About The Bowen Center

The Otis R. Bowen Center for Human Services, Inc., is a private not-for-profit, comprehensive community mental health center licensed by the State of Indiana Division of Mental Health. The Center has been accredited by the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations (JCAHO) since 1980. Bowen Center earned JCAHO accreditation with commendation for 1994-1997 and again for 1997-2000. The Center provides quality professional mental health services to citizens in northeast Indiana through its offices in Allen, DeKalb, Huntington, Kosciusko, LaGrange, Marshall, Noble, Steuben, Wabash and Whitley counties.
The Bowen Center has a 15-member volunteer Board of Directors consisting of three citizens representing each of the Center’s core counties (Huntington, Kosciusko, Marshall, Wabash and Whitley).
The Center received official recognition as a mental health center by the Indiana Department of Mental Health in July,1977, and was successful in receiving a federal operations grant. With the expansion of services, the number of staff increased to 125 in 1980-1981.
Enrollment of clients in the "Hoosier Assurance Plan" (HAP), a mental health managed care plan created by the Indiana Division of Mental Health through legislation began July, 1996. This was the first phase of transition from traditional DMH "deficit" funding to a managed care model.
Bowen Center was a founding member of Addiction Services Providers of Indiana (ASPIN). ASPIN was created in 1996 as a partnership between selected behavioral health centers and Koala hospitals to form a behavioral health managed care network. The network continues to expand as more behavioral health centers join for strategic reasons.

Our History

Planning And Conception

The first meetings in the area concerning the need for a mental health clinic were held in 1957 and 1958. In June and October of 1959, representatives of five counties — Fulton, Kosciusko, Marshall, Wabash and Whitley met in Warsaw to discuss the establishment of a clinic. The June 29 meeting included a presentation from S.T. Ginsberg, M.D., commissioner of Indiana’s Division of Mental Health. In March, 1960, the number of counties included in the collective was reduced to four as Fulton County opted out of participation. Five directors from each of the four remaining counties were named.

They were:
Kosciusko County — Judge Seth E. Rowdabaugh; Dr. Robert D. Dormire; Laurence J. Castaldi, Midwest Spring, Mfg., Co.; Carl Burt, Superintendent, Warsaw Community Schools; Mrs. Cecil Armstrong, former social worker.Marshall County — Clarence E. Shafer, Principal, Washington School; Attorney George F. Stevens; Dr. James Robertson; Mrs. Guy Davis; Mildred Hurford.Wabash County — Dale E. Strickler, President, North Manchester Bank; L.J. Carpenter, Superintendent, Wabash County School Legislation; Dr. Lloyd H. Smith; Dr. R.M. LaSalle, Jr.; John Davis, personnel director, Container Corp.Whitley County — Herschell L. King, guidance director, Columbia City High School; Attorney Edward J. Myers; Nellie Underhill, probation officer; William C. Thomson, Whitley Motor Sales and Dr. John Wilson.

In May of 1960, the Four County Mental Health Clinic, Inc. was founded. The Clinic officially opened on March 1, 1961, offering outpatient psychiatric care to residents of Kosciusko, Marshall, Wabash and Whitley counties. The first offices were located at 526 East Winona Avenue in Warsaw and the staff consisted of a part-time psychiatrist, a full-time psychologist, a full-time psychiatric social worker and a full-time secretary. Claude B. Given was appointed administrator of the Clinic. The operating budget for the first year was $35,000, with 50% of the funds provided by the Indiana Department of Mental Health and the other half in matching funds from the four counties and patient revenues.

Early Growth

In April, 1962, the Clinic’s headquarters was moved to a two-story, 80-year-old house at 315 West Center Street in Warsaw.
April, 1966, was a busy month for the Clinic. An announcement was made April 1, 1966, to add Huntington County to the Clinic’s coverage area. On April 18, 1966, the Clinic’s headquarters was relocated to 422 S. Buffalo Street in Warsaw. Three years later, at meeting of the board of directors on April 17, 1969, the name of the Clinic was officially changed to the Five County Mental Health Clinic to reflect the addition of Huntington County. Effective June 16, 1973, the Clinic moved once again, this time to 703 S. Buffalo St. in Warsaw.


Historic Name Change

At a special meeting of the Board of Directors on June 15, 1977, the name was changed to The Otis R. Bowen Center for Human Services, Inc., in honor of Governor Otis R. Bowen, M.D., a native of The Center's service area (Bremen in Marshall County) and a major supporter of the community mental health center system in Indiana. Dr. Bowen was a practicing physician in the area before entering state politics. In 1985, President Ronald Reagan appointed Dr. Bowen to serve as the U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services. He was the first physician to fill that position.

New Offices — Expansion

Because of the need for increased service to the five-county area, offices were opened in each of the counties: Marshall County (Plymouth); Huntington County (Huntington); Wabash County (Wabash) and Whitley County (Columbia City). When the county offices first opened, they were staffed only one day each week. Today, each county office has its own clinical and support staff.

New Corporate Headquarters — The first major construction project was the corporate headquarters at 850 N. Harrison St. in Warsaw.
The Center's board, administration and staff began planning for construction of new facilities and program development to qualify as a federally-funded and recognized mental health center.
The project had an estimated price tag of $1.7 million and was funded through state and national grants, along with contributions from the participating counties (Kosciusko, Whitley, Wabash, Marshall and Huntington).
The construction involved the building of two structures — an outpatient facility as well as an 18-bed inpatient structure which was attached to Kosciusko Community Hospital. Bids were received in April of 1976 and ground was broken on Aug. 5, 1976.
On March 17, 1978, Bowen employees, now numbering 60, began moving in to the new facilities and the official dedication was held April 29, 1978.
The corporate office was expanded and space reorganized to accommodate growth in clinical services during 1997 and 1998 and in July, 2007, the Inpatient Unit moved to its current facility at 1535 Provident Dr., Warsaw.
The Center is currently expanding its Jefferson Street Annex to accommodate the future home of its corporate headquarters.
Marshall County (Plymouth) — The Marshall County office in Plymouth is part of the original four counties served by the Center. After originally being served from the corporate headquarters in Warsaw, the first Marshall County office was opened July 11, 1973 at 1009 Lincolnway East in Plymouth. On Oct. 3, 1978, the county office moved to 507 Colonial Court in Plymouth. Construction of the new and larger Plymouth office was completed in 1998. The old office is still being used for specific community-based programs.
Huntington County (Huntington) — The opening of the first Huntington County branch of the Five-County Mental Health Clinic was announced Oct. 11, 1973. The facility was located at 44 E. Franklin St. The Clinic moved to 48 E. Franklin St. in February,1976. In November, 1989, Bowen employees moved to a new facility at 1340 Etna Ave., a building the Center occupied until it was outgrown and operations moved to the office’s current location on Northpark Avenue in 2001.
Wabash County (Wabash) — The first Wabash County office was opened Sept. 24, 1973 at 225 W. Hill St. in Wabash. In 1987, the office was relocated to the lower floor of Wabash County Hospital at 670 N. East St. until continued growth facilitated a need for a larger facility. In 2004, the Wabash County office was moved to its current location at 255 N. Miami St. in Wabash.
Whitley County (Columbia City) — The Bowen Center opened its first office in Columbia City in March, 1974, to directly serve the residents of Whitley County. The office was housed to the rear of the courthouse annex, located on an alley to the rear of 115 S. Line St. In January, 1984, the Center purchased a residence located at 201 N. Line St. and renovated the facility to provide expanded services to Whitley County residents. At that time, the Columbia City office consisted of eight therapists. An open house was held at the facility on Nov. 11, 1984. In September, 1998, The Bowen Center purchased the NIPSCO property at 119 W. Market St. and, following a period of extensive renovation, occupied the building on May 6, 1999.
Allen County (Fort Wayne) — Late in 1997, Bowen Center opened an office in Fort Wayne, Indiana to provide limited outpatient services in support of the school-based programs the Center operates in many of the grade schools in Fort Wayne. The Center started by renting a facility downtown, but in December, 1998, the office was moved to 2310 Cass Street. The Center purchased that building in September, 2000. In  October, 2002, The Bowen Center bought its current building location at 2100 Goshen Road. A year was spent remodeling the facility and the building was occupied in October, 2003.
Other offices which expanded Bowen Center’s coverage of northern Indiana included Noble County (Albion), August 2001; Syracuse (Kosciusko County), November, 2004; LaGrange, December 2010; Auburn, March 2013 and Angola, March 2013.


The residential program for adult chronically mentally ill clients was begun with the opening of Russell House in Plymouth in October, 1980.
The Center opened a private practice office, named Life Management Associates, in Warsaw in February, 1990, to accommodate full-fee clients who wished a more private treatment setting. When the strategic advantage of this office was no longer necessary, the office was closed during FY '94 and staff were deployed to other Center offices.
During 1992, the free-standing 21-bed primarily adult psychiatric inpatient unit operated by the Center was reduced to sixteen beds to take advantage of Medicaid funding opportunities for adult patients.
The Center's efforts to stay viable in the era of rapid behavioral healthcare financing changes led to the development of many Employee Assistance Program (EAP) contracts and contracts with managed care companies as a preferred provider in the region.
During February, 1993, the old eight-bed Russell House was replaced with a new ten-bed facility in Plymouth to serve chronically mentally ill adults. The new facility was constructed through a HUD Section 811 building grant and is also named Russell House. The old facility was razed to provide extended parking for our adjacent office building.
During 1995, Bowen Center constructed a HUD section 811 funded 21-unit apartment building for chronically mentally ill adult clients in Warsaw, Indiana. Named for Lawrence J. Castaldi of Kosciusko County and John S. Wilson, M.D. of Whitley County, two of the founding members of the Center, the Wilson/Castaldi Apartments were dedicated in October, 1995, and occupied that same month.
Also during that year, the Brief Therapy Institute was created, not only to emphasize Bowen Center's clinical commitment to brief therapy, but also to create a sub-division of the Center through which consultation for fee and intensive training events for practitioners outside of the Center could be arranged.
During 1996, Bowen Center purchased a house located on Center Street in Warsaw and made modifications to comply with ADA guidelines and building codes for use as a staff office for staff from the Acute/Chronic Care Division.


Chain Of Leadership

Frank Hogle, M.D., served as administrator from August, 1966 to July, 1968, when William Kurosky became acting administrator. In March, 1973, Ben H. Knott, Ph.D., became administrator and the staff numbered 23.
In September, 1981, Dr. Knott resigned as Chief Executive Officer and William Kurosky again assumed the duties of Acting Chief Executive Officer until his death in February, 1982. James McIntosh, Ph.D., served as Acting Chief Executive Officer from February, 1982, until July of that year when Daniel D. Steiner became the new Chief Executive Officer.
With Mr. Steiner's retirement in February, 1989, the Center operated under a four-member Management Team until Kurt Carlson was hired as the new Chief Executive Officer in June, 1989.



The Center's current staff (more than 900 full-time employees) consists of M.D. psychiatrists, Ph.D. psychologists, MSW and ACSW social workers, master's and bachelor's level therapists, chemical dependency therapists, registered nurses, mental health technicians, administrative and support personnel.
The Bowen Center, rural in composition, historically and currently recognizes its responsibilities and commitment to all geographic segments of its service area. This commitment has translated into the decentralization of many services to the fullest extent possible in light of the Center's capital, fiscal and staffing resources. The administrative office and inpatient facility are located in Warsaw (Kosciusko County). County offices provide outpatient and emergency services, with other specialized services offered depending on the need at each location. No resident is further than a 20 minute drive to a county office of the Center. For clients unable to drive, the Center provides limited transportation services through the use of a volunteer program as well as a telepsychiatry service.


As a comprehensive community mental health center, The Bowen Center offers a wide variety of mental health services. Click here to read more about services The Bowen Center provides.