A native of Western Pennsylvania, I was born, raised, and currently live in the Allegheny River Valley of Allegheny County. I received my Bachelors of Science degree in Psychology from the University of Pittsburgh in 1997 and Masters of Science in Psychology from Chatham University (formerly Chatham College) in 2002.
I spent 15 years of my career as a substance abuse and mental health counselor at several Pittsburgh area treatment centers including Pittsburgh Black Action, Inc and St. Francis Medical Center. In 2003, I began working at the Institute for Research, Education and Training in Addiction (IRETA) through their Practice Improvement Collaborative, an effort dedicated to reducing the 10-year gap between best-practice research and clinical integration. During that time, I had the privilege to train with the Pittsburgh Regional Healthcare Initiative (PRHI) under the direction of former Treasury Secretary Paul O'Neill, using the scientific method and lean process improvement strategies to eliminate medical errors, increase effectiveness, reduce waste, and improve outcomes in healthcare and addiction treatment. While at IRETA, I served as an opiate addiction consultant on the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy's 25 Cities Initiative.
In 2006, I designed, successfully state-licensed, and operated the first and only orthomolecular recovery program for addiction in Pennsylvania. This program raised nearly $2 million in venture capital funding and was featured twice in Industrial Engineer Magazine for using engineering principles and the scientific method to improve treatment effectiveness and address addiction at all levels of the human condition. Not willing to succumb to common claims of over-regulation in the substance abuse treatment system by some providers, I set a goal to achieve a perfect evaluation in the clinic's annual state audit and achieved it.
In 2015 I began performing process improvement and policy work at the Allegheny County Department of Human Services (DHS). My work includes redesigning the organization's employee performance management system, developing a merit-based hiring process and policy, writing the employee medical marijuana policy, and identifying points of systemic-bias in the employee recruitment and retention processes. Every day I work to standardize employees' work, eliminate systemic bias, and advocate for blame-free work-place principles that protect workers, improve morale, and decrease turn-over and other forms of systemic loss.
I have thoroughly enjoyed working to improve county systems, processes, and policies for the 1600 people that work at DHS and look forward to doing it county-wide as Allegheny County Executive.