PHILADELPHIA — The Scattergood Program for Applied Ethics of Behavioral Health Care (ScattergoodEthics) – a research program within the Department of Medical Ethics & Health Policy at the University of Pennsylvania – has received a $600,000, six-year grant from the Thomas Scattergood Behavioral Health Foundation to create and expand initiatives in the areas of ethics and policy of behavioral health care.  This program will also be supported by a financial commitment by the Department of Medical Ethics & Health Policy.

Funding will support work across the growing field of mental health care ethics and policy, including: 1) the creation of a consortium on behavioral healthcare ethics, comprising health care providers, researchers, and elected and appointed officials; 2) analysis and education around the impact of the Affordable Care Act on behavioral health care; 3) scholarly research of understudied factors in the treatment of serious mental illnesses; 4) consultation and research related to clinical ethical issues related to decision-making capacity; and 5) research into the ethical, philosophical, and policy dimensions of shifting psychiatric diagnostic categories.

“We are extremely grateful to the Thomas Scattergood Foundation for its very generous support,” said Dominic Sisti, PhD, assistant professor in the department of Medical Ethics & Health Policy and director of ScattergoodEthics. “We are now positioned to play a leading role in examining ethical, philosophical and policy issues in behavioral health care – and to effect positive change for millions suffering from mental illness.”

ScattergoodEthics is dedicated to education, research, and resource development for the field of psychiatric, mental, and behavioral health care ethics. It conducts scholarly research, trains and educates clinicians and scholars in mental and behavioral healthcare ethics, sponsors programs and public events, and advocates for greater attention to the ethical dimensions of diagnosis and treatment.  

 “The future of American medicine will in large part be about preventing and managing chronic and psychosocial illness,” said Ezekiel Emanuel, MD, PhD, chair of the department of Medical Ethics and Health Policy and the Diane v.S. Levy and Robert M. Levy University Professor and Vice Provost for Global Initiatives at Penn Medicine. “We take seriously the need to study the ethical and policy dimensions of behavioral health care as an essential part of transforming the health care system.”

“The Scattergood Foundation is dedicated to finding innovative ways to improve behavioral health care,” explains Joe Pyle, President of the Foundation.   “We are excited to support a program that has shown its capacity to produce scholarly research and then translate that research into action.”

ScattergoodEthics is funded by a grant from the Thomas Scattergood Behavioral Health Foundation and the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania.  Dominic Sisti, PhD, serves as the program's director.

Penn Medicine is one of the world's leading academic medical centers, dedicated to the related missions of medical education, biomedical research, and excellence in patient care. Penn Medicine consists of the Raymond and Ruth Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania (founded in 1765 as the nation's first medical school) and the University of Pennsylvania Health System, which together form a $5.3 billion enterprise.

The Perelman School of Medicine has been ranked among the top five medical schools in the United States for the past 18 years, according to U.S. News & World Report's survey of research-oriented medical schools. The School is consistently among the nation's top recipients of funding from the National Institutes of Health, with $373 million awarded in the 2015 fiscal year.

The University of Pennsylvania Health System's patient care facilities include: The Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania and Penn Presbyterian Medical Center -- which are recognized as one of the nation's top "Honor Roll" hospitals by U.S. News & World Report -- Chester County Hospital; Lancaster General Health; Penn Wissahickon Hospice; and Pennsylvania Hospital -- the nation's first hospital, founded in 1751. Additional affiliated inpatient care facilities and services throughout the Philadelphia region include Chestnut Hill Hospital and Good Shepherd Penn Partners, a partnership between Good Shepherd Rehabilitation Network and Penn Medicine.

Penn Medicine is committed to improving lives and health through a variety of community-based programs and activities. In fiscal year 2015, Penn Medicine provided $253.3 million to benefit our community.