Hohenstein to focus on mental health in substance use treatment and recovery at Policy Committee public hearing Wednesday in Philadelphia

PHILADELPHIA, Feb. 28 – State Representative Joe Hohenstein, D-Phila., will host a House Democratic Policy Committee hearing to discuss the place of mental health in substance use disorder treatment and recovery.

The hearing will be held at 2 p.m. Wednesday, March 6 at Friends Hospital, Scatterbrook Building Auditorium, 4641 E. Roosevelt Boulevard, Philadelphia. The media and public are invited to attend.

The freshmen legislator requested the hearing to bring together local officials and advocates to discuss how they can work together to provide better treatment to those with substance abuse problems and better assist with the path to successful and long-term recovery. He will be joined by state legislators from across the state, including Policy Committee Chairman Mike Sturla, D-Lancaster.

The current agenda is:

2 p.m.       Welcome and Opening Remarks

2:10 p.m.       Panel from State Agencies:

  • Lynn Kovich, deputy secretary for the Office of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services, Pennsylvania Department of Human Services
  • Ellen DiDomenico, deputy secretary, Pennsylvania Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs
  • Steven Datlof, board-certified psychiatrist and distinguished fellow of the American Psychiatric Association
  • Michael Blank, professor of Psychology in Psychiatry, University of Pennsylvania’s Perelman School of Medicine

2:40 p.m.       Panel Two:

  • David Como, executive director, Northeast Community Center for Behavioral Health
  • Diana Piperata, clinical director, Self Help Movement, Inc.
  • Elvis Rosado, education and community outreach coordinator, Prevention Point Philadelphia
  • Al Meyer, eastern regional referral development manager, Gaudenzia


3:20 p.m.       Panel Three:

  • Devin Reaves, executive director, Pennsylvania Harm Reduction Coalition
  • Dawn Holden Woods, CEO, Turning Points for Children
  • Rebecca Bonner, director, The Bridge Way School

The meeting is one in a series held across the state on House Democrats’ Plan4PA, focused on putting people first, good jobs, health care access, quality schools and job training, and a fair economy. Additional information about the plan is available at www.plan4pa.com.

For more information about the Policy Committee, go to www.pahouse.com/policycommittee.