Drug & Alcohol

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At 12:00pm Thursday, Sept. 9, Spotlight PA is hosting a panel on oversight of the drug and alcohol treatment system. The discussion is an extension of Spotlight’s reporting on the Department of Drug and Alcohol Program’s regulation of the system. Jason Snyder, Director of RCPA’s Drug and Alcohol Division, will participate on the panel. Others include:

  • Spotlight PA investigative reporter Ed Mahon;
  • Kaiser Health News correspondent Aneri Pattani;
  • Opioid Crisis Action Network board member Sharon White; and
  • Frank Greenagel, adjunct professor at the Rutgers School of Social Work, instructor at the Center of Alcohol Studies, and recovery supervisor at Prevention Links.

More information is available here.

Register here.

Photo by Chris Montgomery on Unsplash

The National Disability Rights Network and the American Association of People with Disabilities will be hosting the 2021 Disability Vote Summit on Tuesday, September 14, 2021, from 12:00 pm–4:00 pm EST.

At the virtual summit, they will explore:

  • The power of the disability vote
  • Lessons learned from 2020 turnout
  • How to use data to mobilize the disability vote

Confirmed presenters include representatives from the National Disability Rights Network, the National Federation of the Blind, SABE Go Voter Project, and more! Join national disability advocates, state and local organizers, policymakers, and others who are working to get out the disability vote.

If you have any questions, please contact Lilian Aluri or Jack Rosen.

OMHSAS has released the following Telehealth Regulatory Waiver Request template in order to streamline regulatory waiver requests for the continued delivery of telehealth services following the 9-30-21 end date of statewide regulatory waivers based on the COVID-19 Emergency Declaration.

The waiver submission process will adhere to the revised OMHSAS Waiver Bulletin 16-13.

The waiver will cover deliverable considerations for the following services

  • Mental Health Intensive Case Management 55 Pa. Code § 5221.33(4)(iii)
  • Outpatient Psychiatric Services 55 Pa. Code § 1153.14(1)
  • Outpatient Drug and Alcohol Clinic Services 55 Pa. Code § 1223.14(2)

Each waiver request will remain in place for a 1-year period and will require providers also have documented policies in place for clinical appropriateness and the delivery of telehealth in emergencies. RCPA recommends agencies carefully review each section of the waiver request as they complete their submission.

The waiver will outline the following service considerations:

  • To ensure continuity of telehealth delivery of services by allowing this agency/facility to use audio-only service delivery for Outpatient Psychiatric Services, Outpatient Drug and Alcohol Clinic Services when the individual served does not have access to video capability or for an urgent medical situation.
  • To ensure continuity of telehealth delivery of services by allowing this agency/facility to accept verbal consent/verification for documentation where a signature cannot be obtained when delivering Mental Health Intensive Case Management Services.

Submission Considerations:

  • For all Mental Health Intensive Case Management and Outpatient Psychiatric Clinic Waivers: Please submit all waiver requests to the appropriate OMHSAS Regional Field Office with an attached letter of support from the County MH/ID Administrator where your primary licensed location is at.
  • For all Outpatient Drug and Alcohol Clinic Services Waivers: Please submit here. No letter of support is required for these waivers.

Providers may utilize the following language in your waiver request letter:

Kristen Houser, Deputy Secretary
Commonwealth Tower, 11th Floor
303 Walnut Street, Harrisburg 17101

Dear Deputy Secretary Houser:

This letter is a request for a waiver of Department of Human Services regulation(s) to continue the delivery of services through telehealth after September 30, 2021, which is the end date of the Governor’s COVID -19 Emergency Disaster Declaration which authorized certain regulatory suspensions.  The details for this request for waiver are included in the form below.  In addition, a letter of support from the County MH/ID Administrator for this request for waiver is attached. (REMOVE if Outpatient D&A Clinic Waiver) 

Your consideration for approval is appreciated. I look forward to your response. If you have any questions or concerns regarding this regulatory waiver request, please contact me at (Phone and e-mail address.)


Members may contact RCPA Policy Director Jim Sharp or their respective Policy Director with questions or feedback.

Photo by Kane Reinholdtsen on Unsplash

As you participate in our 2021 Conference Leading in 2021, be sure to hear from the Pennsylvania Department of Human Services Secretary Meg Snead, Maryland Deputy Secretary of Behavioral Health Dr. Aliya Jones, and a Delaware state leader who is TBD, in a session moderated by Chuck Ingoglia of the National Council for Mental Wellbeing. This will be held on Tuesday, September 28, at 4:30 pm. The state leaders will discuss statewide initiatives, federal policy implications, and the impact on providers and service provision as we navigate through the phases of the pandemic.

If you haven’t already, be sure to register! For individual registration, please visit here. If registering for a group, please visit here. Please note that all presenters will be registered by RCPA. Our early bird registration has been extended until Friday, September 10, 2021.

RCPA, Community Behavioral Health of Maryland (MDCBH), and the Ability Network of Delaware (A.N.D.) are pleased to open registration for our virtual conference, Leading in 2021: Hoping, Healing, Helping, September 28 – October 1. RCPA, MDCBH, A.N.D. staff, and the Conference Committee have worked tirelessly to create an exciting event that has something for everyone. Early bird registration has been extended until Friday, September 10, 2021.

For individual registration, please visit here. If registering for a group, please visit here. Please note that all presenters will be registered by RCPA.

Workshops are now posted, so be sure to see what’s in store for this year’s conference! With more than 50 continuing education (CE) hours, attendees will be able to fulfill licensing cycle required education in just a few days! In addition to live sessions, there are several on-demand sessions that offer critical topics and information. These on-demand sessions are currently being posted to our website and will be completed shortly, so be on the lookout for more information! You can make a payment for CE credits at the time of registration or log in and pay during the event.

You Don’t Want To Miss These General Sessions!

  • Chuck Ingoglia, President and CEO of the National Council for Mental Wellbeing, and Gabrielle Sedor, COO and Foundation Director for ANCOR will discuss the strengthening of Medicaid, the effects of COVID on business, and the workforce crisis.
  • Nic Sheff, award-winning author and son featured in the film Beautiful Boy, will share his journey from addiction through recovery, and the impact on his world and family.
  • Pennsylvania’s Secretary of the Department of Human Services, Med Snead and Delaware Human Services Leaders will discuss the state of their states, moderated by Chuck Ingoglia.
  • A review of the need for equity in service provision and establishing a comprehensive continuum of care for people with severe autism – parent and professional panel.
  • Deborah Riddick will present, as she is a public policy expert with more than 25 years of experience advancing nursing practice, health equity and community engagement initiatives in Pennsylvania, Michigan, New Jersey, and Oregon.
  • Sara Canaday, Leadership strategist, speaker and author of “Leadership Unchained: Defy Conventional Wisdom for Breakthough Performance,” will share her insights on this managing employee’s needs for flexibility while delivering results and satisfying client needs, along with her valuable advice for leaders who are feeling stretched to the limits.
  • Graham Hetrick, television star and Dauphin County coroner, will discuss what he has learned from people who have died from addiction and how he “speaks” for the dead in his television series.
  • Natalia La Duca is a national speaker on neurodiversity, employment, and becoming an ally.
  • Returning with new information, conference favorite Attorney Mike Cohen, partner at Duane Morris LLP, will discuss A Workplace Built for 2021 and Beyond: examining diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging, and implicit bias.

Our virtual conference can be viewed on any device. Find Connections Hall sponsors and exhibitors, hear about endeavors and innovations, and learn how they can help you. Go for the points to win one of 10 prizes!

Finally, we are creating some entertaining break and after-hour events, which offer informal networking opportunities for our attendees. There will be some fun competition with exciting prizes.

Visit the RCPA Conference website for specific updates to the schedule, posted as they become finalized.