The May Dugan Center Salutes Valeria Harper In Honor Of Black History Month

Executive Director Rick Kemm remembers the passionate advocate for mental health and CEO of ADAMHS Board of Cuyahoga County

(CLEVELAND, Ohio) February 6, 2017 — Valeria Harper, CEO of the Alcohol, Drug Addiction and Mental Health Services Board (ADAMHS), died unexpectedly on January 9. Harper was appointed to CEO in August 2017, after the retirement of former CEO William Denihan. Denihan had enthusiastically supported Ms. Harper, and the loss is a great one for the Court.

Harper was born in Cleveland in 1958 to the late Ralph and Vera Harper and was the youngest of six siblings. She attended the Cleveland City Schools and graduated from Collinwood High School in 1968. Harper attended Ohio University and earned a bachelor’s degree in social work with a minor in psychology from Cleveland State University. She received a master’s degree in counseling and human services from John Carroll University.

Harper began her career at Northeast Community Mental Health Center as a social worker. After expressing an interest in housing for individuals living with mental illness, she was promoted to the manager of residential services for group homes throughout the county.

Harper was credited as having started the first client employment service at Northeast Community Mental Health Center. Also, she was recognized as a member of the pioneer team responsible for structuring the case-management system in Cuyahoga County during her work as a supervisor at the Murtis H. Taylor Multi-Purpose Center.

Harper was a licensed Chemical Dependency Counselor Assistant and, in 2012, received the Helen K. Jones Woman of Strength Award from Recovery Resources.

In 1988, Harper joined the staff of what was then known as the Cuyahoga County Community Mental Health Board, which eventually became the ADAMHS Board. She served in numerous positions before being tapped to run the agency. As head of the ADAMHS Board, Harper was responsible for advocacy, planning and management of a recovery-oriented system of care that delivers quality services through a network of contract agencies.

Harper was a devoted member of Good Shepherd Baptist Church and is survived by a daughter and several grandchildren.

Valeria was highly regarded by the many that knew and worked with her at MDC. She will be remembered as a passionate advocate for mental health especially in her role as CEO of ADAMHS Board of Cuyahoga County and our thoughts continue to go out to her family and friends.

Our Goal is to Continue to Make a Positive Impact in our Community!

Click On Each Download Icon Below To Find Out More

Our West Side Story – Fall-Winter 2017

2017-2019 Strategic Plan

2016 Annual Report


Rick A. Kemm, MNO
216-631-5800 ext 102