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Archives: KHI News Service

On January 1, 2017, the KHI News Service became part of KCUR public radio’s new initiative, the Kansas News Service. The Kansas News Service will continue to cover health policy news and broaden its scope to include education and politics. All stories produced by the former KHI News Service are archived here. Stories and photos may be republished at no cost with proper attribution and a link back to KHI.org.

Wyandot Inc. to cut mental health services for more than 800 clients

By Alex Smith, HEARTLAND HEALTH MONITOR | July 28, 2016

Wyandot Inc. to cut mental health services for more than 800 clients
Photo by Heartland Health Monitor Wyandot Inc. President and CEO Randy Callstrom says the cuts will mainly reduce the availability of psychiatric services for clients in the Kansas City, Kan., area.

One of the Kansas City area’s leading mental health organizations is cutting services for more than 800 adults and children.

Wyandot Inc., an umbrella organization for four nonprofit agencies in Kansas City, Kan., said Wednesday that it would need to cut services due to revenue losses and Gov. Sam Brownback’s decision earlier this year to reduce Medicaid reimbursements by 4 percent.

“I’ve been with the organization since 1993,” said Randy Callstrom, president and CEO of Wyandot Inc. “And this is really the first time where we are going to have to learn to have to say, ‘I’m sorry, we are going to have to refer you to someone else in the community to meet your needs.’”

Callstrom said the cuts will mainly reduce the availability of psychiatric services.

He’s hopeful that clients with less critical needs will continue to receive help from primary care providers but said the loss of established relationships with mental health providers may be difficult.

“That relationship is so critical to a treatment process,” Callstrom said. “Having to change treatment providers is going to be disruptive to our clients.”

More than 600 adults and 200 children will lose services.

Wyandot Inc. provides counseling, crisis intervention and housing assistance for more than 4,500 adults and around 3,000 children, mostly in Wyandotte County.

The organization will eliminate seven full-time positions and 12 part-time positions and leave 18 job vacancies unfilled.

Wyandot Inc. is the parent company of Wyandot Center, which is Wyandotte County’s designated community mental health center and operates Rainbow Services Inc.; Paces, which addresses emotional and behavioral problems among children and adolescents; Kim Wilson Housing Inc., which helps develop housing options for the homeless; and City Vision, which promotes sustainable economic development in the urban core of Kansas City, Kan.

Wyandot Inc. has suffered a series of losses and cutbacks since late last year, including the elimination of the KanCare health homes project, which was a revenue generator for the organization.

— Alex Smith is a reporter for KCUR.