Blogs and Updates

Learn more about our work to help addiction sufferers get well and stay well from this disease.

As I write this, America is waiting for the Supreme Court’s decision(s) around the ACA.  By design, the Act provides mandates for both the public and private sectors.  One of the private sector impacts is to shift a considerable amount of risk for the financing and delivery of health care to employers, employees and health care providers.

I was recently listening to a speech by Muhammad Yunus, the oft-awarded fellow who invented microlending, when he said, “What separates transformational leaders from zealots or dreamers is actionable vision.”  While I don’t know whether we qualify as transformational leaders, we certainly offer up an actionable vision.

There’s a piece in the May 14, 2012 edition of the The New Yorker under this title, written by Larissa MacFarquhar, that contains some excellent lessons for the addiction, treatment and recovery fields.  The subject of the article is a fellow by the name of Clayton Christensen, the Kim B. Clark Professor of Business Administration at the Harvard Business School, with a joint appointment in the Technology & Operations Management and General Management faculty groups. He is best known for his study of innovation in commercial enterprises. His first book, The Innovator's Dilemma,[1] articulated his theory of disruptive innovation.

Face It TOGETHER® exists to support the recovery revolution. One of our purposes is to evangelize the proliferation and support of a private sector funded recovery community organization that will, in turn, bring a community-wide focus to the recovery oriented system of care model.  In pursuing this purpose we have discovered that business (the undisputed commercial foundation of the private sector) is very interested (and perhaps far more so than it is given credit for) in treating addiction as a chronic disease

Integrating  medical care is not a new idea. One of the oldest and best-known examples is the Mayo Clinic.

That said, integrating behavioral health with primary care services is a great idea whose time has come and is long overdue. Each day, as this type of integration evolves, whether through accountable care organizations, health homes or other approaches to integrating care, enormous value will be created.

I’ve been blessed once again this week with the opportunity to work with the family of a very sick young man in desperate need of help. I hope never to lose the sense of gratitude I have for such opportunities.  At the same time, however, I am also reminded of how much is wrong with today’s system of dealing with addiction.

Last week, USA Today published a heartfelt Op/Ed piece authored by our good friend, Senator George McGovern, who lamented, “little meaningful progress against this disease” in the 17 years since losing his daughter, Terry, to addiction.  He pointed out the, “fundamental failures in today’s system of care”, and acknowledged the psychological barriers of fear, stigma and shame that keep millions of Americans away from the help they need.

Estimates show nearly 23 million Americans have a problem with drugs or alcohol, with 17,000 of them living in Sioux Falls. But a recovery movement underway in Sioux Falls is poised to sweep the nation.