Wellpath and Morris Foundation have merged to form Wellmore Behavioral Health

Wellpath and Morris Foundation have merged to form Wellmore Behavioral Health

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WATERBURY, CT – Wellpath, Inc. and Morris Foundation announced on August 9, 2011 that their respective boards of directors voted to proactively merge the two locally based and fiscally healthy companies into a single and stronger organization.  The vote came after many months of careful review and planning; the new organization will be known as Wellmore Behavioral Health.

“This is a bold and ambitious plan that combines the resources of two strong non-profits with deep community roots and creates an innovative, lifespan-oriented community behavioral health model, which will radically improve our capabilities to meet community needs,” said Gary Steck, Wellpath CEO who becomes CEO of Wellmore Behavioral Health. “We’re now providing wellness for a lifetime,” he added.

“This merger not only brings together essential and unduplicated programs, it fulfills my hope for a succession plan that would enable us to grow into a continuum of care for children, adolescents and adults,” said Joan Pesce, CEO of Morris Foundation who will stay on as Executive Vice President to facilitate integration for Wellmore Behavioral Health.

The senior management teams of the two organizations will be combined and Wellpath will change its name to Wellmore by October 1.  The new administrative offices will be located at 141 East Main Street in downtown Waterbury, which is the former Moriarty Building purchased by Wellpath, Inc. in June of 2011.  Morris Foundation operations will be transitioned into Wellmore over the next 12 months in order to maintain continuity of services and minimize disruption of operations.

Wellpath began in 1951 as the Child Guidance Clinic of Greater Waterbury, a local program serving less than 100 children a year.  It has since grown into a regional provider of comprehensive and integrated behavioral health services for children and families.

Morris Foundation began in 1968 as a halfway house for male alcoholics and was named for the first benefactor, Morris Rosenblum. It has since grown to include treatment services for alcohol, other drug addiction and mental illness in men, women and adolescents.

The new organization, Wellmore Behavioral Health, will serve a 49-town region spanning from Greater Waterbury to the lower Naugatuck Valley and northwest Connecticut.  When combined, the private non-profit company will operate with a $20,000,000 budget and nearly 300 employees at 13 sites.  Wellmore is expected to serve more than 15,000 clients on an annual basis, including children, adolescents, adults and entire families.

The formation of the Wellmore organization is expected to increase capacity to serve clients, diversify services, extend the reach and influence of programs, and increase authority with primary funders.

Attorney Frank J. Scinto, Chairperson of the Wellmore Board of Directors, stated. “Every child has a basic right to grow up in safe and nurturing environment – free from abuse and neglect – and the importance of a supportive family is critical.  The formation of Wellmore as a lifespan care organization fulfills an essential role in the community.”

“Wellmore will be a vital partner in our integrated network of comprehensive, effective and efficient mental health and addiction services that foster self-sufficiency, dignity and respect, said Sabrina Trocchi, Chief of Staff for the Connecticut Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services (DMHAS).

Grant funding to support the merger planning was awarded by two local community funders, the Nonprofit Assistance Initiative, a partnership of the Connecticut Community Foundation and the United Way of Greater Waterbury; and the American Savings Foundation.

“Wellmore represents a major step forward in our community’s ability to serve our residents. I congratulate Wellpath and Morris Foundation for their foresight in recognizing the need to change the way we deliver services to children and families,” said Ingrid Manning, CEO of the Connecticut Community Foundation.

David Davison, President of the American Savings Foundation, added “Our support for this new organization is all about its potential for providing better services for more people who need help.”