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  • Writer's pictureSBDC @ JCC

BUSINESS Q & A with Paragon

There are so many entrepreneurs and small businesses to celebrate and get to know in Chautauqua, Cattaraugus, and Allegany Counties. Spend some time with us as we get to know one of them! Did you know that Paragon Behavioral Health Services has a location in Olean, NY? Let’s learn a little about Paragon Behavioral Health.

What gave you the Idea for your business?

I was looking for a job that aligned more with what I was looking for in a place of employment. I struggled to find a behavioral health company where employees felt valued. Hitting dead end after dead end, I had an idea, “what if I started my own company?” I started to tell people about my idea and it grew. I was supported by my trusted colleagues, spouse, and family.

How did your business start?

What a great question. It started with a name. We chose to name our new company Paragon Behavioral Health Services. The term “Paragon” spoke to us as we were looking for a strong, emblematic name for our business because of how it is defined, which is: A person or thing regarded as a perfect example of a particular quality. If one thing was clear when we discussed our new business, it was that we were striving to build something that would be a model of excellence, so “Paragon” fit perfectly. From there, we formed the LLC, bought a domain, and went from there.

When did your business start?

Paragon opened the outpatient program (Berks, PA) in December of 2017 and the autism program in Spring of 2018. Our second location opened for outpatient and autism services in Lancaster county PA in January 2019. Our Olean location opened for outpatient services in January 2020.

How many employees are there?

Paragon has roughly +75 employees as of October 2021.

What makes your business unique?

Our philosophy is engrained in caring for the caregiver. We are intentional in focusing on employee engagement as we have always felt strongly that if we take care of our staff, they will take care of the rest.

What do you want the community to know about your business?

We want the community to know we understand healing can be a difficult journey, but it’s not one you have to walk alone. We hope that one day going to see a therapist will be as commonplace as going to a physician as a comparison if one was feeling ill, broke a bone, or needs to manage a chronic illness. Mental health is just as important, and the judgment and stigma that essentially says “you’re weak” for seeking help needs to end. It starts with a discussion; and any discussion worth having starts with listening. So please, hear this: healing takes strength and courage to begin and discipline and trust to continue. In therapy, we laugh, we cry, and we can stick through it and go farther, together.

What about your business makes you proud?

We are so proud of our team of clinicians, administrators, and leaders. Each one of them are dedicated to working through our values. We are so proud of growing, serving our communities, in a manner that is consistent with our mission and vision. We are proud of the staff who continue to hold up the “back-line” in the pandemic; rendering quality services.

How has the SBDC helped your business?

We are rather new to SBDC and are so excited to engage with opportunities. We are eager to work with our mentor more and establish a mutually beneficial relationship.

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