National Association for Rights Protection and Advocacy

Laura Van Tosh

Laura Van Tosh is the Director of Consumer Affairs at Western State Hospital, in Tacoma, Washington. She is responsible for serving as a link between patients and the administration of the hospital. Laura is a former patient of this hospital and brings her previous mental health policy expertise to her position. She worked for many years as an independent consultant in Washington, D.C., providing expertise in mental health policy development, analysis, and services research to a variety of organizations, including: government agencies; public and private health care organizations; university and research institutions; and national advocacy organizations. During this time, Laura worked for Springfield Hospital Center in Maryland to assist patients with discharge to the community. Laura is the founder of the Mental Health Policy Roundtable funded by the John T. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation. The Roundtable continues to meet in Washington, D.C., and is a knowledge-transfer forum designed to exchange information between established leaders in mental health policy with the next cadre of policy leaders in the mental health field. She has authored and collaborated on numerous articles and was a contributor and peer reviewer for the U.S. Surgeon General's Report on Mental Health. She has served as a consultant to federal and state agencies and has been the winner of many awards including Redbook magazine’s "Mothers and Shakers" Award for her work in mental health.

Laura works with the new CEO of Western State Hospital, Andrew Phillips, Ed.D., who has presided over the closure of three large state psychiatric hospitals (in Massachusetts and Connecticut) over the past 15 years.