History

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Passavant’s History

Quality Care for Individuals with Intellectual Disabilities and Behavioral Health Needs

In 1861, the Rev. Dr. William Alfred Passavant purchased a farm in Rochester, PA, his immediate interest being the establishment of an orphan’s home for girls.  In the spring of 1863, 25 girls were moved from the Pittsburgh Infirmary to the Rochester Orphan’s Home, which was dedicated in July of the same year.  In early 1895, the orphaned children were relocated to a home for boys and girls that had been erected in Zelienople, PA. On June 6, 1895, exactly one year to the day after Dr. Passavant’s death, the Passavant Memorial Home for the care of Epileptics was dedicated, with Rev. William Alfred Passavant, Jr. as the first superintendent.  Additional buildings were added at Rochester as growth from the original 24 residents continued.

Passavant Memorial Homes (PMH) eventually began to serve the mental health and mental retardation (MH/MR) populations, whose terminologies next evolved into mental health and intellectual and developmental disabilities (MH/IDD).  The diagnoses are now most commonly referred to as behavioral health and intellectual disabilities (BH/ID).  According to Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), a person struggling with his or her behavioral health may face stress, depression, anxiety, relationship problems, grief, addiction, ADHD or learning disabilities, mood disorders, or other psychological concerns.  As defined by the American Association of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (AAIDD), intellectual disability is a disability characterized by significant limitations in both intellectual functioning and in adaptive behavior, which covers many everyday social and practical skills.  This disability originates before the age of 18.

Today, Passavant Memorial Homes is a private, non-profit 501(c)(3), human services provider organization whose mission is to empower individuals with intellectual disabilities, autism and behavioral health needs to live successfully in the community.  Through a continuum of care, the highest quality supports are always provided, while promoting choice and independence to over 800 children, adults, and seniors.

Under the excellent leadership of Rick D. Senft, Passavant Memorial Homes has experienced tremendous growth through the development of its related corporations, the purpose of which is to enhance and improve the lives of those with intellectual disabilities.  Accessible Dental Services, Life Enrichment Trust, PDC Pharmacy, and Passavant Memorial Homes, are together known as the Passavant Memorial Homes Family of Services.  Just as a family cares for one another, together these companies offer a wide range of supports to address the special needs and unique desires of individuals with disabilities.

The Passavant Memorial Homes Family of Services not only serves the entire western Pennsylvania region, including Pittsburgh and Allegheny County, but has grown into one of the nation’s foremost providers.  The Passavant Memorial Homes Family of Services continually strives to be a consumer-driven organization that consistently exceeds the expectations of families, the community, and fellow provider agencies.