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Journey Health System news blog

Journey Health System and Dickinson Center, Inc. Announce Plans to Affiliate

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Boards of directors approve resolution to affiliate Dickinson Center Inc. with Journey Health System.


The Boards of Directors for both Journey Health System and Dickinson Center, Inc. have mutually approved a resolution to strategically align Dickinson Center, Inc. with Journey Health System.  The other affiliates include Beacon Light Behavioral Health System, Beacon Light Adult Residential Services, Stairways Behavioral Health and Forest Warren Mental Wellness Association.

The next step in the process involves both organizations working with legal counsel to finalize the detailed plans of the affiliation, and submitting a copy of the affiliation agreement for approval by the Pennsylvania State Attorney General.

Through affiliation, Dickinson Center, Inc. will integrate the areas of finance, information technology and human resources, among others.  As with the other affiliates, Dickinson Center, Inc. will continue to maintain local governance and all daily operations of its programs and services, retain its name, and community identity. 

This affiliation expands upon the successful partnership that both Dickinson Center, Inc. and the Beacon Light companies have enjoyed in Elk County for many years.

Dickinson Center, Inc. a non-profit organization providing behavioral health, intellectual disabilities, and children's prevention services in rural Northwestern PA. 

Dickinson Center, Inc. is recognized as one of the leading rural behavioral health providers in Northwestern Pennsylvania, and has evolved into an organization with approximately 200 employees operating in Elk, Cameron, Potter, McKean, Forest, Warren, Jefferson, and Clearfield counties.

“After months of thorough due diligence, the Dickinson Center Board of Directors is excited to strategically align with Journey Health System. In a time of turbulent change in health care, this alliance will provide a unique opportunity for Dickinson to maintain its non-profit mission to serve the community. By joining together, we are stronger and can reach more consumers, provide enriched employment opportunities for our caring and dedicated staff, and ensure a sustainable future. We are looking forward to this next chapter,” said Fran Kuhns, Dickinson Center Board Chair.

“The leadership of Dickinson Center, Inc. is optimistic about our future with Journey Health System.  As our industry continues to rapidly evolve, it will be advantageous to be part of a larger system that offers enhanced access to resources and talent.  I’m confident that our consumers, employees, and communities will experience significant benefits as a result of this affiliation,” said Heidi Thomas, Dickinson Center Interim Chief Executive Officer.

Beacon Light companies employ over 650 people in McKean, Warren, Forest, Clearfield, Jefferson, Snyder, 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.

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.

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Dickinson Center visits Stairways

Friday, January 22, 2016

Prospective new affiliate member of Journey Health System

On Friday, January 15, administrators from Dickinson Center, Inc. of Ridgway, Pa., paid a visit to various Stairways sites and programs.

The Stairways visit was one step in the due diligence process Dickinson has undertaken as they consider becoming an affiliate member of Journey Health System.

On November 2, 2015, Dickinson and Journey Health System announced that their Boards of Directors have signed a Letter of Intent to negotiate terms of an agreement for affiliation.

Touring programs and meeting Stairways and Erie-based Journey administrators and staff were Heidi Thomas, Angela Chew, Lynne Childs, Sara Mercer, Carol Wells, Leona Hoohuli, Tim Lowe, Jim Prosper and Jennifer Dippold.

Dickinson Center, Inc. provides behavioral health, intellectual disabilities and children's prevention service, and is recognized as one of the leading rural behavioral health providers in Northwestern Pennsylvania.

Headquartered in Ridgway, Pa., Dickinson employs over 200 professionals and serves clients throughout Elk, Cameron, Potter, McKean, Forest, Warren, Jefferson, and Clearfield counties.

You can find more about Dickinson on their website: www.dickinsoncenter.org

Stairways and Beacon Light Behavioral Health Announce Journey Health System

Friday, October 09, 2015

Stairways Behavioral Health and Beacon Light Behavioral Health Systems are pleased to announce the naming of Journey Health System, a nonprofit organization devoted to the support of its member affiliates.

Beacon Light Behavioral Health System has utilized this organizational structure since 1996, operating under the support corporation known as Children’s Home of Bradford. The new name and brand identity of Journey Health System reflects an expansion of support services to include Beacon Light Behavioral Health System of Bradford, Pa., Beacon Light Adult Residential Services of Bradford, Pa., Forest-Warren Mental Health Association of Warren, Pa. and Stairways Behavioral Health of Erie, Pa.

Journey Health System provides fiscal, corporate compliance, human resource, information technology and other administrative supports to its affiliated behavioral health providers. Additionally, the support organization works to maintain infrastructure costs while enhancing relationships with funders and building key resources that support the mission of its affiliates.

The mission of Journey Health System is simple – to support the missions of our affiliates,” says president and CEO, Richard Seager. “We do this by combining expertise and leveraging the resources of our affiliates to address the mounting costs of technology, overhead, regulatory compliance and service delivery from a position of greater organizational strength.”

Journey Health System has already expanded its affiliation beyond Beacon Light and Stairways and continues its growth trajectory through outreach to like-minded organizations seeking to achieve economies of scale, new opportunities and greater clinical and fiscal stability.

“In this day and age, more than half of all health care organizations across the country are part of health systems,” states Seager. “Journey Health System offers mission-driven organizations a variety of supports which strengthen the entire system’s ability to sustain our affiliates’ missions into the future.”

Stairways and Beacon Affiliation Complete

Thursday, October 09, 2014

Stairways Behavioral Health and Beacon Light Behavioral Health Systems Announce Affiliation


Affiliation expands upon a long-term and successful working partnership, and makes the affiliated organization one of the largest and most comprehensive behavioral health services provider in the Northwestern Pennsylvania region.


The chief executive officers of Stairways Behavioral Health of Erie, Pa., and Beacon Light Behavioral Health Systems of Bradford, Pa., are proud to announce the affiliation of the respective organizations.

 William F. McCarthy, President and CEO of Stairways, and Richard Seager, President and CEO of Beacon Light, in late August presented before the Honorable Elizabeth K. Kelly a petition for approval of affiliation, as recommended by the Pennsylvania Office of Attorney General. Following her review of the plan of affiliation and requested additional testimony regarding the benefits this agreement will provide related to improving the health and development, social and emotional well-being of children, families and adults in Erie County, Judge Kelly announced her support and approval of the affiliation.

Through affiliation, Beacon Light and Stairways board members and administrators will share an active role in governing and managing the affiliated system, integrating administration and support services such as finance, information technology and human resources.

Both Stairways and Beacon Light will continue to maintain local governance and management of their respective clinical programs and services.

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.

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, and makes the affiliated organization one of the largest and most comprehensive behavioral health services provider in the Northwestern Pennsylvania region.

Under the new affiliation, Seager, will become the President and CEO of the affiliated system. McCarthy will continue his commitment through an ongoing role assisting in the successful completion of the affiliation agreement and working strategically with other regional organizations who have expressed an interest in joining the affiliated system.

Earlier this year, McCarthy announced his year-end intent to retire after 42 years with Stairways. The Stairways Board of Directors recently retained the executive search and transition management services of Nonprofit Talent, LLC out of Pittsburgh, to fill McCarthy’s position.


Boards of Directors Vote to Approve Affiliation

Tuesday, April 08, 2014

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


Boards of directors approve resolution to integrate the behavioral health organizations


Erie, Pa. (April 8, 2014) --- Stairways Behavioral Health of Erie, Pa., and Beacon Light Behavioral Health Systems of Bradford, Pa. have announced that their Boards of Directors have mutually approved a resolution to affiliate under a common Support Corporation.

In a recent phone conference with the combined staffs of the two organizations, CEOs William McCarthy (Stairways) and Rick Seager (Beacon Light) outlined the next step in the process. Both organizations are working with counsel to finalize details of the detailed plan of affiliation, and must submit of a copy of the definitive agreement for approval by the Pennsylvania State Attorney General.

Through affiliation, Stairways and Beacon Light board members and administrators will share an active role in governing the affiliated system, integrating administration in the areas of finance, information technology and human resources, among others. Stairways will continue to maintain local governance of its programs and services, as will Beacon Light maintain local governance of its existing, distinct companies.

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.

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.

Beacon Light employs over 650 people in McKean, Warren, Forest, Clearfield, Jefferson 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.

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

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