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Mission of Arthur Center

Arthur Center Community Health’s mission is to partner with the people we serve including their families, local communities and other human service organizations in providing quality health services. Our vision is to empower our clients to pursue their hopes and dreams in partnership with their families, community and other human service providers.

Brief History of Arthur Center

In January 1961 the Audrain Missouri Child Guidance Clinic opened in response to a rise in the number of children being removed from the community and hospitalized at Fulton State Hospital in Fulton, Missouri for a period of several months to several years.  With the passage of the Community Mental Health Center Act (P.L. 88-164) in 1963, and more effective psychiatric medications, treatment of persons with mental illness began to move out of institutions and into the community. In January 1966, Audrain Medical Center obtained a grant from the Missouri Department of Mental Health to pay for a consulting psychologist one day per week.  Shortly thereafter, a federal grant was obtained to build the Community Mental Health Center on land donated by Mr. and Mrs. J.B. Arthur.  In 1967, the building project began.

The new community mental health center was named East Central Missouri Behavioral Health Center and was the first private, federally-funded community mental health center in the country dedicated in June 1968.  It included an inpatient units, outpatient services, day treatment, 24-hour emergency service, medical floor consultation and community education.  The Center served six counties, Audrain, Callaway, Montgomery, Pike, Ralls, and Monroe.  Jack Viar became the first Director and Zaki Ajans, M.D. became the first Medical Director.  In 1980, the federal government awarded block grants for community mental health funding to the states.  During this time the Center became the Administrative Agent for the Division of Comprehensive Psychiatric Services and Margery Gantt, a local advocate of mental health, was appointed to the Mental Health Commission and eventually elected Chairperson in 1985.  The Center eventually had offices in Moberly, Macon, Fulton, Jefferson City and Columbia by the late 1990s.

In 1992, in honor of J.B. Arthur, the Center was renamed Arthur Center, and became a regional mental health provider offering comprehensive mental health and substance abuse services.  A new facility was dedicated in 1997 that included inpatient adult and adolescent units.  With the decline of the economy and the advent of managed care, financial pressures on Audrain Medical Center (AMC) and Arthur Center led to the closing of the inpatient adolescent unit and clinics outside Arthur Center’s original six counties.  In 2002, AMC’s Board of Directors decided to divest the Arthur Center and retain only the inpatient adult unit.

In May 2002, many Mexico Community members came together to form a not-for-profit corporation, East Central Missouri Behavioral Health Services, to retain local control of Arthur Center.  In a competitive bidding process, this organization was awarded the Administrative Agent Contract.  With the assistance of four local banks and loan guarantees by the U.S.D.A. Rural Development, the organization began operations as the Arthur Center in January 2003.  The outpatient was relocated to its current location at 321 W. Promenade, Mexico, Missouri.  The organization continued to operate an outpatient clinic and adult community-based services in Fulton at 5060, County Road 306, and adult and youth community-based services in Mexico, Missouri at 400 E. Liberty.

In April 2009, Arthur Center began operations of a community transition program in Fulton, Missouri, called Hope Center.  This program is a partnership with the Missouri Department of Mental Health.  It is an intensive residential program designed to provide support and assistance to individuals with co-occurring conditions and complicated health care needs to transition from the hospital or institutional settings successfully back into the community.  Our 16-bed residential facility is currently located on the campus of Fulton State Hospital in Fulton, Missouri.  We are moving our program to Mexico, Missouri, with the construction of a new 16-bed residential facility on Teal Lake Road. The expected completion date of our new facility is May 1, 2015.

In November 2013, Arthur Center was awarded a grant under Section 330 of the Public Health Service Act (PHS).  With the award of the grant, Arthur Center (Mexico, Missouri clinic) received the designation of a Federally Qualified Health Center or FQHC.  FQHCs must serve an underserved population, offer a sliding fee scale, provide comprehensive services, have an ongoing quality assurance program, and have a governing board of directors.  With the award of the grant and expanded services, we began doing business as Arthur Center Community Health.

We are constructing a new 25,000 square foot integrated health care facility in Mexico, Missouri, to provide integrated clinical services under one roof.  Our new facility will have nine primary care exam rooms, with expansion to twelve, six dental operatories, with expansion to eight and, twelve behavioral health offices, a wing for our adult and youth behavioral health community-based program staff, two group rooms for our community learning programs and eight offices for administrative staff.  The expected completion date of our new facility is July 1, 2015.

Arthur Center Community Health currently serves approximately 3,800 persons annually and employs approximately 100 staff that work together to promote wellness and recovery in the lives of the people we serve.