Leesa Allen has moved from 'acting' to the official Deputy Secretary of the Office of Medical Assistance Programs.
Abdoul R. Barry is the new Legislative Director. He was previously with the House Health Committee, where he served as Executive Director from 2011 to 2015. In this role, Barry developed the key competencies as a researcher and creator of and strong advocate for solutions to human services and health-related issues. As Executive Director, he played an important role in the passage of several pieces of legislation, including the Achieving Better Care by Monitoring All Prescriptions Program and legislation that modernized the Commonwealth’s hospital inspection process. Barry has been a legislative advisor to members of the House of Representatives, explaining the complexities of the federal Patient Protection, Affordable Care Act, and Medicaid expansion. He started his career in government service as a Research Analyst in the Legislative Policy and Research Office.
Dr. Gregory Cherpes has also joined DHS as the Office of Developmental Program’s Medical Director. His clinical, research and educational efforts have been devoted to addressing the health care needs of people with developmental disabilities across the lifespan. Most recently, he served as the director of Behavioral Health and The Center for Prader-Willi Syndrome of The Children’s Institute of Pittsburgh. He previously was the medical director for Child, Adolescent and Developmental Disability Services at Allegheny East MH/MR (now Milestone Center), and is the former medical director of two of the state’s Health Care Quality Units. Cherpes earned his medical degree from the Medical College of Wisconsin and completed a residency and a fellowship at Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic in Pittsburgh. He is board certified in general psychiatry as well as child and adolescent psychiatry.