Hazelden Betty Ford Hires New Medical Director for its National Youth Continuum

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CENTER CITY, Minn. (June 15, 2021)—Sara Polley, MD, a triple-board certified physician and psychiatrist, is the new medical director at the Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation's national substance use and mental health treatment center for adolescents and young adults. She started working at the center in Plymouth, Minn., on June 14, succeeding Joseph Lee, MD, who was promoted to President and CEO, a role he begins June 28. "Dr. Polley brings a wealth of knowledge, experience and personal passion to Hazelden Betty Ford, and we are excited about the leadership she will provide to our Youth Continuum," said Mollie Greenig, executive director of Hazelden Betty Ford in Plymouth, which is celebrating its 40th anniversary this month.

Dr. Polley is board-certified in adult psychiatry, child and adolescent psychiatry, and addiction medicine. She completed her child and adolescent psychiatry fellowship at Boston Children's Hospital, the primary pediatric teaching hospital for Harvard Medical School, and was chief fellow during her final year there—working with the Pediatric Addiction team on research-based interventions that integrate medical, psychological, spiritual, and social treatments for both individuals and families. Prior to that experience, Dr. Polley completed her adult psychiatry training in a joint program between Sheppard Pratt Hospital and the University of Maryland. She is a graduate of the University of Minnesota Medical School and earned her bachelor's degree in child psychology from the University of Minnesota's Institute of Child Development. For the past six years, Dr. Polley has worked as a psychiatrist and director of dual diagnosis services at PrairieCare Medical Group in Brooklyn Park, Minn.

"I've dedicated my career to helping people who have substance use and mental health disorders, and nowhere is that mission stronger than at the Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation," Dr. Polley said. "It's an honor to join Hazelden Betty Ford and be part of a multidisciplinary team devoted to providing hope and healing to young people. I also look forward to contributing to the organization's broader efforts to expand access, undo stigma and advocate for the people we serve."

Dr. Polley said her career is motivated by her late father.

"I treat addiction for my dad, a brilliant and gentle man who struggled with alcohol use disorder and ultimately lost his life to it," she explained. "I am grateful for the opportunity at Hazelden Betty Ford to provide quality, patient-centered care that is compassionate and effective so that fewer people have to say goodbye to their loved ones."

Hazelden Betty Ford in Plymouth is the nation's leading provider of residential and outpatient substance use and mental health services for young people, and is in-network with most major health plans. Located near the shores of Medicine Lake, it is a beautiful setting for the life-changing work of recovery, honoring the dignity and respect of the individuals and families served there. Known for its comprehensive approach to care, including robust family services, the center has 160 employees serving more than 1,000 patients a year from across the country as well as their family members. It is a part of the Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation, the nation's largest nonprofit system of addiction treatment, co-occurring mental health care, recovery resources and related prevention and education services.

About the Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation

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.