Dr. Geoffrey Kanter, founder of Comprehensive MedPsych Systems, Inc. (CMPS) was recruited to Florida from Northern California in 1991 to become Director of Psychology for what was to become HealthSouth Rehabilitation Hospital of Sarasota. He built a staff of seven psychologists and a licensed mental health counselor. Dr. Kanter also took on responsibilities as Clinical Director for the Brain Injury Program, the Pediatric Program, and eventually, the Pain Management Program. In 1997, Dr. Kanter left to begin a private practice.
During 1997, Dr. Kanter developed a unique and expansive program of behavioral medicine services at Sarasota Memorial Hospital (SMH) across a wide variety of inpatient medical units including: Cardiac open-heart surgery, stroke/orthopedic rehabilitation, oncology, diabetes, pediatrics and high-risk pregnancy. Six psychologists were hired and the services were lauded by physicians, nursing staff and patients, for their high-quality of service. The Psychology Cardiac Protocol was considered a primary factor in helping to decrease cardiac surgery patients’ decreased length of stay by approximately one full day. A unique Special Care Attendant protocol also was developed which documented approximately $250,000 of savings to the hospital over a one-year period for one-on-one patient sitters solely due to psychology evaluation and intervention.
The Psychology/Behavioral Medicine program gained recognition on a national level with the Practice Directorate of the American Psychological Association sending representatives to survey the program on two occasions.
With SMH undergoing severe budget cuts in late 1997, Dr. Kanter proposed creating a private group which would allow for continued expansion of psychological and behavioral medicine services but not as hospital employees. In February 1998, Comprehensive MedPsych Systems (CMPS) was created and incorporated; Dr. Kanter, along with small cadre of psychologists, continued providing full-time services to Sarasota Memorial Hospital medical inpatients.
Over the next several years, the reputation for quality of services provided by CMPS staff grew beyond the boundaries of the medical inpatients at SMH to include a growing population of outpatients. In April of 2000, CMPS moved out of SMH offices to Midtown Plaza. In 2015, outgrowing the headquarters office space, CMPS purchased a 10,000 square foot building at 1090 S. Tamiami Trail which was renovated as its new corporate headquarters.
Along the way, in 2012 and 2013, new offices were opened in Bradenton and Lakewood Ranch creating the largest private group behavioral health footprint in Bradenton. An office was opened in North Port in 2012. In 2013, the Venice office expanded to a larger location which then grew so quickly that we moved again in 2015 to a seven office suite. Offices were also opened in Tampa and our St. Petersburg office grew such that in 2016, we moved into a seven office suite, with two psychiatrists, three neuropsychologists, and a social worker representing the largest private behavioral health group practice in Pinellas County. The largest practice in St. Augustine was acquired in 2014 which then doubled in size by the end of 2015.
Likewise, the largest practice in Fort Myers was acquired in 2015 which also doubled in size by the end of 2015. In 2015, CMPS acquired a practice in Carmel, Indiana and two new office were opened in Alabama (Fairhope, and Mobile). In 2016, CMPS began an innovative program providing disability evaluation services to veterans across the country. Short-term sites at which CMPS staff have provided services include: Fort Lauderdale, Florida; Austin, Texas; and San Diego, and California. Permanent CMPS staff provides these veteran disability evaluations in Euless, Texas.
In 2014, Comprehensive MedPsych Systems implemented a 2-year postdoctoral neuropsychology residency training program which is recognized by the Academy of the American Board of Professional Neuropsychology (AAPN).
Comprehensive MedPsych Systems staff has grown to more than 130 staff members. Clinical staff includes board certified neuropsychologists, psychologists, psychiatrists (child, adult, geriatric), advanced practice psychiatric nurses, post-doctoral neuropsychology residents, licensed clinical social workers, licensed mental health counselors, and counselor interns whom are involved with many different inpatient and outpatient programs.
More than 1,000 different referral sources send patients each year to CMPS, all expecting and receiving high quality services and standards of care. Innovative programs have been developed with inpatient psychiatric hospitals (Doctors Hospital Serenity Place), inpatient rehabilitation hospitals (HealthSouth, Complex Care, Fawcett Memorial), college settings (State College of Florida), brain injury rehabilitation facilities (NeuroInternational), and in collaboration with pain management centers and primary care offices. As of 2018, in its 20th year of operation, CMPS has provided services to more than 100,000 patients and currently provides more than 10,000 patient visits per month.
The Comprehensive MedPsych Systems novel private practice model of innovative multidisciplinary care has garnered national recognition by the American Psychological Association Practice Organization and is poised to continue to expand. As always, exceptional, compassionate care for our patients is our passion and our pledge.