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Introducing The Steward House at Silver Hill

Discover our confidential, intensive mental health treatment program for executives and professionals in collaboration with Yale New Haven Health and Yale Medicine.

  • The Steward House is the newest transitional living program at Silver Hill Hospital in New Canaan Connecticut. We are a program that specializes in the treatment of Executives and Professionals who have mental health and addiction problems.

    I believe that the collaboration between Yale New Haven hospital and Silver Hill Hospital creates a unique opportunity. Each of these institutions is world class in their own right. And coming together creates unique opportunities for synergies.

    We really emphasize the clinical care, that’s number one for us. And we emphasize collaboration. So the patient really being at the center of the treatment team.

    These are individuals who have extraordinary levels of responsibility. Things can quickly turn from being a problem of self management, into a very serious problem with self care that requires professional treatment.

    Each treatment team consists of a psychiatrist, psychologist, as well as a primary clinician. And all of our group programming is run by social workers here at the hospital. The program is both very structured so our patients will have approximately five to six individual treatment hours a week and at a minimum fifteen group therapy hours. In addition to that our patients will engage in a number of wellness oriented activities so that might be physical therapy, nutrition counseling, yoga, meditation, and so it’s very structured but also very tailored to the individual.

    That’s the main focus on the treatment is giving them, when they leave the copping skills that they need in these areas of self care that they haven’t paid enough attention to when they were, before they came here.

    I think of it as a program that is meeting the needs of this population. So this is more like an intensive care unit. And if we think about it that way, making the investment to come to Steward House can be the most important investment that these people can make in their lives.

Your care team

Our dedicated team of psychiatrists, psychologists, social workers, nurses, and counselors are experts in providing professional treatment in a highly confidential and safe environment.


Patients come to Steward House and get a whole year's worth of therapy in a month. That is very valuable for people who are busy.

Petra Pilgrim, M.D.

Acting Director

Dr. Petra Pilgrim is the Acting Director of Steward House, Silver Hill’s intensive transitional living program exclusively for the treatment of executives and professionals. Warm and direct, Dr. Pilgrim is a practicing psychiatrist who takes a hands-on approach to management. “My office is right here in Steward House with my patients,” she says. “I get to know them, and I work with them individually to design their treatment program.”

Besides day-to-day medication management and directing programming, Dr. Pilgrim is also an individual and group therapist – both in Steward House and in other areas of the hospital. “I can promise our patients that, if they are willing to receive and accept the therapy we provide, they will learn new ways of thinking as well as new ways of processing their life experiences.”

Dr. Pilgrim believes that her onsite presence as a psychiatrist in Steward House, as an everyday part of the treatment team, sets the program apart from other options for executives and professionals. This – coupled with the superior qualifications and dedication of her colleagues, plus the intensity of treatment in a short amount of time, and the high level of motivation among her patients – makes Dr. Pilgrim see Steward House as an unsurpassed leader in specialized mental health treatment and recovery.

She calls the rest of Silver Hill Hospital unsurpassed as well. “I think it’s wonderful,” Dr. Pilgrim says. “It’s a very unique setup – having this mix of inpatient and then residential treatment and then outpatient treatment – it’s an amazing continuum of care.

Treating the Whole Person – Watch Now


The people who come for treatment at Silver Hill are the center and focus of everything we do.

Andrew J. Gerber, M.D., Ph.D.


Putting patients first is the top priority of Dr. Andrew J. Gerber, Silver Hill’s President and Medical Director. A key element of Silver Hill’s focus on patients involves trusting what they have to say, Dr. Gerber believes. “First and foremost, our patients need to be heard,” he says. “They need to be listened to and understood by professionals who know something about what they’re going through and who can help them feel better.”

Dr. Gerber resists the temptation to quickly simplify a patient’s life experience to the narrow diagnosis of a condition. “There are some things in the world you want to simplify,” he says, “like difficult math problems. But human beings – their minds and their brains – are by far THE most complicated things that we know of in the universe.” What that means, he says, is “if you simplify, you invariably leave important things out.”

Part of the complexity of treating human beings involves friends and loved ones, Dr. Gerber acknowledges. “Our patients come to us in the context of people who care about them,” Dr. Gerber says. “And while they might not be suffering first hand from the patient’s disorder, they are surely suffering and they need our support as well.”

Dr. Gerber is proud of what he calls Silver Hill’s culture of connectedness. “It’s at the core of how we help people,” he says. “It’s a kind of network of caring relationships, between doctor and patient and also between all of our staff and all of our patients and their families.” Encouraging this culture is top of mind for Dr. Gerber. “The staff of Silver Hill are amazingly talented, and what they need from me is the necessary support and structure to care for our patients and loved ones to the best of their abilities.”

Taken together, these attributes of a patient-focused philosophy are the reason Silver Hill can help patients who may not have been helped before, Dr. Gerber believes. “If we put patients first, offer them a variety of evidence-based treatments, if we listen to and trust their personal narratives, and if we embrace their complexity and connect with them, then it’s a huge step forward.”

New York-Presbyterian Hospital Weill Cornell Medical Center, New York, NY, New York Presbyterian Hospital Child & Adolescent Psychiatry Residency Training Program of Columbia and Cornell Universities New York, NY

Medical School
Harvard Medical School

NIMH-sponsored Postdoctoral Research Fellowship Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Columbia University, New York State Psychiatric Institute, New York, NY

Academic Affiliations
Yale School of Medicine Associate Clinical Professor, Child Study Center and Department of Psychiatry, Columbia University Medical Center, Department of Psychiatry, Division of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry, Adjunct Associate Professor of Psychological & Brain Sciences University of Massachusetts Amherst

Professional Memberships
American Psychiatric Association, American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, Group for the Advancement of Psychiatry, American College of Psychiatrists, American Psychoanalytic Association,

Board Memberships
Board Member, National Alliance of Mental Illness, Massachusetts, Advisory Board Member, Psychoanalytic Electronic Publishing


My vision for care at Silver Hill is to both reduce suffering AND offer a meaningful life beyond the suffering - a life of hope, purpose, positive relationships, even joy.

Michael Groat, Ph.D.


Taking excellent patient care to another level is the mission of Michael Groat, Ph.D., in his role overseeing the day-to-day clinical operation of Silver Hill psychiatrists, psychologists, nurses, social workers and admissions specialists. “I want to make sure that all of our treatments are effective, delivered efficiently, and yield sterling outcomes and high satisfaction for our patients,” says Dr. Groat.  

Dr. Groat believes that excellent mental health care means not only effective treatment of the negative emotional states patients suffer with, but also uncovering and encouraging each patient’s innate strengths. “The new frontier,” says Dr. Groat, “is for us to actively cultivate positive emotions, positive engagement, positive relationships, and a sense of hope and purpose in the future. Treating illness needs to be accompanied by recognition of each person’s dreams for the future.” 

It all begins with patient-centered care, Dr. Groat believes. “At Silver Hill you will encounter a staff that gets to know you on a personal level,” he says. “We seek to engage with you as a whole person. We take your personal needs and preferences into account as we map out a recovery journey with you.”  

Dr. Groat believes that the journey of recovery should go beyond the immediate point of treatment. “When you come to Silver Hill for treatment, I want you to be joining a caring community that will take the time to get to know you, address your individual needs, and remain connected and available to you for life.  I want Silver Hill to be your lifelong partner in building and sustaining positive mental health,” he explains.  


Our doctors, nurses, social workers, and staff are some of the kindest and most caring people anywhere, and they go above and beyond for their patients.

Amir Garakani, M.D., DFAPA


Amir Garakani, M.D., DFAPA, Assistant Medical Director, serves as a psychiatrist in the Adult Transitional Living Program, treating extended-stay patients individually from all of the hospital’s
Centers of Expertise.

Dr. Garakani believes that the first step towards going above and beyond for his patients is putting them at ease: “I like engaging with patients about things other than just psychiatry,” says Dr. Garakani. “I try to relate to them, be kind and compassionate, but also just be a human being.”

Dr. Garakani says that making the decision to stay and be treated at the hospital can be a lot for some patients to handle, because it can feel like a loss of control. “I ask them to give it a chance
because ultimately they have control, they make the choice to be here, and sometimes that’s all they need to hear.”

The most gratifying part of Dr. Garakani’s service at Silver Hill is knowing that he has changed patients’ lives. “I’ve been here long enough to hear back from people who have come through the
institution, gone on to productive and happy lives, and credit Silver Hill with changing them and saving them.”

Mount Sinai Medical Center, New York, NY

Medical School
State University of New York Upstate Medical University

Research Fellowship, Mood and Anxiety Disorders, Mount Sinai School of Medicine, New York, NY, Forensic Psychiatry Fellowship, New York University Medical Center, New York, NY

Board Certification
Diplomate in Psychiatry, Diplomate in Forensic Psychiatry, American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology, Inc., Diplomate in Addiction Medicine, American Board of Preventive Medicine

Academic Affiliations
Assistant Clinical Professor of Psychiatry, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, New York, NY Assistant Professor (Adjunct) of Psychiatry, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, CT

Ready to take the first step towards recovery?