ANCOR News - 01.15.19

Old Dog, New Tricks: From Franklin County Residential Services to I Am Boundless in Three Years

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The name “Boundless” comes from our organization’s more than forty-year commitment to empowering individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD) with the freedom and opportunity to live boundless lives. But the name could just as easily refer to our growth over the past three years.

After spinning off from Franklin County’s Department of Developmental Disabilities a decade previous, Franklin County Residential Services (FCRES) found itself at a crossroads in 2015. A series of strategic planning sessions identified a slate of new opportunities on the horizon, both for us as an organization as well as for the individuals we serve. Evidence pointed to a growing need for expertise in managed care, Autism and behavioral health services, services for children, and vocational and employment services — needs we were ill-equipped to meet given how we were structured at the time.

Armed with this new outlook, FCRES leadership had an important choice to make: stick to our historic strengths and continue on in the same lane we had travelled for the past four decades, or position ourselves to play a larger role in meeting the challenges of the next 40 years by deliberately seeking out the necessary expertise.

With the well-worn adage, “If it ain’t broke don’t fix it” ringing in our ears, FCRES opted instead to take the plunge.

Three years, several name changes, two restructurings, and one home-office move later, Franklin County Residential Services has evolved from a modest, centralized $28 million organization into I Am Boundless, a dynamic $68 million family of companies engaged with I/DD and behavioral health communities across Ohio.

To make this transformation a reality, the company that would eventually become Boundless carefully sought out and entered into management agreements with smaller nonprofits that could help us close our skills gap. As the relationships between Boundless and our partners matured, we began to formally acquire these agencies. In January 2018, the Worthington-based organization Step by Step Academy became part of Boundless, bringing with it a team of nearly 200 staff and a sixteen-year history of providing Autism and behavioral health services. On November 1, we welcomed the Dayton-based MONCO into the family, and with it its 48 years of know-how successfully overseeing vocational and employment services for adults with I/DD.

As we move into 2019 and beyond, we plan to add managed care to our expanding suite of services. Conversations are currently underway with three of Ohio’s other large I/DD service providers to develop a managed care pilot project that will demonstrate performance-based services for one hundred individuals living in the organization’s respective Intermediate Care Facility programs.

Boundless has come a long way in a short three years, greatly strengthening our ability to serve Ohio’s diverse I/DD and behavioral health communities. Our focus on strategic acquisition has expanded our reach statewide and helped pool previously disparate resources, a trend we hope to continue in the years to come. In other words, our future appears boundless.

Patrick Maynard is President and CEO of Boundless, formerly Franklin County Residential Services.