In response to the ever-changing ways which health care is delivered to patients, in 2018 Goodwin Community Health, Families First Health and Support Center of Portsmouth and Seabrook, and Lilac City Pediatrics of Rochester took the significant leap of becoming a single organization to improve patient access, quality and financial sustainability. The merged entity, Greater Seacoast Community Health, serves about 20,000 of our friends and neighbors in need of affordable health care. Our organization now has over 300 employees dedicated to our mission: Delivering innovative, compassionate, integrated health services and support that are accessible to all in our community, regardless of ability to pay.
Visit GetCommunityHealth.org to learn more about all of our merged organizations.
- Goodwin and Families First are each still be in the same locations and go by the same names.
- The organization’s overarching legal name is Greater Seacoast Community Health.
- Janet Laatsch is the CEO of the merged organization. Laatsch, who has expertise in finance and nursing, has served as CEO of Goodwin since 2005.
- Helen Taft, Families First Executive Director since 1989, retired on December 31, 2017.
- A single Board of Directors was created. Roughly half of the board members will come from each organization.
- The merged entity will be one of New Hampshire’s largest community health centers, serving about 18,000 local adults and children, many of them uninsured, underinsured or lacking access to affordable, quality health care.
Why We Merged: Three Reasons
1. A Good Fit: Shared Missions
This merger leverages the fact that Families First and Goodwin have:
- a 30-year history of collaborating and sharing best practices and resources
- nearly identical charitable missions, organizational structures and core services (integrated primary, prenatal, dental and behavioral health care)
- strong management and administrative operations
- cultures that are patient-centered and fiscally prudent
- adjacent service areas
- complementary skill sets and strengths, which will be shared to benefit clients
2. Expanding Opportunities
This merger will create operational efficiencies, financial advantages, economies of scale and clinical integration, including:
- expansion of programs and services, such as mobile health care, substance abuse treatment and parenting programs
- sharing of best practices to improve access, quality, and efficiency of services and operations
- ability to negotiate better benefits packages due to larger staff size, enhancing staff recruitment and retention
- financial advantages, such as more access to capital to support infrastructure and growth opportunities, and lower operating costs due to economies of scale
- further diversification of funding sources to enhance financial stability
3. Bigger is Stronger
This merger represents a proactive approach to meet the demands of a rapidly changing health care system. Being larger gives the organization:
- strength in contract negotiations with larger health care organizations
- better positioning to benefit from new insurance systems that base reimbursement on patient outcomes and reduction of unnecessary costs, such as non-urgent ER visits
- a regionalized, integrated health care delivery system
- more opportunity to receive grant funding, resulting in enhanced programs and services
For more information
Merger announcement document (PDF, 8 pages)
Merger agreement (PDF, 16 pages)
Goodwin and Families First Complete Merger
Press Release | January 2018
Lessons from the field: Nonprofit mergers
New Hampshire Charitable Foundation | November 2017
Q&A with Goodwin Community Health CEO Janet Laatsch
New Hampshire Business Review | September 15, 2017
Families First, Goodwin awarded for quality
Seacoast Sunday | September 10, 2017
Partnership for a healthy future
Seacoast Sunday | June 4, 2017
Merger of community health centers benefits all (editorial)
Portsmouth Herald | June 3, 2017
“Thumbs up” for increasing care (editorial)
Foster’s Daily Democrat | May 26, 2017
Goodwin, Families First to merge
Press release | May 2017