Center City, Minn. (August 10, 2022) – Just as the wisdom of lived experience is a cornerstone of recovery, the Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation has drawn on personal stories of hope and transformation in crafting the nonprofit's renewed vision and mission statements. As president and CEO of the nation's leading provider of addiction and mental health care, Joseph Lee, MD, sought out the stories and aspirations of employees, former patients, board members, partners and donors to inform and advance the Foundation's work and direction.
"We are a community of stories—stories of hope and inspiration. These stories have been a force of healing across generations, and I think it's important to hear them as we aspire to make the world a better place for those who experience addiction and mental health challenges," Dr. Lee said.
Over the course of several months, the organization reached out to nearly 150,000 stakeholders, asking them to reflect on their personal stories and connections to the organization's work, the stories of those currently seeking or needing Hazelden Betty Ford's help, the story of the organization itself, and what it will take to make their brightest collective future a reality.
"Our visioning process was designed as a true feedback loop. I read every single contribution, and we shared the input we were receiving at every step," Dr. Lee said. "In the end, I think we successfully captured the spirit of our stories, our organization and those we serve in vision and mission statements that represent the important ways we are evolving. Just as crucially, we were able to take the journey together and galvanize around shared passions that ultimately will benefit the families and communities who turn to us for help."
Dr. Lee noted there were many common themes in the input received: serve a broader, more diverse population; impact families, communities and the world; provide more mental health care and more personalized, holistic care; orient services around long-term recovery and well-being outcomes; reduce social stigmas; honor the autonomy and agency of patients and the significant value of mutual support; utilize and pioneer the newest research-supported medical and therapeutic approaches; and never lose sight of the healing power of love and compassion.
The resulting vision statement is: "Empowering recovery and well-being for all." And the mission statement is: "Harnessing science, love and the wisdom of lived experience, we are a force of healing and hope for families and communities affected by substance use and mental health conditions."
The spirit of the statements is also captured in our new video that represents an invitation to the millions in the U.S. and around the world who are currently facing challenges related to substance use and mental health conditions.
The Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation is a force of healing and hope for individuals, families and communities affected by addiction to alcohol and other drugs. As the nation's leading nonprofit provider of comprehensive inpatient and outpatient addiction and mental health care for adults and youth, the Foundation has treatment centers and telehealth services nationwide as well as a network of collaborators throughout health care. Through charitable support and a commitment to innovation, the Foundation is able to continually enhance care, research, programs and services, and help more people. With a legacy that began in 1949 and includes the 1982 founding of the Betty Ford Center, the Foundation today is committed to diversity, equity and inclusion in its services and throughout the organization, which also encompasses a graduate school of addiction studies, a publishing division, an addiction research center, recovery advocacy and thought leadership, professional and medical education programs, school-based prevention resources and a specialized program for children who grow up in families with addiction.