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June 27. 2014 1:26PM

Merger of Manchester health centers will save money, expand care to another 1,500 kids

MANCHESTER — To save money and provide more services, Manchester Community Health Center and Child Health Services announced they would combine their organizations under the common name of the Manchester Community Health Center.

 The merger was announced at a ceremony Thursday at Child Health Services. Mayor Ted Gatsas and Child Health Services Board of Directors President Dr. Steve Paris, among others, attended.

“The only option that ever made sense, for a lot of reasons, was to figure out how the Community Health Center and Child Health Services could collaborate and work together to improve access, improve financially and really, stabilize the safety net of the city,” said Paris. “This is a good day for the people who live in Manchester, but I think it’s also a good day for the employees who work in the organizations.”

According to Manchester Community Health Center President and CEO Kris McCracken, the merger will allow the center to provide care to an additional 1,500 children. No new facilities will be needed or are being planned to accommodate the expected influx of patients.

 McCracken said the combination of services, staff and resources is expected to save the organization about $500,000 annually, mostly in administrative costs.

 McCracken said no layoffs were planned and no new jobs would be added.

 Gatsas said the merger was a long time in the making.

“I know some people thought I was pushing really hard for this, but it was something that had to happen in the community,” Gatsas said.

 Facilities should be expanded in the near future to serve more patients, Gatsas said, nothing he is already pushing for this expansion.

 McCracken said patients should feel no outward effects of the merger.

abeland@unionleader.com



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