Plymouth, Minn. (April 11, 2022) – Alarm bells have grown louder over a children's mental health crisis that parallels a protracted addiction crisis—the complexities and nuances of which are deeply plumbed daily by Sara Polley, MD, medical director of the Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation's national substance use and mental health treatment center for adolescents and young adults, and one of Mpls. St. Paul Magazine's 2022 Top Doctors: Rising Stars. Triple-board certified—in adult psychiatry, child and adolescent psychiatry, and addiction medicine—Dr. Polley provides compassionate, evidence-based care to her patients, who range in age from 12 to 25, and publicly advocates for further investment in prevention and intervention. Last summer, she succeeded Joseph Lee, MD, who was promoted to president and CEO of Hazelden Betty Ford, the nation's leading nonprofit system of addiction treatment, mental health care, recovery resources and related prevention and education services.
"Dr. Polley is a change-making force in the lives of our young patients," said Dr. Lee. "She leads with heart and is particularly attuned to the empathy, meaning and grace that families need as they heal right alongside their loved one. I know our young people and families are in excellent care with her."
The Mpls.St.Paul honor recognizes exceptional physicians in their first decade as a professional. In a multiphase selection process, peers nominate and evaluate their fellow physicians based on who they would recommend if they or a loved one were seeking medical care.
"The patients I work with are the most amazingly resilient people I've ever met," said Dr. Polley. "I especially love working with patients when they reach that cusp of change, knowing their life is challenging and perhaps even out-of-control and out-of-step with their values and goals, but realizing they have the autonomy and ability to stop the cycle of dysfunction."
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.
You can see the entire list and a detailed description of the selection process for Mpls. St. Paul Magazine's 2022 Top Doctors: Rising Stars by visiting https://mspmag.com/topics/rising-stars.
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.