News (blog)

We hope visitors to our site will find the blog posts useful as we share information about the Coalition and provide information relating to behavioral health needs of older adults.
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  • 03 Aug 2015 8:48 AM | Anonymous

    PBHAC is forwarding this message from the United Way of Pennsylvania. We feel it is important to measure the impact of the budget impasse and encourage members to participate.

    United Way of Pennsylvania is partnering with other statewide human service provider organizations to quantify the impacts of the state budget impasse. Everyone promoting this survey believes it is important that we have accurate information to communicate to the Administration and the General Assembly, as well as the media and the public, about the impacts statewide. This survey asks providers to explain a little bit about their organization, as well as what impacts they anticipate for services and operations during the month of August. They will also be asked to project what will happen if the impasse extends into September. UWP encourages providers to take some time to review this brief survey, collect the supporting information and complete it.

    The survey is available at

    This information will be used for education and information about the impacts, and also to inform potential shared advocacy strategies as the impasse continues. UWP anticipates a statewide media release of the data collected in mid to late August.

    Because this survey is being promoted by multiple statewide organizations, you may receive this request more than once. Each organization only needs to reply one time.

    If you have questions, please contact Kristen Rotz,  

  • 29 May 2015 9:10 AM | Anonymous

    On this, my last official day as the Executive Director of the Coalition, I wanted to take a moment to express my sincere gratitude to the Board of Directors, staff and members. Since working in 1999 with Linda Shumaker to form the Coalition, I have had a special place in my heart for this organization and am leaving with a heavy heart. I have enjoyed meeting so many of you, learning more about the important work being done to improve the lives of older Pennsylvanians. Behavioral health is such a critical part of anyone’s quality of life, and we all work to ensure that older adults have the best possible quality of life, in the way they choose. Thank you for allowing me to be part of this wonderful organization for the past five years.

    The Board has decided that I will remain available to the Coalition in a consultative role until the new Executive Director is selected to ensure that the work of the Coalition continues to move forward. During this time, I will continue to be available at 717-541-4219 and


    Rebecca May-Cole

    Executive Director

  • 09 Apr 2015 11:25 AM | Anonymous

    I have never taken the opportunity to address the wonderful supporters of the Coalition via email before, and it is with mixed emotions that I do so now. I will be leaving the Coalition May 29th to serve as the PA Association of Area Agencies on Aging’s (P4A) new Executive Director. I have been honored to get to know so many wonderful people who all value Pennsylvania’s older adults, and who have joined me in working to improve the lives of older individuals with behavioral health needs. Thank you for your involvement with the Coalition. I am confident PBHAC will continue and grow in the future.

    We will be posting a job vacancy for the Executive Director position within the next week or so. Please pass it along to those who may be interested in the position.

    I have thoroughly enjoyed my last 5 years with the Coalition, and am proud to see how far we’ve come since being one of the founding members of the Coalition back in 1999. I look forward to seeing where the Coalition will grow in the future!


    Rebecca May-Cole
    Executive Director 

  • 20 Mar 2015 9:51 AM | Anonymous
    Traditional Medicaid expansion is coming to Pennsylvania! This will allow the state to provide health care coverage in a streamlined manner to Pennsylvanians who are most in need. 
    There are several milestones that they want you to know about.

    Public Notice of the Adult Benefit Package
    Public notice of the new Adult benefit package is now available on the DHS website at

    This notice begins the public comment period on the transition to the traditional Medicaid expansion and the new adult benefit package. 

    You are encouraged to make comments as early as possible to ensure they are able to address any concerns or changes. 

    The notice will also be published on March 28 in the Pennsylvania Bulletin, but will be available online March 27, on the Pennsylvania Bulletin website

    Notice to Current MA Recipients Regarding Benefit Changes 
    In the last week of March, current MA recipients will receive notices from HealthChoices Managed Care Organizations and DHS regarding the transition to the new Adult benefit package.

    These notices will inform individuals that they will transition to the Adult benefit package on April 27.

    Click here to view a fact sheet for the upcoming changes.

    Please visit for more information.

  • 06 Feb 2015 9:40 AM | Anonymous
    Governor Wolf has announced the following staffing choices:

    Secretary of Aging: Teresa Osborne. “Teresa Osborne has over two decades of experience working with and advocating for the elderly and the disadvantaged. Her management experience, as well her record enhancing Pennsylvania’s response to elder abuse and exploitation, make her a solid fit to lead the Department of Aging.” - Tom Wolf

    Secretary of the Department of Human Services: Ted Dallas. "Dallas has two decades of experience working with Medicaid, and under his leadership the Maryland Department of Human Resources reduced poverty, placed more people in jobs than ever before in state history, and was recognized by the federal government for program efficiency." - Tom Wolf

    Secretary of the Department of Health: Dr. Karen Murphy. Murphy "has an extensive understanding of the health care industry and has substantial executive experience. Over the last two years, Dr. Murphy has run a $900 million federal program designed to accelerate health care innovation across the country. Dr. Murphy will apply the experience she has gained in the public and private sectors to her role leading Pennsylvania's Department of Health and health care transformation across the commonwealth." - Tom Wolf

    Secretary of the Department of Drugs and Alcohol: Gary Tennis will continue to serve in this position. "Secretary Tennis has helped improve re-entry services for individuals in recovery, and he has strengthened programming to reduce recidivism rates. He has also received national recognition for his efforts to improve collaboration among law enforcement and healthcare organizations to reduce drug overdose deaths. Under Secretary Tennis' leadership, the Department of Drugs and Alcohol was efficiently established and has effectively administered the management and allocation of state and federal funds used to oversee alcohol and drug prevention, intervention and treatment services." - Tom Wolf

    Physician General: Dr. Rachel Levine. "Dr. Rachel Levine is well-respected in the fields of pediatrics, psychiatry, and behavioral health, where she has practiced for close to three decades. She has been a leading voice in efforts to treat teens with medical and psychological problems, as well as adults and children with eating disorders. It is important to me that we place equal emphasis on behavioral and physical health issues. Dr. Levine will bring expertise and wide-ranging knowledge to this important role advising the secretary of Health and me on medical and public health matters." - Tom Wolf

    For more information on Governor Wolf's Cabinet and Executive Officials, please visit

  • 06 Feb 2015 9:39 AM | Anonymous
    The Pennsylvania Department of Aging has released the 1st Annual Pennsylvania Alzheimer’s Disease and Related Disorders Forum Report. This report summarizes the September forum, including recommendations, agenda, proposed action steps, the keynote PowerPoint presentation, and contact information for attendees. To view the full report, please click here.
  • 18 Apr 2013 9:56 AM | Anonymous

    Attorney General's Office teaming with DEA for Nationwide Prescription Drug Take-Back Day

    HARRISBURG - The Pennsylvania Office of Attorney General has joined the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and local law enforcement officials from across the state in support of the fifth Nationwide Prescription Drug Take-Back Day.

    Attorney General Kathleen G. Kane said the program, scheduled for Saturday, April 27th, is an effort to collect potentially dangerous expired, unused, and unwanted prescription drugs for proper disposal and destruction. The service is free and anonymous.

    The last National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day was held on Sept. 29, 2012. On that day, law enforcement agencies in all 50 states collected more than 488,000 lbs - 244 tons - of prescription medications.

    Kane said that continuing national initiatives to collect expired or unwanted prescription drugs provide opportunities for those who may have missed previous events or who may have accumulated additional prescriptions to dispose of them safely.

    Prescription drug abuse in the United States is increasing at an alarming rate. In the past few years the Attorney General's Office has arrested hundreds of individuals involved with abusing or selling prescription drugs. Many of those arrested included doctors, nurses or medical professionals.

    A common misconception with prescription drug disposal is that it is safe to flush unwanted medicine down the toilet or simply throw them away. However, the options pose potential health and safety hazards.

    The Attorney General's Office encourages participation in this safe, legal and environmentally friendly way of disposing prescription medications.

    Collection sites will be available across Pennsylvania on Saturday, April 27, 2013 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. A complete list of local sites is available at

    Click here for a link to search for a prescription drug take-back location near you:;jsessionid=F75E57536643C416D35796ACE7795BFB?_flowExecutionKey=_c32382DFB-B71A-26F4-94D4-336D176C84D8_k067B7DD0-5F7E-2D56-3A46-5F91FDBBEF75

  • 25 Mar 2013 12:36 PM | Anonymous
    Governor Tom Corbett announced today that Pennsylvanians who need assistance paying home heating bills now have additional time, through April 26, to apply for financial help through the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program, commonly referred to as LIHEAP.
  • 08 Mar 2013 3:50 PM | Anonymous
    Re-Posted from

    The National Council on Problem Gambling has set this week (March 3-9, 2013) as National Problem Gambling Awareness Week.  The theme this year is “Problem Gambling: A New Understanding of a Community Concern.”  The organization says the goal of the campaign is to “educate the general public, and health care professionals about the warning signs of problem gambling and raise awareness about the help that is available both locally and nationally.”

     On the group’s website, resources for problem gambling treatment can be found including:

    ·       Information about high school students and gambling

    ·       Information about college students and problem gambling

    ·       Information about older adults and problem gambling

    ·       Benefits to stopping gambling

    ·       Screening tools available

    Below are some of the podcasts, blogs, and articles featured on Addiction Professional that also provide insight and advice for this process addiction.

    Gambling: the wins, the losses and the treatment to addiction Read an article about a panel discussion amongst experts in the field of gambling addiction from around the country.

    PODCAST: Gambling addiction panel discussion (1 of 3) Listen to experts in the addiction field discuss their thoughts on the recent changes with gambling addiction in the DSM-5

    PODCAST: Gambling addiction panel discussion (2 of 3) Listen to experts in the addiction field discuss their thoughts on gambling addiction in regards to the screening and assessment process, and individual versus group therapy.

    PODCAST: Gambling addiction panel discussion (3 of 3) Listen to experts in the field of addiction from around the country discuss various topics related to gambling addiction, such as providing a financial counselor, keeping the patient busy, and specific subpopulations that are vulnerable to this addiction.

    Bringing gambling problems to light In this article, Marketing and Admissions Manager at the Illinois Institute for Addiction Recovery stresses the importance of screening every client for gambling addiction.

    Comorbidities of problem gambling In this blog post, I discuss the fact that although gambling addiction serves as a large issue on its own, many times it’s not the only problem the client is facing.

  • 01 Mar 2013 1:34 PM | Anonymous

    In the coming months, Pennsylvania lawmakers will move on a number of proposals designed to correct the  problems that plague our nursing home industry.

    Dennis Short, Research Director with SEIU Healthcare PA will talk call participants through these legislative initiatives that take on issues of accountability, staffing, oversight and more.

    RSVP here  for the call on Tuesday, March 5th at 6:00 PM. 

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