When Drs. Charles, Karl and William Menninger
opened their psychiatric hospital 90 years ago in 1925, only a couple hundred trained psychiatrists practiced nationwide.
These founders believed people with mental illness benefited from the combine treatment perspectives and expertise of a team of professionals, following a model that the elder physician Charles F. Menninger, MD, saw in action when visiting the Mayo Clinic years earlier.
“We had the vision of a better kind of medicine and a better kind of world,” Dr. Charles F. Menninger said, believing that no patient was untreatable.
“My father had an idea and an ideal,” Karl Menninger, MD, wrote. “My brother (William) and I worked at it, but everybody helped develop it.”
Within a few years of admitting its first patient in Topeka, Kansas, the Menninger hospital began training
psychiatric nurses and psychiatrists. Other training programs for clinicians followed, as did a commitment to research
. The hospital became renowned for its medical, psychological and social treatment
approach that helped patients regain their overall wellness and future filled with hope.
In 2003, Menninger relocated to Houston to affiliate with one of the nation’s best medical schools, Baylor College of Medicine. Affiliating with a medical school became necessary since The Clinic’s hometown of Topeka didn’t have that resource that was necessary for offering accredited training programs, attracting talented clinicians and advancing treatments through research.
Today, “We are expanding our services to meet the needs of persons with complex illness,” said C. Edward Coffey
, MD, Menninger president and CEO. “Our collaborations with Baylor College of Medicine and others enable us to explore new research questions about brain disorders and behavior, and to train hundreds of highly qualified clinicians who can deliver the right treatments at the right time. We envision a healthier society by the time we blow out 100 candles at our centennial in May 2025.”