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Our History

The Henry Phipps Psychiatric Service

The Johns Hopkins Hospital opened in 1889, the gift of Quaker merchant Johns Hopkins, who had made his fortune in Baltimore. It was his vision to unite in a single enterprise a threefold mission: to produce superior physicians, to seek new knowledge for the advancement of medicine, and to give the finest patient care. Today the Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions include state-of-the-art inpatient and outpatient facilities and research laboratories. The Johns Hopkins Hospital has more than 1,000 beds, of which 100 belong to the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences.

The Henry Phipps Psychiatric Service is located in the Adolf Meyer Building. Dedicated in 1982, this facility brings together the Departments of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Neurology and Neurosurgery under one roof. This Psychiatry and Neurosciences Center is an innovative approach to fostering collaboration in patient care, teaching and research among members of three related disciplines.

The Psychiatric Inpatient Service has beds distributed through six autonomous units. In addition to providing care for general psychiatric disorders, each unit has developed a focused interest in a special area, with coordinated inpatient and outpatient components. The Outpatient Department is organized into clinics which provide general care and specialty clinics that focus on the diagnosis and treatment of distinct problem areas.

Before 1982, the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences was located in the Phipps Building. This historic landmark is still the site of numerous departmental functions including guest lectures and seminars. Currently the Adolf Meyer Building houses the inpatient units, outpatient clinics, state-of-the-art laboratories and all faculty and resident offices. Library resources are available through the Welch Medical Library at Johns Hopkins, one of the great medical libraries of the world.

History of the Department

Psychiatry Centennial Report cover

Upon visiting the Tuberculosis Division he had founded at the Johns Hopkins Hospital, the philanthropist Henry Phipps asked William Welch, Dean of the Medical Faculty, whether there were any projects he could sponsor. Welch gave Phipps a copy of Clifford Beers's A Mind That Found Itself, and a month later, in June of 1908, the endowment of the Henry Phipps Psychiatric Clinic was publicly announced, becoming the first academic psychiatry department in America. Adolf Meyer was invited to develop a Department of Psychiatry at Johns Hopkins, and in April 1913, the Henry Phipps Psychiatric Clinic was opened. Since then, the department has occupied a distinguished place in the history of psychiatry, with a continuous tradition of excellence in patient care, teaching, and research.

Research conducted at Johns Hopkins has far-reaching impacts, affecting how diseases are diagnosed and treated throughout the world. This research continues to flourish with the support of grateful patients, alumni and friends who choose to provide through their philanthropy.

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