Managers at the Betty Ford Center learned this week that the treatment organization’s longtime top executive, John Schwarzlose, is transitioning out of daily operations at the center and taking on the role of CEO Emeritus. Four longtime officials at the Betty Ford Center will make up a leadership transition team, and a search committee already has been formed to identify the person who will replace Schwarzlose as CEO.
Also as part of the communication to managers this week, the center’s board chair and vice chair stated that leaders from the Betty Ford Center and Hazelden will meet soon to discuss business topics around the two organizations’ planned alliance, few details of which have been made public. According to a statement from the Betty Ford Center, “The organizations are now actively engaged in a due diligence process.”
Schwarzlose has been one of the most influential and outspoken addiction treatment executives in the industry during his 31 years of service at the Betty Ford Center. Part of his efforts in the new emeritus role will involve authoring a book on the center’s history—a project that he had discussed on many occasions with Mrs. Ford. He also will be available for consultation and to work on special projects in his new role.
The transition team at Betty Ford is made up of senior vice president of human resources Charlene Montgomery; Children’s Program national director Jerry Moe; Licensed Health Professional Program and residential day treatment director Harry Haroutunian, M.D.; and Betty Ford Center Foundation president John Boop.
Schwarzlose’s transition comes at a time of major change in the addiction field in general, and many of the industry changes anticipated as a result of implementation of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and the federal parity law have in part fueled the ongoing conversations about an alliance between Betty Ford and Hazelden.