Hazelden, Betty Ford Center Merger Approved By Boards

Sep 24, 2013, 17:22 ET from Hazelden Foundation

CENTER CITY, Minn., Sept. 24, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Renowned addiction treatment providers Hazelden and Betty Ford Center announced today their respective boards have voted to merge.

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In a joint statement, the Hon. Susan Fox Gillis, Chair of the Hazelden Foundation Board of Trustees, and Dr. Mary Turner Pattiz, Chair of Betty Ford Center's Board of Directors, said, "The integration of these two industry leaders will expand our geographic reach to help more people.  It will position us well to respond to the challenges and opportunities presented by health care reform and the rapidly changing marketplace.  The merger will help us achieve scale so we're able to invest in state-of-the-art facilities and research and development."

Susan Ford Bales, Trustee of the Elizabeth B. Ford Charitable Trust, stated: "I'm excited that Mother's passion and vision for ensuring access to high quality treatment will be honored and expanded. Mother's and my focus will always be on the patients of addiction and alcoholism and their family members. She would be pleased, as am I, with the Hazelden organization and its outstanding leadership team and staff, each of whom shares our focus."

The combined entity will constitute the largest nonprofit addiction treatment provider in the country.

Mark Mishek, current Hazelden President and CEO and CEO of the merged organization once the merger is effective, says, "Both organizations are iconic leaders and have remarkable strengths.  Combined, we will be able to do more than ever to help all those who are seeking recovery, find it and live it.  This dynamic combination will enable the new `Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation' to become the acknowledged world leader dedicated to alcohol and drug addiction treatment and recovery."

Together, the new organization will offer residential and outpatient services based on its Twelve Step, abstinence-based treatment model for individuals suffering from addiction, their families and other loved ones, at 14 sites across the U.S.  Also under the aegis of the new Foundation will be Hazelden's addiction and recovery publishing house (the nation's largest), a fully-accredited graduate school of addiction studies, an addiction research center, a prevention training program, along with Betty Ford Center's education arm for medical professionals and its unique Children's Program.

The agreement to merge now forges the way for the regulatory approval process, with the goal of completing the merger by year's end.  Under the terms of the merger agreement, the new entity will be named the Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation.  The boards will merge; Mishek will become CEO of the combined organization.  Hazelden will also rename its Women's Recovery Center in Minnesota to honor Betty Ford's commitment to promote treatment and recovery for women.

The merged organization will carry on the legacy established by the former First Lady to reach a whole new generation of people needing help.  "The Betty Ford Center is incredibly well-known as a recognized leader in addiction treatment nationwide and in the area of supporting women," said Mishek. "Mrs. Ford established an amazing legacy by dismantling barriers for the 23 million alcoholics and addicts who need help, and we look forward to carrying on her legacy and ending once and for all the stigma that prevents so many people from getting help."

In their joint statement, Dr. Pattiz and Judge Fox Gillis said, "The new organization will set the standard of excellence for treatment and enable us to offer the appropriate level of care across an expanded continuum of care."  They noted the new organization will be well-positioned to offer professionally-recognized excellence and value across the entire treatment and recovery continuum.  It will represent the best of Hazelden and the best of Betty Ford Center in the areas of prevention, education, training, assessment, intervention, treatment, advocacy and recovery management for patients and the professional community.

"We have a long history of collaboration dating back to the founding of Betty Ford Center in 1982, and our mission and values are identical," the two board leaders said.  "Together, Betty Ford Center and Hazelden will be more than the sum of its parts.  Together, we see huge opportunities in the challenges facing us today."

Hazelden, a national nonprofit organization founded in 1949, helps people reclaim their lives from the disease of addiction.  It has facilities in Minnesota, Oregon, Illinois, New York and Florida.  Betty Ford Center, a licensed addiction treatment hospital, is based in Rancho Mirage, California.  Its unique Children's Program is also offered in Denver and Dallas/Ft. Worth.  It is in the forefront of teaching medical professionals about the disease of addiction.

SOURCE Hazelden Foundation