Shapiro Administration and Montgomery County Officials Highlight Governor’s Proposed Investments in Behavioral Health Funding, Honor Behavioral Health Services Employee

Secretary Arkoosh presents the Dennis Marion Award to LeeAnn Moyer

Montgomery County official recognized with annual Dennis Marion Impact Award, which honors people across Pennsylvania dedicated to expanding and improving access to behavioral health care in their communities

Colmar, PA – Pennsylvania Department of Human Services (DHS) Secretary Dr. Val Arkoosh today visited Montgomery County to highlight behavioral health investments in Governor Josh Shapiro’s 2024-25 proposed budget, which provides much-needed funding for mental health, substance use, and crisis services across the Commonwealth. Secretary Arkoosh also presented the 2024 Dennis Marion Impact Award to LeeAnn Moyer for her decades of public service and the positive impact she has had on policy, programs, and people in Montgomery County.

“As a former Montgomery County Commissioner, I know first-hand how dedicated LeeAnn Moyer has been to ensure that critical, life-saving services are available to our neighbors and in our communities every day. Even in the face of scarce resources, she has worked tirelessly to ensure that Montgomery County residents have access to essential behavioral health treatments and supports,” said Secretary Arkoosh. “The Shapiro Administration is committed to building and maintaining behavioral health systems of care so that counties can continue to provide these services. I want to thank the county and state professionals who are helping our fellow Pennsylvanians stay healthy and thrive, and we must give them more support to meet their communities’ needs.”

The proposed 2024-25 budget includes $20 million for county mental health base funding for the second year in a row, an investment that supports services in every community of the Commonwealth and access to life-saving behavioral health care for uninsured and underinsured Pennsylvanians. Last year’s $20 million investment was the first new money to counties since 2008, and this new investment continues Governor Shapiro’s commitment to support and reinforce this life-saving system of care. 

Building on last year’s $5 million investment in the 988 National Suicide and Prevention Lifeline, the 2024-25 budget includes $10 million in state funding to support Pennsylvania’s 12 call centers and the trained, dedicated professionals who are available 24/7 to talk and text with Pennsylvanians who contact the Lifeline for help.

The budget also includes investments in crisis response, including $5 million to help establish crisis response systems in counties where they are currently unavailable and provide additional funding to the system throughout Pennsylvania to help cover crisis response. While the vast majority of 988 calls can be resolved over the phone, there are times when in-person support is needed to assist a person in crisis. This funding will support local response when a person calls 988 or a local crisis hotline and needs urgent, life-saving support.  

The Dennis Marion Impact Award recognizes outstanding achievement by state or local government employees, encourages the highest standards of performance in Pennsylvania’s public sector, attracts outstanding individuals to a career in public service, and highlights public awareness of the value of public service and its impact on the behavioral health and quality of life of individuals and communities.

LeeAnn Moyer received the Dennis Marion Impact Award for bringing her vision, collaboration, and partnership skills to serve Montgomery County for more than 40 years. LeeAnn’s ability to listen to people in the mental health community and their families led Montgomery County to pilot peer support programs and ensure that funding was available for ongoing training and networking for peer support specialists. She patiently and persistently worked to put in place the foundation for Montgomery County’s current services so that when peer support became a widespread practice, the County was already prepared with a trained and sustainable workforce model. Montgomery County’s robust programs of peer services highlights how LeeAnn has made an impact through a creative and collaborative process, which has not only impacted public policy county- and state-wide, but has demonstrated a commitment to fair, just, and equitable service delivery and public policy.

“I am honored to work alongside LeeAnn and recognize her as this year's recipient of the Dennis Marion Award for Behavioral Health System Innovation,” said Laura York, Montgomery County Deputy Director of Health and Human Services. “LeeAnn's ability to challenge the status quo and her unwavering commitment to advocating for the best interests of our community exemplify the core values of our helping profession. Her innovative spirit, creative problem-solving skills, and dedication to stay abreast of best practices have significantly advanced our behavioral health system as a whole and greatly benefit those we serve.”

Established in 2017, the Dennis Marion Impact Award honors Dennis Marion’s commitment to public service throughout his distinguished career. Marion served as Deputy Secretary for DHS’ Office of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services from 2013 to 2017, where he oversaw behavioral health programs administered through Medicaid, behavioral health provider licensing and quality monitoring, and DHS’ state-operated hospitals for people with severe mental illness. Prior to his state employment, he served Cumberland County for 31 years in various positions, including County Administrator, Director of the Drug and Alcohol Commission, and Director of the Office of Mental Health and Intellectual Disabilities. Because Marion’s strong leadership, passion for public service, and commitment to the people he served did not stop at the boundaries of his work in any single county or agency, the Dennis Marion Impact Award recognizes strong performers who bridge disparate missions and drive toward a single goal of excellence in public service and commitment to others.  

More information on mental health services available to all Pennsylvanians is available on DHS’ website.

Secretary Arkoosh poses with Dennis Marion Award winner LeeAnn Moyer, others

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