October 22, 2021

Agency gets boost

Mental health service receives $4 million grant

Joe McIntyre/staff photographer

Lisa Hoeschele, CEO of Family Counseling Services of Cortland County, stands Thursday in a primary care room at the company’s offices at 165 Main St. The room is among many elements the company hopes to bring to its merger with Family & Children’s Society of Binghamton in Broome County, as part of a $4 million grant recently received.

A Cortland County health organization will announce a new name Feb. 22 following a $4 million grant to expand services in Broome County, which could eventually mean new services in Cortland too.

Family Counseling Services of Cortland County and Family & Children’s Society of Broome County began merging in late 2017 after Family Counseling Services had been providing management services to Family and Child Services for more than a year, said Lisa Hoeschele, the CEO of the merged organization.

The main office remains in Cortland, but the state Health Care Facility Transformation Program gave it $4 million to build a 9,000-square-foot addition to its 7,000-square-foot facility in downtown Binghamton.

The addition would allow the organization to consolidate all four of its Broome County services into one building — just as it did in Cortland County in 2018.

In 2013 the agency, Cortland Prevention Services and the Lesbian Gay Bisexual and Transsexual Resource Center merged. The merger with Family & Children’s Society began in 2017. And in 2018, the Cortland operations moved into a two-story space at the former Crescent Corset Building at 165 Main St.

Groton health care center gets $400,000

GROTON — Groton Community Healthcare Center Inc. will expand its services to cover outpatient therapy care after receiving $462,189 in state funding.

The funding will help renovate 1,900 square feet of an attached vacant space at their 120 Sykes St. location for an outpatient physical and occupational therapy center, said Nasar Khan, the president and CEO of the organization.

“We’re really excited,” Khan said Tuesday. “It’s another service that meets the needs of the area and the community we serve.”

Another wing of similar size will be used for storage.

The center now offers inpatient physical, occupational and speech therapy. There are about 130 treatment sessions per week with an average of 20 to 25 different patients each week, said finance director Thomas Rogers.

The project will cost $474,189 — with the organization covering $12,00 of the cost. Rogers said the project, once begun, will take about six months to complete.
Shenandoah Briere

“Having a larger footprint really allows us to help all the residents of the counties we serve,” Hoeschele said. “It allows us to be competitive in a grants environment. It allows us to leverage telehealth and telepsychiatry to support someone in Madison County with a physician that’s in Cortland County. It allows us to really have an impact on the health of our region, not just our community.”

It could mean access for Cortland residents to other programs now offered in other counties, said Mark Thayer, the director of community services for the Cortland County Mental Health Department.

“By expanding their organization, they provide access to a broader range of services,” Thayer said.

The merger would expand services offered in the Binghamton area to include addiction and primary care services. In turn the organization has brought other behavioral health services from Broome County to Cortland County.

“Binghamton has an excellent reputation for treatment of victims of trauma, especially children, and we brought that program here for the benefit of this community,” Hoeschele said.

Hoeschele said she anticipates program growth from the merger, which will benefit the counties and potentially add more jobs.

Under the merger, the agencies will employ more than 200 clinicians, prescribers and administrative support staff and provide services to more than
10,000 people in 22 school and community-based clinics in five counties.

With the merger the organization is now worth $17 million, Hoeschele said.

“Mergers and acquisitions are becoming much more common in this world, in this environment,” she said. “Two mid-size agencies like Family Counseling (Services) and Family & Children’s (Society) make sense as a combined organization.”