Valley Trauma Center

Merilla McCurry Scott Appointed Executive Director of StrengthUnited

September 22, 2023

Merilla McCurry Scott

In April, 2023 Strength United announced the beginning of an Executive Director search to identify the next leader of this amazing organization. After an extensive search and a three staged selection process, with significant consideration given to the skills, experiences and expertise needed to successfully guide StrengthUnited in its next phase of growth and focus. We are pleased to announce that Merilla McCurry Scott, Ph.D. has been selected as Executive Director, beginning September 18, 2023.

Over the past two months the selection committee conducted a rigorous and thorough process of reviewing applications, holding an initial phone interview and candidate screening, with an in-person interview for those who were well-qualified candidates. Four excellent candidates were selected for the final Campus Selection in-person committee, from which Merilla was selected and accepted the position.

Merilla, is a Licensed Clinical Psychologist, having received from UCLA a BS in Psychobiology, MA in Clinical Psychology and PhD in Clinical Psychology, with twenty years-experience working in behavioral health; Building, leading, and retaining talented teams of 400+ multidisciplinary staff with a highly accountable continuous learning workplace culture; Training directors and managers on leadership strategies with an emphasis on emotional intelligence and cultural humility; Elevating diversity, equity, and inclusion standards via training and mentoring of 100 managers on best practices; and enhancing staff morale, productivity, and wellness by building community and organization health programs. 

In addition, Merrila, was appointed by LA County Board of Supervisor Sheila Kuehl as Member-AT-Large, 2nd Vice Chair, and Chair (Mental Health Commissioner) in addition to Subject Matter Expert (SME) on the LA County Board of Supervisors Mental Health Commission. For a period of five years, Merrila focused on the issues impacting the County Mental Health System. Playing a key role in in ensuring individuals, families, and communities have equitable access to quality care.

As a clinician, Merilla has created infrastructure for School Based Programming, Substance Abuse Programming, Transitional Age Youth and Trauma.

Please see the message from Merilla below:

“I am excited to join StrengthUnited and I look forward to being part of an innovative and passionate team that is known for providing high quality care while addressing the root causes of violence. I enthusiastically connect with StrengthUnited’s effort to increase capacity and equitable access to services to those most impacted by violence as we educate future professionals to become successful agents of change. I am grateful for this opportunity to serve with the StrengthUnited team as we build safe communities for all.”