Half a century ago, a small but inspired group of people had a vision for offering treatment, research and education in neurology, neurosurgery and psychiatry in Fargo. Neurosurgeons Dr. Lee Christoferson and Dr. M.B. Gustafson, psychiatrist Dr. M.J. Geib, and certified public accountant Charles E. Bailly made their vision a reality when they established The Neuropsychiatric Institute (TNI) in 1955. TNI experienced two defining moments in their first decade; one being the affiliation with St. Luke’s Hospital in 1961, and the other occurring in 1964 when they opened their own facility. Each solidified TNI as a prominent regional center for patients who needed specialized treatment of neurological and psychiatric problems, as well as radiation therapy treatment for cancer. During the first 30 years of operation, TNI attained many “firsts” in the field of neurological and psychiatric treatment in the Red River Valley. In the early 1960s, TNI was the first to use a Cobalt Radiation Therapy unit designed to treat certain cancers. It was also one of the first to use a CAT scanner in 1976, and in the early 1980s, operate one of the first sleep laboratories in the Red River Valley.
In 1986 the board of The Neuropsychiatric Institute reevaluated their mission and decided to focus their efforts on advancing the knowledge and treatment of human nervous system disease through research and education in neuroscience. To align with their new direction, they reincorporated in 1989 as the Neuropsychiatric Research Institute (NRI). When the institute was established in 1955, it was pioneered by four passionate and dedicated leaders.