CENTER CITY, Minn. (Feb. 10, 2014) – Leading addiction treatment providers Hazelden and Betty Ford Center announced today their merger has been approved by government regulators, making the new "Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation" the nation's largest nonprofit treatment organization.
The latest approval came from the California Attorney General. Her approval is the final regulatory hurdle and the merger is now effective.
In a joint statement, the Hon. Susan Fox Gillis and Dr. Mary Turner Pattiz, the chair and vice chair respectively of the new Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation Board of Trustees, said, "We are proud of the individual legacies of both Hazelden and the Betty Ford Center and excited to come together as one today. With decades of combined expertise and industry-leading knowledge, we are poised now to bring even more innovation and leadership to our mission of restoring hope, healing and health to more individuals and families."
Susan Ford Bales, Trustee of the Elizabeth B. Ford Charitable Trust, stated: "Mother would be pleased. Her pioneering achievements of ensuring access to quality treatment will be expanded through the new Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation. I am especially pleased, as I know Mother and Dad would be that her legacy of commitment to patients and their families will continue for generations to come through the work of a wonderful Betty Ford Center staff that has now been united with the outstanding leadership and staff of the Hazelden organization. The Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation will lead the way in providing care and reducing the stigma of drug dependency and alcoholism."
Mark Mishek, President and CEO of the merged organization, says, "We are now well-positioned to respond to the challenges and opportunities presented by health care reform and the rapidly changing marketplace. Together, we will be able to better utilize the addiction treatment field's most extensive expertise, knowledge and data to accelerate innovation in treating the chronic disease of addiction and expand our already robust national system of care. Together, we will be better able to help all those who seek recovery find it."
The Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation now has 15 sites across the U.S., offering both residential and outpatient services based on a Twelve Step, abstinence-based treatment model. Services are available to individuals and their families and other loved ones. The new foundation also includes the nation's largest addiction and recovery publishing house, a fully-accredited graduate school of addiction studies, an addiction research center, a prevention training program, an education arm for medical professionals and a unique children's program.
The Betty Ford Center in Rancho Mirage, Calif., will retain its name, with the added tagline "a part of the Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation." Most other location names also will remain unchanged and will assume the same tagline. One exception: on Hazelden's campus in Center City, Minn., the Women's Recovery Center will be renamed to honor former First Lady Betty Ford's commitment to promote treatment and recovery for women.
"The Betty Ford Center and Hazelden are iconic names in our industry, and both hold important places in the history of addiction treatment and recovery," Mishek said. "We intend to honor both legacies and capitalize on our shared strengths to assume the responsibility of being the world leader dedicated to helping people reclaim their lives from addiction."
Mishek added that he was excited about the timing of the merger.
"It's a new year, and we have a new organization. With that come high hopes and a certain thrill in the infinite possibilities," he said. "Our merger is also taking place at a time, historically, when recovery communities are beginning to coalesce around the idea of taking action to reduce the stigma that prevents so many people from seeking help. More people in recovery are sharing their stories so that the general public can see the other side of addiction. I credit Mrs. Ford, more than anyone in history, with beginning the effort to chip away at stigma by publicly sharing her own recovery experience, and now is a great time to be carrying her legacy forward."
Hazelden was founded in 1949 in Minnesota and is credited with spreading the abstinence—and Twelve Step-based, multidisciplinary care model that permeates the treatment industry. Betty Ford Center was founded in 1982 based on Mrs. Ford's mission to "help others live their best possible life" and is recognized around the globe for its commitment to patient care. In their joint statement, Dr. Pattiz and Judge Fox Gillis said, "After 32 years of collaborating, dating back to the Betty Ford Center's founding, it is fitting to merge the identical mission and values of Hazelden and the Betty Ford Center. We will become much more than the sum of our parts. As the world leader in addiction treatment and recovery, we will set a standard for excellence, value and innovation across an expanded continuum that includes prevention, education, training, assessment, intervention, treatment, advocacy, publishing and recovery management—serving adults, youth, families and professionals. For the Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation and the people we serve, it is a great day."
About the Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation
The Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation helps people reclaim their lives from the disease of addiction. It is the nation's largest nonprofit treatment provider, with a legacy that began in 1949 and includes the 1982 founding of the Betty Ford Center. With 15 sites in California, Minnesota, Oregon, Illinois, New York, Florida, Massachusetts, Colorado and Texas, the Foundation offers recovery solutions nationwide and across the entire continuum of care for youth and adults. It includes the largest recovery publishing house in the country, a fully-accredited graduate school of addiction studies, an addiction research center, an education arm for medical professionals and a unique children's program. Learn more at www.hazeldenbettyford.org.