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Great Circle and Butterfield Youth Services Merger

Great Circle and Butterfield Youth Services Merger

What is happening?

The boards of directors of Great Circle and Butterfield Youth Services are pleased to announce a merger of their organizations. Their first official day of operation together will be August 1.

What is Great Circle?

Great Circle was formed in 2009 with the merger of Boys & Girls Town of Missouri and Edgewood Children’s Center. The new organization was named Great Circle to symbolize the launch of a journey to grow new partnerships and programs with a shared mission of serving Missouri’s children and family members in difficult circumstances. At that time, Great Circle served almost 12,000 children and families. Today, more than 1,000 Great Circle employees provide a wide range of behavioral health services to almost 21,000 children and families across a statewide footprint that includes four campuses in St. Louis, Columbia, St. James and Springfield; eight locations providing home and community-based services; and a 1,200-acre ranch in Steelville providing experiential and adventure therapy for the children in our care.

What is Butterfield Youth Services?

Butterfield Youth Services was founded in Marshall, Missouri more than 50 years ago through the commitment of one man, Tom Butterfield. At the age of 19, Butterfield became the youngest and first male, single foster parent in Missouri history after fighting to gain custody of a six-year-old boy whose parents had been killed in a car accident. The child had been placed in a mental institution by the state, which lacked a better alternative at the time. Tom’s courage inspired the Marshall community to join him and, despite many odds, they transformed his vision into an organization able to serve thousands of children over five decades. Today, Butterfield Youth Services has grown to 100 employees providing services to children with emotional and behavioral disorders in West Central Missouri.

Why are these organizations merging?

Great Circle and Butterfield Youth Services share like missions and rich histories of serving children and families in Missouri. Consolidating forces is a common trend in a new and ever-changing healthcare environment as providers explore better, more efficient ways to deliver services.

An independent due diligence and financial review process of both organizations was completed last spring with favorable results, allowing both parties to explore the benefits of combining forces to expand and make an even greater impact for those we serve.

Butterfield Youth Services will continue to provide the services it has grown over the past 50 years, and with the merger, will be able to open up opportunities for expanded behavioral health services in the Central Western region of the state through more streamlined business operations.

Will this merger involve a name change?

In honor of Tom Butterfield and in recognition of the legacy built by him and his family, Butterfield Youth Services will retain its name as it becomes a member of the Great Circle family. The two organizations will work together in the coming months to determine how to best incorporate the names of the two organizations.

Will the new organization continue to be a not-for-profit?

Yes. Private support will continue to be vital in helping bridge the gap in providing much-needed services to Missouri’s children and families in difficult circumstances. From its inception to the present, Butterfield Youth Services has built a strong legacy of community and donor support and is committed to retaining that active spirit. And, as its name also implies, Great Circle is committed to serving all children and families, also making the generosity of donors critical to mission.

Will this merger result in closures or layoffs?

No. Over its history, Butterfield Youth Services has built high quality facilities that are positioned well to help expand services in West Central Missouri. We anticipate continued program growth and increased career opportunity for staff members. Great Circle and Butterfield Youth Services will immediately
begin a strategic planning process focused on community and regional behavioral health needs. As we continuously seek new ways to serve children and families, growth is anticipated in programs and services across the entire Great Circle organization, including those served by Butterfield.

Who will lead the merged organization?

Great Circle will retain its current board of directors and will welcome two members from the current Butterfield Youth Services board, which will dissolve after the merger. Those board members are yet to be named. Great Circle will retain its executive leadership structure and welcome Butterfield’s Executive Director Keith Bishop, and Bethany Harris, Associate Executive Director, to our leadership team. Specific titles and roles for Bishop and Harris will soon be announced.

How long will integration take?

While integration will begin immediately, our most important goal is to ensure a smooth process for both organizations. The new leadership team will work closely to bring the organizations together and continue to be an active part of the Marshall community. Open communication will remain a priority, and our goal is to ensure a smooth and transparent integration process.