At 11 years old, Tom Rodman told his parents he would one day own a summer home on Lake Megunticook just outside Camden, Maine.
After four decades working on Wall Street, he not only fulfilled that dream but also established a luxury residential treatment program for drug, alcohol and co-occurring mental health issues in Camden called “Borden Cottage. “
Surrounded by greenery on the Fox Hill estate overlooking Penobscot Bay, Borden was founded in 2015 under the name “McLean Borden Cottage.” However, the center transitioned to an independent ownership and operational structure in October 2023 after earning its reputation as an industry leader under Harvard Medical School-affiliated McLean Hospital.
Rodman now serves as the treatment center’s CEO. He also acts as CEO of the company that owns the property.
“I felt divinely inspired that whatever reason this property had been developed by its former owner, … it had a higher purpose, and I felt called to make that happen,” Rodman said of his first viewing. “There’s no place like this in the world.”
According to the CEO, Borden operates in a global market far beyond Camden. Rodman said that two-thirds of the center’s population hails from outside of the United States.
“[Borden] is a destination rather than something just appealing to our immediate market for our immediate geographic area,” he told Addiction Treatment Business.
Borden COO and Head of Admissions Allison Avery echoed that sentiment.
“I think people see us as a place where they can kind of get out of the busyness and get away from the communities where they work and reside, and have privacy and space for recovery,” Avery told ATB.
With a focus on early recovery, relapse prevention and acute psychiatric stabilization, the high-end 12-bed rehab center guides residents through custom programs designed around their unique diagnoses and composed of individual and group therapies. Avery said that Borden staff also proactively provide neuro-psych testing on the front end to help drive these individualized treatment plans.
In addition to evidence-based treatments, such as TMS and expressive art therapy, Borden offers amenities ranging from a bowling alley to a 50s-style diner, a movie theater and a fully equipped music studio. However, treatment always remains the program’s focus, Rodman said.
“We’re not location driven. We’re not facilities driven. We’re not amenities driven. This is a residential treatment program and every letter in that word — treatment — is capitalized,” he said.
As a private-pay program, Borden primarily attracts clients who can self-pay, Avery said. However, she said the treatment center partners with a health insurance advocacy group that works with clients upon admission on possible insurance reimbursement. Borden covers this service as part of its overall cost.
Regarding McLean, Rodman told ATB that Borden’s history with the renowned psychiatric facility was positive and something he initially solicited because he “knew nothing about the rehab world.”
“I’m not going to put a sign on the road saying, ‘Come get sober with Tom,’ Rodman said. “Therefore, I needed a partner.”
However, after nearly a decade, Rodman said both parties started to find the relationship burdensome. He said the pandemic didn’t help, creating logistical challenges and prompting Borden to seek more opportunities for flexibility, growth and increased exposure.
Borden aims to expand its treatment program by incorporating new modules, including detox services and a step-down component, to provide residents “a full spectrum of care from start to finish,” Avery said.
She added that the center — capitalized and in no need of additional investor support, per Rodman — is actively applying for Joint Commission Accreditation (JCAHO) and staying current on evidence-based treatments and changes within the industry.
“Our goal is to get the word out there that we’re still here, and we’re actively bringing clients in and providing services, and we’re really excited about the future of the program,” she said.