Jewish Community Services of South Florida (JCS) recently announced the appointment of Heather D. Winters as its first chief programs officer.
With an annual budget of $28 million and a staff complement of over 190 employees, JCS provides 40-plus social, prevention and health services programs serving thousands of residents throughout Miami-Dade and Monroe counties.
JCS is an inclusive and welcoming agency serving clients regardless of age, race, color, gender, gender expression, ethnicity, religion, national origin, disability, military/veterans status, or sexual orientation. Its mission is to improve the quality of life and self-sufficiency of the Jewish and broader communities throughout South Florida in accordance with Jewish values.
Winters is a Licensed Mental Health Counselor with over 20 years of experience in the human services arena, including 11-plus years in senior administrative roles. She brings extensive experience in program development and management, strategic planning and executive management.
Winters began her career working at the Psychiatric Institute of Southeastern Illinois following completion of her bachelor’s degree in psychology from Southern Illinois University. She graduated from the University of Miami in 2000 with a master’s degree in Mental Health Counseling.
Following graduation, her work as a therapist included providing intensive home and school-based therapeutic services to children and adolescents. She worked with The Journey Institute providing individual and group counseling to child, adolescent and adult survivors of sexual violence. Winters then joined the team at Family Counseling Services of Greater Miami (FCS) when it acquired the Journey Institute.
She also maintained a private practice from 2007 to 2012, where she provided individual, family and group counseling. Her areas of specialization include trauma, PTSD, anxiety and depression.
In addition, Winters served as executive director of FCS from 2012 to 2014. From 2014 to 2016 she served as the senior director of the Family Counseling Services Division following the organization’s merger with Switchboard of Miami Inc. From 2016 to 2018, Winters served as the executive director of The Melissa Institute for Violence Prevention and Treatment.
“We are delighted to welcome Heather as our JCS Chief Programs Officer. Heather has joined our executive leadership team at a time when the agency is navigating through a transformational process geared at long term sustainability and continued service to our community,” said Miriam Singer, JCS president and CEO. “Her extensive community ties and proven leadership in the social service arena offer value to our team and the clients we serve.
“At the same time, our team continues to adapt to the new realities in service to so many of our residents that are facing the socio-economic impacts of the coronavirus pandemic.
We are at the front lines providing essential life-sustaining services to frail individuals and families. Our safety net of services is strong and resilient. I am confident Heather will provide strong leadership as a trusted partner.”
Most recently, Winters has served with distinction as JCS division director of Children’s Behavioral Health and Helpline Services. Helpline Services, also known as 211 Miami, provides 24/7 suicide prevention, crisis counseling, and information and referral services in all languages. She has represented the non-profit community on numerous advisory boards, councils and collaborative partnerships.
Heather Winters may be reached at email@example.com or 786-860-5718.