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NC Department of Health and Human Services
Division of State Operated Healthcare Facilities Home

Patient's/Resident's Rights

Patients/residents in our facilities are afforded all state and federal civil rights, including rights under Article 3 of North Carolina General Statutes Chapter 122C, external link graphic under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), external link graphic The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA),external link graphic The Rehabilitation Act, the Civil Rights of Institutionalized Persons Act, and Title VI of the Civil Rights Act. HIPAA confidentiality protections also apply.  

Consumer Advocates and Human Rights Committees

Consumer Advocates are located in the state operated healthcare facilities and are available to consumers and their families 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.  Each day, the Consumer Advocates work on behalf of the people living in these facilities to ensure that rights are protected and that the consumers’ best interests are being served. The Advocates also conduct timely investigations when there are reports or suspicions of rights violations such as abuse, neglect or exploitation. 

Each facility has a Human Rights Committee that is appointed by the Secretary of DHHS.  These committees also work to protect the rights of the people being served by the facility.  The Consumer Advocates support the mission of these Human Rights Committees by providing information regarding many aspects of the facilities’ programs for the committee to review.  The Consumer Advocates are also available to follow-up on any matters that are of concern to the Human Rights Committees.

Anything that touches the life of a person living in one of the facilities is of interest to the Consumer Advocates. Please feel free to contact the advocate indicated for the respective facility if you have questions about the program or if you believe that we may be of assistance to you or your family member.

Concerns and Grievances

Anyone receiving services in one of our facilities has a right to express a concern or grievance without fear of retribution. Concerns or grievances can also be brought forward by a guardian or anyone else authorized to speak on behalf of the person who is directly receiving services. Concerns or grievances should be shared with a facility Consumer Advocate  who will ensure that the matter is addressed as promptly as possible.

About Involuntary Commitment

The state encourages voluntary admissions at facilities. No individual should be involuntarily committed to a facility unless that person has a mental illness or substance abuse disorder and is dangerous to self or others. Read more in Article 5 of North Carolina General Statute Chapter 122C. external link graphic

Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)

The Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA) ensures that individuals with disabilities are not discriminated against in a number of areas, including institutionalization. DHHS ensures compliance with the ADA through DHHS Directive III-04.

Title VI of the Civil Rights Act

Title VI is part of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and says that no person shall be discriminated against on the basis of race, color or national origin under any program or activity that receives federal financial assistance. DHHS ensures compliance with Title VI through DHHS Directive III-04.



The Division of State Operated Healthcare Facilities is committed to protecting the privacy and confidentiality of the people we serve. Policies and procedures have been implemented to protect any information you may provide and will only be used for the purpose it was intended in accordance with state and federal laws (i.e.:, HIPAA, 42 CFR).

Disability Rights of NC

Disability Rights North Carolina is a private non-profit organization that was designated by the Governor in 2007 to ensure the rights of all state citizens with disabilities through individual advocacy and system change. 

If you are unable to pay for legal services, you can receive free legal aid services from the office of Disability Rights North Carolina. You may call 919-856-2195 (toll free: 877-235-4210), fax (919-856-2244) or write their office at 3724 National Drive, Suite 100, Raleigh , NC 27612. Representatives from the program visit the hospital on a regular basis and will meet with you and other patients/residents in your building. Ask your nurse or other unit staff for the times and places of these visits.
To obtain more information regarding these services visit their website. external link graphic Ready NC Connect NC