Agency History

Agency History

Mid-Ohio Counseling Center was established in 1989 by Dr. Stephanie Miller, Bradley Hedges, Dean Bachelor, Suzanne Wing, and Greg Szafranski.  Each of the original staff worked full-time at the Southeastern Correctional Institution and were seeking a balance to their professional lives.  Mid-Ohio Counseling Center was initially established as a private practice with the intention of providing quality services to the general population of the Fairfield County community.  Mid-Ohio Counseling Center was originally located above the Banc One Building at 123 South Broad Street in Lancaster, Ohio.  Shortly after the agency began, Fairfield County Juvenile Court and Fairfield County Children Services became aware of the level of forensic expertise which was present within this private practice and began providing a substantial referral base for the agency.

In 1991, the Fairfield County Mental Health and Recovery Services Board and the Fairfield County Juvenile Court encouraged Dr. Hedges and Dr. Miller to open a community mental health agency.  In 1992, Mid-Ohio Psychological Services (MOPS) was incorporated as a non-profit community mental health agency and was certified by the Ohio Department of Mental Health (ODMH) to provide counseling and diagnostic assessment services.  Shortly prior to being certified by ODMH, Mid-Ohio Psychological Services and Mid-Ohio Counseling Center moved to 624 East Main Street where the MOPS main office is currently located.

Upon being certified as a community mental health agency, the primary focus of services was on providing quality diagnostic evaluations and individual counseling to delinquent/unruly youth and sex offender treatment services.  A significant portion of the client population serviced by MOPS were youth who were placed through foster care agencies.

By 1995, demand for services through MOPS had increased, resulting in a need for additional space.  The 624 East Main Street building was doubled in size.  By 1996, the staff was comprised of three psychologists and four psychology assistants.

In 1997, MOPS petitioned ODMH to certify MOPS for providing medication/somatic services.  Dr. Sheridan Smith was hired as the first psychiatrist for MOPS and provided services approximately one-half day per week.  By 1999, the need for case management services became apparent and MOPS became certified through ODMH to provide these services. In 2000, it became apparent that many of the clients served by this agency experienced both chemical dependency as well as mental health concerns, so MOPS sought and obtained certification through the Ohio Department of Alcohol and Drug and Addiction Services (ODADAS).

From 1996 through 2002, MOPS experienced an average of 50 percent annual growth.  Because of a change in the political and economic environment in 1998, it became possible for MOPS to provide services to residents from anywhere in Ohio.  As a result, a significant quantity of services began to be provided to residents from Central and Southern Ohio.  Currently, approximately 40 percent of the client population serviced are from outside of the Fairfield County area.

In 2003, MOPS expanded into a second building to accommodate an increase in staff due an increase in the demand for services.  The second building is adjacent to the 624 building, at the address of 630 E. Main Street.

In 2004, MOPS expanded by opening a clinic location in Franklin County at Eastland Executive Square, 2246 Hamilton Road, Suite 202.  This Clinic initially focused on adolescent clients and sexual offender counseling for adolescents.  Additional services were made available as client needs dictated.

In 2005, MOPS again expanded by opening administrative offices at 632 East Main Street and doubled the size of the offices in the Franklin County Office.  Also in 2005, MOPS was granted CARF certification.

In 2007, MOPS expanded services in Fairfield County by adding staff on-site at Fairfield County Job and Family Services and Fairfield County Municipal Court.  Services were also expanded in Franklin County with additional staff to provide psychological evaluations, testing, and medication services.

In 2008, MOPS expanded services in Franklin County by moving into a larger suite in Eastland Executive Square, 2238 S. Hamilton Road, Suite 200.  The agency expanded services available in Delaware County by adding staff on-site at Delaware County Job and Family Services.  The agency has also formalized a long history of providing internships opportunities to psychology students by joining the Association of Psychology Postdoctoral and Internship Centers  (APPIC).  The agency expanded administrative space by moving  transcription and computer programming  staff to an office at 636 E. Main Street.

In January 2009, the demand for service in Licking County resulted in further expansion, with the addition of an additional clinic being added at 31 West Church Street, Newark, Ohio.  By April 2010 we had outgrown the space at 31 West Church Street and moved into 21 West Church Street, almost doubling our services in Licking County.  This clinic has focused on providing general counseling services to a broad range of clients who receive Medicaid.  Also in January 2009, the MOPS Sexually Aggressive Youth Program received certification from the Ohio Department of Youth Services.

In 2010, the Franklin County site doubled the office space and created a Training Center that hosts over 50 trainings annually.  Additionally in 2010, this location began adding staff on-site at Alvis House to provide treatment for clients in a Sexually Aggressive Developmentally Delayed Adults program.  In April 2010 we added a fourth location in Delaware Ohio, expanding on the services that we had been providing through their Children Services beginning in 2008. In October 2010, we opened our fifth location, in Chillicothe Ohio.

In 2011, again to meet the growing demands of the community, the Licking County office moved to the PNC Building at 68 W. Church Street, Suite 318.  In 2012, the office expanded to increase clinical office space.   By August 2011, the Delaware location had outgrown the first location and the office was moved to 236 West Central Avenue. Currently, the office provides services for clients in Delaware, Morrow, Union, and Marion County.

In 2012 various leadership positions were created including Director of Operations, Associate Director, and Program Coordinator in response to the expansion of the agency and to grow special programs.  The agency runs various Special Programs including: Therapeutic Mentor, Sexually Aggressive Youth, Sexual Offender Program, Formal Assessments, Anger Management, Sexually Aggressive Developmentally Delayed Adults, Alcohol and Other Drugs Program, Emergency Services Aftercare Program, and Behavior Management with Developmentally Disabled.

In July 2015, Dr. Hedges stepped down as  Executive Director and appointed Kimberly Blair to be the Executive Director.   The agency had been planning for this transition for over three years and was part of the agency’s strategic plan.  Dr. Hedges continues to serve as an employee of the agency in his Senior Consultant role.

On September 1, 2015 the agency launched a new logo and colors.  We continued to utilize the Greek symbol for psychology, Psi,  to represent our approach to providing high-quality mental health and substance abuse services operating under the “psychology model.”  To learn more about our approach to treatment, refer to Clinical Philosophy page.

Expanding beyond our original client population of sex offenders (currently reflecting less than 20% of our total client population) and persons referred by Children Services, MOPS now provides a full continuum of mental health services for residents of Central and Southern Ohio.  MOPS also provides an extensive array of forensic mental health services.   MOPS provides a full-time case manager for severely mentally ill individuals who are involved with the adult criminal justice system.  MOPS provides a number of alternative sentencing programs including sexual offender groups for adult sex offenders, developmentally disabled sex offenders, and sexually aggressive youth as well as an extensive aggression management program.  MOPS also provides forensic evaluation services, including assessments for not guilty by reason of insanity, competency to stand trial, guardianship assessment,  and evaluations to aid the Court in determining the necessity for permanent custody for individuals involved with the Child Protective Services system.

MOPS provides substance abuse treatment services in the form of substance abuse assessment, individual counseling, and group counseling services.

MOPS currently employs approximately 95 individuals, including five psychologists, and various other masters and bachelor level clinicians.

MOPS utilizes a somewhat unique approach to community mental health in terms of the management philosophy, as well as clinical philosophy.  MOPS utilizes a “psychology model” clinical approach as opposed to a more traditional social work or medical model.  Utilizing a psychological model, staff attempt to ensure that a clear diagnostic picture and clinical formulation are established prior to initiating treatment services.  As a result, clients typically participate in more aggressive assessment using formalized instruments and a thorough psychosocial history prior to initiating services.

MOPS is operated in a community group practice structure in which clinicians are held accountable for services rendered to a particular client.  As a result, typically the same clinician will conduct the diagnostic assessment and provide ongoing treatment services.  A number of management techniques are utilized to ensure accountability between the clinician and the client.

To support the services provided by MOPS, a state-of-the-art computer system has been developed to aid in managing clinical information, as well as billing information.  This system allows clinicians to focus on the provision of services, rather than being distracted by bureaucratic demands.

The staff of MOPS continue to strive to provide quality mental health services in a fashion which is responsive to both clients and systemic needs.  The agency has expanded its use of technology to develop and utilized a Standards of Care website that defines, in a dynamic fashion, the agency’s standard of care for clients based on the client’s age and treatment needs and provide agency clinical staff with a centralized location for resources that support and ensure the quality of the care provided to each client.