Pennsylvania Council of Children, Youth & Family Services Donate

Office of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services (OMHSAS) Deputy Secretary, Kristen Houser, accepts a position with Free Clinic Association of Pennsylvania

Last Day in office will be 10/19/2022


Please see below correspondence sent on behalf of Deputy Secretary Kristen Houser:

I am writing to share that I have accepted the position of Executive Director of the Free Clinic Association of Pennsylvania, and that my last day in the office will be Wednesday, Oct. 19th. While I shared the news internally at DHS earlier this month, we wanted to wait to share it until we could also share news on who would step in to the Deputy’s office. I am grateful to share that Dr. Dale Adair will serve as the Acting Deputy Secretary upon my departure.

It has truly been an honor to serve as the Deputy Secretary for the past two and a half years, and I have learned so much in this role. I appreciate your dedication to behavioral health and the individuals and families you serve, and the insights you have shared. It is no secret that I had a steep learning curve about our systems when I began, and I very much appreciate the ways in which so many of you have helped me along. The work you do is incredibly important, and you are doing it through some truly unbelievable times.

It is quite possible our paths will continue to cross – the free clinics in PA are serving individuals who don’t qualify for Medicaid but who also cannot afford insurance on the open market or the employee portion of plans offered by their employers, and supporting individuals to meet their Social Determinants of Health needs is a central component to the services they offer. Some clinics are providers of behavioral healthcare, and I expect there will be opportunities to expand those services in the future.

I wish you all the best in your endeavors!

Warm regards,


PCCYFS thanks Deputy Secretary Houser for her efforts and advocacy regarding the children’s behavioral health system and wishes her well in her new role!