Drug & Alcohol

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National Drug and Alcohol Facts Week® (NDAFW) is a health observance week for teens that aims to SHATTER THE MYTHS® about drug and alcohol use. 2019 National Drug and Alcohol Facts Week® is Tuesday, January 22 through Sunday, January 27.

What is National Drug and Alcohol Facts Week®?
National Drug and Alcohol Facts Week® links students with scientists and other experts to counteract the myths about drugs and alcohol that teens get from the internet, social media, TV, movies, music, or from friends. It was launched in 2010 by scientists at the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) to stimulate educational events in communities so teens can learn what science has taught us about drug use and addiction. The National Institute of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism became a partner in 2016, and alcohol has been added as a topic area for the week. NIDA and NIAAA are part of the National Institutes of Health.

What happens during National Drug and Alcohol Facts Week®?
National Drug and Alcohol Facts Week® is an opportunity for teens to SHATTER THE MYTHS® about drugs and drug use. Teens, scientists and other experts come together to discuss how drugs affect the brain, body, and behaviors, in community and school events all over America.

Find more information about this initiative and how to participate here. Or visit the official website for National Drug and Alcohol Facts Week. For questions, email the National Institutes of Health or call 301-­443-­1124.

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The XYZ package was sent to the single county authorities (SCAs) this morning to begin the rate setting process for the 2019–20 fiscal year. Below are numerous documents relative to the 2019–20 XYZ Rate Setting Process. The release of these documents was delayed due to discussion surrounding implementation of the ASAM Criteria. The package remains mostly unchanged, with the exception of “Section C – Program Specific Description Information,” which has been revised to be reflective of the ASAM Criteria. Please note that the 3.7 level of care has not been incorporated into the rate setting package given DDAP and DHS are still working to appropriately designate providers with this level of care. Due to the delayed release of these documents, the timeframes for completion of the process have been adjusted. The new timeframes are as follows:

  • November 1 – Provider audits due to SCAs, unless otherwise specified in the DDAP/SCA Grant Agreement
  • By or before March 1 – Providers submit the completed XYZ package to the SCA
  • By or before April 15 – SCAs respond to providers with the approved rates
  • April 15 to April 30 – Provider appeals are submitted to the SCA
  • April 30 to May 15 – Appeals that are unable to be resolved at the SCA level are submitted to DDAP
  • By or before May 31 – SCA posts rates to PACDAA’s web page

Please find these materials relative to the 2019–20 XYZ Rate Setting Process:

Please contact Lynn Cooper, RCPA Drug & Alcohol Division Director, with questions.

In March and April of 2019, the Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs (DDAP) and the Department of Health (DOH) will host eight regional Warm Hand-off Summits. The purpose of each summit is to bring together stakeholders from the public and private sectors across a range of disciplines to learn from experts and one another. Practical examples of successful warm hand-off tools and pathways will build on the success of last year’s summit.

The target audience for the summits includes the following as well as a host of professional organizations representing these stakeholders and the individuals who work for them:

  • Behavioral health managed care organizations (BH-MCOs);
  • Centers for Excellence (COEs);
  • Commonwealth agencies;
  • County/municipal health departments;
  • Drug and alcohol treatment facilities;
  • Emergency Medical Services (EMS) regional directors;
  • Hospitals and health systems with emergency departments;
  • Pennsylvania Coordinated Medication Assisted Treatment (PacMATs);
  • Single County Authorities (county drug and alcohol agencies); and
  • Veterans Administration Medical Centers in Pennsylvania.

Information for the eight regional summits are as follows:

Southeast Berks, Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Montgomery, Schuylkill Wednesday, March 20, 2019
9:00 AM – 12:00 PM
Philadelphia Philadelphia Thursday, March 21, 2019
9:00 AM  – 12:00 PM
Southwest Armstrong, Beaver, Butler, Cambria, Fayette, Greene, Indiana, Somerset, Washington, Westmoreland Wednesday, March 27, 2019
9:00 AM – 12:00 PM
Allegheny Allegheny Thursday, March 28, 2019
9:00 AM – 12:00 PM
Southcentral Adams, Bedford, Blair, Cumberland, Dauphin, Franklin, Fulton, Huntingdon, Juniata, Lancaster, Lebanon, Mifflin, Perry, York Thursday, April 4, 2019
1:30 PM – 4:30 PM
Northeast Carbon, Lackawanna, Lehigh, Luzerne, Monroe, Northampton, Pike, Susquehanna, Wayne, Wyoming Thursday, April 11, 2019
1:30 PM – 4:30 PM

Bradford, Centre, Clinton, Columbia, Lycoming, Montour, Northumberland, Potter, Snyder, Sullivan, Tioga, Union Tuesday. April 16, 2019

9:00 AM – 12:00PM

Northwest Cameron, Clarion, Clearfield, Crawford, Elk, Erie, Forest, Jefferson, Lawrence, McKean, Mercer, Venango, Warren Wednesday, April 17, 2019
9:00 AM – 12:00 PM

Additional details such as locations will be posted as they become available. Contact Lynn Cooper at RCPA for additional information.

The Dennis Marion Impact Award recognizes local and state government employees whose initiatives, processes, and projects have led to significant improvements in Pennsylvania’s behavioral health service delivery system.


The Dennis Marion Impact Award was established in 2017 in honor of Dennis Marion’s commitment to public service throughout his distinguished career, which spanned over three decades.  Dennis served as Deputy Secretary for Pennsylvania’s Department of Human Services’ Office of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services from 2013 to 2017. Prior to his state employment, Dennis served Cumberland County, Pennsylvania for 31 years in various positions, such as County Administrator, Director of the Drug and Alcohol Commission, and Director of the Office of Mental Health and Intellectual Disabilities.

Just like Dennis Marion, whose strong leadership, passion for public service, and commitment to the people he served did not stop at the boundaries of his work in any single county or agency, the Dennis Marion Impact Award recognizes strong performers who bridge disparate missions and drive towards a single goal of excellence in public service.


The purpose of the Dennis Marion Impact Award is to recognize outstanding and meritorious achievement in working for state or local government, encourage the highest standards of performance in Pennsylvania’s public sector, attract outstanding individuals to a career in public service, and highlight public awareness of the value of public service and its impact on the behavioral health and quality of life of individuals and communities.

Eligibility Criteria:

Any current state and/or local government employee in Pennsylvania that has made an outstanding contribution in the area of behavioral health (mental health and/or substance use disorders) in Pennsylvania is eligible for nomination for the Dennis Marion Impact Award.  Individuals that have built effective, collaborative partnerships across different organizations, agencies, and/or other stakeholders to define and solve problems, or reach agreements on a course of action, will be given priority consideration for this award.  Nominees’ contributions may be on a sustained basis or through a single, exceptional accomplishment. Nominations will be judged on three measurements: innovation, implementation, and outcomes.


The nomination form is available hereThe nomination period is from January 1, 2019 to January 31, 2019. Completed nominations must be submitted electronically to lkitner@pacounties.org by 5:00 pm EST on January 31, 2019. No nominations will be accepted before or after the nomination period. Note, individuals may not self-nominate.

The award will be presented at Pennsylvania’s May 2019 Mental Health Awareness Month event in Harrisburg, PA.  Questions regarding this award may be directed to sklucar@pa.gov.

Sponsoring Organizations:

Pennsylvania Department of Human Services – Office of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services
Mental Health Association in Pennsylvania
Pennsylvania Association of County MH/DS Administrators
Rehabilitation and Community Providers Association
Pennsylvania Association of County Drug and Alcohol Administrators
Pennsylvania Mental Health Consumers’ Association

In today’s competitive health care environment marked by political and economic uncertainty, we need to speak with a united voice to strengthen the public behavioral health system and provide the best possible care to our clients, families, and communities. For this reason, we are excited to inform you that we have recently approved full membership with the National Council for Behavioral Health, which will benefit all members of RCPA.

The National Council supports you and your staff with business development and educational opportunities, insight into national trends related to mental health and addiction services, discounts on webinars and national conferences, and you will become part of a united movement of advocacy on behalf of behavioral health.

National Council offers extensive resources and national expertise in the behavioral health field. Key benefits of membership include:

  • Discounts on registration for the National Council’s Annual Conference and other events;
  • Participation in practice improvement initiatives;
  • Discounts on Mental Health First Aid instructor training;
  • Access to 50+ webinars with tools and resources on a variety of topics;
  • Discounts on Mental Health Weekly, The Brown University Child and Adolescent Behavior Letter, and Alcoholism & Drug Abuse Weekly;
  • Exclusive access to the Journal of Behavioral Health Services and Research;
  • Exclusive access to the Member Listserv and listserv archives on a variety of topics; and
  • Featured on the “Find a Provider” section of the National Council Website.

Together, we will attain our mutual goal: to ensure all Americans living with mental illnesses and addictions have access to comprehensive, high-quality care that affords every opportunity for recovery.

Contact Sarah Eyster, RCPA Mental Health Division Director, with questions.

The RCPA staff and conference committee would like to thank you all for sponsoring, exhibiting, advertising, and/or attending the 2018 RCPA Annual Conference.

It’s official: The 2019 RCPA Annual Conference will be held September 24–27 at the Hershey Lodge, in Hershey, PA — be sure to mark this landmark event on your calendars!

It is our hope that, as you plan your 2019 events, you will once again consider supporting and attending the conference. Some other key dates to remember:

  • The 2019 Call for Workshop Proposals will be sent out by the end of January.
  • The request for sponsors, exhibitors, and advertisers will be sent out by the end of February.

For any questions about the RCPA Annual Conference, please contact Sarah Eyster, RCPA Conference Coordinator. We wish you all a happy and safe holiday season.

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This message is to inform our members that Wenona (Wake) Wilson is no longer at the Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs (DDAP); the position of Bureau Director for Quality Assurance is now vacant. DDAP will not be naming anyone in an acting capacity but are considering all options for filling the position as quickly as possible. If RCPA members were working on any projects directly with Wenona, please contact Deputy Secretary Ellen DiDomenico so that they can determine how to get you the information needed or to designate someone else to participate in relevant meetings. DDAP will be working to ensure that operations continue to run as smoothly as possible. RCPA wishes the best to Wenona as she moves on to a new path.

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RCPA sent this information out previously; however, the Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs (DDAP) has reported that there was very little response. This information is critically needed as DDAP advocates for support for services provided. Members have been providing some services that are costly but never reimbursed; DDAP is working to rectify this. Please complete the survey ASAP — Your input is needed, thank you.

Below is the request from DDAP:

Dear SUD Treatment Provider,

With the current transition to ASAM, DDAP and DHS are working to establish provider designations for 3.5 and 3.7 levels of care. To accomplish this, providers of residential services were asked to complete a survey to provide information necessary for this designation process. However, a large portion of providers did not complete the requested information. This will impact those of you who contract (or plan to contract) with an SCA or BH-MCO. Therefore, it is imperative that a survey be completed for each licensed facility delivering these levels of care.

Below are two links for the same survey. If you have difficulty accessing the survey using one link, please try the other; however, complete only ONE survey per licensed facility.

If you have already completed the survey as a result of the two prior requests to do so, please DO NOT complete it a second time. If you are receiving this email, but are not the person within your agency who would be responsible for completing the survey, please forward it to the appropriate person. Preparation is already underway to notify those providers who have already responded. It is the responsibility of the provider organizations to complete this information in order to receive a level of care designation by the state. Thank you for your attention to this request.

Please contact RCPA Drug and Alcohol Division Director Lynn Cooper with questions.