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Lynn Keltz, Executive Director of Pennsylvania Mental Health Consumers Association, Announces Retirement

Lynn Keltz Photo description:
Board of directors and staff surprise Lynn Keltz with retirement celebration.

After almost a decade leading the Pennsylvania Mental Health Consumers’ Association, Lynn Keltz has announced her retirement, effective June 30, 2019.

Since December 1, 2009, when Keltz joined PMHCA as its executive director, the organization has strengthened its position as the state’s largest consumer-run organization. PMHCA is recognized for its advocacy, education programs, collaboration, and its commitment to eliminating stigma and discrimination around mental health issues.

Keltz emphasizes that PMHCA’s achievements during her tenure are due to the hard work and commitment of the staff, Board of Directors, and collaboration with other advocates. She summarized her time with PMHCA by stressing that “I am fortunate to have had this opportunity to work with hundreds of dedicated advocates and people with lived experience. We could not have achieved anything without their passion and hard work. Thank you all.”

Numerous advocates and colleagues have expressed their gratitude for Keltz’s hard work over the past years. Several emphasized Keltz’s success in keeping PMHCA running after funding was slashed during the Corbett administration.

Sue Walther, executive director of the Mental Health Association in Pennsylvania stated: “Lynn was not executive director very long when the state decided to cut funding significantly; it is a testament to her abilities that she was able to obtain other funding. Her dedication to the agency and her persistence are largely responsible for the fact that PMHCA was able to get back on its feet and maintain a statewide presence.” Walther’s sentiments were echoed by Rachel Weiss, of The Copeland Center for Wellness and Recovery: “I wanted to let you know that I truly believe you saved PMHCA… Through your diligence, persistence and creativity, you made sure it not only survived but has thrived and grown.”

Walther went on to outline other aspects of Keltz’s work: “Her support for other organizations is unmatched. She looks for ways that organizations can work together to address common missions and goals. She is responsible for getting federal funding for the ACA Navigator grant that allowed four organizations to help individuals obtain health insurance. Her value and support to me as a work colleague are only exceeded by her value and support as a friend.”

Joan Erney, CEO of Community Behavioral Health and former Deputy Secretary of the Office of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services, summarized Keltz’s career: “Lynn is always thoughtful in her approach, yet a fierce advocate for individuals with mental health and other behavioral health challenges, and for anyone she believes has not been treated fairly. She has participated in many efforts to change systems, and in every instance makes a difference. I am glad to have Lynn as a friend and a colleague.”

Keltz grew up in Bradford, McKean County. She completed an undergraduate degree in Criminology and a Master’s degree in Industrial and Labor Relations, both from Indiana University of Pennsylvania. Her career focused on human services, and she held positions with not-for-profit and government organizations, including the Pennsylvania Department of Public Welfare, Pennsylvania Community Providers Association, United Cerebral Palsy of Pennsylvania, and Jefferson County Children and Youth Services.

Keltz is looking forward to a more flexible schedule after retirement, which will include additional time to spend in her garden, and with her family, which includes four grandsons and a granddaughter.