HISTORY OF MILESTONE CENTERS
Click on the images below to read proclamations from Milestone's 50th anniversary in 2019
Improving lives since 1969
In 1969, a small group of parents decided their developmentally disabled children deserved more than a wasted life in a state-operated hospital. Taking matters into its own hands, this devoted group established what was then known as Allegheny East Mental Health & Mental Retardation Center Inc. The story goes that these committed parents literally “passed the hat” to pay the salary of Ray Webb, the organization’s first Executive Director.
Two pieces of key national and state legislation – the 1963 Community Mental Health Centers Act and the 1966 Pennsylvania Mental Health and Mental Retardation Act – helped remove the isolating barriers of state hospitals and centers. This deinstitutionalization fostered the provision of community services for people with behavioral health and intellectual challenges. Under the legislation, the following nine services were required by county mental health and mental retardation programs and were offered by the agency.
- Short-term inpatient services
- Outpatient services
- Partial hospitalization services
- Emergency services
- Consultation and education
- Aftercare services
- Rehabilitative and training services
- Interim care of persons with intellectual and developmental disabilities
- Unified intake
Allegheny East saw consistent growth over the next several decades as it rose to meet community-based demands. Services were initially confined to the eastern suburbs of Allegheny County due to geographically-restricted “catchment areas.” By 1995, this constraint was lifted and the Agency was able to provide a wider range of options throughout an expanding geographic base. Revenues, number of people served and staff subsequently doubled from 1995 to 2000.
In 1989, Barbara Conniff became the Agency’s second Executive Director. Barbara successfully provided the leadership and wisdom needed to weather the storms of managed care while navigating the transition to a fee-for-service payment environment. Strategic planning, collaboration and risk-taking became Allegheny East’s hallmarks, driven by the determination to implement our mission of community integration and inclusion. Barbara served as CEO until her passing in October of 2015.
In 2007, by unanimous vote of the board of directors, the name of the organization was officially changed to Milestone Centers Inc.
In the summer of 2017, Milestone Centers became a subsidiary of Partners For Quality Inc. Partners For Quality is a nonprofit organization that provides administrative management services to other nonprofit agencies serving persons with intellectual disabilities and behavioral health challenges. These administrative services include finance, fundraising, communications, human resources, information technology, and staff training and development, by consolidating and overseeing administrative responsibilities.
This relationship created enhanced services to area individuals with developmental and behavioral health challenges by utilizing the resources of two heritage nonprofit organizations.
Milestone became the fifth subsidiary of Partners For Quality, joining:
- Allegheny Children’s Initiative, which serves children and families with behavioral health challenges.
- Citizen Care, which provides housing and support to adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities.
- Exceptional Adventures, an agency that provides travel opportunities to individuals with disabilities.
- Partners For Quality Foundation, which raises funds for all services throughout the organization.
More than 3,000 people each year are served through a wide continuum of residential, vocational, clinical and advocacy programs and services in twenty counties in Western Pennsylvania. Milestone is proud to have been improving lives since 1969.