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Investing In Our Communities

Solutions to safeguard and strengthen services

My main efforts and goals are to work with others to deliver crucial human services that protect the most vulnerable and disadvantaged; to support and expand our educational opportunities; and to safeguard and strengthen our healthcare and resources.
The gap between need and resources is growing every year. There are fewer dollars and more people in need. We need to meet those needs in a different way. I will continue to work tirelessly to find solutions for today and tomorrow.  

Learn more about my work with:

Human Services Community

 
I believe the aim of local government is to help people go from the safety net to solid ground. Data show that the safety net cuts poverty nearly in half. I worked with and will continue to work with elected officials, government agencies, nonprofit organizations, and stakeholders to alleviate pressure on County Government.
Results and goals from these partnerships include:
  • Increased ability to deliver crucial human services
  • Expanded capacity for drug and alcohol and mental health services
  • Strengthened Indiana County’s response to illegal drug activity
  • Provided sufficient and continuous justice system operations and key emergency management services

Education Community

 
I am deeply committed to supporting quality public education for our children and post-secondary educational opportunities for those who seek to further their skills for better jobs, higher wages and a more hopeful future. 
I work with others to support:

In his book OUR KIDS: the American Dream in Crisis, Robert Putnam presents qualitative and quantitative evidence of the growing inequality of opportunity in the United States, particularly for children from lower socio-economic backgrounds. They simply do not receive the same opportunities for social mobility that similar children had decades ago. How we reached this point is complicated but unfortunately are economy our families and our country are feeling the effects. That needs to change and we can agree that education is key but it has become unaffordable for many.

 

Getting education after high school takes more than hard work. The Keystone Scholars Program is a tool to help Pennsylvania families get a jump start on saving for their future education. I'm proud to have been one of the six inaugural counties for the Keystone Scholars Program. Thank you State Treasurer Joe Torsella and to your awesome staff for visiting the Indiana County Technology Center. Commissioner Sherene Hess is on the right.

  • Agricultural education to motivate our young people to keep farming alive in our county
  • Expanding affordable broadband to rural areas so our children and adult students can do their homework and access educational programs
  • Working with the community college and the technology center to teach current and future farmers how to integrate new technology that is designed to support and improve agriculture
  • Awarding grants to schools and scholarships to seniors
  • The co-location of Indiana County Technical Center and Westmoreland County Community College
  • Construction of Central Allegheny Challenger Learning Center
  • Advocating the state to increase funding for our public schools and higher education institutions
 

Healthcare Community

Rural areas have poorer health outcomes than other parts of the country. To discover what services our county needed, I served on the Steering Committee for Community Healthcare Needs Assessment for Indiana Regional Medical Center and convened a panel of public health policy experts and practitioners for American Association of University Women about the state of health resources for women in rural areas. 
I will continue to work with our partners to:
  • Explore ways to expand treatment and support to individuals and their families on the journey to recovery from opioid and other drug substance use disorder
  • Support a robust operation of emergency services for the county, including delivery of an efficient and effective 911 system
  • Bring communities together around healthy, active lifestyles with walking and biking trails, Bike to Work and School Days, WalkWorks and county parks.
  • Support expansion of broadband services to rural areas so patients have access to specialists and services that are typically available only in more urban areas
  • Find solutions to improve healthy living in Indiana County
  • Advocate the state for more financial resources to strengthen emergency and healthcare services
Learn about my plans for improving quality of life in Indiana County and building partnerships.