Mental and Behavioral health are challenges in the Greater Cincinnati community that are often left unaddressed. Whether through a lack of resources or a lack of understanding, when untreated these conditions frequently lead to substance abuse and substance use disorders. Further compounding these challenges, when they occur in African-American and other marginalized communities, are stereotypes and misinformation that can lead members of these communities facing substance or mental health issues and their loved ones with nowhere to turn for help.
Addressing this gap is The Crossroads Center, a full service non-profit behavioral healthcare and substance abuse treatment agency providing care within the Hamilton County and Greater Cincinnati area. Led by Chief Executive Officer Jamahal C. Boyd, Sr., The Crossroads Center focuses on targeted approaches toward meeting the needs of underserved populations, accomplished by taking a different approach than the large healthcare systems. It has been ranked by Newsweek as one of the top addiction treatment centers in the country, as well as the leading facility in southern Ohio.
The Crossroads Center first opened its doors in 1951 under the direction of the University of Cincinnati Hospital. It evolved over the years to include mental and behavioral health services, in addition to substance use disorder treatment, eventually separating from UC and becoming an independent 501(c)(3) organization. Under the direction of Boyd since 2019, The Crossroads Center has continued to refine its approach to serving the underserved by positioning itself as a community partner instead of simply another healthcare provider. Doing so requires reflecting the diverse backgrounds of the population it serves in its leadership and staff, as well as having an understanding of the stereotypes and stigma faced by members of marginalized communities. These are challenges Boyd knows about intimately.
A member of the African-American community, Boyd grew up in a single-parent household in the Millcreek public housing project in West Philadelphia. After his mother and sole caregiver was sentenced to 18 months in federal prison, Boyd supported himself financially by working summer jobs, maintaining his mother’s home while finishing his education. After attending college at Delaware State University, he was recognized for his hard work and innate leadership abilities, securing several concurrent leadership roles at multiple universities and healthcare networks before being recruited to an executive position with Mercy Health (formerly Catholic Health Partners) in Cincinnati in 2013. After moving on to TriHealth in 2016, Boyd accepted the position of Chief Executive Officer of The Crossroads Center in July of 2019.
Under Boyd’s leadership, The Crossroads Center administers a medical assisted treatment program, general and intensive outpatient programs, as well as two residential treatment programs, serving over 1400 patients in 2020. The organization also focuses on outreach, education and intervention through its many programs to prevent substance abuse, substance-related disorders and other behavioral problems. But Boyd is also evolving the way The Crossroads Center provides care by expanding its presence to other areas of Greater Cincinnati where it is needed, with plans to open a new facility in Middletown over the coming months. The new location will have the same focus on reflecting the diversity of its community to build trust and offer a real opportunity for those in need to turn their lives around.
“Our approach has had a very promising success rate of closing the gap and eliminating the disease,” said Boyd. “But the unfortunate side is that the disease is not going away, it’s growing, and it’s been compounded by COVID. That’s why I’m continuing to look at other counties and communities to put into my strategic direction and provide care. Diversity is critical in much of what we do. Research shows that individuals who need that care and see someone who looks like them, develop that trust and create those opportunities to heal.”
For more information about the Crossroads Center, please visit www.thecrossroadscenter.org/.