Springfield Business Journal: What has been key to your recent growth?
C.J. Davis: First and foremost, our funding model has changed as a result of becoming a certified community behavioral health center two years ago. A byproduct of the CCBHC was the fact that we were able to recruit and retain more providers in our area.
The second bucket that was a driver was the fact that we reworked our entire management team. We have an executive leadership team and a senior leadership team, and we really added to our management infrastructure. The third thing was we’ve taken the philosophy that we wanted to really increase the number of people that we serve and increase the number of folks who come through the door. There were concerted and strategic efforts to make sure we created an environment where we were perceived as more nurturing, warm and inviting to the community.
SBJ: What has the company’s growth enabled you to do?
Adam Andreassen: Growth creates growth. The partnerships build partnerships. For example, we rolled out a partnership with Drury University in conjunction with CoxHealth where we embedded a provider at Drury. Then, we created a student assistance plan where a student can get services when directed by our embedded provider at Drury. They can also get services at our main campus.
Carmen Parker-Bradshaw: Our growth has allowed us to grow our own employee base. We are bringing up our own staff to be trained clinicians that can actually render services and lead programs for the client population that we do serve. That is very unique and really becomes a heartbeat to who Burrell is.
SBJ: What are your top challenges?
Parker-Bradshaw: One of the things that resonates in health care regardless if you’re behavioral health or health care as a whole is the recruitment of a workforce. That’s one of the reasons we’re investing in that strategy to grow our own workforce educationally. How we grow that base is critical.
Andreassen: The good news is people are demanding the behavioral health workforce more. I’ve seen statistics that show over the next 20 years a demand in workforce going up at 20% or better for psychologists, counselors, psychiatrists, psychiatric nurse practitioners. Even your best-case scenario, you’re probably not going to just out-hire the demand.
SBJ: Is your fast growth sustainable?
Davis: We are trying to create a regional behavioral health system. We’ve finalized a merger of an organization in northwest Arkansas. The Fayetteville and Bentonville area is about 750,000 people. In our counties that we serve in Missouri, there’s around 1 million people. So, we have about 1.7 million-1.8 million people to take care of. Essentially, what we do is take that total population and multiply it by about 20% – that’s the general prevalence rate of mental health conditions in the country. Right now, we’re serving about 45,000 people. So, we need to figure out a way to move that dial from 45,000 closer to 400,000, which essentially would mean for Burrell we have the opportunity for exponential growth over the next five years.
Springfield Business Journal’s 2023 Trusted Advisers event honors 20 businesspeople.