HOW IT BEGAN
In 1979, a group of ministers in the Dearborn area began meeting to discuss concerns with the high level of demands on their time for counseling with members of their congregations and, in addition, some were presenting issues that went beyond their comfort level to address effectively. It was also recognized that many individuals were not able to afford the cost of mental health counseling. As a result of those discussions, the Dearborn Pastoral Counseling Center (DPCC) was founded in 1984 as a 501 (C)(3) non-profit agency; with a mission to provide faith-based mental health counseling that was financially accessible for individuals in the community. DPCC began seeing clients in space provided by Cherry Hill Presbyterian Church, 24110 Cherry Hill Road, Dearborn, Michigan, 48124 and continues to operate at this location today.
Cherry Hill Presbyterian Church, First Presbyterian Church of Dearborn, and Christ Episcopal Church contributed start-up funding and volunteers to serve as the first Board of Directors. Four additional churches joined the effort through financial contributions and supported the agency with volunteers; First Baptist Church of Dearborn in 1984, First Methodist Church of Dearborn in 1988, St. Paul Lutheran Church in 1989, and Cherry Hill Baptist Church in 2000.
Dr. David Hurst, an ordained minister with degrees and professional certifications in pastoral counseling served as the first Executive Director of the agency and served from 1984 until 1990. Loren Hoffman, MSW, served as the Acting Director from 1990 to 1992. During 1992 and 1993 the management of DPCC was provided by the President of the Board of Directors, Rev. James Wegner. Jim Wright served as the Executive Director in 1995. In 1996, the President of the Board of Directors, Rev. Bruce George, provided management activities. Mary Ann Zawada, Ph.D. was the Executive Director from 1997 to 2006. In 2006, Dorothy Siegl, LMSW, became the Executive Director and served until her retirement in 2011. Rev. Dr. Robert Seymour was appointed as the Executive Director in 2012 and served in that capacity until 2018. Bob Pattullo, MSW served as the Interim Executive Director from 2018 until September, 2019. Janice Kornacki, MA, LLP, joined the staff as Executive Director in September, 2019. Janice received her MA in Marriage and Family Counseling from Wayne State University and an MA in Religous Studies from U.D. Mercy.
For the first few years financial support for DPCC came from donations from churches, individual donations from people living in the community, community service organizations, and clients paying for services based on an ability to pay. In 1985 a “Client Aid Fund” was established, supported by donations, to assist clients in paying for the cost of counseling services. In 1990, DPCC began to develop working relationships with health insurance companies and were able to begin billing insurance for services provided to those with insurance. Over time DPCC also benefitted from generous donations from the Kiwanis Club and several local churches.
As of May, 2019 DPCC has 4 part-time therapists and a part-time consulting psychiatrist. During the year 2018, DPCC provided 852 treatment visits, and had 87 active clients at the end of 2018. Approximately 70% of the agency operating budget was earned from insurance billing, 24% from client payments, and 4% from donations. DPCC is governed by an 10 member Board of Directors.