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Our mission is to provide the highest level of advocacy and rights protection for the clients we serve while affording the general community with information and assistance about long-term care, quality of life/care issues, mental health issues, and pre-facility placement procedures and guidelines.


Advocacy, Inc. is an independent, non-profit agency serving Santa Cruz and San Benito Counties. It grew out of a few dedicated individuals who were concerned with the standard of care and quality of life that patients in local nursing homes were receiving.  The group incorporated as a non-profit organization, Citizens for Better Nursing Home Care, in 1975. In 1986 we changed our name to Ombudsman/Advocate, Inc., and in 2006 we settled into our new legal name ADVOCACY, INC. The agency operates the federally- and state mandated Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program and the Patients’ Rights Advocate Program.  We are dedicated to helping people who live in nursing homes, residential care, and mental health facilities.  As advocates, it is our responsibility to express the concerns and complaints of the individuals we serve, seeking resolution and remedy from their perspective.



Executive Director


Executive Director


Administrative Assistant


Marnie Sobalvarro- Administrative Assistant

Marnie joined Advocacy, Inc in 2019. She has a passion for helping the elderly and found Advocacy, Inc. a good fit. She enjoys biking, reading and playing the cajon with the local Santa Cruz ukulele group.


Chief Patients' Rights Advocate


George Carvalho-Patient Rights Advocate

I was hired by the Patient Rights Advocate program in 1992, I gave that program a two-year commitment over twenty plus years ago. Time indeed, does fly. It’s been a privilege to work with individuals in the mental health system to resolve, complaints concerns, or ongoing issues. Prior to this, I worked with the homeless population for Supportive Outreach Services, assisting individuals to navigate the social security administration as well as local government funding, in so doing, I experienced firsthand the hardships people face in an attempt to seek food or housing I love Santa Cruz County. It is a tremendous privilege to assist in empowering individuals in the exercise their rights within the Mental Health System.


Patients' Rights Advocate


Davi Schill-Patient Rights Advocate

Davi has worked with Advocacy, Inc as a Patient Rights Advocate since 2000. She received her B.A. degree in Sociology from UCSC and has her graduate degree in Educational Counseling from San Jose State University. She is passionate about Advocacy and serving the Mental Health community in Santa Cruz and San Benito Counties by ensuring that consumers of Mental Health services are informed of and assisted in making sure their civil, legal and human rights are upheld.

Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program Coordinator

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LTC Ombudsman Program Coordinator


Long-Term Care Ombudsman Representative


Patsy Pence- Staff Ombudsman

Hi, my name is Patsy Pence. I was born, raised, got my AA degree in Humanities from Gavlin College, married, worked and had my family in San Benito County. I was active in 4-H, school activities, and church. Even though we left San Benito County in 1986, my husband and I returned for good in 1998. I started my training as a Long-Term Care Ombudsman with Advocacy, Inc. in the fall of 2003, becoming a certified LTC Ombudsman in March 2004. I work in both San Benito and Santa Cruz Counties. Prior to my work with Advocacy, I was appointed by the San Benito County Board of Supervisors to the In-Home Supportive Services Program in August of 2001. This program worked to plan and design the Public Authority Registry of San Benito County. I was an appointed member of the In-Home Supportive Services Advisory Committee in August 2003.  During my time on this committee, I also served as a Vice Chair & Chair person. I now serve on the San Benito County Aging and Long-Term Care Commission (ALTCC) being appointed approximately in 2004-2005.  I have held the office of Secretary, Vice Chair, and Chairperson while on the ALTCC. I am an active member of my church, serving on committees, councils and other activities and programs.

Sarah Eddings
Long-Term Care Ombudsman Representati e

Sarah joined Advocacy, Inc. in July of 2021 and is grateful to be a part of the Advocacy team.
She received her Bachelor of Arts degree in Applied Psychology from Azusa Pacific University in 2019 with the goal of helping others through empowerment and support. With prior experience working in Skilled Nursing and Assisted Living Facilities as a Business Office Manager, Sarah enjoys putting her industry experience to work for the Long-Term Care residents here in Santa Cruz and San Benito Counties. She feels strongly that every person has a right to be treated with dignity and respect and considers it an honor to serve as an Ombudsman for our vulnerable yet abundantly valuable senior population.  


Julie Oldfield- Staff Ombudsman


Meet the Board


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