The similarities are striking. Both St. Vincent’s Home (SVH) and the Virginia Institute of Autism (VIA) were founded within a few years of one another by parents whose children with autism faced challenges that were too great to be met in public school settings. Since their humble beginnings with just a handful of young learners receiving ABA support in families’ homes, both organizations have steadily focused on using evidence-based practices to help students, clients, and families overcome the challenges of autism and related disabilities. As the years have passed, each organization has grown, serving more students from more Virginia school districts, and adding staff along with a growing array of services to their offerings—including services for adults.

On October 3, 2022, Ethan Long, VIA president and CEO, and Angie Leonard, SVH founder and CEO, announced that these two strong organizations will form an even stronger whole. All VIA and SVH programs will be included in this merger: VIA’s Day School, Adult Services, and Outpatient Behavioral Services as well as SVH’s Blue Ridge Autism and Achievement Center (BRAAC) Roanoke, BRAAC Lynchburg, BRAAC Lexington, The Hub Roanoke, Katie’s Place Roanoke, and Katie’s Place Lynchburg. The merger, effective January 1, 2023, provides a host of benefits to students, clients, families, and staff across Virginia while also providing important continuity:

  • Same Committed Staff: There are no staffing changes planned for the teachers, therapists, and support staff you have come to know and trust.
  • Consistent Curriculum and Programs: We will continue to rely on the evidence-based practices that have always been at the heart of our work. Programs and services will stay the same.
  • Consistent Scheduling: We will continue to serve all our students, outpatient families, and adult clients without any interruptions or schedule changes.
  • Strong Leadership: Ethan Long, Ph.D., BCBA-D, will serve as chief executive officer, and Angie Leonard, Founder and SVH Services CEO, will serve as chief operations officer southwest.

The new organization will be one of the largest nonprofit pediatric and adult providers of educational and behavioral services for people with autism and related disabilities in Virginia.

According to Leonard, “David and Pam Webb, along with my husband Alan and I, initially founded SVH after our sons were diagnosed with autism and I sought support from VIA founders the Webbs and Cattell-Gordons. Today, I’m excited that, in addition to strengthening our programs and services, coming together allows us to advocate better on behalf of our families at the state and local levels, affecting policy and funding in ways that benefit those we serve.”

Learn more about St. Vincent’s Home.  |  Contact us with questions.