Established in 1910 as the Belle Mead Farm Colony and Sanatorium by John Joseph Kindred, M.D., the initial inspiration behind our facility was “to establish and maintain a colony for the care and treatment of sick persons, and particularly for the care and treatment of nervous and mental diseases and also all allied diseases.” Dr. Kindred’s Belle Mead Sanatorium provided humane, personal treatment in a restorative farm setting.
Following the death of Dr. Kindred in the 1920’s, his son, Dr. John Cramer Kindred, managed the Belle Mead Farm Colony and Sanatorium, and married Katherine Carrier.
In 1951, Russell Neff Carrier, M.D., Katherine’s brother, started working at the Sanatorium as Medical Director. In 1956, Dr. Carrier purchased the Sanatorium that then became the Carrier Clinic.
In the 1960’s, Carrier Clinic was expanded into several patient units. Dr. Carrier continued working on his goal of providing the best care for his patients in a home-like environment.
In 1977, Carrier Clinic became a non-profit organization and was renamed The Carrier Foundation. Specialty units for adolescents and older adults were developed, as were specialty treatment programs for anxiety, mood disorders, and other conditions.
In the 1980’s, Blake Hall was built for the dedicated purpose of treating patients with addiction problems. In addition, the Carrier Day School (now East Mountain School) was established to serve 9th through 12th graders with serious emotional problems. The East Mountain Youth Lodge was created to serve adolescents with psychiatric problems who could not live at home or in the community.
During the 1990’s, the behavioral health care field focused on treating patients along a continuum of care from inpatient to outpatient. Carrier Clinic developed several outpatient centers throughout the state of New Jersey.
In the 2000’s, Carrier refocused its priorities on enhancing clinical treatment programs at its Belle Mead, New Jersey campus. The organizational name reverted back to the “Carrier Clinic” as homage to the goals stated by Dr. Carrier.
In 2002, Carrier Clinic developed East Mountain Hospital, a hospital-within-a-hospital. This 16 bed facility serves patients who have a long history of mental illness and need short-term hospitalization during exacerbation of their illness.
The Caring Solutions Initiative was started in 2004 as an effort to reduce the use of restrictive measures such as seclusion and restraint. The CSI model became an active clinical strategic initiative at Carrier which focused on a patient satisfaction approach involving patient engagement, mutual respect and trauma-informed care.
Carrier Clinic announced an affiliation with the Robert Wood Johnson Health Network in October of 2004. The affiliation allows for a collaboration of ideas and medical and psychiatric expertise which promotes enhanced quality service for all patients.
2006 marked the beginning of the Equine Assisted Psychotherapy program at Carrier Clinic. Similar to pet therapy, Equine Assisted Psychotherapy is an experiential opportunity to identify, work with and work through various feelings that can surface while spending time around horses. Sessions are conducted with trained clinical staff and a horse expert, as every individual and group responds differently to the varying levels of feelings and reactions which often occur as metaphors to real life situations.
East Mountain School celebrated its 25th Anniversary in 2006. What started as a program with 16 students and 7 staff members is today enrolls up to 125 students supported by approximately 80 staff.
In 2007, Carrier Clinic opened the Intensive Outpatient Program for Addiction at Belle Mead. And with the help of over 20 community partners, the adolescent unit was renovated in May of 2007. In addition to new paint, furnishings and artwork, a library was added to the inpatient Adolescent Unit of our hospital.
In November of 2007, Representative Rush Holt held a Roundtable discussion on mental health with local and national mental health advocates at Carrier Clinic. David Wellstone and Rep. Patrick Kennedy were on the call to support passage of an important piece of legislation, the “Paul Wellstone Mental Health and Addiction Equity Act of 2007,” which brought us closer to the Mental Health Parity Act which was enacted in January 2010.
In 2008, Carrier Clinic started the Active Seniors program for active adults aged 60 or older to further specialize the clinical programming of the Older Adult unit. These seniors have the capacity to respond positively to a higher level of education and therapeutic interventions, and can actively participate in the structured treatment program.
The Carrier Diversion Program (CDP) was implemented in August 2008 for Ocean County residents from Kimball Medical Center’s Short-term Care Facility who required continued inpatient involuntary care. Diverted from transferring to Ancora Psychiatric Hospital, patients receive psychiatric treatment including medication, discharge oriented treatment planning and programming designed to promote stability, health, recovery, wellness and a return to the community.
Carrier Clinic celebrated the completion of a 14 acre solar farm on campus in December of 2009. The ground mounted solar array provides a clean, safe and sustainable energy source that supplies approximately 60% of Carrier’s electrical needs. At the time of completion, Carrier’s ground-mount display was the largest of its size for any healthcare system in New Jersey, and is unprecedented for a Behavioral Healthcare System within the United States.
In 2010, the Young Adult program was created to provide addiction and mental health assessment and treatment to young adults aged 18-25 who are in need of a more age-specific program relevant to a young adult population.
Alternative therapies have long been a part of the clinical make up of Carrier Clinic. Art Therapy, Music Therapy, and even a program in Equine Therapy have been used as part of the healing process for the patients and residents on our campus. In 2013 the Carrier Clinic Healing Arts Initiative was officially launched. This initiative builds upon our existing alternative therapies, while helping to improve the surroundings for our patients, visitors, and staff.
With our solar farm up and running, in 2013 we set out to beautify our facilities while continuing to reduce our carbon footprint. Replacing more than 2000 light fixtures in our buildings with natural spectrum LED lighting represents one more way that Carrier Clinic is meeting this goal. LED lighting not only reduces our energy consumption, but also helps to provide an environment of healing.
More than 200 pieces of framed art have been replaced with new art work that provides a healing and serene atmosphere for patients, visitors, and staff. In addition to supporting local artists, numerous pieces of art work have been donated to the Healing Arts Initiative.
Future plans within the Healing Arts Initiative includes the Windows of the Future Project, where 100 wood framed windows, removed from the original Carrier Clinic hospital building, will be repurposed by local artists to include pastoral scenes of the beautiful open spaces surrounding Carrier Clinic.
In 2014, Carrier Clinic launched the largest renovation capital campaign in the history of the organization. Building two new Adult Acute Care wings, plus building a new wing and renovating the existing wing of the Blake Recovery Center, and updating and renovating the admissions area of the hospital, these capital enhancements will provide state of the art facilities in support of the best care available.
Today, Carrier Clinic holds true to the values of compassion, respect, integrity, safety, and innovation. This was the basis of care for our founders and continues to serve as the basis of care today.
In 2014, Carrier Clinic launched the largest renovation capital campaign in the history of the organization.
These capital enhancements will provide state of the art facilities in support of the best care available.