Caption: Another example of superior leadership at La Hacienda is James Boone, MD, Medical Director. He is well known for his presentations on substance use and its effect on the brain.
Good leadership is the fourth factor that the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) cites as a key to successful treatment and recovery.
From its owners through its management team, La Hacienda has long been fortunate to have superior direction.
“The quality of the treatment that happens here is only possible because of the owners,” says Executive Director Art VanDivier. “When they say that patient care comes first, employees next, and then we’ll worry about the bottom line, that’s not just marketing talk. I’ve seen it proven over and over.”
For example, when the current owners bought La Hacienda 27 years ago, improving its communication system was a top priority. “The first thing they did was run fiber optic cable throughout the campus. We’ve had that capability ever since then.”
“When I tell other treatment center directors that we’ve had the ability to keep medical records electronically for almost three decades, they are amazed,” he adds.
Leadership Nationally, Statewide
In addition to directing day-to-day operations at the Hunt campus, Art is also involved in efforts to maintain high standards in the substance use disorder treatment industry.
Initially as chair of the National Association of Addiction Treatment Providers (NAATP) Ethics Committee, and now as chair of the NAATP Board of Directors, he has helped lead the trade group’s strengthening of its code of ethics and establishing a quality control initiative for treatment nationally.
Another example of a La Hacienda executive staff member taking leadership initiative is Sherri Layton, Outpatient Services Administrator. She has helped create an advocacy program for better governmental policies affecting the industry in Texas.
“On behalf of the entire field, I’m very appreciative of the outstanding work done by Sherri,” says Mark Dunn, NAATP’s Director of Public Policy. “She has been instrumental in advocating from the grassroots to elected officials on issues critical to addiction treatment. Her efforts have made the difference in numerous public policy debates.”
“I wish we had a ‘Sherri’ in every state,” adds Dunn.
The Four Elements
In addition to leadership, SAMHSA identified integrated care, a strong sense of purpose, and community support as elements that contribute to effective treatments that sustain recovery.
The elements are part of this year’s National Recovery Month observance, which has as its theme, “Join the Voices for Recovery: Invest in Health, Home, Purpose, and Community.”