Nearly 50 Years of Renewing Lives

A Timeline of Important Dates in the History of Meridian Health Services

Fifth Decade


  • Madison County Community Health Center merges into Meridian
  • Meridian acquires IUH-BMH pediatric building
  • Purchase of new Richmond facility
  • Opened 16 bed addiction residential center (ARC) at River Bend Hospital in Lafayette, Indiana
  • Meridian introduces dental servicesFirst Meridian Employee Wellness FairSpeaker Series featuring Sam Quinones and Ryan Leaf


  • Former U.S. Congressman, Patrick Kennedy, is the recipient of the First National Spirit of Meridian Award
  • Meridian enters into agreement with NCHS to manage River Bend Hospital
  • Meridian partners with North Central Health Services (NCHS) to manage River Bend Psychiatric Hospital in Lafayette, Indiana


  • Meridian receives two Decision Health Platinum awards for Integration and Children Services.
  • Meridian enters into agreement with NCHS to manage River Bend Hospital.
  • Meridian opens Convenience Care, an urgent care center in Jay County Hospital.
  • Meridian Addictions Recovery & Treatment opens in Richmond.
  • Meridian introduces addictions Maternal Treatment Program.
  • Meridian receives 340B certification for Drug Pricing Program.
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Fourth Decade


  • MeridianMD opens clinic in New Castle.
  • Meridian recognized as Tobacco Free Initiative site.
  • Meridian opens offices in Ft. Wayne, Kokomo, and Anderson.
  • Meridian Health Pediatrics selected by Riley Children’s Foundation and DMHA as an Autism Early Evaluation Hub site.


  • Meridian partners with IU Health Ball Memorial Hospital and Riley Hospital introducing “whole-person healthcare” at Meridian Health Pediatrics.
  • Walnut Commons, supported independent living apartments, opens.
  • Meridian receive FQHC approval to establish primary care in Dunkirk and New Castle.


  • Connersville office opens
  • Meridian chosen to participate in SAMHSA innovation community
  • Meridian now provides pediatric rehabilitation services
  • FQHC status for Women’s Center, Richmond, and Pediatrics


  • Meridian receives full FQHC 330 status at Rushville site


  • Meridian Services changes its name to Meridian Health Services
  • Meridian is first CMHC in Indiana to receive FQHC “Look-A-Like” status
  • Dr. Sarfraz Khan, VP/Medical Director, named to “Top Docs” in Muncie
  • Partnership established with Wernle Family Services
  • Meridian’s sixth supervised group home opens in Richmond
  • Purchased/Renovated Winchester Office


  • Family Health Services, a Community Health Center in Rushville, Indiana, merges into Meridian
  • Reaccreditation from the Joint Commission for Hospital and Behavioral Health Care
  • Partnership with Benchmark Family Services expands children’s services throughout Indiana
  • Dedication of the “Listening Tree” at Child Advocacy Center
  • Meridian Services receives “Chairman’s Award” from the Muncie-Delaware County Chamber of Commerce


  • MeridianMD, Indiana’s first behavioral health organization offering primary care services, is introduced
  • Rialzo!, a gala benefit dinner is introduced
  • Child Advocacy Center receives full accreditation
  • Meridian Services receives “Heroes in the Fight” Treatment Team state award by Eli Lilly and Mental Health America
  • Meridian Services and Dr. Khan, Medical Director, nominated as finalists for community “Healthcare Hero” Awards
  • Terri Helbling, Meridian Nurse Practitioner, won the Indiana “Professional of the Year” award by the National Alliance on Mental Illness


  • Adolescent Intensive Outpatient Program for substance abusers is opened at Gresham Center.
  • Charles V. Sursa is appointed by Board of Meridian Services to serve as its first chairman in the establishment of a Fund Development Committee.
  • MeridianMD, Indiana’s first behavioral health organization offering primary care services, is introduced
  • Rialzo!, a gala benefit dinner is introduced featuring the 5th Dimension
  • Child Advocacy Center receives full national accreditation
  • Meridian Services receives “Heroes in the Fight” Treatment Team state award by Eli Lilly and Mental Health America
  • Meridian Services and Dr. Khan, Medical Director, nominated as finalists for community  “Healthcare Hero” Awards



  • Suzanne Gresham Center, a treatment center dedicated to children and families opens.
  • A Child Advocacy Center for child abuse investigations located at The Suzanne Gresham Center is established.
  • Meridian becomes a Licensed Child Placement Agency (LCPA) and places its first foster children.
  • Meridian is certified as a Developmental Disability provider by the Division of Disability, Aging and Rehabilitation.
  • Crisis Assistance program begins services in 20 counties in Central Indiana.
  • Meridian opens its psychiatric hospital.
  • Ford House, Meridian’s fifth supervised group home, opens.



  • CMHS became Meridian Services on October 12, 2005
  • Meridian Services celebrated 30th anniversary featuring Brooke Shields
  • Meridian receives $50,000 in foundation awards to establish a Child Advocacy Center from the Community Foundation of Muncie & Delaware County, George & Frances Ball Foundation and the Ball Brothers Foundation.

Third Decade


  • Healing Through Art (HTA) project developed in partnership with ArtWorks to raise community awareness of child abuse and neglect issues
  • Endowment Funds created at Community Foundations in Delaware, Jay and Henry counties to support CMHS
  • Revised partnership agreement with Ball Memorial Hospital developed to provide acute inpatient care
  • CMHS services extended to Wayne and Randolph counties
  • Market research project begun with the Regenstreif Center for Healthcare Engineering at Purdue University
  • Awarded re-accreditation by the JCAHO


  • Choices, a program for drug and alcohol addiction, established vital link between CMHS and the Jay County court system
  • First CMHS Human Resources Department established
  • First clinical software system implemented


  • Dr. Suzanne Gresham retired as President and CEO
  • Mr. Hank A. Milius became President and CEO
  • Awarded re-accreditation by JCAHO
  • Behavioral Health Center, an outpatient psychiatry practice run jointly with Ball Memorial Hospital, opened
  • Staff increased to meet growing needs, including addition of three psychiatrists


  • Celebrated 25th anniversary
  • CMHS professional and support staff of more than 230 served more than 5,000 individuals in Delaware, Henry, and Jay counties



  • Jay County facility remodeled and expanded
  • CARF re-accreditation awarded to Comprehensive Employment Services
  • Awarded re-accreditation by JCAHO



  • Served more than 2,500 individuals in Delaware, Henry, and Jay counties
  • Medical staff expanded to eight psychiatrists; first clinical nurse specialist joined staff


  • Drop-In Center, which provided homeless individuals with a neutral, non-threatening place to receive help and link with services, added a new program — Jenny’s Cupboard — to provide kitchen supplies to individuals who were setting up households with the assistance of CMHS
  • Anxiety Disorders Screening Day initiated
  • Outreach mental health services provided at Open Door/BMH Health Center in Muncie
  • Speaker’s Bureau established to provide community groups with programs on a variety of mental health issues
  • Core Adventure Program (CAP), a ten-week adventure-based counseling program for youth with serious family or legal problems, offered in Henry County
  • Began publication of newsletter, CMHS Connections


  • Awarded Accreditation with Commendation by JCAHO, recognizing CMHS’s exemplary performance in meeting JCAHO national standards for mental health and substance abuse organizations
  • Ellison House opened to provide new sub-acute stabilization program, offering short-term community-based acute care for adults who would otherwise be hospitalized
  • Eber House group home program relocated to larger facility to provide residential services for more individuals
  • CMHS Celebrated 20th anniversary

Second Decade


  • Henry County services moved into newly constructed 14,500- square-foot facility
  • Adventure Based Counseling program for adolescents begun in Henry County
  • Anger control program initiated in Delaware County
  • Addiction and CSP programs expanded in Jay County



  • Goodall Apartments completed, providing 20 units of long-term housing for persons with severe disabilities
  • School-based programs for seriously emotionally disturbed children established in Jay County
  • ADHD program for children, youth, and families initiated in Delaware County
  • Supported Employment Program awarded CARF (Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities) certification
  • Awarded re-accreditation by JCAHO
  • Awarded prestigious Public Service Award from the Social Security Administration for outreach efforts to the disabled



  • Division of Mental Health renewed emphasis on shift to community-based care from institutional care
  • Medicaid Rehabilitation Option allowed significant expansion of case management services


  • Tillotson Avenue facility, which comprised 38,000 square feet of space to house programs from the five previously established Delaware County program sites and allow for future expansion, opened in January
  • Family Preservation Program counseling services initiated
  • Supported Employment Program established


  • Henry County and Jay County adult Intensive Outpatient Programs (IOP) for substance abuse initiated
  • Adolescent IOP established in Delaware County
  • Specialized program for “dually diagnosed” (severely mentally ill and chemically dependent) begun in Delaware County


  • Theraputic foster care program – Alternative Families (AF) – expanded to provide intensive home-based services to children and families
  • Gillbeke Apartments opened, providing 20 units of long-term housing for persons with severe disabilities
  • Division of Addiction Services granted approved for expansion of addictions outpatient and outreach services
  • Awarded re-accrediation by JCAHO


  • Homeless Project and Assertive Community Treatment (ACT) programs initiated
  • Logan House, a third adult group home, opened in Muncie
  • Community Support Program (CPS) opened in Henry County
  • Indiana General Assembly approved funding to build a centralized facility for Delaware County CMHS
  • Jay County services moved into newly renovated facility


  • Henry County services moved to new facilities in Henry County Hospital
  • Specialized therapeutic foster care program for severely emotionally disturbed children initiated, in partnership with the Division of Family and Children Services
  • Full accreditation awarded by the Division of Addiction Services


  • Residential Services to meet needs of individuals with long-term mental illness added with the opening of Lewis House in Delaware County and Teaboldt House in Henry County
  • Expansion of Semi-Independent Living Program (SILP)
  • Accreditation received from JCAHO (Joint Committee on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations)

First Decade


  • New cooperative relationship formed with IU Health Ball Memorial Hospital for inpatient care
  • Plan for residential services developed
  • Group therapy services expanded through a variety of specialized groups


  • Community Support Program (CSP), encompassing Aftercare and Day Treatment programs, initiated
  • Community Services efforts expanded through CMHS educational programs, public awareness projects, and task force participation


  • Public awareness projects to inform about and advocate for community-based mental health services launched
  • High service demand taxed CMHS staff
  • New facilities opened in Muncie and Henry County


  • Core program components fully operational
  • Community outreach efforts accelerate


  • “Children’s Team” formed to provide services to children and teens
  • Outreach Office opened in Dunkirk in Jay County
  • Satellite facility established at Open Door Community Services in Delaware County
  • Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP) for substance abuse begun in Delaware County


  • Consultation & Education, Employee Assistance, and Epilepsy Services programs established
  • Addiction Services staffing increased to meet priority needs
  • Aftercare Services expanded
  • Dr. Suzanne Gresham, Ph.D., became Executive Director


  • Comprehensive Mental Health Services of Northeast Indiana, Inc., programs initiated on
    January 1
  • Outpatient service sites set up in Muncie, Portland, and New Castle
  • Inpatient services offered at Ball Memorial Hospital
  • Day Treatment Services initiated in Muncie
  • 24-hour Emergency Services begun