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Laura Kelemen, LCSW-R
Director of Community Services, Niagara County Department of Mental Health & Substance Abuse Services
5467 Upper Mountain Road, Suite 200
Lockport, NY 14094
Laura is the Director of Mental Health & Substance Abuse Services for Niagara County, where in addition to being the Director of Community Services (DCS), she also oversees a broad spectrum of direct services, including outpatient mental health & substance abuse treatment, crisis services/mobile crisis outreach, and hospital diversion. Prior to taking the DCS position in 2014, Laura served as the Executive Director and Forensic Interviewer/Trainer for the Child Advocacy Center of Niagara. Working for local non-profit human service agencies, she has more than 15 years of program management and leadership experience. In these roles, she has facilitated the implementation of evidence-based practices for mental health and trauma treatment and has secured expanded funding in high priority need areas. Laura serves on a number of local and state boards, including the Niagara County Opiate Addiction/Overdose Strategy Implementation Standing Committee, the Niagara County Behavioral Health/Justice Committee, OMH Evidence Based Practice Project Advisory Board and the NYS Preventive Health and Health Services Block Grant Advisory Council.
Michael Orth, MSW
Commissioner, Westchester County Dept. of Community Mental Health
112 East Post Road - 2nd Floor
White Plains, NY 10601
Michael serves as the Commissioner of the Department of Community Mental Health (DCMH) in Westchester County. He was appointed to serve as the Commissioner in January 2018 after serving as Deputy Commissioner since 2009. He has worked with the Department of Community Mental Health since 1993 spending over 16 years in Children’s Mental Health Services. In this capacity he led the development of Westchester’s System of Care for children with emotional, social and behavioral challenges, and their families. He served as both the first CCSI and C-SPOA Coordinator for the county and also was responsible for Westchester’s successful SAMHSA – System of Care grant.
Michael leads several planning efforts in Westchester including serving as Co-Chair of the Suicide Prevention and Awareness Task Force, Coordinated Children’s Services Initiative (CCSI) Committee, Developmental/Intellectual Disabilities Committee, Psychological Mental Health Response Team, and Westchester County’s Response to Opioid Task Force. Michael serves on several NY State behavioral health advisory committees and is currently Co-Chair of the CLMHD Children and Families Committee.Second-Vice Chair
Suzanne Lavigne, MHA, Master CASAC
Director of Community Services, Franklin County Community Services
136 Broadway, Suite 5
Saranac Lake, NY 12983
Suzanne has served as Director of Community Services for Franklin County since September 2009. She has 35+ years of experience in mental hygiene services and has worked with youth and adults in the areas of intellectual/developmental disabilities and behavioral health. Suzanne received her graduate degree in Healthcare Administration from Seton Hall University and is credentialed by the Office of Addiction Services and Supports as a Master Credentialed Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Counselor (CASAC). Suzanne was previously a Program Surveyor for the Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities (CARF) from 2005-2009 and served as an adjunct faculty member in the Human Services Department of North Country Community College (2004-2017). She is a certified Bridges out of Poverty Trainer. Suzanne serves as an officer for the Conference of Local Mental Hygiene Directors (CLMHD) and co-chair of the CLMHD Addiction Services and Recovery Committee. She serves on the NYS Governor’s Developmental Disabilities Council and is a member of the NYS Opioid Settlement Board.
Lynda Battaglia, LCSW
Director of Community Services, Genesee County Mental Health Department
5130 East Main Street Road, Suite 2
Batavia, New York 14020
Lynda has served as the Director of Mental Health & Community Services for Genesee County since Fall 2019. In this role, she provides direct oversight of the Genesee County Mental Health clinic which is an OMH Article 31 Licensed outpatient clinic serving children and adults. Additionally, Lynda oversees all services in the community that fall within the Mental Hygiene System, including Mental Health, Substance Use and Intellectual Developmental Disability. Lynda has chaired the CLMHD Mental Hygiene Planning Committee since 2020. Prior to the DCS role, Lynda worked in various positions within the New York State Office of Mental Health for 14 years. Areas of practice and expertise are Forensic Services, Suicide Prevention & Education, Crisis Services and Emergency Mental Health. Lynda is also an Adjunct Professor at the University of Buffalo where she teaches a graduate level course for the Social Work program focusing on Forensic Social work and Understanding Suicide. Lynda served as the President of the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP), Western New York Chapter, for 10 years. Lynda was awarded with the AFSP Excellence in Education Award in 2010. She has worked in the field for more than 20 years and strives to bring a voice to community awareness and education on topics such as Mental Health and Suicide Prevention.
Patricia Fralick, MBA, CASAC
Director of Community Services, Lewis County Mental Hygiene Department
5274 Outer Stowe St.
Lowville, NY 13367
Patricia has 40 years of experience in mental hygiene, substance use, and healthcare services. Having worked with a diversity of “patients” in many healthcare settings, Patricia saw the position of Director of Community Services as a way to use her skills and experience to help people access care. Patricia received her Masters in Business Administration and Healthcare Management from SUNY Empire State College in 2014. She was able to pursue her dream and has served as Director of Community Services (DCS) for Lewis County since September 2015. In addition to her MBA, she also holds a CASAC credential and a Licensed Practical Nurse License. With her passion for reducing barriers to care and stigma, Patricia has served and serves on many local, statewide, and federal committees and workgroups such as the Lewis County Workforce initiative, Lewis County Suicide Prevention Coalition, and Volunteer Transportation Center Board. Patricia has previously served as the CLMHD Regional Representative for Tug Hill and Co-Chair of the Regional Planning Consortium. She currently serves as the Co-Chair of the Healing Community Study, a National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) and Columbia University study whose purpose is to develop a county-wide plan that will result in a 40% reduction of deaths by opioid overdose. In pursuing solutions to engage people in the care continuum, Patricia’s motto is “it takes a village” and the DCS’s role is to bring people together.