In October of 2019, four of Arkansas’ leading behavioral health providers announced they had signed a Letter of Intent to form one of the state’s premier integrated behavioral health systems. This agreement was finalized on February 28, 2020 to create Arisa Health, Inc., a non-profit organization that brings together the professional staffs of Counseling Associates, Mid-South Health Systems, Ozark Guidance, and Professional Counseling Associates. In total, Arisa Health, Inc. will provide services in locations across 41 counties throughout the northern half of Arkansas.
Dr. Laura H. Tyler will serve as the CEO of the new organization. “This affiliation is mission-driven and allows like-minded organizations to formally collaborate to expand and improve services to clients, families, and communities. It will also allow for greater efficiency in the delivery of behavioral health services,” said Dr. Tyler. “Our core commitment is to utilize innovative approaches in the provision of comprehensive, integrated behavioral health care services. Our vision is ‘Transforming Communities One Life at a Time’.”
She adds, “Together the four organizations have locations in more than half of the counties in Arkansas, and the strength of Arisa Health will allow us to transform the delivery of behavioral health care in Arkansas. We will offer a safe and secure professional environment where clients are offered individualized care and services.”
The original Letter of Intent specified a legal merger of the four organizations, but that arrangement was changed in favor of a member-affiliate structure whereby each organization will retain individual operations as affiliates of Arisa Health, Inc.
About the change in strategy CEO Dr. Laura Tyler says, “The term ‘merger’ references a particular type of legal structure. We have moved away from it in favor of a member-affiliate model because being a Community Mental Health Center is vital to the identity of who we are and what we do. This is the best way for us to preserve that identity in each of the areas where Arisa Health will be providing care.” Employees of the four organizations will be retained by Arisa Health, where Dr. Tyler says they will enjoy greater collaboration with a larger pool of professional peers across the network.
For more information on Arisa Health, log on to www.arisahealth.org.