YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – Two boards in Mahoning County helping those with mental illness and addiction services have merged.
The merger has been nine months in the making and it was made official on Monday with the swearing in of the combined 18-member Mahoning County Mental Health and Recovery Board. Mahoning County Probate Judge Robert Rusu presided over the ceremony.
The board was created by bringing the Mahoning County Mental Health Board and Alcohol and Drug Addiction Services Board together. At the beginning of February, Mahoning County Commissioners appointed 10 new board members. The other eight were appointed by the Ohio Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services and include:
- Linda Warino and Kenneth Cooper, both of Canfield, and William Gambrel of Youngstown, who have been appointed to terms expiring June 30, 2017.
- Eric Ungaro of Poland, Nomiki Tsarnas of Campbell and Ruth Mastriana of Canfield, whose terms expire June 30, 2018.
- Scott Fowler and Anne Lally, both of Canfield, were appointed to terms that expire on June 30, 2019.
“It is exciting. I started at basically the end of May and we have been working on this. For this to happen this fast is just a testimony to the board members because it really happened fast,” the board’s executive director, Duane Piccirilli, said.
“I think we are going to be so much further ahead in terms of meeting the needs for these people and helping them resolve their dependency, their mental health issues. Getting progress and success in their lives,” said Joe Shorokey, executive director for D&E Counseling Center.
Prior to the merger, private providers had to go to the two different boards for funding and other assistance.