Fairfax County’s Health and Human Services Office of Strategy Management has selected Lisa Potter to be the county’s new Diversion First manager.
Potter will work closely with the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors, senior county leadership, police, fire and rescue, the Sheriff's Office, courts, the Fairfax-Falls Church Community Services Board (CSB) and community stakeholders to continue the success of the county’s Diversion First initiative. She will be responsible for leading a multi-year, comprehensive cross-systems initiative designed to improve delivery of services and outcomes of the individuals served by the program, while also demonstrating solid economic investment. Potter will also work on implementing cooperative policies and programs across multiple agencies to forward the success of Diversion First.
Diversion First offers alternatives to incarceration for people with mental illness, developmental disabilities and co-occurring substance use disorders who come into contact with the criminal justice system for low-level offenses. The program aims to prevent repeat encounters with the criminal justice system, improve public safety, promote a healthier community, save public dollars and – most importantly – help people who are in crisis recover and take control of their lives. Since Diversion First began in Fairfax County, over 1,000 people were diverted from potential arrest.
Potter has worked for the CSB since 1994 and has held various clinical and administrative positions during her tenure. She has worked as a prevention specialist, clinical supervisor, quality assurance coordinator, quality improvement manager, and most recently, as CSB’s director of strategy and performance management. Potter holds a master’s degree in community agency counseling from George Mason University, and is a certified substance abuse counselor and certified process manager. She has worked as a consultant for the U.S. Department of Education, the Mid-Atlantic Technology Transfer Center and several local universities. Potter has extensive experience in data analysis and evaluation, strategic planning, process improvement, project management, program development and cross-system initiatives, such as Diversion First.
Potter will assume her role as Diversion First manager on Sept. 1.