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 abuse 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.


Kelly Callihan, Chair CCDC, Cambria County District Attorney
Tom Chernisky, Vice Chair CCDC, President Cambria County Commissioner
Susan Mann, Secretary CCDC, President 1889 Foundation
Bill McKinney, Fiscal Agent CCDC, President & CEO United Way of the Laurel Highlands
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, Manager Strategic Planning Administration, Conemaugh Memorial Medical Center
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


Ronna Yablonski, Executive Director
Kate Porter, CTC Mobilizer and Prevention Program Specialist
Natalie Kauffman, Prevention Support Specialist

Decrease Drug Supply

  • Create a difficult environment to minimize illegal drug activity and violent crime.
  • Enhance community policing and develop an approach for cohesive law enforcement work county-wide.
  • Seek to provide funding for identified gaps in the law enforcement effort.

Improve Care Systems 

Decrease number of fatal drug overdoses.
Reduce potential of HIV and Hepatitis C Transmission by providing county-wide education.

Research best practice models and devise a care plan for drug addicted mothers and dependent newborns.
Endorse utilization of Pennsylvania’s Prescription Drug Monitoring Program.
Improve availability of detox, inpatient, outpatient and medication-assisted treatment services.

Prevention & Education

Increase implementation of evidence-based drug and alcohol prevention programming in schools.
Offer drug-awareness training and forums for residents at an array of venues.
Reduce stigma associated with addiction and promote recovery-oriented environments.
Provide education on recommended protocols for protection and monitoring of Rx drugs.
Increase awareness regarding drug treatment and support services to county residents.

Funding & Sustainability 

Report status of the drug effort to community to increase awareness.
Seek funding from government, foundations and the business community to reduce drug distribution, use and resulting crime.

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