ST. LOUIS (July 1, 2024) – Today Places For People and Preferred Family Healthcare formalized their partnership with the Springfield, MO-based Brightli, Inc. network to expand behavioral healthcare services in the St. Louis region. Later this month, staff and supporters will come together to celebrate the commencement of the partnership.

Together Places For People and Preferred Family Healthcare now serve more than 11,200 people, operate 29 clinical and residential locations in six counties, and employ approximately 700 people. Both organizations will remain independent entities and continue to serve their existing areas.

“Today we formalize this partnership that will allow us to deliver high-quality services to more people than ever before. As we move forward together, we will build on the strengths and services of each organization to have a greater impact on some of the most critical health issues facing our clients in the greater St. Louis Region,” said Tony Hilkin, Chief Executive Officer of Places For People and, effective today, President of Brightli’s Greater St. Louis Region.

“This is a great day for behavioral healthcare in the greater St. Louis region. This partnership expands access to vital mental health and substance use services,” said Cori Putz, Interim Regional President of Brightli’s Greater St. Louis Region and, effective today, Chief Operating Officer of Brightli’s Greater St. Louis Region. “By combining our expertise and resources, we are better positioned to meet the growing demand for comprehensive care for individuals, their families, and our community.”

Additionally, Places For People named Andrea Patton as President of the Board of Directors; Dr. Rajiv Patel as Vice President of the Board of Directors; Meagan Doty as Vice President of Clinical Services; and Micha Mims as Vice President of Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging. Former Places For People CEO Laura McCallister is now the Executive Vice President of Financial Planning & Analysis in the Brightli system.

Places For People joins Burrell Behavioral Health, Preferred Family Healthcare, Southeast Missouri Behavioral Health, and several other subsidiaries under the Brightli umbrella. Brightli serves more than 100,000 individuals with total annual revenues of approximately $500 million, making it the nation’s fourth-largest nonprofit behavioral health organization by total revenue.

“Joining forces with an organization with the reputation and legacy of Places for People is an outstanding opportunity for Brightli and the people of St. Louis,” said Brightli CEO Dr. C.J. Davis. “By adding services in the heart of St. Louis, I truly feel we are creating the most accessible and high-quality network of mental health services in the Midwest, if not the nation.”

About Places For People: Since 1972, Places For People has provided a human approach to health and healing, with a focus on mental and physical health, as well as substance use disorders. The organization, which is one of the few Certified Community Behavioral Health Organizations (CBHO) in St. Louis City or County, has approximately 360 employees and serves more than 3,000 people in ongoing services each year. Learn more at

About Preferred Family Healthcare: For 38 years, Preferred Family Healthcare has been committed to improving the health and wellness of the communities we serve by offering a full continuum of integrated health services. Currently, PFH has locations throughout Missouri, Illinois, Kansas, and Oklahoma. PFH strives to serve the whole person by focusing on emotional and physical health and wellness, as well as addressing other needs that may present barriers to success. Learn more at

About Brightli: Brightli, Inc.’s subsidiaries include Burrell Behavioral Health, Preferred Family Healthcare, Southeast Missouri Behavioral Health, and other organizations across the Midwest. While these organizations operate independently and are governed by separate boards of directors, their operations and services benefit from this parent-company model, which allows them to collaborate, share resources and system supports, increase recruiting and retention efforts, increase access to specialized care, and meet the growing demand for behavioral and addiction recovery care. Learn more at


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