In 1948, the state of Nebraska authorized a partnership between state hospitals and the University of Nebraska College of Medicine for teaching and treatment purposes, creating the Nebraska Psychiatric Unit at Douglas County Hospital at 42nd and Woolworth Streets in Omaha. Cecil L. Wittson, MD, was brought on as the director of the Nebraska Psychiatric Unit in 1950 and simultaneously appointed the director of mental health by the State Board of Control. This appointment charged Dr. Wittson with the responsibility of coordinating psychiatric treatment, training, and research in state operated facilities. In 1951, Douglas County Hospital gave notice that the Nebraska Psychiatric Unit would need to vacate due to space constraints. This propelled Dr. Wittson to fundraise for a new facility on UNMC’s campus. The new $1,500,000 structure, paid for by the State Board of Control and federal funds, expanded the program, which became known as the Nebraska Psychiatric Institute (NPI) in January 1955. The completed building was dedicated on April 30, 1955.