How CIRC Became Coleman Crisis Stabilization Unit

Jun 7, 2021 | Blog

Founded in 1972, an organization called CIRC (Crisis Intervention & Recovery Center) served the people of Stark County who faced addiction or a mental health crisis. CIRC operated 11 detox beds and 13 observation beds.

Like many small agency nonprofits, CIRC suffered from cash-flow problems. This problem spiked in early 2018 when the state of Ohio overhauled its behavioral healthcare billing system and Medicare’s move to managed care.

Coleman Professional Services recognized that this posed a threat to the continuity of crisis intervention and recovery services to people of Stark County.

Because of Coleman, this didn’t happen.

Coleman offered extensive experience taking over failing not-for-profit agencies. CIRC was brought in under the Coleman umbrella. Coleman paid vendors, and stabilized finances and payroll (with additional Coleman compensation program.) Coleman also made sure clients received the high quality care that meets Coleman standards.

Under new management led by Coleman Stark County Chief Officer Michelle Allison-Smith, the service was renamed the Coleman Crisis Stabilization Unit. Clients began to receive Coleman’s whole-person approach to wellness.This improves client treatment by integrating input from a multidisciplinary team of behavioral health specialists who communicate and consult with each other.

Since 2018, Coleman’s whole-person approach ushered in a new caliber of professionals who have been trained and retrained in trauma informed care and best practices of client engagement – including newly added group counseling and client participation in life skill training.

In addition, Coleman continually addresses facility improvements, including:

  • Increased cleaning and sanitizing (even before COVID).
  • Replacing old furniture with new.
  • An updated, in-house kitchen with fresh, healthy meals from a menu plan developed by a professional nutritionist.
  • An outdoor space created by staff that includes a colorful garden that makes the fenced-in property an enjoyable place where clients can relax.

Part of Coleman’s nationally-recognized business model is its proactive approach to financial stability. This results in a sounder operation for crisis intervention and recovery services to people of Stark County.

Coleman Stark County Chief Officer Michelle Allison-Smith credits Ashley Fuller, the Director of Coleman Crisis Stabilization Unit. Under Ashley, the organization now has the credentials and capabilities to serve out of county residents.

“Ashley has established great relationships with out of county agencies,” states Allison-Smith. “This shows a passionate commitment to provide services to more people in the region to use our services.”

Ashley also secured grants and stipends to bolster overall operations – from the OhioMHAS grant to serve out of county residents to support from the United Way and the Akron Canton Food Bank to feed resident clients.

Growth and improvement is continuous and ongoing. There are plans to include wide ranges of improvements – from new internships to a newly added peer support position in development.

It’s a work in progress, asserts Michelle Allison-Smith. “We are only three years into operating this service,” she states. “We have made great new additions. We seek continuous improvement. Improvements in admission. And many, many more positive changes.”