UnityPoint Health – Des Moines and Eyerly Ball Prepare for Future through Strategic Affiliation
Affiliation will offer new resources for Eyerly Ball and UnityPoint Health patients
Des Moines, IA – Eyerly Ball Community Mental Health Services and UnityPoint Health – Des Moines announced today they have signed a Letter of Intent to explore an affiliation to bring the two organizations together to better serve the physical and behavioral health needs of residents in central Iowa.
“Eyerly Ball and UnityPoint Health – Des Moines have a common mission and vision to improve the health of the people and communities we serve,” said Cynthia Steidl Bishop, CEO of Eyerly Ball. “Together, we will develop more integrated models of care, treating the whole patient – mind, body and spirit – to achieve improved patient outcomes and better community health. I’m proud and delighted to announce this significant step with UnityPoint Health. It’s the best of both worlds for Eyerly Ball. We will remain a locally-run, community health organization, while also gaining the benefits of a broader system’s services, experience and expertise. This is good for our clients, employees, providers and our local economy.”
Over the past several months, the organizations have engaged in discussions and shared information to determine if an affiliation would benefit both organizations and, most importantly, the people and communities they serve. The Letter of Intent was approved by the volunteer boards of both organizations and will be the framework for writing the final affiliation agreement over the coming months. The proposed affiliation will not affect the ownership of the hospital, its governance, administration or management.
UnityPoint Health – Des Moines President and CEO, Eric Crowell, shared, “Like Eyerly Ball, UnityPoint Health – Des Moines has a culture of patient-focused care, community-minded spirit and high-quality health care. In the affiliation, UnityPoint Health will provide resources to Eyerly Ball, supporting and enhancing the services provided to the community. Eyerly Ball will be an outstanding addition to the UnityPoint Health family.”
Behavioral health has consistently ranked among the top healthcare needs throughout the communities of central Iowa, yet the demand for services has far outweighed the supply of behavioral healthcare services. Despite the increased need for behavioral health services, many healthcare organizations no longer provide those services because they are difficult to sustain operationally and financially.
Crowell and Steidl Bishop agree the affiliation will ensure that the residents of central Iowa have access to high-quality clinical care that integrates both physical and mental health. In addition, both organizations are committed to developing a behavioral health organization with diverse levels of care, support for all patients, innovative practices and strong outcomes. They are also committed to the development of local education and training programs to attract future behavioral health providers to the region.
A Shared Commitment to Behavioral Health
Eyerly Ball and UnityPoint Health – Des Moines are both accredited, non-profit organizations that share a rich tradition and longstanding commitment to providing the highest level of behavioral health. Eyerly Ball currently serves individuals across Polk, Warren, Story, Boone, Dallas, and Madison counties. UnityPoint Health-Des Moines serves similar communities for outpatient services and a broader range for inpatient psychiatric services.
Eyerly Ball was organized in 1969 as a nonprofit organization representing the disciplines of psychiatry, clinical psychology, social work and related mental health professions. The purpose of Eyerly Ball is to provide and coordinate services for the elderly, mentally ill or otherwise disadvantaged individuals, through psychotherapeutic treatment, community consultation and education programs.
UnityPoint Health - Des Moines’s tradition in meeting the behavioral health needs of central Iowa dates back to the 1960s, when Iowa Lutheran Hospital added psychiatric units. Today, the health system serves area residents through adult and pediatric inpatient units at Iowa Lutheran Hospital, residential substance abuse treatment at Powell Chemical Dependency Center, as well as two west-side and two east-side psychiatric clinics.
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