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Burrell parent company Brightli plans partnership with St. Louis's Places for People

The partnership is expected to be final July 1, 2024, expand behavioral health services to greater St. Louis area

PFP Exterior Building Photo

Brightli, Inc., parent company of Burrell Behavioral Health and Preferred Family Healthcare, has announced its intent to partner with St. Louis-based Places for People, to expand behavioral healthcare for the St. Louis region. Places for People will be the second entity under the Brightli umbrella in greater St. Louis, joining Preferred Family Healthcare. Places for People will remain an independent entity, operating under its same name and serving its existing areas of St. Louis City and County.

Places for People will join Preferred Family Healthcare to comprise Brightli’s Greater St. Louis Region, significantly increasing behavioral healthcare services in the area. Together the organizations will serve more than 11,200 people, operate 29 clinical and residential locations in six counties, and employ approximately 650 people.

The partnership is anticipated to be finalized this summer, with a formal go-live effective July 1, 2024. Under the agreement, Places for People joins a network of four other behavioral and community health providers across the Midwest as member organizations of Brightli. As a Brightli affiliate, Places for People will receive administrative resources and support from the parent organization and expand behavioral health care access to St. Louisans.

In conjunction with this move, Tony Hilkin will be named Chief Executive Officer of Places for People. Current CEO Laura McCallister will become the Executive Vice President of Financial Planning & Analysis in the Brightli system. Hilkin will also serve as President of Brightli’s Greater St. Louis Region.

“Joining forces with an organization with the reputation and legacy of Places for People is an outstanding opportunity for Brightli and the people of St. Louis,” said Brightli CEO Dr. C.J. Davis. “By adding services in the heart of St. Louis, I truly feel we are creating the most accessible and high-quality network of mental health services in the Midwest, if not the nation.”

Preferred Family Healthcare, which along with Burrell Behavioral Health, joined the Brightli network in early 2022 and operates 20 clinical and residential locations in the St. Louis region including a walk-in Sobering Center on Dunnica Avenue, which opened in 2022.

“This partnership will allow us to deliver high-quality services to more people than ever before while preserving and growing Places for People’s legacy,” Hilkin said. “Places for People and Preferred Family Healthcare will partner to serve the St. Louis region more effectively. Together we will build on the synergies of each organization to have a bigger impact on some of the most critical issues facing our region. I’m incredibly excited about what this means for the future of behavioral health services in St. Louis.”

Places for People joins Burrell Behavioral Health, Preferred Family Healthcare, Comprehensive Mental Health Services, and Southeast Missouri Behavioral Health under the Brightli umbrella. Burrell Behavioral Health and Preferred Family Healthcare provide a full behavioral health and community health continuum, including dental services, as well as a significant developmental disability services operation across Missouri. Brightli serves more than 100,000 individuals with total annual revenues of around $500 million, making it the nation’s fourth-largest nonprofit behavioral health organization by total revenue.

About Places for People: Since 1972, Places for People has provided a human approach to health and healing, with a focus on mental and physical health, as well as substance use disorders. The organization, which is one of the few Certified Community Behavioral Health Organizations (CBHO) in St. Louis City or County, has approximately 360 employees and serves more than 2,800 people in ongoing services each year. Learn more at www.placesforpeople.org.

About Preferred Family Healthcare: For 38 years, Preferred Family Healthcare has been committed to improving the health and wellness of the communities we serve by offering a full continuum of integrated health services. Currently, PFH has locations throughout Missouri, Illinois, Kansas, and Oklahoma. 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 barriers to success. Learn more about at www.pfh.org.

About Brightli: Brightli, Inc.’s subsidiaries include Burrell Behavioral Health, Preferred Family Healthcare, and Southeast Missouri Behavioral Health. While these organizations operate independently and are governed by separate boards of directors, their operations and services benefit from this parent-company model, which allows them to collaborate, share resources and system supports, increase recruiting and retention efforts, increase access to specialized care, and meet the growing demand for behavioral and addiction recovery care. Learn more at: www.livebrightli.org.


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