With State Owing $1.5 Million, Pioneer Center “in Crisis”

A press release from Pioneer Center:

Pioneer Center in Crisis, Loss of Services Expected

Due to the state budget crisis and continued insufficient program funding, Pioneer Center for Human Services has announced it can no longer sustain the scope of services it provides today throughout McHenry County.

This plea is posting on the Pioneer Center web site.

This plea is posting on the Pioneer Center web site.

The agency must raise at least $400,000 immediately or be faced with the very real possibility of shutting its doors in the coming weeks.

Currently, the organization is evaluating aggressive program cuts and transfers of services to partner agencies to extend its ability to stay in business during this financial crisis.

The impact of the budget impasse has already been felt by several programs at Pioneer Center.

  • As of February 15, 2016, the agency’s Wheeler Group Home and Madison Group Home clients will be merged and the Madison Group Home will close.
  • As of March 2, Traumatic Brain Injury Services will be transitioning to the Epilepsy Foundation of North Central Illinois. As of March 18, adult psychiatric services will close and over 1,200 people will need to find other providers.

With each programmatic change or closure the agency has administered staff reductions.

At this critical stage, Pioneer Center is seeking partner agencies to discuss the viability of transferring programs to ensure that clients continue to receive the care they need.

Currently, the organization is working with the McHenry County Mental Health Board, the Illinois Department of Human Services and additional social service providers to ensure that client care remains top priority.

With the State of Illinois in crisis since July 1, 2015, the lack of a state budget has had a crippling effect on Pioneer Center. Approximately 78% of the agency’s funding comes from government entities.

And, because of the budget impasse only a small portion of that revenue has been paid, oftentimes delayed.

As of February 11, the State of Illinois owes Pioneer Center over $1.5 million for services provided.

Programs such as respite care, group homes, at-risk youth mental health services and homeless services are a part of the budget impasse. In many cases, this means Pioneer Center has been providing services to thousands of people for many months with little or no payment.

To date, the agency has attempted to absorb the financial blow as gracefully as it can but programs and clients are now affected.

At the beginning of the impasse, the agency looked internally at financial efficiencies and operating costs attempting to trim expenses and streamline processes. Their investigation led to the discovery that the billing and claims process was dysfunctional and allowing a high percentage of claims to be rejected and not followed up on.

Over the course of several months, the agency introduced a revenue cycle management team with a focus on retrieving those rejected claims and the funds associated with them. In addition, the agency instituted several best practices typical in a health care service environment that would enable it to quickly and effectively receive payments.

Pioneer Center made as many adjustments and expenditure cuts as it could—cutting its operating budget by over $2 million. These cuts included reductions in staff levels, decreases in staff benefits, a freeze on back filling vacated staff positions and more.

Unfortunately, with the complete stoppage of payment from the state for many programs and delayed payments for others…the agency just isn’t able to wait for those cuts to have their effect on the bottom line.

“Due to the continued budget impasse and unsuccessful efforts in securing adequate funding of key programs, we can no longer win this fight on our own. We are at the mercy of the community and the other agencies in McHenry County to help us through this crisis,” said Mike Moushey, Pioneer Center Board Chairman.

To help raise the funds so desperately needed, Pioneer Center has created www.SavePioneer.org which contains information about the agency’s struggles and a simple and easy way to make a donation to the campaign. Donations can also be sent to Pioneer Center for Human Services, 4100 Veterans Parkway, McHenry, IL 60050. Questions can be directed to Marilou Niggemann, Interim Director of Development, at 815.759.7128 or mniggemann@pioneercenter.org.


With State Owing $1.5 Million, Pioneer Center “in Crisis” — 12 Comments

  1. Where will all the Bernie supporters go for their “treatments” now ?

    What will happen to them – back to the streets ?

    Oh, the humanity !

  2. Ask Republirat Craig Adams why he jumped ship from Pioneer after a six figure leech-salary of many years.

    Pioneer is too corrupt to fail!

  3. Honest Abe, perhaps it is YOU who seems to demonstrate a lack of humanity.

    Scores of disabled people depend on PC which is our County’s only provider.

    Without PC, they have no where to live or spend their days, or get therapy.

    They do not progress, enjoy any independence, or quality of life.

    They do not vote, or express themselves on a blog, but they are our most vulnerable neighbors and family.

    It seems that Illinois’s lack of reimbursement and perhaps poor leadership has placed PC in jeopardy.

    However, as a County, we simply must find a way to support and rehabilitate the agency.

    I enjoy living in our County because of how decent, moral, and virtuous my neighbors seem to be.

    I am confident they will do the right thing and support PC and their clients in their hour of need.

  4. Drake,

    Obviously you are incapable of comprehending political sarcasm.

    But to your point of lack of humanity, don’t blame me, blame
    the party of corruption that has run this state for decades.

    The same party that has run this state into the tax and spend Hellhole that it has become.

    I trust you know who that would be.

  5. Blame Rauner who will not take the budget the Democrats passed and use his pen to make cuts.

    Both sides are cowards waiting for the other to move, waiting for another election, because they don’t lose only poor people lose.

    Remember Quinn raised the taxes, Rauner cut them and now we have even more debt.

    Thanks Brucie.

  6. None of you guys on this blog will have your taxes raised under Bernie, but why should rich people fight when they have dumber middle and poor class people sticking up for them.

    March for lower property taxes you are in a republican area.

    That is how democracy works.

  7. Pioneer Center helps the most vulnerable in our community.

    If you do not see how this closing will effect us all negatively then you aren’t looking hard enough.

    I’m sure they can make some cuts in the salary of executives and directors to keep this going.

  8. Pioneer Center’s leadership sucked it dry for years, enjoying outrageous salaries and huge expense accounts, The entire time, expecting everyone else to do without.

    They refused the advice of professionals who warned them they needed to trim their spending.

    Employee’s needs were ignored.

    Then they jumped ship rather than face the music.

    Their failure to bill insurance companies for services cost them millions that tax payers now need to cover.

    There should be an investigation.


    Leadership with close to and/or above 6 figure incomes.

    Group home and direct programming staff making $11/hr salaries with no annual raises and little support.

    The overstaffed Human Resource department!

    There is still fat to cut internally – Director & Some Leadership employees should be forced to take a pay cut.

  10. …AND there should be an investigation into the financial mismanagement by upper level management with legal consequences if warranted.

  11. REASON and COMMON SENSE….I find that assuming things is not usually the best way to go about anything. 6 figure salaries? You can’t be serious. And I can tell you that you are dead wrong that the leadership positions in this agency make/made that much money. DSPs ALL OVER THE STATE made $11 and some in other agencies make even less. There has been a trend in the state of a lot of turnover due to the low pay. A lot of DSPs have jumped ship and went to St. Louis where they are making just a few dollars more.

  12. The 6 figure or close to 6 figure salaries are fact, not an assumption.
    Sad but true.

    Also DSP salaries are woefully inadequate given the complexity and danger of their work. I dont care what the Illinois average salary is. It is wrong!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.