Miller to kick off annual Disability Summit with bipartisan, bicameral legislative panel
Panel will hear from experts on disability, mental health issues
PITTSBURGH, March 4 – To kick off his annual Disability & Mental Health Summit, state Rep. Dan Miller, D-Allegheny, announced that his bipartisan, bicameral legislative panel will be held at 1 p.m. on Thursday, March 17 at St. Clair Hospital. The panel will include senators and representatives from across the area.
“I always appreciate my colleagues making the time to join us for this special event,” Miller said. “Too often self-advocates and advocates in the disability and mental health arena struggle to have their voices and concerns heard in Harrisburg. Their issues are not partisan, and improvements will only come with Democrats and Republicans working together. That’s why I am always excited to host our legislative panel.”
The panel will be livestreamed at RepDanMiller.com, and legislators scheduled to be in attendance include state Sens. Jay Costa, Camera Bartolotta, Devlin Robinson, Wayne Fontana, and state Reps. Dan Deasy, Carrie DelRosso, Dan Frankel, Sara Innamorato, Emily Kinkead, Natalie Mihalek, Brandon Markosek, Rob Mercuri, and Nick Pisciottano.
The panel will focus on two areas:
The first prioritizes the challenges facing Direct Support Professionals, who provide critical services to individuals with intellectual or developmental disabilities. Today, this workforce is experiencing an unprecedented crisis, with high turnover and almost a quarter of positions going vacant. Legislators will hear from people directly impacted by this crisis and we will look to explore options for stabilizing the DSP workforce and creating a more resilient system of support for the individuals it serves.
The second area of focus centers on the difficulty many Pennsylvanians still face in accessing mental health care. Our mental health care system is under tremendous pressure, with demand for services far exceeding the capacity of the system to respond. Legislators will hear from advocates who will bring light to the scope of the challenges. They will also discuss system responses that could be critical to addressing these unmet needs, including the use of telehealth and Alternative Payment Arrangements.
“Our Disability and Mental Health Summit is our signature event,” Miller said. “And we look forward to hosting this important discussion, as well as our follow up events scheduled later this spring.”
The Disability & Mental Health Summit will have hours of free information sessions available to the public on April 28 and another session day and a resource fair event to come. More information is available at DisabilitySummit.com or by contacting repmiller@Pahouse.net.