Dr. Mona Marie Counts

January 9, 1942April 4, 2019

Dr. Mona Marie Counts, PHD, CRNP, FNAP, FAANP, FAAN, 77, of Rices Landing, died Thursday, April 4, 2019, in her home, surrounded by her loving family and friends.

Mona lived life to its fullest! Recognized by many as the "Mother of Nurse Practitioners," she was a very strong advocate for women's education and advancement. Traveling the world over and touching far more lives than even she realized, her positive impact will live on in the hearts of many. This obituary, as many would agree, will never do justice in acknowledging all of her achievements and accomplishments.

Dr. Counts was the second person in all of the nation to achieve nurse practitioner status and served as the president of the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners. She also started the first nonprofit nurse practitioner run family practice clinic in the United States. Through this clinic she educated countless nurse practitioners and residents. Her sustained efforts to establish full practice authority for nurse practitioners by lobbying and testifying at the state and national levels earned her a prominent voice in health care policy making decisions. She was awarded the endowed Eberly Chair at Penn State University and served as director of the Nurse Practitioner Program there. Unable to settle down, she failed retirement several times by opening a "back porch" practice, volunteering as the Telemedicine provider at free-clinics in Altoona and Connellsville, and continuing to serve on the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners Certification Board up until the time of her death. She was also exceptionally proud of earning her Master Gardeners Certification, as well as her pilot's license and board member of SOAR and the list goes on and on.

She is survived by her husband, JD Yellets; daughter, Joy D. Nugent and son-in-law Courtney Nugent; son Daniel Yellets; grandson Grant E. Nugent; as well as her cherished foster children. (You know who you are!)

The certified nursing assistant's and staff of Amedisys Hospice provided loving care and invaluable guidance.

Friends are invited to a Mass of Christian Burial at noon Saturday, April 13, in St. Marcellus Roman Catholic Church, 1340 Jefferson Road, Jefferson, PA 15344, with Father Albin C. McGinnis officiating. Immediately following the Mass, a celebration of life will be held at The Olde Station Inn Bar & Grill, 1611 Mt. Morris Road, Waynesburg, PA 15370.

In lieu of flowers, Mona requested Mass cards be filled out in her remembrance with donations to support charitable works in her name.

Arrangements are entrusted to Behm Funeral Home, 1477 Jefferson Road, Jefferson, PA 15344, Gregory P. Rohanna, supervisor.


  • Mass of Christian Burial Saturday, April 13, 2019

Dr. Mona Marie Counts

have a memory or condolence to add?

Alecia Jefferson

April 11, 2019

It has taken me awhile to write, because that means I have to accept you are no longer here. According to The First Law of Thermodynamics, energy can not be created or destroyed; but transferred to other forms. So I guess you really didn’t retire because you infected us with your wisdom and love. Thank you for the great advice, and for validating it’s ok to color outside the lines. I will miss you tremendously, as well as your sign off... “I love you, kiddo.” You were a great mentor and friend, and I am truly honored to be considered “one of your foster children.”

To Mr. Yellets (My Hearts Buddy), Joy, and family- thank you for sharing a phenomenal lady with the rest of the world. I will be praying for you all, during this difficult time.

Barbara Johnston

April 10, 2019

J.D., Joy, and Courtney-

So sorry to hear about our dear Mona. She certainly "lived" life-lucky for her and all of us that knew her. Remembering fun days on the farm, potato pancake Xmas eve, and the joy of her very distinctive laugh!

Love and Hugs to you all
Barbie Johnston
David Holtzer

Judi Kahl

April 8, 2019

Dear JD and Joy - I am so sorry to hear about Mona's death. What an incredible woman she was. She was my "other mother" for so many years while we were in ski school together and when I was at WVU. I remember so many happy crazy fun times with her and both of you. What a loss for you both. She was so loved and admired. I cannot imagine the world without her brilliant smile and wonderful laugh. Much love to you and the entire family. Judi Kahl

Susie Curry

April 7, 2019

J D and family

So sadden to see of Mona's passing. What a wonderful and brilliant person. She was loved by many people here and around the world. What a pleasure it was that Mona crossed my path. She was a joy to know and a friend to everyone. Prayers to all.

Susie Curry (NovaCare).

Carol Klingenberg Hilliard

April 7, 2019

Mona was such an inspiration for me in all aspects of life. She was a true friend. We had a lot of laughs and fun at Wisp Ski area for many years. She gave so much of herself to others and the community where ever she happened to be. She truly will be missed by everyone that knew her. My own life was better because she was my friend. RIP Mona. My thoughts are now with the family.