Journey Health System news blog

Beacon Light Behavioral Health Systems and Stairways Behavioral Health Announce Plans to Affiliate

Tuesday, October 08, 2013

Letter of intent explores integration of the behavioral health organizations

Erie, Pa. (October 7, 2013) --- Stairways Behavioral Health of Erie, Pa., and Beacon Light Behavioral Health Systems of Bradford, Pa. have announced that their Boards of Directors have signed mutual Letters Of Intent to affiliate under a common Support Corporation.

The two organizations have already enjoyed a long term working partnership in Warren County, providing both private and inpatient psychiatry and substance abuse services. This affiliation expands upon that successful partnership.

Beacon Light previously restructured according to the support corporation model, performing shared administrative and operational functions for its existing, distinct companies of Children’s Home of Bradford, Children’s Center for Treatment and Education, and Ramsbottom Center, Inc.

Through affiliation, Stairways board members and administrators will share an active role in governing the affiliated system, integrating administration with Beacon Light in the areas of finance, information technology and human resources, among others.

Beacon Light will continue to maintain local governance of its existing distinct companies, as will Stairways maintain local governance of its programs and services, including development of community wellness initiatives through Center City Arts, and support of its separate corporation, Opportunities Unlimited of Erie.

Stairways currently employs approximately 500 people in Erie and Crawford counties and generates yearly revenues of $25 million through comprehensive behavioral health programs, including adult treatment and rehabilitation, forensic, substance abuse and crisis services, child and adolescent programming, housing and vocational support, arts and community wellness.

“This affiliation greatly enhances our continuum of services,” said William F. McCarthy, President and CEO of Stairways.  “In this day and age, more than half of all health care organizations across the country are part of health systems. We see this move as congruent with the direction health care is moving. Stairways is choosing to combine our efforts with a like-minded, mission-driven organization like Beacon Light, strengthening our ability to sustain our mission into the future.”

Beacon Light employs over 650 people in McKean, Warren, Forest, Clearfield, Jefferson, Clearfield and Bradford counties, with a wide spectrum of child and family programs in residential and community settings. Beacon Light generates over $30 million in annual revenue.  They recently opened a new Adult Recovery Center in Warren which integrated all of their existing adult services under one roof.

“Stairways is a quality organization that is focused on adult services. Beacon Light from its very origin has been focused on children and families. The natural synergies that will occur from this affiliation will clearly strengthen both organizations” states Richard Seager, President and CEO of the Beacon Light Companies. “This will truly be a marriage of equals that in the end should bring us cost effective quality service to all age groups in the communities we serve”.

Under the proposed arrangement, Mr. Seager will serve as CEO of the affiliated Support Corporation, and current Stairways CEO William McCarthy will continue to lead Stairways.  “Beacon Light has a 110-year legacy of providing services to children and families in across Pennsylvania. Stairways has provided services to adults, families and children for over 50 years in Erie and Crawford Counties. Both organizations will always be ‘local’ companies, with local governance and direction, states McCarthy. “This affiliation helps us all to leverage resources, share expertise and achieve an impact that is truly remarkable”

“With the mounting costs of technology, overhead, regulatory compliance and service delivery, larger organizations have shown a greater ability to not only survive unexpected changes, but to actually thrive in spite of them.” states Seager

Once completed, the affiliation will make the Beacon Light companies and Stairways Behavioral Health the largest and most comprehensive behavioral health services provider across the entire Northwestern Pennsylvania region.

For more information about Beacon Light Behavioral Health, please see:

For more information about Stairways Behavioral Health, please see:

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