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It’s a brand new day for Devereux, South Bay

May 9, 2016
by Tom Valentino, Senior Editor
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A pair of behavioral healthcare providers with legacies spanning multiple decades recently announced rebranding efforts that better reflect where each organization stands today.

Devereux, a Villanova, Pennsylvania-based nonprofit that operates in 13 states, announced on April 21 it has expanded its name to Devereux Advanced Behavioral Health. South Bay Mental Health, based in Brockton, Massachusetts, announced on May 3 it now serves its communities in Massachusetts, Connecticut and Rhode Island under the name South Bay Community Services.

Founded in 1912, Devereux Advanced Behavioral Health has operated for more than 100 years as “a quiet neighbor,” says Bob Kreider, the organization’s president and CEO. But with major for-profit behavioral healthcare providers, such as Universal Health Services and Acadia Healthcare, rapidly acquiring facilities across the country to expand their respective profiles, the playing field has changed.

Leadership for Devereux Advanced Behavioral Health recognized it was time for the company to become more proactive and vocal in telling its story, Kreider says.

“We’ve gradually grown accustomed to the word ‘marketing,’ ” Kreider says. “We’ve put our name out there much more. We felt it was time that we addressed that more aggressively.”

That started with expanding its name from simply “Devereux” to something more reflective of its mission.

“One issue is our historic name Devereux does not convey what we do in any significant manner,” Kreider says. “If that’s true, it forces any type of marketing to be more expensive. You have to first explain who you are, and that makes for a longer elevator speech. You have to be in a tall building to get it all in.”

For Devereux, the mission of providing advanced behaviorial healthcare is reflected in its “signature programs,” which are model programs for direct care developed in its operating centers. One example is its Short-Term Autism Intensive Residential Services for children with autism.

The branding changes were the result of two years’ research and discussions with families, clients, clinicians, staff and a host of other stakeholders, an effort driven by Leah Yaw, Devereux Advanced Behavioral Health senior vice president of external affairs, Kreider says. Braithwaite Communications, a Philadelphia firm, contributed to the project as well.

For South Bay, which was founded in 1986, a shift began to occur in 2012, when the company was acquired by Community Intervention Services.

“Since that time, South Bay has become a different company,” says Chief Operating Officer Michael Pelletier. “We have diversified and gone into different lines of business. We felt ‘Community Services’ was a better reflection of the services we provide today.”

Those services include adult behavioral health, substance abuse counseling, children’s behavioral health and early childhood services.

Under the CIS umbrella, South Bay has improved its infrastructure and technology, increased compensation and benefits for employees, renovated facilities and provided professional development opportunities for staff.  All told, the timing for a name change just made sense.

“It’s a great time for us to get out there and say, ‘Here’s who we are,’ ” Pelletier says.

South Bay executives began discussions of a rebrand in earnest in late 2015, Pelletier says. The company teamed with the Black Lab Creative agency in Dallas and Obsidian Public Relations in Memphis to create the refreshed identity.

Tom Valentino is Senior Editor of Behavioral Healthcare.