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Burrell Behavioral Health, Preferred Family Healthcare announce joint partnership under new parent company, Brightli

January 12, 2022



The Boards of Directors for Burrell Behavioral Health and Preferred Family Healthcare in late December signed final documents establishing a joint venture between the two health care providers, which both remain intact under a single parent company. The partnership was effective Jan. 1, 2022.

Burrell president and CEO C.J. Davis will serve as CEO and Mike Schwend, president and CEO of PFH, will serve as President of the new organization, which will be named Brightli.

The execution of this venture establishes Brightli as one of the largest, if not the largest, nonprofit behavioral health and addiction treatment organizations in the nation. Together Burrell and PFH employ nearly 5,000 people, providing primary and behavioral health, substance-use treatment, dental, case management, crisis, developmental disability, and employment services at more than 200 locations in five states. Preferred also operates divisional brands under names including Bridgeway Behavioral Health, Clarity Healthcare, Dayspring Community Services, among others. Together the organizations represent approximately $400 million in total revenue.

Both Burrell and PFH will continue to operate under their existing names and structures. The name Brightli will be used only in advocacy and business endeavors affecting both systems, not in existing brand marketing.

“We could not be more excited to combine the full resources of Burrell and PFH for the good of the communities we serve,” said Burrell President & CEO C.J. Davis. “The opportunities this partnership presents will improve our ability to help more people in new and existing markets, attract and retain top-level talent, and better impact policy and practices on the local, state and national levels.”

“This deal represents an ideal partnership between two companies with very similar cultures, missions, and philosophies,” said PFH President & CEO Mike Schwend. “Reducing the barriers to evidence-based, innovative and patient-focused care has never been more important; together we can achieve so much more for the individuals, families and communities who need us.”

Brightli will operate under a combined board of directors, with former Burrell board chair Paul Williams, Chief of Police for the City of Springfield, Mo. serving as its inaugural chair.

“The execution of this partnership follows nearly a year of diligent work, and represents a true watershed moment for community-based healthcare, in Missouri and beyond,” Williams said. “Our citizens, health care systems, law enforcement partners, school systems and so many more stand to benefit from the expertise and talent these two companies collectively hold. We truly are stronger together.”


Media Contact: Matt Lemmon, VP Communications, 417-415-1386 or matthew.lemmon@burrellcenter.co


About Burrell Behavioral Health:
Established in 1977, Burrell Behavioral Health works with more than 40,000 clients across 25 counties in Missouri and Arkansas. Burrell has more than 400 licensed providers offering a full continuum of care through our integrated network. Services include individual therapy and counseling, addiction recovery, psychiatric and medication management, educational and therapeutic groups, crisis intervention, medication-assisted treatment, adult stabilization, case management, residential treatment, autism, diagnostic testing and evaluations and developmental disability support. Learn more about Burrell’s programs and services at www.burrellcenter.com.

About Preferred Family Healthcare:
For 38 years, Preferred Family Healthcare has been committed to improving the health and wellness in the communities we serve by offering a full continuum of integrated health services. Currently, PFH has locations throughout Missouri and has locations in Illinois, Kansas, and Oklahoma. As a person-centered care provider, PFH strives to serve the whole person by focusing on emotional and physical health and wellness, as well as addressing other needs that may present a barrier to a successful outcome for the individuals we serve.

The range of services PFH provides includes Medical and Dental Services, Behavioral Health Services, Substance Use Rehabilitation and Prevention, Developmental Disabilities, Supportive Employment Services, Housing, and Child Welfare Services. Learn more about Preferred Family Healthcare, where we are located, and the services we provide by visiting us at www.pfh.org

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