MOUNT VERNON — At the former Moundbuilders Guidance Center, recent budget slashes, personnel reductions, and cuts in services have been felt deeply by staff and clients alike.
The finalized merger between Moundbuilders and Kraner Behavioral Health last month, will help Moundbuilders, now formally known as Behavioral Healthcare Partners of Central Ohio Inc., better utilize shrinking resources and provide services to a smaller, targeted client base, according to President and CEO Patrick Evans.
Amidst criticism that clients who have accessed services in the past at Moundbuilders, are no longer able to do so, Evans said the organization has changed its focus to providing limited mental health services to a targeted group most in need of services.
In the past, allowing unlimited access to services resulted in waits of as much as six months on waiting lists for clients, some in critical need of treatment, according to Evans.
Three years ago, Moundbuilders faced an uncertain future as state funding began the first of many deep cuts, and client waiting lists continued to grow.
“We had less staff and less resources, but the same amount of people waiting to get in,” Evans explained.
“There were questions about Moundbuilders even staying around,” he admitted.
When Evans added the position as CEO of Moundbuilders to his responsibility as CEO of Kraner three years ago, he was told by the Mental Health and Recovery Board of Licking and Knox Counties, which provides operating funding for Moundbuilders, that impending funding reductions would mean without significant changes at the treatment facility, Moundbuilders would close.
“What we heard from our funders was ‘we are going to have less money to allocate and you are going to have to adjust accordingly or you won’t be around,’” Evans said.