In response to the increasing amount of violence in the community, and concerns raised by elected officials such as State Representative Ed Gainey, County Executive Fitzgerald formed the 24-member Public Health Commission on Preventing Violence & Promoting Community Mental Health in May of 2013. Charged with reviewing best practices, making recommendations and proposing an implementation plan, the Commission members focused on a mission of reducing violence and promoting positive mental health and community well-being in Allegheny County. When formed, Dr. Ron Voorhees, Acting Director of the Allegheny County Health Department, and Rev. Earlene Coleman of the Bethlehem Baptist Church of McKeesport, served as co-chairs of the Commission. When Dr. Karen A. Hacker was named as Health Department Director, she assumed co-chair responsibilities with Rev. Coleman.
Final Report: Public Health Commission on Preventing Violence and Promoting Community Mental Health
Although initial recommendations were expected to be received within a year, shortly after the Commission began its work, the Chairs approached the Executive and asked for additional time to review the vast programs and issues in Allegheny County before making recommendations and were granted as much time as they needed. The process resulted in the release of the Commission’s report in December 2014. The full report may be found here along with many of the materials and resources that the Commission reviewed.