For the first time in its history, the Betty Ford Center will be headed by an administrator


RANCHO MIRAGE, Calif .– (COMMERCIAL THREAD) – When the Betty Ford Center — the world’s most recognized addiction and mental health care provider — turns 40e anniversary in 2022, it will do so under the leadership of Tessa Voss, who was announced today as the fourth administrator and the first woman to lead the Rancho Mirage institution co-founded by former First Lady Betty Ford.

Voss, who will take the helm on Monday, December 20, will also serve as the California region vice president of the Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation, heading the Betty Ford Center as well as the treatment centers in San Diego and Los Angeles. She has dedicated her entire career to the Foundation, which includes the Betty Ford Center and is the nation’s largest non-profit substance use disorder treatment system, mental health care, recovery resources. and related prevention and education services.

“Tessa has accomplished a lot in our organization and embodies the spirit of humility, empathy and grace that is so important in the work we do with patients, families and children,” said Hazelden Betty Ford, President and CEO, Joseph Lee, MD. As the first woman to lead the operations of the Betty Ford Center, Tessa expands the banner of our leadership team nationwide and extends the legacy and pioneering spirit of our co-founder and namesake Ms. Ford, who, well that not being its COO, was the face and voice of the Betty Ford Center for nearly 30 years. With Tessa as Ambassador and Leader in California, I am very excited about the future and the many lives and families that our teams will be able to impact in the years to come.

Located adjacent to Eisenhower Medical Center in Rancho Mirage, the Betty Ford Center employs 230 people, has 184 treatment beds and is in the early stages of a four-year, $ 30 million campus transformation that will increase capacity to 240 beds. . It provides all levels of care, from residential care to outpatients, and offers dedicated mental health services, virtual services, sober living residences, immersive medical and professional training experiences, as well as unique programs in Spanish. and in English for young children and others affected by drug addiction in the family.

Voss has been the Executive Director of the Betty Ford Center since October 2019 and has been instrumental in its successful response to the COVID-19 pandemic. She mentored Christopher Yadron, PhD, and succeeds him as director and vice-president. Last summer, Yadron became CEO of a processing center in the eastern United States.

“It is a tremendous and humbling honor to lead our incredible family of caregivers, educators, alumni and donors, whose commitment to our mission during the pandemic has been inspiring and vitally important to them. communities we serve, ”said Voss. “I am a counselor at heart, committed first and foremost to the clinical care we provide, and I am happy to say that the Betty Ford Center is a stronger force of healing and hope today than ever before – with even better days to come, thanks to our exceptional team and many generous donors. We are excited to grow, to build more bridges to the communities we serve, and to continue to expand the rich legacy Ms. Ford started four decades ago.

While earning a bachelor’s degree in psychology and Spanish from the University of Minnesota in Morris, Minn., Voss – originally from Fridley, Minn. – lived the pain of addiction firsthand, losing several friends at the onset of the opioid crisis. This prompted her to pursue and earn a Masters in Addiction Studies at Hazelden Betty Ford Graduate School of Addiction Studies. Subsequently, she spent five years as a counselor at Hazelden Betty Ford in Center City, Minnesota, which shares a campus with the graduate school and is the largest treatment center in the Hazelden Betty Ford system. In Center City, Voss helped launch Hazelden Betty Ford’s innovative and influential Complete Twelve-Step Opioid Response (COR-12®) to treat opioid dependence and led the first COR-12 therapy group for women.

From Minnesota, Voss moved to Oregon to become an addiction program manager at Hazelden Betty Ford in Newberg, where in 2017 she was promoted to Director of Clinical Services, a leadership position she held for two years before moving on. at the Betty Ford Center. For seven years, Voss was also an adjunct faculty member at Hazelden Betty Ford Graduate School. In addition, she has completed special assignments at the Hazelden Betty Ford campuses in St. Paul and Plymouth, Minn.

“We value and invest in the development and advancement of our people, and are able to provide a wide range of opportunities, and Tessa has taken full advantage of it – studying, teaching, providing care and successfully leading teams in our whole system, ”said John Driscoll, senior vice president of recovery services at Hazelden Betty Ford. “Not only does Tessa bring the right spirit to this job, but through all of her experiences she has become an excellent operational leader and team builder, earning the enthusiastic trust of everyone she works with and supports. ”

“I am so grateful for the opportunities this organization has given me, that I will pay off in my commitment to our long term future,” added Voss. “I want the Betty Ford Center to thrive for another 40 years and beyond, strengthen its strong community bonds, and become an even more vibrant and accessible source of healing and hope for the next generation. With so many families suffering during and as a result of the pandemic, we know our services are needed more than ever, and we are now ready to grow and work with community partners to meet the growing demand for a quality professional help. ”

Susan Ford Bales, daughter of the late Ms Ford and longtime Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation board member, was involved in the interview process for Voss and said she was thrilled with the promotion.

“As a strong advocate for women, my mother would be so happy and proud to see a woman running the treatment center that she and US Ambassador Leonard Firestone established almost 40 years ago,” Bales said. “I’m also grateful to know how much Tessa cares about the staff at Betty Ford Center and how committed she, like my mom, is to helping children and families. It will be exciting to support her as we transform the campus, expand services and accessibility, open up additional healthcare employment opportunities in Coachella Valley and celebrate 40 years of Betty Ford Center.e birthday. It is gratifying to know that the future of my mother’s legacy is in such capable hands.

One of Voss’s first priorities will be to hire a Clinical Director to fill the void created by his promotion and a Medical Director to succeed Alta DeRoo, MD, who was promoted last month to Chief Medical Officer for the entire Foundation. Meanwhile, Janelle Wesloh, longtime vice president of Hazelden Betty Ford who served as interim Betty Ford Center administrator, will now move to a permanent role overseeing the Eastern Region from Hazelden Betty Ford all. by continuing its leadership in the clinical field of the Foundation. excellence and recovery management functions.

About the Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation

The Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation is a force of healing and hope for individuals, families and communities affected by addiction to alcohol and other drugs. As a leading not-for-profit provider of comprehensive inpatient and outpatient mental health and addiction treatment for adults and youth, the Foundation has nationwide telehealth treatment centers and services as well as ” a network of collaborators in all healthcare. With a legacy that began in 1949 and included the founding in 1982 of the Betty Ford Center, the Foundation today also includes a Graduate School of Addiction Studies, a Publishing Division, a Center for Addiction Research, recovery advocacy and thought leadership, professional and medical education programs. , school-based prevention resources and a specialized program for children growing up in families struggling with addictions. Learn more at and on Twitter.


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