Serving Cumberland, Dauphin and Perry counties in Central Pennsylvania.

United Way Honors Local Leader for Her Humanitarian Efforts

The Honorable Patricia H. Vance of Mechanicsburg was recently honored with the 2018 Humanitarian Award from United Way of the Capital Region’s Tocqueville Society for her outstanding commitment to improving lives through volunteerism during a special reception, sponsored by M&T Bank, Wilmington Trust, UPMC Pinnacle and United Way’s Bridges Society. 

Vance began her professional life as a pediatric nurse at Harrisburg Hospital (now UPMC Pinnacle). In 1978, she became Recorder of Deeds, and the first female elected official in Cumberland County.

In 1990, Vance was elected to the Pennsylvania House of Representatives where she served for 14 years. Known as a thoughtful and open-minded leader, Vance authored 18 laws. The laws included a HMO bill of rights, prohibiting discrimination against domestic abuse victims by insurance companies and expanding Pennsylvania’s prescription drug program for 100,000 low-income senior citizens. 

In 2005, Vance was elected to the Pennsylvania State Senate where she served the residents of the 31st District until 2016. While in office, she chaired the Public Health and Welfare Committee and was a member of the Appropriations, Communications and Technology, Consumer Protection and Professional Licensure, Finance and Policy and Capitol Preservation Committees. 

As a Senator, Vance used her expertise in the health care field, and understanding of the essential role resources play, in making positive changes happen. She would often visit Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center to speak with clinicians, administrators, researchers and families to expand her knowledge on issues of importance to the health and well-being of the people she served. 

During her time in the Senate, Vance authored 25 laws. The laws included expansion of Pennsylvania’s prescription drug monitoring database to prevent abuse; defining procedures for filing complaints of abuse, neglect and exploitation of adults with cognitive or physical disabilities; streamlining foreign adoption procedures; requiring nurses to obtain 30 hours of continuing education every two years; and blending the state’s prescription drug program to low-income seniors with Medicare Part D. 

Since retiring from the Pennsylvania State Senate in 2016, Pat has continued to actively participate with several community organizations. She serves as a board member for the Donald B. and Dorothy L. Stabler Foundation, WITF, Hospice of Central PA, Joseph T. Simpson Public Library, Health Advisory Board and is a member of St. James Presbyterian Church. 

The Tocqueville Society includes donors contributing $10,000 or more annually to United Way of the Capital Region. For more information on the Tocqueville Society, or the Humanitarian Award, contact United Way at 717.732.0700.


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