Compass Health Announces Merger with Whatcom Counseling & Psychiatric Clinic

Contact:  Pam Damron, Office of the President / CEO
c/o Tom Sebastian, President / CEO Compass Health

Compass Health Announces the Successful Completion of

Merger with Whatcom Counseling & Psychiatric Clinic

Moving the Mission Forward of Expanding Behavioral

Health Services in Washington State.


Compass Health is pleased to announce the merger of Whatcom Counseling &Psychiatric Clinic (WCPC) with Compass Health.  Currently serving Snohomish, Skagit, Island and San Juan Counties, Compass Health is one of the state’s largest non-profit providers of integrated behavioral health services.

With the addition of WCPC, Compass Health will be expanding its services to include Whatcom County, extending its footprint north to the Canadian border.  Both WCPC and Compass Health have been leaders in providing high quality, integrated behavioral healthcare, ensuring that a full continuum of care is available to clients seeking care. 

Tom Sebastian, President and CEO of Compass Health will continue to lead the new organization.  The combined budget after the merger will result in a new budget of approximately $50 million for the non-profit organization for the fiscal year starting July 1, 2014. Whatcom Counseling and Psychiatric Clinic’s approximately 120 full-time and part-time employees will now become employees of Compass Health; increasing the size of the staff to approximately 650 full-time and part-time employees.

“We feel strongly that this merger of like organizations will result in better care for our clients, greater career opportunities for our employees and continued financial stability for the new organization.” says Tom Sebastian, CEO of Compass Health.

Compass Health has been able to adapt our model to the various communities that we serve.  From Coupeville to Mount Vernon and now to Whatcom County, Compass Health has been able to form its own unique relationship with each of the communities it serves,” says Sebastian, “We respect the relationships that WCPC has formed over the years.  We look forward to this opportunity to move our shared mission forward – the shared mission of championing the quest for well-being by advancing mental health in our communities.”

Compass Health is also pleased to announce that it is expanding its current Board of Directors to include David Kleiber, current President of WCPC Board of Directors, and David Schneider, who also currently serves on the WCPC Board.

The implementation of healthcare reform through the Affordable Care Act and Washington State’s own legislative mandate to integrate behavioral health and physical health with chemical dependency treatment represents historic changes in the way health care is provided, increasing the demand for the services that Compass Health provides. 

“Washington State has expanded Medicaid as part of the Affordable Care Act.  Part of the challenge is to recruit qualified employees to meet this growing demand.” says Dean Wight, Interim Executive Director of WCPC.  “The fact is that the demand for behavioral health services is growing due to the expansion in Medicaid and we expect that we will need to expand to meet this need as well.”

“Organizational scale will be important in order to both provide the total range of services our clients need and to have the negotiating leverage to be sure we are paid adequately to continue our mission,” continues Sebastian.  Compass Health has served 18,696 clients (both children & adults) in the past year in the four counties.  With the addition of the Whatcom County to Compass Health’s service area that number should easily surpass 22,000 in the next year.  Whatcom Counseling & Psychiatric Clinic served over 3,100 clients in the period from June 1, 2013 to May 31, 2014.

Compass Health has a long history that spans over 110 years.  WCPC has been in existence since 1957 and started with a staff of just three.  Both organizations have an outstanding track record of providing the same integrated services – and both have a reputation for high quality, compassionate treatment and support programs for everyone in our communities, regardless of need.

# # #

Services offered by Compass Health Whatcom include:

Compass Health Whatcom will continue to provide comprehensive and personalized mental health, psychiatric, chemical dependency outpatient, primary care services and emergency care services 24 hours a day, seven days a week to anyone in Whatcom County experiencing a mental health crisis.

Compass Health services include individual and group therapy, intensive outpatient, community support and care management, medication prescription and monitoring, and specialized treatment services for the elderly, children and families.  Compass Health clients include individuals of all ages from a diverse range of racial and socio-economic backgrounds. 


Emergency Services:  Around the clock, crisis evaluation and intervention by mental health professionals; located at the Whatcom County Behavioral Health Triage Center.
Adult Services: Mental health services for adults whose problems interfere with daily life, e.g., depression, anxiety, phobias, impulsiveness and the consequences of chronic physical illness as well as the treatment of severe and persistent mental illness.
Primary Care: Provision of medical care for its behavioral health patients who otherwise would not have access to these services in the community.
Child and Family Services:  Mental health services for children/adolescents and their families experiencing mental health difficulties including behavioral problems, emotional distress and adjustment disorders.
Medical Services:  Psychiatrists, Nurse Practitioners, P/A and Registered Nurses provide psychiatric assessment, medication and coordination of care with primary care physicians.
PATH: (Projects for Assistance in Transition from Homelessness) Outreach to the homeless and assistance in accessing services and housing.
Rainbow Recovery Center: A recovery center for adults with mental illness.
Group Services: Psychotherapeutic and psych-educational group sessions
ECS:  Extended Community Services to older adults in Adult Family Homes &Nursing Home Care
Chemical Dependency Services: Outpatient treatment for persons experiencing a substance use disorder.
Suboxone Treatment: Opiate substitute prescription and monitoring for persons receiving chemical dependency services at the clinic.