PCPA Legislative Alert: Prime Time for Visits to County Commissioners!

Prime Time for Visits to County Commissioners!
The Department of Public Welfare (DPW) and the County Commissioners Association of Pennsylvania (CCAP) have issued an update on negotiationsconcerning the proposed Human Services Development Block Grant. Key points in the document follow.

  • The block grant will combine appropriations and allocate them to counties proportionately, based on the current aggregate distributions. A phase-in period will be implemented. In the first year (2012/13) counties will be required to spend 50 percent of funding within the current categorical allocations. In the second year (2013/14) counties will be required to spend 25 percent of funding within the current categorical allocations. By 2014/15, counties will be granted full flexibility. Counties may continue funding in the current categorical line items if preferred. Counties interested in moving to full flexibility immediately may apply for a waiver to do so.
  • Counties will be able to continue to operate existing joinder arrangements and can create new joinders if desired.
  • Counties will pay the amount of match paid by the county in fiscal year 2009/10 until final fiscal year 2010/11 match information is available. DPW will make adjustments at the close of fiscal year 2012/13.
  • Counties will be allowed to retain up to three percent of fiscal year 2011/12 carryover funds for reinvestment in human services and will be able to request a waiver to retain additional funds. Counties will need to submit a reinvestment plan.
  • A new streamlined reporting document will be used that replaces current fiscal reporting associated with the categorical programs.
  • DPW will require annual plans of how counties propose to use block grant dollars.
  • Outcomes measures will be built into the block grant proposal to ensure needs are being met.  

A number of county commissioners have reviewed provisions of the block grant and expressed strong concerns related to the impact on the safety net infrastructure. PCPA appreciates the thoughtful input of these commissioners and urges members to communicate with county commissioners as soon as possibleto convey the crucial importance of maintaining an intact safety net. A Talking Points document for visits to county commissioners is available. Contact information for commissioners can be found through the CCAP web site, which contains links to each county.
If services to Pennsylvanians in need of mental health, intellectual disability, autism, or addiction care are to remain accessible and effective, funding must be preserved and Pennsylvania’s safety net must be protected. To fight the devastation of Pennsylvania’s community services, members are urged to take action to visit county commissioners NOW. Further questions may be addressed to Anne Leisure (anne@paproviders.org). 


Copyright 2012 – Pennsylvania Community Providers Association
2101 N Front St, Bldg 3, Ste 200, Harrisburg, PA 17110
Phone: 717-364-3280 – Fax: 717-364-3287


PCPA Hill Day

Join PCPA at Hill Day!
Make Your Voice Heard on Capitol Hill
Join PCPA for the National Council’s 8th Annual Public Policy Institute and Hill Day June 25 – 26 at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in Washington, DC. Each year at Hill Day hundreds of behavioral health providers, administrators, board members, consumers, and community stakeholders come for a full day of sessions and workshops on federal behavioral health policy, followed by visits with their elected officials on Capitol Hill to advocate for the field’s priorities.

At the Public Policy Institute on June 25, members will have the opportunity to hear from key congressional and administration staff and policy experts who will provide an update on important federal policy initiatives. There will also be breakout sessions on advocacy techniques, federal grant funding, and social media marketing. On June 26, members meet with elected officials on Capitol Hill. The National Council will hold a reception each night: one on Capitol Hill to honor Legislators of the Year and the other at the Hyatt Regency to recognize member achievements and advocacy efforts. More details and registration information is available on the 
Hill Day web site.
PCPA experiences better reception from congressional offices when there is only one visit on specific issues from Hill Day participants. PCPA has requested appointments with both Pennsylvania Senators, to which all PCPA members in attendance are invited, and will also make appointments with members of Congress when requested. If PCPA is asked to make a Congressional appointment, every effort will be made to schedule the appointment at a time that does not conflict with Senatorial appointments, but requests for specific times cannot be taken. Those members requesting that PCPA schedule an appointment must be responsible for ensuring the appointment time is covered. Any member who has already scheduled an appointment with a congressman is invited to share that appointment time with other members by informing PCPA when the visit is to take place. PCPA will distribute a list of appointments to all association registrants.
More information will be shared as it becomes available, including scheduled appointment times and National Council talking points. Hill Day is a wonderful opportunity to ensure that federal lawmakers understand the importance of high quality and accessible behavioral health services to their communities. The Pennsylvania presence at Hill Day continues to grow and PCPA hopes that this year is no exception!
Questions and comments may be shared with George Kimes (george@paproviders.org) or Anne Leisure (anne@paproviders.org). 

Copyright 2012 – Pennsylvania Community Providers Association
2101 N Front St, Bldg 3, Ste 200, Harrisburg, PA 17110
Phone: 717-364-3280 – Fax: 717-364-3287


PCPA: Children’s Mental Health Awareness Day

Governor Proclaims Children’s Mental Health Awareness Day

Governor Tom Corbett has issued a proclamation making May 9 Children’s Mental Health Awareness Day in Pennsylvania. In his proclamation the governor notes that “addressing the complex mental health needs of children, youth and families today is fundamental to the future of Pennsylvania.” Governor Corbett goes on to “urge our commonwealth’s citizens to become aware of the importance of effective and coordinated services for children and youth, to learn about the impact of trauma on child health and well-being, and to unite in an effort to increase awareness about the importance of comprehensive programs for children and youth with mental health needs and their families.”

PCPA joins the governor and neighbors across Pennsylvania in celebrating Children’s Mental Health Awareness Day and commends mental health professionals and workers who strive daily to meet the complex needs of children, youth, and families.


Copyright 2012 – Pennsylvania Community Providers Association
2101 N Front St, Bldg 3, Ste 200, Harrisburg, PA 17110
Phone: 717-364-3280 – Fax: 717-364-3287


PCPA Info: Voter ID Required

In the recent primary election, voters were asked for identification (ID), but not required to produce it. Voter ID will be required in the November election. In an effort to mitigate onerous requirements for those who do not currently have suitable ID, the Secretary of the Commonwealth announced a process intended to make it easier for those who have had an expired driver’s license or non-driver license photo ID to obtain a valid ID that will authorize them to vote. Information from the PENNDOT database will be used to verify identification and the card will be issued. Individuals may contact PENNDOT at 800-932-4600 to verify that information for licenses that expired before 1990 is still in the database. An application form is required for the non-driver license photo ID. Individuals are required to sign an affirmation that they have no other acceptable form of photo ID for voting purposes to receive the non-driver license photo ID at no charge.

Photo IDs from Pennsylvania care facilities including long-term care facilities, assisted living residences, or personal care homes are valid, as long as they include the name of the facility, the name and photo of the voter, and an expiration date. Accredited Pennsylvania public or private college and university photo IDs with expiration dates can also be used. If the card does not have an expiration date, a date sticker can be used.

Starting with the November election, all photo IDs must be current and contain an expiration date, unless otherwise noted. Acceptable IDs include:

  • Photo IDs issued by the US government or the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania;
  • Pennsylvania driver’s license or non-driver’s license photo ID (IDs are valid for voting purposes 12 months past expiration date);
  • Valid US passport;
  • US military ID – active duty and retired military (dependents’ ID must contain an expiration date);
  • Employee photo ID issued by federal, Pennsylvania state, or a Pennsylvania county or municipal government;
  • Photo ID cards from an accredited public or private Pennsylvania college or university; or
  • Photo ID cards issued by a Pennsylvania care facility, including long-term care facilities, assisted living residences, or personal care homes.

If a voter does not have a photo ID at the polls in November, he or she may use a provisional ballot and will have six days to provide a photo ID to the county election office in person, by mail, e-mail, or fax. More information is available at www.VotesPA.com, or 877-VOTESPA (877-868-3772). Voter ID acts in Pennsylvania and other states are being contested. Despite efforts to make it easier to obtain IDs, voter ID requirements will disenfranchise many.


Copyright 2012 – Pennsylvania Community Providers Association
2101 N Front St, Bldg 3, Ste 200, Harrisburg, PA 17110
Phone: 717-364-3280 – Fax: 717-364-3287


PMHCA Upcoming Rallies

Reposted information from email via pmhca.org.

Pennsylvania Mental Health Consumers’ Association 
Upcoming Rallies to Stop the Proposed Cuts

There are many opportunities to make your voice heard at upcoming rallies to stop the proposed budget cuts.
Read about two opportunities below and check out our 
calendar and website for more chances to get involved. 
May 5:

“Occupy the APA”: Participants from around the country will gather on May 5, 2012, at 10 a.m. at Friends Center, 1515 Cherry Street, Philadelphia, in a peaceful effort to call attention to the American Psychiatric Association’s misguided plans to publish a new edition of psychiatry’s “Bible,” the DSM-5, that will inevitably lead to over-prescription of psychiatric drugs, according to its many critics. At approximately 12:15, we will march to the Pennsylvania Convention Center (12th and Arch Streets), where we will rally. Join us! (Occupy the APA is a big tent: participants will represent a spectrum of points of view. But we will be united by our belief that the DSM-5, which the American Psychiatric Association wants to make its next “Bible,” is not a “Good Book”!) Following are links to two sets of talking points (the first set of which was adapted from information provided by the Coalition for DSM-5 Reform, a psychologists’ organization that has amassed more than 13,000 signatures on a petition calling the DSM-5 into question):

May 6:
“Imagining a Different Future in Mental Health!” Hear three inspiring speakers: Robert Whitaker, author of Anatomy of an Epidemic and Mad in AmericaJim Gottstein, Esq., founder of the Law Project for Psychiatric Rights; and Jacki McKinney, MSW, award-winning advocate and trauma expert. Their presentations will be followed by a Q&A session facilitated by Joseph Rogers, executive director of the National Mental Health Consumers’ Self-Help Clearinghouse. The doors open at 1:30 p.m.; the event will begin at 2:00 p.m. It will take place in the main chapel of the Church of St. Luke and the Epiphany, 330 S. 13 Street, between Spruce and Pine streets, Philadelphia. This event is free! All are welcome! 
Here is a link that leads to flyers about each of the events. 

The National Mental Health Consumers’ Self-Help Clearinghouse is a consumer-run national technical assistance center funded in part by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.
PMHCA’s 24th Annual Statewide Conference, Recovery Unlimited: Rising Above Challenges, will be held June 5- 7, 2012 at the Sheraton Harrisburg-Hershey Hotel. For information about conference and registration, visit www.pmhca.org. 


The views, opinions, and content on the Clearinghouse website and in anything posted on the website or in these e-mails or attached to these e-mails do not necessarily reflect the views, opinions, or policies of the Center for Mental Health Services (CMHS), the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), or the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).

Ruth’s Place Open House

  Invitation to Ruth’s Place Open House
Thursday, May 3, 4:00–6:00pm
Rear 425 N. Pennnsylvania Ave.
(off Butler, behind Carpet Clearance Outlet)
On Thursday, May 3 from 4:00–6:00pm, Ruth’s Place Women’s Homeless Shelter will hold an open house for distinguished guests and supporters.  This event will include the honoring of the shelter with a resolution by the Luzerne County Council at 4:45pm.  Come celebrate the remarkable successes of the only 24-hour emergency shelter for women in Northeast PA, including case management, trauma counseling, and onsite outreach for employment, housing, and mental health.  
Light refreshments will be served.
The shelter is located at Rear 425 N. Pennsylvania Ave (off Butler, behind Carpet Clearance Outlet and next to City Mager).  No RSVP is necessary.  
If you’d like more information about this event, please call Director Kristen Topolski
at 822-6817, or e-mail ktopolski@ruthsplace.com
Ruth’s Place
Homeless Shelter for Women
PO Box 254
Wilkes Barre, PA 18703
ruthsplace.com 570-822-6817