Center City, Minn. (June 24, 2022) — The pressing need to address health disparities and improve access to high-quality treatment for chronic conditions such as substance use disorder makes the latest donation of $75,000 from PhoenixTeam all the more consequential to advancing the Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation's diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) activities.
"Addiction is a family killer, a community killer, and dream killer. I have a level of financial privilege that fewer than 1% of people have, and that privilege gave me access to medicine and care that should be standard for any person in need of it—regardless of socioeconomic status," said Tela Gallagher Mathias, co-founder and partner at PhoenixTeam. "Sadly, without a lot of money and/or good insurance benefits, treatment and recovery are far less accessible and unattainable, and that's just unacceptable. We at PhoenixTeam want to change that, and also help ensure that available care is inclusive and culturally relevant for diverse populations. Our hope is that other companies will see this kind of action and take similar steps to acknowledge their own position and access, and make a real impact on their communities."
This is the second year that PhoenixTeam has funded work that specifically targets the inclusivity of Hazelden Betty Ford's services and programs. In 2021, the software company's philanthropy powered financial assistance for patients, as well as a third-party audit of Hazelden Betty Ford's treatment center in St. Paul, looking at everything from marketing materials and patient handbooks to therapeutic literature and how people are greeted to identify opportunities for creating a more LGBTQIA+-inclusive culture. As an individual donor, Gallagher Mathias contributed an additional gift that enabled the Foundation to create a full-time DEI director position filled by Andrew Williams, a professional experienced in inspiring others through example, challenging colleagues to live up to institutional values and legal obligations, and engaging in creative and meaningful intercultural experiences.
"For more than 70 years, Hazelden Betty Ford has been a voice for underserved, marginalized people who have addiction, and we are now making structural changes to broaden our banner and be more inclusive of the total population affected by the disease," said Williams. "In addition to that important external priority, we are working to become more diverse, equitable and inclusive internally. We want our workforce to better represent the broad communities we aim to serve, and our care to be as culturally responsive as possible. PhoenixTeam and Tela Gallagher Mathias' trust and investment in the vision of the DEI initiatives at Hazelden Betty Ford is both humbling and truly galvanizing."
"As a company, we are very passionate about the lifesaving work of the Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation," said Tanya Brennan, CEO of PhoenixTeam. "We firmly believe that this best-in-class treatment should be accessible to all who need it, which is why we invested in advancing the organization's ability to operationalize DEI initiatives to help power true change. Our company values are not just words on our ‘About us' page: We truly live our values, and express them through our financial choices. We not only believe in the ability of Hazelden Betty Ford to save lives, but we also believe in its vision and roadmap to broaden its banner and reach more people."
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. Learn more at HazeldenBettyFord.org and on Twitter.