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Kevin J. McLaughlin, LSW

Bio: Mr. McLaughlin has worked in the Chemical Dependency field for over thirty years, the past 26 as the Executive Director of Drug and Alcohol Treatment Service Inc. He spent the first eight years of his professional career working as a clinician/manager at Drug and Alcohol Treatment Service. He holds a Masters Degree from Marywood University in Social Work and is a Licensed Social Worker. He has served on the Board of Directors of the Behavioral Health Research since its inception, the last three as Board President. Over the years he has served as a guest lecturer and adjunct faculty at the University of Scranton, Wilkes University and Lackawanna College. Currently he teaches chemical dependency courses on a part-time basis at Marywood University. Kevin Represents Drug and Alcohol Treatment Service on the following community/government committees:


Edward Heffron, Ed.D. - Secretary/Treasurer

Bio: Dr. Heffron has served for the past five years as Executive Director of the Scranton Counseling Center, a comprehensive behavioral health care provider agency serving Southern Lackawanna County. He holds bachelor's and master's degrees in psychology and counseling from the University of Scranton, and a doctorate in educational psychology from Temple University. He is a Pennsylvania licensed psychologist. He is a member of the American Psychological Association, a Fellow of the Pennsylvania Psychological Association, and is a certified mental health administrator through the Association of Behavioral Healthcare Management. Dr. Heffron has over 30 years experience in community mental health and retardation services and administration and has served a consultant to federal and state government, and community based behavioral health providers. Dr. Heffron is also an adjunct faculty member in the Psychology Departments at both Marywood University and the University of Scranton.


Edward J. O'Brien, Ph.D.  - Vice President

Bio: Dr. O'Brien is a Professor in the Psychology and Counseling Department at Marywood University. His research interests are in personality measurement and change; stress and coping; self-concept assessment and change; mental health consultation; cognitive-behavioral, family, and community-based therapies; computer-aided and multimedia instruction in higher education; outcomes assessment in higher education and mental health. He is a member of the American Psychological Association [Divisions 8 (Personality and Social Psychology) & 12 (Clinical Psychology)], the American Psychological Society, the American Counseling Association and a fellow of the Pennsylvania Psychological Association. He is a Licensed Psychologist, and Licensed Professional Counselor in PA. He received his Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, and completed an A.P.A. - Approved Residency in Clinical Psychology at the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio. He has published numerous scholarly articles and book chapters and made many presentations at professional conferences. He is the author of the Multidimensional Self-Esteem Inventory, a leading measure of self-esteem, published by Psychological Assessment Resources. He is also a reviewer for several scientific journals: Personality and Social Psychological Bulletin, Psychological Reports and Sex Roles. He is also quite active with respect to service to the University and his community.


Jim Bobeck, M.H.A.

 President and Chief Executive Officer

Step By Step, Inc.

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Carl Charnetski, Ph.D.

Bio: Carl J. Charnetski is a graduate of Wilkes University and received his Ph.D. in Psychology from Temple University. He is a full professor and former chair of the Department of Psychology at Wilkes University in Wilkes-Barre, PA. He has engaged in research in Psychoneuroimmunology for over 20 years. Dr. Charnetski authored FEELING GOOD IS GOOD FOR YOU, the second printing of which has just come out in paperback. Dr. Charnetski is a licensed clinical psychologist in Pennsylvania, has staff privileges at several hospitals, and serves on the boards of a number of Healthcare Agencies in Northeastern Pennsylvania. Dr. Charnetski also engages in private practice and is a Behavior Specialist Consultant involved in the development and implementation of treatment plans for children using Applied Behavior Analysis techniques. He has delivered numerous scholarly and popular presentations, and has published a number of articles in scholarly journals.



Michael Hopkins


Children's Service Center of Wyoming Valley

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Jess G. Kohlert, Ph.D.

Associate Professor and Chair of Psychology

King's College Department of Psychology

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Charles LaJeunesse, Ph.D.

Bio: Professor of Psychology, College Misericordia.  He earned a BS in Engineering Management from the University of Missouri - Rolla, an M.Ed. in Counseling from the University of Missouri - Columbia, and a Ph.D. in Counseling Psychology from the University of Missouri-Columbia.  He teaches several courses, conducts seminars, supervises practicum students, and advises psychology majors. Dr. LaJeunesse has conducted program evaluation research, supervised student research and recently has conducted research on his teaching methodologies. He conducts psychological (Type-50) evaluations for area agencies and has contributed significant service both to his college and to the community at large, including having donated over 100 pints of blood, raising over $1400 for Sr. Mariam's important work on Wilkes-Barre Blvd., and conducting workshops on cooperative learning both on and off campus.


Daniel J. West, Jr., Ph.D., FACHE - Chairman of the Board

Bio: Dr. West is the Chairman and Professor in the Department of Health Administration and Human Resources, University of Scranton. He holds a Professor in Public Health appointment at Trnava University, Slovakia and a Visiting Professor appointment at the University of Matej Bel in Slovakia.  He was recently appointed Affiliated Faculty at Tbilisi State Medical University, Department of Public Health and Health Management, Tbilisi, Georgia. He is President and Chief Executive Officer of HTC Consulting Group, Inc. Dr. West received his master and doctoral degrees from the Pennsylvania State University. He is a Certified Healthcare Consultant with the American Association of Healthcare Consultants, and board certified in healthcare management by the American College of Healthcare Executives. 

Dr. West has been a CEO for a hospital, medical practice and several health care businesses. In addition to 30 years of health care management, consulting and leadership experience, Dr. West maintains Fellowship with the American College of Healthcare Executives, American College of Medical Practice Executives, American Academy of Medical Administrators, American College of Health Care Administrators, American Academy of Behavioral Medicine, and Association of Behavioral Healthcare Management. His professional memberships also include the Association of University Programs in Health Administration, Healthcare Financial Management Association, National Rehabilitation Association, National Association of Healthcare Consultants, Medical Group Management Association, American Public Health Association, and the Academy of Management.

Serving as a member of numerous national boards and committees, Dr. West has authored over 165 articles dealing with various aspects of health care administration, leadership and management. He serves on seven editorial committees. He is a well-known speaker at International, National, Regional, State, and Local conferences, and has over 275 presentations to health care audiences. Dr. West has developed and chaired several international conferences, workshops and symposia in CEE countries. He has conducted five study abroad tours for University students and faculty to Mexico, Slovakia, Georgia and China. Dr. West has served as an international consultant to projects in Slovakia and Georgia over the last several years. He has been successful in securing international grants and developing international projects.

Dr. West served on the Council of Regents, the legislative body of the American College of Healthcare Executives.  He serves on the Board of Directors for the Health Care Management Forum of Northeastern Pennsylvania and the Regents Advisory Council for Northeast Pennsylvania.  Other Board memberships include the Robert Zaloga Foundation, Scranton Temple Residency Program, Medical Advisory Board of the International Brain Trauma Association, Scranton Temple Residency Program IRB, and the Behavioral Health Research Institute.  He is recognized as in International Fellow at the University of Scranton and serves on several University committees. 

Recent honors include the AAMA Richard A. Harley Diplomate Award for Leadership, the ACHE Regents Senior Management Award, AERA Outstanding Research Award, Gold Medal of Trnava University for Excellence in International Cooperation, and a Recognition Award from the American International Health Alliance.  Dr. West is listed in Who’s Who in America, Who’s Who in Medicine and Healthcare, and his biography appears in several other national and international biographical publications. From 1995 to 1999, Professor West served as the US partnership coordinator for the Slovakia/Scranton Health Management Education Partnership, an effort requiring extensive involvement with universities, physicians and health care professionals in Slovakia. While in Slovakia he worked with health management educational institutions and government agencies to create an in-country capacity to educate managers for the health sector reform. He is co-editor and co-founder of the Journal of Health Management and Public Health, Slovakia’s first professional journal for health management and public health topics.  Professor West has also published several joint research papers on health care sector transformation, accreditation and quality assurance in health management education in Slovakia, and has presented with his Slovak counterparts at numerous international scientific and educational conferences. He has been involved in developing scholarly activities with researchers in Slovakia.

In 1999 Dr. West received an AIHA/USAID grant to develop a health management education partnership in the Republic of Georgia with the National Health Management Center and the University of Scranton.  He is co-editor and co-founder of the Journal of Health Sciences Management and Public Health, Georgia’s first professional journal in healthcare management.  Current efforts in Georgia focus on health management education, building an infrastructure of trained managers, development of three satellite training centers, a center for health care consultancy, conducting management training workshops, curriculum design for post graduate education and writing health management texts to be used by universities in Georgia.


Jeffrey D. Leitzel, Ph.D.- President/CEO

Bio: Dr. Leitzel is currently the President & CEO of the Behavioral Health Research Institute.  In this position, which he has held since January 2000, he reports directly to the institute board of directors and is responsible for all aspects of the institute’s operations, including securing projects and grants, designing and monitoring the execution of projects and conducting statistical analyses and writing reports documenting the various projects the institute undertakes.  Dr. Leitzel was the Institute’s director of research from 1998 until 2000.  He has been with the BHRI since its founding. 

Dr. Leitzel received his Ph.D. in Human Development/Counseling Psychology from Marywood University in 2000.  He earned his Master’s degree in Psychology from Marywood in 1993 and his BS in Psychology, with a Mathematics-Computer Science Concentration from The Pennsylvania State University in 1987.  In addition to his work with the BHRI he is a tenured associate professor in the Psychology Department at Bloomsburg University of PA. He does clinical work at Scranton Counseling Center, carrying a small outpatient psychotherapy caseload, conducting psychological testing and evaluations, supervising School-Based Behavioral Health teams and graduate student interns, and providing consultation services to the intellectual disabilities department.  He has nearly thirty years of experience working in various capacities in the community mental health system.  He is a PA licensed Psychologist.

Prior to completing his doctorate, he worked as a research associate at the Military Family Institute of Marywood University, a Department of Defense funded research institute that carried out a number of studies related to military families.  Dr. Leitzel had primary responsibility for the Institute’s adolescent project, which involved collecting survey data from over 6,000 youths whose parents were stationed at military bases at 17 sites in the Continental United States and seven sites overseas.  In addition, focus group data were collected from a smaller sample of youths at each site visited.  Presentations were made of results from this project at numerous national conferences.  Dr. Leitzel has coauthored several book chapters and numerous technical reports as well as providing many trainings and in-service presentations.

He is currently a Steering Committee Member, Pennsylvania Practice Improvement Collaborative (PIC), administered by the Institute for Research, Education, and Training in Addictions (IRETA), Pittsburgh, PA.  In addition, he holds the following professional association memberships: American Psychological Association; American Psychological Society;  APA Division 2, Society for the Teaching of Psychology, APA Division 5, Evaluation, Measurement, and Statistics.  He has also served on a number of thesis and dissertation committees.

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