Jancaitis to step down as Director of Virginia Veteran and Family Support program; Liddell to succeed Jancaitis
Brandi Jancaitis Betty Ann Liddell
The Virginia Department of Veterans Services today announced the following changes in the leadership of the Virginia Veteran and Family Support program in Richmond:
Brandi C. Jancaitis, Director, will step down effective June 6, 20l6.
Betty Ann Liddell will become Interim Director.
Brandi C. Jancaitis, who has served as Director of the Virginia Veteran and Family Support (VVFS) program since 2014, is leaving the Virginia Department of Veterans Services to move to Colorado Springs, Colorado, where her husband, U.S. Army Captain Nicholas Jancaitis, was recently assigned to the 4th Infantry Division, 3rd Armored Brigade Combat Team at Fort Carson.
Jancaitis joined VVFS in 2010 as a resource specialist. In 2012 she became the Department’s first Director of Housing Development for Veterans, where she helped put in place new systems and services that culminated in Virginia being the first state to functionally end veterans homelessness in 2015. She was promoted to VVFS Director in 2014.
Under Jancaitis’ leadership, VVFS launched the Mission Health Families Retreat, a statewide initiative to support Virginia families coping with post traumatic stress, traumatic brain injury, and other impacts of military deployments. She was also instrumental in Virginia becoming one of the first states in the nation to be awarded a grant from the Rosalynn Carter Institute for Caregiving to launch a state-level program for caregivers of veterans.
“Being a part of the VVFS has been the high point of my professional career,” stated Jancaitis, “but it’s been so much more than a job to me – it’s truly been a calling. And I’ve been blessed to work with some of the most dedicated, passionate public servants around. They pour their heart and soul into serving those who served us.”
“VVFS is all about helping veterans and family members on their journey to resilience and recovery, and Brandi has worked tirelessly to ensure that help is there when they need it,” said Commissioner John L. Newby II of the Virginia Department of Veterans Services. “She’s been an outstanding advocate for Virginia’s veterans and family members; her commitment and ‘can do’ spirit will be sorely missed,” he added.
Betty Ann Liddell, who has held a variety of behavioral health leadership positions in the public and private sectors during the past 20 years, has been named Interim VVFS Director. She joined VVFS in January of this year as the programs first Clinical and Quality Assurance Director.
Prior to joining VVFS, Liddell provided and managed behavioral health services in roles as diverse as an individual and family therapist, program supervisor, clinical director, and agency executive leader. She holds a BS in Criminal Justice from Northeastern University and a Masters in Counseling from Webster University.
Throughout her travels as the spouse of a U.S. Marine, Liddell was afforded the opportunity to work in a variety of human service and behavioral health systems, including behavioral health centers, domestic violence shelters, adolescent diagnostic/treatment centers, and nonprofit agencies. Liddell is a mother of four grown children and grandmother to three; both of her sons are active duty military (one in the U.S. Navy and one in the U.S. Marine Corps).
Liddell will serve as Interim VVFS Director for approximately six months, during which time a working group led by Secretary of Veterans and Defense Affairs John C. Harvey, Jr. will prepare a plan outlining the future mission and structure of VVFS. The Director role will be filled on a permanent basis after the plan has been presented to the Governor and General Assembly.
“Betty Ann has the knowledge and experience necessary to ensure VVFS continues to provide exemplary service to Virginia’s veterans and family members though this transition period,” stated Commissioner Newby. “Her diverse background in human service and behavioral health, coupled with her experience as a military spouse, make her very well qualified for this role. I wish to extend my thanks to her for stepping up to the plate to lead VVFS through this transition period.”
“I’m honored to be placed in this position of great trust and responsibility,” said Liddell. “VVFS is a model state program for veterans and family members. I look forward to building on the great work of my predecessor and to continuing the VVFS tradition of outstanding service.”
About Virginia Veteran and Family Support
The Virginia Veteran and Family Support (VVFS) program monitors and coordinates behavioral health, rehabilitative, and supportive services through an integrated and responsive system of care. VVFS provides peer and family support and care coordination services to Virginia veterans, members of the Virginia National Guard and Armed Forces Reserves (not in federal service), and their families with a special emphasis on those affected by stress related conditions or traumatic brain injuries resulting from military service. To learn more about VVFS visit www.dvs.virginia.gov.