Under the supervision of the Director of the Office Recipient Rights and as a team member of the Office of Recipient Rights, the Rights Advisor provides services to promote and protect the legal rights of all individuals served by or under contract with NLCMHA. The Rights Advisor receives complaints and reports of apparent or suspected rights violations, investigates or intervenes in response, writes investigative reports, and recommends and obtains remedial action. The Rights Advisor also monitors service providers, trains and provides consultative advice to provider staff, and provides information, referral, and advocacy services to recipients, family members, legal representatives, and the community at large. The Rights Advisor additionally assists the Director of the Office in ensuring that the Authority’s rights protection system operates at a uniformly high standard in compliance with statute and the department.


This position is based out of the Traverse City office but frequently involves fieldwork throughout Crawford, Grand Traverse, Missaukee, Roscommon, Leelanau, and Wexford counties or elsewhere within or outside of NLCMHA’s geographic service area as assigned.

The Recipient Rights Advisor has no clinical service or supervisory responsibilities.


ESSENTIAL POSITION FUNCTIONS (listing position specific functions first):

In compliance with procedures and timeframes prescribed by statute, standards established by the department, and protocols set by supervisor:


Dispute Resolution – Complaint Intervention and Investigation

  1. Ensure that recipients, family members, guardians, provider staff, advocates or other persons acting on behalf of a recipient have prompt, consistent, and unimpeded access to the recipient rights complaint and reporting process.
  2. Receive and review oral or written complaints and reports of apparent or suspected rights violations and advise or refer complainants and reporting individuals to advocacy organizations or other agencies as applicable.
  3. Log and determine the disposition of all complaints received and write and send acknowledgment letters.
  4. Log and file a recipient rights complaint on a recipient’s behalf if a report involves an apparent or suspected rights violation.
  5. Notify supervisor within 24 hours after a complaint or a report is received.
  6. Initiate and conduct detailed, systematic, thorough, and impartial interventions and investigations of all complaints and reports of apparent or suspected rights violations.
  7. Write and send status reports if required.
  8. Write detailed, accurate, and understandable intervention reports and reports of investigative findings, clearly describing the allegations involved, citing applicable provisions of law, rule, policies, procedures, and guidelines, formulating germane issue questions, describing relevant evidence obtained, answering all issues involved and making concise, correct, and logical conclusions, determining whether or not an allegation is substantiated based upon a preponderance of the evidence, and recommending specific remedial or other corrective actions to correct and prevent recurrences of recipient rights violations.
  9. Submit reports to supervisor for review at least one week in advance of due date. Revise as directed.
  10. Send reports to respondents and NLCMHA CEO and obtain remedial action plans.
  11. Track status of and obtain documentation from respondents of any planned remedial actions.
  12. Assist complainants and other persons with standing to file a written appeal, if requested.
  13. Accurately document in Recipient Rights electronic records system and maintain complete and secure complaint records.


Monitoring – Site Visits, Incident and Death Review

  1. Conduct on-site visit inspections, policy reviews and engage in other activities to monitor service providers annually or more frequently as necessary to ensure provider compliance with Recipient Rights protections established by statute, rule, policy, and contract.
  2. Prepare detailed and accurate reports of site visit and policy review findings. Request and obtain documentation from the provider of corrective action for any deficiencies found.
  3. Review death and critical incident reports as submitted and prepare a preliminary report to identify if further inquiry or formal investigation is warranted.


Prevention – Training, Consultation

  1. Provide training in recipient rights to staff of the authority and contracted providers in accordance with the NLCMHA recipient rights training plan. Assist in developing training curricula.
  2. Provide education about recipient rights to recipients, parents of minor recipients, guardians, family members, and community stakeholders.
  3. Provide consultation to staff of the authority and contracted providers in matters related to recipient rights.
  4. Assist in preparing, reviewing and/or updating agency policies and procedures as required by statute, rule, regulation, the accreditation body, or by other standards pertaining to the rights of recipients.


Education, Information, and Referral

  1. Ensure that recipients, parents of minor recipients, and guardians or other legal representatives have access to summaries of the rights guaranteed by Chapter 7 and 7a of the Michigan Mental Health Code.
  2. Provide education and training in recipient rights to recipients, parents of minor recipients, guardians, family members, and community stakeholders.
  3. Locate and refer individuals to external complaint resolution resources outside the jurisdiction of the Authority’s office of recipient rights. Assist in developing and maintaining a list of advocacy and external complaint resolution resources.
  4. Work in conjunction with NLCMHA and PIHP Customer Services and Grievance and Appeals and Compliance personnel to ensure effective and timely response to all consumer grievances, appeals, or other concerns or questions.



  1. Upon request of a recipient, parent of a minor recipient, or guardian, attend person-centered planning meetings or engage in other advocacy activities to impartially advocate for the promotion of recipient rights.
  2. Act to promote consumer inclusion in the Recipient Rights protection system.




Minimally, possess a Bachelor degree, preferably in human services, social science or law. Experience in complaint resolution, investigation and investigative report writing, compliance monitoring, training, and advocacy. One-year experience providing Recipient Rights protection services in a Community Mental Health Services Program or Licensed Psychiatric Hospital or Unit or comparable experience preferred.



Certificate of successful completion of MHDDS ORR Recipient Rights – Basic Skills I and Basic Skills II is preferred.


Apply in writing to Human Resources in Traverse City by 5:00 PM, Tuesday, September 22, 2020 (posted 9/16/20)


1920-56T and 1920-57T