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Putting People First: A Visionary Path Forward

In the vibrant tapestry of community mental health, there exists a guiding principle that transcends mere rhetoric and becomes the heartbeat of our work – putting people first.
As the CEO of Jefferson Center, I find myself reflecting on the significance of this tenet, and I’d like to share how it has shaped our journey and inspired a momentous move forward.

At the core of our organizational philosophy lies the steadfast commitment to our People First value – caring for those we serve, work with, and partner alongside. It is a promise to act with integrity and intentionality, placing human beings at the forefront of every decision, interaction, and dollar spent.

For me, as the leader of Jefferson Center, “People First” is not merely a mantra. It is a deeply personal commitment, a recognition that the stories of the individuals we serve are not just stories but a mosaic of unique human experiences that deserve acknowledgment and respect. It’s about creating a space where every voice is not only heard but celebrated, where diversity is not just tolerated but embraced as a source of strength.

As we navigate this ever-evolving landscape of mental health services, our dedication to our vision and mission is the compass guiding our path. It’s about more than providing care; it’s about providing compassionate care without judgment, valuing differences, and sharing resources with those who need them.

This commitment shows up in our responsive approach to better serve people and communities. Our 65-year history describes people who rise to meet unanticipated challenges with unexpected solutions. We stand as creative problem solvers, embedded in our community, providing an authentic, local voice as we work to shape healthy communities one person at a time.

You probably have already seen our announcement of the changes coming to Jefferson Center next year. On July 1, 2024, Jefferson Center and WellPower will merge into one non-profit organization, creating the largest behavioral health provider in Colorado. The decision to merge is not merely a strategic one; it reflects our shared commitment to people. It is our path and our promise to offer hope and support to individuals and families struggling with mental health challenges and substance use disorders. Both organizations, recognized locally and nationally, bring deep expertise in behavioral health and a reputation as leaders in the field. This merger is an opportunity to amplify our impact, ensuring that the well-being of individuals and communities remains at the forefront for decades to come.

Amidst this significant transition, our People First value will be our guiding light. The merger is not a faceless consolidation of resources but a coming together of shared principles. It is a commitment to uniting leadership, as Dr. Carl Clark and I collaborate to lead this combined organization, with a deliberate transition plan to ensure continuity and expansion through collaboration with our teams, community partnerships, and stakeholders.

The merger is a representation of our commitment to People First. It provides an opportunity to expand our reach, enhance support for the dedicated people on our team, and, most importantly, ensure that those we serve continue to receive compassionate and comprehensive care without barriers.

As we embark on this exciting chapter, I invite you to explore the merger information page on our website. Get to know more about how our values will continue to shape this new and expanded organization.

In closing, I extend my heartfelt gratitude for your ongoing support. In this new year, I look forward to forging a visionary path forward where the well-being of people is not just a priority but a shared responsibility, we all uphold.

Warm regards,
Dr. Kiara Kuenzler
President and CEO, Jefferson Center

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