In 1971 the Board of Trustees for the Medical Center at Princeton envisioned offering high quality psychiatric services to the local community by adding the capacity to treat behavioral health disorders to its existing complement of hospital based medical services. Recognizing the opportunity to acquire a site built several years earlier, located just two miles from the medical center, Princeton House began its affiliation with the Medical Center at Princeton as a 70 bed behavioral health setting, specializing in both mental health and addictions.
Since then, the affiliation of Princeton House with Princeton HealthCare System has set it apart from other health care providers and ensures a continuum of care that is often key to a patient's recovery. "Being part of Princeton HealthCare System is who we are," notes Richard Wohl, Senior Vice President for Behavioral Health. "Psychiatric illness is not disconnected from medical illness, and we have a tremendous advantage in being affiliated with a full-service medical center."
Throughout its history, Princeton House Behavioral Health has been characterized by innovation and expansion. For example, in 1991 Princeton House developed one of the state's first partial hospitalization programs for older adults, along with a dual diagnosis program for individuals struggling with both mental illness and substance abuse. Over time, an inpatient medical detoxification program was added. Princeton House also added an inpatient adolescent substance abuse unit and helped establish the Center for Eating Disorders at the University Medical Center at Princeton, now the University Medical Center of Princeton at Plainsboro.
In addition to those changes, Princeton House continued to expand its outpatient programs and locations, growing into one of the region's largest behavioral healthcare providers. Today - 40 years after its founding - Princeton House Behavioral Health stands as a regional leader in behavioral healthcare, providing a full spectrum of mental health and addiction services for people of all ages. Princeton House Behavioral Health offers six distinct services on an inpatient basis. Another forty four programs are provided at six distinct outpatient sites spanning Moorestown to North Brunswick. Electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) is also offered on both an outpatient as well as an inpatient basis at a dedicated location adjacent to the inpatient facility in Princeton.
In addition, Princeton House makes telepsychiatry services available to hospitals across the region. Telepsychiatry uses video-conferencing equipment to connect Princeton House psychiatrists with area emergency rooms, enabling them to evaluate and direct the treatment of patients who might need behavioral health services.
The growth in quality, personalized care at Princeton House Behavioral Health is expected to continue, especially as new health care laws make mental health services more accessible to a broader population. As Neal Schofield, MD, Chairman of the Department of Psychiatry, notes: "We offer a tremendous array of programs". "We are dedicated to ensuring that patients throughout the region have access to innovative, evidence-based care designed to address specific mental health and addiction issues."