June 25, 2018
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Mental health agencies to blend resources

By Jen Lynds, BDN Staff

CARIBOU, Maine — An Aroostook County agency that provides mental health, substance abuse and other related services in the area is poised to acquire the services and assets of a Washington County firm that provides the same service in that area.

Officials from Aroostook Mental Health Services, which is doing business as Aroostook Mental Health Center, and Washington County Psychotherapy Associates Inc. announced recently that they are in the final phase of completing a process that will result in AMHC acquiring the services and assets of WCPA.

AMHC serves all of Aroostook County, while WCPA operates in Washington and Hancock counties. Both agencies provide emergency, outpatient and residential mental health and substance abuse treatment services.

John Edwards, chief executive officer of WCPA, said the move would benefit both agencies.

“Over the years, AMHC and WCPA have worked very closely together,” he said. “We have always worked to assure that services are provided to our clients, many of whom live in very rural areas of the state.”

He added that in tough financial times, both entities decided that “the best way to go forward” was to ink the deal.

Wes Davidson, chief executive officer of AMHC, said the intent of the initiative is to strengthen programs for those in the affected service areas and to preserve the financial viability of behavioral and related physical health care services in Aroostook, Washington and Hancock counties.

“We have been talking about this for the past year or so,” he said. “Both agencies have a similar mission and we determined that this project would be feasible.”

Davidson said the agencies have combined resources in the past, as well as education and information.

“We really have collaborated over the years,” he said.

He added that the newly developed transition would be “seamless.”

“This has been carefully reviewed and the implementation plan is in the final stages of development,” he said. “Clients will see little or no changes as a result of this.”

Both Owens and Davidson said they could not disclose any financial information related to the transaction. Davidson said some jobs would be lost because of the deal, but called the losses “very minimal.”

Jamie Owens, AMHC director of marketing and development, said AMHC would continue to do business under that name in its Aroostook County service area.

In the Washington and Hancock county service area, however, services will be provided under a yet to be determined name.

Owens said staff members are commenting on what they feel the new name should be.

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