Articles of Interest

On Friday (September 18), Stan Mrozowski informed RCPA staff and others that he had relinquished his position as Director of the Children’s Bureau at the Office of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services (OMHSAS). Dr. Mrozowski noted that “there have been discussions recently in the Department of Human Services about the role of the Bureau and the decision has been made to make a change.” In his farewell message, Stan noted that “I leave with immense satisfaction about the many accomplishments over the past 12 years during which I have been the Director of the Children’s Bureau. I have very few regrets – mostly only that we did not do even more to help children and families in the Commonwealth. I also leave with appreciation for having worked with so many fine people who truly care about youth and families. I will truly miss the friendship and the collegiality that has made the work so rewarding.” RCPA will follow up with OMHSAS leadership to explore and report on any other changes that are planned for their management of children’s behavioral health services in the future.

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In October, RCPA host its fall conference at Seven Springs Mountain Resort (October 6 –9). At this large-scale, statewide event, the Board of Directors wants to continue the important tradition of recognizing individuals and organizations/facilities for their dedication and commitment to service. The following award categories have been created for this event and recognition:

  1. RCPA Innovation Award. Presented to an individual or organization/facility in recognition of significant innovation. Examples include cross-systems integration, physical/behavioral health integration, and implementation of new technology. Up to three awards may be given in any year.
  2. Exemplary Service to RCPA Award. Presented to an individual or organization/facility that has shown a strong commitment and dedication in service to the association, its members, and related issues.
  3. Legislative Leadership Award. Presented to an individual who has shown significant leadership and commitment to government affairs and legislative issues, on behalf of RCPA and its members.
  4. Community Leadership Award. Presented to an individual in recognition of extending service and knowledge to the community at large, and efforts in helping the community understand the needs of individuals served by RCPA members. This can be for specific or short-term significant acts, or to recognize a lifelong body of work.

At this time, RCPA is accepting nominations through an open solicitation of members (e.g. designated contact person, CEOs/executive directors, staff) and RCPA committees. Members may nominate one or more individuals/organizations in one or more categories. Nominations will be reviewed by a sub-group of the Board of Directors to make recommendations for final selection and approval by the full board.

Include the name/organization (if applicable) of the nominee, the award category, and a statement about why you believe the individual/organization should be honored. Nominations should be made by August 14. Please send nominations to Cindy Lloyd.

Award recipients are not limited to RCPA members and every award may not be presented annually. Please join the association in continuing this tradition and in offering nominations for those who deserve recognition for their significant contributions.

Nancy Thaler will be the new Deputy Secretary of the Office of Developmental Programs (ODP) beginning June 29. Thaler recently served as the executive director of the National Association of State Directors of Developmental Disabilities Services, assisting 50 state agencies in policy and program development, where she was involved in strategic planning, managing the operating budget, and directing the association’s activities. She also previously served as the director of quality improvement for the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), and Deputy Secretary of ODP for both Republican and Democratic administrations.

H. Patrick “Pat” Clancy will be joining the Department of Human Services (DHS) as the special advisor to the secretary, focusing on employment issues and the federal Workforce Investment and Opportunity Act. Clancy has a strong background in developing and managing career and workforce development programs. He recently served as the director of workforce initiatives at Goodwill of Delaware and Delaware County. He will join the department on July 13.

Steve Suroviec will become the special advisor to the secretary, focusing on employment issues for people with disabilities, where he will bring the impressive leadership skills he demonstrated as deputy secretary at ODP. Before joining DHS, Steve served admirably as the executive director of Pennsylvania’s Office of Vocational Rehabilitation. He will share his counsel and expertise in this crucial area beginning June 29.