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Monarch Celebrates 10-year Anniversary of Behavioral Health

3-10-year-anniversary-storyMonarch’s Behavioral Health is celebrating its 10 year anniversary. To commemorate the milestone, we sat down with the founding members of the behavioral health division, Monarch’s Chief Clinical Officer Daniel Brown and Senior Clinical Director Ben Millsap to discuss the major events of the past 10 years, and what they are looking forward to achieving in the future.

“We got started on Jan. 31, 2005,” Brown said. “Two weeks later we saw our first ‘consumer,’ a child in Stanly County.”

Millsap said that at the time the plan was to stay small and only provide outpatient services to those in Stanly County, but over the course of 10 years Monarch has grown in budget  - from $150,000 to $35 million- across county lines and last year alone served 23,000 people in North Carolina.

“It’s incredible to think we went from the phone literally not ringing an entire day, to now having five centralized operators who answer thousands of calls every day,” Millsap shared.

Over the past decade, Monarch has had 16 different transitions where they have acquired new services that have grown the company and the number of people served. Both Millsap and Brown agreed that Monarch’s ability to transition quickly has been what made the company into what it is today.

The first major milestone for the organization was in 2006 when it received its first Request for Proposal (RFP) from a local Managed Care Organization and was awarded the services. Millsap explained this was what expanded the organization across county lines for the first time.

“It changed the course of the agency from a singular purpose of choice and competition in one county, to us becoming a behavioral health agency,” Millsap said. “When we started taking up service lines it became milestone after milestone.”

Another milestone they both stressed was the launch of Monarch’s Open Access program. Brown explained that Monarch’s model has changed the conversation about mental health care and access throughout the state.  

“We have providers seeking us out and asking us how we are doing it. We’re gaining state and national recognition for what we’ve done with Open Access.”

Millsap echoed this saying, “Open Access has focused us. It has showed us what we stand for as an agency.”

With 10 years under their belts, both men are proud of what Monarch has accomplished but are also continually looking to the future.

“The most significant change for us in the next five years will be around integrated care. We’re really trying to integrate what’s happening in behavioral health with the primary care world. We want to have a seamless healthcare system,” Brown explained.

He also said that in the next five years Monarch will continue to roll out electronic health records, crisis services, building more crisis clinics and enhancing and acquiring Facility Based Crisis Services.

Brown noted that the past 10 years have proven that Monarch is an agency committed to excellence, “We try to make it a different experience for each person walking into our doors. Our mantra is about access. It makes a difference in people’s lives how they can access services today.”

A few major milestones from the past 10 years include:

January 31, 2005     Monarch, then known as Foundations Behavioral Health, opens doors as an outpatient behavioral health service.
February 2006 Foundations is awarded first RFP to provide Community Support Services in 5 counties, expanded staff from 5 to 70 people.    
June 2010 Awarded Assertive Community Treatment Team services.
April 2012 Acquired services for the Guilford Center in Greensboro, NC. This was the beginning of Monarch’s Open Access Program.
May 2012 Launch of Open Access. Brown said that this “Changed the face of our service delivery and by helping people get into services quicker and changed the conversation throughout North Carolina.”
2008 Arc Services changes its name to Monarch. Foundations and all other services under one name. Opened a home dedicated to moving people out of psychiatric institutions.

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