Pine Rest Employee Assistance Program Acquires Cherry Health’s Employee Assistance Center Contracts

March 22, 2023

Pine Rest EAP now serves over 550 businesses and 100,000 employees

Pine Rest Christian Mental Health Services and Cherry Health have completed an agreement to transition the employer contracts held by Cherry Health’s Employee Assistance Center to Pine Rest’s Employee Assistance Program. The agreement expands Pine Rest’s employee assistance and crisis response services to cover over 550 Michigan businesses and more than 100,000 community members.

The transition of services, effective March 10, 2023, offers existing clients of the Cherry Health Employee Assistance Center (EAC) continuation of the benefits offered under their contracts, while expanding their access to Pine Rest’s robust continuum of care as the largest freestanding behavioral health provider in Michigan.

Jean Holthaus, LISW, LMSW, regional director for Pine Rest’s Outpatient and Recovery Services and Employee Assistance Program (EAP) director, notes that the decision to acquire the EAC contracts was rooted in Pine Rest’s commitment to serve the West Michigan community.

“Pine Rest is based right here in West Michigan. We care deeply about this community,” Holthaus said. “We want to help keep the workforce healthy, prevent crises before they occur, and drive behavioral health care costs down for as many Michigan employees as possible. We aren’t just caring for clients or employees of companies that contract with us, we are improving the lives of people in our community – our friends, neighbors, and families. We also know that as we help employees thrive, we are helping local businesses grow and succeed.”

Holthaus highlights that EAC clients now joining Pine Rest’s EAP will find additional benefits beyond those offered under previous contracts, such as access to available same-day services through a team dedicated to working with EAP clients, expanded 24-7 emergency services, 21 additional counseling locations throughout Pine Rest’s clinic network, and Pine Rest’s EAP Continuing Care Pledge, which allows clients to retain their therapist after free counseling sessions through the EAP conclude.

Pine Rest has offered Cherry Health EAC clinicians and staff the opportunity to continue working for the program by joining the Pine Rest team.

According to Bill Joure, Chief Operating Officer at Cherry Health, the transition of services will benefit West Michigan residents through expanded service offerings while allowing Cherry Health to focus its resources on its core healthcare lines of business.

“EAC opened its doors in 1979 and is the longest-standing EAP in West Michigan. Cherry Health is proud of our long-standing partnership with EAC and is grateful to the entire team for their contributions to our organization. We are confident that this transition to Pine Rest will allow EAC’s clients to continue receiving the high-quality services they are used to,” said Joure.

Services provided through Pine Rest’s EAP are offered within the organization’s 21 clinics throughout West and Northern Michigan, as well as via telehealth throughout the state. Services are also provided to Michigan-based companies with employees in other states. No physical property will change hands as a result of the contract acquisition.

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