AtlantiCare’s deal for John Brooks Recovery Center would increase behavioral health care in Atlantic County

The announcement Tuesday by AtlantiCare that it signed a letter of intent to acquire John Brooks Recovery Center has the potential to be more than just another health care merger.

For AtlantiCare, it would mean the ability to increase and enhance care for the growing population in need of substance use disorder and other behavioral health services.

For JBRC, it would enable the Egg Harbor Township-based health care system to expand its network of those programs to make a difference in health and healing by combining complementary behavioral health capabilities.

The signing of a definitive agreement and attaining regulatory approvals still lies ahead, but AtlantiCare and JBRC expect to complete the transaction in early 2022.

Dr. Marilouise Venditti, senior vice president and chief medical officer at AtlantiCare, said the health system is excited for the potential impact.

“AtlantiCare has built a very strong behavioral health service line, with end-to-end services that incorporate impatient adult care and a wide array of allocation services, as well as partial hospitalization and programs for adults, children and adolescents,” she said.

Dr. Marilouise Venditti. (AtlantiCare)

“We have also launched programming for people who suffer substance use disorder that the John Brooks Recovery Center really enhances and supplements. There are some higher-level services that John Brooks will bring to our portfolio.”

AtlantiCare and JBRC have experience in partnering to advance their mutual goals in providing care and support for individuals impacted by substance use disorders. AtlantiCare’s Federally Qualified Health Center in Atlantic City already provides care coordination, primary care and other treatment services to JBRC clients.

“JBRC has been a well-respected treatment center in the community for decades,” Venditti said. “The residential treatment program that we will be gaining with John Brooks is really something that families and patients will appreciate having so local.”

Additionally, AtlantiCare links patients of AtlantiCare Regional Medical Center and its other care locations with JBRC’s services.

JBRC’s continuum of care includes seven integrated programs licensed by the Department of Health and Department of Community Affairs. They include:

  • A primary health care clinic in Pleasantville;
  • Opioid treatment programs in Atlantic City and Pleasantville;
  • Substance use disorder outpatient programs in Atlantic City and Pleasantville;
  • A residential treatment program in Mays Landing;
  • The Atlantic County Jail Reentry Project and “Pilot Medication-Assisted Treatment Program” at the Atlantic County Jail in Mays Landing;
  • The Boardwalk and All Roads Community Peer Recovery Centers in Atlantic City and Pleasantville;
  • A sober living recovery residence program in Galloway.