AURORA, CO – Aurora Mental Health & Recovery (AMHR) and the Asian Pacific Development Center (APDC) announced today that as of the end of June, APDC will become fully integrated with AMHR and will no longer be a subsidiary organization of AMHR, as it has been since 2012. All APDC services will join forces with AMHR’s Refugee Clinic and Health Navigation Teams.
The Board of Directors of APDC and AMHR decided unanimously in support of the merger in March. The primary driver for their decision is the fact that AMHR recently established a Center of Excellence for Refugees and Immigrants designed to focus and maximize the organization’s operations and resources in a manner that will enhance the care experience for people to achieve the most healthful outcomes.
The aspirations behind the Center of Excellence are bolstered by an exceptionally high concentration of expertise among our multilingual and multicultural staff centered on refugee and immigrant behavioral health. Joining forces will allow AMHR and APDC to combine key resources in providing critical services to the international community of Aurora, operating as one solid and sustainable organization.
“There is strength in numbers, and I am looking forward to the upcoming changes. AMHR and APDC are joining forces to build upon each other’s strengths,” said AMHR board chair Cathy Wildman. “These strengths will serve the members of our immigrant community well. Together, we will provide culturally appropriate mental health services, language translation services, and citizenship classes to our immigrant community.”
Over the next few weeks and months, AMHR will engage in a series of focused conversations with community partners, community members, and staff to discuss and explore how best to pursue these aspirations together, building on the many successes that have already been experienced. “Merging APDC with AMHR’s immigrant and refugee services will ensure the financial stability to carry out its cultural mission and retain a first-rate professional staff in a competitive marketplace,” said longtime AMHR and APDC board member Harrison Cochran.
Operating as one organization, AMHR will continue to serve the growing immigrant and refugee population, providing services to Aurora, as well as the entire state. The goal is to improve access to services by continuing to enlarge our network of collaborative organizations that assist refugees and immigrants. AMHR will also continue to develop and implement “best practice” models of care for refugee and immigrant communities and individuals, as well as formalize and strengthen our role as a referral resource and training resource for other nonprofits state-wide.
In addition to the expansion of services that collaboration enables, we anticipate that this Center of Excellence will enable us to secure further resources in the form of grants and contracts that will enhance the care available for these members of our community. Together, the combined teams will continue to make Aurora a leader among the most diverse and culturally-enriched communities in America.
“Both organizations (AMHR and APDC) are important to me and to the community,” said AMHR board member and past APDC board member Gigi DeGala. “There are tremendous opportunities when maximizing the strengths of both parties. Working together as one, both organizations can further expand programs and services for the clients, gain better financial strength, effectively manage increasing competition, and meet the challenges of the ever-changing behavioral and recovery care system,” DeGala added.
APDC’s Executive Director Harry Budisidharta and Deputy Director Neal Walia will oversee the transition efforts and community outreach. Additionally, Budisidharta will transition into a new role as AMHR’s In-House Counsel and Corporate Integrity Officer.
AMHR CEO Kelly Phillips-Henry and Budisidharta shared their optimism and excitement for the full integration of both organizations. “This is a great partnership with even greater things to come,” said Phillips-Henry and Budisidharta.