Michigan, where she developed a behavioral health department that grew to more than 50 staff members and providers. She helped develop integrated behavioral health and primary care services, as well as school-based behavioral health services in more than 50 schools; an advanced learner program that has trained over 40 students; and an outpatient behavioral health program.
Jessica’s message to patients and their families is clear: “Help is out there! We are a phone call or drop in away from the first step of asking for help for yourself or your child. Our staff is here to help you in a judgement-free and safe environment.”
About Western North Carolina Community Health Services (WNCCHS):
For 30 years, WNCCHS has been a pillar of community health care in Asheville and the surrounding areas, offering a wide range of high-quality health services, including primary care, behavioral health, and dentistry. With locations in Asheville, Candler, and Marion, as well as a traveling Mobile Clinic, WNCCHS ensures health care is accessible and affordable to all family sizes and incomes. WNCCHS accepts patients with and without insurance, including Medicaid and Medicare. Learn more at https://www.wncchs.org.