On Sept. 14, 2016, the formation of the Cambria County Drug Coalition was announced as an effort to combat illegal drug use and alcohol abuse in our area. The Coalition will work to reduce and ultimately eliminate overdose deaths, reduce illegal drug use, expand prevention efforts, address treatment options for those who are addicted, and reduce crime.

“There are already several entities working on the problem of drug misuse in our region,” said Kelly Callihan, district attorney for Cambria County. “The Coalition will allow us to coordinate and expand their efforts as we work to address this growing problem through prevention, law enforcement and treatment.”

The Coalition was created after the 1889 Foundation and the United Way of the Laurel Highlands coordinated several meetings to lay the groundwork for a collaborative working relationship among several organizations within the county. Stakeholders involved in the meetings included Kelly Callihan, district attorney; John Moryken, vice president for business development and government affairs for Conemaugh Health System ; Tom Chernisky, president commissioner; the Johnstown Chief of Police; Susan Mann, president of the 1889 Foundation; and Bill McKinney, president of the United Way of the Laurel Highlands.

Input was sought from Pamela Tokar-Ickes, former president commissioner of Somerset County, and Travis Hutzell, former human service coordinator for Somerset County, to gain insight into Somerset County’s experience with Drug Free Communities, a similar coalition.


Committed to positive change and creation of drug free communities across Cambria County.


Cambria County – A safe, friendly and great place to live, work and play.


Download a PDF of our 2018-2019 financial report.

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Tom Chernisky, Vice Chair CCDC, President Cambria County Commissioner
Susan Mann, Secretary CCDC, President 1889 Foundation
Terrence Shook, Fiscal Agent CCDC, CPA, Barnes, Saly and Company
Jeanne Spencer MD, Chair Family Medicine, Director, Family Medicine Residency, Conemaugh Memorial Medical Center
Jeff Janciga, Captain of Police (Operations), City of Johnstown Police Department
Jeannine McMillan, Executive Director, Pathways Community HUB, 1889 Jefferson Center for Population Health
Josh Yoder, Director of Marketing and Planning, CamTran
Robert Johnson, Chief of Police, City of Johnstown Police Department
Tracy G. Selak, Administrator, Behavioral Health/Intellectual Disabilities/Early Intervention Program
Amy Bradley, President and CEO, Cambria Regional Chamber
Brandon Bailey, Director of Educational Services, Richland School District
Fred Oliveros, Administrator, Cambria County Drug and Alcohol Program
Jerry Zahorchak, Education Division Chair, University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown
Kristy Freoni, Chief County Detective, Cambria County
Christine Britton, Director of Human Resources, Wessel and Company


Ronna Yablonski, Executive Director
Natalie Kauffman, Projects Coordinator
Aly Bender-Murgas, Botvin LifesSkills Training Programs Administrator

Law Enforcement

  • Decrease infiltration of drugs and associated crime by making it harder for dealers to operate here
  • Foster and encourage cohesive law enforcement work county-wide
  • Seek to provide funding for identified gaps in law enforcement efforts
  • Provide relevant training for law enforcement professionals
  • Sponsor prescription drug collection events while expanding permanent collection sites


  • Improve System of Care for people with substance use disorder
  • Decrease the number of fatal drug overdoses
  • Increase coordination of care for substance addicted mothers and dependent newborns
  • Provide education on warm handoff process as well as Medication
  • Assisted treatment in ED

Drug Treatment & Recovery

  • Increase awareness of drug treatment and recovery support services to county residents
  • Offer Recovery, Resiliency and Person First Language Training in an effort to decrease stigma
  • Facilitate community listening sessions and work to build a community environment that supports recovery
  • Increase awareness about disease concept of addiction

Community Education

  • Expand engagement of faith-based sector
  • Plan lunch-and-learn education seminars on topics such as symptoms of addiction, drug treatment sources, power of prevention, person first language
  • Create a Coalition Speakers Bureau and offer drug awareness trainings for county residents
  • With media sector, provide educational messages on topics relevant to addiction while offering messages of hope and healing
  • Provide education on recommended protocols for protection and monitoring of prescription drugs
  • Report status of CCDC efforts at an annual report-out event

Prevention Education

  • Expand implementation of recurring evidence-based drug and alcohol prevention programming in all county schools
  • Engage more youth in county prevention efforts
  • Offer prevention education training for all sectors of the county
  • Expand environmental prevention campaigns designed to counteract unhealthy cultural norms associated with drug use

The CCDC will bring together law enforcement, treatment, and prevention. Law enforcement works to take down dealers who bring this plague into our neighborhoods. Treatment provides support for those addicted who want to be clean and build a future for themselves and their children. Finally, prevention programs will give young people the skills to avoid addiction and develop pro-social behaviors through engaging programming.

Tom Chernisky • President Commissioner of Cambria County