Dr. Geoffrey Kanter, founder of Comprehensive MedPsych Systems, was recruited to Florida from Northern California in 1991 to become Director of Psychology for what was then known as the Rehabilitation Institute of Sarasota. He built a staff of 7 psychologists, 1 Licensed Mental Health Counselor and a psychometrician. In addition to his administrative duties, Dr. Kanter also took on responsibilities as Clinical Director for the Brain Injury Program, the Pediatric Program, and eventually the Pain Management Program. The hospital was eventually bought by HealthSouth and Dr. Kanter continued to perform multiple responsibilities until February of 1997 when he left to begin his private practice.
During 1997, Dr. Kanter developed a unique and expansive proposal of behavioral medicine services to be implemented at Sarasota Memorial Hospital across a wide variety of inpatient medical units. Eventually, by May of 1997, the proposal was accepted by the president and vice president of the hospital and Dr. Kanter was hired as Medical Director of Psychology. The goal of this unique Behavioral Medicine program was to provide, for the first time, comprehensive psychological/behavioral medicine services to a variety of medical inpatients at the hospital. This included among others: cardiac/open heart surgery patients, stroke and orthopedic rehabilitation patients, oncology patients, diabetic patients, pediatric patients, and high-risk pregnancy patients, etc. In the course of developing this unique program, 6 psychologists were hired and the program was lauded for its high-quality of service internally and locally. This program was also taken notice of on a national level by the Practice Directorate of the American Psychological Association who sent representatives on two occasions to survey the program. As part of the Psychology/Behavioral Medicine program, a specialized Special Care Attendant protocol was also developed which documented approximately $250,000 worth of savings to the hospital over a one-year period in terms of decreased costs for one-on-one sitters.
Then, in February of 1998, with Sarasota Memorial Hospital undergoing severe budget cuts, Dr. Kanter proposed creating a private group, Comprehensive MedPsych Systems, which would allow for continued expansion of psychological and behavioral medicine services but no longer as hospital employees or constrained by hospital budgetary limitations. As a result, in late February, 1998, Comprehensive MedPsych Systems was incorporated and Dr. Kanter, along with 4 other psychologists, continued providing services to Sarasota Memorial Hospital medical inpatients on a private group basis.
Over the next several years, the reputation for quality of services provided by Comprehensive MedPsych Systems staff began to grow beyond the boundaries of the medical inpatients at Sarasota Memorial Hospital to include a growing population of outpatients. As a result, in April of 2000, instead of utilizing the hospital offices for the provision of outpatient services, Comprehensive MedPsych Systems moved its offices across the street to Midtown Plaza. Three years later, the number of patients and staff had grown such that another suite was added bringing the total to 2,500 square feet in 9 clinical offices. Due to continued growth in patients, programs, and services, in August of 2008, Comprehensive MedPsych Systems moved across the street taking up one full floor in a new (all glass) office building at 1250 South Tamiami Trail, comprising 5,500 square feet of space and 15 clinical offices. In 2012 and 2013, a new Lakewood Ranch office was opened with 6 offices, the top floor unit of the main headquarters was added (the "glass cathedral"), and a new office was opened, formerly that of Dr. Jamie Smolen, creating the largest private group behavioral health footprint in Bradenton. The group added a northern office in St. Petersburg as well.
Since this time, Comprehensive MedPsych Systems staff had grown to more than 40 staff members including many board certified neuropsychologists, psychologists, psychiatrists, Licensed Clinical Social Workers, and Licensed Mental Health Counselors, psychometrists, and a certified addictions professional who are involved with many different inpatient and outpatient programs. CMPS staff provide services covering a huge geographic area spanning Southwest Florida including from Port Charlotte to as far north as St. Petersburg.
Great thanks are given to the staff members and clerical staff at Comprehensive MedPsych Systems and the reputation of quality which has now become known not only locally but statewide, without whom none of this could have been accomplished. Thanks are also due to the more than 450 different referral sources each year who send their patients to Comprehensive MedPsych Systems expecting and receiving continued high quality services and standards of care.
As of 2013, after 15 years of operation, Comprehensive MedPsych Systems has provided services to more than 40,000 patients.