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Montogmery County Emergency Service

Building #50
Established February 1, 1974
Construction Began 1937
Opened 1974, moved and reopened in 1988
Current Status Active
Building Style Modern Plan
Location West Norriton, Pennsylvania
Peak Patient Population 73, current
Alternate Names Montgomery County MH/MR

MCES, also known as Montgomery County Emergency Services, is a private psychiatric facility located in West Norriton on the grounds of Norristown State Hospital. It is a separate entity from the state hospital itself, and operates as a jail-diversionary program on behalf of Montgomery County. It is known locally by its old Norristown State Hospital affiliation- Building #50.


MCES was founded in Febraury 1974 in Building #16 as a temporary crisis service for the county until the local clinics were operational enough to manage the closure of state hospital beds. However, the local clinics never did manage to address the issue of their more acute patients. In the early 1970's Psychiatric Crisis Services were limited to medical hospital, if they existed at all. MCES was originally put in place to address the various contacts that the mentally ill had with local law enforcement. Its founder, Dr. Angelo Zosa, saw the need for a resource that would provide 24-hour psychiatric evaluations and emergency care regardless of insurance coverage, as well as give police departments the proper training for handling a psychiatric population.

The MCES program was employed quickly. It was JCAHO accredited within two years of its opening, and expanded from 20 to 27 beds in 1977. In 1978, it was cited by the US Department of Justice as an 'Exemplary Project'. In 1988, MCES moved to its present facility in the former 'Female Disturbed Building' at Norristown State Hospital, bringing its bed capacity up to 44. With its final expansion in 2001, MCES has the current capacity for 73 beds on their inpatient unit. Outpatient services are rendered at times as well. MCES is currently headed by CEO Dr. Rocio Nell (Badra).

Crisis Residential Program[edit]

In 1990, MCES was granted an additional lease for "the ranch house", utilized as a crisis residential program for patients who needed care, but did not qualify for an inpatient stay. This program remains operational and is similiar to those alternative to hospialziation that are offered at the Greystone Program at Friends Hospital.

Neighboring Hospitals[edit]

MCES in the News[edit]

Additional Information and Links[edit]