Nancy Thaler to receive the Edna Silberman Humanitarian Service Award
The Edna Silberman Humanitarian Service Award is one of Keystone Human Services' highest honors. The award is presented annually to outstanding citizens who have made significant contributions to individuals, the community, and Keystone Human Services and have played a major role in making KHS's vision real in the lives of others.
The award takes its name from Edna Silberman, a co-founder and long-time friend of Keystone Human Services. She worked tirelessly in support of individuals with mental illness and developmental disabilities. Edna served as the executive director of the Aurora Club, host of WGAL-TV's Spotlight Series, and a Board member of the Children's Play Room, Inc. She was active in Hadassah, Kesher Israel Sisterhood, and many other community organizations. In addition, she mentored many young people in the community movement and had a lasting influence on many people. She was a loving mother and wife, and a passionate friend to and advocate for people with disabilities.
Edna passed away in 1993, but her legacy lives on through the work of Keystone, and those that have been chosen to receive the award that is named in her honor.
Nancy Thaler recently retired as the Deputy Secretary of the Office of Developmental Programs (ODP). She has served as the Deputy Secretary since June 2015. Previously, she was Executive Director of the National Association of State Directors of Developmental Disabilities Services. She also served as the Director of Quality Improvement for the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS).
Nancy served the Commonwealth in the Department of Public Welfare (now DHS) from 1986 to 2003, first as Director of the Bureau of Community Programs, then as Deputy Secretary for the Office of Developmental Programs.
During her tenure as Deputy Secretary, she advanced the philosophy of "Everyday Lives," confirming the right of people with disabilities to live an everyday life; a life that is no different from that of all other citizens.
Nancy asked her staff, providers and state regulators to honor the basic principles behind Everyday Lives that she stated in her Deputy Secretary's Message in 1991 and in 2016:
"Our goals should be clear. We are seeking nothing less than a life surrounded by the richness and diversity of the community. A collective life. A common life. An everyday life. A powerful life that gains its joy from the creativity and connectedness that comes when we join in association as citizens to create an inclusive world."
Nancy has always demonstrated the utmost respect for people with disabilities, promoted full inclusion in the community, and has been referred to as a "champion for individuals with disabilities in Pennsylvania."
Roger W. Burns to receive the Dr. Joseph A. Adlestein Professional Leadership Award
Established in 2010, the Dr. Joseph Adlestein Professional Leadership Award is given to an individual in a professional role who is a powerful advocate for people with disabilities, supporting them to be valued and fully participating members of society. Each year, the Award Committee, appointed by the Keystone Human Services Board of Directors, chooses an awardee from nominations submitted by the community.
Dr. Adlestein was a long-term Corporate Member of Keystone Human Services and worked tirelessly in support of people with mental illness and developmental disabilities. He served on the advisory board for President John. F. Kennedy, and he championed the Mental Health Act of 1966, which changed community services for people with mental illness, intellectual disabilities, and alcoholism. He was an inspiration to many people, inspiring them to see the greatness in themselves and look beyond their own needs. A devoted family man, he and his wife raised their children to be people of compassion. Dr. Adlestein passed away in 2010. We honor him and his work by presenting this award in his name.
Roger Burns began his career with Keystone in 1999, bringing a wealth of experience in senior financial leadership and management.
He has been instrumental in delivering oversight of the financial operations and performance of Keystone Human Services, while ensuring the sustainability and the high quality of services for individuals with disability.
Roger's background in health care finance is broad and has touched upon almost all aspects of the health care delivery system, from the provider (both hospital and physician) to payor perspectives. He has held the Chief Financial Officer position in institutions ranging from a medium sized community hospital, a University Teaching Hospital to a major Health Care System Division.
In his twenty years plus experience as a member of Senior Management, Roger has distinguished himself as a contributing player in issues beyond the traditional finance function. He has made a great contribution through his professional skills and dedication to the Mission and Vision of Keystone Human Services by advancing the human spirit for vulnerable persons and those with disability both locally and internationally.
Upon his retirement from Keystone in 2011, Roger continues his community service through serving on the Finance Committee at St. Joan of Arc Parish in Hershey, and other volunteer efforts at the Parish, as well as his contributions as alumni of the Villanova University and part of the fan base of their basketball team known as NOVA NATION – GO WILDCATS – three time National Champions.
His current role has taken him beyond his college education, and the responsibilities and expectations of his professional career, as nothing could have prepared him for serving as a professional grandpa of the Burns family.