After three years of discussion and careful planning, two of Greater Cincinnati’s long standing non-profit organizations have combined to form an organization capable of providing counseling services for the entire family across five counties.
Clermont Counseling Center and Family Service are now LifePoint Solutions.
“We have truly merged the eastside and the westside,” co-CEO of LifePoint and former Family Service CEO Arlene Herman said.
Founded in 1973, the Clermont Counseling Center's counseling and especially their efforts in helping people with disabilities gain competitive employment will now be offered throughout the LifePoint service area. Similarly, the services offered by Family Service, founded in 1879, will now be expanded to Clermont County.
"We're gaining a lot more professional expertise that will allow us to provide holistic solutions to the entire family," co-CEO and former CCC CEO Tricia Burke said. "Our main focus was adults with severe disabilities and Family Service' has served families, children, and those recovering from drug and alcohol addiction. The agency plans to grow and integrate its core programs to provide seamless, comprehensive services to children, families, and adults."
The organization offers a wide range of counseling services for every member of the family, mental illness recovery, domestic violence and addiction recovery counseling for the entire family, and many other counseling services. They will also offer vocational services for a range of clients from recent immigrants struggling with a language barrier to clients recovering from a mental illness or clients with disabilities.
LifePoint provides services to businesses as well. Their enterprise services are designed to increase productivity through promoting the mental well being of their employees.
"The programs we can now offer are amazing," Herman said.
The merger was designed to provide the opportunity for both agencies to make a larger impact in the Greater Cincinnati area while strengthening their organizations.
"This was truly a merger of equals," Burke said. "Family Service and Clermont Counseling Center each had budgets of $5 million and 100 employees."
Both of the organizations' offices will remain open and no programs will be cut. LifePoint Solutions will now maintain 11 offices throughout the area covering a variety of duties. They will operate on a $10 million budget with 200 employees.
There are currently no plans to expand the number of programs offered at this time.
"There might be some expansion, but a lot of that depends on funding," Burke said. "The merger will provide us with the in house expertise so that we will be ready to grow our services when the right opportunity comes along."
CCC's primary source of funding was through the Clermont County Mental Health and Recovery Board. Cutbacks in the state budget had threatened some of their programs and to some extent their stability as an organization. LifePoint Solutions has a much broader public and private funding base, which CCMHRB Executive Director Karen Scherra says makes the organization much stronger and more likely to receive funding through her office in the future.
"Prior to the merger, they were the major recipient of funding through our office," Scherra said. "We look at the merger as a step in making them a more stable organization that will be able to perform as we expect an organization that receives our funding to."
Scherra said the CCMHRB will continue to fund LifePoint Solutions' Clermont County services.
LifePoint Solutions Board Chair Kevin Murphy said a great deal of thought went into the new name.
"Our focus is on life and we provide solutions for every point in our client's life," Murphy said.
Board members, staff, and local contributors all attended the unveiling held at the Hyde Park offices of The Health Foundation of Greater Cincinnati.
United Way of Greater Cincinnati President and CEO Robert C. Reifsnyder used the occasion to honor the organization for its long term commitment to the community.
"We have funded Family Service for 94 years and Clermont Counseling Services for 35," Reifsnyder said. "Together they have served the Greater Cincinnati community well. Congratulations, you did the right thing."
Reifsnyder said his organization also helped with the cost of the merger and looks forward to working with LifePoint in the future.
"We're very proud of what you have been able to accomplish," Reifsnyder said.
According to their press release, LifePoint will continue to operate with two CEOs until Burke and Herman retired in three to five years.