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Wyandot Inc. To Cut Mental Health Services For More Than 800 Clients

Mike Sherry
Heartland Health Monitor
Wyandot Inc. President and CEO Randy Callstrom says the cuts will mainly reduce the availability of psychiatric services.

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

Wyandot Inc., an umbrella organization for four nonprofit agencies in Kansas City, Kansas, said today 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,” says 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 says the cuts will mainly reduce the availability of psychiatric services.

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

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

Between 600 and 700 adults and between 200 and 300 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, Kansas.

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, Kansas.

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, a partner in the Heartland Health Monitor team. You can reach him on Twitter @AlexSmithKCUR

As a health care reporter, I aim to empower my audience to take steps to improve health care and make informed decisions as consumers and voters. I tell human stories augmented with research and data to explain how our health care system works and sometimes fails us. Email me at alexs@kcur.org.
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