From Illinois Business Journal news services
WEST FRANKFORT, Ill. — Centerstone locations in Alton and Jerseyville are being affected by the nonprofit organization’s decision to consolidate some operations in the wake of the state budget crisis.
Centerstone said Tuesday it is taking measures to consolidate its operations to preserve core behavioral health and substance abuse treatment services essential to its 16,000 clients in Southern Illinois and the Metro East region.
These measures follow an eight-month budget impasse, during which the State of Illinois has amassed approximately $4.5 million owed to Centerstone for services provided under contracts and other funding agreements.
“Centerstone’s board of directors and executive leadership have been forced to make program, staffing and facility decisions that are painful to our organization and the communities we serve,” said John G. Markley, chief executive officer of Centerstone’s Illinois operations. “We have warned our lawmakers for months that we could not sustain our operations and ensure our most vulnerable citizens have access to the services and support they need while providing millions of dollars in state services without payment. Unfortunately, our concerns have not been heeded, and we have no options left but consolidation that will help us ensure the continued viability of our organization.”
Centerstone is consolidating its operations to focus most of its resources on critical, life-saving services. Measures taken include:
• A strategic consolidation of offices. An office in Jerseyville will be closed, effective April 1 and its services relocated to Alton. A transition plan to support impacted clients is in place. Centerstone will continue to provide residential, crisis, community and school-based services in Jersey, Calhoun and Greene Counties.
• The closure of Centerstone’s Big Brothers Big Sisters of Southern Illinois, impacting youth, volunteers and supporters in Jackson, Franklin, Union, Perry and Williamson counties.
• The elimination of several open administrative positions; and
• Reviewing the sale of under-utilized facilities.
Staff in impacted programs will be offered other open positions in the organization.
“These were difficult decisions for our board to make,” said Sally Sheahan, president of Centerstone’s Illinois board of directors. “For the long-term sustainability of Centerstone’s operations, we cannot continue to mount losses related to state contracts any longer. This consolidation will protect jobs and the most essential, life-saving services we offer, but even these measures will not sustain us if this budget impasse is not resolved. We urge our lawmakers to take action now to halt the damage occurring to the fragile behavioral health system in Illinois.”
Centerstone provides comprehensive behavioral healthcare, serving communities in the Metro East region and in Southern Illinois. Centerstone’s professionals work with children, adults and families to inspire hope and personal growth. Last year, more than 16,000 people sought help through Centerstone’s mental health counseling, substance abuse services, life enrichment programs and services for adults with developmental disabilities.
Centerstone is one of the nation’s largest behavioral health-care providers. It offers a range of treatment, support and educational programs and services to individuals who have mental health and addiction disorders and adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities.
Each year, the organization serves more than 142,000 people of all ages across Florida, Illinois, Indiana and Tennessee. It also operates the Centerstone Foundation, Centerstone Research Institute, Advantage Behavioral Health, Centerstone Military Services and Centerstone Health Partners.
For more information about Centerstone, visit www.centerstone.org.