“MHASP’s ongoing efforts to shift Pennsylvania’s public mental health system away from state hospitals toward less restrictive settings…was largely the result of MHASP’s multi-year effort to redirect funds formerly earmarked for state hospitals to programs in the community…the effort was led by Deputy Executive Director Joseph Rogers and Policy Director Mary Hurtig…As a result, Deputy Secretary for Mental Health Ford Thompson agreed…that dollars must follow patients from state hospitals into the community…In the years ahead, these developments are certain to represent a sea change for mental health services…”

“Another major initiative…was MHASP’s vigorous campaign to ensure that mental health consumers are not short-changed…if Medical Assistance-funded services are controlled by managed care plans, while state and county allocations continue to be administered by counties…MHASP submitted a position paper to DPW at its request…the paper called on DPW to give each county an opportunity to administer a unified managed care mental health system that includes Medical Assistance funding.”

“MHASP Deputy Executive Director Joseph Rogers was featured on CNN with Tipper Gore and Rosalynn Carter, as a member of a group of experts and consumers who briefed the administration’s health Care task force on mental health issues.”

“On May 20th, MHASP took its advocacy into the streets with a demonstration outside Philadelphia’s 17th Police Precinct.  MHASP was demanding a thorough investigation of the killing of Kenneth McClary, a homeless man with mental illness who had been shot by the police…The demonstration was successful…MHASP began working with the city police academy to develop a program to train officers in specialized techniques for dealing with people who are emotionally distraught.”

“Children were the beneficiaries of a landmark reform…in which MHASP’s Parents Involved Network (PIN) played an important role…to draw attention to a state regulation that…required parents of children and adolescents with emotional problems to relinquish custody to the child welfare system in order to obtain residential mental health services…With its vigorous advocacy efforts PIN laid the groundwork for a successful class action suit and settlement (Lawrence K v. Snider) that permitted children eligible for Medical Assistance to obtain residential treatment…without their parents relinquishing custody.”

“MHASP Deputy Executive Director Joseph Rogers met with President Clinton as part of an historic White House dialogue with 28 leaders of major disability rights constituencies…”

“One measure of MHASP’s success (in transforming people’s lives) is how often the people served…become staff members…An example is James Scott…‘When I first started with Friends Connection, I had no idea I would work there…I had just gotten out of (an inpatient) facility, and I was hooked up with a peer counselor…I stayed sober and I started thinking about working…The responsibility is keeping me sober…Now I go back to Girard (Hospital) where I was a patient…as James the counselor…and the staff treats me like a professional.’ ”

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