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Behavioral Health Commission

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RCPA is pleased to announce that Gaudenzia CEO Dale Klatzker has been appointed to the Behavioral Health Commission for Adult Mental Health.

The commission was created in the recently passed fiscal code as part of Pennsylvania’s fiscal year 2022/23 budget. Language in the law specifically directed the commission to include as a member, among others, “A recognized subject matter expert in the treatment of co-occurring mental health and substance use disorders from a list of recommendations compiled by the Rehabilitation and Community Providers Association with experience in behavioral health matters.” Gov. Wolf selected Klatzker from among a list of RCPA member behavioral health experts provided by the association.

A leader in behavioral health care for more than 35 years, Klatzker was appointed CEO of Gaudenzia, Inc. in March 2019. Gaudenzia operates substance use disorder (SUD) and co-occurring mental health (MH) programs in Pennsylvania, Maryland, Delaware, and Washington, D.C. Established in Philadelphia in 1968, Gaudenzia, Inc. is Pennsylvania’s largest non-profit provider of treatment for SUD and co-occurring disorders.

Before joining Gaudenzia, Klatzker held roles as senior consultant and chief clinical officer for The Margolin Group, as well as senior vice president, Population Health Management, for Care New England. Previous to those roles, he was president and CEO of The Providence Center (TPC) and was at the forefront of establishing programs that integrate primary and behavioral health care through community partnerships and strategic consumer-focused programming. Through his leadership, TPC became a national model for integrated care in community mental health settings.

Klatzker has been both locally and nationally recognized for his leadership and innovative contributions to the field. He has served as board chair of the National Council for Community Behavioral Healthcare, chair of Mental Health Corporations of America, fellow for the Rhode Island Foundation Fellows Program, associate clinical professor at Alpert Medical School at Brown University, adjunct professor of psychology at Johnson and Wales University, and adjunct assistant professor at the Department of Social Sciences and Education at Colby-Sawyer College. He also served on the Rhode Island Healthcare Reform Commission, Community Healthcare Providers Leadership Council, and numerous other commissions and committees.  He received his PhD from the Brandeis University Heller School and his MSW from Boston University.

Reporting to the Department of Human Services, the commission is to be comprised of 24 individuals from various state agencies or areas of specialty, as well as legislative appointees. The commission is charged with issuing a report of recommended funding allocations to the following areas. This funding will come from $100 million of federal American Rescue Plan funds.

  • Delivery of services by telemedicine;
  • Behavioral health rates, network adequacy, and mental health payment parity;
  • Workforce development and retention;
  • Expansion of certified peer support specialist services and peer-run services;
  • Development and provision of crisis services;
  • Integration of behavioral health and substance use disorder treatment;
  • Cultural competencies when providing behavioral health care;
  • Impact of social determinants of health on behavioral health;
  • Intersection of behavioral health and the criminal justice system; and
  • Integrating care that can deliver timely psychiatric care in a primary care setting.