One of the addiction treatment field’s most accomplished executives and an impassioned supporter of a strong 12-Step foundation has officially retired this week. Frank Lisnow’s last day with the Center for Dependency, Addiction and Rehabilitation (CeDAR) at the University of Colorado Hospital was Monday, and CeDAR announced today that former Pavillon International executive Steve Millette will take the reins on Oct. 17.
Lisnow, a former president of NAADAC, The Association for Addiction Professionals, has for the past six years been at the forefront of a meteoric rise for a facility that grew out of the original vision of the late Robert Harmon, MD, CeDAR’s founding medical director. In an interview published this month in the University of Colorado Hospital’s in-house newsletter, Lisnow said, “This is absolutely the greatest place I have ever worked. The hospital lives its mission of caring for the patients they serve.”
CeDAR’s hospital affiliation has been seen as instrumental to its growth and its influence in the addiction community over a relatively short period. In recent months CeDAR staff members have assumed national leadership roles in a number of forms. This month the organization will host a conference featuring some of the most prominent voices in women’s treatment. The director of its alumni programming has been the driving force behind establishment of the new national organization Treatment Professionals in Alumni Services (TPAS).
“I started volunteering at CeDAR early in my recovery,” Lorie Obernauer (also a blogger on these pages) told me today. “Frank recognized that my background and prior experiences could be useful for developing a new program for CeDAR alumni. Because of that I have a wonderful new career and opportunity to be of service.”
Lisnow became a national leader in promoting treatment with a strong 12-Step foundation that is also supported by the latest evidence-based practice and pharmacology. He advocated whole-person treatment that blended a number of perspectives. He stated in the interview with the hospital publication, in reference to his early training in the field, “I learned to listen to psychologists, psychiatrists, social workers and others and hear what they brought to the table. You don’t always have to agree, but you learn different opinions, ideas and concepts.”
Lisnow, 66, and his wife are relocating to their retirement home in North Carolina. Arriving at CeDAR later this month is Millette, a certified clinical supervisor and alcohol and drug counselor who served as executive director of treatment services at Pavillon. Millette also has held administrative roles at Florida treatment centers, including the former Hanley-Hazelden facility.