The anticipated joining of Hazelden Foundation and the Betty Ford Center has moved one significant step closer to coming to fruition, with the Sept. 24 announcement that the governing boards of the two organizations have formally agreed to an agency merger.
A joint statement from the two internationally renowned addiction treatment organizations says the merger will create the country’s largest nonprofit addiction treatment facility. The merged organization will be named the Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation, with a merged board and Hazelden’s current president and CEO Mark Mishek becoming chief executive of the combined organization.
The agencies are gearing up to complete the merger by the end of the calendar year, after achieving the necessary regulatory approvals.
“The integration of these two industry leaders will expand our geographic reach to help more people,” said the Hon. Susan Fox Gillis, chair of Hazelden’s Board of Trustees, and Mary Turner Pattiz, chair of Betty Ford’s Board of Directors. “It will position us well to respond to the challenges and opportunities presented by health care reform and the rapidly changing marketplace.”
Hazelden and Betty Ford had hinted in originally announcing exploratory talks over an affiliation that even with their historical size and position in the field, their future as individual organizations would be marked with some uncertainty in a transforming industry.
The two board chairs added, “The merger will help us achieve scale so we’re able to invest in state-of-the-art facilities and research and development.”
The merged organization will manage residential and outpatient services at 14 treatment sites, as well as other operations that include Hazelden’s publishing arm and both organizations’ education initiatives.
The facilities also announced that Hazelden will rename its Women’s Recovery Center in Minnesota in honor of the late Betty Ford’s longstanding commitment to compassionate, high-quality treatment services for women.
Gillis and Pattiz said of the two organizations, “We have a long history of collaboration dating back to the founding of Betty Ford Center in 1982, and our mission and values are identical.” They added, “Together, we see huge opportunities in the challenges facing us today.”
Visit the Addiction Professional website in the coming days for additional perspective on this major announcement in the addiction treatment provider community.