Cape Counseling Merger to Occur July 1

Greg Speed, left, and Dr. Anthony DiFabio, right.

CREST HAVEN – Cape Counseling Services (CCS) will merge with Robins’ Nest and NewPoint Behavioral Health Care into one organization effective July 1, according to Greg Speed, chief executive officer, CCS. The name of the organization will be released at a later date.

“CCS direct care services will not be diminished in any way,” Speed promised freeholders May 28. “No resources will be directed out of Cape May County.”

The merger would include an expansion of services, including integrated care, primary care, child and family services, and addiction and recovery services.

Robins’ Nest provided services to nearly 600 Cape May County families last year, said Dr. Anthony DiFabio, president and chief executive officer, Robins’ Nest. “One of the things we realized firsthand with most of those families was the underlying root cause of why they were involved with Robins’ Nest was not just some of the family challenges that they had, but addiction and mental health challenges as well.

“And our firm belief and commitment is that if we really want to provide the best programs with and for our communities that we need to be able to look these individuals and families in the eye and say ‘we’ve got this.’

“We know what the program research tells us, what evidence-based treatment is telling us, we know what it is going to take to get you to a better place and to achieve your true and full potential, and we’re going to help get you there. And we want to do that in an inclusive way. We want to be able to wrap that child, wrap that family, wrap that community with programs and services that’s going to allow them to know that there’s going to be, even in the most trying times, a better tomorrow,” DiFabio continued.

No staff will lose their jobs as a result of the merger, said DiFabio.

According to a handout given at the meeting, “compensation and benefits will remain competitive. Some staff will receive salary increases, vacation time will be carried over, staff has been paid for excessive sick time, and holidays/personal time off remains at 13 days.”

Speed’s role within the organization will be chief integration officer. He will work with the 972 staff members to “develop some type of cohesive culture,” said Speed.

Dr. Glenn Zielinski, CCS’ medical director, will become the medical director for the organization. DiFabio will become chief executive officer.

Direct care staff will remain unchanged.

Steven Kindle, CCS Board chair, will be vice chair of the new entity, said Speed. The new board will have 28 members, with nine representing Cape May County.

“The merger will provide greater capacity to meet the needs of the changing marketplace that is rapidly moving to pay for performance and risk-based models and value-based payments,” said Speed. It will also allow the entity to compete for state and federal funding, he added.

“Initially, my knee-jerk reaction … was with some reservation about this merger because I have worked with Cape Counseling for so many years and they’ve been such an intricate part of Cape May County and the services that they have provided for mental health, drug and alcohol programs here,” said Freeholder Director Gerald Thornton.

“If it wasn’t for Greg (Speed), you (DiFabio) probably would not be standing here right now because he was the one that certainly convinced me and Pat Devaney (county director of Human Services) that this was a worthwhile merger and that it was to the benefit of our county,” he continued.

Thornton thanked DiFabio for taking care of CCS staff, and said that he anticipated the additional services that would be provided.

“Welcome to Cape May County,” Thornton concluded.   

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