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Great Circle, a statewide behavioral health charity, will absorb Butterfield Youth Services at the beginning of August. The merger was announced at a town hall meeting in Butterfield’s hometown of Marshall, Missouri.
Butterfield, founded in 1963, serves approximately 200 children with mental and behavioral disorders in mid-Missouri. Great Circle, headquartered in St. Louis, serves nearly 21,000 and has an annual operating budget of $54.5 million.
“Both agencies have very similar missions,” said Marie McGeehan, communications director for Great Circle. “It’s no secret that there’s a need for more mental and behavioral health services for children, and this merger lets us increase those services in a new area.”
McGeehan said the organizations have known each other for a long time, and both parties see this as a symbiotic merger: Great Circle inherits Butterfield’s relationship with the community, and Butterfield can offer the swift effectiveness of Great Circle’s operations.
“It’s been our experience, in other mergers that we’ve been a part of, that we bring more efficiencies, which will allow us to provide more services,” McGeehan said. She cited Great Circle’s in-home vists as an example: with the merger, Great Circle can now offer in-home care and service to families in Butterfield’s service area.
Keith Bishop, executive director of Butterfield, sees a similar benefit. In a press release, he said: “Butterfield has seen a need for expanded services to meet the needs of individuals in our community. Joining with Great Circle will make that happen much sooner.”
Great Circle’s board of directors will add two members from the Butterfield board, which will dissolve after the merger. Bishop and Butterfield Associate Executive Director Bethany Harris will be added to Great Circle’s executive leadership. All Butterfield staff members will be retained, as will the organization’s name— in some capacity. The two organizations will deliberate in coming months over how to best incorporate the two names. Tom Butterfield founded Butterfield Youth Services in 1964, when he was 19 years old.
“We are honored to have Butterfield Youth Services become part of the Great Circle family,” said Vince Hillyer, Great Circle President and CEO. “We are even more excited about our future together for Missouri’s children and families.”
Photo provided by Great Circle.