Mental Health/Intellectual Disability Advisory Board
The MH/ID Advisory Board aids the County Executive and County Council in the planning, development and implementation of mental health and intellectual disability services and supports to the residents of Allegheny County. The Board reviews the county's specific mental health and intellectual disability needs as it compares to its available resources and facilities, and makes recommendations to local administration regarding services in the county.
Its presence is mandated by the Mental Health and Intellectual Disability Act of 1966 (formerly the Mental Health and Mental Retardation Act of 1966) and the Mental Health Procedures Act of 1976.
Annual Plans and Budgets - Mental Health
Annual Plans and Budgets - Intellectual Disability
Meeting Schedule - MH/ID Advisory Board
The Board is comprised of 13 county-appointed residents of varying backgrounds. As stated in the Board's by-laws, at least two of the members must be physicians, and where possible, one must be a psychiatrist and one a pediatrician.
Other members should appropriately represent psychological, social and religious professions, local citizen's organizations which are active in the mental health or intellectual disability fields, hospitals, and groups in the community that may be otherwise interested. In addition to the 13 members, up to two additional members, one mental health consumer and one intellectual disability consumer, may be allowed seats on the Board.
Members, once appointed, serve on the Mental Health and Intellectual Disability Advisory Board, without compensation, for a term of three years. The County Executive and County Council have the responsibility of filling any Board vacancy within 60 days of its occurrence by appointing an individual to serve for the remainder of the unexpired term. They may also remove a member from the Board, provided either cause, such as failure to attend meetings, can be shown, or the Board, by majority vote, recommends a member's removal.
The Board's officers are its Chair and Vice Chair. The Chair presides at all meetings and provides direction. The Vice Chair performs the duties of the Chair when he is absent or otherwise unable to serve. Both are elected by a simple majority vote of the members present at the Officer Election Meeting, held in the fourth quarter of election calendar years, and take office at the regular meeting following their election. Board members are nominated by the Nominating Committee before the Officer Election Meeting, but additional candidates may be nominated at the meeting by any members of the Board. Once elected, an officer serves a term of two years.
- Executive Committee
The Board maintains an Executive Committee, consisting of the Board's two officers, and three other elected members from within the Board's membership. The committee is responsible for meeting and making decisions in emergency situations, where it would be impossible or impractical to assemble the full membership of the Board, as well as anything else the Chair assigns it.
Following its meetings, the Executive Committee provides the members of the Board with a written notice of all discussion and actions that have taken place. Any action the Executive Committee takes is binding on the full Board unless specifically rescinded by a majority vote of the Board at their subsequent regular meeting. In order to maintain familiarity and efficiency within the Executive Committee, its elected members, like officers, fulfill a term of two years.
- Standing Committees
The Chair of the Board may appoint other standing committees, consisting of not less than three members, with their own designated leadership, to represent the interests of the mental health and intellectual disability programs and the involved communities.
- Ad hoc Committees
In addition, the Chair may appoint ad hoc, time-limited committees as he sees necessary for designated purposes. In order to broaden participation in and knowledge of all facets of the mental health and intellectual disability programs, all members of the Board are specifically encouraged to participate in the deliberations off all standing committees, even if not assigned to do, as ex officio, non-voting members.
Conflicts of Interest
Because of the composition of the Board, it is not unlikely that a member of the Board could also be an employee, or sit on the Board of a contract provider corporation. To avoid a conflict of interest, such a member must refrain from participating in any Board discussion, negotiation, or similar activity directly concerning the contract provider corporation with which he is affiliated, abstain from any vote concerning the corporation, and publicly advise the Board of such a potential conflict of interest so that it may be established on record.
Board Rules, Requirements and Regulations
- The Mental Health and Intellectual Disability Advisory Board is required to hold regular meetings, attended by a majority of all sitting Board members, at least once each quarter, but no more than once per month.
- Public notice of the scheduling of these meetings is made by the County Mental Health and Intellectual Disability Administrator, at least one week in advance. At present, the Board has elected to meet regularly on the second Tuesday of every month, in the Homestead Gray's Conference Room.
- Special meetings of the entire Board may be called, either by the Chair via written notice to the membership at least 48 hours in advance, or by a written request for a meeting within three days of its receipt, signed by at least one third of the membership of the Board.
- It is the responsibility of a member of the County Mental Health and Intellectual Disability Administrator's staff to keep an up-to-date record to the meetings of the Board, and, at least one week before each regular meeting, forward the minutes from the previous meeting to the Board's members for their review and approval, by majority vote.
- The Board holds public hearings at least 30 days prior to the approval of both the Annual Mental Health Plan and the Annual Intellectual Disability Plan, as well at any other such time that the membership, by formal resolution deems appropriate. It is the job of the County Mental Health and Intellectual Disability Administrator to ensure that adequate notice of such hearings is given to the public.
Members (October 2013)
Rev. James McLemore