Department of Psychiatry

History of the Department


In the early 1950’s, the Greater Kansas City Mental Health Foundation entered into a contract with the city of Kansas City, Missouri, to reorganize and operate psychiatric services for patients of the city hospital system. The Psychiatric Receiving Center was constructed and it began operations in April, 1954 as the first racially integrated psychiatric hospital in Kansas City.  A comprehensive mental health system emerged with the merging with the Child Guidance Clinic, the addition of outpatient and aftercare services, establishment of a day hospital program, and continued consultation services with the public school district.  In 1961, the Hospital and Community Psychiatry Institute of the American Psychiatric Association presented the Foundation with the Gold Metal Award for the Center’s efforts in creating community-oriented comprehensive services.

The Psychiatric Receiving Center became a part of the state after Missouri purchased the property from the city of Kansas City. The State assumed responsibility for clinical and community services and the Foundation continued in its mission to train mental health professionals. On November 1, 1989, the Missouri Department of Mental Health assumed direct sponsorship for the residency training program. In 2009, Western Missouri Mental Health Center was renamed the Center for Behavioral Medicine with a renewed commitment to treatment of long-term patients.

In 1993, Central Kansas City Mental Health Services (CKCMHS) was created out of its progenitor, CBM, as a freestanding, state-owned community mental health center. In 1997, CKCMHS was purchased by Truman Medical Center and renamed Truman Medical Center Behavioral Health Network (TBHN). Today, TBHN serves as the primary training site for psychiatry residents in outpatient, acute inpatient, and consultation-liaison rotations

The University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Medicine accepted its first class in 1971. It is a six-year school that admits students directly from high school. Upon graduation, students receive both baccalaureate and medical degrees. The school, which is unique in the United States, does not operate a university hospital or graduate programs. It contracts with the departments of its affiliated hospitals for its clinical instruction of medical students and residents. Thus, Truman Medical Center and Saint Luke’s Hospital provide clinical training for the Departments of Internal Medicine, OB/GYN and Surgery. The Children’s Mercy Hospital is its Department of Pediatrics, and the medical staff members at CBM and TBHN are its Department of Psychiatry. Professional staff members at CBM and Truman Behavioral Health Services hold faculty positions in the School of Medicine and are responsible for teaching psychiatry to medical students both during their psychiatric clerkship at the Center and during rotations at other Hospital Hill Institutions.

“Hospital Hill” is located just south of downtown Kansas City and is comprised of the major health education institutions and facilities primarily devoted to services for the public sector. These include: The University of Missouri-Kansas City Schools of Medicine, Dentistry, Pharmacy and Nursing; the Truman Medical Center; the Children’s Mercy Hospital; Center for Behavioral Medicine, and Truman Behavioral Health Network.