For the past 17 years, Pittsburgh’s Marc Cherna has served needy children and families throughout the region as the director of the Allegheny County Department of Human Services.
He recently received a Lifetime Achievement Award from Casey Family Programs, the nation’s largest foster child foundation. The honor is granted to individuals who improve the welfare of children and provide dedicated service to the public.
Cherna, who is originally from New York, said he moved to Pittsburgh on a whim and had not originally planned on staying, but soon fell in love with the city and the generosity of those living here. He is credited with expanding and improving the department, which he says is due in part to strong relationships with community members and other charitable organizations.
“To protect children, it really is a community responsibility. Government cannot do this alone and folks really have to all work together and own the system. In Allegheny County we’ve been fortunate that people have stepped up. When we’ve asked for help, people have really risen to the occasion and it’s been a great working relationship on all fronts, which really makes a difference here.”