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NOVA names new director of forensic and crisis response services


NOVA, a nonprofit organization in Bucks County supporting victims of serious crime, welcomes Melany Nelson as the organization’s new director of forensic and crisis response services.

Nelson is no stranger to NOVA, as she has been a member of the Keystone Crisis Intervention Team (KCIT), which supports crime victims and communities in Pennsylvania in their recovery from traumatic events, since 2015.

For Nelson, working in victims’ advocacy is a family affair. She worked from 2005 to 2012 with her mother, Patricia A. Payne, who served as the executive director for Northwest Victim Services in Philadelphia. Nelson also served as the executive director for the same organization from 2014 to 2022, where she provided services to crime victims such as filing victim compensation claims, offering court accompaniment and providing services to victims while they were in the hospital.

In 2022, Nelson joined the C.A.R.E.S. (Crisis Assistance, Response and Engagement for Survivors) Team at the Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office as the director. C.A.R.E.S provides peer crisis responders to families of homicide victims. She brings to NOVA almost 20 years of experience in the field of victims’ advocacy and a dedication to helping crime victims achieve the justice they deserve.

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