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Human Services Block Grant Advisory Board

What is the Human Services Block Grant?

Please see the PDF Icon Human Services Block Grant Overview handout. 

DHS Block Grant Advisory Board Purpose

DHS is committed to receiving public input on our planning processes and initiatives; it is critical to meeting our publicly-crafted DHS vision and key to delivering our services according to our articulated guiding principles. In preparation of DHS’s response to the annual PA Human Service Block Grant Plan, the county is establishing a Block Grant Advisory Board with broad-based representation from consumers and families of block grant funded services, providers, advocates, community representatives, and representation from existing and statutorily required boards and DHS staff.

The purpose of the Board will be to inform and review the annual block grant plan by providing recommendations about: the block grant planning process; areas of need and ways to address need; the block grant narrative and ways DHS can work with providers to obtain additional outcome data about funded services and supports.

Board Membership

Board members were selected who reflect the diversity of the populations served by DHS and our commitment to creating an accessible, culturally competent, integrated and comprehensive service system. Applicants were considered on a variety of factors including system representation or service expertise, demographics, community involvement and a short essay where applicants described how their involvement on the Board would help DHS move closer to its vision and how they would add a unique perspective/diversity to the group.

From the beginning, DHS was committed to a minimum of 51% consumers/family member appointees. 

DHS received 122 applications that included a broad representation of consumers and families of block grant funded services, providers, advocates, representatives from the community as well as representation from existing and statutorily required boards. The final selection includes 48 board members with 26 individuals having consumer/family member involvement.  The remaining board members are professionals from provider and community organizations with cross system representation, the foundation community, advocates, and boards required by legislation. Three of the selected board members have both consumer/family involvement and professional experience. 

DHS encourages Board members to attend meetings at least 75% of the time. If a member misses several consecutive meetings, he/she will be contacted by the Board to determine his or her interest in continued membership. If a Board vacancy occurs, DHS may select another member from the application pool of those who were not yet appointed. If there are no available applicants, another Board interest/nomination form will be re-issued.


The Board may form sub-committees as needed.

Board Members (January 2013) 
Board Member; Area(s) of Expertise/Interest*
Robert Adamson; MH, D&A, ID, CYF, AAA
Helen Cahalane; MH, CYF
Guy Caruso; ID, Developmental Disabilities
Andrew Cheeseboro; Training and Evaluation
Grace Confer; MH
Susan Davis; MH
Rosa Davis; D&A
Jeff DeSantis; MH
Reverend J. David Else, D&A
Carla Falkenstein; MH, Homelessness, Housing, AAA
Deborah Ferraro; MH, Child and Family Support
Ray Firth; MH, D&A, Homelessness, AAA, Early Childhood, Maternal and Child Health
Ruth Fox; MH, CYF
Kathy Ganley; MH
Jim Gavin; MH, D&A
Ronell Guy; MH, D&A, ID, CYF, Homelessness, Housing, AAA
Lindsay Hargrove; MH, D&A, Homelessness, Housing
Elisabeth Healy; ID, Cross Disability
Wayne Jones; After School Time, CYF
James Kindler; MH
Joann Knott; ID, MH, IL
Arwen Lavengood-Davis; MH, D&A, ID, CYF, Homelessness, Housing, AAA
John Lydon; MH, D&A, CYF, Homelessness, Workforce Development
Denise Macerelli; MH, D&A, ID, CYF, Homelessness, Housing, AAA
Kim Mathos; MH, ID, School, Transition, Autism, Sensory Disability
Jesse McLean; MH, CYF
Catherine McNeilly; Law Enforcement
Helen Michael; MH, D&A, ID, CYF, Homelessness, Housing, AAA
Christine Michaels; MH, Recovery, Disability Community
Cynthia Moore; Basic Needs
Fay Morgan; ID, Housing, AAA
Laurie Mulvey; MH, Family Support
Nancy Murray; ID
Alice Paylor-Dais; ID, AAA
Susan Rauscher; MH, Homelessness, Free Medical and Dental Care
Shirley Rucker; MH
Stephanie Scanlon; MH, ID, EI
Rashanda Shaw; MH, IL
Glenn Shell; MH, D&A, CYF, Education, JPO
Reverend Sally Jo Snyder; AAA, Disability Community
Lucy Spruill; ID, AAA, Physical Disabilities
John Tague; Homelessness, Housing, AAA, Transportation
Deborah Walker; D&A, Education
Adrienne Walnoha; MH, CYF, Homelessness, Housing, AAA
Denise Weis; MH, D&A, Housing
Terri Winaught; MH, D&A, CYF, AAA, Vision Impairments
William Wolfe; CYF, Homelessness, Education
Lori Zimmer; CYF, Homelessness, Family Support
Nancy Zionts; MH, AAA

*AAA-Aging; CYF- Child Welfare; D&A- Substance use; ID-Intellectual disability; IL- Independent living; JPO-Juvenile Probation; MH-Mental health;

Related Information  

Allegheny County Human Services Block Grant webpage