Welcome to PBS Mental Health
Located immediately adjacent to Butler Memorial Hospital, our multidisciplinary mental health practice offers psychiatric treatment for the full range of mental health disorders. Our staff provides assessment, medication management, and counseling to adults, children, families, and couples. Some of the conditions we routinely treat include:
- Mood disorders, including depression and bipolar disease
- Anxiety disorders, including panic, social anxiety, and post-traumatic stress disorder
- Alcohol and drug abuse (no suboxone program at present)
- Family and marital relationship difficulties
- Children’s behavior problems
- Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder
- Schizophrenia and related conditions
- behavioral consequences of brain diseases, such as Alzheimer’s disease and vascular dementia
PBS Mental Health Associates participates in most insurance plans, but we are unable to accept patients with Medical Assistance plans, including those that are administered through state-funded commercial insurance.
Although the large majority of our patients are treated on an outpatient basis, we can also provide inpatient services, as needed, on the behavioral health units at Butler Memorial Hospital. As well, we offer behavioral health consultation services at a number of extended care facilities in the area.
PBS Mental Health Associates is pleased to announce we are open for in person appointments!
We are still committed to ensuring that our patients and staff are safe. When you enter our office please wear a mask (if you do not have one, one will be provided). Please check in and then be seated in the waiting room if chairs are available. Please adhere to all of the safety precautions. If you are physically sick, please cancel and reschedule and use social distancing measures.
Our hours are Monday – Thursday 9 am – 7 pm and Friday 9 am – 3 pm. We are excited we are open but you now have options. Telemedicine is still an option we fully support. Please discuss which option you want with your clinician. If you have any questions please call our front staff for any scheduling and/or billing issues.
Our office is in the Cypher Professional Building, approximately 100 yards from Butler Memorial Hospital. Our address is:
901 East Brady Street, Suite 103 Butler, PA 16001
We are located toward the back of the building, along Third Street, next to the parking lot. You can also orient yourself with a picture of our parking lot and the entrance to our suite (second door to the left of the parking lot) by clicking here. For individuals with limited mobility, there is an entrance directly into the second floor of our suite. If you need directions to this entrance, please call the office, at (724) 282-1627.
1000 Gamma Dr. Suite 100 Pittsburgh, PA 15238
We are located in the RIDC Park at Fox Chapel of Rt. 28. Our office is located next to Periwinkles Baker. Our entrance is on the first floor directly to the left when entering the building
Making an Appointment
In order to arrange a meeting with one of our staff, please call the office during business hours, between 9 am and 5 pm, Monday through Friday, at (724) 282‑1627. When you call, here are some of the questions our staff will ask you:
- Your name, age, address, and other identifying information
- A description of the problem for which you are seeking help
- A brief review of your medical history, including your current medications
- Insurance information
- The name of an emergency contact person
Except in the case of children and the very elderly, we ask that you make the initial call for an appointment for yourself, rather than to have a family member do it for you. However, if you are seeking treatment for several family members, any family member can make the initial call.
Your First Visit
Please plan to arrive 30 minutes prior to the time of your first appointment in order to complete the necessary paperwork. You should bring along the following information:
- Your insurance cards
- A list of your current medications (if any)
- The name of your primary care physician
- A list of previous mental health treatment (if any)
Prior to meeting the clinician, you will be asked to sign a consent to treatment and some other paperwork, to complete a medical questionnaire, and to review for accuracy the information that we obtained from you on the telephone when you arranged for the appointment. You might wish to complete the Medical Questionnaire ahead of time. You can have a look at it now by clicking on the highlighted link. If you wish, you can print up a copy of the questionnaire and fill it out before you arrive at the office, so that there will be less to do on the day of your first appointment. You may also wish to fill out one other brief form ahead of time by clicking here: Financial Policy.
In the first session, your clinician will ask you quite a few questions about your current problems and the history of those problems. The clinician will also ask about your medical history and will inquire about your past personal history in order to obtain a more complete understanding of the context in which your problems have arisen. Your clinician will then discuss with you how we can help you and will suggest what might be the next steps. Your clinician may suggest a particular kind of counseling, a certain medication, a more general medical evaluation, or perhaps referral for other special services. It is important that you feel free to express any ideas or preferences you have about treatment, because treatment is likely to be more effective if it is consistent with your point of view.
Meet the Doctors
John H. Soffietti, MD
Dr. Soffietti has been with PBS Mental Health Associates since 1984. He is a graduate of Syracuse University and attended SUNY Upstate Medical Center, where he received his medical degree. Dr. Soffietti completed his internship and residency at the University of Pittsburgh and is board certified in General Psychiatry. Dr. Soffietti serves as Medical Director of the Butler Regional Recovery Program at Butler Memorial Hospital. Following the retirement of founder F. Gordon Foster, MD, in 2002, Dr. Soffietti and Dr. Handler have served as managing partners of PBS Mental Health Associates.
Ira S. Handler, MD
Dr. Handler has been with PBS Mental Health Associates since 1991. He is a graduate of the School of Medicine at the State University of New York, Buffalo. Dr. Handler completed an internship and residency at the University of Pittsburgh, as well as a fellowship in geriatric psychiatry. He is board certified in Psychiatry by the American Board, with Added Qualifications in Geriatric Psychiatry. Dr. Handler serves as Medical Director of the Geriatric Psychiatry inpatient unit at Butler Memorial Hospital. His practice includes inpatient and medical consultation psychiatry, outpatient care, and long-term care consultation. Dr. Handler’s practice also includes collaborative clinical work with our group’s psychiatric nurse practitioners and physician assistants.
Dr. Handler’s special interests are in geriatric psychiatric and medical-psychiatric disorders.
Jennifer L. Wildpret, DO.
Dr. Wildpret started with PBS Mental Health Associates in September 2011. She is a graduate of Bethany College and attended the West Virginia School of Osteopathic Medicine, where she received her Doctor of Osteopathy degree. Dr. Wildpret completed a one-year rotating internship at Ohio Valley Medical Center in West Virginia and then went on to complete her residency education at Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center, where she also completed a fellowship in child and adolescent psychiatry. Dr. Wildpret is board certified in general psychiatry, as well as in child and adolescent psychiatry. Dr. Wildpret enjoys working directly with kids, teens, and adults, as well as doing collaborative clinical work with our group’s psychiatric nurse practitioners and physician assistants. Dr. Wildpret believes her training in osteopathic medicine is a natural fit in psychiatry, and she incorporates a mind-body-spirit approach to health and well-being.
Kelli Ruby, DO.
Dr. Ruby started with PBS Mental Health Associates in November 2018. Dr. Ruby is a graduate of Gannon University and received a medical degree from Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine. She completed a residency in psychiatry at University of Massachusetts Medical School (UMMS)-Baystate. She is board certified in psychiatry with the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology. Dr. Ruby serves as the psychiatrist for the Adult Psychiatry inpatient unit at Butler Memorial Hospital. Her practice also includes outpatient medication management. Dr. Ruby’s special interests include perinatal mood and anxiety disorders, positive psychiatry, and integrated behavioral health. She believes in a collaborative care approach to mental health.
Randon C. Simmons, MD.
Dr. Simmons is a graduate of the University of Michigan and received a medical degree from the University of Pittsburgh. He completed a four-year combined internship and residency in General and Child Psychiatry at Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic. He is board certified in General Psychiatry, as well as in Child/Adolescent Psychiatry. Dr. Simmons serves as Medical Director of the Assertive Community Treatment Team, and he will be be seeing outpatients at both the PBS and Family Services sites. His primary areas of interest include child, adolescent, and young adult psychiatry, as well as individuals with intellectual disabilities.
M. Lynn Rickert, PhD
Dr. Rickert has been affiliated with PBS Mental Health Associates since 1982. She has a doctorate in counseling from the University of Pittsburgh and is a licensed psychologist. Dr. Rickert treats adults with a variety of problems, such as depression, anxiety, adjustment problems, and personality disorders. She has a particular interest in working with people who are dealing with serious medical illness and physical disability. However, she is not currently taking new patients.
Emanuel Schnepp, PhD
Dr. Schnepp has been affiliated with PBS Mental Health Associates since 2004. He completed a doctorate at Duquesne University and works as a clinical psychologist. Dr. Schnepp works with children ages five and up and with adults with a variety of mental health issues, including depression, anxiety, ADHD, ODD, and high functioning autism spectrum disorders. He also provides evaluations for pain management procedures.
LICENSED CLINICAL SOCIAL WORKERS
Mary Kay Kelly, LCSW
Ms. Kelly has been affiliated with PBS Mental Health Associates since 2002. She received a master’s degree in social work from the University of Pittsburgh and is licensed by the state of Pennsylvania. She works part-time with adults with a variety of mental health issues, including depression, anxiety, and bereavement. She is also employed in psychiatry at Butler Memorial Hospital.
Jennifer McConnell, LCSW
Ms. McConnell has been affiliated with PBS Mental Health Associates since 2014. She obtained a master’s degree from Edinboro University and has worked in psychiatry since 2009. Ms. McConnell works with children, adolescents, and adults who have a variety of mental health concerns, including depression and anxiety, in particular.
Michael Moyeroff, LCSW
Mr. Moyeroff has been associated with PBS Mental Health Associates since 2001. He received a master’s degree in social work from the University of Pittsburgh and is licensed by the state of Pennsylvania. He works part-time with adolescents and adults with a variety of mental health issues, including depression, anxiety, and anger management. He is also employed at Staunton Clinic, in Sewickley.
Bethany Snoke, LCSW
Ms. Snoke has been affiliated with PBS Mental Health Associates since the spring of 2018. She is a licensed clinical social worker in the state of Pennsylvania and received her master’s degree from the University of Pittsburgh. Ms. Snoke focuses her practice on supporting individuals to live fuller and healthier lives by working on overcoming barriers. She is well experienced in working with adults with severe mental illness, as well as in supporting children and families through conflict resolution and by helping them to develop healthier relationships. She works with adults and children who have a variety of emotional and psychological concerns.
Meghan Keasey, LSW
Ms. Keasey has been affiliated with PBS Mental Health Associates since 2020 and is licensed by the state of Pennsylvania. She obtained her master’s degree from Edinboro University and has been working in the mental health and developmental services field since 2004. Ms. Keasey has a background in maternal mental health, child and adolescent mental health, substance abuse, and relationship counseling.
Tracy Lachendro, LSW
Tracy has been with PBS since 2021. She obtained her Master’s degree in social work from the University of Pittsburgh in 2007 and is licensed in the state of PA. Tracy works part-time with adolescents and adults with a variety of mental health concerns, such as grief, depression, and anxiety.
LICENSED PROFESSIONAL COUNSELORS
Ruthane M. Durso, MA
Ms. Durso has been associated with PBS Mental Health Associates since 2004. She has also been employed by Butler Memorial Hospital as a clinical social worker and supervisor since 1995. She received her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in psychology from Geneva College and is licensed as a Professional Counselor in Pennsylvania. She also holds a national certification as a counselor and is a Certified Addictions Counselor in the state of Pennsylvania. Ms. Durso treats individuals with a variety of mental health problems, including depression, anxiety, and adjustment disorder.
Ann Loper, MA
Ms. Loper has a BA from Mercyhurst College and an MA from Slippery Rock University. She has been employed at PBS Mental Health Associates since 2006. In addition, she has worked as a therapist at the Butler Regional Recovery Program since 2000. She is a licensed professional counselor in Pennsylvania. Ann treats a variety of mental health issues, including substance abuse. She also conducts bariatric evaluations.
Robert Miller, MA
Mr. Miller has been affiliated with PBS Mental Health Associates since 2013. He obtained a master’s degree from Indiana University of Pennsylvania. Mr. Miller works with adolescents and adults who have a variety of mental health concerns, including depression, anxiety, and attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder. He also provides couples counseling and family therapy.
Jihan Allay, MA LMFT
Ms. Allay has been associated with PBS since 2019. She graduated from Seton Hill University with a master’s in marriage and family therapy and is a licensed marriage and family therapist in the state of PA. She is certified in trauma focused cognitive behavioral therapy (TF-CBI). Jihan is a systemic therapist who works with children, adolescents and adults who have a variety of mental issues. She enjoys working with families and couples to help improve communication and strengthen relationships.
Deborah L. Solari, MEd
Ms. Solari has been affiliated with PBS Mental Health Associates since 1986. She is a licensed professional counselor in the state of Pennsylvania. She provides psychotherapy to individuals with a variety of emotional and psychological issues. She also sees patients with relationship communication problems and has recently expanded her practice skills to include the treatment of post-traumatic stress disorder. In addition to her continuing work as psychotherapist, in 2002 Ms. Solari became the Practice Administrator and in this role oversees the operational aspects of the practice.
Sarah Cho, MA
Sarah has been affiliated with PBS since 2022. Sarah earned her Master’s Degree in Mental Health Counseling from Boston College. She has a focused experience with children and adults who have experienced trauma and attachment disruptions. Her areas of interest include: anxiety, depression, trauma, grief, perinatal as well as postpartum mental health, and relational difficulties, especially in martial and family relationships. Sarah believes in coming along clients through genuine connection and collaborative effort to support them on their path to healing, helping them gain insight and learn healthy ways to cope and resolve conflicts.
Joyce Cicco, RN, MSN
Joyce Cicco has been affiliated with PBS Mental Health Associates since 1994. She completed a master’s degree at the University of Pittsburgh and is certified as a Clinical Nurse Specialist in Adult Psychiatric Mental Health Nursing by the American Nurses Association. She utilizes cognitive-behavior therapy in the treatment of adults with a variety of mental health problems, including depression and anxiety disorders. In addition to her work with PBS Mental Health Associates, she was Professor of Nursing at Butler County Community College teaching Psychiatric Nursing, as well as to hold the position of Interim Dean of Nursing and Allied Health, until 2004.
Jennifer Angert, RN, CRNP
Jennifer Angert has been affiliated with PBS Mental Health Associates since 2007. She obtained a master’s degree in nursing from the University of Pittsburgh. She is board certified as an adult psychiatric and mental health nurse practitioner by the American Nurses Credentialing Center. She has worked in psychiatry for over a decade. She practices in collaboration with our group’s psychiatrists and sees adolescents and adults in a variety of settings, including the hospital, outpatient office, and assisted living facilities.
Stacy Burka, DNP, CRNP
Ms. Burka has been affiliated with PBS Mental Health Associates since 2016. She obtained a doctoral degree in nursing practice from Robert Morris University. Ms. Burka is board certified as a psychiatric nurse practitioner and sees people across the life span. She works with children, adolescents, and adults who have mental health disorders, including depression, anxiety, ADHD, bipolar disorder, and other behavioral health issues. Ms. Burka also practices in the adult inpatient setting, in collaboration with the group’s psychiatrists. Ms. Burka is additionally board certified as a family nurse practitioner; she believes that her additional training in the medical aspects of care allow her to better treat each person as a whole.
Lori Harris, RN, CRNP
Ms. Harris has been affiliated with PBS Mental Health Associates since 2014. She obtained a masters degree in nursing from the University of Pittsburgh. She is board certified by the American Nurses Credentialing Center as a psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner. Ms. Harris works with adolescents and adults who have a range of mental health issues, both in inpatient hospital and outpatient settings.
Prior to her employment with PBS, Ms. Harris worked as a registered nurse for nine years in the medical intensive care unit at UPMC Presbyterian Hospital in Pittsburgh, where she cared for patients with a variety of medical and psychiatric conditions.
Mandy Claypoole, PA-C
Mandy Claypoole has been affiliated with PBS Mental Health Associates since 2005. She completed her PA degree at Gannon University in 2002 and a master’s degree from the University of Nebraska in 2003. Mandy worked at Renal Endocrine Associates of Pittsburgh before joining PBS Mental Health Associates. She treats adults with a variety of mental health problems, both in the hospital and on an outpatient basis. In addition to her work at PBS Mental Health Associates, Mandy sees patients at Family Services and the Community Health Center.
Deborah L. Solari
Deborah is one of our licensed professional counselors, but also acts as the Practice Administrator. She has been with PBS Mental Health Associates since 1986.
Cindy has been with PBS Mental Health Associates since 2021. She works full time in the front office on the evening shift.
Kathy has been with PBS Mental Health Associates since 2003. She is part of the back office staff and assists our billing company with inpatient and nursing home billing. She will also be glad to help you with any problems that cannot be resolved by calling our billing company.
Heather has been with PBS Mental Health Associates since 2002. She is part of the front desk staff and oversees your mental health coverage with your insurance company. She will be happy to assist you in finding out about your benefits.
Tammy has been with PBS Mental Health Associates since 2018. She works full time in the front office.
Tammy has been with PBS Mental Health Associates since 2000. She is the practice billing specialist and also oversees all correspondence in the office.
Emily has been with PBS Mental Health Associates since 2022. She is working in the front office at both Butler and Fox Chapel locations.
Listed below are links to some useful information, as well as to some particularly important policies that we follow.
If you have questions about any of these issues, please contact our office, at (724) 282‑1627.
OUR CANCELLATION POLICY
We ask that you contact us at least 24 hours in advance if you need to cancel an appointment. If you are unable to do so or fail to keep a scheduled appointment, a fee of $30 may be added to your account (at the discretion of the clinician you were to see that day). However, there are special policies that affect the cancellation of forensic appointments (including custody evaluations). Please follow the forensic evaluations link, below, for more information about this. You may cancel your appointment by Email, if you wish. Click here to send us a message. Please be sure to include your name, the clinician with whom your appointment is scheduled, and the date and time of the appointment.
REQUESTS FOR NEW PRESCRIPTIONS
We are happy to telephone a re-authorization of your prescription to the pharmacy of your choice. Please call or stop by the office during normal working hours on Mondays, Tuesdays, or Wednesdays for this purpose. As soon as the doctor reviews your chart, we will contact your pharmacy. This process generally takes about 48 hours. If you have not been seen in the office within the past six months, you will be asked to schedule an appointment before your prescription can be renewed.
If you would like us to send information about your treatment to another practitioner or agency, please print out and complete a Release of Information form, a copy of which is available here. After you fill out and sign the form, have your signature witnessed, and return the form to our office, we will send the requested information to the recipient indicated on the form.
AMERICAN PSYCHIATRIC ASSOCIATION. Useful information about mental health issues.
AMERICAN PSYCHOLOGICAL ASSOCIATION. Useful information about mental health issues.
NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF MENTAL HEALTH. Useful information about mental health issues.
Health Care Insurance Information
Sometimes, health insurance policies feel like they’re written in a foreign language. You read them and wonder, “What in the world does that mean?” Understanding basic medical insurance terms is important-especially if you’re shopping for a new policy. That knowledge can help you pick the plan that best fits your needs and may save you money. Heathcare.gov provides plain-language definitions of many health insurance terms. You’ll find a list of terms at healthcare.gov/glossary.
You can also read definitions of some basic for terms below.
- Premium. The monthly amount you pay for insurance
- Coverage. The health services your plan will pay for.
- Deductible. The amount you’re required to pay for medical care each year before your insurance begins to pay. If you have a deductible of $1,000, you’ll pay $1,000 out of pocket for covered health services before your insurance pays anything. The deductible may not apply to all services.
- Co-pay. This is short for co-payment. It’s a set dollar amount ($15, for example) you pay each time you see a provider, get a prescription or use another covered health service. Your co-pay can vary, depending on your plan and the type of service you get. Your insurance company pays the rest of the bill up to the amount allowed by your plan.
- Allowed amount. The most your plan will pay for certain health care services. If your health care provider charge is more than your insurance will pay, you may have to pay the difference.
- Co-insurance. The percentage of the cost of a service that you must pay after you’ve met your deductible. A common co-insurance ration is 80-to-20. In other words, insurance pays 80 percent of the allowed amount for the service and you pay 20 percent.
- Formulary. A list of prescription drugs that your health plan or prescription plan will cover. It’s also called a drug list.
- In-network/out-of-network. Providers-hospitals, doctors, specialist and therapist, for example-who accept your health insurance are called innetwork providers. Ones that don’t are called out-of-network providers. It typically costs you more to see out-of-network providers, so check carefully to see if the health care providers you use or are considering using are innetwork or out-of-network.
You can reach us during normal business hours by calling (724) 282‑1627. At night and on the weekend, our telephone is monitored by the answering service, whose staff is available to take your message. For active patients in our practice, the answering service will be able to reach the doctor on call in an emergency using the number (724) 282‑1627.
If you wish to send us a fax, our fax number is (724) 282-4810. Our fax machine is monitored during regular working hours only.