About us

The PPLC is a neutral forum for exploring complex cross system issues which impact public service mental health services and its recipients. It is a partnership of groups which otherwise do not meet regularly. Clinicians, providers, managed care companies, state and county government representatives, academia, families and individuals in treatment, all joining together around common goals. The PPLC services as a consultant to state and local health care agencies and continues to present pertinent issues around the topics of community based behavioral health care to its membership.

The PPLC has also worked diligently, as a change agent, to increase public service psychiatry in the state, and has been the convener of three Centers of Excellence in public service psychiatry, and developed psychiatric fellowships as a primary initiative for the organization.

Since its founding 8 years ago, PPLC has:

Worked with policy leaders in government, practice, education, and business to address key issues impacting public sector behavioral health programs. Some of these approaches include:

  • University of  Pennsylvania
  • Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic (WPIC)
  • WPIC-Rural
  • More than 70% of COE Fellows have stayed in our state and now work in the public sector in either rural or underserved areas

Overseen the training of over 45 public service psychiatrists through three Centers of Excellence:

  • Conferences
  • Engaging government leaders and policy leaders through our meetings and other policy initiatives
  • Ongoing engagement through our listserve
  • Violence and behavioral health
  • Integrating behavioral and public health for improved patient outcomes adding recovery to good practice

Promoted in-depth dialogues among stakeholders on current issues through quarterly meetings:

  • Violence and behavioral health
  • Integrating behavioral and public health for improved outcomes
  • Promoting recovery oriented practice
  • The Opioid Epidemic
  • Introducing Peer Navigators: Embedding Peer Recovery Support in Acute Care S

PPLC Staff and Consultants

Ken Thompson,
PPLC Psychiatric Officer

Kenneth S. Thompson, M.D. is the Chief Medical Officer of Recovery Innovations (RI) and an Associate Professor of Psychiatry and Public Health at the University of Pittsburgh and Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic.  From 2007 to 2010 he served as the Medical Director of the Center for Mental Health Services (CMHS) as part of the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Service Administration (SAMHSA) in the US Department of Health and Human Services. In his current role, he provides comprehensive medical leadership to support RI's mission to lead the way in helping people on their recovery journey.

Luciane Green, PPLC Office Manager

Luciane Green is the Office Manager for Family Training & Advocacy Center (FTAC), Family Resources Network (FRN), Forensic Systems Solutions (FSS), Philadelphia Connections and Pennsylvania Psychiatric Leadership Council (PPLC).  She studied Psychology at Temple University.  She has worked over 20 years in the mental health system at various positions, working at a psychiatric hospital, foster children, sex offenders and juvenile delinquents.  She has worked at these various agencies; Northwestern Psychiatric Hospital, Boys & Girls Town, Caring People Alliance – MORDY program, Neil Perloff and Associates, and ACE insurance.  She has been at PMHCC for the past 10 years.

Valeri Ferri, PPLC Workforce Development

Valerie Ferri has worked in the public mental health system for over 15 years, primarily in clinical outpatient and inpatient behavioral health care settings, as well as in a clinical administrative capacity. She holds a Master of Social Work and Master of Public Health from Temple School of Social Work and the College of Public Health.As the Director of Workforce Development under the Family Training and Advocacy Center (FTAC), Valerie oversees the Philadelphia Connections Program which focuses on educating and preparing social work and counseling students to work in the public behavioral health sector.  Under the PPLC she is organizing efforts by the Centers of Excellence Fellows to enhance their role in the organization, and serves as the PPLC website coordinator.

Vivian Spiese, PPLC Event Coordinator

After raising five children until the youngest were Junior
High School age, Vivian became involved as a Center Director/teacher with the Head Start Program in Lancaster, PA for 16 years, after which time she assumed
a position as the Director of Affiliate Relations for the NAMI of Pennsylvania.  As an advocate for family members she was a founding member of the Family Training and Advocacy Center (FTAC) in 2000 where she supports the work of several local NAMI groups, participates in trainings to professionals, police and prison personnel, offering the personal experience of living with someone with a serious mental illness.

David Dinich, PPLC Administrator

David A. Dinich is the administrator for the PA Psychiatric Leadership Council, a group comprised of community oriented psychiatrists, along with other stakeholders in the public behavioral health system. The group is succeeding in its mission to recruit and retain more psychiatrists to work in Pennsylvania's rural and underserved areas, as well as impact upon those areas that affect access to the best psychiatric services.  The members are actively engaged in promoting changes in the role and practice of doctors to reflect a recovery approach.  He is also the president of both the Family Training and Advocacy Center (FTAC), and Forensic System Solutions (FSS), both non-profit organizations and part of PMHCC Inc., the first working to increase family inclusion in behavioral health, and the second involved in training and consultation to the courts and county behavioral health entities. Both groups have initiated new ways to address issues in their respective fields.  Prior to joining FTAC, Mr. Dinich was executive director of NAMI Pennsylvania, a mental health support and advocacy organization, for eleven years. During his tenure, NAMI PA came to be recognized as one of the leading NAMI organizations in the country and one of the leading advocacy organizations in Pennsylvania.Prior to his position at NAMI PA, Mr. Dinich served for ten years as executive director of a private child-welfare agency in southwestern PA and West Virginia. During his tenure the agency moved from being the smallest of its type to the largest. 

Mr. Dinich has a graduate degree in counseling from Duquesne University.

Lloyd Wertz, PPLC Policy

Mr. Lloyd's work experience includes: Partial Hospital and Outpatient Therapist; direct service and management of Vocational Rehabilitation, Emergency/Crisis Psychiatric Services; start-up and ongoing management of large CRR and Group Home Programs; start-up and ongoing management of Inpatient Acute Psychiatric Programs; start-up and ongoing management of a large Personal Care Boarding Home/Assisted Living Facility.

He has also served as County MH/MR Administrator in a medium sized county program, including chairing of the Statewide Administrator Association’s Mental Health Committee.  He has experienced, first hand, the trauma of having a family member diagnosed with a serious mental illness and helping him work through the inpatient and outpatient systems in his eventually successful attempts to return to work following each episode of the illness.  He has worked with both the Family Training & Advocacy Center (FTAC) and Pennsylvania Psychiatric Leadership Council (PPLC).

James D. Fouts, PPLC Forensics

James D. Fouts, LSW is the Director of Forensic Systems Solutions.  He is a Trainer and Consultant working with Forensic Mental Health Issues.  He is a Certified Public Safety Mental Health First Aid Trainer and a certified Police Crisis Intervention Team Trainer.  He has worked with Police and Crisis Intervention Services for over 30 years.

Sierra McNeil, MSW

Sierra McNeil earned her Master of Social Work from The Temple University School of Social Work. During her time at Temple, she served as the MSW Student Rep for NASW Executive Board, a student in the International and Global Social Work Program as well as re-instituted the student chapter for Association of Black Social Workers.  Early in her career, she has worked various jobs with children and adolescent including but not limited to TSS, specialized case management, CYF, and JPO. Sierra currently serves as the Coordinator at Family Resource Network where she works with family members of loved in the behavioral system. She trains providers on the importance of family inclusion in the recovery process for adults in the behavioral health system. Additionally, Sierra sits on the Board of Directors as Member at Large and the Chair for the Social Justice Committee for NASW-Pa where she has instituted a peer support group for black female social workers, drafted position statements in response to current social justice events and presented at the statewide conference on “Performative Allyship.” Sierra brings the knowledge and skillset of working in the mental and behavioral health system and is passionate about improving the mental and behavioral system so that people are receiving appropriate and effective care.


Connell O'Brien, Coalition for the CommonHealth

Connell O’Brien, M Ed serves as the administrator for the Pennsylvania Coalition for the CommonHealth as well as Policy Director at the Rehabilitation and Community Providers Association (RCPA). For more than 45 years Connell has worked in and lead community based behavioral health, special education, child welfare, juvenile justice and pediatric programs and services in Pennsylvania and neighboring states. O’Brien previously served as the Director of the Children’s Division at the Rehabilitation and Community Providers Association and policy specialist for integrated health care initiatives. Throughout his career Connell has served on and provided leadership to a broad range of state and county government advisory groups under the Departments of Human Services, Health and Education addressing the program, planning, resource and service needs of citizens, especially children and families. In addition to his work in health, human service and education service design and delivery and role as advisor to state and local government, Connell has continuously and enthusiastically worked as an advocate for children, families and those workers and organizations who serve them.

Stanley J. Mrozowski, Ph.D., PPLC Consultant

Stan Mrozowski has an extensive background in the design, leadership, management, and continuous improvement of human service organizations.  He has held top executive positions in State government, county government, and private nonprofit human service organizations.  He has been elected to serve in leadership positions for state and national professional associations.  He has been involved in graduate level teaching on resource development, management, and leadership of nonprofit organizations. He served as the lead author of numerous federal grant proposals which were subsequently funded, and he provided leadership and accountability during implementation of the grants.

Consultant specialties include grant writing, strategic planning, program evaluation, and quality improvement. Consultant methods includes utilizing research and facilitation skills to bring together public sector and private sector resources, including the faith community, to address difficult and complex problems.

Learn more about this unique partnership on these pages and 
join our work by contacting PPLC Administrator