Last updated: June 01. 2013 11:02AM - 98 Views
Jessica Pickens
Staff Writer

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Come June 29, Crossroads Behavioral Healthcare will become Partners Health Managements, merging with two other North Carolina health facilities.

The merge will increase Crossroad’s health care footprint and will stretch across Burke, Gaston, Catawba, Cleveland, Surry, Iredell and Yadkin counties. The two other mental health organizations are Pathways Mental Health and Mental Health Partners, said Crossroads CEO David Swann.

“It is a response to the general assembly’s modification of a North Carolina statute,” Swann said. “There is a minimum population that health care providers can cover, and we are too small.”

There used to be 41 mental health care providers in North Carolina. By June 30, 2012, here will be 11. The main location for Partners will be in Gastonia with the other two locations in Elkin and Hickory, Swann said.

Preparing for the merge has been challenging but successful, Swann said.

“It’s been a blending of the three organizations. We each do things slightly differently so we had to change and to work the same,” he said. “It’s all about bridging and melding together.”

Employees and healthcare providers have had training with new sophisticated technology programs. But the community has also had education about the merge as well.

“We’ve been trying to educate the community about the merge,” Swann said.

The merge hasn’t cut jobs for those currently working at Crossroads, but has actually added new positions. Positions have been filled internally, and are now looking outside of the company to fill 14 additional jobs.

“We are delaying some positions to be filled until we get closer to taking on the healthcare waver in January, but we have to be fully staffed in October, 90 days before it takes place,” Swann said.

Part of the merger deals with North Carolina’s operation of a Medicaid Waiver which will begin January 1, 2013.

“There has been a lot to learn and remember, but our staff has done very well,” he said. “We have a smart and capable work force. The biggest difference when we come to work Monday July 2, is mostly the processes.”

The toll free number that citizens can reach Partners will remain the same for all eight counties at 188-235-4673.

Reach Jessica Pickens at 835-1513 ext. 18 or jpickens@heartlandpublications.com

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