Authors Posts by Richard Edley

Richard Edley

Dr. Richard Edley is the lead executive for RCPA and is responsible for all aspects of operations and direction for the association. His professional career began in 1988 and most recently he was president and CEO of PerformCare/Community Behavioral HealthCare Network of Pennsylvania, Inc., a national, full-service, behavioral health managed care organization.

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Join RCPA in supporting National Recovery Month in September. Immediately following the kick-off event, RCPA will be holding their Drug & Alcohol Division meeting on September 4, 2019 at 1:00 pm at the RCPA office, 777 E Park Drive, Harrisburg, PA. Please register to attend our meeting which will feature guest speakers from the Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs and the Office of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services. Please forward any agenda items to Tina Miletic for review and discussion. We look forward to your participation.

Natl Recovery Month Kickoff 2019

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Please adjust your schedules for a new date and time of the RCPA Drug and Alcohol Division Meeting. RCPA is changing the date of this meeting to Wednesday, September 4 from 1:00 pm–4:00 pm, to be held in the RCPA Conference Room, Penn Grant Centre, 777 E Park Drive, Suite 300, Harrisburg, PA.

The September 4 meeting at 1:00 pm will replace the originally scheduled meeting on September 10 at 12:30 pm. Please plan to attend this meeting where we will introduce Kristen Houser, the new RCPA Drug and Alcohol Division Director, and she will begin her work with RCPA members. Register here to attend.

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RCPA is pleased to announce the hiring of Kristen Houser as the new director for its Drug and Alcohol Division. Kristen will be working on policy and regulatory issues on behalf of RCPA Drug and Alcohol member providers and will be based in Harrisburg. She brings extensive experience in coalition building, legislative and policy advocacy, media and public relations, and public speaking to RCPA.

Most recently, Kristen worked for the Pennsylvania Coalition Against Rape (PCAR) and National Sexual Violence Resource Center as Chief Public Affairs Officer, where she served as chief spokesperson, promoting both organization’s strategic and policy goals, including raising awareness of the issue and solutions to address it. She is experienced in making complex topics more relatable to the general public, which served her well when meeting with legislators and staff, the Office of the Governor, and other government officials to promote public policies, and when speaking with the media. She is a Governor Appointed member of the PA Commission for Women, and has an array of experience in training, business development, and nonprofit management.

Kristen worked in several other key positions that have intersected with the issues of drug and alcohol treatment and public policy. She served as Executive Director for Centre Volunteers in Medicine, a clinic providing free medical and dental care and case management to qualified residents of Centre County, PA; and as Co-Occurring Task Force Manager for Community Alliance, a project to coordinate care among providers of drugs and alcohol, mental health, and other human services for people with co-occurring disorders who were homeless in Douglas County, Nebraska. She worked on federal legislation, including the reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act in 2004, as President of the National Alliance to End Sexual Violence, and on statewide policies during her tenure as Director of Programming & Sexual Assault Program Coordinator for the Nebraska Domestic Violence Sexual Assault Coalition.

In addition to her bachelor’s degree from Pennsylvania State University, Kristen holds a Master of Public Administration from the University of Nebraska. With many prior commitments, Kristen will begin her full-time position with RCPA in October but will be transitioning into the position beginning in August. On behalf of the RCPA Board of Directors, members, and staff, we welcome Kristen to RCPA.

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The Rehabilitation and Community Providers Association (RCPA) is seeking a Drug & Alcohol Division Director. Successful candidates will offer experience and familiarity with the Pennsylvania Drug & Alcohol (D&A) system services and supports. Position responsibilities include responding to RCPA member needs in the D&A area, overseeing all related policy and regulatory issues, and working with key policymakers, including elected officials, commonwealth administrative personnel, and others to influence and report on policy matters. Master’s degree (MA) or equivalent is required, or four to ten years related experience and/or training, or equivalent combination of education and experience. This position is based out of the RCPA Harrisburg facility. See job description for details; contact Tina Miletic to apply or for more information.

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RCPA is pleased to announce an important change in personnel. Lynn Cooper will be leaving her current position as Drug and Alcohol (D&A) Division Director and will now be the Director of Cross Systems Development/Western Region Representative. She will specifically be further developing activities in Western PA while addressing important cross-systems projects that have been raised recently.

RCPA will be hiring a new D&A Director to take on these responsibilities, based out of the RCPA office in Harrisburg. This is obviously a big change for Lynn, given her 24 years working in this area (and others) for RCPA, as well as its predecessor, PCPA.

This change is effective immediately; however, there will be a transition period as needed until a new D&A Director is hired. Please join us in welcoming Lynn to this new and exciting role. Contact Richard Edley with any questions.

Office of Children, Youth and Families (OCYF)

[Announcement from DHS Secretary Miller, from letter to staff]

Good Afternoon,

After more than 30 years of dedicated service to Pennsylvania’s child welfare system, Cathy Utz resigned effective May 3. I am grateful for Cathy’s leadership and service at both the county and state level and for all of her work to strengthen Pennsylvania’s child welfare system and protect children.

Amy Grippi, OCYF’s Chief of Staff, will be the primary point of contact. I am confident that Amy will be a strong leader for OCYF during this transition.

Each of you work some of the most challenging jobs in state government. You face heartbreaking and unthinkable tragedies, provide support for children and families in difficult situations, and most importantly, do critical work to make the world a safer place for children. Thank you for all that you do every day – I am lucky and grateful to work among people who care so much for the children and families each of you work with and protect.

Thank you,

Teresa D. Miller

RCPA wishes Cathy Utz the best and looks forward to working with Chief of Staff Grippi, and the rest of OCYF staff, in the future.

The Office of Long-Term Living (OLTL) will be presenting webinars to provide service coordinators (SC) with information about how the implementation of Community HealthChoices (CHC) will impact Attendant Care and Independence Waiver participants who are under 21 years of age. All Phase 3 (Lehigh/Capital, Northwest and Northeast counties) SCs serving participants who are under 21 years of age should plan to attend this webinar.

The implementation of CHC will change the way Attendant Care and Independence Waiver participants who are under 21 years of age receive their Medicaid waiver services.  All Attendant Care and Independence Waiver participants who live in Phase 3 and are not yet eligible for CHC because they are under 21 years of age will transition to the OBRA Waiver until they become eligible for CHC.

Please register for one of the following dates:

Tuesday, May 14, 2019 at 10:00 AM

Wednesday, May 15, 2019 at 2:00PM

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.

If you have any questions regarding this communication, please contact the OLTL Participant Helpline Monday through Friday at 800-757-5042 from 9 am – 12 pm and 1 pm – 4 pm or email

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RCPA is pleased to announce the hiring of James (Jim) Sharp as the new director for its Children’s Division. Jim brings 30 years of systems expertise to RCPA; most recently working for Merakey in several key positions, including Executive Director of Operations for Pennsylvania, Delaware, & Maryland; Executive Director of Behavioral Services and Development; and as the Regional Executive Director for NHS Northwestern Academy. Prior to his work at Merakey, Jim served as the Chief Juvenile Probation Officer at the Philadelphia Family Court Juvenile Probation, the nation’s fourth largest juvenile probation department. In his tenure as Chief P.O., he aided in the implementation of national and statewide models for violence prevention, aftercare reintegration, and juvenile drug and graduated sanctions courts.

Jim began his career as a juvenile probation officer in Montgomery County before joining George Junior Republic as Court Liaison and Admissions Director.

In addition to his bachelor’s degree from Mount Saint Mary’s University, he holds a Master of Administration, and graduated Magna Cum Laude from Shippensburg University.

Jim will begin in this position on May 13. Please join us in welcoming Jim to RCPA!