Merger creates Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation, seeking to expand addiction treatment across the country

Last week it was announced that Hazelden and the Betty Ford Center have merged, creating the Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation.

Regional Oregon Hazelden Director Jan Vondrachek said the merger will have multiple benefits for both parties.

“I think the integration of these two, and these are two huge leaders in the industry, will really expand our geographic reach, to reach more people,” Vondrachek said.

Hazelden and Betty Ford both offer services for addiction treatment, but each has its own SUBMITTED - Merger - Hazelden Springbrook, along with the rest of the Hazelden locations, are now a part of the Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation after a merger was finalized Feb. 10.

Vondrachek said Hazelden has focused more on treating trauma and addiction, while Betty Ford specialized in pain and addiction.

“It just gives us more breadth to draw upon, it just richens the West Coast, if you will, in offering more options for the individual,” she said. “An example would be here in Newberg (where) we specialize in treating individuals with trauma, at Betty Ford they specialize with pain, so if you were to call me for treatment for addiction and pain I would probably refer (the individual) to Betty Ford, and vice versa.”

Vondrachek said in the past, referrals for specialty care in a different field would result in additional travel for the individual. But with more West Coast locations, patients won’t have to travel as far for care.

“What it comes down to is it really allows us to better meet the individual needs of our patients,” she said.

There’s also more name recognition, which could lead to helping more people, she said.

“The Betty Ford Center is very well known, and Hazelden is extremely well known in the Midwest, so we hope it increases name recognition so people suffering from addiction will (know of it),” Vondrachek said.

The Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation now includes 15 sites across the United States. Mark Mishek, president and foundation CEO, said in a press release he was excited about the timing of the merger.

“It’s a new year and we have a new organization. With that come high hopes and a certain thrill in the infinite possibilities,” Mishek said. “Our merger is also taking place at a time, historically, when recovery communities are beginning to coalesce around the idea of taking action to reduce the stories so that the general public can see the other side of addiction. I credit Mrs. Ford, more than anyone in history, with beginning the effort to chip away at stigma by publically sharing her own recovery experience, and now is a great time to be carrying her legacy forward.”

Vondrachek also said the merger will allow the organizations to remain on the cutting edge for addiction treatment.

“It really allows us to continue to invest in more facility research and development,” she said.

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