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PMHCC, a not-for-profit organization, began as The Philadelphia Mental Health Care Corporation in 1987 for the City of Philadelphia in order to implement a major grant from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation's Program for Chronic Mental Illness. One of nine national grants, the funding was to assist the Philadelphia Office of Mental Health realize its vision for a unified mental health system to provide affordable housing, effective case management, and a broad range of psychosocial and vocational programs for people with mental illness. The objective included consolidating funding in a managed behavioral healthcare model.

Over the years PMHCC's activities and responsibilities have broadened so that PMHCC serves as a major human services systems management company in support of several City of Philadelphia departments, while maintaining its core commitment to public behavioral health programs.

Today, PMHCC makes a major contribution to Philadelphia's citizens by serving as an umbrella organization for special programs and initiatives, and providing critical administrative services to mental health, substance abuse, intellectual disabilities, human services, special health and related city offices and health programs.