WARSAW — Bowen Center’s longtime chief executive officer stood before the Kosciusko County Council Thursday night, March 8, to give the panel a detailed presentation on the local non-profit’s operations and benefits to the community.
“I truly believe in what we do,” said Kurt Carlson, who is credited with bringing The Bowen Center from the struggling community mental healthcare center to key player in mental health services for Indiana since his arrival in 1989. “We’ve given $2 million in free care to Kosciusko County residents. We try to be good partners with other agencies.”
Established in 1961, The Bowen Center was re-branded to its current name in the 1970s to the Otis R. Bowen Center for Human Services Inc. and named for former Indiana Gov. Otis R. Bowen. From its early days of being a community mental healthcare center for Kosciusko and surrounding counties, the company had grown by 2017 to 11 outpatient offices in 10 Indiana counties and recently expanded further with services in more additional counties.
“We are indeed so very fortunate to have Bowen Center in our county,” said Sue Ann Mitchell during Carlson’s presentation.
Carlson told the board that revenue generated from services provided in Kosciusko County stays local. “We use a for-profit model for services in the other counties,” he said. The council had provided Carlson with an extensive list of questions regarding Bowen Center’s services and practices. Carlson provided answers for each question and brought with him a contingent of personnel from his leadership including Kosciusko Outpatient Office Director Matthew Graham, Chief Financial Officer Jay Baumgartner and Vice President of Operations Rob Ryan.
The Bowen Center receives some of its annual income from the county, which justified the reason for county officials to ask for a report and accountability. In 2017, The Bowen Center received $584,980 from the county and is scheduled to receive $615,123 in 2018.
Carlson told the board that one of the center’s partnerships is with the Kosciusko County Jail for a program called JCAP, or Jail Chemical Addictions Program
Sheriff Rocky Goshert presented to the council last month about the program. According to Goshert, JCAP is a 90-day program that provides people in need with such services as behavior therapy, substance abuse counseling and other programs such as help with parenting and domestic violence issues. Bowen Center provides personnel for the program. “Bowen Center is pleased to be part of this intervention,” Carlson said. “JCAP will create a positive impact on inmates upon release.”