Nelson W. Burns, President and CEO of Coleman Professional Services was awarded the Mary E. Pettus Excellence in Public Policy Award for 2012 by the Ohio Council of Behavioral Health and Family Services Providers at their annual meeting in Columbus, Ohio. This award is presented to an individual or organization in recognition for making a major public policy contribution to improving the financing, delivery and/or quality of behavioral health and family service for Ohio’s citizens and communities.
“Nelson has provided leadership and innovative ideas to improve behavioral health services in Ohio’s communities,” said Hubert Wirtz, CEO of The Ohio Council. “Committing his organization to make a major investment in legislative and policy advocacy in Washington, D.C. each year makes a difference and is exemplary. His pursuit of collaboration and partnership with health care providers supports national and Ohio policy efforts to improve physical and behavioral health care integration to better treat the whole person.”
“I am humbled to be honored with this prestigious award by The Ohio Council,” Mr. Burns said. “I must commend Coleman’s Board, whose volunteer members have taken time each of the last several years to go to Washington, D.C. to advocate for our organization and all persons with behavioral health and rehabilitation challenges. In addition, our employees are continually striving to build partnerships that improve services for our clients and our communities.”
Mr. Burns has been President and CEO of Coleman Professional Services since 1985. Coleman Professional Services is a nationally recognized not-for-profit provider of behavioral health and rehabilitation programs that improve the lives of individuals, families and businesses in Ohio. When he joined what was then the Kevin Coleman Mental Health Center, it had an operating budget of just over one million dollars and only served Portage County. Under his leadership, the organization has grown to almost 26 million dollars and serves seven Ohio counties. In addition to Portage, those counties are: Allen, Auglaize, Hardin, Stark, Summit and Trumbull. The company’s focus has grown as well. It began by providing outpatient and emergency mental health services and has expanded to include employment/vocational, residential, addiction and mediation services. Coleman also operates adult day services locations in Portage County. Coleman currently employs 540 people in its seven counties.
Mr. Burns initiated a social enterprise model for the company, prior to that term being coined, in order to increase revenue and not rely solely on government payer sources. Coleman’s enterprise companies along with the Coleman Foundation provide nearly 20% of the company’s funding. In 2011, Mr. Burns was honored by The National Council for Community Behavioral Healthcare with their Visionary Leader Award. Under Burns leadership, the Ohio EHR (Electronic Health Records) Collaborative was established in 2010. He has served in various behavioral health leadership roles in the state of Ohio, the CARF board, and the Ohio Council. He is currently on the MHCA board and Chair of the MHCA Marketing and Fundraising Committee. In addition to his work at Coleman, Mr. Burns serves as an adjunct professor for Kent State University, serves on the advisory board for the Kent State University Healthcare Executive MBA program, is a member of the Health Community Partnership of Portage County, and is an active member and former president of the Rotary Club of Kent,.
The Ohio Council of Behavioral Health and Family Services Providers, a private, not-for-profit corporation, is a trade association representing provider organizations throughout Ohio which provide behavioral health and family services to their communities.
Coleman Professional Services is a nationally recognized, not-for-profit provider of behavioral health and rehabilitation programs that improve the lives of individuals, families and businesses in Ohio. The company’s vision is to foster recovery by having open access for services regardless of the ability to pay, build independence by ensuring that people who are homeless and mentally ill have a permanent place to live, and change destinies by helping people obtain employment, reducing their dependency on entitlements. The company relies on an Enterprise Business Model to diversify its funding. Its social enterprises and Coleman Foundation provide nearly 20 percent of revenue to support the company’s award-winning clinical services.