The Acadia Hospital One of Only Ten Sites Selected to Lead Substance Abuse Field in Process Improvements

Submitted by: 09/19/2003

The Acadia Hospital has been chosen as one of 10 substance abuse treatment sites to participate in a national program of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. The project, called Paths to Recovery, is a unique learning collaborative which will address the organizational barriers to substance abuse treatment.

"We are very excited about working with The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the other nine treatment programs to develop more effective substance abuse treatment access models," states Lynn Madden, Acadia Hospital vice president. "This is an outstanding opportunity for The Acadia Hospital and the people of Maine who are in need of substance abuse treatment."

Acadia's involvement in Paths to Recovery is supported by Maine Governor John Baldacci. "The goals of this initiative and the mission of The Acadia Hospital are consistent with my goals for improving services to the people of Maine. This type of effort can ensure that clients remain the priority as we reorganize our statewide service delivery system."

Nationally, fewer than one in four people addicted to alcohol or drugs receive treatment, and as many as half of those who do successfully access treatment leave their treatment program before its full benefit can be realized. There are three main reasons for this, explains David Gustafson, director of the Paths to Recovery initiative. "For some the issue is finances, for others the issue is readiness. But we've found that often the real issue keeping patients from treatment is the way that services are delivered, and this is the issue each organization participating in the Paths to Recovery program is addressing."

The participating treatment sites are leading providers in the field who have been making innovative changes in their own organizations. By redesigning processes such as client intake, assessment, scheduling, outreach, and family involvement, the Paths to Recovery goal is to create a more efficient system that is less frustrating for both clients and staff, and that makes it easier for clients to complete treatment.

For more information about the Paths to Recovery project and the selected substance abuse treatment sites, please visit

The Acadia Hospital is a non-profit psychiatric and chemical dependency hospital located in Bangor, Maine. A member of Eastern Maine Healthcare, Acadia is the first psychiatric Magnet hospital in the nation.

The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, based in Princeton, N.J., is the nation's largest philanthropy devoted exclusively to health and health care. It concentrates its grantmaking in four goal areas: to assure that all Americans have access to quality health care 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.

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