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About the Appalachian Children Coalition Behavioral Health Workforce Hub


Working together. Working for kids.

The ACC Behavioral Health Workforce Hub is dedicated to increasing the behavioral health workforce to improve the quality of life for our region’s kids.

Through education, collaboration, and innovation, we work to drive interest in behavioral and mental health careers. The Hub also seeks to improve the recruitment and retention of professionals and paraprofessionals.


Our services are available to behavioral and mental health providers, healthcare organizations, schools, and agencies seeking to address their workforce needs.


Our Service Goals

We recognize that workforce challenges vary from place to place. The Hub offers services tailored to the needs of each of our partner and affiliate organizations, as well as personalized support services for individuals interested in behavioral and mental health careers.


Awareness, Planning & Recruitment

Developing and managing outreach to high schools, higher education institutions, and training providers to facilitate workforce development collaborations is a core function of the Hub. We will use this outreach to recruit into the workforce.


Workforce Development & Education Pathways

The Hub facilitates and supports the development of efficient, effective pathways to degrees and training content to support the pursuit of behavioral and mental health careers and occupations.


Job Placement & Career Pathways

Through work with our partners and affiliates, we will connect job seekers with job opportunities. Our personalized approach will allow us to craft individualized career pathways to demonstrate career advancement through professional development and added credentials and education.


Workforce Support & Professional Development

Dedicated professionals will work to craft relevant professional development, mentoring, and continuing education opportunities to encourage growth in the workforce and to advance careers.

Why Appalachian Ohio?

The odds are against our children in Appalachian Ohio. They face limited access to services and care, concentrated poverty, and heightened exposure to drugs.


Limited Access to Services and Care

The supply of mental health providers per 100,000 population in Appalachian Ohio is 51% lower than the national average and 41% lower than the average in non-Appalachian Ohio. Additionally, we lack adequate access to crisis stabilization facilities in the region.


Concentrated Poverty

In Ohio, the top 12 counties with the highest rates of child poverty are centered in Appalachia. Child poverty increased in every Appalachian county from 2000 to 2013, and nearly 1 in 3 Appalachian children under the age of 6 live below the poverty level.


Heightened Exposure to Drugs

Babies in Appalachian Ohio are almost twice as likely as the Ohio average to be diagnosed with Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome (NAS), a condition that occurs in newborns exposed to opioid drugs in utero.

Meet the Staff

Randy Leite

Randy Leite

Executive Director

Leite developed a commitment to the Appalachian region during his 12-year tenure as dean...

Daniel Kloepfer

Daniel Kloepfer

Director of Assessment and Evaluation

Daniel Kloepfer serves as the Director of Assessment and Evaluation.

Sara White

Sara White

Director of Outreach and Engagement

Originally from Belmont County, Ohio, she holds a bachelor’s degree...

Elizabeth Jones

Elizabeth Jones

Senior Director of Operations and Advancement

Originally from Athens, she returned to the region after 15 years spent working...

Anna Reed

Anna Reed

Director of Workforce Development

Born in the Youngstown area, a northern Appalachia county of Ohio...

Erin Space

Erin Space

Senior Director of Programs

Erin Space serves as the Senior Director of Programs.

Peggy Garcia

Peggy Garcia

Director of Prevention Programs

Peggy was born in Caracas, Venezuela and raised in Southern California...


Service Area

Our service area encompasses the 32 Appalachian counties in the state of Ohio.

Appalachian counties in Ohio
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