With a passion for social justice and caring for vulnerable patients and more than 20 years working as a licensed clinical social worker, Shelly Virva is a thoughtful and experienced healthcare leader. Her work has focused on helping those who suffer from addiction and co-occurring mental health disorders, chronic medical and early life trauma.
Before joining HMA, she served as the associate clinical director and subject matter expert for the National Center for Complex Health and Social Needs, an initiative of the Camden Coalition of Healthcare Providers. As the expert on addiction and co-occurring disorders, she was part of an interprofessional group working with patients with complex health and social needs. She regularly provided coaching, training, and model co-design for vulnerable populations in health systems and Federally Qualified Health Centers around the country.
Additionally, she was part of an interprofessional team that started a complex care clinic specializing in high-cost, high-need patients and pregnant women with substance use disorders.
Shelly’s experience also includes working for a regional payer of both commercial and government plans as well as leading clinical case management, behavioral health departments, community access programs and providing technical assistance for a variety of projects in the area of addiction, behavioral health, strategic communication and program development. She recently co-authored a best practice toolkit for starting and expanding medications for addiction treatment in primary care settings.
She earned a Master of Social Work and a bachelor’s degree from Western Michigan University.
Shelly lives in Grand Rapids with her spouse, three sons and two dogs. She enjoys playing soccer, walking her dogs and snowboarding. Her hobbies include puzzles, reading, and slot car racing.
"Fight for the things you care about but do it in a way that will lead others to join you." - Ruth Bader Ginsburg