PHCS News

Princeton House Behavioral Health Celebrates 40th Anniversary

Aug 8, 2011

Originally purchased for use as a nursing and convalescent home for theater people, Princeton House was converted to a psychiatric hospital and alcohol treatment center in 1971.

Fortunately, the Board of Trustees for University Medical Center at Princeton saw the potential and acquired Princeton House as a way to deliver much needed services to the local community.

Forty years later, Princeton House Behavioral Health (PHBH) stands as a regional leader in behavioral healthcare, providing a full spectrum of mental health and addiction services for people of all ages.

The affiliation of PHBH with Princeton HealthCare System (PHCS) sets 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," said Richard Wohl, senior vice president. "Psychiatric illness is not disconnected from medical illness, and we have a tremendous advantage in being affiliated with a full-service medical center."

Princeton House's history is characterized by innovation and expansion. In 1991, for example, Princeton House developed one of the state's first partial hospitalization programs for older adults, along with a dual diagnosis program for individuals with mental illness and substance abuse issues.

Over time, PHBH added an inpatient medical detoxification program. Princeton House also added an adolescent substance abuse unit and helped establish the Eating Disorders Unit at University Medical Center at Princeton.

In addition to those changes, PHBH continued to expand its outpatient programs and locations, growing into one of the region's largest behavioral healthcare providers.

Today, PHBH offers six distinct services on an inpatient basis. Another 44 programs are provided at outpatient sites spanning the state from Cherry Hill to North Brunswick. The outpatient programs provided by PHBH include unique services such as:

  • The Women's Program, serving women suffering from trauma, which is offered at outpatient sites in Princeton, Hamilton, North Brunswick and Cherry Hill.
  • A Men's Program for individuals recovering from trauma - believed to be the first of its kind in the nation - that is available at the Princeton Mount Lucas outpatient site.
  • Partial hospitalization services for children and adolescents, which are available at Cherry Hill, Hamilton and North Brunswick.

"We've developed high quality clinical programming to address patients' specific needs in terms of diagnosis, gender, and stage of life," said Peter Thomas, PhD, Executive Director of Outpatient Services. "We find that patients report higher satisfaction and achieve better outcomes when they feel the programs truly meet their needs."

Electroconvulsive therapy is offered on an outpatient - as well as 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 PHBH psychiatrists with area emergency rooms, enabling them to evaluate and direct the treatment of patients who might need behavioral health services.

"We offer a tremendous array of programs," said Neal Schofield, MD, Chairman of the Department of Psychiatry. "We are dedicated to ensuring that patients throughout the region have access to innovative, evidence-based care designed to address specific mental health issues."

The 40th Anniversary celebration kicked off in July and August, with barbecues for the staff at the inpatient campus in Princeton and at all five outpatient sites.

Princeton House Behavioral Health will continue to acknowledge the anniversary each month for the remainder of the year with scheduled festivities for employees and the community. For further information about our full array of services, please visit www.princetonhouse.org.