Statement of Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation Trustee Susan Ford Bales on the Death of Rosalynn Carter

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McKinney, Tex. (Nov. 19, 2023) – Susan Ford Bales, trustee of the Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation and daughter of President Gerald Ford and Betty Ford, joined the world in mourning the loss of former First Lady Rosalynn Carter and reflecting on her friendship and significant contributions to the nation. She shared this statement: 

"With profound sadness and a deep sense of personal loss, I learned of Rosalynn Carter's death.

"Mrs. Carter was blessed with the gift of years. For decades, the lives of tens of millions of Americans and countless millions around the world were graced by her compassion, courage, and determination to help others. She and my mother were powerful partners in advocating for expanded insurance coverage for Americans in need of mental health and substance use care. And the light of Mrs. Carter's legacy, especially her tireless work for improved treatments and understanding of mental health challenges, will shine brightly for generations to come.

"The love she shared with President Carter is a wonderful testament to their mutual devotion and one that brought joy to everyone fortunate enough to have witnessed them during their seventy seven year journey together. Her friendship with Mom, Dad, and our family has been a blessing for which no words can adequately describe. She will be missed, but the joy of her great works and special friendship will always live on - always.

"On behalf of the Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation, I send our prayers and deepest condolences to President Carter and the Carter family."

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.