Upper Bucks Healthy Communities Healthy Youth Steering Committee

Lois Dodson
Lois currently serves as the School Services Coordinator for Penn Foundation, providing mental health liaison services to the Student Assistance Program teams in the Pennridge, Palisades, Quakertown and Souderton School Districts. She has been a staff member of Penn Foundation for over 15 years, and has extensive experience in working with children, adolescents and families. Lois holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology from Temple University and a Master’s Degree in Counseling Psychology from Temple University. In addition, she is a licensed professional counselor in the State of Pennsylvania and has a private counseling practice, serving adolescents, adults, couples and families.

Lois is a councilwoman on the Sellersville Borough Council. She is a member of the Board of Trustees of Vitalistic Therapeutic Charter School of the Lehigh Valley and of the Board of Directors of Vitalistic Therapeutic Center in Allentown. Lois is a member of the American Counseling Association and the American Association of Marriage and Family Therapists. She also serves as a training consultant for Project CARE, an agency that provides Commonwealth-approved SAP trainings in Eastern Pennsylvania. Lois resides in Sellersville. She has two grown daughters and four grandchildren.

Ray Fox
Ray has been dedicated to teaching, counseling and coaching young people for over 35 years, including serving as a guidance counselor at Quakertown High School for the last 20 years of his career in education. In addition to counseling and guidance duties, Ray administered the district’s educational internship program.

Ray earned a B.S. in secondary education from Kutztown University in 1971; a M.Ed. in secondary education and certification in school guidance counseling in 1976. From 1971 – 1973, Ray served with the U.S. Army; he was assigned to the Army Education Center at Fort Carson, CO, where he taught GED classes and organized brigade education centers.

Ray’s involvement in community coalition work began in 1988, as founder and chairperson of Neighbor to Neighbor, which earned recognition from the Bucks County Drug and Alcohol Commission for excellence in promoting prevention through coalition building. Neighbor to Neighbor merged into UBHCHY Coalition, where as a member of the steering committee, Ray has continued to influence positive and healthy youth development.

During retirement, Ray is anxious to continue enhancing youth development and healthy choices through his volunteering with UBHCHY and community-based youth initiatives.

Steve Graitas
Steve has served on the Upper Bucks Healthy Communities Healthy Youth (UBHCHY) steering committee since 2003. He also presently chairperson of Bucks Promise and has served on the gang prevention committee, CAGE.  Steve’s professional experience includes helping to establish a program for incarcerated youth at Weaversville, PA and teaching juvenile delinquents for three years. He worked with incarcerated adults at SCI-Graterford as the school counselor for 21 years, retiring in 1999. Steve’s education includes a Bachelor’s in Psychology, a Masters in Education (Social Restoration certification), and ordination as an interfaith pastor in 2004.

Steve is also a member of his church’s Council, serves on several committees and sings in two choirs.  He resides in Hilltown with his wife Sandi and has an adult daughter, April,  a Perkasie resident.

Jessica Kostic
Jessica currently serves as the Admissions Coordinator for Pyramid Healthcare providing assistance to families seeking treatment options for adolescents.  Pyramid Quakertown is an Adolescent Residential Drug and Alcohol Program located in Quakertown, Pennsylvania for teens struggling with co-occurring substance abuse and mental health disorders.  Over the past 13yrs she has dedicated herself to clients, families and community agencies seeking resources for troubled teens.

Jessica’s role as an active participant over the past 2 years for the Upper Bucks Healthy Communities Healthy Youth serves as a source of information in the treatment process of adolescents with drug and alcohol dependence in the community.

Judi Pason
Judi Pason joined the Coalition in the spring of 2010 eager to contribute to the Upper Bucks’ healthy communities initiatives. Specifically, Judi is a Parent Educator, working with parent-teacher and home school groups in the Palisades, Pennridge and Quakertown School Districts. Judi holds a B.A. in Communications/Journalism from St. John Fisher College in Rochester, New York and a M.Ed. in Counseling and Personnel Services from The University of Maryland.

As a mental health counselor, Judi is experienced in conducting individual as well as family therapy. She has specialized in working with adolescents and their parents. Currently she serves as Co-Secretary for the Durham Nockamixon Elementary School Parent Teacher Association and is a Catechist at St. John The Baptist Catholic Church in Ottsville, PA. In Fall of 2010, Judi is taking on another challenge, beginning as a pre-school teacher at Care-A-Lot Preschool in Durham,PA.

Judi resides in the Palisades School District with her husband and their three children.

Karen Richter
Karen is the Community Mobilizer, serving the Palisades community and leads the implementation of the Communities That Care (CTC) community mobilization process in developing a positive youth development plan for Palisades. Karen has over twenty years of diverse business experience including human resources operations and technology consulting, workshop facilitation, professional group and individual coaching and project management. Karen also recently founded Cohesive Outcomes, LLC, a company dedicated to enriching the lives of parents through coaching and workshops. She earned her BA in Psychology from Rutgers College, Rutgers University and received her coaching certification from The Institute for Professional Excellence in Coaching (iPEC). Karen resides in Kintnersville with her husband and two young children.

Lee Rush
Lee is the founder of justCommunity, Inc. and has served as its Executive Director since the organization’s inception in 1999. He served in senior management positions from 1986 to 1999 as the Director of Human Resources for LifeQuest, a mid-size company specializing in senior healthcare services and as Executive Director of LifeQuest Foundation. He held various positions as an administrator, counselor and teacher in an alternative school and day-treatment setting from 1979 to 1986. Lee graduated from Indiana University of Pennsylvania with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Criminology and Temple University where he earned a Masters of Education Degree. Lee served as the Executive Director of the National Student Assistance Association (NSAA) from 1995 to 2008. NSAA is the country’s sole advocacy organization devoted solely to enhancing the development of Student Assistance Programs throughout the United States. Lee and his wife have one child and live in Perkasie, PA.

Ricki Stein
Ricki Stein has enjoyed a lively, varied career in education, teaching for 17 years, the last four at Quakertown Community High School. She currently teaches Creative Writing and QCSD TV News, as well as serving as the school district’s Community Relations Coordinator, populating the Web site with school and student news and highlights of activity.

Before becoming a teacher, Ricki spent 15 years as a newspaper sports writer. She earned degrees from Boston University, Moravian College and Marygrove College, and has completed additional coursework at Wilkes University, Penn State and the University of the Arts.

Ricki also serves as the Youth Programs Coordinator for the Penn State-Lehigh Valley Writing Project, organizing summer writing camps for youth. She is married and has two grown sons. She and her family all compete in swim-bike-run triathlons.

Cheryl Swartley
Cheryl Swartley is a Nursing Supervisor at Bryn Mawr Hospital in Bryn Mawr, PA. She has over 30 years experience in critical care and management positions. She is a member of the hospital’s Ethics Committee and Main Line Health’s “Smoke Free” initiative.” She is a member of the Upper Bucks Healthy Çommunities Healthy Youth (UBHCHY) Steering Committee, and has been a member of the Pennridge HCHY Coalition since its inception in 2000. In 2004, she was awarded Asset Champion of the year in her local community. She graduated from the University of Pennsylvania and resides with her husband in both Perkasie and Philadelphia, PA. They have two nieces and three nephews: the “children of their hearts.

Lynette Reed
Lynette Reed joined Upper Bucks HCHY in 2008 as a representative for the Palisades community.  She is the co-director of the Palisades Youth Group, executive board member of the Palisades Community Foundation (PCF), and part of the Palisades PACT (Partners in Action towards Community Togetherness) CTC Grant endeavor.  Lynette holds a Bachelors degree from Trenton State College in Elementary Education, a Masters in Youth Counseling from IIRP, and is currently working on a Masters in Social Work at Marywood University.  She lives in Springfield Township with her husband and three children.

Lynette has over fifteen years experience working with children and adults in various forms of education and community development. She strongly believes that every community holds the power to create an environment that provides safety and opportunity for its youth to achieve their dreams and reach their full potential.

Donna Holmes

Joe Ferry