Our History

1956 – Riley County Mental Health Center was created through work done by Riley County Mental Health Association. It opened on November 19 and was located in Manhattan’s Memorial Hospital with a staff of one.

1957 – Kansas Legislature passed a law authorizing county commissioners to levy a tax to support community mental health centers.

1963 – Geary County joined the service area. The two counties formed the Geary/Riley Guidance Center.

1965 – Clay and Marshall Counties joined the service area. The center was renamed North Central Kansas Guidance Center (NCKGC).

1967 – Cloud County Commissioners agreed to fund Sunflower Guidance Center. Citizen support and education was led by the Cloud County Mental Health Association.

1968 – Pottawatomie County joined NCKGC service area.

1972 – Jewell and Republic Counties joined Sunflower service area.

1973 – Mitchell County joined Sunflower service area.

1974 – Washington County joined Sunflower service area.

1976- Sunflower Guidance Center changed its name to Sunflower Mental Health Center (Sunflower).

1977 – NCKGC and Sunflower affiliated, incorporating as Pawnee Comprehensive Mental Health Center.

1981 – Merger was completed under one centralized board of directors, with two board members appointed by each county.

1982 – Board of Directors changed name to Pawnee Mental Health Services, Inc. (Pawnee)

1988 – Pawnee In-patient Psychiatric Unit at The Saint Mary Hospital (now Mercy Health Center) in Manhattan opened.

1988 – New Pawnee office building in Junction City dedicated.

1993 – Pawnee Endowment Association purchased Houston Street Ballroom building in Manhattan.

1997 – Topeka State Hospital closed; Pawnee shifted to Osawatomie State Hospital catchment area, with mandate to reduce state hospitalization, emphasis on community-based treatment.

2000 – New office building in Concordia opened in May.

2001 – Pawnee and Mercy Health Center ended their 13-year partnership to operate a psychiatric unit at the hospital.

2003 – Pawnee changed its organizational structure from a regional model to a program model.

2005-Pawnee converted from a paper-based electronic medical record to an electronic medical record.

2006 – Pawnee began a year-long celebration of its 50 years of service.

2007 – Pawnee Endowment Association purchased Hayes Drive building in Manhattan.

2009 – Pawnee laid off staff in February due to cuts in state grant funding.

2010 – Pawnee laid off staff in January due to cuts in state grant funding.

2011- Pawnee began a year-long celebration of its 55 years of service.

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