Dr. Rhea Fernandes receives Chestnut Hill College alumnae award for career achievement
Devereux Advanced Behavioral Health Senior Vice President and Chief Operating Officer Rhea Fernandes, Psy.D., recently received the Chestnut Hill College Department of Professional Psychology Alumnae Award for Distinguished Career Achievement.
The award is given to alumni who have “distinguished themselves by contributions they have made in their chosen fields of endeavor, by the leadership they have exhibited, and by the general benefits to the larger society resulting from their activities.” Dr. Fernandes was recognized during the Department of Professional Psychology doctoral program’s 25th anniversary celebration in October.
“I am humbled to receive this recognition from my alma mater,” said Fernandes. “My achievements are a testament to the values imparted to me during my time at Chestnut Hill College, as well as to the incredible mentoring and support I received from faculty and staff. I share this honor with them, as well as my professional mentors, my Devereux family and my own family. Truly, this honor, and the impact of my work, has been a collective effort, and I am extremely grateful for the support and mentorship I have received throughout my life and career.”
Contributions to her field
Fernandes, who holds more than 20 years of behavioral healthcare experience, earned a Master of Science in Counseling Psychology and a Doctor of Clinical Psychology from Chestnut Hill College.
As Devereux’s senior vice president and chief operating officer, Fernandes is responsible for overseeing all operational aspects of the organization’s national network, which spans 13 states. Under her leadership, Fernandes has helped transform Devereux’s culture by embedding the philosophy of Servant Leadership into every corner of the organization. In 2020, she was instrumental in the launch of Devereux’s Diversity, Equity and Inclusion initiative to foster a more equitable and inclusive work environment where cultural diversity is celebrated and valued.
Chestnut Hill College Chair of the Department for Professional Psychology and Director of Clinical Training Cheryll Rothery, Psy.D., ABPP, praised Fernandes for her accomplishments and contributions to the field of psychology and to individuals and families in need.
“Throughout her impressive career, and in her current role at Devereux, Rhea blends consummate leadership skills, innovation, compassion and a commitment to the provision of high-quality care for individuals who comprise some of the most vulnerable populations served by our profession,” Dr. Rothery noted. “Rhea represents the best of what we wish for in graduates of our program through her unwavering commitment to serve the underserved, her innovation and transformative leadership, her humility, and her lived core values of integrity and genuine respect, care and concern for all people without distinction.”
A commitment to serving others
Fernandes joined Devereux in 2016 as executive director of Devereux Pennsylvania Children’s Behavioral Health Services (now Devereux Pennsylvania Children’s Services), where she was responsible for the care and treatment of approximately 5,000 children and adolescents, annually, living with emotional, behavioral and cognitive differences. She was promoted to her current position in 2018.
Fernandes serves as chair of the Devereux/TCV Community Services board of directors and is a member of The Forum of Executive Women, a network of women leaders in the Greater Philadelphia Region, and Chief, a national network of C-Suite leaders.
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