Denise Friedman

Dr. Denise Friedman is currently an independent consultant, primarily working with education and nonprofit partners in assessment, evaluation and research endeavors. She received her masters and PhD in developmental and biological psychology from Virginia Tech. Dr. Friedman served as a university professor, where she was tenured and promoted, for nearly 25 years before taking an early retirement. She previously served as the Research and Evaluation Director for CHIP-RV and her belief in CHIP’s mission drove her to reconnect with the organization when she and her family moved back to the area.

Why I Serve CHIP
In 2016, I elected to leave higher education and found CHIP-RV when searching for a new role in the area. My education and experience leave me well versed in research, assessment and evaluation and CHIP-RV was seeking an employee who could lead them in their goal to become an evidence-based program. I was immediately drawn to CHIP because of its mission. From a personal perspective, as someone who was medically needy and poor as a child, I could see the value of CHIP’s work in breaching the gap for its clients. Health truly is hope. Working firsthand with the staff and board was inspiring. Seeing the commitment to bettering the lives of the underserved in our community made me certain that CHIP would always hold a place in my heart.
While CHIP’s work certainly speaks to me personally, it also resonates with me as a professional. CHIP’s developmental and evidence-based practices are well-informed and integrated with intricate knowledge of their clients. In my experience, it is rare for a nonprofit to collect or utilize as much data as CHIP. Not only that, CHIP relies on empirically valid assessments, medical data, and self-reports of their clients. This mix of quantitative and qualitative data is laudable and highly effective. The result of research efforts during my tenure showed that CHIP’s work, providing intensive health and development focused home visiting services prior to school enrollment, makes a difference in the lives of the clients they serve. We all know this is the case but having the analyses support it is affirming.

When we relocated back to the area, I was excited to reconnect with CHIP. What I love is that CHIP didn’t stagnate when the research bore out its successes. The board and staff continue to look for ways to better respond to ever-evolving client needs. CHIP has undergone many changes since 2016: protocols have been updated and streamlined alongside the data collection process; efforts to support staff well-being have been implemented; additional partnerships have been formed; a pandemic has been endured. And still CHIP stands. CHIP has shown time and again that they are resilient and are ready and willing to pivot to serve their clients in the most impactful ways possible. They know that it is the people that matter, the relationships that endure over time and engender success. They see the value of the collective while recognizing the importance of each individual. It is my honor to renew my relationship with CHIP and to have the opportunity to serve. It is my hope to use my skills and experience to be a small part of CHIP’s story as they continue to improve the lives of underserved families in our community.