Psychiatric Patient Resource Center Opens at NewYork-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell

Center's Patient-Friendly Mission and Design Are in Spirit of Hospital's Partnership with the Planetree Alliance

Mar 10, 2004

New York, NY

A new resource center specifically designed for psychiatric patients and their families has opened at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical Center. Named after a beloved Weill Cornell Medical College graduate, the Bruce Hedges, M.D. Patient Resource Center provides comprehensive and up-to-date information about a wide range of psychiatric conditions. Designed to be comfortable and empowering, the new center was built in the spirit of the Hospital's new partnership with the Planetree Alliance, a national organization dedicated to facilitating patient-centric care.

The aim of the Hedges Center is to provide patients with additional helpful resources to further empower them to become involved in their own care, as well as improve patient satisfaction, says Dr. David Silbersweig, Vice Chairman of Psychiatry for Research at Weill Cornell Medical College, and Director of the Neuropsychiatry Program at NewYork-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell. Dr. Silbersweig will oversee the new Center along with other colleagues in the Department of Psychiatry.

The new center, located at NewYork-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell's Outpatient Psychiatry Department, consists of dedicated computer terminals with Web-based educational and treatment resources. Educational offerings cover the full spectrum of psychiatric conditions, including anxiety disorders; childhood disorders; eating disorders; mood disorders; personality disorders; schizophrenia; sleep disorders; and substance abuse. The new Center was recently dedicated in a ceremony with Dr. Hedges' family in attendance. The Center's Web site can also be accessed via the Internet at

The Center's resources are particularly important for patients with mental illness and their families, who need such information, but often have limited access to computers and the Internet, says Dr. Silbersweig.

In tandem with its goal of patient empowerment, the Hedges Center is designed to be a comfortable environment that is conducive to healing, said Dr. Philip J. Wilner, Medical Director of the Department of Psychiatry at NewYork-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell and Associate Professor of Clinical Medicine at Weill Cornell Medical College. Details include large windows that offer an impressive view of the East River. This design philosophy is in keeping with the tenets of the Hospital's participation in the Planetree Alliance, a partnership first announced in October 2003.

The namesake of the new Center, Dr. Bruce Hedges, who graduated from Weill Cornell Medical College in 1986, died on New Year's Day, 2001, following a bicycle accident in Tucson, Arizona. Dr. Hedges was Medical Director at Palo Verde Behavioral Health in Tucson, and Chairman of the Medical Ethics Committee at Tucson Medical Center.

Bruce's genuine, down-to-earth personal qualities and his brilliant intellectual and medical capacities made a real difference in the everyday life of patients and clinicians, especially his ability to teach patients to help themselves, says Dr. Silbersweig. This philosophy is consistent with our approach to psychiatric treatment at NewYork-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell.