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Pennsylvania Psychiatric Institute appoints new medical chief

Dr. Elisabeth J. Kunkel - (Photo / Submitted)

The Pennsylvania Psychiatric Institute has a named new chief medical officer to oversee clinical management, the Harrisburg-based mental health provider said last week.

The institute, which represents a collaboration between Derry Township-based Penn State Health and Harrisburg-based PinnacleHealth, appointed Dr. Elisabeth J. Kunkel as chief medical officer in late March.

Kunkel is working under CEO William Daly as she manages inpatient and outpatient services for the 89-bed hospital.

Additional responsibilities will include assessing, enhancing and developing new programs related to patient-focused care, a news release said.

Kunkel replaces Dr. Ehsan Ullah Syed, who has served as interim chief medical officer for the past three years. Syed remains at the organization as the medical director of child and adolescent services, spokeswoman Ruth Moore said.


In addition to Kunkel’s role at the institute, she is a professor of psychiatry. She serves as the director of population behavioral health in the department of psychiatry at Penn State College of Medicine and Penn State Milton S. Hershey Medical Center.

Kunkel completed her undergraduate and medical training in Canada at McGill University, and her residency at New York University Medical Center. She also completed several psychosomatic medicine fellowships.

“Dr. Kunkel will bring a wealth of clinical expertise and leadership experience, and I am delighted that she has joined PPI,” Daly said.

Lenay Ruhl

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