Pensacola, Fla. (October 1, 2021) – Today marks the first day of Lakeview Center’s journey as an independent entity. The nonprofit disaffiliated from its parent organization, Baptist Health Care, after a 25-year affiliation.
“Over the past 25 years, we’ve grown, and Baptist Health Care has as well,” said Allison Hill, president and CEO of Lakeview Center. “We started talking about how to have a structure in place where we can do what’s best for the community. Being our own entity is an opportunity to clarify our story. It’s complicated to talk about human services through the lens of medical services. Side-by-side, they are not the same.”
Lakeview Center experienced a valued relationship with Baptist that lasted for 25 years. Being an affiliate shaped the organization in positive ways. Moving forward, both organizations will collaborate, but with sharpened focuses on their respective specialties: human services and medical care.
Lakeview Center started in 1954 as a small child guidance clinic. The organization has consistently grown over more than six decades to meet community needs by adding lines of business, services and programs, including child welfare services through FamiliesFirst Network, as well as career services for people with disabilities through Global Connections to Employment.
“Most people, when they hear the name Lakeview Center, they are thinking of our behavioral health services because when Lakeview started in 1954, we were a small child guidance clinic. And I think our reputation in the community is around our substance abuse and mental health services. But over Lakeview Center’s 67-year history, we have started other lines of business because we saw needs in the community that we could help address. So Lakeview is a human service organization. Our mission is helping people throughout life’s journey, and we touch people in a lot of different ways. We are here to be the trusted partner for anyone who needs help through our diverse variety of human services. We will continue to meet people where they are but in a more focused way.”
According to Hill, the disaffiliation decisions have been collaborative. She added, “Over 25 years, Lakeview and Baptist have been intertwined. We wanted to make sure that services were not impacted in any way. And so the plan that we’re executing on now accomplishes all of those things.
Many grants are already in Lakeview’s name, as well as most of the property. The organization also has its own accounting and payroll, which will ease the separation on Oct. 1.
“We’ll engage in a strategic planning process because it’s not often that a 60-something-year-old organization has a chance to reinvent and clarify its story and help the community understand what we are here for,” said Hill. “And so we’re going to make sure that we do that right—engage our team members, engage the community and stakeholders so that we have a good foundation to move forward from.”
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