Unity Point Partnership

Published: Wednesday 17th of October 2018

UnityPoint Health®, Human Service Center and Tazwood Center for Wellness Announce Intent to Form Partnership to Improve Behavioral Health Care Delivery

(October 17, 2018 – Peoria, Illinois) – UnityPoint Health®, Human Service Center and Tazwood Center for Wellness are pleased to announce a commitment to explore a partnership to create a new behavioral health care organization. The Boards of Directors of each organization are entering exclusive negotiations to enhance and advance behavioral health care delivery throughout Central Illinois. The organizations have signed a non-binding Letter of Intent (LOI) to negotiate an agreement to create a new non-profit community service organization that will bring together the best of each organization with the goal of improving behavioral health care delivery for the people in our communities.

“This is a new day in our collaborative efforts to improve care of mental illness and addiction and end the stigma surrounding them,” said Debbie Simon, Regional CEO of UnityPoint Health. “UnityPoint Health, Human Service Center and Tazwood Center for Wellness are the leading providers of behavioral health care in the region. Coming together allows this new organization to capitalize on the strengths of each organization for the betterment of the community.”

UnityPoint Health, Human Service Center, and Tazwood Center for Wellness have an extensive history of working together to provide the people they serve with the best behavioral health services possible. The goals of the new organization would be to offer improved access to a fully-coordinated regional network of behavioral health care providers, specialists and substance abuse and rehabilitation services, while improving care coordination and the care experience. These organizations intend to work to integrate treatment for mental health and addiction into medical health care to treat the whole body, mind and spirit.

“Now is the right time for us to come together to connect people with the right care in the right place at the right time,” said Mike Kennedy, President of Human Service Center. “A growing number of people in our communities live with mental illness and addiction. The opioid crisis is not going away and is getting worse. Suicide rates are rising. We’re pursuing a new organization that will fully encompass the behavioral health care continuum, so we may treat each person with the care which best suits their needs.”

This Letter of Intent marks a significant step toward a strategic partnership between the organizations. It allows leaders to negotiate the terms of the partnership and reflects a shared intent to pursue a definitive agreement in a timely fashion. Formal discussions will start immediately, and it’s anticipated that the partnership will be finalized in Spring 2019.

“Our goal is to accelerate change in the field of behavioral health, just as health care leaders have advanced the treatment of heart disease and cancer,” said Dave Mingus, CEO of Tazwood Center for Wellness. “We believe that partnering and forming a new behavioral health organization focused solely on behavioral health delivery for our region will help us achieve that vision.”

The aim of the new non-profit community service organization is to build an effective behavioral health system that is proactive in addressing mental illness and the addiction crises of our region. In that process, the Boards of the organizations have committed the new organization to collaborating with health care, social service, education, religious, and criminal justice institutions to better serve the people of our communities.

To learn more, visit www.unitypoint.org.