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Harrisburg, PA - Today, Dr. Latika Davis-Jones was officially confirmed by the Pennsylvania Senate as Secretary of the Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs (DDAP). In this role, Secretary Davis-Jones leads the Commonwealth’s efforts to reduce substance use disorder (SUD) and problem gambling disorder, with a large focus on expanding access to and increasing the quality of SUD treatment, to help all Pennsylvanians live fulfilling lives free from the disease of addiction.
“It is a privilege to serve the Commonwealth as Secretary of the Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs,” said Secretary Davis-Jones. “Governor Shapiro built the most diverse and well-qualified cabinet in state history, and it is a true honor be first person of color to lead the Department. I am excited to continue working in close collaboration with substance use disorder treatment and prevention providers, Single County Authorities, communities, people with lived experience, and advocates to move the Governor’s vision for our Commonwealth forward.”
Since being nominated by Governor Shapiro in January, Secretary Davis-Jones has:
- Awarded nearly $9 million in grant funding to four Single County Authorities (SCA) to establish or expand crisis stabilization services for individuals with co-occurring mental health and SUDs.
- Awarded $4 million in grant funding for the establishment of regional recovery hubs to enhance resources for individuals in recovery and promote recovery within communities across Pennsylvania.
- Awarded more than $6 million in grant funding for organizations to establish or expand SUD services, community outreach and education to underrepresented communities of color.
- Expanded Just Five, DDAP’s free SUD prevention and education tool to include three new lessons, one of which being fentanyl: the leading substance in overdose deaths across the Commonwealth.
- Released the second annual report analyzing the impact of online gambling, also referred to as interactive gaming or iGaming, in Pennsylvania.
- Received the Nellie Leadership Award from Three Rivers Youth for her contributions to the drug and alcohol field.
- Joined the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) officials for a convening in Philadelphia to discuss the emerging lethal threat of xylazine and ways to combat the trend.
- Presented on DDAP’s Life Unites Us campaign at the Global Rx and Illicit Drug Summit, sharing the success of the campaign which reached almost 28% of Pennsylvanians with stigma reduction messaging.
Secretary Davis-Jones comes to DDAP with extensive experience in behavioral health. Over the last 25 years, she has worked to address the most pressing physical and behavioral health needs of Pennsylvania’s vulnerable populations. She has built a career moving substance use prevention, intervention, treatment, and recovery services forward and further educating the public, individuals with lived experience and their families, and professionals in the field of best practices related to confidentiality, stigma reduction, and use of evidence-based practices.
Before serving in the Shapiro Administration, Secretary Davis-Jones was the Senior Director of Behavioral Health at Highmark Wholecare, a Medicaid managed care organization in Pittsburgh. Prior to that, she served as SCA Administrator for the Allegheny County Department of Human Services, Bureau of Drug and Alcohol Services from 2011-2020.
Governor Shapiro and his Administration are committed to helping Pennsylvania’s most vulnerable citizens, including individuals and families experiencing SUD. For more information about his commitment to Pennsylvanians, visit the Governor's website.
For more information about DDAP, visit the Department’s website, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn
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