WellSpan, Philhaven affiliation to enhance region’s behavioral health care

York-based WellSpan Health and Philhaven of Mount Gretna announced Wednesday that they have signed an affiliation agreement that will integrate their physical and mental health services and enhance access to behavioral health care in southcentral Pennsylvania.

Under a separate agreement, the Lancaster Mennonite Conference granted its approval to transfer control of Philhaven and all of its assets to WellSpan, according to a news release.

The WellSpan system, which includes four hospitals, operates inpatient behavioral health units at WellSpan Ephrata Community Hospital and WellSpan York Hospital, as well as outpatient locations across York and Adams counties.

Philhaven, the 14th-largest mental and behavioral health provider in the nation, has 22 locations across Lancaster, Lebanon, Dauphin and York counties.

The two organizations said they began exploring the affiliation last October. The affiliation agreement was approved by their respective boards and will now be submitted for regulatory review.

Philhaven CEO Philip D. Hess said, “Philhaven and WellSpan have a common mission and vision to improve the health of our community. Together, we’ll develop more integrated models of care, treating the whole patient — body, mind and spirit — to achieve improved patient outcomes and better community health.”

WellSpan President and CEO Kevin H. Mosser said the demand for behavioral health services in the region outweighs the supply of qualified providers.

“This affiliation brings together WellSpan’s extensive network of healthcare providers with Philhaven’s respected behavioral health organization for the benefit of our patients and our communities,” Mosser said.

WellSpan added behavioral health providers to seven of its primary care physician offices in 2014, the organizations said. They said they intend to expand their integrated model of physical and behavioral health throughout the region.

Under the agreement with the Lancaster Mennonite Conference, WellSpan agreed to contribute $7.26 million to create a new charitable foundation to deliver innovative services and programs that address behavioral health care needs.

“WellSpan and Philhaven look forward to maintaining a positive and cooperative relationship with the conference and the new foundation,” Mosser said.

Philhaven serves 25,000 individuals per year with a staff of 1,100 and an annual operating budget of $58 million. Its services include hospitalization, residential and day programs, outpatient counseling and support delivered in the home, school and community.

In addition to its four hospitals, WellSpan is composed of a multispecialty medical group of more than 730 providers, a home care organization, more than 11,000 employees and more than 130 patient care locations.

Larry Portzline
Larry Portzline covers York County, nonprofits, workforce and education. Have a tip or question for him? Email him at larryp@cpbj.com.

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