Psychiatric Quarterly, Vol. 77, No. 2, Summer 2006 (
AVOIDING EXTINCTION: SUCCESSFUL
PRIVATE PSYCHIATRIC HOSPITALS
IN THE OPENING DECADE OF THE
Jeffrey L. Geller, M.D., M.P.H.
Published online: 16 June 2006
The history of the private psychiatric hospital has been characterized by the
rise and demise of scores, if not hundreds of facilities. In recent years some well
known, long-standing psychiatric hospitals have closed their doors. What has
accounted for the ability of some of the private psychiatric hospitals to ﬂour-
ish? Two strategies are proposed: 1) progressive change through a broadened
scope and a geographic spread, and 2) staying true to the institution’s core
mission with clinical and ﬁscal modiﬁcations at the perimeter of that mission.
A case example is provided for each adaptation: Sheppard Pratt Health System
(Baltimore) for the former; Austen Riggs Center (Stockbridge, Massachusetts)
for the latter.
KEY WORDS: private psychiatric hospital; history.
Jeffrey L. Geller, M.D., M.P.H., is Professor of Psychiatry, University of Massachusetts
Medical School, Worcester, Massachusetts.
Address correspondence to Jeffrey L. Geller, M.D., M.P.H., University of
Massachusetts Medical School, Department of Psychiatry, 55 Lake Avenue North,
Worcester, MA 01655; e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
2006 Springer Science+Business Media, Inc.