In the News

ODP Medical Director Dr. Greg Cherpes has issued an Extreme Cold Weather Alert. With current extreme cold weather and snow affecting much of the United States, the Office of Developmental Programs (ODP) is sending this Health Alert as a reminder to all, and particularly to CEOs and Agency Administrators of residential programs, to ensure that necessary precautions are in place to prevent cold-weather-related health risks.

Please check that your sites’ heating systems are functioning properly, that your buildings are secure, and emergency intervention/provisions are in place if needed. Confirm that vehicles are ready to transport people when necessary and that emergency backups are in place. Foremost, the best precaution is to stay indoors whenever possible.

Exposure to the cold for too long can cause serious health problems. Hypothermia and frostbite are the most common cold-related health problems.

If you detect symptoms of frostbite, seek medical care. First, determine whether the victim also shows signs of hypothermia. Hypothermia is a more serious medical condition and requires emergency medical assistance.

Please see the CDC website for further information — Extreme Cold: A Prevention Guide to Promote Your Personal Health and Safety.

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Ted Dallas, most recently Special Advisor to Governor Wolf and former Secretary of the Department of Human Services (DHS), joined RCPA member NHS, a leading provider of community-based, nonprofit education and human services, as Chief Operating Officer (COO) on March 12.

“Having worked with former Secretary Dallas over the years, we are confident that he will make an outstanding addition to the NHS team,” said RCPA President and CEO Richard Edley. “RCPA wishes Ted much success in his new role and we look forward to working with him and NHS to continue improving services to those living with disabilities in the Commonwealth.”

See the NHS press release here.

Mental Health Weekly (MHW) editor’s note: “As in past Special Preview Issues, we asked our readers to send us their thoughts on the challenges and opportunities awaiting the field in 2018. Here are their comments.”

RCPA President & CEO Richard Edley’s comments on value-based purchasing as related to behavioral health have been featured in the above referenced article in Mental Health Weekly, January 1, 2018 Issue (page 3).

“As we enter 2018, one of the most pressing issues for behavioral health providers is the movement, or rush, toward “value-based purchasing” (VBP). Indeed, this is the catchphrase of the year. But what is value-based purchasing when it comes to behavioral health?…” See full article here.