Full Herald Mail story by Julie Greene available here: Villa Maria Mental Health Team Joins San Mar
San Mar brings some of Villa Maria’s Therapists under it’s umbrella
San Mar Family & Community Services hired four therapists from the recently closed Villa Maria of Washington County facility, helping to narrow the gap in mental-health services left with Villa Maria’s closing.
The therapists started with San Mar on Aug. 1, a day after Villa Maria closed, San Mar officials said. San Mar also hired a longtime administrative assistant from Villa Maria.
Since then, San Mar’s Jack E. Barr Center for Well-Being has already experienced substantial growth in the number of clients it’s serving, said Jerica Washington, the well-being center’s director.
The therapists’ clients had the option of continuing with their therapist at San Mar, Washington said.
The well-being center was averaging 80 to 100 clients before taking on the former Villa Maria therapists, Washington said. Since then, San Mar is averaging 150 active clients and that could expand to 200 or 250, she said.
Catholic Charities of Baltimore closed Villa Maria of Washington County, its local outpatient mental-health center at the end of July. The office off East Antietam Street was closed primarily for financial reasons, according to Kevin Keegan, director for the Family Services Division of Catholic Charities of Baltimore.
Villa Maria’s local office served between 100 and 200 clients at any given time, Keegan said.
“We are struggling financially in a very significant way in Hagerstown and just can’t sustain (it),” Keegan said in June.
San Mar CEO Keith Fanjoy said Melissa Phillips, Villa Maria’s local program director, contacted San Mar to see if the nonprofit was interested in taking over part of the Villa Maria team.
“Many people need mental-health services,” Fanjoy said.
San Mar’s Center for Well-Being, an outpatient mental-health clinic, provides individual and family therapy, Washington said. The center opened on San Mar’s 8504 Mapleville Road grounds, north of Boonsboro, in October 2016.
The expectation is the new therapists joining San Mar are serving a reasonable amount of families, which will help San Mar offset the additional staff costs, Fanjoy said.
Many of the clinicians affected by Villa Maria’s closing have found other employment opportunities, Fanjoy said.
In taking on the former Villa Maria workers, Fanjoy said, San Mar officials talked with the nonprofit’s local team and identified San Mar’s own needs. San Mar did not take over all of Villa Maria’s staff and services.