Barbara Johncour: Ms. Johncour has worked in social services since graduating with a degree in Family Studies from The Pennsylvania State University. Early in her career, Barbara worked for a County Board of Assistance, served on the Board of Directors for one of the early day programs for young children with mental health and intellectual disabilities and for a County Department of Children and Youth Services, was a director of volunteer services at a hospital and long term care facility, served as a case manager for those with developmental disabilities and was a director/manager of a hospice program. As her career and expertise became focused on children and youth with mental health and behavioral challenges, Barbara served as a county Child and Adolescent Service System Coordinator (CASSP) and for many years was a children’s services specialist for the Pennsylvania Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services (OMHSAS) in the Harrisburg Field Office and the Bureau of Children’s Services.
More recently, Ms. Johncour devotes her time to her family and friends , the MHA Board of Directors and ,as a Grief Recovery Specialist, facilitates Grief Recovery Method group sessions. Barbara may be reached through the Mental Health Association of Franklin and Fulton Counties.
Steven Schmidt, Ph. D.:
Dr. Steven Schmidt moved to Chambersburg in 2013 to begin his career as a Psychology Professor at Wilson College. Dr. Schmidt joined the Board of Directors at the Mental Health Assocation of Franklin and Fulton Counties (MHAFF) in 2018.
Research: Much of Dr. Schmidt’s research developed from personal experiences as a cancer survivor. Dr. Schmidt was diagnosed with chronic myelogenous leukemia in 1997 and had a bone marrow transplant in 1999. These experiences eventually fostered his research interests which focus on adjustment and quality of life in cancer survivors, their spouses, and their children. Dr. Schmidt is also interested in adjustment and growth following traumatic events in general from a developmental perspective.
Community: Prior to coming to PA, Dr. Schmidt maintained a volunteer relationship with the American Cancer Society and co-organized Nikki’s Run Walk & Roll- an annual 5k fundraiser for pediatric cancer research and support programs. Currently, Dr. Schmidt is on the planning committee for the Relay for Life of Chambersburg, and also serves on MHAFF’S Individual/Family Satisfaction Team’s (I/FST) Steering and Advisory Committee.
Personal: Dr. Schmidt is an animal lover, a cancer survivor, and a scholar. He is a Steelers, Yankees, and NASCAR fam. His weekends often include watching horror movies, league bowling, attending Wilson College athletics’ events, visiting D.C., or hitting up the North Square Farmer’s Market.
Something unique about Dr. Schmidt: He makes amazing steamed cheese sandwiches!
Dr. Schmidt can be reached through the Mental Health Association of Franklin and Fulton Counties.
Beth Jaczun joined the Mental Health Association Board of Directors in January 2020 and is currently serving as Treasurer. Mrs. Jaczun has an accounting degrees from Penn State University and worked as an auditor with the department of Agriculture’s Diary Division for 10 years. Mrs. Jaczun and her family lived in central Maryland for 28 years during which time she served as the Director of Children’s & Youth ministries at her local church. Mrs. Jaczun and her husband moved to Franklin County in 2016 and she is currently employed by Central Presbyterian Church as their Finance Administrator.
Mrs. Jaczun can be reached through the Mental Health Association of Franklin and Fulton Counties.
Shelia Mercier is a sales executive/office manager/administrative assistant at a local radio station- NEWS TALK 103.7 FM in Chambersburg, PA. Ms. Mercier is a widow, and has two adult children and one grandchild. Ms. Mercier has lived experience with mental health concerns and prior to working at the radio station she served as an AmeriCorps member with MHA in 2005 and was involved with the Community Advocates Program (CAP) and the Community Support Program. Ms. Mercier enjoys writing poetry, watching TV, listening to music, helping others, reading and spending time with friends.
Ms. Mercier may be reached through the Mental Health Association of Franklin and Fulton Counties.
Jennifer S. Buffenbarger:
Dr. Buffenbarger primary career has been in nursing. Her nursing career began as a LPN in upstate New York, working on the Medical/Surgical Unit in a local hospital. With her husband being in the military and assigned overseas, her studies continued through military affiliated universities. Whilst overseas, Dr. Buffenbarger volunteered with American Red Cross, and supported various Army clinics to include vaccination of soldiers deploying to combat areas. On return to USA (Arizona), Dr. B. worked in long-term skilled facilities, earning certification in Dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. Dr. B. transitioned into hospital based medical/surgical nursing as a LPN and then as RN when she passed her nursing boards. Her husband was re-assignment to South Carolina. Dr. B. initially continued with medical/surgical nursing, and with successful completion of critical care course, transferred into critical care. On her husband’s retirement, they both transferred to Shippensburg, PA. Dr. B. career path continued in hospital-based nursing with multiple career experiences: Post Anesthesia Care Unit, Out-patient surgery center, Educator, Director Medical/Surgical/Rehabilitation Units, and Nursing Supervisor over the course of 14 ½ years. During this timeframe, Dr. B. earned her MSN and Ed.D.
Dr. B changed her career path 3 ½ years ago, by joining Wilson College Nursing Department as one of their full-time Assistant Professors. Dr. B. teaches the first year of nursing, mental health nursing course, and functions as a clinical instructor for these sections.
Dr. B. serves on the Franklin County Suicide Coalition, and most recently, accepted to be one of the board members for the Mental Health Association of Franklin and Fulton Counties.
Dr. B. is affiliated with American Holistic Nursing Association and is currently enrolled in their Integrate Healing Arts Program for Holistic Nursing, focusing on the Mind, Body, Spirit, and Emotions.
Dr. B. may be reached through the Mental Health Association of Franklin and Fulton Counties.
Lori DeShong has been the Health and Education Coordinator for the Fulton County Family Partnership for the last 15 years. Lori has concentrated on bringing innovative ideas and best practice to home-based parenting programs in Fulton County. Lori graduated nursing school in 1996. Since then she has grown professionally by becoming a First Aid and CPR Instructor for the American Academy of Pediatrics. She works with the local childcare in Fulton County as a PQAS instructor. Lori is a Professional Development Specialist for the Council of Professional Recognition Child Development Associate. Lori has sat on the Bedford Fulton Head Start Policy Council for the last 5 years. Lori also participates in the Fulton Partners group.
Lori devotes time to her family and has passion for rescued animals. Lori may be reached through the Mental Health Association of Franklin and Fulton Counties.