Edward Strickler, Institute Programs Coordinator, and Managing Editor, Developments in Mental Health Law

Edward Strickler, Jr., MA, MA, MPH, CHES, has served for more than 15 years as Programs Coordinator, involved in every aspect of Institute-sponsored training programs, symposiums, and conferences; as Managing Editor of Developments in Mental Health Law ( including its transition from a paper publication to an entirely digital and digitally-archived publication ); and in other support of the mission of the Institute ( including contributions to proposal submissions, IRB submissions, implementation of research in the field, editing article and book chapter manuscripts, coordination of the entire physical move of Institute offices, hiring and supervision of work-study students, support of visiting scholars, and other assigned duties ).  His service has helped to sustain and expand the translational enterprise of the Institute into its fourth decade as a national flagship in forensic mental health.

Mr Strickler's academic preparation has been at Swarthmore College (BA, with Honors, in philosophical literatures of Western and Eastern traditions), and at the University of Virginia ( MA, with study in religious ethics; MA,with study in clinical ethics; and MPH, with a focus on issues of public health policy ).  Abroad, he has studied religious ethics, cultural anthropology, contemplative practices and other topics in Thailand ( Chiang Mai University ) and in India ( University of Mysore ). Before coming to the Institute Mr Strickler had worked with corporate, academic, and community-based organizations, and was responsible for various aspects of health education, community health research (including community health assessments, translation of research into community settings, and evaluation of impacts ), and health services planning. His long history of public service includes appointment to local and state level commissions, committees, study groups, and task forces.

Improving community health, ensuring human rights, and expanding ethical discourse have been among his critical concerns, tutored through decades of work to ensure compassionate and effective responses to the HIV syndemic in Virginia, including as a founding member ( from 1994 through 2014 ) of the Virginia HIV Community HIV Planning Committee which provides integral and dynamic inputs to the Virginia Department of Health's comprehensive statewide plan for HIV/AIDS prevention and care. The Committee's early work laid systematic foundations near the beginning of organized HIV/AIDS prevention and care services in Virginia and continued to build on that foundation to help ensure dissemination of evidence-based practices for prevention, translation of research findings, ongoing evaluation of programs, accessible and equitable services, and effective policies into community serttings throughout the Commonwealth.  Attending to syndemic conditions accelerating spread of HIV in Virginia - years before the 'SAVA' (Substance Abuse - Violence - AIDS) syndemic was described in the literature - he helped lead numerous community-based participatory research projects, including a groundbreaking statewide assessment of transgender health ( the multi-year, multi-phase study, with qualitative and quantitative components, has been widely recognized and widely cited including by the Institute of Medicine's groundbreaking work on LGBT health ).  Mr Strickler lead a working group on criminalization of exposure to under Virginia law with attention to the interface of that criminalization with public health outcomes and best practices of public health. He has also been a leading advocate in Virginia for including sexual and gender minority concerns in population health research, in public health services, and in health professional practices in Virginia.  For this work he was recognized as an Outstanding Virginian by Equality Virginia (2012).  Information on a recent community discussion of the 'SAVA' syndemic that he designed and lead at UVA is linked below.??

Mr Strickler was appointed by Governor ( now Senator ) Tim Kaine to the Virginia Council on Human Rights in 2009, and was subsequently appointed by Charlottesville City Council to its Human Rights Task Force in 2012. Other recent contributions to public service include joint appointment by Albemarle County Supervisors and Albemarle County School Board to a work group assessing and recommending visionary community purposes for a rural school in an underserved and historically African-American community. He was, in Summer 2013, a candidate for appointment to an open seat on the Albemarle County Board of Supervisors. 

Encouraging civil and productive dialogue among diverse stakeholders, often with conflicting points of view and/or with high emotional valence, are among his abiding commitments: he has served as facilitator with two-month-long study circles with the Charlottesville area Dialogue on Race; semester-long conversations with the University of Virginia's Dialogue Across Grounds, and served for more than five years as a founding member of the Sexuality Dialogue of the (Episcopal) Diocese of Virginia.

He has contributed to founding and/or expansion of diverse community organizations. He helped to found regular Charlottesville area services for gender and sexual minority youth and was among the first trained and active group facilitators; he helped to establish the first networks of HIV prevention education and services in rural western Virginia; he helped to found regular interfaith liturgies inclusive and supportive of LGBT persons at a time when most congregations were not welcoming; he helped to start a series of annual retreats for caregivers of persons with HIV and persons with HIV included healing liturgies for persons with HIV at a time when there were few medical interventions. He is a founding board member  of Virginia Anti-Violence Project ( a 501.c.3. organization that recently received a ground-breaking award from the US Department of Justice to build upon innovative work with special populations in Virginia to prevent and respond to partner and dating violence, sexual violence, and hate violence ).

He was elected and served as Program Chair, Chair, and Member Chair with the American Public Health Association's Ethics Section ( formerly Ethics Special Interest Group ).

Mr Strickler has presented at many conferences, trainings, and meetings.   Please request his CV for details.

Recently, in Summer 2014 he conceived and coordinated a ground-breaking workshop on issues of transgender persons involved with criminal justice that attracted uniformed officers from numerous Virginia jurisdictions; and conceived and coordinated through a unique community collaboration a workshop on community building and contemplative practices with LGBTQ that had participation more than double attendance expectations.  In Fall 2014 he helped to develop and present a workshop at the Gay and Lesbian Medical Association's Annual Conference on health professional screening and response to partner and sexual violence; and presented at the American Public Health Association's Annual Meeting on community assessment and response to partner, sexual, and hate violence in Virginia.  He has an article forthcoming in the journal Partner Violence.  A commentary published in light of violence impacting the University and Charlottesville community in Fall 2014 may be found at http://www.dailyprogress.com/opinion/opinion-column-ending-violence-in-our-local-social-constructs/article_b70d4ae0-781b-11e4-8fe9-732650ff9c1f.html

During late Winter 2015 he completed 4.5 days of training with the highly regarded Strategies for Trauma Awareness and Resilience program of Eastern Mennonite University.  The program, which conveys evidence-supported theory, processes, and tools for addressing trauma, breaking cycles of violence, and building resilience after trauma, was launched with a global mission and vision within six months of the September 11 2001 attacks in the United States, and has provided training, expertise, and support around the world.

At the University he serves on the LGBT Committee of the Diversity Council in the Office for Diversity and Equity, and as an Alternate Senator in the newly formed Staff Senate.  Recognition for service to the University includes a University of Virginia Equal Opportunity Champion (2009), and the award for Outstanding Service by the Serpentine (Alumni) Society of the University of Virginia (2012).  In Fall 2014 he was included in and completed the University's Preparing for Leadership seminar. 

He resides in the historic James River village of Scottsville with his partner of more than 30 years ( without any recognition or protection for their relationship under Virginia Law until 2014 ).  He has blue, red, and yellow ribbons for  home-grown vegetables judged at the Albemarle County Fair.  They have helped care for aging parents living in rural Virginia, never tire of finding new trails for hiking or biking, and are delighted in Fall 2014-Winter 2015 to have an albino deer living near their home.

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