Keynote Speaker: Dr. Bea Luna
Professor, Department of Psychiatry, School of Medicine, Staunton Farm Chair of Pediatrics, University of Pittsburgh
Heather Hallman- Special Advisor to the Secretary/ Advisor to the Governor on Food and Nutrition Programs, PA Department of Human Services
Heather Hallman joined the Pennsylvania Department of Human Services (DHS) in November 2011 as the chief of staff of the Office of Children, Youth & Families and moved into her current role as special advisor to the secretary in February 2013. InSeptember 2015, she was also named the advisor to the governor on food and nutrition programs. As the advisor to the governor on food and nutrition programs, she works with six state agencies and multiple community organizations to develop a plan for eliminating hunger in Pennsylvania. Prior to DHS, Ms. Hallman was the deputy director of social services and the fiscal officer for the York County Human Services Department. She also served as the legislative liaison for State Representative Bev Mackereth. She earned an undergraduate degree in speech communications and a master’s in public administration from Penn State University.
Vince Mercuri- Executive Director, The Open Door Alcohol and Other Drug Treatment Center and Crisis Intervention Program of Indiana County
Vince has been employed in the field of treating chemical dependency, mental illness, and related issues for thirty plus years. Prior to his current position he held management and clinical positions at Great Lakes Behavioral Research Institute, Pyramid Healthcare and St. Francis Medical Center.
He is a DDAP registered trainer for the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and has conducted trainings throughout the state on various topics for over 30 years.
Vince is recognized on a state and national level, having been acknowledged by the National Association of Mental Health Program Directors and the National Association of State Alcohol and Drug Abuse Directors for developing a model program for the treatment of co-occurring mental health/substance abuse disorders.
Vince has been interviewed and featured on many television programs, radio shows, and newspaper articles regarding today’s social issues and related problems.
Brandi Phillips- CEO, Allegheny HealthChoices
Ms. Phillips is the Chief Executive Officer at Allegheny HealthChoices, Inc. (AHCI), where she and her team support local government agencies, providers, family members, and individuals with experience using services in a collective effort to improve the community behavioral health system.
With over twenty years of experience in health care and human services, Ms. Phillips has expertise in financial modeling, budgeting and contract negotiations. By leveraging these technical skills with her knowledge of behavioral health policy, she leads AHCI in advancing evidence-based practices and supporting innovative solutions to meet the needs of the community.
Ms. Phillips holds a Master of Science degree in Public Policy and Management from Carnegie Mellon University, and Bachelor of Arts Degrees in Economics and Policy Studies from Syracuse University. Prior to her current position, Ms. Phillips served in a number of operational and financial roles at AHCI, and previously worked as a practice administrator, managing multiple primary care physician practices for a large health system.
In her personal time, Ms. Phillips sits on a number of boards of directors in the social services field. Along with two other women, she founded the Pittsburgh chapter of 100 Women Who Care in 2015, a giving circle intended to provide impact one-time donations to local charities. When she’s not spending time with her husband, she loves shoe shopping, baking, and sharing her practice as a certified yoga instructor.
Brinda Penyak- Deputy Director, County Commissioners Associations of PA; Executive Director, PA Association of County Human Service Administrators
Currently serves as the Deputy Director of the County Commissioners Association of PA (CCAP), formerly the Director of Government Relations for the Association. As Deputy Director, Brinda heads up the policy division at CCAP including the government relations activities, and the work of our six human services affiliate associations. She serves as the chief lobbyist for CCAP and affiliates, and is liaison to the CCAP Human Services Committee, the CCAP Courts and Corrections Committee, the Committee on Criminal Justice Systems Best Practices for the 21st Century, Liaison to the CCAP Comprehensive Behavioral Health Task Force, and Co-Chair for the Department of Corrections County/State Liaison Committee. Prior to joining CCAP, she was the CCAP Director of Government Relations beginning in 2003, and the Director of Government Relations for the Pennsylvania Health Care Association. From 1978 until 1995, she held various positions in the State Senate, including senior staff to State Senator Hardy Williams, and Executive Director of the Senate Public Health and Welfare Committee.
Bawn Maguire, MSN, RN- Programmatic Nurse Specialist, Magee Hospital of UPMC
She has worked in the field of high risk obstetrics for over 38 years. She began the Maternal Methadone Conversion Program at Magee in 2002 in response to the closure of an area hospital and opened the Therapeutic Nursery at the same time. Since 2002 she has seen the women with substance use program grow to include the Pregnancy Recovery Center /Womens Recovery Center and the Parent Partnership Unit.