Brian Boesen, Regional Marketing Director
(309) 373-3839

UnityPoint Health®, Human Service Center and Tazwood Center for Wellness Announce Intent to Form Partnership to Improve Behavioral Health Care Delivery

(October 17, 2018 – Peoria, Illinois) – UnityPoint Health®, Human Service Center and Tazwood Center for Wellness are pleased to announce a commitment to explore a partnership to create a new behavioral health care organization.  The Boards of Directors of each organization are entering exclusive negotiations to enhance and advance behavioral health care delivery throughout Central Illinois.  The organizations have signed a non-binding Letter of Intent (LOI) to negotiate an agreement to create a new non-profit community service organization that will bring together the best of each organization with the goal of improving behavioral health care delivery for the people in our communities.

“This is a new day in our collaborative efforts to improve care of mental illness and addiction and end the stigma surrounding them,” said Debbie Simon, Regional CEO of UnityPoint Health.  “UnityPoint Health, Human Service Center and Tazwood Center for Wellness are the leading providers of behavioral health care in the region.  Coming together allows this new organization to capitalize on the strengths of each organization for the betterment of the community.”

UnityPoint Health, Human Service Center, and Tazwood Center for Wellness have an extensive history of working together to provide the people they serve with the best behavioral health services possible.  The goals of the new organization would be to offer improved access to a fully-coordinated regional network of behavioral health care providers, specialists and substance abuse and rehabilitation services, while improving care coordination and the care experience.  These organizations intend to work to integrate treatment for mental health and addiction into medical healthcare to treat the whole body, mind and spirit.

“Now is the right time for us to come together to connect people with the right care in the right place at the right time,” said Mike Kennedy, President of Human Service Center.  “A growing number of people in our communities live with mental illness and addiction.  The opioid crisis is not going away and is getting worse.  Suicide rates are rising.  We’re purusing a new organization that will fully encompass the behavioral health care continuum, so we may treat each person with the care which best suits their needs.”

This Letter of Intent marks a significant step toward a strategic partnership between the organizations.  It allows leaders to negotiate the terms of the partnership and reflects a shared intent to pursue a definitive agreement in a timely fashion.  Formal discussions will start immediately, and it’s anticipated that the partnership will be finalized in Spring 2019.

“Our goal is to accelerate change in the field of behavioral health, just as health care leaders have advanced the treatment of heart disease and cancer,” said Dave Mingus, CEO of Tazwood Center for Wellness.  “We believe that partnering and forming a new behavioral health organization focused solely on behavioral health delivery for our region will help us achieve that vision.”

The aim of the new non-profit community service organization is to build an effective behavioral health system that is proactive in addressing mental illness and the addiction crises of our region.  In that process, the Boards of the organizations have committed the new organization to collaborating with health care, social service, education, religious, and criminal justice institutions to better serve the people of our communities.


About UnityPoint Health

UnityPoint Health provides comprehensive, coordinated care to patients throughout Central Illinois through our clinics, hospitals and home care services.  Services are provided at three hospital campuses — UnityPoint Health – Methodist, UnityPoint Health – Proctor, and UnityPoint Health – Pekin — as well as through more than 50 UnityPoint Clinic, Proctor First Care, and ProHealth Medical Group locations, UnityPoint at Home, the Illinois Institute for Addiction Recovery, and the Hult Center for Healthy Living.  A recognized leader in healthcare in our community, UnityPoint Health combines advanced technology and comprehensive services with patient satisfaction that’s among the best in the nation.

UnityPoint Health is the nation’s 13th largest nonprofit health system and the fourth largest nondenominational health system in America, providing care throughout Iowa, western Illinois and southern Wisconsin.  As an industry leader in the Midwest, we put people first — they’re our sweet spot, what we care about most, and why we do what we do.  Our 30,000 team members are committed to giving each person the type of experience we’d want for our own loved ones.  We believe everyday moments are worth celebrating, and as your parnter in health care, we’re dedicated to making it easier to live well.  UnityPoint Health, UnityPoint Clinic® and UnityPoint at HomeSM provide easier, more personal care to patients and families.  Because people are amazing, and we’re here to help keep them that way.

Contact Information:

Tazwood Center for Wellness

Tricia Larson, 309-477-5527


Tazwood Introduces New Co-Occurring Treatment Program

[Pekin, IL] – Effective November 5, 2018, Tazwood Center for Wellness will begin expanding its services to include a new Co-Occurring Disorders Program.  The Co-Occurring Disorders Program will utilize an integrated approach to treat clients with both a mental health and a substance use diagnosis.  This integrated approach will help clients by offering both mental health and substance use services at the same time and in one setting, often lowering costs, creating better outcomes, and improving the quality of life for those who need these services.

The need for co-occurring disorders services is great.  According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) and the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMSHA), over 10 million adults who experience a substance use disorder have a co-occurring mental illness.  Research has also shown that the most effective treatment for co-occurring disorders is an integrated approach that treats substance use and mental health disorders at the same time.

According to Tazwood’s Chief Clinical Officer, Tricia Larson, “A Co-Occurring Treatment Model will streamline services for clients through a centralized assessment that will identify all client needs, recommend all appropriate services, and better individualize care.  An important element of Tazwood’s integrated care model will be the use of treatment teams.  The treatment teams will be comprised of mental health, addiction, and case management staff who will work together to coordinate the care of the client using a holistic approach.  Team members will meet regularly to ensure communication between all providers is consistent and current in order to best meet the client’s needs.”

Tazwood CEO, Dave Mingus, also promotes the new Co-Occurring Disorders Program for its benefits, first and foremost, to the clients, but also to the community.  For example, holistic, integrated care has been proven to reduce the reliance on and use of expensive community resources such as crisis care and hospital inpatient beds.

For more information or to access Co-Occurring Disorders Program services, please contact Tazwood Center for Wellness in Pekin at 309-347-5522 or East Peoria at 309-694-6462.

Tazwood Center for Wellness is a non-profit, 501(c)(3) agency founded in 1972 and based in Pekin.  Tazwood offers quality mental health and addictions counseling and a variety of other behavioral health services to over 7,500 clients annually throughout Tazewell, Woodford, and surrounding counties.