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In November of 1885, the Board of Managers of Pennsylvania Hospital, under Dr. John Chapin, voted to extend their operations to an outpatient care department for the treatment of "persons suffering from mental diseases". The physicians who would be attending in this clinics were psychiatrists who were on rotation from the hospital's primary psychiatric department at the Institute of the Pennsylvania Hospital. This service was considered at the time, highly experimental, and had no parallel in the 19th. However, it would stand as the model of outpatient service providers for the next century. When this original clinic closed is unknown. However, outpatient services were resumed in 1922 under the oversight of Dr. Edward Strecker.

This outpatient clinic was renamed and expanded in 1965 with additional funding to its current status. It continues to be operated by Pennsylvania Hospital, and serves as one of the Base Service Units (BSU) for the County of Philadelphia.