Studio portraits for Salisbury ManagementMelissa Watson PhD, LPC, BCBA
Senior Vice President, PAHrtners Deaf Services

Melissa Watson serves as the Senior Vice President of PAHrtners Deaf Services. She has worked with children, adolescents and adults with behavioral challenges for 30 years.

After spending many of her professional years in Florida, Melissa returned to her home state of Pennsylvania in 2011 to work at PAHrtners running the residential treatment facility and outpatient program. In 2016 she was promoted to Vice President of Residential Programs for both Glenside and PAHrtners West.

In February 2019, Melissa became the Vice President of Clinical & Residential Services where she was responsible for the clinical programs at Glenside and PAHrtners West and continued to oversee the residential program at PAHrtners West. This provided her with the opportunity to work with all programs at PAHrtners. During Melissa’s tenure as the Vice President of Clinical & Residential Services four new programs were added to PAHrtners: blended case management for community members and outpatient services at PAHrtners West, community participation support at both PAHrtners sites, and psychiatric rehabilitation services at Glenside.

In 2021, Melissa was promoted to Senior Vice President of PAHrtners Deaf Services.

Melissa obtained her social work degree from Bloomsburg University. She holds two master’s degrees — one in Mental Health Counseling from Gallaudet University, and a second in Applied Behavior Analysis from Florida Institute of Technology. Melissa earned her doctorate degree in public services leadership specializing in multidisciplinary human services from Capella University in 2016.

Lauren Clarke, BA
Operations Vice President,
PAHrtners Deaf Services

Lauren Clarke joined the PAHrtners family in July of 2016. She has over 20 years of supervisory experience in residential management in both the school system and in psychological services. She graduated from Thomas Edison State College with BA in Communication Studies and is currently pursuing her Masters in Social Work.

Lauren is a proud member of the Deaf community and strives to elevate others to a level of excellence. She fully empathizes with the struggles others experience in terms of communication and barriers to receiving services.

When Lauren has free time, she enjoys various hobbies such as reading, family time and trying new things. The driving force behind Lauren’s work is: “Life is not intended to be easy. Challenges are there to teach us that life becomes more meaningful once we get through them.”

Misty Roff
Regional Director, PAHrtners Deaf Services

Misty began her journey with PAHrtners Deaf Services in October, 2017. In August, 2018 she was promoted to Human Resources/Office Manager and in April, 2021 she was promoted to her current position, Regional Director of Western Pennsylvania.

Misty has over 15 years of supervisory and business operations experience in various sectors of advocacy, including: health care, facilitating healthy lifestyle programs in impoverished areas and job resource and training for individuals with disabilities. She holds a degree in Foreign Language from American River College and is currently pursuing her master’s degree in Health Care Administration with a focus in Leadership.

When Misty has free time she enjoys hiking, gardening and an ever growing list of hobbies which reflect her never-ending curiosity with life.

The driving factor behind Misty’s work is best illuminated by the words of Mahtme Ghandi: “You must be the change you wish to see in the world.”

Studio portraits for SalisburyWendy Heines, LCSW, MSW.
Executive Director of Community Relations, PAHrtners Deaf Services

Wendy Heines is the Executive Director of Community Relations at PAHrtners Deaf Services. She has over 20 years of experience establishing and operating behavioral healthcare programs for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing population in New Jersey and Pennsylvania.

Wendy joined the newly formed Deaf Services Center (now PAHrtners Deaf Services) in 2003 as its director. After several promotions, she assumed the role of Chief Executive Officer in January 2010. Under Wendy’s leadership the PAHrtners staff grew from 12 to more than 200 employees. Over 90 percent of those employees are Deaf or Hard of Hearing. In 2021, Wendy transitioned out of the CEO role and into a newly created Executive Director of Community Relations role.

During Wendy’s tenure PAHrtners added several programs to its range of services, including: specialized mental health interpreting, outpatient, case management, mental health residential services, and psychiatric rehab services, as well as community living arrangements and community participation support for individuals who are Deaf with co-occurring developmental disabilities. She also led the organization through the expansion into its satellite location in Pittsburgh providing CLA, outpatient, case management services, and community participation support.

Wendy is most proud of this family called PAHrtners Deaf Services. “We set out to prove to the world that a team of Deaf professionals can run a behavioral support program,” said Wendy. “We have been told repeatedly by government regulatory bodies, by managed care organizations reviewing our work, and most importantly by the people we serve and their families that the quality of our work is exemplary. Our PAHrtners team is dedicated and passionate about the work we do because we “get it.” Deafness is our lives too!!”

Wendy has a progressive hearing loss which began in childhood. Now she is proudly Deaf. This is important, because it has allowed her to empathize with the life experiences of people who are hard of hearing and late deafened. Wendy has been a part of the Deaf community for over 25 years. She embraces Deaf culture, is an active member of the Deaf community and cherishes American Sign Language.

In 1991, Wendy graduated from Rutgers University with a Master’s degree in Social Work.

Wendy is a member of the American Deafness and Rehabilitation Association (ADARA ). ADARA is a group of professionals networking together with the goal of providing excellence in service delivery to individuals who are Deaf or Hard of Hearing. She served as its Member at Large from 2003 to 2007, as well as co-chairing the ADARA National Conference in 2003. Additionally, Wendy is a lifetime member of the Pennsylvania Society for the Advancement of the Deaf.

Leadership Updates

April 15, 2021

PAHrtners Deaf Services Leadership Transition Announcement: A Strong Foundation for a Bright Future

Wendy Heines transitions out of CEO role

PAHrtners Deaf Services would like to share the news that longtime Chief Executive Officer Wendy Heines will be transitioning out of the CEO role and into a newly created Executive Director of Community Relations role on April 15, 2021.

“PAHrtners is absolutely the pinnacle of my career and the shining star of my life’s work” said Wendy. “On my first day on the job, I could not have envisioned what PAHrtners would be today. I am so proud that Melissa will be the new leader for PAHrtners and I know she will bring us to new heights.”

Wendy joined the newly formed Deaf Services Center (now PAHrtners Deaf Services) in 2003 as its director. After several promotions, she assumed the role of Chief Executive Officer in January 2010. Under Wendy’s leadership the PAHrtners staff has grown from 12 to more than 200 employees. Over 90 percent of those employees are Deaf or Hard of Hearing.

During Wendy’s tenure PAHrtners has added several programs to its range of services, including: specialized mental health interpreting, outpatient, case management, mental health residential services, and psychiatric rehab services, as well as community living arrangements and community participation support for individuals who are Deaf with co-occurring developmental disabilities. She also led the organization through the expansion into its satellite location in Pittsburgh providing CLA, outpatient, case management services, and community participation support.

In her new role, Wendy will be focused on service expansion through continued community advocacy and partnership.

Melissa Watson takes the reins as Senior Vice President

PAHrtners is pleased to announce that as Wendy transitions to her new role, Melissa Watson, current Vice President of Clinical and Residential Programs, will step into the role of Senior Vice President of PAHrtners Deaf Services.

Melissa has worked with children, adolescents and adults with behavioral challenges for 30 years. After spending many of her professional years in Florida, she returned to her home state of Pennsylvania in 2011 to work at PAHrtners running the residential treatment facility and outpatient program.

In 2016 Melissa was promoted to Vice President of Residential Programs for both Glenside and PAHrtners West. In February 2019, Melissa became the Vice President of Clinical & Residential Services where she was responsible for the clinical programs at Glenside and PAHrtners West and continued to oversee the residential program at PAHrtners West. This provided her with the opportunity to work with all programs at PAHrtners. During Melissa’s tenure as the Vice President of Clinical & Residential Services four new programs were added to PAHrtners: blended case management for community members and outpatient services at PAHrtners West, community participation support at both PAHrtners sites, and psychiatric rehabilitation services at Glenside.

We are excited to have new programs and look forward to future expansions to serve the Deaf and Hard of Hearing population.

“I’ve been inspired by the growth at PAHrtners and the new programs we’ve been able to add over the decade I’ve been with the organization,” said Melissa. “I am excited to take on this new leadership role and I look forward to guiding us to future expansion so that we can further serve the Deaf and Hard of Hearing population with quality and excellence.”

Melissa obtained her social work degree from Bloomsburg University. She holds two master’s degrees — one in Mental Health Counseling from Gallaudet University, and a second in Applied Behavior Analysis from Florida Institute of Technology. Melissa earned her doctorate degree in public services leadership specializing in multidisciplinary human services from Capella University in 2016.

Through the strong legacy Wendy leaves from her CEO tenure and the bright vision Melissa brings for the future, PAHrtners is well positioned for ongoing success in providing high-quality services to the people it supports.