Marklund, Little Angels to merge

Two agencies that have long helped children and adults with severe developmental disabilities announced Tuesday they intend to merge.

Marklund, of Geneva and Bloomingdale, and Little Angels of Elgin expect the process to take several months, said Gil Fonger, Marklund's president and chief executive officer.

Although both agencies are fiscally healthy, he said, money can be saved on fixed costs by combining.

Those costs could include eliminating duplicate administrative positions, such as financial officers and marketing workers, Fonger said. The number of employees directly aiding clients likely would not change, he said.

Stretching income has become more important as the state's Medicaid reimbursement rates to the facilities has been essentially “stagnant” for about 20 years, Fonger said, while their regulatory requirements have become more complex.

Fonger said Marklund was looking to expand, and proposed the merger.

Marklund was founded in 1954 and has 170 families with members in its residential, therapeutic and educational programs. Its annual budget is about $20 million.

Little Angels was founded in 1958. It helps 57 clients.

The current facilities will stay open. Marklund Philip Center in Bloomingdale is home to 21 residential clients with complex medical needs, plus a developmental therapy program. Marklund Day School, which serves 41 students with multiple needs and those with autism spectrum disorder, is also in Bloomingdale. Marklund at Mill Creek Campus in Geneva features six 16-bed residential homes, a Miracle League ball field, and the Marklund Hyde Center with developmental training classrooms, therapy areas, administrative offices and an indoor heated therapy pool.

Little Angels serves clients at the Pat Wasmond Home and the Cathy Freeman Center for Developmental Training on its Elgin campus. It operates on a budget of about $7 million. It, too, has residential clients with complex medical needs.

“Joining our organizations together was an easy decision for our board because it will be positive for our clients and staff,” Little Angels Executive Director Shelley Lewis said in a prepared statement. “We look forward to continuing the tradition of providing exceptional care to clients with developmental disabilities and partnering with Marklund to expand our reach throughout the northern Illinois region.”

Lewis is the daughter of Little Angels' founders Pat and Bob Wasmond. Fonger said that after a merger, Lewis would remain as the administrator of Little Angels.

Little Angels founder accomplished much in 87 years

Mini horses from Equine Dreams met with Marklund residents and others last month at the Philip Center in Bloomingdale. Courtesy of Marklund
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