MEET THE TEAM

 

Mark B. Durgin

Director, PA System of Care Partnership

Contact Mark using the Contact Us Form or at durginm@upmc.edu

 Mark B. Durgin joined OMHSAS on October 31, 2016, as the new Director of Pennsylvania's System of Care Partnership.  Mark holds a B.S. in Criminal Justice from York College of Pennsylvania, with a focus in Parole and Probation.  Mark has over 15 years of professional experience in Pennsylvania’s child-serving systems, working with youth and families at a county level.  He has held direct care and coordination roles in County Juvenile Probation Services (school-based probation, specialty treatment courts, and residential care) and supervisory roles in Behavioral HealthChoices (program and Managed Care quality oversight, system partner liaison and coordination, and behavioral health and substance use network development).   In addition to his work with Behavioral HealthChoices, Mark has been involved with York County System of Care, Communities That Care, and oversight boards working with Children, Youth and Families.  Mark has presented at a county, state, and national conferences on a variety of topics related to Managed Care, Behavioral Health Access, System of Care and High Fidelity Wraparound.  Finally, he has played an active role in York County’s High Fidelity Wraparound team’s implementation, program funding and oversight. 

 Mark believes that system partners must first place themselves in the shoes of the youth and family members with whom they work, so that they may more fully understand their unique needs and connect them with the most appropriate and least restrictive services and/or supports to meet those needs.  As System of Care's Director, Mark is looking forward to engaging with and seeking input from youth, family and system partners, so that they may help inform and guide the future of Pennsylvania's System of Care Partnership. 

 

 Dianna Brocious
Family Involvement Specialist
Contact Dianna using the Contact Us Form or at pasocdianna@gmail.com

Dianna and her husband are the parents of two children.  Their children were adopted in 1986 from a different culture, difficult circumstances, and unstable living environments.  As the understanding and knowledge of trauma, Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder, Reactive Attachment Disorder and Traumatic Brain Injury were little known Dianna spent much time researching the fields in the United States and Canada to comprehend the depth of damage to her children and to share that information to the clinical team that worked with her family. Dianna’s experience in the field of children’s mental health includes working for PA Families, Inc. for approximately ten years, volunteering as a parent advocate in the education system, in managed care meetings and other child-serving systems.  She has served on many committees in the fields of child welfare, juvenile justice, mental health, early childhood mental health, pediatric medical home, fetal alcohol spectrum disorder as well as others.  Dianna’s personal experience raising children with special needs has given her the knowledge to bring authentic family voice to both county and state boards such as the  Armstrong Indiana Behavioral Health and  Developmental Program Advisory Board (formerly MH/MR) and the Family Resource Network in Armstrong County a former Collaborative Board and the former State Collaborative Board.  She has also been a facilitator for Family Group Decision Making (FGDM).  Dianna currently serves on the Executive Committee for Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder, the PA Medical Home Initiative, the Value Behavioral Health Family Advisory Committee, the OMHSAS Planning Council Children's Committee, and the CCBHC Steering Committee.  Dianna is a certified trainer for Team Up for Families curriculum.  Now, as a grandparent, she and her husband are raising their oldest granddaughter who has special needs. They enjoy living in a county rich with rural, Appalachian and Amish cultures.


Crystal Karenchak

Family Involvement Specialist

Contact Crystal using the Contact Us Form or at karenchakcm@upmc.edu

Crystal and her family have a long history of multi-system involvement including Mental Health, Juvenile Justice, adult criminal justice, education and Drug and Alcohol. She began her advocacy work for her own family and then for others in the 1980’s. Crystal has worked with youth and adults in group home settings, as a counselor advocate for sexual assault domestic violence and other serious crime victims. She retained her credentialing as a Victim Advocate through the Coalition of PA Crime Victims Organizations’ (COPCVO) till 2008. She partnered with the founding youth leaders of Rallying Youth Organized Together (RYOT) Against Rape helping to create the training manual for this youth-adult partnership. Crystal graduated from the PA Victim Assistance Academy through Scranton University where she won the George Award, provided the voice of victims for Project Point of Light team, a sex offender treatment program. Her training talent includes NAMI’s Family to Family training, being a STOP Grant trainer to provide training to advocates, police, other systems and the community on Rape Trauma and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, Family Group Decision Making, Family Involvement in PA Juvenile Justice System, and is a certified trainer for Team Up for Families Roadmap since 2014. Crystal’s professional and community affiliations include NAMI, Roadmap National Collaborative, National Family Dialogue, National Family Council, 302 delegates for Elk and Cameron Counties. She has served in a multitude of leadership roles including on the: PA Coalition Against Rape, PA Coalition Against Domestic Violence Statewide Board, Elk County Systems of Care, a key leader in Elk County Communities that Care, Elk County Family Resource Network , Elk and McKean counties Alcohol and Drug Abuse Services Board of Directors, Elk and Cameron County Child Death Review, Children and Youth MDT Multi-Disciplinary  team, Elk County Integrated, Children’s Service Review, Child Welfare Resource Center Diversity Task Force, Family Committee for Juvenile Justice, OMHSAS Children’s Advisory Committee, and Youth and Family Training Institute Advisory Board.

 

Jill Santiago
Communications and Social Marketing Coordinator
Contact Jill using the Contact Us Form or at santiagoj@upmc.edu

Jill has been a key leader in both statewide and community initiatives and projects for over 30 years, as well as, community boards and groups. Some of those include the Youth and Family Training Institute Advisory Board Tri-Chair, Statewide Family Leadership Team, Chester County Systems of Care Implementation Team and Advisory Board, Chester County Systems of Care County Leadership Team, Co-Chair of the Family and Community Partnership, Family Group Decision Making Advisory Board, PTA President, Girl Scout and Boy Scout leader, Board Officer on the Naval Orlando Youth Association Board.
Jill’s past work experiences have included: Education and Training Coordinator for Pennsylvania Families Inc., Chester County Coordinator for Parents Involved Network with the Mental Health Association of Southeast Pennsylvania, Certified Trainer for PEAK (Parents Empowerment Advancement through Knowledge), Certified Facilitator for FGDM(Family Group Decision Making), Advocate for families with youth involved in Special Education and Children’s Mental Health Services, Long Term Substitute teacher for Orange County Public Schools, Retail Management. 

 

Michele Whapeles
Administrative Coordinator
Contact Michele using the Contact Us Form or at whapelesm@upmc.edu

Michele joined the project team in August of 2010.  Michele brings expertise from her 13 years with General Dynamics where she served in multiple capacities as Project Administrator and Office Manager.  She has raised two wonderful children- a son who attends LaGuardia college and a daughter who has proudly served in the United States Army.  Michele has a love for animals and has opened her home to two dogs; a Performance Bulldog and a rescued American Pit Bull Terrier as well as three cats.  She was personally intrigued by the mission of the PA SOC collaborative agreement and is pleased to have the opportunity finish her career in service to others.

 

Kelsey T. Leonard, J.D.
Cultural and Linguistic Competence Coordinator
Contact Kelsey using the Contact Us Form or at leonardkt@upmc.edu

An enrolled citizen of the Shinnecock Indian Nation, Kelsey received her undergraduate degree in Anthropology and Sociology from Harvard University, her Master of Science from the University of Oxford, and received her J.D. from Duquesne University. Previously, Kelsey served as a Legislative Fellow for the National Congress of American Indians and worked for the international NGO, Cultural Survival, on Indigenous youth issues worldwide. As CLC coordinator she strives to ensure services sought, obtained, and provided are culturally balanced, attainable, and available for all youth and families in the statewide implementation of PA System of Care. She is responsible for assisting leadership, management staff, partner counties, families, youth, and all other system partners in assuring their provision of culturally and linguistically competent (CLC) services, standards and practices in Pennsylvania.

 

Evaluation Team

Monica Walker Payne
Lead Evaluator
Contact Monica using the Contact Us Form or at walkermm@upmc.edu

Monica is the Lead Evaluator of the Evaluation Team and supervises our data collection, data analysis, and continuous quality improvement efforts across the state of Pennsylvania. She is responsible for coordinating the National Evaluation as well as local data collection efforts for the PA System of Care Partnership, PA Healthy Transitions Partnership, the BHARP System of Care Project, and the Erie-Luzerne System of Care Initiative cooperative agreements.  She is also the Evaluation Director of the Youth and Family Training Institute and is responsible for the outcomes, process, fidelity, and satisfaction data collection for PA counties implementing High Fidelity Wraparound.

Monica has been trained in both clinical psychology and education and has been working with youth and families with mental and behavioral health challenges for the past 18 years. Prior to her current role, she coordinated three large longitudinal NIMH-funded research studies at Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic within the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center. She has also worked as an outpatient and in-home family and play therapist and performed Child Welfare funded in-home crisis and prevention work. Monica has also taught secondary Social Studies at Upper Saint Clair High School and was an Adjunct Professor for undergraduate psychology courses at Duquesne University.

Monica obtained her training in Clinical Psychology at Duquesne University, completing her Bachelor of Arts, Master of Arts, and her Ph.D. (ABD). She also obtained a Master of Arts degree in Teaching at the University of Pittsburgh. She is the co-author of 10 trauma-related peer-reviewed articles in psychiatric journals.  She is married to her wonderful husband, Jim has three adorable cats, and loves music, photography, sports, and traveling in her free time.

 

William McKenna
Database Administrator
Contact Will using the Contact Us Form or at mckennawh@upmc.edu

Will collaborates with the Youth and Family Training Institute on projects and outcome data, and is the Database Administrator for the Evaluation Team of the PA System of Care Partnership.   He is responsible for protecting the integrity and confidentiality of data and information, including analyzing department activities and performing quality control checks on the database.  

Will began his career in research working on a study which followed families who had lost one of the parents to a sudden, unexpected death. On this project, he both entered data and later conducted personal interviews with the study participants.  Through this experience, he discovered a passion for research that has led him to his current position.  He has become a proponent of High Fidelity Wraparound’s core principles and Theory of Change.  The emphasis on individual values, family involvement, community supports, and self-empowerment align with his personal beliefs.

Will graduated from the University of Pittsburgh in 2006 with a dual degree in Psychology and Philosophy.  He is currently pursuing his Master's degree in Information Science.