About Us

Who We Are

Our mission is expressed in our name – Innovations for Recovery. We seek to bring people, ideas, and technology together to improve outcomes in addiction treatment and recovery. Our unique approach involves seeking technology-based solutions to overcome roadblocks in the addiction treatment field with a focus on relapse prevention and aftercare outcomes.

The Director of Innovations for Recovery is David Gustafson, Ph.D., Professor of Industrial Engineering at the University of Wisconsin­Madison, and director of the Network for the Improvement of Addiction Treatment (NIATx). David Gustafson is also the founder of the Comprehensive Health Enhancement Support System (CHESS) project, which has created and evaluated technology-based health education and support systems for people facing a variety of different health issues.

What We Do

It is well known that relapse following treatment for drug and alcohol addiction is common. Indeed, relapse rates for addictive diseases usually are in the range of 50% to 90%. Fortunately, research also indicates that many of these incidences are predictable and ultimately preventable if people in recovery are provided the support and tools they need. We have been exploring how technology can be used to improve outcomes in the addiction treatment and recovery field.

Recent estimates suggest that millions of Americans need addiction treatment and recovery services. However, the current system often fails to provide access or retain these patients. As a result, innovative solutions must be considered and utilized to bridge this gap between supply and demand. Fortunately, there are technologies available today that can either be used immediately or adapted quickly to accomplish our stated objectives, and we are actively working to develop and test these systems to improve outcomes in addiction treatment and recovery. Finally, we believe that addiction treatment and recovery should be integrated with a more holistic view of healthcare and treated like one of many chronic illnesses. The Innovations for Recovery initiative operates with the philosophy that treatment and recovery should not be treated in isolation from related societal problems or the larger healthcare system.


The Innovations for Recovery initiative extends the work of the "Addiction Treatment Vision Panel" initiative funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. The Addiction Treatment Vision Panel focused on identifying technology-based opportunities to improve outcomes and cost-effectiveness of the addiction treatment and recovery field. The initiative consisted of convening panels of world-class experts to recommend and prioritize technology-based solutions to serve this purpose. The first panel was comprised of a diverse group of patients, family members and other experts from diverse fields such as informatics, genetics, pharmaceuticals, psychology, behavioral medicine, artificial intelligence, and nanotechnology. The second panel was comprised of recognized leaders in the addiction treatment and recovery field who evaluated and built upon the first group's recommendations. Innovations for Recovery has extended this work by conveying the vision for these recommended technologies, creating prototypes to demonstrate the potential of these technologies and catalyzing interest in developing and testing these technologies to improve service delivery and outcomes in the addiction treatment and recovery field.

Our Partners

The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation
The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, based in Princeton, New Jersey, is the nation's largest philanthropy devoted exclusively to health and healthcare. It concentrates its grant making in four goal areas: to ensure that all Americans have access to quality healthcare at reasonable cost; to improve the quality of care and support for people with chronic health conditions; to promote healthy communities and lifestyles; and, to reduce the personal, social, and economic harm caused by substance abuse – tobacco, alcohol, and illicit drugs.

The Network for the Improvement of Addiction Treatment (NIATx)
The Network for the Improvement of Addiction Treatment (NIATx), based in Madison, Wisconsin, is a partnership between The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation's Paths to Recovery program, the Center for Substance Abuse Treatment's Strengthening Treatment Access and Retention (STAR) program, and a number of independent addiction treatment organizations.

The Comprehensive Health Enhancement Support System
The Comprehensive Health Enhancement Support System (CHESS) is a computer-based system of integrated services designed to help individuals cope with a health crisis or medical concern. The team behind CHESS has developed technology-based solutions to improve healthcare outcomes in a variety of health-related contexts including breast cancer, lung cancer, prostate cancer, heart disease, HIV/AIDS, asthma, smoking cessation and menopause. With over a hundred publications examining the feasibility and efficacy of technology-based solutions and process improvement for healthcare organizations, the Center for Health Enhancement Support Studies is one of the most preeminent eHealth-focused research organizations in the world.

Contact Us

Innovations for Recovery
The Center for Health Enhancement Systems Studies
Mechanical Engineering Building
1513 University Ave, Rm 3107
Madison, WI 53706
phone: 608-263-0492
fax: 608-890-1438

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