Thought Leadership

Grafton Integrated Health Network Success Story

How Grafton used Afia to help modernize their IT infrastructure

Since 1958, Grafton Integrated Health Network has been providing behavioral health, residential and educational programs for individuals with Intellectual and Developmental disabilities, including Autism in Virginia.  Today, Grafton serves over 3,000 individuals in Virginia and provides professional consultation across 40 locations.  

With so much day-to-day activity taking place at Grafton, stability throughout the organization’s IT infrastructure is counted upon to make sure operations are running smoothly.  When that is compromised, typical day-to-day can come to a screeching halt.  Thus was the case at Grafton when a virus took down its network for over two weeks.  

Grafton CEO, Jamie Stewart, took this as his opportunity to bring in a 3rd party company to evaluate his IT staff and team capabilities, processes, and technology.  “I thought we had a fairly sophisticated IT department; our CIO had been working in this field for 40 years,” Stewart said. 

“With the amount of money we were spending on IT, I was truly shocked this could happen.”


Without being able to enter any information into the current EHR, while at the same time trying to bring on a new EHR system, Stewart was confident on where to turn, “Afia was the only company out there that has the broad expertise in the Behavioral Health world.  Understanding how our specific programs and our business models work was critical. Afia’s Vice President of Information Technology provided a thorough assessment of the entire Grafton infrastructure.  The outcome? 

“Afia told me I had a state of the art network for 2004!  Unfortunately, that’s what I needed to hear.”


After the assessment took place, Afia stepped in to assist with Virtual CIO support.  This helped get Grafton where they needed to be. “I felt, at the time, our only real option for this level of expertise was partnering with Afia,” Stewart recalled.  The assessment provided by Afia generated many more questions for Stewart to ask his IT Department; that is exactly what an organization should be looking for when an assessment is well done.  

Since the assessment has taken place  Grafton has been able to address many of the identified improvements in the network, how are things going at Grafton today?  “I feel much better that our network is more stable and secure than it’s ever been,” Stewart said.  “We are in a good place to ensure we stay there moving forward.” 

The partnership with Afia has continued to grow and both organizations have plans for more opportunities in the near future.  “IT is much like an EHR system,” Stewart says, “It’s a journey, not a destination.”  “The support Afia has provided Grafton has been great, we appreciate the continued partnership and look forward to what is next!”

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