WellPower and Jefferson Center to Merge on 7/1/24
WellPower and Jefferson Center to Merge on 7/1/24 to Meet the Growing Need for Mental Health and Substance Use Services
November 16, 2023 -- We are thrilled to announce that Jefferson Center and WellPower, both locally and nationally recognized community mental health centers, will merge into one non-profit organization to serve Clear Creek, Denver, Gilpin and Jefferson County communities on July 1, 2024. The merger creates the largest and most innovative behavioral health provider in Colorado with an unparalleled array of programs and services.
Read the full announcement message from Dr. Carl Clark and Dr. Kiara Kuenzler below.
A Video Message from Dr. Clark and Dr. Kuenzler
The Full Announcement Message
We are thrilled to announce that Jefferson Center and WellPower, both locally and nationally recognized community mental health centers, will merge into one non-profit organization to serve Clear Creek, Denver, Gilpin and Jefferson County communities on July 1, 2024. The merger creates the largest and most innovative behavioral health provider in Colorado with an unparalleled array of programs and services.
The demand for behavioral health services is greater than ever
One in four Coloradans report that their mental health is poor, suicide is the number one cause of death for young people ages 10 to 24 and the opioid and fentanyl epidemic remain wildly unchecked. The toll of the unmet need in Colorado has resulted in dire and heartbreaking consequences for individuals and families.
We know that the behavioral health system in Colorado is undergoing significant change – from regulatory functions and funding to a growing need for services – and we must adapt for the future. As we planned for these changes and evaluated what it would take to thrive in the newly emerging system, we conducted a comprehensive assessment and explored many options.
From the start of our partnership exploration, our primary focus has always been on people. This journey has revolved around how we can better serve the people within our communities and how we can provide enhanced support to our dedicated staff. Our goal remains clear: to maximize our impact for those we serve and ensure that staff needs are met.
A brand-new way to serve Colorado
Joining our two organizations is a powerful solution. It builds on our two organizations’ strengths and shared values – including a deep commitment to diversity, equity, inclusiveness and belonging - allows us to fill gaps in specialized care, expands our workforce and programming and creates opportunities with technology and other innovations.
The strengths of our two organizations combined will enable us to meet the needs of our communities in a way that has never been seen before in Colorado. Jefferson Center and WellPower both have deep expertise in the realm of behavioral health and have reputations as local and national leaders in the field. Both organizations are financially strong, with adequate reserves, operating revenue and assets to strengthen a combined organization.
This merger is a bold response, ensuring that we are prepared to be Colorado’s leading community behavioral health provider for decades to come. We have a strategic vision of stepping into the future together to ensure all people in our communities can access the comprehensive care they need without barriers.
Boldly stepping forward together
At this stage, the two Boards of Directors have agreed on the following plans:
- This is a true partnership of equals, not an acquisition. Jefferson Center and WellPower have had a positive and collaborative relationship over the years, sharing innovative practices and advocating for positive systems change.
- Dr. Kiara Kuenzler will serve as the President and Dr. Carl Clark will be the CEO until his retirement; at that time, Dr. Kuenzler will assume the expanded role of President and CEO. As CEOs, Carl and Kiara have developed mutual trust, respect and thoughtful communication about how best to partner.
- The new Board of Directors and leadership teams of both organizations will be combined and will fairly represent the expanded region served.
- The newly merged organization is committed to having all staff join in the execution of the new vision. Our plans are to retain all staff and programs. Having more staff in key parts of the organization will help us close gaps in existing operations while being able to put more capacity toward new priorities. Clinical services and administrative functions will come together thoughtfully over time.
- The merged organization will keep the WellPower name and will pursue a merger under the Jefferson Center 501c3 organization. The assets of WellPower will be folded into the legal entity of Jefferson Center.
Integrating our two organizations into one requires an intentional investment of time, resources and expertise. We want to make sure we fully and thoughtfully engage our teams and stakeholders. At this point, we anticipate a July 1, 2024 official merger date, and will provide updates as available.
This page will be updated regularly with current information going forward. It also has information about how you can submit your questions.
There has never been a period of time of greater transformation in behavioral health than there is right now. By coming together, we can meet the needs of our community faster and more effectively than we could ever do alone.
We look forward to many more conversations as together we transform into a new us; a new WellPower.
Dr. Carl Clark | President and CEO | WellPower
Dr. Kiara Kuenzler | President and CEO | Jefferson Center
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