The H Group Becomes Centerstone

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By Evie Allen
By Randy Livingston

CARTERVILLE -- A behavioral health group in southern Illinois is merging its operations to improve care. Earlier this month, The HGroup became part of Centerstone.

The H Group has been under several names since the 1960's, as it grew into the largest behavioral healthcare provider in southern Illinois. CEO John Markley says merging with Centerstone seemed like a perfect fit. 

"We're here to build better tomorrows today for the people we serve, and that is more than just a wall plate for us," he adds.

Centerstone provides the same type of services throughout Tennessee and Indiana. By merging with The H Group, it expands to Illinois and Kentucky. Markley says joining forces will help the two weather cuts to public funding for mental health services.

"That's been a challenge for behavioral health agencies like ourselves. And so what you have to do there, from a business standpoint, is diversify further your resources and your funding sources."

In a recent meeting with Comptroller Judy Baar Topinka, Markley expressed concerns over the state's income tax hike roll back at the end of the year. That roll back will result in a nearly $2 billion dollar decrease in revenue.

"We hope that some of the things we're doing now will mitigate that and reduce that, in terms of how it threatens perhaps any services for us being viable going forward," said Markley.

Markley says the merger with Centerstone will also allow greater opportunities for research, grant money, and jobs.

Even though the name has changed, he says the mission remains the same.

"We're prepared to not only provide these services and here to provide these services, but to do it in a way that's compassionate, that's effective and efficient."

Markley says The H Group is the only Centerstone-affiliated agency dealing with intellectual disabilities. He hopes this will allow them to expand those services to other Centerstone locations.

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