SPRINGFIELD — Leslie Educational Alternatives (LEA), a for-profit provider of residential and day services for the developmentally disabled and mentally retarded, has recently been acquired by Behavioral Health Network Inc. (BHN), a leading non-profit provider of mental and developmental health services in the Pioneer Valley.
Founded in 1985 by Joy Hibsher, LEA began its offerings with residential and day services through contracts with the Department of Mental Retardation. Leslie services that will now be blended into the Behavioral Health Network’s continuum of care include:
• Residential and day supports, in which individuals may receive as little as a few hours per week of support, up to residences that are staffed 24/7 and serve people with multiple challenges;
• Day habilitation services at the Kim Center in Springfield, which serves individuals with mental retardation and other developmental disabilities, and teaches its members new community living skills;
• The acquisition brings about 130 employees to BHN’s system of care across the Springfield, Holyoke, Chicopee, Northampton, and Green-field areas.
“Adding the residential, day habilitation, and other community-based programs of Leslie Educational Alternatives significantly enhances our range of services for people with developmental disabilities,” said Kathy Wilson, President of Behavioral Health Network.
The acquisition of LEA is another chapter in a long history of collaboration between Wilson and Hibsher. Wilson served on Leslie Educational Alternatives’ original advisory committee, and has previously worked with Hibsher in private practice and on the staff of the former Massachusetts Department of Mental Health and Retardation.
Behavioral Health Network Inc. (BHN) is a nonprofit community mental health agency that has been providing services to children and families in western Massachusetts since 1938. BHN programs include mental health and substance abuse outpatient services; forensic evaluations and consultation; emergency service teams serving Springfield, Holyoke, and Chicopee; day treatment; crisis stabilization services; consultation and education services; therapeutic and psycho-educational groups; and parent training and support services. BHN operates community-based residential programs in addition to in-home community support programs. BHN serves children, adolescents, adults, older adults, and their families in many facilities throughout the Pioneer Valley. BHN’s programs are reimbursable by most insurance companies, select HMOs and PPOs, Medicaid, and Medicare.