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November 1, 2013 - October 31, 2014
Torrance State Hospital welcomes you…
Welcome to Torrance State Hospital’s web page and an overview of our progressive treatment program focused on supporting individuals in pursuit of recovery and community living. Torrance, a public psychiatric hospital, is funded by the Department of Public Welfare through the Office of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services, Bureau of Hospital Operations.
Torrance is nestled in the foothills of the beautiful Chestnut Ridge and located 50 miles east of Pittsburgh, just off Route 22. Certified by the Centers for Medicaid & Medicare Services (CMS), Torrance State Hospital (TSH) provides inpatient services for individuals with severe and persistent mental illness. The hospital serves individuals in three distinct services: (1) Civil; (2) Forensic, through the Regional Forensic Psychiatric Center (RFPC); and (3) Sexual Responsibility & Treatment Program (SRTP). This dynamic facility has a dedicated staff of professionals and non-professionals who offer hope for recovery which is based on an individualized plan of treatment through referral from county-based programs. As a partner in the public mental health system, Torrance achieves its mission through collaboration with individuals in treatment, county programs, providers, family members, advocates and significant others to return individuals to the least restrictive setting, in a supportive and restorative environment. Through multi-disciplinary teams, Torrance State Hospital successfully discharges individuals from an intensive hospital-based active treatment program staffed by licensed professionals to out-patient programs managed by county mental health professionals.
Thank you for visiting our site. I hope that this information has been helpful. Please feel free to contact me at (724) 459-4511 if I, or my staff, can be of further assistance. Other specific phone numbers are provided later on this site to assure that you can obtain needed information.
Edna I. McCutcheon
Chief Executive Officer
Torrance State Hospital is committed to provide all persons who have serious mental illness, including those with a co-occurring disorder, the opportunity for growth, recovery, and inclusion in their community. This is provided through evidence and promise-based psychiatric treatment and substance abuse services, access to the supports and services of their choice, so individuals may enjoy a quality of life that facilitates personal growth and achievement
Torrance State Hospital places a high value upon:
Torrance State Hospital will expand its role as an integral component of the unified mental health continuum by providing a comprehensive array of treatment, support, and services in partnership with all stakeholders. We adhere to a "No Wrong Door" approach in order to include integrated services related to mental health, physical health, and substance use disorders.
1. Civil Program
Individuals are generally admitted to TSH from a community in-patient psychiatric hospitalization. If the treating physician at the community hospital determines that the patient requires longer term psychiatric treatment, a referral is initiated by the appropriate county program office.
Counties served by the Civil program include: Allegheny County; Armstrong County; Bedford County; Blair County; Butler County; Cambria County; Fayette County; Indiana County; Somerset County; Westmoreland County
All referrals for admission to Torrance State Hospital are processed through the Social Services Department which is one of six Departments within the Social and Rehabilitative Services domain, administered by Ms. Angela Harris, Chief Social/Rehabilitative Executive (724-459-4423). Referrals for admission are received by Ms. Sherry Weible (724-459-4444). Individual clinical information is reviewed together with the county mental health program to assure that the needs of the person will be best met by the services provided at Torrance State Hospital as well as assuring that all procedural requirements have been met to safeguard the rights of the person being referred. Family members and significant others are welcome and encouraged to visit or speak with the hospital staff during the pre-admission phase to have questions answered and to promote and support continuity of care.
The Admission Office is located on the third floor of the Greizman Building and the mailing address is:
Torrance State Hospital
PO Box 111
Torrance, PA 15779-0111
The 911 Emergency Address for the Greizman Building is:
Torrance State Hospital
121 Longview Drive
Torrance, PA 15779
The toll free telephone number is:
1-866-816-9212 which will prompt the caller to the appropriate extension number
Hours of Operation and Contact Information
The Admissions Office is staffed from 8:00 AM until 4:00 PM Monday through Friday. Messages may be left 24 hours a day, seven days a week on the above listed phone extensions and someone will return the call during regular hours of operation.
In an effort to assure ongoing family and friend support during hospitalization, general visiting hours are between the hours of 9:00 AM and 8:30 PM but visits must be scheduled around Active Treatment Programming so that maximum opportunity for treatment may occur. A visiting area is available in each building.
All employees of Torrance State Hospital are trained to assure that the rights of patients are respected and protected. Torrance State Hospital is committed to assuring that the rights of all patients are protected in compliance with The Bill of Rights and the Manual of Rights for Patients in the PA Code, Title 55. Copies of these rights are provided to patients through the Torrance State Hospital Patient Handbook. Additional copies of the handbook are available to families and others. Other organizational safeguards established to protect patient rights include the Human Rights Committee; Patient Abuse Investigation Board; Performance Improvement/Risk Management Committee; The Ethics Committee; and the External Advocate Program. The External Advocate Program is staffed at Torrance by Ms. Renee Patten (724-459-4583) and Christy Lisbon (724-459-4583) via contract with the Westmoreland County Mental Health America (MHA).
Torrance State Hospital is a dynamic, treatment oriented, psychiatric facility that emphasizes thorough and accurate assessment and individualized treatment based upon contemporary evidence based practices. The application of Community Support (CSP), psychiatric rehabilitation and recovery principles are key elements of the Active Treatment Program. Patients are active partners with Treatment Team members in the development of Individualized Treatment plans and Active Treatment schedules.
Over 150 different types of groups have been developed to provide programming at various times and days of the week to afford patients the opportunity to have treatment that is individualized to meet their needs, as well as interests. Some of the more innovative and state-of-the-art treatment programs include Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT); Cognitive Remediation; Discharge Fears: Anger Control; Co-occurring Disorders related to drug and/or alcohol; Health Promotions and Safe Choices; Patient Worker Program; Spirituality Support Groups; Horticulture; Keys to Success; Trauma Survivors; Relapse Prevention; Smoking Cessation; Striving for Recovery Groups; Symptom Management; and Consumer Run Drop-In Center programs regarding Peer Support, including the Annual Consumer Developed and Facilitated Hospital and Community Conference.
The Active Treatment program is based on trimesters with program schedules being revised at least every four months or more frequently based upon the needs of the patient.
2. Regional Forensic Psychiatric Center (RFPC)
On November 13, 2008, the Regional Forensic Psychiatric Center (RFPC) program transferred from Mayview State Hospital to Torrance State Hospital. The Chief Forensic Executive (CFE), Ms. Marcia J. Hepner, may be reached at (724) 675-2101.
Referrals to the RFPC occur from 35 counties through the county court system related to individuals with criminal charges who are admitted for competency assessment, competency restoration and/or treatment.
Referrals to the RFPC are coordinated through Ms. Lynn Gasbarre, Social Work Supervisor, who may be reached at (724) 675-2113.
The Regional Forensic Psychiatric Center (RFPC) provides active psychiatric treatment and/or psychiatric evaluation in a secure facility for persons that are involved with the county-based judicial/correction systems. A person referred for admission to the RFPC must be under criminal detention by this system. For those persons committed for psychiatric treatment, the anticipated outcome is that with stabilization of symptoms, the individual will return to the judicial system. For those individuals referred for court ordered evaluations, the outcome is their return to the judicial system with a comprehensive psychiatric evaluation forwarded to the court of jurisdiction.
Forensic Admission Process:
The Torrance State Hospital Regional Forensic Psychiatric Center (RFPC) Pre-admission Contact form is completed by the referring county and includes the reason for admission, the person's psychiatric, medical and legal status. The Treatment Team Director, Social Worker, Forensic Registered Nurse Supervisor and Chief Forensic Executive (CFE) complete a pre-admission assessment based on the data sent by the referring county of the patient and their needs, determine if those needs can be met at the RFPC requesting additional information if necessary.
Once the pre-admission assessment is completed and admission criteria have been met, the hospital's Forensic Social Worker will contact the county and schedule the admission. The person is transported by county law enforcement personnel to the Forensic center, and is generally admitted between the hours of 8 a.m. and 4 p.m.
Forensic Contact Information:
Marcia J. Hepner
Chief Forensic Executive
Forensic Social Work Supervisor
Other Social Work staff are:
Forensic Visiting Guidelines:
All visits must be prescheduled at least 24 hours prior to the visiting day. Visits are scheduled through the Social Worker or the Forensic Registered Nurse Supervisor. Visiting times are Wednesdays, Saturdays and Sundays from 12:50 - 2:50 pm and 7:30 - 9:00 pm. These same times are also available on New Years Day, Memorial Day, July 4th, Labor Day, Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Day.
Children under 18 years old must be accompanied and supervised by their parent or legal guardian and may visit during regular visiting hours.
No patient will be permitted to have visitors for the first 72 hours following admission.
As the threat of contraband entering the Forensic Center is always a concern, visiting is strictly controlled and monitored. To ensure no contraband enters the unit Center, all visitors must pass a security check, including a use of a metal detector and a pat-down search. Visitors shall not mail, deliver or bring food, drink or tobacco products to the Center for patient use. Visiting is only permitted in the designated visiting area.
Questions regarding items that may be brought during a visit can be addressed to the Social Worker.
Former Forensic patients are not permitted to visit current patients.
Forensic Phone Calls:
Patients cannot receive calls; however, they may place collect calls provided their right to place calls has not been restricted for therapeutic reasons. All patient calls must be "collect calls".
In the event that a patient receives a call, the Forensic Employee who takes the call will get the name and phone information of the caller, and, if requested by the caller, relay to the patient that he is to return the call.
Forensic Patient Programs/Treatment Modalities:
Physical, psychiatric, psychological, social and nursing assessments are completed for every patient admitted to the Forensic Center, and a comprehensive individualized treatment plan is developed that addresses the problems and needs identified on these assessments. Treatment plans are formally reviewed at least every 30 days by the patient's treatment team. As much as possible, the patient actively participates in this review.
Treatment services available to patients at the Forensic Center include individual therapy, group therapy, psycho-educational programs, milieu therapy, counseling by members of the Treatment Team, Therapeutic Recreation, and various social activities provided by Recreational Therapists, Occupational Therapy and Physical Therapy are provided when clinically indicated. A balanced diet is provided by Dietary Services for each patient, and specialized diets are available when clinically required. Patients under age 21 are evaluated with regard to their educational needs. Patients with special educational needs are also evaluated and appropriate resources are contacted. Other specialty departments/services are consulted when appropriate to assess the needs of the patient.
Forensic Patient Rights Protection:
Patients served by the Regional Forensic Psychiatric Center have access to a formal complaint process that is administered and monitored by Torrance State Hospital's External Patient Advocate. The External Advocate makes regular visits to the Forensic Center to afford patients the opportunity to ask for assistance. The External Advocate insures that all patient complaints are responded to and that the hospital's policy on patient complaints is followed. Forensic Center patients also have access to the phone number for the External Advocate.
3. Sexual Responsibility and Treatment Program (SRTP)
On August 14, 2003, Act 21 was enacted into law. The Act mandates that Pennsylvania’s Department of Public Welfare provide mental health and sex-offense specific treatment for an identified population that had been adjudicated of certain sex-related crimes.
While these individuals remain in juvenile treatment programs, they may still pose a significant risk to sexually re-offend after reaching the age of 21, an age when the oversight of the juvenile justice system ends. Act 21 mandates that a person who is committed to an adolescent treatment facility for sex crimes who may still be at risk to re-offend and is about to reach the age of 20, be identified ninety days prior to their birth date. Upon identification, Pennsylvania’s Sexual Offenders Assessment Board (SOAB) is required to conduct an evaluation to determine if a person has "serious difficulty in controlling sexually violent behavior". The SOAB will also determine if the person meets the criteria for "dangerousness" as defined by Act 21. If so, a petition for a mental health hearing is performed affording the individual due process. If it is determined by the court that a civil commitment is warranted, the now 20- year old will be committed to the Sexual Responsibility and Treatment Program (SRTP). A yearly commitment review occurs for each resident at which time a decision is made to continue treatment or begin community re-integration.
The SRTP provides a safe and secure treatment environment that employs cognitive-behavioral and sex-offense specific interventions. In conjunction with other concurrent mental health therapies, treatment is individualized and designed to assist in the development of the necessary skills and coping strategies needed to manage and control deviant thinking and behavior while minimizing their risk of recidivism. The SRTP also remains current on emerging literature, research, and evidenced based practices and, as a result, modifies its approach for treating sex offending and concurrent mental health issues.
Mrs. Roberta (Bobbi) Lawrence is the Executive Director of the Sexual Responsibility and Treatment Program and she can be reached at 724-459-2001.
The SRTP Program is located in the Wiseman Building.
Torrance State Hospital provides a variety of employment opportunities. For specific information regarding current and future openings, please contact:
Human Resource Department
Torrance State Hospital
P. O. Box 111
Torrance, PA 15779-0111
Contact Person: Mr. Lyle Gardner, Director
Or visit the State Civil Service Commission website at www.scsc.state.pa.us for additional information.
Opportunities are generally available for Registered Nurses who are dedicated to the Psychiatric treatment of adults diagnosed with Mental Illnesses. For great Nursing Career opportunities visit www.nursing.state.pa.us.
History of Torrance State Hospital
Torrance State Hospital opened its doors on November 25, 1919, with the transfer of five (5) patients from Danville State Hospital.
Directions to Torrance State Hospital
FROM PA Turnpike Route 76:
Take Route 76 (PA Turnpike) to Exit 91 - Donegal.
Follow Route 711 North to Ligonier (approximately 12 miles).
Take Route 30 West to Route 217 North (approximately 8 miles).
Follow Route 217 North through the town of Derry; turn right onto Legislative Route 1015 (approximately 10 miles) - there is a Pacific Pride gas station at the end of the road and a sign for Torrance State Hospital to turn left. Follow road past the first entrance to the hospital, around a sharp turn and you will see a newer three-story building (Greizman Building) on the left-hand side of the road (1.7 miles). You may park in the large parking lot and enter the front of the Greizman Building to the Security Desk where they may assist you.