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Two behavioral health agencies merging to form largest in region

Child & Adolescent Treatment Services and Lake Shore Behavioral Health have agreed to merge and establish a new organization that will be one of the largest, community-based behavioral health agencies serving children and adults in the region.

The boards of directors of the two agencies have agreed to the merger, which is set to take place by Jan. 1 as long as it receives the needed approvals from regulatory and legal authorities, according to a joint statement from the organizations.

The new name of the merged agency and further details on its organizational and leadership structure will be unveiled in the months to come, said Howard Hitzel, president of Lake Shore Behavioral Health, who will serve as CEO of the new organization.

Bonnie Glazer, president of Child & Adolescent Treatment Services, will have an important role in the new institution, with a focus on alignment and innovation, but her title wasn’t specified in the statement.

The two agencies have worked together in a formal affiliation for the past two years, and consolidating will result in a stronger, more efficient organization that can offer a comprehensive range of services, said Michael Weiner, president of the United Way of Buffalo & Erie County, which provided financial support when the affiliation began.

The new organization will have more than 525 employees.