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Search Is On for New CEO at NAATP

November 15, 2010
by Gary Enos
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The new president and CEO of the National Association of Addiction Treatment Providers (NAATP) will not come from the ranks of professional managers with no addiction field background.

NAATP’s just-released announcement of the launch of a search for a permanent CEO states that the new chief will “have a minimum of 10 years experience in leadership or management positions in the alcohol and drug addiction treatment field.”

NAATP’s interim president and CEO, Dennis Gilhousen, told me last Friday that the wording of that statement was changed from a broader reference to “behavioral health” experience to the more addiction-specific language. “The search committee is concerned that it hire somebody who from the beginning will be able to fully and completely relate to the member organizations, and their problems and issues,” says Gilhousen.

Conditions in the ever-changing treatment field and the unique circumstances surrounding NAATP and the dismissal of its longtime president last May are both playing into the search committee’s preference for hiring someone for whom there would be no learning curve on addiction topics. Five NAATP board members, led by Kermit Dahlen of Jackson Recovery Center in Iowa, make up the committee.

Gilhousen, who board chair Cathy Palm cited in the NAATP newsletter for doing “a terrific job; better than we had any reason to hope” as interim CEO, confirms that he will stay on in the interim capacity until a new executive is named.

The formal announcement of a search also used italicized language when stating that the NAATP staff office is currently located in Lancaster, Pa. (former CEO Ron Hunsicker’s home area). Gilhousen says no decision has been made on whether the staff office may be relocated.

Palm also used the NAATP newsletter issue released last week to offer an update on the situation involving the misappropriation of association funds that led to Hunsicker’s dismissal. She wrote that NAATP remains committed to receiving full restitution from its former CEO, adding that the association “recently secured a mortgage on a piece of real property, which will yield us in excess of $300,000 once the property is sold.”

In addition, Palm wrote that NAATP continues to work with the Pennsylvania Attorney General’s office to resolve concerns about the association that were raised in connection with Hunsicker’s actions as president. She stated that NAATP is still awaiting a draft agreement from the Attorney General.


Gary Enos


Gary Enos

Gary A. Enos has been the editor of Addiction Professional since its inception. He also...

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