KILGORE SAMARITAN COUNSELING CENTER
HISTORY & STATEMENT OF PURPOSE
Listening, caring and counseling have always been part of the process through which churches and synagogues extend God’s love to persons with emotional, spiritual or relational needs. Many in our society prefer seeking counseling help within the context of a church or synagogue, where their values and faith traditions are respected as part of the healing process.
The Kilgore Samaritan Counseling Center was established with such people in mind. Kilgore recognizes the importance counseling affords to people in crisis or pain. It offers emotional healing, hope and the chance of a new approach, through Judeo-Christian values, to individuals, couples, youth and families.
The original idea for such a counseling ministry resulted from the vision of one individual, Betty Kilgore Gibbs. Betty had received significant help through pastoral counseling at Second Presbyterian Church. Realizing the significance of such help, she felt lead by God to establish the Kilgore Fund. Its purpose was to endow a staff pastoral counselor at Second Presbyterian Church. With her mother, Violet Kilgore Tillery, she established the fund in memory of her father, Ben Kilgore. Betty then shared her ideas with several key members of the church and its staff. Soon joining her efforts were Niels Ewing, Jim Apple, Prentice Brown, Glenn Dorris, Finis Davis, Edith Breed, and other members of the congregation.
Following consultations with The Samaritan Institute, the concept shifted from a staff position at Second Presbyterian to a counseling center. In June 1985, Niels Ewing was elected Chairman of a feasibility study, and in October of 1986 the Session of Second Presbyterian Church gave the go-ahead for the formation of a Board of Directors for the counseling center. It also voted to provide $15,000 annually, through 1990, toward Kilgore’s operating budget, which allowed the center to grow in its service to the community. Others joining the Board at this point were Baylor Landrum, Arthur Smith and Nancy Hubbard.
At its formation, The Kilgore Center affiliated itself with the Samaritan Institute, a nationally recognized organization that develops and accredits pastoral counseling centers throughout the nation. The first Samaritan Center was established in Elkhart, Indiana by three people: a Presbyterian minister, a physician and a seminary professor. They all realized the need for an integrated approach to mental health that included the opportunity for the counselor of discussing one’s religious faith in the treatment of grief, depression and marriage and family relationships.
The Samaritan Institute program has been recognized by the American Medical Association, the American Association of Pastoral Counselors, the President’s Commission on Mental Health and numerous religious denominations throughout the country. The Kilgore Samaritan Counseling Center is one of over 100 Samaritan centers nationwide, known for their high professional standards in pastoral counseling.
In 1987, the Kilgore Center began its search for an Executive Director under the guidance of the Samaritan Institute and help from new board members Charles Grawemeyer, Dr. Wayne Oates and the Rev. David Searfoss. Dr. John P. Reed was hired. Dr. Reed had formerly served for four years as the Executive Director of the Samaritan Center of Central and Eastern Kentucky in Lexington, Kentucky.
In its first year of operation, The Kilgore Samaritan Counseling Center provided 1,295 counseling sessions to 159 individuals needing help. Following one year of successful operation on January 30 & 31, 1989, the Center’s clinical and administrative procedures and policies were reviewed and approved during a site visit conducted by representatives of the Samaritan Institute.
Under the leadership of Board Chairman, Niels Ewing, the Board began adding individuals from a broader range of churches, which possessed diverse talents and skills, which enabled the Center to grow. Fundraising efforts included personal letters written by Board Members to at least five friends, explaining Kilgore’s mission and requesting donations. In late 1990, the Board established the Samaritan Counseling Scholarship Fund. This Fund enabled donor’s gifts to be used to supplement the fees from clients who could not afford to fully pay for their therapy. The funding campaigns in 1989 and 1990 yielded $7,760 and $7,320 in contributions respectively.
Long time Board member, Prentice Brown, succeeded Niels Ewing as Chairman in 1991. The number of sessions provided by the Center increased by 39%. Through Board member support, solicitation letters and the promotion of the Fund through Kilgore’s new quarterly newsletter, over $11,000 was raised for the Samaritan Fund.
In January 1991, the Center established its first satellite office in a working class neighborhood served by Lees Memorial Presbyterian Church. Growth at that office was slow but steady.
In its first years of operation, the Center exceeded budgeted clinical revenues. Interest from the Kilgore Endowment Fund was never used, allowing this fund’s principal to increase to well over $400,000. Second Presbyterian Church fulfilled its five-year commitment to provide $15,000 a year. Also in 1992, the church included the Center in its Mission Budget for a $2,500 donation. That same year, a Long Range Planning Committee was established.
Kilgore’s fifth year of operation in 1992 was a banner year. The staff, consisting of three full-time and three part-time clinicians, conducted a record 4,263 counseling sessions. This was a 10% increase over the previous year. Also, the Center received full accreditation as an approved counseling center by the Samaritan Institute and the American Association of Pastoral Counselors. Dr. David Kinnaird assumed the duties as Chairman of the Board of Directors.
On March 21, 1993, Kilgore Samaritan Counseling Center celebrated its fifth anniversary at Second Presbyterian Church with a speech by Dr. William V. Arnold, who was an important influence in establishing the Center. He had provided healing and pastoral counseling to Betty Kilgore Gibbs, who had provided a generous endowment. At the American Association of Pastoral Counselors convention in 1993, Ms Gibbs received the Distinguished Benefactors Award.
During 1993, Kilgore Samaritan experienced financial stress, as did most pastoral counseling centers during this period. Fewer health insurance companies were willing to pay for counseling, and for those companies that did underwrite therapy, it was done for a limited time and by only a few select providers. This national trend resulted in reduced clinical hours being recorded.
One highlight of 1994 was the opening of the Broadway Baptist Church satellite office in August of that year. Due to scheduling problems and renovations, the opening of that office came four months later than expected. A reception celebrating the opening of the office was held on Sunday, October 23rd.
As Kilgore continued to grow and management responsibilities became more complex, the Board and staff adopted the Co-Directorship model. Under this plan, each Co-Director focused his attention on different areas of specialization and concerns. Dr. Edgar oversaw and managed the business and financial affairs of the Center, while Dr. Reed handled public relations, education and satellite development. Both shared supervision and the hiring of new clinical staff members. Each rotated, on an annual basis, the task of reporting to the Board of Directors. The Samaritan Institute and the Kilgore Board also urged the Co-Directors to begin searching for a new staff member, whose qualifications included being licensed by the Commonwealth of Kentucky. Concurrently, members of the Kilgore staff were key in participating in the formation of a new Kentucky Association of Pastoral Counselors. The body’s main purpose was to write, and get passed, legislation leading to the State Certification of Pastoral Counselors.
The changes in mental health care industry continued into 1994, causing continued financial stress on the Center. Although two counselors left during this period, Board Chairman, Bob Maddox, provided outstanding leadership, which resulted in the most successful fund-raising campaign in the Center’s history. The year was financially stable, due to the Board’s dedication and the generosity of Kilgore contributors. In 1994, the Samaritan Scholarship Fund proved vital in supplementing an ever-increasing number of clients experiencing financial hardships. During that year, the Center provided $23,960 in fee scholarships. This was an increase of $6,460 over the previous year. Also, the Center provided $34,253.50 in fee discounts to those who could not pay the full fee of $75 per session.
The eighth year of Kilgore Samaritan Counseling Center’s history was one of transition. The Broadway Baptist Church satellite office did not prosper and was closed, and the satellite office at James Lees Memorial Presbyterian Church was temporarily moved to the United Crescent Hill Ministries (UCHM) office. In 1995, this ministry was terminated due to the Center and UCHM not being able to reach a satisfactory agreement.
After an eighteen-month trial, the Board of Directors voted to dispense with the Co-Directorship model and return to having one Executive Director to lead the organization. Dr. John Edgar was chosen to this position. Kilgore’s founding Executive Director, Dr. John Reed, entered private practice. The stress resulting from this turnover led to the resignation of Kilgore’s Administrative Assistant.
In order to help get through this period, the Board established a transition team and became very active in working through major issues facing the Center. Fund raising for this year exceeded the goal of $20,000, and Dr. Edgar was given the responsibility of hiring a new licensed clinician for Kilgore. Jane Myers, a licensed clinical social worker and seminary graduate was hired for this position in November, 1995. Her outstanding credentials made her invaluable in providing pastoral counseling to clients.
The Center’s ninth year was one of growth and vision. On January 29, 1996, the first Ben Kilgore Award was presented to Wayne E. Oates. The award was established to honor persons who possess the qualities embodied in Ben Kilgore, which include: a vision for the future, courage, a warm-hearted devotion to family and friends, faithfulness to God, and wanting to give something back to his/her community. That same year, the Board of Director’s Strategic Planning Committee developed a Comprehensive Plan. At the Board and Staff Retreat, held at St. Francis in the Fields on September 7, 1996, a vision for Kilgore, through 2001, was established. In order to implement these goals, every Board Committee was assigned specific responsibilities. On October 27th, Kilgore’s newest satellite counseling center opened at St. Francis in the Fields with a dedication service.
That same year, Dr. Tom King of the Samaritan Institute, visited the Center and met with the staff and Board. Following his visit, Kilgore’s accreditation was renewed. Kilgore’s achievements were so noteworthy that two pastoral counseling centers, outside Kilgore’s service area, sent representatives to observe Kilgore’s operation in order to help them function more efficiently. The Center also broadened its outreach ministry to include individual and group counseling for children and adolescents. In 1996, the Samaritan Scholarship Fund proved vital in supplementing funds to persons needing counseling but experiencing financial difficulty. During that year, 2,745 sessions were completed with $37,067.08 in scholarship fees provided, an increase of $7,727 over the previous year.
Kilgore’s tenth year of operation began with the Second Annual Ben Kilgore Award being given to two community leaders on February 17, 1997: Dr. Will Ward and Rev. Richard Humke. Dr. Ward was honored for establishing The Healing Place rehabilitation clinic, and the Rev. Humke for establishing Hospice of Louisville. Hospice provides help for the terminally ill and their families. That same year, the staff conduced 2,896 sessions. The Samaritan Scholarship Fund provided $35,052.82 for those experiencing financial hardships.
The Kilgore Samaritan Counseling Center’s eleventh year was highlighted by growth. On March 11, 1998, Dr. Henry P. Mobley, Jr. received the Third Annual Ben Kilgore Award. From 1993-1995, Dr. Mobley had served as interim pastor at Second Presbyterian Church and was a significant supporter of Kilgore’s ministry. He was honored for his many years of Denominational Service to the community. In 1998, 3,347 counseling sessions were completed with $30,914.83 in scholarships provided by the Samaritan Scholarship Fund.
Virginia T. Keeney, M.D. received the Fourth Annual Ben Kilgore Award to begin the Center’s twelfth year of operation in 1999. Dr. Keeney had worked for two years in a Korean leper colony, and in the 1960s, she coordinated the Sabin Polio Vaccination Campaign in Kentucky. In addition, she had served as chairperson of The Louisville Red Cross office and was active in many civic groups.
During this time, the Center began keeping all its records on computer. The counselors also could network together using QuicDoc Clinical Information software. This advancement improved record keeping and quality control. Also, David Kissell, M.D. joined Kilgore as a psychiatric consultant and Linda Nugent was hired as a part-time Development Director. In 1999, 3,505 counseling sessions were conducted with $31,456.91 in scholarships awarded. The Board of Director’s fund-raising efforts resulted in a $32,728.55 donation to the Samaritan Scholarship Fund and a $5,620.00 donation to the Samaritan Endowment Fund.
In 2000, Cornelia Serpell and the Rev. Robin Jennings received the Ben Kilgore Award during a fund raising event designed to raise money for the Samaritan Scholarship Fund. In addition, the Kilgore Garden Tour was established this year. Many people were introduced to the ministry of Kilgore when visiting beautiful spring gardens located throughout the Louisville community. Also, the Samaritan Institute renewed Kilgore’s accreditation for another four years.
In the fall of 1999, Second Presbyterian Church’s Space Needs Committee had approached the Center with the concept of the Center moving to a leased property located at 3702 Brownsboro Road, called “The Stone House.” The church and the Center made a significant financial commitment to remodel the house into offices and to provide for the cost of the lease. The Center moved from its church offices to “The Stone House” over the July 4th weekend, and a dedication ceremony was held on October 29, 2000. During 2000, the staff conduced 4,203 counseling sessions and $31,018 provided in fee scholarships for those unable to pay normal fees for counseling.
The year 2001 was one of growth. The Kilgore staff consisted of four full-time and three part-time counselors and an administrative assistant. This increase in demand was contrasted by the continued monetary limitations on services by insurance/managed care companies and the fact that more clients were unable to pay normal fees. This presented a greater demand on the Samaritan Scholarship Fund. The additional funding needed was helped by donations from a generous Board of Directors, The Ben Kilgore Award fund-raising event honoring Baylor Landrum, Jr., and the 2001 Kilgore Garden Tour and Patron’s Dinner. In 2001, 5,207 counseling sessions were conducted by staff with $41.718 was provided in fee scholarships.
Early in 2002, Executive Director, Dr. John Edgar, informed that Board that he would retire at the end of the year, but desired to continue as a part-time therapist at Kilgore. The Board formulated a Search Team consisting of Tim Martin, Alison Stemler, Julie Harris, Steve Lytch, Prentice Brown, Gene Sloan, Joan Gaston and Mary Ann Ruebenstahl. After interviewing four qualified candidates, the Search Team recommended Dr. Williard D. Sapp as the new Executive Director effective February 1, 2003. The Ben Kilgore Award recipient in 2002 was Steve Wilson, the President and CEO of Norton Healthcare. The Annual Garden Walk included five gardens in the east end of Louisville. The staff conducted 5,421 sessions in 2003 with $40,833 provided in scholarship fees.
In 2003 Dr. John Edgar officially retired as Kilgore’s Executive Director on January 31st but continued to work part-time at the St. Francis satellite office. Dr. Sapp began his duties as Executive Director on February 1st. The 2003 Ben Kilgore Award recipient was Dr. Laman Gray, Jr., who is an internationally renowned heart surgeon. Six gardens were included in the Annual Garden Tour, and 5,214 staff sessions were conducted with $33,818 in scholarships were provided.
In 2004, Kilgore’s accreditation was renewed through 2008 following a visit by the Samaritan Institute in July. The staff conducted 5,141 counseling hours with $47,337 in scholarship fees awarded. The Garden Tour raised $7000 and was highlighted in the September edition of the Samaritan Institute’s monthly newsletter as an effective fund raiser. Also during 2004, a massive clean-up of Kilgore’s mailing list was completed. The Ben Kilgore Award for the year went to Keith Knapp, the Executive Director of the Episcopal Church Home.
In 2005, the year began with the establishment of a satellite office at St. Luke’s Episcopal Church in Anchorage. In July, Dr. Sapp departed. In September, the office manager left the Center. The satellite office at St. Luke’s closed soon after. A Search Committee was formed to find a replacement for Dr. Sapp. Those serving on the committee were: Gary Bockhorst, Joan Gaston, Julie Harris Hinson, the Rev. Doug Slagle, the Rev. J.D. Brown, Wolfe Scofield and Woody Hitt. In November, the Board of Directors followed the advice of the Search Committee and hired Wayne Harper, EdD, as Kilgore’s new Executive Director. During this transition period between July and November, Board member, Joan Gaston, served as Interim Director with the help of Board Chairperson, Julie Harris Hinson. In December, Dr. Harper hired Rochelle Fetterley as the Center’s new office manager. The staff conducted 3,972 counseling sessions, approximately 20% less than the prior year with $35,545 awarded in scholarship fees reported.
During this period, a thorough review of the Center’s internal bookkeeping methodologies were reviewed by the Finance Committee under the leadership of Michael Hinson, a Kilgore volunteer, and accounting consultant, James Jennings, CPA. What resulted were extensive changes made in accounting procedures and financial reporting. In addition, Dr. Harper revised and simplified monthly clinical statistic compilations. Billing procedures were reviewed and streamlined. Because the major focus at the Center was reorganization, the Ben Kilgore Award was not given in 2005. The Garden Tour, however, raised just over $13,000.
In 2006, Dr. Harper and the Board continued to work at stabilizing Kilgore. More refinements were made to office policies and procedures and fine tuning billing and accounting. In order to enhance stability, the Board of Directors agreed to keep all current officers and Executive Committee members in place for one more year. Those continuing on the Executive Committee through 2006 were: Julie Harris Hinson, Board Chairperson; Gary Bockhorst, Vice Chairperson; Jeff Roberts, Treasurer; Laura King, Secretary; and the Rev. Doug Slagle, ex officio representative of Second Presbyterian Church.
During 2006, a number of extraordinary expenses impacted the Center’s profitability. Some of those expenses included recruiting fees for the new office manager, accounting consulting fees, upgrading the computer system, and the purchase of a Psychological Testing Library. Also during 2006, two new nursing home accounts were opened adding 162 additional clinical hours during the year. The Garden Tour net income totaled just over $13,000 and the Fall Fund Raising Letter resulted in just over $7,000 in donations. The Ben Kilgore Award was reinstated with the innovative approach of giving the award to multiple recipients. At two separate award ceremonies, the award was presented to Board members Joan Gaston and Carol Gray at Second Presbyterian Church, and the St. Francis Mission Team at St. Francis in the Fields. The staff conducted 4,292 counseling sessions which was an increase over last year.
Finally, a comprehensive review of the Kilgore’s policies and procedures was initiated by the Executive Director in late 2006 and will continue through 2007 in anticipation of the 2008 Samaritan Institute Accreditation site visit. In addition, the Customer Satisfaction Survey was refined and reinstated. Those returning the Survey gave their experience at the Center an overall score of 98.8% out of 100% with the statement that they would refer family and friends to Kilgore if they needed pastoral clinical help.
To say the least, CY 2007 was a tumultuous and rather destabilizing year – in a sense – the “perfect storm.” Several staff members, both administrative and clinical, left the Center and others joined. In terms of clinical staff, four therapists left, thus seriously reducing the Center’s ability to produce revenue for a significant portion of the year. Reasons for the departures of clinical staff members varied, with two leaving to practice in other counties and two others leaving for administrative positions in the provider and managed care community. Likewise, significant changes occurred within admin staff. Despite flat to diminished growth, it became apparent that the ever more onerous burden of administrating managed care contracts would require more than one position. In response, an administrative assistant was hired in April to maintain the reception and intake area, with intent to free up the OM to concentrate on billing and “back office” duties. At about the same time, during the first half of 2007, the QuickBooks file (the Center’s primary book-keeping system) became corrupted and unusable and required the rebuilding from scratch of the Center’s books for the first half of the year. In the midst of this project, the previous OM (a military wife) left in June to accompany her husband on an overseas tour of duty. A new and very well qualified replacement was quickly found and came to us with a BA in Accounting, as well as experience in the medical provider community. Since her arrival in July, her duties have been almost solely devoted to reconstruction of the Center’s bookkeeping system. As a result, the ED has needed to step in at the operational level to assist with some of the back office duties related to billing and collection of revenue. In the process of the review and reconstruction, conducted with the assistance and oversight of a consulting accountant and an accountant on the Board, several overdue bills were discovered. In turn, diminished cash flow required withdrawal of several thousand dollars from savings to meet the Center’s financial obligations. As noted, it was the “perfect storm.”
That said, several positive things also happened in 2007. Board and staff rallied in a cohesive and effective manner, bringing renewed and productive energy to the issues at hand. A new strategic plan was developed; a longer term “state of the Center” document and plan was constructed; the Center’s policy and procedure manuals were reviewed and have in part been rewritten (with the work to continue into spring of 2008); renewed and concerted focus on fundraising efforts has begun to formalize; office procedure has been scrutinized and re-parsed to incorporate additional administrative help. In addition, the Board gave generously – financially, and in terms of moral and “expert-advisor” support, with many Board members volunteering significant amounts of time and effort to the Center. In another area, two well-seasoned therapists were hired in November and both are well known and greatly accomplished in their field and in the community. In addition to bringing full caseloads (one, full time, and one, part-time) they also brought with them their energy and a broader perspective that causes us to begin asking questions about basic workflow and process. At least as importantly, they have already begun to make their presence felt financially, as clinical hours have already started to rebound. In another area, the Center has begun to focus upon and formalize alternative non-clinical revenue producing programs and services. To this end, the ED and a staff therapist attended a training sponsored by the Samaritan Institute for building a Clergy and Congregational Care Program. Following the training, a CCC Director has been named and a committee has been formed. Finally, a special debt of gratitude must go to Betty Gibbs, our founder, and her husband George, who stepped into the financial breach, donating several thousand dollars to the Center toward helping us, not only with moral encouragement but pragmatically to regain our financial footing in terms of cash flow. The importance of this simply cannot be overstated. We are all looking forward to 2008!
After a tumultuous 2007, 2008 was seen as a year of re-stabilization, rebuilding and growth. There has been no turnover in counseling staff and the hiring of a proactive and experienced receptionist in May has shown immense benefit to the effectiveness of the administrative functions. The Center has attained near record levels of billed counseling hours, at just under 5100. More importantly, counseling collections for the year stand at an astounding 98.4% of accrued adjusted billings – meaning that when we compare billed accruals to cash collections, we have achieved an extremely low 1.6% in uncollected counseling revenues. In the same vein, aged billings over 90 days are the lowest they have ever been in the history of the Center, with relatively few of those having required write-off. With those achievements described, it becomes the more disappointing to also report that 2008 was another year in which we have sustained a loss. The reasons are starkly simple. First, low reimbursement rates by the managed care companies (not increased since the mid-1990s) mean that we will loose money on virtually every counseling hour we provide. Second, and in tandem, the administrative burden required to interact with Managed Care means a disproportionately high ratio of admin hours to counseling hours. These first two reasons for continuing losses, in themselves, mean that, unlike most industries, we will never achieve “economies of scale” from counseling revenue. Add to the first two reasons, the following two: (1) we are a ministry that provides subsidized services to an ever increasing need; (2) we depend upon community support to provide our ministry. Need is up and support is down, thereby completing the managed-care / ministry “double whammy” of continuing losses. Still, 2008 was an exciting year. Acknowledging that our lease will expire at the end of 2009, the energetic Property Committee has researched over 1500 properties and has inspected dozens on site. The good news is that we find ourselves in a buyers market and that there are several wonderful choices to consider. The not so good news is that choices near our current location (and near the Second Presbyterian Church) are limited, both in physical plant specs and in what we can afford. 2008 has also been exciting in that, under the guidance of an equally energetic Fundraising Committee, we have made great strides in our fundraising efforts toward funding a new building (and perhaps establishing an internal endowment for program development and toward ongoing property maintenance). In September, we retained David Flemming, an experienced fundraising consultant, who set a very fast pace, with result of over $400,000 pledged by the close of the year. In this, the Center reached out to Board members, developed a comprehensive Capital Campaign Plan, and hosted a successful Homecoming event for current and former Board members, as well as for selected church members from Second Pres and St, Francis. Concurrently, we received gifts from such notable local foundations as Hilliard Lyons and the Gheens Foundation. Further, St. Francis in the Fields has agreed to double its current level of support and it appears that Second Presbyterian (under stewardship of incoming pastor, Steve Jester) is in the process of affirming an ongoing annual support level of $25,000. As importantly, the ever-dynamic Garden Tour Committee raised over $20,000 during a picture perfect 2008 Tour of several spectacular gardens. Further, the Center received a gift in early 2008, as Daniel Foley, a CPA with a background in church ministry, agreed to take the reins of the Finance Committee. Since Daniel’s arrival, and through joint efforts with Brenda, our office manager and with George Stroud, our incoming Board Chair and past Finance Committee Chair, the Board now receives timely understandable and reliable financial statements. And finally, the Center received a perfect score from the Samaritan Institute during SI’s periodic accreditation visit. Truly, many wonderful blessings have come to us during 2008.
CY 2009 was probably the most exhilarating and heady year in the Kilgore Center’s history. First and foremost, while our Capital Campaign did not raise the originally proposed goal of $1.2 million dollars, we have raised to date, over $500,000 in gifts and pledges – a very respectable sum, given the state of the economy in late 2008 and early 2009. While the amount raised has not allowed to us move into our new and expanded facility “free and clear,” we have been able to secure a relatively small mortgage loan from a key Board member of $50,000, payable quarterly in very “doable” terms over the next 15 years. The Campaign will continue, although in a modified manner under the oversight of the newly retooled Stewardship and Community Relations Community. Speaking of our move, we accomplished the physical transfer a month ahead of schedule, over the Thanksgiving holiday. A note of thanks and appreciation to Alex Rutherford, CEO of Undercover Systems for the significant renovations to our building, for staying within budget as well as for his class, his conscientiousness and his high quality workmanship. A very special thank you as well goes out to the many volunteers who gave so freely of their time to help make the move so smooth. Truly, “many hands make light work.” An Open House is planned in conjunction with the 2010 Garden Tour. Operationally, in terms of administration, both our admin and clinical teams remain stable and energetic with no disruptions or turnover. Clinically, we accomplished just over 4800 billed hours, with an average hourly collection rate of $60.30. While this compared negatively against 2009 projections (see ED Report of January, 2009, following excerpt: “Looking to 2009, it is expected that counseling hours will hold steady with a small amount of managed growth. The challenge will be that such growth will likely come from service provision of subsidized hours. We look to perhaps managing a goal of 5200 hours.”) Factors that contributed to falling short of projections included a severe ice storm with resulting prolonged power outages in January, 2009 that forced a shutdown of the Center for almost two weeks, health struggles and family concerns among some of the therapists, and other weather-related events of lesser but cumulative significance over the year. These factors combined to decrease our potential clinical hours by several hundred during CY 2009. That said, and as noted, we achieved an overall collection rate of $60.30 per billed hour, v. a rate of $58.69 in 2008. This is attributable to the continued tenacity of our admin staff and its collections efforts, where we’ve achieved a rate of over 95% collection of billed revenues. Further, and augmenting staff collection accomplishments, we achieved another record year for our annual Garden Tour, raising a net of over $24,000. We have thus, for only the second time in our history, by available records, finished a year in the black – quite an achievement in itself, given ever increasing pressure for more and more Samaritan Scholarships! As noted above, 2009 has truly been our headiest and certainly one of our most exhilarating years since our foundation.
After a very heady, exciting (and rather exhausting) CY 2009 -- winding the Capital Campaign down, overseeing renovation on our new facility, and then moving in, CY 2010 could be characterized more as a year of consolidation and stabilization. Center manuals for policy and procedure received extensive reviews, and in some cases, considerable revision and update. A new and comprehensive Financial Investment document was created; we moved our banking from PNC to Chase; we reconceptualized our approach to our strategic planning and its underlying document. We also reviewed our technology needs and in so doing, changed vendors and upgraded many of our offices with new or updated computers. We leveled out in terms of earned counseling revenue, with 2010, a virtual mirror image of 2009. Most importantly, we finished our second year in a row in the black. A significant contributing factor in this is that we collected almost 97% of what we have billed and set a record collection rate of $60.66 per billed hour. Another vital contributing factor in this year’s success was another record-breaking year by the Garden Tour Committee. CY 2010 was also a year of growth in many ways First, the Church Outreach program has gained momentum under the energetic leadership of Rev. Doug Slagle, who had retired from Second Presbyterian Church and who agreed to take the reins on this vital part of Kilgore’s mission. Another program that has languished for over a decade has been the Center’s Educational Outreach. With negotiations underway at this writing with a minister who is also a licensed therapist and a well-known educator and workshop facilitator, we are gaining momentum in this area of community engagement as well. Another area of growth for 2011 is anticipated in the clinical department. After an effortful search we have hired a very experienced therapist who will start full time with us in March. Pam Wilson, LCSW brings a wealth of clinical experience with her, including specialty with the military, and soldiers returning home from war and suffering Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. In the FR arena, we have also expanded our fundraising efforts, with 2010 seeing the launch of a new event – a Motorcycle Rally for kids with learning differences and attentional difficulties. Finally, and of critical importance to the Center’s health, the tireless and tenacious heroes on our Garden Tour Committee have turned in another record-breaking year – despite lack of full cooperation weather-wise.
Looking to 2011, we will continue to reach out to area churches, spending the first part of the year reconnecting with several churches previously engaged with to further cement our relationships with them. In tandem, we will be marketing an expanded cadre of educational opportunities, focusing at this time on our area churches. Clinically, we anticipate an increase in hours to about 5300. We are also looking forward to another banner year with our annual Garden Tour. And, we are looking forward to our second annual “Ride for Kids in the summer. As well, early predictions by many are that the current market rally will continue to some extent, resulting in some increase in our endowment distributions. Next, and something that we lacked resources for during 2010, we will turn attention as we can back to approaching area Foundations for gifts to further sustain us. Another area of attention will be in further improving our technology. In this, we will be moving our clinical records and billing programs to the Web-based SQL platform, resulting in increases in access speed and efficiency. Also, in the area of technology, we will complete the Requirements Document toward finally developing an improved and fully functional Kilgore website. Finally, we will spend much of 2011, gearing up for our periodic accreditation site visit by the Samaritan Institute – which will occur during the summer of 2012, but for which prudent preparation must begin about a year prior. Onward to 2011! Of final note for 2010, it is with much sadness that we acknowledge John Edgar’s retirement. Dr. Edgar’s history with the Center spans the past two decades and includes tenure as a Center Executive Director, as well as being a well-respected licensed Marriage and Family therapist.
It is now the close of a wonderful 2011. We have been in our new facility for just over two years, with our move made possible by the dedication, generosity and belief in our nondenominational faith-based mission of holistic mental health counseling to our community. We’ve had another great year for 2011! For starters, we finished our third year in a row in the black. Given that we’ve been in service since 1988, and prior to a few years ago, we had only once before experienced black ink on the books, we have been very blessed in the past thre years. That said, growth in service hours was flat this year. But that’s OK. In this case, flat is good – given some of the challenges we faced during 2011. While those challenges were not monetary, they were in fact personnel-related. We closed 2011 having provided 4940 service hours to the community, compared to 4814 hours for CY 2010. We managed to keep stride, despite having had one therapist retire and having hired a replacement therapist that we had to start from scratch in helping her build her caseload. So, we’ll take a small bit of growth for 2011. One area of service however that was definitely not flat, was in requests for and awards of scholarships by individuals and families who could not afford to pay full fees for counseling. We awarded approximately 160% of such hours for 2011 when compared to 2010 (from 476 to 748) – an increase in requested funding of almost $11,000. Capacity to provide for such an increase in demand and ability to continue our policy of never turning anyone away is truly one of our crowing achievements for 2011. There were, however, many other achievements for 2011. Among them, the Gheens Foundation awarded us a generous gift toward complete upgrade of our very antiquated computer. system. Next, our annual Garden Tour was the most successful ever, blowing all previous records out of the water (and providing the funding for our Samaritan Scholarships). Our 2nd Annual Ride for Kids was a success, allowing us to purchase evaluation materials for children with attention disorders and learning disabilities. Next, we completely updated our Kilgore Website (kilgorecounseling.com). Next, we continued our Church Outreach program, making presentations to area pastors and ministers in describing Kilgore’s mission and it’s faith-based counseling programs. Next, thanks to our very energetic Board, we significantly updated our By-Laws and Board Manual. And, last, but far from least, we conducted another very successful Client Satisfaction Survey. This achievement may be among our most meaningful, because feedback from our clients tells us that we are in fact providing them with relevant and beneficial services. Our clients have told us, at better than the 95% level, that they would refer others to us, that they would return to us as needed and that they, overall, are very satisfied with our service. In fact, the largest proportion of our new referrals (39%) are by word of mouth.
So – looking ahead, we are excited about 2012. We anticipate breaking the 5,000 mark in service hours; we anticipate another great Garden Tour and Bikers Run for Kids; and our budget and financial plan have allowed for continuation of heavy demand for scholarships; And finally, the folks from the Samaritan Institute will be visiting us during the coming summer to conduct their periodic accreditation review. This is an important event and sets us apart from most of the private mental health practices in town in its demand for rigor in our clinical and administrative conduct. Last time, we had a perfect score. So the pressure is on!
The calendar year of 2012 was both rewarding and challenging for us. We served just under 600 clients, including 419 new clients ranging from children to those with geriatric concerns. In addition, Psychological Testing services increased 36% in the past year and more than doubled in the past two years. 2012 was also gratifying in terms of of client satisfaction which achieved a best ever 98.6%. Another significant positive was our annual House & Garden Tour - the second most successful in our history when measured by fund raising towards our Samaritan Scholarship program. Finally, we completed another Samaritan Institute perfect score accreditation review, having met and exceeded all Accreditation Standards. 2012 was also financially challenging. We finished in the red, after three years in the black, with a net cash flow loss of just under $7,000, or about 1.8% of total expenses. This was the result of providing 9.7% fewer counseling hours than in 2011. The lower number of counseling hours resulted from disturbances in staffing. One therapist left to hang her own shingle and other therapists experienced difficulties due to unexpected but serious family illnesses. That said, there were some bright spots in the financial realm as well. First, collections per billed hour increased by 6% translating into significant dollars. Second, collections as a percent of revenue billed increased by a full percentage point - again translating into significant dollars. Historically, we have collected about 97% of billed revenue. So, increasing receivable to 98% represents a quantum leap in an efficient office administration system. Another bright spot for 2012 is that, despite decreased hours, Kilgore still earned 72% of all funding. The average amount Samaritan Institutes affiliates in the not-for-profit world averages 60% to 66%, so Kilgore continues to show a healthy self-reliance.
Looking forward to 2013, there is reason to believe the Center will be serving more clients and be stronger financially. First, another Doctoral level Psychologist has been hired - a child specialist with over 20 years in the field. Second, family medical challenges among some of the Kilgore therapists are decreasing in intensity, allowing some rebound in counseling hours. In addition, in 2012 Kilgore paid down half of its outstanding building mortgage, plus refinanced the balance at a lower rate and cut the amortization period in half to just five years. Further, Kilgore's main fund raiser, the annual House and Garden Tour, has arranged for six beautiful gardens in 2013 and is looking forward to another banner year. So - in looking ahead, we are excited about 2013. We anticipate another rewarding and fulfilling year of serving our community. In this, the Kilgore Samaritan Counseling Center remains healthy and vital, and we have been blessed by our community and it's support. Finally, and on a sad note, I cannot end this report without sadly remembering the loss of a very dear friend to Kilgore - Polly Williams. Polly was a dynamic and passionate leader, who served for several years on the Baord and who piloted the House and Garden Tour to its current levels. Poll, we miss you!
The Kilgore Samaritan Counseling Center continues as an interfaith, non-profit agency, partially funded by the Kilgore Endowment Fund, the Samaritan Scholarship fund, Second Presbyterian Church, St. Francis in the Fields Episcopal Church, foundations and individuals.