Moses Sheppard and Enoch Pratt Envision and Endow An Institution For The Humane
Treatment of the Mentally Ill
Moses Sheppard was born in 1775. He came to Baltimore, Maryland
as a young man and through hard work and business acumen, amassed a fortune as
a merchant. He was a member of the Religious Society of Friends, and in keeping
with the concerns of the Quakers, he had a strong interest in social causes
which he actualized as the warden of the city's poor and as commissioner of the
prison. In these capacities Sheppard became aware of the inhumane treatment
accorded persons with mental illnesses, or "lunatics" as they were then called.
For the most part, prior to the Civil War, there was no attempt on the part of
society to manage or abate the symptoms of mental illnesses. Delusional,
delirious, and aggressive behavior was particularly challenging, and those who
suffered from these symptoms were often chained or kept in cages by their
desperate families. Many eventually escaped, wandered and ended up in
almshouses and jails where they were confined, restrained and treated
inhumanely, even brutally. A movement for humane treatment of persons with
mental illnesses, born in France and England, found fertile ground in America
the mid-1800's with the creation of a handful of progressive institutions on
the East Coast where therapeutic treatment was provided in the form of warm
baths, tranquil garden walks, moderate exercise, productive structured
activities, and kindness and compassion on the part of the staff.
Dorothea Lynde Dix, a nationally prominent social reformer, took up the cause.
In 1851 she visited Moses Sheppard to enlist his support in her efforts to
induce the Maryland legislature to establish a state institution for the humane
care of the insane. Sheppard was inspired, but his vision was of an institution
unfettered by political control. A man of action, decisive about the cause,
Sheppard secured a charter from the Maryland General Assembly for the
establishment of The Sheppard Asylum. Final incorporation took place in 1853.
His plan stipulated the following: Courteous treatment and comfort of all
patients; that no patient was to be confined below ground; all were to have
privacy, sunlight and fresh air; the asylum's purpose was to be curative,
combining science and experience for the best possible results; and that only
income, not principal would be used to build and operate the asylum. As a
result of the last stipulation, the opening and the admission of the first
patient was delayed until 1891, 34 years after Moses Sheppard's death.
The Sheppard Asylum was built on what had been 340 acre farm a
few miles north of Baltimore City. The future of Sheppard Asylum was greatly
enhanced by an endowment from wealthy merchant and philanthropist, Enoch Pratt,
upon his death in 1896. He stipulated that his bequest be used to complete
construction in progress, enlarge the facility to house 200 additional
patients, serve the indigent, and that the name of the institution be changed
to The Sheppard and Enoch Pratt Hospital. All of his conditions were met and
The Sheppard and Enoch Pratt Hospital remains in operation today as the
hospital component of the statewide behavioral health provider, Sheppard Pratt
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Sheppard Pratt, a not-for-profit behavioral health system, is dedicated to the
improvement of quality of life in communities by serving the behavioral health
and special education needs of individuals, families and organizations.
Sheppard Pratt Health System is a private, non-profit behavioral
health organization that provides a full range of services in a variety of
settings to meet the needs of children, adolescents, adults and older adults.
Headquartered in Towson, Maryland, just outside of Baltimore, Sheppard Pratt
has more than 2,500 employees and 33 programs in 11 counties of Maryland,
Baltimore City and in Northern Virginia. In 2012 Sheppard Pratt Health System
served more than 53,000 individuals and provided just under one million units of mental health
services, which consists of patient days of hospitalization, partial
hospitalization, residential treatment or respite, or of special education,
psychiatric rehabilitation, general hospital services or outpatient programming
operated by Sheppard Pratt.
SHEPPARD AND ENOCH PRATT FOUNDATION, INC.
The Sheppard and Enoch Pratt Foundation, Inc. acts as the parent corporation
for The Sheppard Pratt Health System and its affiliates and for The Sheppard
Pratt Physicians, P.A. and is the entity that conducts fund raising. A
volunteer board of trustees governs the foundation's activities.
|Sheppard Pratt Foundation, Board of Trustees
||Emile A Bendit, M.D.
|S. Winfield Cain
||John E. Carnell
|Dr. W. Byron Forbush, Chair
||Robert Y. Hamilton
||Alan N. Gamse
|Timothy R. Hearn
|H. Thomas Howell
||Kenneth A. Jones
|Norma P. Killebrew
||Charles E. Knudsen, III
||Brian E. Le Gette
|Annette R. March-Grier
|The Honorable J. Frederick Motz
|Gail L. Shawe
||Alfred L. Singer
|John W. Steele, III
||Gary E. Talles
||Pamela P. Young
Our Guiding Principles:
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Quality: We will meet professional standards in our field and
continuously improve all aspects of our work.
Caring: We will provide services with compassion and with sensitivity.
Charitable Responsibilities: As a tax-exempt organization, we will meet
our charitable responsibilities to serve the community and to honor the intent
of our donors.
Value: We will assure that the cost of our services appropriately
reflects their value and we will operate in a cost-efficient manner.
Innovation: We will use the expertise of our staff, as well as the
latest scientific advancements, to create a system that is a model for others.
Community Presence: We will work to reduce stigma, to increase access to
mental illness and addiction services and to increase awareness of the benefits
Empowerment: We will encourage autonomy of both our consumers and staff
using teamwork to achieve individualized goals.
Learning Environment: We will enhance professional knowledge and skills
through inquiry, teaching, learning and research.
Cultural Diversity: We will deliver services without regard to race,
religion, color, creed, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, age, or
disability. We will foster an environment that embraces the diversity of all of
Integrity: We will conduct ourselves in an ethical, honest and
Safety: We will provide a safe environment for consumers, volunteers,
staff and visitors.
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Sheppard Pratt will be the preeminent regional resource in behavioral health.
Sheppard Pratt, with its proud tradition of over 100 years of quality
psychiatric treatment, is poised to expand and grow into the 21st century. Our
Towson, Maryland campus will be the hub of a mid-Atlantic regional behavioral
health system for individuals, families and organizations. These services will include highly
specialized tertiary care on the campus at Towson and primary mental health
services in general hospitals, outpatient clinics, doctors' offices,
psychosocial rehab programs, schools, nursing homes, rehab facilities, prisons,
and the workplace. Contracting with hospital emergency rooms, Sheppard Pratt
will provide emergency psychiatric services. Urgent care and mobile crisis
teams will respond to patient needs in community settings, preventing
unnecessary hospitalizations. Short-term psychiatric care will be provided in
general hospitals, with Sheppard Pratt managing inpatient service as well as
day treatment, with patients returning to their homes at night. While special
schools address the needs of students with serious emotional disorders,
services to meet mental health needs of students in mainstream schools and
other settings such as residential treatment centers, respite care, group
homes, supervised apartments, will be provided. The business community, with
its commitment to a healthy work force, will contract with Sheppard Pratt for
short-term counseling and consultation through employee assistance programs and
Sheppard Pratt will manage a full behavioral health benefit package for
employers and employees across the region. In essence, Sheppard Pratt will
deliver the full continuum of behavioral health services for individuals and
families in need.
In the 21st century, it is likely that we will see breakthroughs in the
treatment of schizophrenia, Alzheimer's Disease, major depression, and
developmental disorders in children. As treatment and prevention strategies
become more effective and complex, Sheppard Pratt will be there, providing the
latest and the best. This "state of the art" care for our patients carries on
the great vision of Moses Sheppard when he admonished us to "lead the way."
Steven S. Sharfstein, M.D.
President and CEO
© 2003 Sheppard Pratt Health System All rights reserved.
Sheppard Pratt Health System
6501 N. Charles Street
Baltimore, MD 21285
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