4 Arkansas behavioral health providers plan merger to form Arisa Health

by Talk Business & Politics staff ([email protected]) 3,502 views 

Four Arkansas-based behavioral health providers announced Wednesday (Oct. 30) they have signed a Letter of Intent to form one integrated behavioral health system.

Arisa Health, a nonprofit organization, will bring together the professional staff and services of Conway-based Counseling Associates, Mid-South Health Systems of Jonesboro, Ozark Guidance of Springdale and Professional Counseling Associates of North Little Rock.  In total, Arisa Health will have locations in 41 counties throughout the northern half of Arkansas. A list of locations is available at this link.

Dr. Laura H. Tyler, CEO of Ozark Guidance, has been selected to lead the new organization “because of her experience, knowledge and reputation within the industry,” according to a news release.

Arisa Health will be headquartered at what is now the main Ozark Guidance office at 2400 S. 48th Street in Springdale. After the merger, the new company will have 1,275 employees.

“This merging of missions will ensure better outcomes for clients, families and the communities we serve and allow for greater efficiency in the delivery of behavioral health services,” Tyler said in a statement. “Our core commitment is to utilize innovative approaches in the provision of comprehensive, integrated behavioral health care services.”

In the release, Tyler said each individual organization’s governing board approved the Letter of Intent because they share a similar mission and support the universal benefits to clients, families and communities that come from combining resources. Such benefits include ensuring access to community-based comprehensive behavioral health care services, sharing of ideas and innovative best practices, economies of scale, and a financially stronger and increasingly sustainable organization.

“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 healthcare in Arkansas,” Tyler said. “We will offer a safe and secure professional environment where clients are offered individualized care and services.”

Tyler said employees will enjoy greater collaboration with a larger pool of professional peers across the network, and that leadership is working hard to ensure a seamless transfer of operations and integration of workforce through the merger process.

The merger, according to the release, is expected to be finalized in early 2020. Providers will begin doing business as Arisa Health at that time.