Pennsylvania Psychiatric Institute appoints new CEO

February 12, 2009

The Pennsylvania Psychiatric Institute (PPI), a collaborative endeavor between Penn State Milton S. Hershey Medical Center and PinnacleHealth System, recently announced that Nancy E. Purtell has taken the position of chief executive officer.

Purtell has more than 25 years experience in health care, including executive positions with for-profit and not-for-profit psychiatric facilities in New Mexico and California. Most recently, she was CEO at Sierra Vista Hospital, a private, 72-bed psychiatric hospital and outpatient facility in Sacramento, CA. She previously served as executive director, administrative director of inpatient services and director of nursing at University of New Mexico Psychiatric Center in Albuquerque, NM.

Nancy’s leadership experience has been community-focused. While in New Mexico, she was involved in the development of a city-wide jail diversion initiative for the mentally ill and the sponsorship of a housing summit. Having served in a leadership role at Jefferson Hospital in Pittsburgh, Nancy is excited about returning to Pennsylvania.

"I’m extremely impressed by the way these two organizations came together to provide mental health services to the community rather than closing services down, which is happening, unfortunately, in too many other places," Purtell said. "This is an important part of our health care system that has operated behind the scenes, but that is changing, and PPI is at the forefront."

"Nancy’s wealth of experience leading mental health service organizations and dedication to the community makes her a perfect fit for the mission of PPI," said Kevin Splaine, co-chair of the PPI Board of Directors. "We look forward to her direction as we continue to build and strengthen mental health services for the people of central Pennsylvania and beyond."

Purtell replaces PPI founding CEO Daniel Body, who left the organization for personal reasons in January.

Based in Harrisburg, the Pennsylvania Psychiatric Institute is a 74-bed hospital with separate units dedicated to the care of elderly, adult, pediatric and adolescent behavioral health patients. The Institute offers the services of more than two dozen board certified psychiatrists, including five doctors honored among the Best Doctors® in America.

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Last Updated January 09, 2015