Diversity and Inclusion

Diversity and Inclusion

Mission Statement

Pennsylvania Psychiatric Institute (PPI) celebrates Diversity, a vital component of our current and future success as a Behavioral Health Service provider of choice. We are committed to removing barriers, crossing traditional boundaries and exploring new ways of thinking and being. We promote an atmosphere of inclusion, respect, openness, and trust. We fully embrace and utilize our “likenesses” and “differences” to enhance problem solving, processes and systems.

Psychiatric Doctor to Titan of Industry

During Black History Month, we are highlighting some of the top Black professionals in the mental health field that many have not heard of.
This week we are highlighting Freda C. Lewis-Hall, M.D., DFAPA, one of the largest and most significant players in the field of medication and pharmaceuticals, and her story as a black female doctor is empowering and humbling.
Born in 1955 in Baltimore, MD, Freda C. Lewis-Hall dreamed of becoming a doctor from a young age.

 

Freda C. Lewis-Hall, M.D. Source: salem.edu

Freda C. Lewis-Hall, M.D. Source: salem.edu


Her first year in medical school was the most difficult year of her life. Medical school to begin with is an uphill battle, a few weeks into her classes, the steep path became even more daunting when her future husband, Randy, was sent to immediate exploratory surgery to check out a suspicious mass. Cancer. Constant worry and frequent trips to visit Randy started to interfere with her studies, though she persevered and somehow passed her exams, and Randy was on the mend.
The good news was short lived however, as tragedy struck over summer break when her mother unexpectedly passed away from a stroke. The shock of the unanticipated loss while attempting to care for her family and Alzheimer’s-stricken grandmother drained her physically and emotionally. She returned to medical school ready to take a leave of absence, fully aware that the chances of her returning if doing so would be slim.

By chance, on her way to request leave, she ran into her mentor, Dr. Lasalle D. Leffall, Jr., a legendary surgeon and professor. He listened as she spoke of her rationale for leave. He told her that he believed in her promise as a healer and as a leader and understood the pressures. Was she ready to give up on a dream that she had since she was six?
Freda went on to earn her B.S. degree from Johns Hopkins University and her medical doctorate from Howard University in Washington, DC. 

Freda spent her first few years as a medical professional working on the frontlines of psychiatric care, earning recognition as a Distinguished Fellow of the American Psychiatric Association. She was also an associate professor of the Department of Psychiatry for Howard University.

She then transitioned into working behind the scenes in a career in biopharmaceuticals bringing her expertise and experience of years in the field of psychiatry and mental health into the process of developing medication. She served as Pfizer, Inc.’s Chief Medical Officer and Executive Vice President until the end of 2018 and as Chief Patient Officer and Executive Vice President during 2019.
In these roles, Dr. Lewis-Hall expanded outreach to patients, reshaped the focus on patient engagement and inclusion, improved health information and education and amplified the voice of the patient within company culture and decision-making. She was responsible for the safe, effective and appropriate use of Pfizer medicines and vaccines. 

Among her other various accomplishments are:

     
  • In 2010, Dr. Lewis-Hall was appointed by the Obama Administration to the inaugural Board of Governors for the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI)
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  • Savoy’s Top Influential Women in Corporate America in 2012
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  • “Woman of the Year” by Healthcare Businesswomen’s Association’s in 2011
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  • Recognized in 2010 as one of the nation’s 75 Most Powerful Women in Business by Black Enterprise Magazine
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  • 25 Most Influential African Americans in health care by Black Health Magazine

Freda C. Lewis-Hall, MD is tough, to say the least, and her continued involvement in mental health makes her a role model for aspiring psychiatrists and mental health professionals.


Black Forerunners Paving the Way in Psychology

During Black History Month, we are highlighting some of the top Black professionals in the mental health field that many have not heard of.

Today we are highlighting the first Black male and female to receive their PhD in psychology. Francis Cecil Sumner, PhD, and Inez Beverly Prosser, PhD.

America’s first black female psychologist, Inez Beverly Prosser, PhD, was born around 1897 to Samuel Andrew and Veola Hamilton Beverly in the small town of Yoakum, Texas. Not much is known about her early years besides the fact she was the oldest daughter of 11 children. A bright student, she graduated valedictorian from Yoakum Colored High School in 1912 and then went on to receive a degree in teacher training from Prairie View Normal College where she was also valedictorian. Though common today, in her time, education beyond high school was not common, especially for a woman. Even more unheard of was an African American woman with a college degree.

Inez Beverly Prosser, PhD. Source: uwgb.org

Inez Beverly Prosser, PhD. Source: uwgb.org


After receiving her degree, she went back to Yoakum and taught for a short time at their segregated schools, before accepting a teaching position in Austin, where she took up classes at Samuel Huston College. In around 1924, she graduated with distinction from Samuel Huston with a major in education. Shortly after her graduation she married Rufus A. Prosser. Unable to stay away from academia, Inez decided to continue her education obtained a Master of Arts degree in educational psychology from the University of Colorado. She then accepted a position at Tillotson College teaching education, where she was recognized as an excellent teacher and leader. Then from 1921 to 1930 Inez served as dean and registrar at Tillotson College. In 1931 Inez was awarded the Rockefeller Foundation General Education Board Fellowship because of her excellent and well-known work as a teacher.

In 1933 she received a PhD, one of the first African American women to accomplish this in the United States, in educational psychology from the University of Cincinnati. Her dissertation, which received a huge amount of recognition, was on The Non-Academic Development of Negro Children in Mixed and Segregated Schools. It was also one of the earliest treatises on the social domain of elementary school children.

 

Inez Beverly Prosser, PhD. Source: savannahtribune.com

Inez Beverly Prosser, PhD. Source: savannahtribune.com


During Inez’s lifetime she established a fund, while completing her own education, that enabled her sisters and brothers to obtain a college education. Of the eleven brothers and sisters, all completed high school and six further completed a college education. Then in 1934, tragedy struck as Inez Beverly Prosser was killed in an automobile accident near Shreveport, Louisiana.

Inez Beverly Prosser, PhD, was a strong-willed individual who beat the odds, and if not for a terrible accident, would have been able to make even more contributions to psychology as we know it.



Francis Cecil Sumner is called “the Father of Black Psychology,” because he was the first Black man to earn his PhD in psychology.

Francis Cecil Sumner, PhD. Source: earlham.edu

Francis Cecil Sumner, PhD. Source: earlham.edu


Francis Cecil Sumner was born in Arkansas in 1895. As a teenager without a high school education, Francis was self-taught after his elementary school years and was able to pass an entrance exam to Lincoln University, at the age of 15, and graduate magna cum laude with honors.

He later enrolled at Clark University to pursue a Bachelor of Arts in English in 1916. Although he was approved as a PhD candidate, he could not begin his doctoral dissertation because he was drafted into the army during World War I. Upon returning from the war, he reenrolled in the doctoral program and in 1920, his dissertation titled “Psychoanalysis of Freud and Adler” was accepted.

Francis’ focus in psychology was on “race psychology” where he was interested in understanding racial bias and supporting educational justice. Besides “race psychology,” he also studied color and vision, as well as the psychology of religion. He was one of the first people in academia to contribute to the fields of psychology, religion and the administration of justice together.

Francis became a professor at various universities and managed to publish several articles despite the refusal of research agencies to provide funding for him because of his color. He worked with the Journal of Social Psychology and the Psychological Bulletin, writing abstracts. His students described him as motivating and encouraging.

Francis Sumner is credited as one of the founders of the psychology department at Howard University, which he chaired from 1928 until his death in 1954. Under the leadership of Francis and his colleagues, Howard University became a major force in the education of African American psychology students. Though the psychology department at Howard did not offer the PhD degree in psychology until 1972, nevertheless, by 1972, 300 African Americans had earned PhDs in psychology from U.S. colleges and universities. 60 of which had previously received a bachelor’s or master’s degree from the Department of Psychology at Howard. One of Francis’ students, Kenneth Bancroft Clark, would emerge as the most successful and influential African American psychologist of the 20th century.


A Black Pioneer for Mental Health Therapy

During Black History Month, we want to highlight some of the top Black professionals in the mental health field that many have not heard of.

Our second spotlight is on Maxie Clarence Maultsby, Jr, M.D. Born in Pensacola, Florida on April 24, 1932, Maultsby focused on his studies all the way through medical school. He earned his M.D. in 1957 from Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio.

Dr. Maxy Clarence Maultsby, Jr. Source: learnaslead.com

Dr. Maxy Clarence Maultsby, Jr. Source: learnaslead.com


Upon graduation from medical school, he worked as an intern for one year at the Philadelphia General Hospital, before returning to Florida to become a General Practitioner of Medicine. From 1962-1966 he was a medical officer in the US Air Force, before working for several hospitals associated with the University of Wisconsin through a Psychiatry Residency. During this time, he also participated in an intensive training in Behavior Therapy at the Eastern Psychiatric Institute, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

His Psychiatric Residency with the University of Wisconsin led to Maultsby joining the University of Wisconsin, Madison medical faculty in 1970. During his time there, he formalized psychiatric approach of his own creation called Rational Behavior Therapy. In 1973 he founded the Training and Treatment Center for Rational Behavior Therapy, where his method became increasingly influential.

 

Rational Behavior Therapy book cover. Source: amazon.com

Rational Behavior Therapy book cover. Source: amazon.com


Maultsby and his approach with Rational Behavior Therapy (RBT) made several unique contributions to psychotherapy and cognitive-behavioral therapy.

     
  • RBT is based on the neurophysiology (the structure of the nervous system) of a healthy human brain, which was unlike other traditional therapies based on introspection, observation, and/or the philosophical influences.
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  • RBT is relatively easy to teach and easy to learn (does not require identification of disorders or knowledge of medical terms).
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  • Clients define what is healthy thinking for them.
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  • Clients are coached to become their own therapists (Rational Behavior Self-Counseling).
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  • In 1971, RBT psychiatrists pioneered visualization practices and the use of imagery to develop healthy thoughts, emotions and behaviors.
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  • Accepts the potential health value of religious, spiritual, and deeply rooted philosophical or existential beliefs, and their beneficial application and integration into a cognitive-behavioral, non-denominational, spiritual or existential counseling.

RBT has continued to grow in influence since its beginning and has practitioners in many continents across the globe. In addition to founding the RBT psychotherapy, he also founded the emotional self-help technique called Rational Self-Counseling and the New Self-Help Alcoholic Relapse Prevention Treatment Method.

Maultsby became the Chair of Howard University’s Department of Psychiatry in 1989 and was given the title of Emeritus Professor in 2004. In 2011, Maultsby also became a Professor in the Psychiatry Residence Training Program, at Saint Elizabeth’s Hospital, under the Department of Mental Health in Washington D.C.

An American psychiatrist, author of several books on emotional and behavioral self-management, elected Distinguished Life Fellow of the American Psychiatric Association, and recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award from the National Association of Cognitive-Behavioral Therapists, Maxie Clarence Maultsby Jr., M.D., passed away on August 28, 2016, in Alexandria, Virginia.

Learn more about Maxie Clarence Maultsby, Jr, MD, and his other accomplishments here.

If you would like to speak to someone about better managing your stress and anxiety, or to make an appointment, please call (717) 782-6493 for more information.


Advocating for Mental Health in the Black Community

During Black History Month, we want to highlight some of the Black professionals that have been pioneers in the mental health field that many have not heard of.

Starting off our spotlight is PA native, Bebe Moore Campbell. Born on February 18, 1950, in Philadelphia, Elizabeth Bebe Moore was the only child of Philadelphia native Doris Carter Moore, a social worker, and George Moore, a college graduate from North Carolina.

Bebe Moore Campbell. Source: Bing Images

Bebe Moore Campbell. Source: Bing Images


Campbell grew up to be an author, journalist, teacher, and mental health advocate who worked diligently to shed light on the mental health needs of the Black and other underrepresented communities. In her later work, Campbell examined mental illness from a child’s viewpoint in her illustrated children’s story Sometimes My Mommy Gets Angry. This book provided helpful prose for young readers with a family member suffering from bipolar disorder. Stemming from bipolar disorder being an issue in her own family, she would continue the theme on mental health in her next book, 72 Hour Hold.

“We don’t want to talk about it,” she explained in one of her last interviews to Kenneth Meeks of Black Enterprise, of her involvement in the National Alliance for the Mentally Ill (NAMI), whose Inglewood, California, chapter she co-founded. “I didn’t want to talk about it, either. I went into denial. I was ashamed. I was very stigmatized by this illness that had no business in my family.”

Finding comfort in dealing with her family’s experiences with mental illness in support groups, her work in founding NAMI-Inglewood in a predominantly Black neighborhood to create a space that was safe for Black people to talk about mental health concerns.

Bebe Moore Campbell. Source: Bing Images

Bebe Moore Campbell. Source: Bing Images


Sadly, she passed away in Los Angeles on November 27, 2006, from brain cancer at the age of 56.

On June 2, 2008, congress formally recognized July as Bebe Moore Campbell National Minority Mental Health Awareness Month to bring awareness to the unique struggles that underrepresented groups face regarding mental illness in the US.

Read more about Bebe Moore Campbell’s life here

If you would like to speak to someone about better managing your stress and anxiety, or to make an appointment, please call (717) 782-6493 for more information.