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Addiction, Treatment and Recovery

Betty Ford Center, Hazelden Foundation Pursue Possible Alliance


June 4, 2013 — Hazelden Foundation and Betty Ford Center, leaders in addiction treatment, are pursuing a formal alliance.

Both Hazelden and Betty Ford offer intensive treatment programs for persons addicted to alcohol and/or other drugs.

The boards of both institutions have approved in principle the concept of a formal alliance between the widely-respected institutions.

According to Hazelden’s Board of Trustees Chair Judge Susan Fox Gillis, the 2014 full implementation of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) is one of the principle drivers of the affiliation conversations.

Judge Gillis says the ACA presents the treatment field with both challenges and opportunities.

“The good news is that many more Americans who desperately need help will be eligible to receive quality treatment for their addiction to alcohol or other drugs,” she says. “The challenge will be to pay for that expanded coverage and service. At this stage it appears that institutionally, only the strong will survive and thrive. Both Betty Ford and Hazelden are recognized as industry leaders, but the fact is we’d be even stronger if we collaborated on a formal basis.”

Betty Ford Center Board of Directors Chair Dr. Mary Pattiz says Hazelden and Betty Ford are natural partners.

“We’ve been as one since day one,” she says. “Before Betty Ford Center opened its doors in October, 1982, we looked to Hazelden. Our co-founders, First Lady Betty Ford and Ambassador Leonard Firestone, studied what’s still referred to as `the Hazelden model.’ It was and is our inspiration, and for more than 30 years we’ve worked side by side as philosophical partners in providing quality care to alcoholics, addicts, and their families.”

At both Betty Ford and Hazelden, the Twelve Steps of Alcoholics Anonymous provide the foundation for treatment protocols, which are abstinence-based.

Judge Gillis, says one of the top priorities – if not the top priority — as collaboration discussions move forward, will be ensuring that the extraordinary legacy of Betty Ford continues to be honored.

“Mrs. Ford is a hero to us all,” she says. “When she so bravely went public about her own addiction, she put a face on this disease. She brought this disease out of the closet. By insisting that half the treatment beds at the center named after her be reserved for women, she also guaranteed that women would no longer be `the forgotten gender.’

Judge Gillis adds that members of the Ford family are a critical part of the ongoing collaboration conversations.

The Betty Ford Center, a licensed addiction treatment hospital founded in 1982, is based in Rancho Mirage, California. In February this year it achieved the 100,000 benchmark; that’s how many men, women and children have benefited from its many treatment programs. Betty Ford Center also offers its unique Children’s Program in Denver and Dallas/Ft. Worth, and is in the forefront of teaching medical professionals about the disease of addiction and the promise of treatment.

About Hazelden
Hazelden, a national nonprofit organization founded in 1949, helps people reclaim their lives from the disease of addiction. Built on decades of knowledge and experience, Hazelden offers a comprehensive approach to addiction that addresses the full range of patient, family, and professional needs, including treatment and continuing care for youth and adults, research, higher education, public education and advocacy, and publishing. It currently has facilities in Minnesota, Oregon, Illinois, New York and Florida.


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