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

Dickinson Center, Inc. of Ridgway, Pa., and the Journey Health System of Bradford, Pa. have announced that their Boards of Directors have signed a Letter of Intent to negotiate terms of an agreement for affiliation. 

The Journey Health System (JHS) is a nonprofit supporting organization that currently provides administrative support to Beacon Light Behavioral Health System, Beacon Light Adult Residential Services, Forest/Warren Mental Wellness Association, and Stairways Behavioral Health. The Journey Health System affiliates employ 1,200 men and women, provide services in 18 Pennsylvania counties, and generate $70 million annually. The president of JHS is Mr. Richard Seager and the Board of Directors is comprised of representative board members from the affiliate organizations.

Dickinson Center, Inc. (DCI) was formed in 1958. Initially, DCI opened to provide outpatient psychiatric care to rural northwestern Pennsylvania. They are now recognized as a leading rural behavioral health provider in northwestern Pennsylvania and have evolved into an organization with almost 200 employees and nearly $10 million annual operating budget. 

Dickinson Center’s intent following the due diligence process is to affiliate with Journey Health System, join other non-profits under the Journey Health System, to enhance DCI’s continuum of service. Dickinson Center will continue to maintain local governance and management of their respective clinical programs and services. Their current name and their Board of Directors will remain intact.

“DCI’s Board and leadership are excited about this opportunity with the Journey Health System, “said Heidi Thomas, Dickinson Center Interim Chief Executive Officer “We have history with JHS, and they are very familiar with our service region.  Affiliation would give DCI access to a broad network of resources that would benefit both our consumers and our employees.  We would enjoy the economies of scale that come with being part of a larger system, while still being able to focus our energy on improving and expanding services in our existing communities.”

“Our environment is rapidly changing, and as providers of mental health and developmental disabilities services, we at Dickinson Centers recognize that exploring strategic linkages will secure our mission of service to our consumers today and tomorrow.   The governance team along with our leadership are very excited to begin the due diligence process related to a strategic alliance with Journey.   There is much work yet to be done, but we are looking forward to this opportunity,” said Fran Kuhns, Dickinson Center Board Chair.
Dickinson Center and the Journey Health System affiliates, primarily Beacon Light Behavioral Health System have partnered on programs over the years. The Peer Specialist Program and Mobile Medication Management are two of the most recent partnerships.

Through affiliation, Dickinson Center board members and administrators will share an active role in governing the affiliated system, integrating administration with the Journey Health System in the areas of finance, information technology, and human resources, clinical best practice consultation, among others. This potential affiliation will make the Journey Health System one of the largest and most comprehensive behavioral health services providers across the entire northwestern Pennsylvania region.

"Dickinson Center is a mission driven, consumer centered quality organization. I have been so impressed with their leadership both at the administrative and board of directors level. I have every confidence we will find a high degree of shared values and culture as we go forward. It has seemed all along that we will be a good fit with and for one another. Sharing talent and resources and creative solutions between like-minded organizations is thankfully something that will eventually appear commonplace in all of health care, we are just early adopters,” states William McCarthy, Vice President of Strategic Alliances for Journey Health System.

For more information about the Journey Health System, please see www.journeyhealth.org