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  • Belmont Behavioral Health is celebrating 75 years of providing high quality, compassionate care to patients and families.

    Published: 12/11/2012


    For 75 years, Belmont has provided high-quality, compassionate care to patients and families. The philosophy of ‘patients first’ has helped Belmont distinguish itself as the only freestanding, non-profit psychiatric hospital in the region. Since opening its doors in 1937, there have been countless milestones. The following is a brief history and timeline with a sampling of Belmont’s many achievements.

    The Early Years

    Beginning in the 1930s , Belmont Center for Comprehensive Treatment evolved from the dreams and efforts of many. At that time, there were overcrowded state hospitals that primarily offered custodial care. Or, there were private institutions for the wealthy.

    In contrast, Belmont’s founders envisioned a private psychiatric hospital that would offer comprehensive, high quality care at relatively low cost. The goal was to create an institution that emphasized short-term care and would work with other agencies to help patients return to a productive life.

    The suburban home and land for the hospital was generously donated by Samuel Berk, one of the original founders, who asked that the hospital be named to honor his son Horace, who had died of a heart ailment. (Samuel Berk was the grandfather of Steven Berk, the current Chairman of the Board of Trustees of Einstein Healthcare Network). So the hospital was originally called the Horace Berk Memorial Hospital and was located in Warrington, Bucks County.

    1937 - A charter for the Horace Berk Memorial Hospital is signed and a Board of Directors is organized.

    1937 - Adult Outpatient Department is established in downtown Philadelphia.

    1938 - The 13-bed Horace Berk Memorial Hospital admits the first patient.

    1940 - Hospital moves to its current location when a building and 4 1/2 acres of land are donated at Ford and Monument Roads.

    1940 - Charter is amended to rename the institution the Philadelphia Psychiatric Hospital.

    1941 - A new, 60-bed facility opens on the new site. In the same year, the hospital became an agency of the Federation of Jewish Charities of Philadelphia.

    1942 - Additional land was acquired and the hospital grows with additional buildings erected.

    1954 - The Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) accredited a Psychiatry Residency program at Albert Einstein Medical Center which was later expanded to include Belmont.

    1962 - Hospital changes its name to Philadelphia Psychiatric Center.

    1972 - Drug Abuse Treatment Program and satellite clinics are established.

    1975 - Philadelphia Center for Human Development opens as a freestanding facility to serve Northeast Philadelphia and merges with Belmont Center for Comprehensive Treatment in July 1996.

    1977 - Educational affiliation is established with the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine’s Department of Psychiatry to train psychiatric residents.

    1980 - The first inpatient unit for older adults at a psychiatric hospital in the Philadelphia region opens.

    1983 - Philadelphia Psychiatric Center becomes a wholly owned subsidiary of Albert Einstein Healthcare Foundation.

    1991 - Philadelphia Psychiatric Center is renamed Belmont Center for Comprehensive Treatment.

    1991 - All outpatient programs on the Belmont campus move into a newly renovated Outpatient Care Center. The Center is renamed the Levitties Outpatient Care Center in 1998 in recognition of a gift from the Levitties family.

    1992 - Belmont joins with MossRehab Hospital, Willowcrest-Bamberger, and Albert Einstein Medical Center to form Albert Einstein Healthcare Network.

    1995 - All Einstein psychiatric services are united under the managerial umbrella – Belmont Behavioral Health (BBH).

    1996 - Belmont’s Eating Disorders Unit opens.

    2000 - The Children’s Inpatient Unit opens.

    2004 - The Adolescent Unit is dedicated in memory of, and the unit is renamed The Irene Fagan Adolescent Unit. The expanded adolescent program is named The Irene Fagan Adolescent Program in 2012.

    2005 - The first Art from the Heart exhibit is held to showcase art, poetry and prose from patients.

    2008 - Services are expanded in the Outpatient Department to include youth, ages 5 to 17.

    2009 - Friends of Belmont forms as a service group and subcommittee of the Einstein Auxiliary.

    2010 - The first Freda Kraftsow Sacks Family Resource Center Movie Night for the community is held at the International House in Philadelphia. The free annual event showcases a movie about mental illness followed by a panel discussion.

    2012 - Belmont marks its 75th anniversary with special events and employee give-aways.

  • Communications Team