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Welcome from the Chair

Dr. KovachWelcome to the Psychiatry and Behavioral Science Department! We are proud of the many strengths of our department and welcome interest in our program.

Who are we, and what are our values? We are an energetic and diverse group of physicians who are tied together by our values and commitment to outstanding patient care and education. We value the input of all of our team members, and we think that our members’ individuality and diverse experiences make us a stronger and more effective team. We strive for our best in all of our academic and patient care endeavors, and we constantly look for ways to improve. Our group is cohesive, flexible, and resilient. We take care of ourselves and of our colleagues – both in and out of work. We believe in collegiality and find our daily work fun and rewarding!

Our department has many strengths. With a busy crisis response center in addition to three acute and two extended acute inpatient psychiatry units, Episcopal Hospital, part of the Temple University Hospital system, focuses primarily on the needs of our department’s patients. However, it also has a full range of medical services on-site including a busy medical emergency room, a medical inpatient unit, radiology, lab services, and a host of other subspecialty departments. We care primarily for the patients of Kensington and North Philadelphia. This geographic area is ethnically diverse but also economically depressed and impacted by high rates of addiction. At Temple University Hospital, located in the same geographic area, we have busy inpatient and outpatient consultation-liaison services. We have excellent relationships with the other departments at Temple and work together to meet the care needs of our patients.

We are proud of our resident and medical student education programs. Our residents are caring and academically-curious. They usually choose our program because they are dedicated to our patient population, share our appreciation of diversity, collegiality, and teamwork, and are invested in learning to be an excellent psychotherapist and doctor. Our residents appreciate being part of a program large enough to support their many interests but also with a focus on individual mentoring. While at Temple, our residents are actively involved in departmental, local, and national committees. Most of them present at least once at a national meeting, and many publish in peer-reviewed publications prior to their graduation. At the conclusion of their training, some residents will choose fellowship, while others will go on to private practice or a multitude of other opportunities throughout the area and country.

Finally, we have a growing research program. In addition to our own departmental research, we frequently partner with the many other centers and departments at Temple for research projects. These successful partnerships have benefitted the development of many of our faculty and residents. 

I hope you choose to further explore our website and hope to meet you soon!

Jessica Kovach, MD
Interim Chair, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Science
Professor, Psychiatry and Behavioral Science


About the Department 

The goals of the Temple University Department of Psychiatry include excellence in clinical care, education, and academic advancement and research in behavioral health sciences.

The Department of Psychiatry was created in 1938. In 2002, the Temple University Health System consolidated its behavioral health services and moved them to a facility primarily dedicated to psychiatric care, Temple University Hospital Episcopal Campus (TUH-EC). TUH-EC also provides a medical Emergency Department, Sub-acute Inpatient Medicine, Radiology, Primary Care, and many outpatient specialty offices to the North Philadelphia neighborhood.

Clinical psychiatric services at TUH-EC include:

  • 118-bed inpatient behavioral health program - The inpatient program provides tracks for both intensive treatment of patients with co-existing disorders of mental illness and substance abuse and for patients with a primary psychiatric diagnosis.  Forty-four beds are dedicated to extended acute inpatient care.
  • Crisis Response Center – The crisis response center is the busiest emergency psychiatry service in Philadelphia.  Included in the crisis center is a 23-hour bed program, which boasts an 85% inpatient-care diversion rate
  • Outpatient Psychiatry Department - Our outpatient psychiatry department evaluates and treats patients from the community for a full range of services from twice-weekly 60 minute psychotherapy to brief monthly medication management. 

Additionally, TUH-EC has a 21-bed sub-acute medical unit, a full emergency room staffed by the Emergency Medicine Department of Lewis Katz School of Medicine which sees approximately 50,000 visits a year, laboratory and radiology services, and a host of outpatient medical services.

Clinical services at Temple University Hospital (TUH), a 721-bed tertiary care academic medical center, include:

  • Consultation-Liaison Service
  • Outpatient Psychosomatic Medicine - Our outpatient psychosomatic medicine clinic offers a holistic approach to the identification and management of psychosomatic disorders. The program focuses on treating psychiatric disorders in patients with comorbid medical or neurological disorders as well as identifying behaviors due to medical conditions and medications.

The Department of Psychiatry is involved in collaborative, multidisciplinary research efforts throughout Lewis Katz School of Medicine, the University, and with members of our Adjunct Faculty.