Exceptional Provider Award by Value Behavioral Health

Human Services Center (HSC) was recognized with an exceptional provider award by Value Behavioral Health- PA at their Annual Provider Appreciation Breakfast on Friday, December 1, 2017. The staff of Human Services Center received recognition for their use of an open access model for intakes to begin services. HSC began the use of walk-in intakes in September, 2016 in order to be more responsive to those who are ready to begin services without delaying the process of scheduling appointments that were a week or more in the future. Approximately 50 % of the previously scheduled intake appointments were missed while HSC staff resources were diverted to prepare for those appointments.

HSC staff from the Diagnostic Assessment Center, Outpatient Therapy, Crisis and business office all work together to triage those individuals and families who walk in Monday through Friday between 8:30 a.m. and 9:00 a.m. to provide an immediate face-to-face initial assessment, identification of individual needs and subsequent actions that may include an intake assessment with a therapist who will provide ongoing treatment for continuity of care purposes. Individuals and families who present for walk in intakes should plan to be at HSC for approximately two hours. HSC recognizes that it is often difficult to ask for help so the opportunity to come directly to the agency without scheduling helps those who may be struggling with transportation or other support issues. Referral sources report that it is helpful for care coordination as part of hospital discharge planning.

Tis the Season to Give Back…

Human Services Center, with the help of St. Vincent De Paul, St. John Maronite, New Hope Wesleyan, and Two Fat Guys and an Oven were able to provide over 100 children with presents from their wish list!!  Alicia Craig and Amy Rispoli coordinated the effort and with the help of case managers, made wishes come true.  In addition to the help from the community, a consumer from years ago reached out with a monetary donation to “pay it forward” as she remembered the help that was given to her in a time of need.  Thank You to all of those who took time to participate and give back to the community!


Lawrence County Peer Leadership Recognition Banquet


On May 2, 2017, Lawrence County Peer Leadership, a program of the Human Services Center, celebrated its annual Peer Leadership Recognition Banquet. This event marked twenty-one years of the Lawrence County Peer Leadership Program and over one thousand students that have been trained. The event was held at The Villa Banquet Center. Daniel Barnes, Director of Lawrence County Peer Leadership and Director of the Human Services Center Student Assistance Program (SAP), served as the moderator for this celebration. Seventy-three sophomore students from all of the Lawrence County schools districts were recognized for their service to their schools and community. Each of these students participated in three days of training this past school year. The training was designed to educate the students in the qualities of leadership, empathy for others, communication, and multi-cultural awareness. Students were then challenged to “make a difference” in their homes, schools, and communities. Students also learned to identify problems and pursue solutions to the issues that challenge teenagers today. At the banquet, selected students from each of the Lawrence County schools, were asked to speak about “What it means to be a Peer Leader,” an important highlight of the evening.


The Human Services Center has provided the administration and coordination of this program since 1995. A dedicated staff from Lawrence County Drug and Alcohol Commission and Cray Youth and Family Services, work with this program as well. Back in their schools, these peer leaders collaborate with others already trained, also members of a Peer Leadership Club. Each club has committed advisors who provide them guidance and help coordinate activities that benefit the Lawrence County community. Below is a list of the 2016/2017 Peer Leaders and Advisors that were recognized at this banquet.


Lawrence County Peer Leaders

Laurel High School – Michele McClelland, Advisor
Juliana Cooper*Autumn O’NeillJack Rogan
Scott HardyBrianna ReeherJesse Wright
Abigail McCosby  
Lawrence Co. Career & Technical Center – Donna Pasterik, Advisors
Trevor Cunningham*Riley LeonardSkylar Schultz
*Rachel DuffyRich NesbitMax Strobel
Alexis HeraldJoey PletzJulia Williams
Lincoln High School – Laura Adams, Advisor
Cami CortezAnnie Macom*Alex Scott
Tyler CunninghamTara MarshMadeline Spadafore
Chloe Küffer  
Mohawk High School – Ryan Castor, Advisor
Tiffany BromleyMolly FitzsimmonsSamantha Huston
Frank ContiMorgan GleghornJessica Matsukas
*Madyson Dailey  
Neshannock High School – Ned Yahn, Advisor
Emily AllshouseTori Gouza*Shenley Wish
Adrienne AnzaloneHannah LashAlly Zarilla
Mia Greco  
New Castle High School – Becky Saymansky, Advisor
*Evan BrownMatthew GibsonNick Papa
Shenango High School – Kim Rudesill & Debbie Grego, Advisors
Zoey Angelucci*Sam MiloserHallee Sipe
Anna BuppPaige SeitamDelaney Zarone
Joey Doughty  
Union High School – James Dotson, Advisor
*Kylee Chrastina*Shae-Lynn QuinnLindsey Wheaton
Miguel JosephMercedes ShanerIsabella Williams
*Audrey Monstwil  
Wilmington High School – Brandon Phillian, Advisor
Aleah DealTage KelliherRaleigh Shimrack
*Grace FerrellAlex RamirezSierra Twigg
Jessica Huff  



Human Services Center Therapist Trained in Parent-Child Interaction Therapy (PCIT)


Human Services Center (HSC) has begun offering Parent-Child Interaction Therapy (PCIT) to families in the area. Elizabeth S. Buchanan, MA, NCC, LPC, a Child and Adolescent Outpatient Therapist at HSC, was trained in this treatment model at the Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic in Pittsburgh and is a member of the HSC treatment team.

Parent-Child Interaction Therapy (PCIT) is a treatment practice for young children (2.5-7 years) that aids parents, or other caregivers of children experiencing behavioral challenges (aggression, oppositional and defiant behaviors, and temper outbursts), achieve effective parenting skills. It also is considered to be an excellent treatment for families that may experience high levels of anger and/or aggression within the home. These could include families that have been involved in Children and Youth Services (CYS) locally. Children at risk of losing daycare or early childhood educational placements because of problem behaviors may also benefit from PCIT.

According to Michele Kelly-Thompson, HSC’s Director of Clinical Services, “Clinical studies confirm that families who complete PCIT see lasting improvements in their child’s behavior that include less-frequent and less-intense tantrums, decreased crying and whining, and less hyperactivity and inattention. The parents experienced notably lower stress levels, enjoyed parenting more, and typically developed a closer, more fulfilling relationship with their child.”

 Treatment professionals in this program possess advanced degrees and/or professional licenses in the behavioral sciences and have received specialized training in PCIT. A board certified psychiatrist is available to consult with the families as needed.

For more information on PCIT, contact the Human Services Center at 724-658-3578.


    Elizabeth Buchanan, MA, NCC, LPC