Burrell Behavioral Health and Clarity Recovery and Wellness to Merge

(Springfield, MO) – Burrell Behavioral  Health and Clarity Recovery and Wellness (formerly Sigma House) have agreed to merge.  Effective January 1, 2014, Clarity Recovery will become part of Burrell.  This decision was largely driven by a recognition of the important clinical relationship between mental health and substance abuse problems, and the need to organize and integrate service systems around these realities.
Research has clearly shown the need for increased collaboration and coordination of care for patients who have co-occurring mental health and substance abuse conditions. It is clear that treatment that addresses mental health and substance use conditions at the same time leads to: (1) reduced substance abuse; (2) improved psychiatric symptoms and functioning; (3) decreased hospitalizations; (4) increased housing stability; (5) fewer arrests; and (6) improved quality of life.  On the other hand, it also shows that untreated mental health and substance abuse disorders lead to more deaths than traffic accidents, HIV/AIDS, and breast cancer combined.  And, individuals with mental illnesses and substance abuse problems have significantly increased risks for a wide range of physical health problems such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease, obesity and smoking.
Commenting on the merger, Dr. Todd Schaible, President and CEO of Burrell since its founding in 1976, notes "In the interest of those we serve and in recognition of the limited resources to treat people, it is essential that we focus on ways and means to ensure that the whole of our health care delivery system truly is greater than the sum of its various parts. Integrating the expertise and focus of the staff and programs of Clarity Recovery into the context of Burrell services, and vice versa,  will do much to assist in movement toward that goal.”  
Burrell and Clarity Recovery both began offering services in the spring of 1977; both are not-for-profit corporations; and, both are in-part funded by the Missouri Department of Mental Health. Currently, Burrell, with a staff of approximately 1,000, provides services out of 34 locations to the residents of 17 counties in southwest and central Missouri.  Burrell directly provides mental health, substance abuse and developmental services to approximately 38,000 individuals annually.  Clarity Recovery, with a staff of 80, presently offers detox, residential and outpatient services to approximately 8,000 clients per year at 5 locations, serving 10 counties in southwest Missouri.
Mark Stringer, Director of the Division of Behavioral Health for Missouri’s Department of Mental Health noted, in a letter to Merna Eppick, President of Clarity Recovery, regarding the merger: "I was excited to hear your plans for merging with Burrell Behavioral Health! This partnership has tremendous potential in terms of integrated behavioral health services for individuals in Southwest Missouri. The substance abuse treatment services that are delivered by Clarity’s skilled and experienced staff will complement the diverse array of behavioral health services delivered by Burrell. Burrell provides high quality community psychiatric services, as well as adolescent substance abuse treatment services.”
Merna Eppick, President of Clarity Recovery and Wellness notes "This merger is an exciting development and opportunity for Clarity Recovery & Wellness.  It affords tremendous opportunities for a broader menu of services for the clients seeking much-needed help from both agencies. "
No disruption of services provided by Clarity Recovery or Burrell will occur.  Rather, focus will be upon growth and development across a broader range of substance abuse and addiction services, upon increased responsiveness to co-occurring conditions, and upon enhanced collaboration and coordination with other healthcare providers, education, correctional facilities, and various social services agencies in the communities served by Burrell and Clarity Recovery.