A recent shake up within the Alaksa Crossings program is all part of what AICS management is calling a pre-emptive restructuring plan.

In the past 2-weeks, The Crossings program has seen 8 layoffs as well as the resignation of former program Director Stephen Prysunka. In the midst of these changes, AICS Facilities Manager Steve Helgeson has been hired to take over as the new Crossings program director. He says what they’re dealing with is regulation changes coming from Crossings main funding source Medicaid.

“We want to make sure the crossings program stays vital and sustainable, so we to take measures to bring the budget for next year into balance while taking into consideration what effect the new regulations will have on our revenue,” he says.

As for the recent layoffs, in administration there was 4 full-time positions laid off, 3 full-time positions re-allocated, and 1 full-time position moved to seasonal. And for the Crossings shop 4 part-time seasonal positions were eliminated and 1-position was re-allocated. Along with the layoffs Helgeson says they are re-organizing how the program is run.

“We have had to do a number of difficult things. We have had to consolidate positions, and have made cuts across the board for crossings expenditures,” he says.

Helgeson says the layoffs were not easy, but says they are necessary to make sure the organization and program stay sustainable and afloat in the next fiscal year. He says at this time AICS is working on a plan to incorporate the Crossings program and its employees into the wider AICS organization.

“One example of what we have done is integrated the case manager and billing into the same system that already exists in the rest of the agency,” he says.

As for an immediate solution to any potential cuts in Medicaid, Helgeson says they have restructured next year’s wilderness expeditions to fifteen expeditions and shortened them from 51-days to 34-days. At this time he says employees are working harder to cover the positions that were laid off.

“As the funding situation keeps changing there is a possibility as we adapt to the new regulations to grow the program out some. We will have to see how regulations come down. But there is no question that the most difficult thing is have to lay people off,” he says.

In the weeks to come CEO Mark Walker, CFO Georgiana Buhler and Crossings Director Steve Helgeson will be developing a number of strategic plans for what the Crossings program can potentially offer in the future and how it will operate within the AICS organization.

AICS offers services include primary care, dental, a pharmacy, community behavioral health, and senior and disabled services.
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