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Belmont's History

  • 75 Years of Comprehensive Psychiatric Treatment

    In June 2012, Belmont Behavioral Health celebrated its 75th anniversary. Belmont was born of the vision and compassion of its founders, who were moved to provide quality mental health services at a time when private services were limited to only the wealthy.

    Building a hospital and providing relatively low-cost treatments for short-term care with the goal of returning patients to productive lives was a dream that became a reality. Thanks to the original founders Benjamin Galerman, Samuel Berk, William A. Ruth, Jere Creskoff, and Dr. Nathaniel W. Winkelman, that dream and the reality continue to mature and grow.

    Today, Belmont Behavioral Health is recognized for its individualized and compassionate approach to delivering progressive psychiatric services and quality care.

    Highlights in Belmont Behavioral Health’s History:

    • 1937 – June, a charter for the Horace Berk Memorial Hospital is signed and a Board of Directors is organized.
    • 1937 – November, an Adult Outpatient Department is established in downtown Philadelphia.
    • 1938 – The 13-bed Horace Berk Memorial Hospital admits its first patient.
    • 1940 – The hospital moves to its current location when a building and 4-1/2 acres of land are donated at Ford and Monument Roads.
    • 1940 – The charter is amended to rename the institution the Philadelphia Psychiatric Hospital.
    • 1941 – A new, 60-bed facility opens at the new site.
    • 1941 – The hospital becomes an agency of the Federation of Jewish Charities of Philadelphia.
    • 1960 – The Research Department is housed in Wurzel Building.
    • 1962 – The hospital’s name is changed to Philadelphia Psychiatric Center, in recognition of the broader scope of its offerings.
    • 1972 – The Drug Abuse Treatment Program and satellite clinics are established.
    • 1975 – Philadelphia Center for Human Development opens to serve Northeast Philadelphia. Is later renamed as Belmont Behavioral Health Northeast (BNE).
    • 1977 – An educational affiliation is established with University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine’s Department of Psychiatry to train psychiatric residents.
    • 1980 – Philadelphia Psychiatric Center establishes Philadelphia’s first inpatient unit for older adults at a psychiatric hospital.
    • 1983 – Philadelphia Psychiatric Center and Einstein Medical Center Philadelphia merge, beds increase to 147.
    • 1991 – The Outpatient Care Center opens, specialty programs are instituted.
    • 1992 – Philadelphia Psychiatric Center is renamed Belmont Center for Comprehensive Treatment.
    • 1992 – Belmont joins with MossRehab Hospital, Willowcrest-Bamberger, and Albert Einstein Medical Center to form Albert Einstein Healthcare Network (AEHN).
    • 1995 – All of AEHN’s psychiatric services are united as Belmont Behavioral Health.
    • 1996 – Belmont’s eating disorder unit opens; it is the only psychiatric center in the city of Philadelphia to treat males.
    • 1998 – Albert Einstein Crisis Response Center opens to provide quality services for people with behavioral health/substance abuse issues.
    • 2000 – BBH opens the children’s inpatient unit.
    • 2005 – Belmont Center for Comprehensive Treatment hosts the First Annual Art from the Heart exhibition; held every February, the event showcases art, poetry, and prose from patients, and music is provided by the Rehabilitation Services Department.
    • 2008 – BBH expands services in the Outpatient Department to include children and adolescents ages 5 to 17 years old.
    • 2009 – Belmont’s Adolescent Inpatient Unit is increased from 24 to 36 beds to respond to the growing need for adolescent beds in the region. 
    • 2009 – Friends of Belmont forms as a service group and as a subcommittee of the Einstein Auxiliary.
    • 2010 – Belmont holds its first annual Freda Kraftsow Sacks Family Resource Center Movie Night for the community at the International House in Philadelphia; the free event, held every spring, showcases a movie about mental illness and is followed by a panel discussion.
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    Accreditation & Partnerships

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    • Department of Health (DOH)
    • Department of Public Welfare (DPW)
    • Division of Drug and Alcohol Program Licensure (DDAPL)
    • Bureau of Drug and Alcohol (BDAP)

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