Vituity’s Scott Zeller, MD, Honored with Prestigious Psychiatry Award

Published July 13, 2022

Scott Zeller, MD, receives the 2022 J. Elliott Royer Award in community-based psychiatry

EMERYVILLE, CA (July 13, 2022)— Vituity’s vice president of acute psychiatry, Scott Zeller, MD, received another award distinction as the 2022 recipient of the J. Elliott Royer Award in community psychiatry by the Alameda-Contra Costa Medical Association (ACCMA) in Northern California.

The Royer Award recognizes psychiatric leaders in the San Francisco Bay Area and is sponsored by the University of California-San Francisco (UCSF). This prestigious honor is awarded every other year to two psychiatrists. In addition to Dr. Zeller, Christina Mangurian, MD, received this year’s award for excellence in academic psychiatry.

“Dr. Zeller is one of this country’s leading experts and voices for positive nationwide change in the emergency care of individuals experiencing acute symptoms of mental illness,” says Robert Edelman, MD, ACCMA President. “His efforts have led to an international revolution in emergency psychiatric care, and it is an honor to recognize him with the J. Elliott Royer Award.”

Among his many accomplishments, Dr. Zeller is the pioneer of an innovative delivery model to address psychiatric emergencies—known today as the EmPath Unit (Emergency Psychiatric Assessment, Treatment, and Healing Unit). This more compassionate and effective care model achieves better, safer outcomes for patients with acute mental health issues by moving them out of the general hospital emergency department into a separate psychiatry-only location, obtaining immediate psychiatric provider evaluations, and commencing treatment in a comfortable, homelike setting, with an involved, interactive staff, ensuring regular opportunities for reassessment.

“I’m humbled to be recognized by the ACCMA and receive this esteemed award,” says Dr. Zeller. “It is certainly a career highlight to join this roster of nationally renowned psychiatric care leaders, and I am overjoyed and thankful to be mentioned in their company.”

Dr. Zeller’s efforts to transform care delivery for emergency psychiatry patients have been extensively recognized with awards distinctions, including the California Hospital Association’s 2019 Ritz E. Heerman Memorial Award and the National Council on Behavioral Health USA Doctor of the Year in 2015. In August 2020, Dr. Zeller was the only clinician selected by Healthcare Design magazine for the HCD 10 professional awards program, which honors industry members across 10 categories of nominees and celebrates the broad spectrum of outstanding professionals in the industry.

In recent years, stories about Dr. Zeller’s EmPath Units have appeared on,, and the Lifetime Channel, as well as in the Globe and Mail (Toronto), San Francisco Chronicle, Psychiatric Times, and the Daily Mail (London).

Read more about Dr. Zeller’s approach to compassionate behavioral healthcare.

About Vituity

Vituity is a physician-owned and -led multispecialty partnership that has been raising the standard of care and transforming how, when, and where care is delivered for 50 years. Our patient focus and commitment to clinical excellence are the driving forces behind our 5,000 doctors and clinicians that care for nearly 8 million patients across nine acute care specialties annually.

Vituity is driven to continually transform healthcare through our collective passion for patients. Learn more at

About the J. Elliot Royer Award in Psychiatry

The J. Elliot Royer Award was established in 1962 by late Oakland physician J. Elliot Royer, MD, as a bequest in his will to recognize those active in the medical field in San Francisco, Alameda, and Contra Costa counties that have made the most significant contribution to the advancement of psychiatry or neurology during the year. His will specified the eligibility criteria, selection process, and amount of the annual award, which alternates each year between neurology and psychiatry.

From 1963-1999, one psychiatrist was chosen to receive the award biennially. In 2000, the award was expanded to recognize two psychiatrists each cycle, one academic and one community-based practitioner. Read more about this award and past recipients.

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