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Pennsylvania Advisory Council On Drug and Alcohol Abuse

The Pennsylvania Drug and Alcohol Abuse Control Act was promulgated on April 14, 1972, creating the Governor's Council on Drug and Alcohol Abuse.  The Executive Director of the Council and staff were organizationally located in the Governor's Office.  Council members appointed by the Governor, were responsible for the review and approval of the work products of the Director's staff.  In 1981, the Council was transferred to the Department of Health (Reorganization Plan No. 4 of 1981) (71 P.S. 759-4) and renamed the Pennsylvania Advisory Council on Drug and Alcohol Abuse.  As it is presently written, the Act 63 of 1972, combined with Act 50 of 2010, requires that the Council be composed of the Secretary of the Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs, or his designee, and eight other members who shall be appointed by the Governor.  As of July 1, 2012 in accordance with Act 50, the council is responsible for advising the Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs.


A PA Advisory Council on Drug and Alcohol Abuse subcommittee is compiling information on the availability of free grief support groups statewide that are specifically tailored for parents, siblings, spouses, etc. that have lost a loved one to addiction. If you are aware of any such groups, please send the information to Council member Jennifer Zampogna at

Council Membership 

Jennifer Smith, Acting Secretary, Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs 
Council Co-Chair:
Deb Beck, President, Drug and Alcohol Service Providers Organization of Pennsylvania (DASPOP) 
Council Members:  
  • Karen Brown Vellucci
  • Leonard Pinkney
  • Carmen Cappozzi
  • Mark Sarneso
  • Gary Hendler
  • Elvira N. Berry
  • Jennifer Zampogna, M.D.  

Categories of Council Member Seats

Council members, by statute, must be representative of the following categories:

  • Substantial training or experience in the fields of drug or alcohol prevention, intervention, rehabilitation, treatment, or enforcement.
  • Individual with a prior history of drug and alcohol dependency.ndividual with a prior history of drug and alcohol dependency.
  • No connection with or experience in drug or alcohol prevention, intervention, rehabilitation, treatment, or enforcement.
  • Public at large.
  • To the extent possible, all geographic areas of the Commonwealth are to be represented.

Responsibilities & RequiremenTS

  • Council Members are advisors to the Governor and to the Secretary of the Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs regarding drug and alcohol issues.
  • Active participation and attendance at meetings is critical (minimum of 6 meetings per year, in Harrisburg, PA).
  • Membership requires additional meetings and time commitments outside of the regularly scheduled council meetings.
  • These positions are not compensated, though some travel/other expenses are compensated. 
If you are interested in being considered as an Advisory Council Member, please forward a letter of interest and resume (include, First and Last Name, Home Address, Daytime/Home/Cell Telephone, Email address, County of Residence, Date of Submission, Interest in serving to include which category or categories you would be representative of) to the address below:  

Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs
Attn: Advisory Council Membership
Room 903 Health & Welfare Building
625 Forster Street
Harrisburg, PA 17120

Phone:  (717) 214-1937 

Applicant's letters of interest/resumes will be reviewed on an as needed basis as vacancies occur.  We will contact potential candidates if being recommended.

All advisory council meetings will be held at the below location unless otherwise stated: 
The Pennsylvania Child Welfare Resource Center
University of Pittsburgh, School of Social Work
403 East Winding Hill Road 
Mechanicsburg, PA  17055 
Phone:  (717) 795-9048 ext. 50262
Any questions, please contact Emily Hostetter in the Department’s Executive Office at:  (717) 214-1937, email:

2017 Meeting Schedule

Meeting Times:  1:00 p.m. - 3:30 p.m.
February 13, 2017
April 24, 2017
June 12, 2017
August 15, 2017
October 17, 2017
December 19, 2017


The Parent Panel Advisory Council (PPAC) was created in 2006 by the Pennsylvania General Assembly’s passage of House Resolution 585. This resolution directed the Department of Health (DOH), Bureau of Drug and Alcohol Programs (BDAP, predecessor to the Pennsylvania Department of Drug and Alcohol Services, DDAP) to establish a panel of parents whose children have been affected by substance abuse and addiction to study access to addiction intervention and treatment services and make recommendations to facilitate access. PPAC is comprised of 20 individuals chosen by an application process and appointed by the Deputy Secretary for Health Promotion and Disease Prevention (now, the DDAP secretary). The PPAC meets three times per year in the Harrisburg area. The first meeting was held in September 2007.

Mission Statement of PPAC

It is the mission of the Parent Panel Advisory Council to work in collaboration with the Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs using our personal experience as parents to advocate for and promote family recovery, hope, and healing by improving understanding of and access to a continuum of care for those affected by substance abuse or addiction (substance use disorders) throughout Pennsylvania.

2017 PPAC COMMITTEE Meeting Schedule

February 13, 2017 - 9:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.