WARWICK – The Kent Center for Human and Organizational Development Inc. of Warwick and Riverwood Mental Health Services of Warren have officially merged the Kent Center announced in a press release on Friday. The two behavioral health agencies’ began merger talks in December 2016 and signed official papers confirming the merger last week. Going forward, Riverwood will be a division of The Kent Center, which will have an operating budget of more than $20 million.
“I believe the merger has been the result of a natural progression between two mental health agencies that have supported each other’s initiatives and partners on countless community projects,” said David S. Lauterbach, CEO of The Kent Center in a statement. “Due to our similar missions, guiding principals, and trauma-informed programs, the merger has been a relatively smooth transition.”
There will be more than 270 employees at The Kent Center, and the merger will result in zero layoffs according to Lauterbach. The Kent Center hopes the merger will help propel its progress, strengthening programs that help the homeless, expanding on its geographical scope and enabling it to provide mental health care and substance abuse programs beyond Kent County into Providence and East Bay.
Nicole Dotzenrod is a PBN staff writer.