Laval Miller-Wilson will join the Pennsylvania Department of Human Services (DHS) on Monday, March 13 as the Deputy Secretary for the Office of Children, Youth, and Families (OCYF), which supervises the county-operated child welfare and juvenile justice systems. Miller-Wilson, an attorney, is deeply committed and passionate about ensuring that vulnerable populations get the care they need and deserve.
Miller-Wilson has been the Executive Director of the Pennsylvania Health Law Project (PHLP) since 2009, a non-profit that protects and advances health care rights through free legal services, community education, and systems advocacy. At PHLP, he worked to make the health industry and policymakers more attuned to what people want and need — and more accountable for making it happen. He was lead counsel for Medicaid enrollees on Pennsylvania’s Medical Assistance (Medicaid) Advisory Committee, which advises the Commonwealth on the impact of current and proposed Medicaid policies and practices. He delivered consumer-informed perspective about the state’s implementation of the Affordable Care Act, performance of Medicaid managed care plans, and determinants of health.
Prior to joining PHLP, Miller-Wilson worked for 14 years at Juvenile Law Center (JLC) representing children in the child welfare, juvenile, and criminal justice systems. At JLC, he led their 2008 petition to the Pennsylvania Supreme Court to ensure accused youth in Luzerne County had the right to counsel (subsequently known as the “Kids for Cash” scandal), and federal litigation to improve the delivery of basic and special education to children in the criminal justice system. He was also the lead author of a 2003 assessment of children’s access to counsel and the quality of representation they receive in Pennsylvania’s juvenile justice system that required surveying and visiting juvenile courts across the Commonwealth.