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Message from Head

Message from the Head

Since its early beginnings in the 1890s, our Department has an esteemed history of providing outstanding service

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Before there was a UIC College of Medicine, there was the College of Physicians and Surgeons, known colloquially as

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Learn about the institutes of Department of Psychiatry

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Values Statement


EXCELLENCE EVERYWHERE — in research, education and clinical work

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Comprehensive Assessment and Treatment Unit


Director, Elizabeth Charney, MD

The Comprehensive Assessment and Treatment Unit (CATU) is a 10-bed acute psychiatric unit housed at the University of Illinois Medical Center at Chicago.  The CATU treats foster children between the ages of 12 and 17 years that the Department of Children and Family Services has identified as being the most at-risk.  Youngsters admitted to the CATU: 

  1. meet criteria for an acute psychiatric hospital admission,
  2. have had three or more psychiatric hospitalizations in the preceding 18 months,
  3. have emotional disturbance and behavioral problems that have not been successfully managed in less restrictive settings,
  4. have experienced multiple placement disruptions,
  5. are at risk for another placement disruption, and
  6. demonstrate severe, repetitive aggression directed toward others, self or property.

CATU Team: 

Fedra Najjar, M.D.
Attending Psychiatrist
Tel.: 312-355-3442 

Emmanuel Olaifa, RN
Administrative Nurse - I
Tel.: 312-355-1406 

Kristina Erland, LCSW
Clinical Social Worker

Barbara Jean Washington, RN
Associate Director of Nursing, Medical Surgical Services

Crystal Gallegos
Customer Service Representative II
Tel.: 312-996-2064


  1. Ambulatory Clinic:
    Neuropsychiatric Insitute
    912 S. Wood Steet, Chicago, IL 60612
  2. UIC Hospital
    1740 W Taylor St, Chicago, IL 60612
  3. Institute for Juvenile Research
    1747 W. Roosevelt Rd, Chicago, IL 60608
  4. Psychiatric Institute
    1601 W. Taylor St.Chicago, IL 60612

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