Tags Posts tagged with "Deputy Secretary"

Deputy Secretary

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RCPA’s Brain Injury Committee will conduct an exclusive meeting with representatives from the Office of Long-Term Living (OLTL), including Deputy Secretary Juliet Marsala and Director of the Bureau of Coordinated and Integrated Services Randy Nolen. This meeting has been scheduled for May 22, 2024, at RCPA’s office, and will be held from 10:30 am – 12:00 pm. While this will be a hybrid meeting, members are encouraged to attend in person if possible. Register for the meeting here.

We are asking members to send topics and/or questions to Melissa Dehoff by May 8, 2024.

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Laval Miller-Wilson will join the Pennsylvania Department of Human Services (DHS) on Monday, March 13 as the Deputy Secretary for the Office of Children, Youth, and Families (OCYF), which supervises the county-operated child welfare and juvenile justice systems. Miller-Wilson, an attorney, is deeply committed and passionate about ensuring that vulnerable populations get the care they need and deserve.

Miller-Wilson has been the Executive Director of the Pennsylvania Health Law Project (PHLP) since 2009, a non-profit that protects and advances health care rights through free legal services, community education, and systems advocacy. At PHLP, he worked to make the health industry and policymakers more attuned to what people want and need — and more accountable for making it happen. He was lead counsel for Medicaid enrollees on Pennsylvania’s Medical Assistance (Medicaid) Advisory Committee, which advises the Commonwealth on the impact of current and proposed Medicaid policies and practices. He delivered consumer-informed perspective about the state’s implementation of the Affordable Care Act, performance of Medicaid managed care plans, and determinants of health.

Prior to joining PHLP, Miller-Wilson worked for 14 years at Juvenile Law Center (JLC) representing children in the child welfare, juvenile, and criminal justice systems. At JLC, he led their 2008 petition to the Pennsylvania Supreme Court to ensure accused youth in Luzerne County had the right to counsel (subsequently known as the “Kids for Cash” scandal), and federal litigation to improve the delivery of basic and special education to children in the criminal justice system. He was also the lead author of a 2003 assessment of children’s access to counsel and the quality of representation they receive in Pennsylvania’s juvenile justice system that required surveying and visiting juvenile courts across the Commonwealth.

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Former Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs (DDAP) Secretary Jennifer Smith has been named Deputy Secretary for the Office of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services (OMHSAS). As DDAP Secretary, Smith led DDAP’s efforts to fulfill its mission of engaging and coordinating the commonwealth’s efforts to prevent and reduce substance use disorder and problem gambling and to promote recovery. Smith was integral in the formation and implementation of Pennsylvania’s first licensure program for recovery houses as well as leading Pennsylvania’s treatment system transition away from the Pennsylvania Client Placement Criteria to ASAM Criteria.

Dr. Dale Adair, who has served as Acting Deputy Secretary for OMHSAS, will continue to serve as the Chief Psychiatric Officer for OMHSAS.

Photo by Markus Winkler from Pexels

On Wednesday, October 5, 2022, the Office of Mental Health & Substance Abuse Services announced that Deputy Secretary Kristen Houser is resigning. Her resignation takes effect Wednesday, October 19, 2022.

RCPA would like to thank Deputy Secretary Houser for her collaboration and partnership during a critical time in the Commonwealth, including her support in the development of the telehealth bulletin, the Alternative Pay Arrangements between the BH-MCOs and providers, and the funding through the American Rescue Plan Funds for operations and workforce sustainability during COVID-19.

RCPA President and CEO Richard Edley notes, “We greatly enjoyed our time working with Deputy Secretary Houser and appreciate all the energy she brought to OMHSAS. This was particularly notable, as her tenure spanned an especially difficult time through the pandemic. This could only be accomplished with sound leadership. We also look back fondly on her time with RCPA and valued her contribution to the association. We wish Deputy Secretary Houser all the best as she embarks on the next part of her career.”

Read the message from Deputy Secretary Kristen Houser below:

I am writing to share that I have given Acting Secretary Snead my resignation from my position with OMHSAS and have accepted the position of Executive Director of the Free Clinic Association of Pennsylvania. My last day in the office will be Wednesday, October 19.   

It has truly been an honor to serve as the Deputy Secretary for the past two and a half years, and I have learned so much from so many of you. The work you do here is incredibly important, and you have done it through some truly unbelievable times. Many of you have stepped up and stepped in to answer my many questions, provide history and context, share knowledge, teach processes, make introductions, etc., so that I could learn our systems, know our stakeholders, understand our funding and data, and most of all, remember who we serve. Thank you for your support, your dedication, and your work.

I do not know who will step in to the Deputy Secretary position, but Acting Secretary Snead and Executive Deputy Secretary Barnes will share information as soon as they are able.   

Warm regards, 


The Office of Long-Term Living (OLTL) will conduct the next Community HealthChoices (CHC) Third Thursday webinar on September 19, 2019 at 1:30 pm. During this webinar, OLTL’s Deputy Secretary, Kevin Hancock, will provide updates on the CHC program. Registration is required to participate in the webinar. Once registered, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.

Reminder: All CHC related information can be found here. Comments can be submitted electronically via email. If you have any questions, please contact the OLTL Bureau of Policy Development and Communications Management at 717-857-3280.