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Going to the RCPA Conference? Start the week with attending the RCPA PAC Golf Outing on Monday, September 23, 2019. Members have requested that RCPA move its Golf Outing back to conference week. Conference attendees, exhibitors, sponsors, and presenters can now register to participate in the RCPA PAC’s 7th annual golf outing at the beautiful Hershey Country Club (East Course), 1000 East Derry Road, Hershey, PA 17033.

Registration starts at 10:30 am, lunch begins at 11:00 am, followed by a putting contest and 12:30 pm shotgun start. Sponsorships are available for this worthwhile cause. We hope you will consider becoming a golf outing sponsor; it is a great way for your organization to get name recognition and an opportunity to support the RCPA PAC.

The RCPA PAC raises money and supports campaigns of state legislators and representatives who advance our interests on Health & Human Services issues. The funds raised through RCPA PAC can make a difference. Further questions may be directed to Jack Phillips, RCPA Director of Government Affairs.

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Governor Wolf Signs Executive Order Increasing Protection of Vulnerable Populations

HARRISBURG (July 31, 2019) — Today, Governor Wolf has signed an Executive Order that begins an overhaul of systems to best help Pennsylvanians most in need of protection and care. The announcement was made at the Capitol in the Governor’s Reception Room.

“Our protective and oversight systems have been built to prioritize institutions over human beings,” stated a release from the Governor’s Office, “Governor Wolf wants to dramatically shift these systems to first-and-foremost advocate, protect, and empower our most vulnerable citizens.”

RCPA President and CEO Richard S. Edley, PhD remarked, “RCPA congratulates the Governor on taking these important steps toward keeping the citizens of our Commonwealth safe and protected, by increasing oversight and accountability of its institutions, as well as improving responsiveness to incident management.” Dr. Edley added, “It is clear that Governor Wolf’s administration is committed to improving the system’s ability to address, and help prevent, the mistreatment of Pennsylvanians in vulnerable situations.”

As part of this initiative, the Governor has created a Council on Reform to review the entire system and compile a report with recommendations by November 1. RCPA’s Richard Edley has been asked to serve on this Council.

In addition to the executive order and action steps by the administration, the Governor will pursue extensive regulatory and legislative actions with input from the General Assembly. A series of announcements on these actions is expected over the coming months.

About the Rehabilitation and Community Providers Association (RCPA):
With well over 350 members, the majority of who serve over 1 million Pennsylvanians annually, Rehabilitation and Community Providers Association (RCPA) is among the largest and most diverse state health and human services trade associations in the nation. RCPA provider members offer mental health, drug and alcohol, intellectual and developmental disabilities, children’s, brain injury, medical rehabilitation, and physical disabilities and aging services, through all settings and levels of care. Visit www.paproviders.org for more information.

Media contact:
Sharon Militello, RCPA Director of Communications
717-364-3280
smilitello@paproviders.org

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Since the Pennsylvania General Assembly passed HB 33, eliminating the General Assistance program, legislative and advocacy groups are working to help Pennsylvania’s most vulnerable and impoverished populations previously receiving support from General Assistance. Senate Bill 799 has been introduced to establish the Emergency Relief Program. This program is designed to provide temporary emergency assistance of $200 per month for the most vulnerable populations with immediate and urgent needs.

The Emergency Relief Program goes to people with disabilities who cannot work, people in treatment for a substance use disorder, orphaned children cared for by neighbors or friends, people fleeing domestic violence, qualified veterans, or people caring for someone with a disability.

Additionally, Community Legal Services in Philadelphia filed suit against the Department of Human Services, challenging the constitutionality of HB 33 and the manner in which it was passed. See the document below for more information:

Contact Jim Sharp, RCPA Children’s Division Director, with questions.

The Planning Committee for State Representative Dan Miller’s Annual Disability & Mental Health Summit is seeking session proposals for workshops geared towards people impacted by disabilities and mental health concerns. Those attending the summit consist of parents, family members, caregivers, advocates, service providers, educators, medical professionals, government officials, legal professionals, inclusive employers, and mental health professionals. Sessions are 60 minutes in length, and should include 10–15 minutes for Q&A.

Representative Miller’s Disability & Mental Health Summit provides the largest collection of resources and workshops in Western Pennsylvania. Over the past six years, this event has made a difference in the lives of thousands of people. In 2020, the summit will recognize and celebrate the 30th anniversary of the passage of the landmark Americans with Disabilities Act in a bigger venue, doubling the crowd, providing more resources, and increasing the summit’s scope across the state! You can visit this website to view last year’s program. Please feel free to share this with your peers and other organizations.

The 2020 Disability & Mental Health Summit will take place on March 6, 2020 at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center in Pittsburgh, PA.

Submission deadline is September 30, 2019.

Questions, please contact Jack Phillips, RCPA Director of Government Affairs.

This September, the Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs (DDAP) will be celebrating the 30th Anniversary of Recovery Month. DDAP is seeking participation in their Annual Recovery Month Kickoff, which will take place on September 4 from 11:00 am – 1:00 pm. The event will be a bit different from previous years and will be held in the atrium at Strawberry Square; a focal point of downtown Harrisburg with a lot of foot traffic from community members.

By moving the event location from the Capitol Rotunda to Strawberry Square, DDAP hopes the venue change will attract more interaction with community members. DDAP is looking for providers to participate in the September 4 event by setting up a display table with information about your organization and the services that you provide.

Please note that space is limited and participation will be granted on a first-come, first-served basis. To secure a table, please email DDAP Communications Director Rachel Kostelac. Questions, please contact Jack Phillips.

Prior to the July 4 holiday, the House and Senate passed legislation to extend Certified Community Behavioral Health Clinics (CCBHC) funding from June 30 through July 14. The bill, sent to President Trump for his signature, can be seen here.

RCPA is requesting members to contact their state legislators and ask them to reach out to Governor Wolf and the Department of Human Services (DHS) Secretary Teresa Miller, to have them accept the federal extension of CCBHC funding.

The areas in Pennsylvania that have CCBHC facilities are as follows:

  • Philadelphia;
  • Delaware and Montgomery counties;
  • Berks County;
  • Allegheny County;
  • Clearfield, Clarion, and Centre counties; and
  • Bradford County.

Please contact RCPA Director of Government Affairs Jack Phillips with any questions.