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Criminal Justice

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The Philadelphia Department of Health has issued clarification on the vaccine status of Direct Support Professionals (DSPs) being in Phase 1A. In their initial letter, they incorrectly left out Behavioral Health DSPs and only mentioned those who are working with individuals with ID/Autism. This was an oversight, and they have now corrected it both on their website and in the letter.

Hence, all DSPs are considered to fall into Phase 1A, regardless of what service line they work in. Please contact your RCPA Policy Director for further clarification.

The Department of Human Services (DHS) has issued a request for providers to track the initial administration of the COVID-19 vaccination in the following facilities that it licenses:

Office of Developmental Programs (ODP)

  • Community Homes for Individuals with an Intellectual Disability or Autism
  • Private Intermediate Care Facilities for Individuals with an Intellectual Disability

Office of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services (OMHSAS)

  • Long Term Structured Residences
  • Residential Treatment Facility for Adults
  • Private Psychiatric Hospitals

Office of Long-Term Living/Bureau of Human Services Licensing (OLTL/BHSL)

  • Personal Care Homes
  • Assisted Living Facilities

Office of Children Youth and Family (OCYF)

  • Child Residential Facilities (Chapter 3800)- For staff and residents over 18 years of age

This will be a one-time data collection to understand the level of vaccination for residents and staff at these facilities.

It is very important that facilities complete this form. This information is essential to implementing the Commonwealth’s vaccine planning and administration plan and to help ensure that vaccines are being administered as soon as can be accomplished. Completing this form is a major component to stopping the spread of COVID-19 in the Commonwealth. Detailed instructions are available here.

Please enter the required information at the COVID-19 Vaccine Tracker link.

If you have any questions or still need any assistance regarding vaccinations, please send an email to RA-pwarlheadquarters@pa.gov.

Image by StockSnap from Pixabay

Today, the Legislative, Budget and Finance Committee (LBFC) released a study on community mental health services. Last year, the General Assembly adopted House Resolution 515 of 2019, which directed LBFC to conduct a broad-based study of Pennsylvania’s county administered, community-based mental health (MH) services. The resolution directed LBFC to collect and present information on 10 comprehensive and complex data points.

In response to HR 515, LBFC modified the objectives and scope and focused on creating observational summaries of data, which were collected from various state agencies, including the Department of Human Services (DHS), the Department of Health (DOH), the Department of Corrections (DOC), and the Health Care Cost Containment Council PHC4). LBFC also surveyed all county MH Administrators. The report can be found on the LBFC’s website.

The Department of Health (DOH) today shared its weekly update on Pennsylvania’s COVID-19 case investigation and contact tracing data and encouraged Pennsylvanians to download the COVID Alert PA app, as more than 790,000 have already done to aid in contact tracing efforts. There are 40 counties in the substantial level of COVID-19 transmission rate.

While vaccine supply from the federal government remains limited, the Department of Health is working to ensure the vaccine is provided in a way that is ethical, equitable, and efficient.

Frequently asked questions can be found here.

The Commonwealth recently announced (access the press release here) the selection of a vendor for the Resource Information and Services Enterprise – or RISE PA – the upcoming statewide resource and referral tool. When fully implemented, anyone in Pennsylvania will be able to access this tool from their personal computers, tablets, and mobile devices to find information about services and resources and self-refer to participating social services agencies.

RISE PA will also allow service providers to assess the needs of individuals during a physician’s office or emergency department visit, when receiving case management services, or seeking assistance from a community organization, among others. Providers may refer their clients to agencies and be notified of the outcome of their referrals through the system.

RISE PA Stakeholder Webinars:

Lehigh/Capital Zone – Adams, Berks, Cumberland, Dauphin, Franklin, Fulton, Huntingdon, Lancaster, Lebanon, Lehigh, Northampton, Perry, and York counties
Please register for RISE PA Stakeholder Webinar on Mar 12, 2021 – 10:00 AM EST at:
After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.

Southeast Zone – Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Montgomery, and Philadelphia counties
Please register for RISE PA Stakeholder Webinar on Mar 16, 2021 – 1:00 PM EST at:
After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.

Southwest Zone – Allegheny, Armstrong, Beaver, Bedford, Blair, Butler, Cambria, Fayette, Green, Indiana, Lawrence, Somerset, Washington, and Westmoreland counties
Please register for RISE PA Stakeholder Webinar on Mar 19, 2021 – 10:00 AM EST at:
After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.

New West Zone – Cameron, Clarion, Clearfield, Crawford, Elk, Erie, Forest, Jefferson, McKean, Mercer, Potter, Venango, and Warren counties
Please register for RISE PA Stakeholder Webinar on Mar 23, 2021 – 10:00 AM EST at:
After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.

New East Zone – Bradford, Carbon, Centre, Clinton, Columbia, Juniata, Lackawanna, Luzerne, Lycoming, Mifflin, Monroe, Montour, Northumberland, Pike, Schuylkill, Snyder, Sullivan, Susquehanna, Tioga, Union, Wayne and Wyoming counties
Please register for RISE PA Stakeholder Webinar on Mar 30, 2021 – 10:00 AM EST at:
After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.

Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf signed another renewal of the state’s disaster declaration tied to the coronavirus pandemic, even as state lawmakers hope to curtail some of his broad powers in emergencies. On Friday, Wolf signed a 90-day extension of the disaster emergency, his fourth renewal of the proclamation. He signed the first order on March 6, the day the first COVID-19 cases were reported in Pennsylvania. View full article from PennLive.