The Pennsylvania Health Law Project (PHLP) is saddened to learn of the passing of Richard ("Rich") Kovslesky, PhD, who passed away earlier this year at the age of 63.
After suffering a spinal cord injury at the age of 22 which left him with quadriplegia, Rich went on to become a tireless advocate for people with disabilities during his lifetime. He served for nearly a decade on both the Consumer Subcommittee of the Medical Assistance Advisory Committee and as a consumer member of the Managed Long-Term Services and Supports (MLTSS) Subcommittee, both of which directly influence Medicaid and Long Term Care policies in our state. As a person with a disability, Rich was enrolled in the Community HealthChoices (CHC) program and later the Act 150 program. He used his deep knowledge and lived experience to fight for policies that protect and advance the rights of those with disabilities, and the Consumer Subcommittee and the MLTSS Subcommittee were two of the platforms that helped Rich advance this mission.
In addition to his advocacy on behalf of people with disabilities, Rich was a well-respected counselor who ran his own private practice, Pocono Consulting, and was a member of the Pennsylvania Counseling Association, the National Board of Counseling, and the National Board of Certified Counselors. He relied on a power wheelchair and other assistive technology to help him integrate into his community and succeed in his professional endeavors. Rich Kovalesky was an inspiration to many and will be sadly missed by all who had the pleasure and privilege of knowing him.