2024 Aging and Behavioral Health Conference

Speaker Bios

Dale Adair, MD, DLFAPA Chief Psychiatric Officer, Office of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services

Working with Mental Health Crisis Programs

Dr. Adair received his medical degree from the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine. His post-graduate training at Temple University Hospital and Western Psychiatric Institute where he completed his residency and completed a geriatric psychiatry fellowship. He currently serves as the Pennsylvania Department of Human Services (DHS) Chief Psychiatric Officer and the Medical Director for the Office of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services (OMHSAS). In this role, he provides clinical expertise and consultation to the Deputy Secretary of OMHSAS and the Secretary of the DHS. He provides input and guidance into the policies that affect the provision of mental health and substance use treatment throughout the state. He has been a leader in the development of the vision for PA’s First Episode Psychosis program; PA team efforts with the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation Accelerator-Substance Use Disorder project; Centers of Excellence (COE) for the treatment of Opioid Use Disorder; Health Equity: and served as Project lead for the PA Certified Community Behavioral Health Clinic Program. He is involved with numerous efforts aimed at suicide prevention and currently serves as the lead on Pennsylvania’s efforts to implement 988 as the new 3-digit number for the Suicide Prevention and Crisis Lifeline and the PA Black Youth Suicide Workgroup. He has worked on numerous projects for the Department with the aim of improving access and quality care for Medicaid beneficiaries while containing costs. One of those projects is an Integrated Care Plan Program which requires the Physical and Behavioral Health Managed Care Organizations to work together caring for shared patients. He has served as Co-chair for the Behavioral Health Commission for Adult Mental Health. He serves on the PA Threat Assessment Steering Committee (PA-TASC), the National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA) Patient-Centered Outcomes Behavioral Health Expert Working Group, NCQA Certified Community Behavioral Health Clinic (CCBHC) Advisory Panel, and the National Academy for State Health Policy (NASHP) Behavioral Health, Aging, and Disability Steering Committee. He served as a consultant for the Centers for Medicaid and Medicare Services (CMS). He also served as the Deputy Secretary for OMHSAS on two separate occasions. Most of his career has been spent addressing mental health concerns of the most vulnerable citizens. Past awards include the Governor’s Award for Excellence in Leadership and the PA Rehabilitation & Community Providers Association Community Leadership Award. He is a Distinguished Life Fellow of the American Psychiatric Association.

Valerie Arkoosh, MD, MPD Secretary, Pennsylvania Department of Human Services

Opening Remarks

Valerie A. Arkoosh, MD, MPH, was appointed to lead the Pennsylvania Department of Human Services by Governor Josh Shapiro on January 17, 2023. She completed the nomination process and took office as Secretary on June 29, 2023. Prior to this role, Secretary Arkoosh served on the Montgomery County Board of Commissioners since January 2015, when she was appointed to fill a vacancy on the Commission. Arkoosh won election to a full four-year term in November 2015 and served as Commission Vice Chair until her election as Commission Chair in November 2016. She was the first woman ever to serve in this role. Arkoosh was re-elected in November 2019 and unanimously chosen by her colleagues to again serve as Chair in January 2020. Montgomery County is the third most populous county in Pennsylvania, with over 856,000 residents. The three-member Board of Commissioners oversees a budget of more than $500 million and directs more than 2,800 employees charged with administering and overseeing county functions, including human services. As Commission Chair, Secretary Arkoosh was committed to strengthening services for children, veterans, and seniors. She led the efforts to eliminate street homelessness of veterans and streamline delivery of human services. Recognizing the need for a strong, supported workforce in executing these goals, she instituted a $15 minimum wage and gender-neutral paid parental leave for Montgomery County employees. Drawing on her background as a physician, she oversaw a multi-pronged, integrated response to the opioid overdose epidemic, including issuing a standing order in 2015 to enable participating pharmacies in Montgomery County to dispense the overdose antidote naloxone at the request of any member of the public.

As a physician and public health professional, Secretary Arkoosh was at the center of Montgomery County's efforts to combat the COVID-19 pandemic, leading a data- and science-driven approach to the unprecedented challenge. Arkoosh’ s leadership was praised during the county's response, especially her transparency and public communication throughout the pandemic. Secretary Arkoosh is also a staunch advocate for maternal health and reproductive rights, and previously served on the Pennsylvania Maternal Mortality Review Committee.

Upon obtaining her Master of Public Health in 2007, Arkoosh became deeply engaged in the national effort to achieve comprehensive health care reform. She led the National Physicians Alliance, a national non-profit organization of physicians, who, putting their patients before profits, joined a broad-based nation-wide coalition for reform. During this time, she developed policy and legislative strategy, and promoted public engagement in Washington, D.C., Pennsylvania, and throughout the country. Dr. Arkoosh maintains comprehensive knowledge of the implementation of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act and its impact on individuals and the health care system.

Prior to stepping into public service, Secretary Arkoosh was Professor of Clinical Anesthesiology and Clinical Obstetrics and Gynecology at the Perelman School of Medicine of the University of Pennsylvania. Arkoosh is a graduate of the University of Nebraska College of Medicine and received a Master of Public Health from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. She performed her residency at Jefferson Medical College in Anesthesiology with a special focus in Obstetrics. She has an undergraduate degree in economics from Northwestern University. Secretary Arkoosh lives in Springfield Township, Montgomery County, with her husband and their three children.

Steve Bartels, MD, MS, Professor of Medicine, Director, Mongan Institute, MGH – Harvard Medical School

Integrated Mental Health and Aging Services: Opportunities and Challenges

Stephen Bartels, MD, MS is the inaugural James J. and Jean H. Mongan Chair in Health Policy and Community Health, Director of the Mongan Institute at Massachusetts General Hospital, and Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School. The Mongan Institute serves as the academic home for 12 research centers and over 145 research faculty and research fellows at MGH dedicated to training and research in population and health care delivery team science aimed at achieving health equity and improving the lives of people with complex health needs. The Mongan Institute bridges research spanning data science to delivery science, and evaluative science to implementation and health systems science engaging team science across a broad variety of disciplines and methods such as epidemiology, predictive analytics, cost-effectiveness, health policy, decision science, health disparities, health intervention, implementation, and health systems research. (https://www.monganinstitute.org/ )

Dr. Bartels has authored over 360 publications and has mentored over 60 early career investigators. Over the past several decades, he has led productive research developing, testing, and implementing interventions focused on complex health conditions and health disparities, co-occurring physical and mental disorders, health care management, health coaching, health promotion interventions for obesity and smoking, aging and geriatrics, automated telehealth and mobile technology, population health science, applied health care delivery science, and implementation science. Before coming to MGH, Dr. Bartels served in a variety of research center and leadership roles, including founding Director of the Dartmouth Centers for Health and Aging, Director of a CDC Health Promotion and Prevention Center, PI of several T32 Research Training Programs, and Director of Research Education and Training and Co-Director of Dartmouth’s SYNERGY Clinical Translational Research Institute.

Frederic Blow, PH.D., Professor of Psychiatry, Director U-M Addiction Center, University of Michigan Medical School

Older Adults and Substance Use Disorders

Frederic C. Blow, Ph.D., is a national expert in substance abuse and mental health research and policy, with a focus on evidence-based practices. With an impressive career spanning nearly four decades, his research has combined epidemiologic studies with intervention development and evaluation to help health systems reduce mental health and drug and alcohol use-related problems. His extensive portfolio encompasses a breadth of research interests, ranging from alcohol and drug brief interventions within healthcare settings to pioneering eHealth and mHealth solutions for substance abuse. Notably, his expertise extends to substance abuse prevention, screening, and diagnosis in older adults, as well as the complex interplay between serious mental illness and concurrent substance abuse. Since 2001, Dr. Blow has served as the Huss Family/Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation National Research Chair on Treatment of Older Adults, based in Center City, MN. He holds the distinction of chairing both the original and revised editions of the SAMHSA national consensus panel that authored Treatment Improvement Protocol (TIP) #26: Treatment of Substance Use Disorder in Older Adults, a testament to his enduring commitment to advancing treatment paradigms. Dr. Blow has been the principal investigator on numerous U.S. federal, state, and foundation grants and has published over 400 papers and book chapters, as well as several books. His scholarly contributions not only enrich the academic landscape but also serve as invaluable resources for practitioners and scholars alike. Dr. Blow’s dedication to mentorship has been recognized with prestigious accolades, including the Annual Clinical and Health Services Research Award and the League of Research Excellence Award from the University of Michigan Medical School, as well as the esteemed Distinguished Mentor Award from the University of Michigan Center for Health Research.

Duncan Bruce MS, LPC, LBS Director of MCO Integration at Community Care Behavioral Health, UPMC

Medicare/Medicaid and Managed Care

Mr. Bruce is the Director of MCO Integration at Community Care Behavioral Health. Community Care is a non-profit behavioral managed care organization providing behavioral health coverage through the HealthChoices program in 43 counties in Pennsylvania. Mr. Bruce has 30 years of experience in the behavioral health field. He has worked at Community Care for 21 years in leadership positions in Care Management, Programs Innovation, and now in the PH/BH Integration department. Mr. Bruce earned a Master of Science in Community Agency Counseling, a Graduate Certificate in Gerontology, and a BA in Psychology. He is a licensed professional counselor and licensed behavioral specialist.

Rebecca Coleman, Psy.D., MSCP (Dr.), Director of Behavioral Health, Hyndman Area Health Center

Does Behavioral Health Work in a Federally Qualified Health Center to Serve the Aging Population?

Dr. Coleman has been in practice for 23 years and has a broad range of work experiences and interests. She obtained her Doctorate from Nova Southeastern University in Florida and a Master of Science in Clinical Psychopharmacology from Alliant University in California. Her experience with Behavioral Health in the FQHC setting includes her current position as Director of Behavioral Health at Hyndman Area Health Centers, and she developed Behavioral Health departments in 2 FQHCs in Florida.

Lynn Cooper, Behavioral Health Policy Specialist, Pennsylvania Association of Area Agencies on Aging

Closing Remarks

Lynn Cooper is the Behavioral Health Policy Specialist at the Pennsylvania Association of Area Agencies on Aging. Ms. Cooper has over 45 years of experience in the public health sector. Of those 45 years, 25 were dedicated to working on regulatory and policy issues for mental health and substance use disorder treatment providers in Pennsylvania. She is now working with the Area Agencies on Aging to help improve access to mental health and substance use disorder services in the Commonwealth for Older Adults. Ms. Cooper celebrated 34 years in recovery in January of 2024 and has six years of lived experience helping her mother deal with mental health and substance use disorders in the last six years of her life.

Joseph DiMeo, MS, Behavioral Health Coordinator for Community Health Choices, Community Behavioral Health

The Philadelphia Model: Serious Mental Health Illness in Long-Term Care

Joe DiMeo is the Behavioral Health Coordinator for the Community Health Choices (CHC) initiative at Community Behavioral Health (CBH). In this role, Joe is responsible for helping to ensure CBH’s provider network delivers quality care treatment to CBH members with physical challenges who are living at home and CBH members residing in nursing facilities.

With more than 35 years of experience in the behavioral health field, Joe has a wealth of knowledge in provider networking, geriatric counseling, and supporting older adults with various challenges, including depression, grief, loss, substance use, gambling problems, anxiety, and complications from Dementia/Alzheimer Disease. As a Behavioral Health Coordinator, Joe created meaningful partnerships with the social service aging community, nursing facilities, home health care agencies, advocates, and Physical Health Managed Care Organizations (MCO).

Joe is a member of the Philadelphia Corporation for Aging Advisory Council and the Older Adult Committee for the PA Office of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services (OMHSAS) Mental Health Planning Council. Before joining CBH, Joe was the Director of an Older Adult Intensive Outpatient Program for the Einstein Healthcare Network.

Joe earned a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from Temple University, a Master of Science in Counseling Psychology and Human Services from Chestnut Hill College, and a Gerontology Certification from St. Joseph’s University.

Joan Erney, Behavioral Health Consultant

Panel Discussion with State Officials, Facilitator

Joan Erney retired in December 2019 after over 35 years in the public behavioral health system. Since then, she has been consulting part-time and engaging in local community work. She is a current board member for Keystone NAMI and participates with her local NAMI and CSP.
Starting her career as a direct services worker in crisis intervention services in Dauphin County, she was most recently the Chief Executive Officer at Community Behavioral Health, Philadelphia’s administrative management organization for the HealthChoices behavioral health Medicaid program. During her tenure, Philadelphia saw the expansion of Medicaid to over 700,000 Philadelphians. Erney was noted for developing a collaborative approach with providers, members, advocates, and system partners to effect positive change in the Philadelphia behavioral health landscape.

Before her role at CBH, Erney was in senior leadership roles at SAMHSA and Community Care Behavioral Health and was the Deputy Secretary of the Office of Mental Health and Substance Use Services (OMHSAS) under the Rendell administration. In her state role, Erney closed three state hospitals, expanded the HealthChoices behavioral health system statewide, created a criminal justice initiative, saw the development and impact of peer services, created a robust advisory structure, and made numerous policy and program changes to enhance the services for children and their families with behavioral health challenges. Her prior experience also includes policy and legislative work with the PA Community Providers Association (now RCPA) and CEO of the Community Behavioral Health Network of PA (now Perform Care).

Joan graduated from Penn State University and received her JD from Widener School of Law.

Jeff Geible, Director Prevention, Treatment and Recovery Division, Pennsylvania Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs

Department of Drug & Alcohol Programs: Recovery Hubs

Jeff graduated from Indiana University of PA in 1983 with a Bachelor’s Degree in Criminology and a minor in Political Science. He was employed by Jefferson County, PA, as an Adult and Juvenile Probation Officer from 1983-1985. After a period of time as a House Parent in Pittsburgh working with juveniles, he returned to Jefferson County to work as an adult probation officer from 1985-1987.
Jeff then went to work from 1987-1989 at Bi-County Addictions Center as a Clinical Supervisor. He subsequently relocated to central PA and was employed by the Dauphin County Department of Drugs and Alcohol from 1989-2002 first as a Case Manager then as a Case Manager Supervisor. He left Dauphin County to work for the PA Department of State in the Bureau of Professional and Occupational Affairs in 2002. In 2003, he began employment with PA Department of Health, Bureau of Drug and Alcohol Programs (subsequently the PA Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs) first as a Drug and Alcohol Program Analyst, then as Drug and Alcohol Program Supervisor, Drug and Alcohol Program Manager, and eventually the Division Chief of the Treatment Division which subsequently became the Prevention, Treatment, and Recovery Division. Jeff currently serves in this role.

Gabriel Halperin-Goldstein, Hoarding Case Manager, Jewish Family & Children's Service of Greater Philadelphia

Hoarding Disorder: An Overview

Gabe is a clinical social worker who recently graduated from Temple University. He has spent the past year with the Hoarding Program at Jewish Family and Children's Services, working with both individual clients and facilitating several Buried in Treasures groups. In addition to social work, Gabe has worked in digital communications, writing news stories and blogs about research in public health and business.

Steve Horner, Deputy Secretary, Pennsylvania Department of Aging

Panel Discussion with State Officials

In a public service career spanning three decades and multiple state agencies, Steven B. Horner has administered and ensured accountability for dozens of statewide social services programs that help older adults and families improve their health and quality of life. As Deputy Secretary at the Pennsylvania Department of Aging, he oversees a budget of more than $500 million and approximately 100 staff, including the management team for Aging Services, Quality Assurance, Finance, Older Adult Protective Services, Aging and Disability Resource Office and the services and programs funded by the Older Americans Act and the Pennsylvania Lottery. In this capacity, he also oversees the operations and the service delivery provided by the 52 Area Agencies on Aging.

Prior to his appointment as Deputy Secretary in 2019, Steven’s leadership roles at PDA included directing the Bureau of Aging Services. Prior to coming to PDA, he helped lead policy, system restructuring and community development at the Department of Human Services’ Office of Long-Term Living. At the Department of Health, he administered quality assurance, chronic disease management and family health programs. Steven holds both a Bachelor of Science and a Master of Science from the Pennsylvania State University.

Jason Kavulich, Secretary, Pennsylvania Department of Aging

Opening Remarks

Secretary Jason Kavulich brings 24 years of experience within the human services field to the mission of serving and advocating for Pennsylvania’s 3.4 million older adults aged 60 and over. He is committed to leading and advocating for an aging network of quality, sustainable programs that support Pennsylvania’s growing older adult population to stay healthy and active, age in their home settings of choice, thrive in their older years with safety and dignity, and contribute to the economic, social and cultural vibrancy of our communities across the Commonwealth. Jason’s hands-on experience at the local human services level provides a critical perspective to supporting a 52-agency aging network covering 67 counties where services are delivered locally across diverse populations and geographies.

Progressing from a county caseworker through supervisor and administrator positions within the Lackawanna County Office of Youth and Family Services, he was appointed Director of the Lackawanna County Area Agency on Aging in 2016. As a human services professional, he dedicated his efforts to ending food insecurity and homelessness and improving access to services and cultural opportunities for the residents of Lackawanna County. In his capacity as director, Jason worked tirelessly to promote the innovation and expansion of services for older adults and strongly advocated for guaranteeing their rights and independence.

In 2021, his efforts to assist older adults during the COVID-19 pandemic were honored by the County Commissioners Association of Pennsylvania and the Pennsylvania House of Representatives. Later, in 2021, he spearheaded a coalition of non-profit, business, and education leaders to bring the new federal Elderly Cottage Housing Opportunity (ECHO) program to Lackawanna County – the first northeast Pennsylvania county to do so. In 2022, under Jason’s leadership, Lackawanna County became an early adopter of the Department of Aging’s Shared Housing and Resource Exchange (SHARE) program.
He recently served as the President of the Pennsylvania Association of Area Agencies on Aging (P4A), Vice Chair of the Board of Directors of the United Way of Lackawanna and Wayne Counties and serves on the boards of Lackawanna Pro Bono and Penn State Scranton. He is a graduate of the University of Scranton and a lifelong Scranton resident.

Jim Klasen, BS/CSP, Adjunct Facilitator

Older Adult Peer Support

Jim Klasen is a Learning and Development Specialist, Advanced Level WRAP Facilitator, and Certified Older Adult Peer Support trainer. With over 50 years of experience in human services and with a particular concern for workforce issues, Jim has worked with youth, welfare recipients, persons returning home from prison, and persons impacted by trauma, mental health, and substance-related challenges. Jim brings lived experience and shares his recovery journey openly as evidence that recovery and wellness are both possible and probable.

Cathy Kromer, Deputy Administrator, Northampton County Mental Health

Working with Your County Mental Health Program

Cathy Kromer is the Deputy Administrator of Northampton County Mental Health. She has worked in the field of Adult Mental Health for over 25 years. She is committed to enhancing the lives of older adults who have Mental Health challenges. Cathy has a true passion for bettering the lives of Older Adults living with Mental Illness. She developed a county-wide push for COAPS (Certified Older Adult Peer Specialists), which has led to countless COAPS in the Northampton County community to serve Older Adults. In 2018, she developed the Mental Health Aging Program (MHAP) that operates in Northampton County Skilled Nursing Facility. The program provides a team approach and includes a Behavioral Specialist, counselors, COAPS and SNF staff training to better support individuals in Gracedale with the services and supports they need to live a meaningful life and be successful in their living situation. To date, the program has served over 500 individuals living with Serious Mental Illness. The program has been gone through certification with the Office of Mental Health and Substance Use Services and now is a billable service through Magellan Behavioral Health, Northampton County’s Behavioral Health Managed Care Organization.

Katrina Kyle, Health and Wellness Statewide Coordinator, Pennsylvania Department of Aging

Healthy IDEAS (Identifying Depression and Empowering Activities for Seniors)

Katrina Kyle is the Health & Wellness Statewide Coordinator for the Pennsylvania Department of Aging in the Education and Outreach Office. She manages PDA’s Health & Wellness Program and is the primary contact for PDA’s endorsement of Healthy IDEAS, Healthy Steps for Older Adults, Healthy Steps in Motion, and SMRC’s Chronic Disease Self-Management Education Suite. She has a bachelor’s degree in social work with a minor in psychology from Shippensburg University. She has over 30 years of experience promoting access to health and access to behavioral health for those in greatest need. She has worked in the behavioral health field, starting as a mental health case manager and later on as the Director of the York/Adams Drug and Alcohol Program and Deputy Director for the Dauphin County Drug and Alcohol Program.

Laurie Gibson Lindberg, Facilitator, National Center to Reframe Aging

Reframe Aging

Laurie Gibson Lindberg most recently served as Program Manager of Professional Affairs at The Gerontological Society of America and managed the Reframing Aging Initiative. She has been involved with reframing aging since 2015 and is a trained National Reframing Aging Facilitator. Laurie’s background is in health and aging policy and programs with an emphasis on advocacy. She has held legislative roles on Capitol Hill as committee and personal staff and directed educational programs at the National Osteoporosis Foundation and the Women’s Institute for a Secure Retirement. During her seven years at GSA, she coordinated the Dementia Caregiving Network and Policy Leadership Institute as part of the Change AGEnts Initiative. She served as summit coordinator for the first National Research Summit on Dementia Care and Services held at the National Institutes of Health and was co-chair of the Family Caregivers Workgroup for the summit. Lindberg graduated from Cornell University with a degree in history and attended graduate school for health policy at George Washington University.

Juliet Marsala, Deputy Secretary, Office of Long Term Living, Pennsylvania Department of Human Services

Panel Discussion with State Officials

Juliet Marsala joined the Department of Human Services on April 17 as the Deputy Secretary for the Office of Long-Term Living (OLTL). Juliet Marsala is a skilled executive with more than 15 years of experience focused on long-term services and support. She is deeply committed to improving universal access to care and has been leading systems and organization transformation to provide services more effectively to vulnerable populations in home and community-based services and long-term services and supports (LTSS). Her experience spans aging and disability services, managed care, nursing home transitions, supportive housing, employment and workforce development, and behavioral health. Juliet joins the Department of Human Services from her role as a Principal at a national healthcare consulting organization, where her consultancy focused on the intersection of community needs and healthcare. Her work has included working with states, managed care organizations, hospitals, and community-based organizations to improve publicly funded health care and LTSS service delivery. Juliet was an active board member of several nonprofit organizations and served on the Pennsylvania Rehabilitation Advisory Committee for six years. She earned a Master of Business Administration from Drexel University, a Master of Rehabilitation Counseling from the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey, and a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Bryn Mawr College. She is also a certified rehabilitation counselor.

Joe Martellucci, MS, Administrator, Lehigh County Drug and Alcohol

Working with your County Drug and Alcohol Program

Joe Martellucci has worked for Lehigh County for 19 years and is the Administrator for Lehigh County Drug and Alcohol Services. He received a BS in Sociology and an MS in Administration from Shippensburg University. Joe has worked in the social services field for 31 years and has held leadership roles in foster care, children and youth, and drug and alcohol.

Tom Martin, Executive Director, Lancaster County Office of Aging

Starting your own Local BH Task Force and a Complex Care Team

Executive Director of the Lancaster County Office of Aging with thirty years of experience within the agency in various roles, including Deputy Director, Unit Supervisor, Protective Services, and Care Management Caseworker. Mr. Martin has a Master of Rehabilitation Counseling degree from the University of Kentucky and a Bachelor of Education with a Sports Medicine Emphasis from the University of Pittsburgh. He has been married for twenty-six years and has three sons. He lives in Millersville, PA. His hobbies include running and practicing the art of bonsai.

Rebecca May Cole, Executive Director, Pennsylvania Association of Area Agencies on Aging

Reframe Aging

Rebecca May-Cole became Executive Director of the Pennsylvania Association of Area Agencies on Aging in 2015. During Rebecca’s time at P4A, she has coordinated a statewide strategic plan for PA’s network of Area Agencies on Aging focusing on improving the quality and consistency of AAA practices, and negotiated contracts with state entities enabling AAAs to retain essential services for older adults and people with disabilities. In 2022, May-Cole was name to Pennsylvania’s Nonprofit Power 100 as a “mover and shaker” within the nonprofit community. Before joining P4A, May-Cole served as the Executive Director for the Pennsylvania Behavioral Health and Aging Coalition (PBHAC) for more than five years. She also worked with the Pennsylvania House of Representatives Appropriation Committee, the Pennsylvania Department of Health, and the Pennsylvania Community Providers Association (PCPA). May-Cole holds a Master’s Degree in Public Administration and a certificate in Public Budgeting and Financial Management from Penn State University.

Sara McDonald, Director of Aging, Lackawanna County Area Agency on Aging

Integrated Adult Planning Process for Complex Cases

Advancing Access to Behavioral Health Service for Older Adults Through Community Partnerships
Sara McDonald is a lifelong resident of Lackawanna County. She earned a bachelor’s degree in Human Development & Family Studies from the Pennsylvania State University and a Master of Social Work degree from Marywood University. Sara has worked for Lackawanna County Department of Human Services for 19 years; starting her career as a caseworker with the Office of Youth & Family Services and spending the last 10 years in various management positions within the Aging Department. She currently is the Director of the Lackawanna County Area Agency on Aging and is passionate about advocating for and meeting the needs of individuals 60 years and older to ensure the best resources and supports are available to assist with aging in place.

Jessica McCutcheon, Protective Services Supervisor, Adams County Office for Aging

Starting your own Local BH Task Force and a Complex Care Team

Jessica McCutcheon has worked at the Adams County Office for Aging, Inc. (ACOFA) two different times for a total of nine years. She has held many different positions, including Care Manager, Protective Services Worker, and Protective Service Supervisor. Jessica started the first Older Adult Mental Health/Substance Use Task Force in Adams County, which has been active since September 2023.

Jenna Mehnert Baker

Understanding Voluntary and Involuntary Mental Health Treatment

Dr. Jenna Mehnert Baker has held 4 political appointed mental health/justice policy roles including for the Mayors in NYC and DC as well as the Commonwealth of PA. She was formerly the Policy Director for OMHSAS where she drafted the revised older adults and 302 bulletins. Jenna previously served PA as the executive director of NASW-PA in addition to leading two other advocacy entities outside of PA. Jenna holds a doctorate in public administration from West Chester University and a Master’s in Social Work from UPENN. She serves as adjunct faculty for Kutztown University’s School of Social Work and as public policy chair for the CIT International board of directors.

Kristin Montague, BS Program Coordinator, University of Pennsylvania – Perelman School of Medicine, Administrative Lead, Penn-PACE Program

PACE 7 Behavioral Health Intervention

Kristin Montague has been with the University of Pennsylvania’s Perelman School of Medicine since 2013, dedicating her expertise to the clinical and research efforts of the PACE/PACENET Projects: SUSTAIN and CREST over the past decade. In her capacity as Program Coordinator, Kristin oversees two large-scale collaborative care programs, aimed at enhancing outcomes for older adults and their caregivers across Pennsylvania. Her role involves orchestrating multidisciplinary efforts to implement innovative care models, ensuring that older adults and caregivers receive comprehensive support tailored to their unique needs.

Courtney Owen, Program Officer, Jewish Family and Children’s Service of Greater Philadelphia

Hoarding Disorder: An Overview

Courtney Owen, LCSW, has primary responsibility for leadership of specific JFCS programs; ensures that fiscally-responsible operation of those programs and services; and seeks new program development opportunities consistent with the mission and values of the organization. In this role, Courtney partners with program leaders and the development team in the identification and pursuit of new funding sources for program sustenance and expansion.
Courtney received her MSW from Tulane University and her BS in Psychology, University of Oregon. She has over 14 years of experience providing community-based mental health and social services in Philadelphia and New Orleans. Prior roles at the organization include JFCS Director of Individual and Family Services (2017-2022) and JFCS Program Manager for Hoarding & Care Management (2015-2017).

Sandy Paradis, MSL/CRS, Program Analyst, Pennsylvania Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs

Department of Drug & Alcohol Programs: Recovery Hubs

Sandy Paradis has been with the Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs for three years. Prior to becoming a DDAP employee, she worked for a local grassroots organization that provides recovery support services in over 10 counties in PA. Sandy holds a master’s degree in strategic leadership from Elizabethtown College and is also a Certified Recovery Specialist. As a woman in long-term recovery, Sandy’s passion is ensuring that equitable recovery supports are available to everyone who wants them.

Jennifer Passaniti DBH, MPH, CEO, Center for Health and Human Services Research and Action

Advancing Access to Behavioral Health Service for Older Adults Through Community Partnerships

Dr. Jennifer Passaniti, Executive Director of the Center for Health and Human Services Research and Action (CHHSRA) has led the nonprofit since 2021 in its mission of integrated care and collective impact in the community. She received a doctorate in behavioral health from Arizona State University and a Master’s in public health from Walden University. She is currently a member of Governor Shapiro’s Pennsylvania Behavioral Health Council Advisory Committee, participating in developing a statewide action plan focused on mental health and substance abuse treatment. Dr. Passaniti is currently subcontracted to coordinate the expansion of the Older Adult Advocacy Center at Telespond Senior Services, assist with grants for the capital project, and overall project coordination. The Center will be the first in the state to support and provide a person-centered, multi-disciplinary team approach to serving victims ages 60 years and older. Along with her Board, she is currently convening mental and behavioral health providers in Lackawanna County to address the needs of older adults by identifying barriers and collectively developing innovative solutions to address the mental and behavioral health needs of the older adult, focusing on capacity and quality.

Dr. Passaniti’s experience includes an extensive background in medical and behavioral evidence-based protocols and procedures. Dr Passaniti developed an implementation process for a local outpatient mental health clinic in preparation for the adoption of the new statewide behavioral health system of care, Intensive Behavioral Health Services (IBHS). She led research initiatives and created programs and systems to address strategic planning of integrated care. Her latest project on team-based care utilized a tool she developed to address barriers among multi-sectoral partners prior to project implementation to measure feasibility and preparedness. Currently, she is working with partners to launch an evidence-based program in the county to address the unique treatment needs of families involved in the child welfare system with parental substance abuse.

Kelly M. Primus, MS., Deputy Secretary, Pennsylvania Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs

Panel Discussion with State Officials

Kelly’s 20+ years of experience in human services are a testament to her dedication towards improving services and systems for the people who use them and for the staff that provide them. Kelly began her career managing fundraising projects for nonprofits, then transitioned to working directly for a variety of community-based human services organizations. She also has worked in the managed care and behavioral health sectors, concentrating on the development and implementation of Medicaid behavioral health managed care programs and quality improvement. This has included developing program outcomes; expanding value-based incentives; fostering input and involvement from people in recovery, family members, providers, and others; and applying evidence-based practices to public sector services, including implementing and monitoring a successful permanent supported housing program. In her current role, Kelly is leveraging her experience with various components of the service system to support the Department and Shapiro Administration’s priorities to benefit people with substance use disorders, the people who love them, providers, and the communities across the Commonwealth.

Shanon L Quick, Director of Programs, Center for Community Resources


Shanon Quick is the Director of Programs for the Center for Community Resources and has worked in Crisis Intervention Services across Pennsylvania for over 23 years. She has been active in mental health transformation, social change, and suicide prevention across the state. She has the privilege of building leadership teams and working with community members to improve access to mental health services and support throughout our healthcare community.

JR Reed, President, Pennsylvania Association of Area Agencies on Aging

Welcome Remarks

JR Reed has dedicated 25 years to the Area Agency on Aging network in Pennsylvania, gaining extensive experience and recognition for his service to older adults. His career began with over 17 years at the Centre County Office of Aging, where he specialized in Older Adult Protective Services, Case Management, and other related programs. His leadership skills were further demonstrated during his three-year tenure as Executive Director in Centre County before relocating to Lehigh Valley. For nearly eight years, JR has been serving as the Executive Director of the Lehigh County Office of Aging and Adult Services. His passion for supporting older adults is evident through his various roles and achievements. Notably, he chaired the Protective Service and Guardianship Committee for the Pennsylvania Association of Area Agencies on Aging (P4A), where he played a crucial role in establishing the Protective Service Best Practices monthly presentations.

JR’s expertise and commitment are further highlighted by his active participation in numerous work groups and committees, providing testimony before state lawmakers and policymakers, and presenting at various conferences on a wide range of topics. Currently, he holds the position of Board President of the Pennsylvania Association of Area Agencies on Aging Board of Directors, continuing to advocate for and serve the aging population in Pennsylvania.

Jade Rodriguez, Aging and Behavioral Health Coordinator

What can an Aging and Behavioral Health Coordinator do for You? Starting your own Local BH Task Force and a Complex Care Team

Jade E Rodriguez Is the Aging and Behavioral Health Coordinator for Lehigh and Northampton Counties and a pioneer in starting the Pennsylvania Department of Aging Behavioral Health pilot program. Jade has a background in behavioral health that comes from her experience working with several community care organizations that support underserved populations. Jade has more than 10 years supporting individual overall well-being, working in wellness program coordination, with a special focus on children and older adults. Jade earned her bachelor’s degree in health science in her country of birth Dominican Republic. She completed her master’s degree in health science at Cedar Crest College, Allentown, PA, in 2020, and she is a Certified Health Educator Specialist (CHES). In her current role, she is helping older adults connect to the behavioral health services they need in the community. She is also running her county's Healthy IDEAS program for older adults with depression and anxiety, and she is coordinating the Lehigh/Northampton County - Aging and Behavioral Health Task Force.

Steve Ross, Integrated Crisis System Specialist, Office of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services, Pennsylvania Department of Human Services

Working with Mental Health Crisis Programs

Steven Ross serves as an Integrated Crisis System Specialist with the Pennsylvania Department of Human Services – Office of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services. Prior to coming to OMHSAS, he served as Special Assistant to the Secretary for the Pennsylvania Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs, and prior to that spent twenty-one years in the Single County Authority system. He brings to the table extensive experience in the behavioral health system in Pennsylvania, both at the State and Local level.

Tony Salvatore, MA, Director of Suicide Prevention, Montgomery County Emergency Service

Suicide Prevention for Older Adults

Director of Suicide Prevention at Montgomery County Emergency Services (MCES), a nonprofit psychiatric emergency service in Norristown, Pennsylvania, offering crisis intervention and acute inpatient care. Active in suicide prevention since 1996. Contributed to suicide prevention efforts at county and state levels in Pennsylvania. Board Member and volunteer with Survivors of Suicide, Inc. Advocate, frequent speaker and education program provider, and author of many articles on suicide prevention in adult and older adult populations. Recognized by the Delaware County Suicide Prevention Awareness Task Force, American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, and National Alliance for Mental Illness (NAMI) for contributions to suicide prevention and postvention.

Anna Shoaf, Aging and Behavioral Health Coordinator

What can an Aging and Behavioral Health Coordinator do for You?

Anna Shoaf is the Aging and Behavioral Health Coordinator for Lawrence and Mercer Counties. She has over 20 years of experience working with underserved and underrecognized populations within the social work and behavioral health fields. Her experience includes promoting equity and independence for people living with disabilities, behavioral health planning and supports for individuals and families, multiple roles within the child welfare system, new program development and implementation, and promoting education on the effects of trauma and the importance of trauma-informed care. She is motivated to use her knowledge and experience to promote equity and behavioral health accessibility for everyone. Anna earned her Bachelor of Arts degree as a triple major in Psychology, Sociology, and Criminal Justice Studies. She is currently pursuing her Master of Social Work degree.

Linda Shumaker, RN, GERO-BC, MA Executive Director, Optimize Aging, LLC

Differentiating Dementia, Depression, and Delirium

Behavioral Health Issues in Older Adults

Depression, Anxiety, and Suicide in Older Adults

Substance Use Disorders: Issues in Older Adults

Compassion Fatigue

Linda Shumaker is a gerontological certified registered nurse who is a private consultant and is currently in clinical practice in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. She has previously served as Outreach Coordinator of the Pennsylvania Behavioral Health and Aging Coalition. In 2005, as founding Executive Director of the Coalition, she advocated for funding and received over $325,000 to outreach and educate older adults regarding behavioral health issues. She introduced policies to encourage the Mental Health and Aging’s “systems” of care to work cooperatively to serve older adults with behavioral health issues. Ms. Shumaker has also served as the Executive Director of Prevent Suicide PA, a statewide nonprofit to support those affected by suicide, provide education, awareness and understanding by collaborating the community to prevent suicide and reduce the stigma associated with suicide. Ms. Shumaker spearheaded Pennsylvania’s Older Adult Suicide Prevention Plan, one of the first in the country, as well as advocating and obtaining a Mental Health Bulletin, ensuring that adults with dementia and secondary psychiatric symptoms have access to mental health treatment. Ms. Shumaker also has worked at the Central Pennsylvania Psychiatric Institute, Penn State College of Medicine in Hershey, PA. Ms. Shumaker has extensive clinical experience working in community mental health, geriatric assessment teams and in long-term care. In addition, she has been an instructor of psychiatry at the Pennsylvania State University College of Medicine, co-chair, and founding member of the Pennsylvania Mental Health and Aging Coalition. She has served as a member of the Older Adult Committee of the Pennsylvania Office of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Planning Council and a member of the Long-Term Care Subcommittee of the Medical Assistance Advisory Committee. Ms. Shumaker has also served on the Ethics Committee of Temple University’s Protective Service Institute. She has served on the Board of Directors for the Pennsylvania State Alzheimer’s Association and the Advisory Board for the Central Pennsylvania Chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association. Ms. Shumaker’s “special interests” include ethical and social policy issues in relation to the care of the elderly with behavioral health problems.

Kimberly Snively, MA, Program Manager Crisis Services, Center for Community Resources


Kimberly Snively has almost a decade's worth of mental health and emergency response experience. For the past 4 years, Kimberly has supervised the Juniata Valley Crisis program for Huntingdon/Mifflin/Juniata counties. Almost a year ago, she also started to manage the Centre County crisis program, which includes a 24/7 walk-in crisis center. Kimberly also worked with a team to implement and supervise a Mental Health Liaison/Co-responder in Mifflin County who works directly with the Lewistown Police Department. She is also getting ready to help another team launch a similar program for Huntingdon County with the Huntingdon Borough Police Department. Before entering the field of crisis, Kimberly was a Blended Case Management supervisor. Prior to this, Kimberly worked for a women’s shelter and Rape Crisis/Domestic Violence victim hotline.
Kimberly holds an MA in History and Anthropology: Religion, Conflict, and Identity from Queen’s University in Belfast, Northern Ireland. With this unique educational background, Kimberly brings a cultural approach to conflict resolution and engagement.

Tom Snedden

PACE 7 Behavioral Health Intervention

Tom Snedden has been the Director of the Pennsylvania Pharmaceutical Assistance Contract for the Elderly, more commonly known as the PACE Program, since 1985. PACE is the country's largest state pharmacy assistance program, with a total benefit value of $901 million in 2023. Last year, the program served 250,000 older Pennsylvanians. The PACE Program also sponsors the Pennsylvania Clearinghouse, which assists consumers of all ages in locating affordable medications, other health coverage, housing and home repairs, transportation, and employment. In addition to the PACE post, Mr. Snedden was the co-chair for the state pharmacy programs in the Pennsylvania Governor’s Office of Health Care Reform. This initiative improved policy coordination and uniformity among various state-administered pharmacy benefits that, in aggregate, reimburse thirty million pharmacy claims, totaling $2.7 billion each year. Before his appointment to PACE, Mr. Snedden held various posts in the Pennsylvania Governor’s Office of Administration.

Jennifer Smith, Deputy Secretary, Office of Mental Health and Substance Use Disorder Services

Panel Discussion with State Officials

Jennifer (Jen) Smith currently serves as Pennsylvania’s Deputy Secretary of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services (OMHSAS) for the Department of Human Services. As Deputy, she leads OMHSAS’ efforts to fulfill its mission of enabling all individuals served by the behavioral health system to have the opportunity for growth, recovery, and inclusion in their community, have access to culturally competent services and supports of their choice, and enjoy a quality of life that includes family and friends. Appointed as Deputy Secretary in 2023, Smith has led the Department’s focus on expanding access and capacity, modernizing how services are provided, and fostering collaboration with stakeholders in Pennsylvania’s complex behavioral health system.

As Deputy Secretary, Smith oversees and manages the behavioral health portion of Pennsylvania’s Medicaid Managed Care Program, allocates funding to the Commonwealth’s 48 single-county or multi-county mental health/intellectual disabilities offices, and operates six state mental health hospitals and the South Mountain Restoration Center.

Prior to her role as Deputy Secretary, Smith served as the Secretary of Drug and Alcohol Programs. Smith was first appointed Secretary of DDAP in March 2018 and reappointed in April 2019 under Governor Wolf’s second term. As Secretary, she strengthened Pennsylvania’s drug and alcohol treatment landscape by increasing drug take-back opportunities, launched Pennsylvania’s Get Help Now Hotline, expanding access to naloxone in communities across the Commonwealth, spearheaded the effort to bring the free and confidential Addiction Treatment Locator, Assessment, and Standards Platform, ATLAS, into Pennsylvania, oversaw the state’s substance use disorder anti-stigma behavior change campaign, Life Unites Us, and expanded access to medication for the treatment of opioid use disorder.

Joel Streim, MD, Professor of Psychiatry, University of Pennsylvania

PACE 7 Behavioral Health Intervention

Joel E. Streim, M.D. is a geriatric psychiatrist and Professor of Psychiatry at the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, where he directed the Geriatric Psychiatry Fellowship Training Program from 1994 to 2020 as well as geriatric psychiatry training at the Philadelphia VA Medical Center. Dr. Streim’s research, teaching and clinical efforts reflect his longstanding career interest in the problems of elderly patients with medical and psychiatric co-morbidity, and physical and cognitive disability, with an emphasis on mental health care in primary care and long-term care settings. An expert in mental health care policy for older adults, Dr. Streim has served as a consultant to the National Quality Forum (NQF), the National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQF), and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid (CMS) on quality of mental health care for older adults; and he has testified before Congress on issues related to geriatric mental health. He has also served in an advisory role to the Senate Special Committee on Aging and is a Past President of the American Association for Geriatric Psychiatry.

Amy Williams, MS, Program Specialist for Behavioral Health and Substance Use Disorder Services, Pennsylvania Association of Community Health Centers

Does Behavioral Health Work in a Federally Qualified Health Center to Serve the Aging Population?

Amy works to support the behavioral health and substance use disorder needs of community health centers in Pennsylvania. PACHC represents community health centers, rural health clinics and like-mission providers to serve communities in underserved rural and urban areas in Pennsylvania.
Prior to joining PACHC, Amy served as an Outpatient Mental Health and Drug and Alcohol therapist, where she facilitated both individual and group treatment. She also has extensive experience working in higher education leadership with managing student programming and development.