External Advocates are independent advocates who provide assistance and support to individuals receiving services at state operated mental health and juvenile justice facilities.

External Advocates:

  • Help individuals and their families with questions, concerns, and complaints regarding hospital care and treatment.
  • Help resolve concerns and complaints.
  • Work with individuals and others, including local/regional mental health offices and county providers, to facilitate community living.
  • Refer individuals to an attorney or agency that provides legal advocacy.
  • Assist with questions about benefit programs and concerns regarding employment.
  • Provide technical assistance and education regarding rights to individuals, their families and the hospital  staff.
  • Ensure the fundamental rights of the individual receiving services in the state operated facility.

For additional information regarding external advocates at the state run mental health facilities, download the External Advocate brochure. For more on external youth advocates, download the External Youth Advocate brochure.

If you have questions about the External Advocate Program, contact MHAPA by phone at 866-578-3659 or email at externaladvocacy@mhapa.org.

External Adult Advocates

Clark Summit State Hospital (CSSH)

Bill Buck
570-207-0157; 570-587-7127
570-687-5442  (Cell)
bb@theadvocacyalliance.org

Carl Mosier
570-558-0381; 570-587-7127
570-262-3336 (cell)
cm@theadvocacyalliance.org

Danville State Hospital

Michael Nicholas
570-271-4624
mnicholas@mhapa.org

Norristown State Hospital (NSH)

Kim Renninger
610-313-5260
krenninger@mhapa.org
c-krenning@pa.gov

Lisa Novick
610-313-5260
lnovick@mhasp.org

South Mountain Restoration Center (SMRC)

Jamie Hickok
717-749-4042 
jhickok@mhaff.org

Torrance State Hospital (TSH)

Shannon Stiffler
724-459-4520
c-sstiffle@pa.gov

Tasha Myers
724-459-4583
c-tamyers@pa.gov

Warren State Hospital (WSH)

Jodi Wilson
814-726-4294
c-jodwilso@pa.gov

Wernersville State Hospital (WeSH)

Janice Paulino
610-670-4150, ext. 150
c-jpaulino@pa.gov

Claudia Hambright
610-670-4150, ext. 150
c-chambrig@state.pa.us

Deb McCone
610-670-4150, ext. 150
c-dmccone@state.pa.us

External Youth Advocates

Cresson Secure Treatment Unit

Elaina Ingalls
717-346-0549, ext. 8
eingalls@mhapa.org

Youth Forestry Camp #2

Bill Buck
877-315-6855
bb@theadvocacyalliance.org

Loysville Youth Development Center, South Mountain Secure Treatment Unit and Youth Forestry Camp #3

Nicole Pope
717-346-0549, ext. 8
npope@mhapa.org

Loysville Youth Development Center and North Central Secure Treatment Unit

Shalawn James
866-578-3659, ext. 7
sjames@mhapa.org