Benchmark Blog

Benchmark Announces the Acquisition of H&W Independent Solutions, Inc.

Jul 03, 2019
Benchmark Blog

Benchmark Human Services announces the Acquisition of H&W Independent Solutions, Inc.

Benchmark Human Services (Benchmark), a human services agency headquartered in Fort Wayne, Indiana, has acquired H&W Independent Solutions, Inc. (H&W), a consulting and training firm that specializes in supporting public and private agencies to provide quality services for individuals with developmental and intellectual disabilities (I/DD).

Founded in 1960, the mission of Benchmark is to help individuals with disabilities and behavioral health challenges to live as independently as possible, be included in the community, and function at their maximum potential. Benchmark serves persons throughout the life cycle from infancy to older adulthood through programs at work, home, and in the community. Though Benchmark’s roots are firmly planted in hands on services, the company has expanded its consulting arm over the past 10 years, and has become a go-to resource for states and facilities seeking quality improvement and compliance monitoring, I/DD related training, and assistance in building capacity to support intensive need populations.

H&W was incorporated in July of 2001 and is a California certified small business under the Small Business and Disabled Veteran Business Enterprise program. H&W is a national leader in regulatory compliance and quality management consulting to government and private providers of services to persons with I/DD. Over the last ten years, over 85% of H&W’s business has been in large and small ICF/IID operations, with the majority performed for state government agencies. H&W has worked in over 25 states across the United States, having major impact on quality care in ICF facilities and waiver settings.

The acquisition comes as H&W owners Catherine Hayes and Mark Wiesel begin to plan for retirement. “There isn’t another company we would have done this with,” Hayes said.  “We see Benchmark and H&W as very much having shared values. We’re thrilled Benchmark wanted to carry our mission forward.”  Jeff Cross, Benchmark President of Public Solutions agrees. “H&W is a national leader in compliance consulting and quality monitoring for both private and government operated residential services.  This is an exciting opportunity.  Benchmark looks forward to expanding H&W’s services to also include performance management and capacity building for community based service agencies.”

In addition to providing quality outcomes in the I/DD field through consulting work, Wiesel also designed a software program to track outcomes and provide customers with data that demonstrates progress. “Rather than waiting weeks for a large summary report, customers can look at comprehensive and detailed data within 3-4 days after our on the ground observation is finished,” Wiesel said. This is one of the aspects of the merger that appealed to Cross. “H&W’s proprietary performance measurement system produces quantifiable outcome data for persons with I/DD supported in both licensed facilities and in community waiver residential settings.  Benchmark will be expanding this service to equip I/DD agencies to meet increasing expectations for value based pricing, compliance and credentialing standards, and system wide coordination of long term services and supports.”

The transition from H&W to Benchmark will be slow and seamless. Hayes and Wiesel will stay involved for the next three years and will be a very active part of the hands on advisory. Benchmark will work with many of the qualified consultants and industry professionals H&W has contracted with throughout their years in business. Ultimately, the goal is to continue providing ICF/IID facilities and waiver settings with quality oversight and training so they may serve people in a manner that is safe, appropriate, and gives them the best chance at a fulfilling life.

“Catherine and Mark will work closely with the Benchmark team as we expand H&W services.  They are incredibly committed to the people we support and recognized experts in the field” said Cross.  Benchmark President, Doug Beebe continued. “H&W has been a consistent leader in promoting quality services for people with I/DD, and is a perfect match for Benchmark’s outcomes driven and person centered approach. We are proud to be associated with H&W, and look forward to carrying their mission forward.”

For more information about H&W, Benchmark, or the acquisition, please contact:

Catherine Hayes, President of H&W Independent Solutions, Inc.

[email protected]; 760.347.5505

Jeff Cross, President of Public Solutions, Benchmark Human Services

[email protected]; 615.477.6040

To learn more about Benchmark Human Services or H&W Independent Solutions, Inc., visit:   



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