Wayne County Hegira Health mental health agencies and community care services merge

Hegira Health Inc. and Community Care Services have merged, creating one of Wayne County’s largest mental health and addictions treatment systems.

The agreement between the two behavioral healthcare providers was finalized on March 20, about six months after it was announced. Terms have not been released.

HHI CEO Carol Zuniga leads the combined organization, which operates as Hegira Health.

Susan Kozak, formerly CEO of Community Care Services, is now COO of HHI.

The merged organization offers a broader network of clinical and community, crisis, residential and outpatient mental health and addictions services, including 12 treatment sites in Western Wayne County and downstream areas, with a total staff of nearly 500 people.

CCS employees have been offered positions with more career opportunities within the new, larger organizations. All staff positions have been retained and all existing locations for both organizations will continue to operate.

The expanded network will allow customers to access expanded services and more clinicians, Hegira said in a statement.

“The timing and resulting impact on current and potential customers joining our organizations comes at a critical time when public sector funding sources for behavioral health are uncertain and the need has become more widespread,” said Zuniga in a statement.

“This merger represents the new direction for mental health providers, a direction that paves the way for efficiencies and a proactive solution to the growing demand for behavioral health services, during a time when there are fewer clinicians and community mental health providers.”

By providing more comprehensive and integrated mental health and addictions services, Hegira will improve access to care and allow for easier referral and transition to the appropriate level of services, Kozak said in the release.

“By combining our resources, knowledge and experience through a common vision, we are able to offer a continuum of care and a greater range of treatment options and services to people of all ages, from infants to the elderly.”

Founded in 1971, Livonia-based HHI served 25,000 people each year before the merger. CCS had been in business since 1985 and provided services to 5,000 consumers per year.

The merger is at least the fourth among agencies providing mental health services since fall 2020, when CNS Healthcare in Detroit merged with Northeast Integrated Healthcare.

Last August, JVS Human Services and Kadima Mental Health Services announced their intention to merge to adapt to the changing mental health funding landscape.

A few months later, in December, Easterseals Michigan and Macomb Oakland Regional Center announced plans to join to create one of the region’s largest social service agencies. The agreement, which is expected to be finalized in September, will integrate behavioral health with services for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities, among other services.