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Combined with Youth Bridge Inc., Burrell Behavioral Health would serve more than 45,000 youth and adults in Missouri and Arkansas.
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Combined with Youth Bridge Inc., Burrell Behavioral Health would serve more than 45,000 youth and adults in Missouri and Arkansas.

Burrell signs letter of intent to merge with Arkansas nonprofit

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Last edited 1:26 p.m., Feb. 7, 2019

Burrell Behavioral Health is in discussions to merge with an Arkansas nonprofit.

The Springfield-based mental and behavioral health provider signed a letter of intent to “explore a collaborative merger” with Fayetteville-based Youth Bridge Inc., according to a news release.

The organizations now enter the due-diligence phase and expect to announce a completed agreement by the end of April. Upon completion of the deal, Burrell would be the controlling partner, said spokesman Matt Lemmon. Youth Bridge would become a Burrell division, he said, noting the name would be applied to all of Burrell’s school-based programs.

“We have established deep roots during our 55 years of serving our region, and this merger is a key step in allowing us to expand our services to our communities, schools and judicial system, even in this era of reduced Medicaid reimbursement and financial uncertainty,” Youth Bridge President and CEO Darryl Rhoda said in the release. “The need for the services we provide is greater than ever, and with Burrell’s expertise, administrative capacity and additional sources of revenue, we will be in a better position to provide those services and meet our mission, now and well into the future.”

Burrell, which is younger at over 40 years old, is larger in scope. Officials in the release say combined, the two organizations would serve more than 45,000 youth and adults in Missouri and Arkansas. Burrell, according to the release, has more than 40,000 clients as the state-contracted Community Mental Health Clinic in 17 Missouri counties.

“Both Youth Bridge and Burrell have long histories of serving their communities, and Burrell is thrilled by the possibility of joining forces with such an organization and its expert, professional team, not only to increase access to care for youth and adults, but to help shape and lead the behavioral health conversation on a regional and national level,” Burrell President and CEO C.J. Davis said in the release.

Burrell intends to use Youth Bridge’s established model to improve its July 2018-launched youth services department. Burrell’s department has since signed contracts with more than 30 school districts, including Springfield Public Schools. (See the related story, at left.)

Youth Bridge provides services to the Arkansas counties of Baxter, Benton, Boone, Carroll, Marion, Madison, Newton and Washington, according to the release.

Under the leadership of Davis. who started as CEO in October 2017, Burrell’s operating budget exceeded $100 million in his first year, Springfield Business Journal previously reported.

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