Northern Wyoming Mental Health Center to merge with Volunteers of America Northern Rockies | Local News

SHERIDAN — Local mental health care provider Northern Wyoming Mental Health Care Center will merge with Volunteers of America Northern Rockies, with official consolidation of the two facilities taking place Sept. 1, VOANR Senior Director Dave Shumway announced in a press release Thursday.

NWYMHC has become one of Northeast Wyoming’s top behavioral health care providers in its 60 years of operation, Shumway said. The center operates facilities in Sheridan, Johnson, Weston and Crook counties and offers individual and family mental health care, outpatient substance use treatment and other forms of support for folks in need of behavioral health support.

A regional affiliate of the faith-based, nationwide nonprofit Volunteers of America, Inc., VOANR serves more than 15,000 people each year throughout Wyoming, Montana and western South Dakota, with an annual budget of more than $40 million and more than 350 staff in the region, Shumway said. The organization arrived in Sheridan in 1985. Today, the organization offers services to help people rebuild their lives with programs providing services for veterans, homeless people, adults involved in the legal system and youth, among other programs.

At VOANR’s campus south of Sheridan Wednesday, clients in the organization’s two residential substance use treatment programs, The Life House and The Gathering Place, spent their days engaging in group and individual therapy, religious programming and recreation, said VOANR Sheridan campus’ Clinical Program Director Samantha Satchell. Women currently in treatment at The Gathering Place minded soil in an on-site garden while men receiving care at The Life House attended Christian, Native American cultural and other religious and spiritual recovery courses.

VOANR’s board of directors has been appointed to the NWYMHC board, and current VOA CEO Jeff Holsinger has been named CEO of NWYMHC. This change, Shumway said, should provide consistent management throughout the merger.

At the time of official consolidation of this fall, existing NWYMHC staff will become VOANR employees, Shumway said, but VOANR will be responsible for all hiring for NWYMHC beginning this week.

Shumway said the merger will allow NWYMHC and VOANR to continue to operate under their shared and synergetic missions.

“Throughout the due diligence process, it became clear that these two organizations have mission synergy. A merger is the most effective way to increase the mission impact of both organizations and to better serve our communities,” Holsinger said.

The merger will also streamline service provision at both VOANR and NWYMHC. Alliances like the merger are essential to ensuring continued care for vulnerable populations, including those that both organizations currently serve, Shumway said, and operating under one roof will allow VOANR and NWYMHC to grow financially, increase their geographic footprint and offer additional programs.

Shumway anticipated the merger will allow VOANR to serve a greater number of people in need throughout northeastern Wyoming.

“A merger offers greater efficiency of resources through a larger economy of scale and stronger administrative oversight in the complex world of behavioral health,” said Paul Demple, former CEO of NWYMHC. “We are excited to know that Northern Wyoming Mental Health Center’s 60-year history will be continued with excellence by Volunteers of America.”

Margaret O’Hara is a reporter at The Sheridan Press.

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