A longtime clinician at Timberline Knolls in Illinois, Colleen Kula, LCPC, has been named as the organization’s new CEO. She tells Behavioral Healthcare Executive that in her new role, she never wants to be more than one step away from the clinicians.
“I want to work with the talent we have here and use the strengths of the various staff members,” Kula says. “It’s my goal to capitalize on those strengths.”
As CEO, Kula will aim to grow the newly located partial hospitalization program (PHP) that Timberline Knolls opened in Orland Park, Ill., in May. She says there is rising demand for PHP services, and the organization can serve about 500 women per year with the new expansion.
“Lengths of stay are shorter now, and we are seeing a higher level of acuity, so that step-down level of care in the continuum is critical,” she says.
Timberline Knolls is an in-network provider with commercial payers, and Kula says she’s working with insurers to leverage the PHP option to engage patients in longer treatment plans overall. It’s especially important at present, as the acuity level of patients seems to be trending higher lately.
“We work closely with third-party payers because we have very complex cases,” she says. “We need to ensure we deliver on the clinical services for those with addiction, eating disorders and mood disorders, and we advocate for a healthy length of stay.”