Corbett Nominates Gary Tennis to Lead Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs

HARRISBURG – Gov. Tom Corbett has nominated Gary Tennis ofPhiladelphia to serve as secretary of the Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs, which is being created as a result of a 2010 state law.

Tennis is retired from his previous position as chief of the legislation unit in the Philadelphia’s District Attorney’s Office, where he represented the Pennsylvania District Attorneys Association working with the General Assembly.

“Gary Tennis has been a passionate advocate for effective drug and alcohol treatment both within and outside the judicial system,” Corbett said. “I am confident his experience will help guide the delivery of quality, effective drug and alcohol services for Pennsylvanians.”

In addition to more than 25 years of legislative experience, Tennis served as executive director of the President’s Commission on Model State Drug Laws in 1993.  He received his bachelor’s degree from the University of Tulsa in 1975 and was a Rhodes Scholarship nominee. He is also a graduate of The University of Pennsylvania Law School.

Tennis’s first order of business will be to analyze the provision of drug and alcohol services, which are currently provided through several agencies including the state departments of Health and Public Welfare. The goal is to ensure the highest and most effective care for Pennsylvania citizens struggling with addiction.

Tennis has been charged with taking a common-sense approach to streamlining and eliminating duplication of state drug and alcohol treatment and prevention efforts in Pennsylvania.

The Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs was created under Act 50 of 2010. It will establish a plan for the management and allocation of state and federal funds used to oversee alcohol and drug prevention, intervention and treatment services.

The Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs is currently located in the Health and Welfare building. The Pennsylvania Department of Health is assisting in the agency’s formation.

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