Announcing Merger

For Immediate Release

The Family & Children’s Society and
Family Counseling Services of Cortland County Announce Strategic Merger

Cortland, NY, February 24, 2017 – The Boards of Directors of both Family Counseling Services of Cortland County, Inc (FCS) and The Family & Children’s Society based in Broome County are pleased to announce a strategic alliance which has resulted in a formal merger of the two agencies.
For the past year, Lisa Hoeschele, Executive Director of Family Counseling Services and the FCS administrative team have provided management services to Family & Children’s Society. During that time, the two Boards and the administrative team explored the feasibility of a merger and determined that a single entity with a larger regional footprint would provide significant advantages.
“The merger of these two agencies will ensure the continuation and expansion of needed services in a time of change as Medicaid moves into a managed care environment. This larger agency will be more able to provide the metrics that managed care companies are asking for to measure success in treatment,” said FCS Board President Joseph F. Governali. “While the current activities of each agency will continue, the merger will permit the new organization to enjoy shared infrastructure that will strengthen services in all our communities,” he added.
“This merger provides significant opportunities to expand and enhance the high quality health and social services already being provided to the most vulnerable and underserved individuals and families in Central New York and the Southern Tier. It is also a progressive and innovative way to ensure a continued significant community presence as a health and behavioral health services provider into the future.” Dr. Victoria M Rizzo, Family and Children’s Society Board Member
Hoeschele will continue to lead the newly merged agency as Chief Executive Officer. “It is important to strengthen and protect the continued access to health care services in our communities,” said Hoeschele. “As a larger agency we can be more effective when negotiating contracts in a managed care environment. The merger will lead to financial sustainability that assures ongoing availability of essential behavioral health care services for Central New York and the Southern Tier,” she added.
With the merger, the agency will employ over 200 clinicians, prescribers and administrative support staff and provide services to over 10,000 people in 22 school and community-based clinics in four counties in Central New York and the Southern Tier. In 2017, projected revenue is $14.5 million.
The two agencies will be working through the legal, technical, and logistical aspects of the merger throughout 2017 with the full merger completed by end of year. Community input will be essential and the newly merged agency plans to use focus groups to help hone their new mission, vision and values statements.
The merger provides an opportunity to expand services to meet the needs within the communities served throughout Central New York and the Southern Tier. In the Southern Tier, the agency plans to expand clinic and school-based mental health services and introduce substance abuse treatment services. In Cortland County, the agency will launch a pilot project to integrate primary care services for individuals enrolled in behavioral healthcare services, potentially replicating the service in their other practices in Madison and Broome counties. In Cortland and Madison counties, the agency will expand a treatment program for families of children with problematic sexual behavior based on an existing program at the Binghamton clinic. A new clinic location in Morrisville will improve access to behavioral healthcare services for residents living in the southern region of Madison County.
Hoeschele has served as Executive Director of FCS since 2010. Under her leadership, the agency has experienced significant growth including the creation of school-based clinical programs beginning in 2011, merger with Cortland Prevention Resources in 2012 and expansion into Madison County in 2013. Prior to her work at FCS, Hoeschele held high level administrative positions at Syracuse University, SU College of Law and WCNY TV/Classic-FM in Syracuse. Hoeschele holds a Master’s degree in public administration from Syracuse University’s Maxwell School.
About The Family & Children’s Society, Inc.
The Family & Children’s Society has served the Southern Tier region for over 75 years. Established by Mrs. Esther W. Couper, the agency has grown significantly during that time and offers a family mental health clinic, school-based programs, sexual abuse treatment program, elder counseling, and home care, along with unique programs such as their Vocational Incentive Program and Family Homes for the Elderly. Last year, over 1,400 individuals and families in Broome and Tioga counties were served by the organization. Family & Children’s Society has an annual budget of $5.9 million and employs 105 staff.
About Family Counseling Services of Cortland County
Family Counseling Services was established in 1970 as a non-profit volunteer family counseling service based in Cortland, NY. It has since evolved into a professional organization that offers mental health, chemical dependency, and school-based counseling, as well as prevention services through its prevention division, Cortland Prevention Resources. Last year, over 6,000 children, teens and adults received services from the organization in Cortland and Madison counties. Family Counseling Services has an annual budget of $7 million and employs 85 staff.

The Family & Children’s Society, Inc., 257 Main Street, Binghamton, NY 13905 –
Family Counseling Services of Cortland County, Inc., 10 North Main Street, Cortland, NY 13045 –