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Eagleville Hospital
Home > About Us > Legacy


Our History

Since its inception over a century ago, Eagleville has remained true to a mission of treating stigmatized diseases that affect all of society, consistently focusing on patients who are underserved. Throughout the years, belief in this mission has been passed from one generation of board members to the next. In 1909, Eagleville started as the Philadelphia Jewish Sanatorium for Consumptives treating indigent individuals suffering from tuberculosis. Today, Eagleville is a 305-bed, independent, non-profit addictions and behavioral health treatment and educational organization. Our rich history speaks to and demonstrates a fundamental commitment to remain resilient, adaptable, and resourceful in finding creative ways to address community health problems.

Health Services

The array of health services available at the hospital has evolved over the past century. Over the last 50 years, the evolution has focused on finding and using new and better ways to treat addiction and mental health disorders and on reaching out to special populations to provide this treatment. Highlights by the decades are:

Decade(s) Highlights of Our Evolution
  • 1909 – A group of philanthropists opened the Philadelphia Jewish Sanatorium for Consumptives with the goal to treat indigent individuals suffering from tuberculosis.
  • We started with four patients and grew to a 48 bed hospital.
  • The State took over treatment of tuberculosis
  • After discovering that many tuberculosis patients also suffered from chronic alcoholism, our board members agreed to convert the facility into a specialized treatment center for men who suffered from addiction to alcohol.
  • 1965 – We were renamed Eagleville Hospital and Rehabilitation Center.
  • 1966 – We admitted our first patients for the treatment of alcoholism. Patients were bussed from Philadelphia.
  • 1968 – We admitted our first patients for the treatment of drug addiction, thus pioneering a new approach to addiction treatment whereby drug addicts and alcoholics were treated in the same facility
  • We started the first non-hospital residential program, called the Candidate Program. It combined residential therapeutic community treatment and a vocational program, including paid employment.  It was a highly regarded program, with many graduates becoming leaders in treatment programs throughout the Southeast region of Pennsylvania.
  • We participated in various research efforts, including one that demonstrated the efficacy of the combined treatment of alcoholism and drug addiction and another that followed patients for seven years to evaluate factors related to recovery and relapse.
  • We developed specialized residential treatment services for individuals with drug and alcohol problems involved in the Criminal Justice System.  This was one of Pennsylvania’s first efforts to develop jail diversion programs for drug and alcohol treatment.  One of our services was widely accepted as a model for providing treatment paired with specialized parole supervision.
  • We began the Program for Employed Persons (PEP) in order to attract patients with commercial insurance.
  • We expanded the residential program for detoxification and rehabilitation treatment of addiction in response to the de-emphasis within in the community of hospital level treatments for these.
  • We began working with the Forensic Intensive Recovery (FIR) program from Philadelphia, focusing on reducing criminal recidivism due to substance use and mental health disorders through provision of treatment.
  • 2004 – In recognition of the growing needs of the older adult population, we opened a secure unit to treat older people with acute psychiatric treatment needs.
  • 2007 – We became one of the first facilities to receive dual licensure for treatment of persons with both substance use and mental health disorders simultaneously.
  • 2011 – We became one of the first facilities to treat individuals in crisis due to a combination of acute mental health and substance use disorders who need a secure setting

Outreach and Partnerships

Eagleville’s growth as a drug and alcohol rehabilitation facility progressed to include a variety of community outreach programs. To become more accessible to individuals suffering from addiction, the hospital established a halfway house and a day hospital in Norristown, as well as counseling and therapy programs for prisoners at Graterford. The hospital also initiated education programs such as the Montgomery County Community Day School program, which offered an alternative to institutionalization for troubled adolescents. Eagleville was also instrumental in the creation of a performance based master’s degree program in human services offered through Lincoln University. The program accepted students on the basis of proven experience and requisite academic skills.

A couple of programs were begun with Eagleville and are independent today. In 1975, Family House was opened. It is a nationally recognized program that provides residential treatment for recovering alcoholics and drug addicted women and their children. In 1974, Eagleville worked with Montgomery County to create Montgomery County Emergency Services.

In 1969, the first Narcotic Anonymous meeting on the East Coast was held at Eagleville, and it continues to this day.

Today, we partner with Pro-Act and make use of Certified Recovery Specialists (CRS) trained by them.

Advances in Evidence-Based Practices and Technology

We make use of evidence-based practices such as Motivational Interviewing, Thinking For a Change, Interactive Journaling (a Change Companies curriculum), Trauma Informed Care, Transtheoretical Model of Change, and Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. Furthermore, the Parenting and Life Skills classes utilize the Hazelden’s Living Skills Program.

We have been using Certified Peer Support Specialists since 2011.

In 2014, we began working with medication assisted treatment (MAT). Patients are assessed for their appropriateness and interest in MAT during the admitting process and throughout their stay. Patients who are enrolled in an MAT program at the time of admission can continue their maintenance here while they are being treated for other substance use.

In the early-2000’s, we installed an electronic medical record computer system. We were one of the first behavioral health providers in the state of Pennsylvania to use such technology. That system was replaced in 2013 with a more sophisticated electronic medical record computer system, which has tremendous functionality for our staff while treating our patients and with the patient’s consent can also provide for electronically exchanging patient clinical data between the patient’s various healthcare providers. We met “meaningful use” criteria as defined by the Centers of Medicare & Medicaid Services with the new system.