The Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation, a large nonprofit substance use disorder (SUD) treatment provider, has teamed up with Emory Healthcare, the largest health care system in the state of Georgia, to tackle addiction in the Peach State.
The two organizations have partnered to create the Addiction Alliance of Georgia, which will focus on providing SUD prevention, treatment and support services to residents in the state. The hope is that the model will eventually serve as an example for how to best fight addiction nationwide.
Headquartered in Center City, Minnesota, the Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation has 17 locations nationwide, offering a variety of inpatient and outpatient treatment options for adolescents and adults. It also boasts a graduate school of addiction studies, a publishing division, an advocacy arm, an addiction research center and more.
Meanhile, Atlanta-based Emory Healthcare is made up of 11 hospitals, an outpatient physician practice and more than 250 provider locations.
In addition to working with each other, the two organizations will collaborate with community partners for the Addiction Alliance, which will be funded by various forms of philanthropic support, according to a press release announcing the news. Stakeholders have also been working with state behavioral health leaders to identify Georgia residents’ needs.
Initially, the Addiction Alliance will focus on outreach and education, with possible initiatives including Atlanta-area school outreach, community workshops and more. In 2021, the goal is to start offering clinical services in Atlanta, with Emory Healthcare staff providing care and Hazelden Betty Ford handling management, training and front-end operations support.
In the first five to three years of the partnership, the Alliance will also provide professional education solutions within Emory. Additionally, Hazelden Betty Ford’s research arm will collaborate with Emory on projects.
Meanwhile, longer-term plans include exploring a new detox and residential addiction treatment facility on or near the Emory Brain Health Center campus in Atlanta, according to the press release.
“Ultimately, our goal is to help reduce rates of substance use disorder, improve recovery rates and save more lives throughout Georgia,” Hazelden Betty Ford President and CEO Mark Mishek said in the press release. “The disease of addiction is a public health issue so big, so important and so heightened now due to the coronavirus pandemic that it requires long-term collaboration among all who are committed to confronting it, and that is what the Addiction Alliance of Georgia aims to facilitate.”
Lofty goals for the Alliance don’t stop there, according to Emory Healthcare CEO and chairman of the board Jonathan Lewin. Eventually, the hope is that the model will make a splash beyond the state of Georgia.
“By integrating addiction-focused treatment, prevention, research and educational initiatives in a unique collaborative enterprise that engages partners, the Addiction Alliance of Georgia will serve as a national model for reducing the negative impact of addiction and increasing the positive impact of recovery in our communities and throughout society,” Lewin said in the press release.