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Child and Adolescent Treatment Services, Lake Shore Behavioral announce merger

Courtesy Fuerst Consulting Group

Two local not-for-profit agencies who provide behavioral health and substance abuse services are merging, creating a single organization that will serve both youth and adults.

On Wednesday morning, employees of Child and Adolescent Treatment Services and Lake Shore Behavioral Health gathered in downtown Buffalo to learn more about the new company, which will be known as BestSelf Behavioral Health. The merger, according to the presidents of the respective organizations, is expected to be completed on or around April 1.

Howard Hitzel, president of Lake Shore Behavioral Health, will become president of BestSelf. He explained that over the past three years, both agencies began working more closely and ultimately decided it made more sense to move forward with a full merger.

"There's going to be no reduction in programs or services as a result of the merger," he said. "There will be no reductions in staffing, either."

The operating budget for BestSelf, which will be headquartered on Delaware Avenue in downtown Buffalo, is estimated at $35 million. Bonnie Glazer, president of Child and Adolescent Treatment Services, said the merger will improve already strong services while bridging any gaps between her agency's young client services and those designed for adults at Lake Shore.

Glazer added that all parties involved recognize a limit to resources and a responsibility to carefully use what is available.

"With the merger, our goal is to spend as much of our available resources on actual quality services to children and their families, rather than on what can be kind of inefficient operational expense," she said.

Combined, the organization is expected to serve approximately 18,760 clients. 


Michael Mroziak is an experienced, award-winning reporter whose career includes work in broadcast and print media. When he joined the WBFO news staff in April 2015, it was a return to both the radio station and to Horizons Plaza.
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