Sertoma Star Services – Merger of Sertoma Centre and New Star

Sertoma Centre and New Star to merge July 1, 2023

The merger will form a large alliance for individuals with intellectual/developmental disabilities and those living with mental illness

For a collective 120-plus years, the New Star and Sertoma Centre agencies have provided state-of-the-art services and programs to individuals with intellectual/developmental disabilities.

Additionally, Sertoma Centre’s Community Mental Health and Counseling has been a leader in supporting those living with mental illness. Both organizations are proud of how we have positively impacted communities in the south suburbs of Chicago and northwest Indiana.

Effective July 1, Sertoma Centre and New Star will merge into one organization, renamed Sertoma Star Services. After several months of high-level discussions, the decision to pursue a merger confirmed that a combined organization would better benefit consumers through a broader continuum of services and greater innovation.

Sertoma Centre and New Star have a collective 120 plus years of supporting people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. This merger will enable us to achieve our ultimate goal – helping those we serve to live more fulfilling lives.

Sertoma Centre also has strong mental health services, providing opportunities that empower individuals with disabilities to achieve personal success throughout the south suburbs. New Star has unique recreation services, supports people in Indiana and a strong person-centered model. Both organizations are committed to community integrated employment and smaller facility-based day services.

If you have any questions, or concerns, please email info@SertomaStar.org and your questions will be addressed.

More information...

Questions and Answers

Below are some frequently asked questions and answers concerning the Sertoma Centre and New Star merger. If you do not find the answer to your question, please email your comment or concern to info@sertomastar.org.

Additionally, there will be a Virtual Town Hall meeting Tuesday, June 6 at 7 p.m. with Dan Strick and Gus van den Brink  at 7:00 p.m.  Please email info@SertomaStar.org and register.  You will then receive a Zoom link.

Who are Sertoma Centre and New Star? Both agencies have decades of history serving the I/DD population and those living with mental illness in the south suburbs of Chicago and have more than 120 years of combined service.

Why are Sertoma Centre and New Star merging? The core mission and values of Sertoma Centre, Inc. and New Star, Inc. align and bring together premier reputations and rich histories of supporting people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD). Combining the strengths of each organization will benefit consumers and their families by creating new opportunities and additional programming support. As one entity, the organization can reaffirm its commitment to providing quality community-integrated employment and more targeted facility-based day services.

Additionally, each organization brings unique programs and services that will expand the overall offerings of the merged agency. Sertoma Centre has well-established behavioral health services and extensive janitorial employment opportunities. New Star has unique recreation services, supports consumers in Indiana, and has a robust person-centered model. Both organizations are nationally accredited.

What are the benefits of Sertoma Centre and New Star merging? The decision to combine Sertoma Centre and New Star into one organization was a thoughtful solution that allowed us to take the best practices of each organization and share them across all our services.

Together we can make a stronger impact throughout the Chicago Southland and northwest Indiana by providing an array of comprehensive services, choices, and opportunities. The merger will also create administrative efficiencies, which can then be directed to our programs and direct care staff wages.

Like everyone today, we are looking to use our resources as wisely as possible. This merger will give us the opportunity to combine our strengths and apply the right level of support to each service that we deliver.

Is this a merger or an acquisition? After extensive due diligence, we concluded that formally combining our organizations will help to accelerate both our agencies’ goals of providing the best person center services throughout Chicagoland and northwest Indiana. This is not an acquisition by either organization, and the operations of both New Star and Sertoma Centre will be enfolded into Sertoma Star Services. Although the New Star and Sertoma Centre names will no longer be used, our program focuses will remain the same.

What will your name be? The combined organization will work under the new name, Sertoma Star Services incorporating aspects of both agencies’ brands.

What will the mission be?  Will it change? The missions of both organizations are very similar and reflect the same philosophy and foundation for services. The mission of Sertoma Centre is to provide opportunities that empower individuals with disabilities to achieve personal success. The mission of New Star is to provide choices and opportunities for persons with disabilities and their families through a culture of innovation and caring to enrich their lives and maximize their independence. There will be a process established to review the two missions and develop a combined/new Mission for Sertoma Star Services. This process will include the development of a combined/new vision, core values and strategic plan for Sertoma Star Services.

Will there be program changes? The priority for both Sertoma Centre and New Star is the quality of care for our consumers. There should be no significant program changes pending the merger and consumers can expect to continue interacting with the staff they are familiar with.  No programs are being eliminated because of the merger and both Sertoma Centre and New Star intend to minimize any disruption to consumers services. Each consumer’s individual needs, self-expression, and safety will continue to be of the highest priority.

Will employees keep their jobs?  Will there by layoffs? The vast majority of current New Star and Sertoma Centre employees will remain in the same position and work with the same individuals. As we integrate our programs and administrative operations, the process to identify needs for specific positions will begin and it is possible that employees will be assigned different supervisors and management teams.

What changes are coming and when? This will be a thoughtful transition, and we will carefully assess the best way to coordinate the delivery of services and maximize the strengths of each organization as we move forward.  We will keep staff, families, the people we serve, and our supporters informed throughout the process.

What is the timeline? While we are working on developing a timeline for the full transition, the target date is July 1, 2023 to have all local, state and federal contracts transitioned over so we can officially become one organization.  As the transition plan progresses, we will keep everyone updated.

Will any of the New Star or Sertoma Centre buildings close? We are committed to keeping the structure and flow of our services intact for all our consumers. The Community Living Homes (CILAS) will continue to operate seamlessly, while our Community Day Programs will continue to operate out of the Chicago Heights and Alsip buildings. Sertoma Centre’s Community Mental Health Center in Matteson will also continue operations. New Star’s Community Day Services has not operated in our Crete facility since before the pandemic and the Sertoma Centre facility located at 4100 W. 127th street has been closed since the beginning of the pandemic. Thoughtful consideration will be given to providing services in all our facilities as we move forward.

Are you worried that the agency will be too big and lose its personal touch? Not at all. We are not adding individuals to services without the resources to support them, which is why this merger is so attractive.  We will have a better delivery of even more services to the individuals we serve.

As a donor, why should I still give you money? The focus of your past gifts and continued support remains the same. Your investment will remain centered on the same mission; providing quality programming to enrich the lives of individuals with intellectual/developmental disabilities and those living with mental illness. The combined mission and goals are the same. Consequently, the resources needed to meet them also remain the same. The combined organization will continue to be a vibrant nonprofit worthy of investments to help meet the needs of our community.

Will this merger save money? The primary driver in these discussions has not been cost savings but systems efficiencies, streamlining the service delivery system for the consumers we support and their families.

What is the leadership of the organization? Both Dan Strick and Gus van den Brink will continue in leadership roles in the merged organization.  Dan will be the President/CEO of the agency and Gus will remain as Executive Director working with Dan to develop the leadership of Sertoma Star Services and integrate policies and systems for the new organization until his eventual retirement.

Sertoma Centre
4343 West 123rd Street
Alsip, Il 60803
708-371-9700

Sertoma Centre
4100 West 127th Street
Alsip, Il 60803
708-371-9700

Community Mental Health Counseling
4331 West Lincoln Highway
Matteson, IL 60443
708-748-1951