AltaPointe Health Systems entered into its second merger within two years when it officially joined forces with Cheaha Regional Mental Health Center (CRMHC) Aug. 1. This is only the second merger between two Alabama community mental health centers with the first coming in 2014 when AltaPointe and Baldwin County Mental Health Center merged.
CRMHC is headquartered in Sylacauga, Ala., and now operates under the AltaPointe name and corporate umbrella. The merger expanded AltaPointe’s service area of Mobile, Washington, and Baldwin counties to include Clay, Coosa, Randolph and Talladega counties. With this merger, AltaPointe will employ 1,450 and provide treatment to more than 30,000 individuals annually.
“AltaPointe began a new and exciting era with this merger,” Tuerk Schlesinger, AltaPointe CEO, said. “We believe the southwest and east-central region of Alabama now have a better and broader-based system in place to provide additional and more easily accessible behavioral healthcare services.”
Schlesinger said dozens of dedicated staff members have been working diligently to make this transition as smooth as possible.
“All of us at AltaPointe welcome our new colleagues, patients and partners in the Sylacauga region,” Schlesinger said. “Together, with our existing employees and partners, AltaPointe can achieve great things for the individuals we serve.”
How is a merger beneficial?
Catalysts for the merger were decreased funding of behavioral healthcare services and upcoming major changes
for behavioral healthcare that will require increased financial resources were. (Please see CEO Tuerk Schlesinger’s column to learn why this merger is a good decision.)
According to Cindy Atkinson, who served as the CRMHC Executive Director before the merger, the center has been searching for ways to provide services in the face of diminishing financial support. “We believe joining forces with AltaPointe will build a stronger, more efficient organization that will withstand the changing healthcare environment and better serve our communities,” she said.
According to Schlesinger, the AltaPointe and CRMHC boards of directors thoroughly investigated the needs of both organizations for more than two years. “They recognized the wisdom of the merger,” he continued. “They were diligent and patient as we pored over a multitude of details.”
Everyone wins with this merger
Atkinson, who now holds the title of AltaPointe Associate Executive Director of Community Mental Health for the Sylacauga Region, went on to say that the former CRMHC began utilizing AltaPointe’s resources immediately.
Schlesinger emphasized that “everyone wins” with this merger. AltaPointe benefits from the merger by being able to expand its centralized administrative system so it can reallocate resources into services and grow stronger in scope, he said.
“However, the biggest winners are the men, women and children who need our services to survive and function," Schlesinger continued. "This opportunity is the right thing to do for them."