Prairie Center to merge with Rockford-based Rosecrance

Prairie Center to merge with Rockford-based Rosecrance

CHAMPAIGN — The Prairie Center, a 49-year-old substance abuse treatment agency in Champaign-Urbana, is poised to merge with Rosecrance, the same Rockford-based mental and behavioral health system that took over Community Elements last year.

Rosecrance and the Prairie Center have signed a letter of intent, and hope to finalize the merger Jan. 1, 2018, leaders from the organizations said Thursday.

Both agencies called the merger plans a move that would expand behavioral health treatment options in the region and stabilize jobs.

Details such as the impact on employment, leadership and facilities at the two agencies remain to be worked out, said Rosecrance President and CEO Phil Eaton.

The major consideration behind this move was the opportunity to create a truly integrated behavioral health system, he said.

Because substance abuse and mental health disorders are often linked, those organizations that offer treatment for both are of the most use to their communities, according to Eaton.

Gail Raney, the Prairie Center's CEO, said her agency and Rosecrance are already serving some of the same clients, and the move makes sense for the community and both agencies.

Prairie Center Board Chairman Andrew Timms said the need for services for people with substance abuse is great.

Every day in the U.S., 78 people die from opioid drug use and only one in five people get the treatment they need, he said.

Rosecrance, which finalized its merger with Community Elements July 1, 2016, said it's the state's largest provider of residential substance abuse treatment services for teens and its adult inpatient campus in Rockford is one of the largest in the state.

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