Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians, Hazelden Betty Ford - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians, Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation to collaborate on addiction treatment services

SOURCE Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation

Michigan tribe is the first tribal health system to join the Hazelden Betty Ford Patient Care Network

CENTER CITY, Minn. and SAULT STE. MARIE, Mich., Feb. 19, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- The Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation today welcomed the largest tribe east of the Mississippi-the Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians-as the newest member of its Patient Care Network, a growing group of like-minded health care organizations working together to expand addiction treatment services and improve patient outcomes.

The nation's largest nonprofit treatment organization. (PRNewsFoto/Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation)

Dr. Aaron Payment, Chairperson of the Sault Tribe, said, "American Indians have long endured the impacts of forced assimilation, economically depressed rural communities, and the cycle of lack of opportunity which perpetuates a state of social anomie or historical trauma with adverse outcomes like the highest rates of alcoholism, suicides, overdoses and accidents related to substance use."

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), American Indian and Alaska Natives had the highest drug overdose death rates nationally and the largest percentage increase (500 percent) in overdose deaths from 1999-2015. 

The Sault Tribe Health Division, located in Michigan's Upper Peninsula, is the first tribal health system in the nation to join the Hazelden Betty Ford Patient Care Network, and the second member from Michigan-the other being Harbor Hall, an addiction treatment provider in Petoskey.

"We are excited to strategically collaborate with the industry leaders at Hazelden Betty Ford," said Dr. Leo Chugunov, governing director of the Sault Tribe Health Division. "This partnership will help us respond to the needs of our tribal members and the community at large by expanding our substance use treatment and recovery services, and enhancing our integrated health and wellness center in Sault Ste. Marie."

While the Sault Tribe has long endeavored to provide services to combat alcohol and other drug addiction, in 2012 the tribe held a summit to identify how to deal with an increasing number of drug overdoses. The outcome was the creation of a tribal action plan. A primary objective was to facilitate better and more sustainable, data-driven treatment options. 

Chugunov and his team and the Sault Tribe Administration are leading an effort to build a new state-of-the-art recovery hospital that will be part of the Health Division. The recovery hospital will eventually become home to the tribe's growing array of addiction treatment services.

"Joining the Hazelden Betty Ford Patient Network is a big milestone that will enable us to move forward with our plans for the Recovery Hospital and ensure we're providing the very best addiction treatment services that exist," Chugunov said.

Network membership provides the Sault Tribe with access to additional evidence-based clinical tools, educational resources, and consultation on best practices and program design from the Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation, the nation's leading nonprofit addiction treatment organization, and its network of quality providers. The network facilitates shared learnings and collaboration among its members while also extending the continuum of care for each organization.

"Hazelden Betty Ford's evidence-based approach to helping people overcome addiction aligns nicely with the Sault Tribe's quality programs and services, so we're thrilled to have them join our network and eager to assist with their expansion," Bob Poznanovich, Hazelden Betty Ford's vice president of business development, said. "Reaching more remote areas like the Upper Peninsula is important for our Patient Care Network. It's great to have another outstanding, trusted partner there."

Payment added, "I am so grateful to the tribal council, our tribal employment team members and volunteers who have identified the need for data-driven and evidence-based efforts to facilitate a long-term road to recovery and revitalization of our Anishinabe Biimaadziwin (our good way of life). Our collaboration with Hazelden Betty Ford will create a national model to help our people heal from the wounds of historical trauma. We look forward to sharing our challenges and successes with all of Indian Country."

The Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation is a national nonprofit that provides comprehensive inpatient and outpatient addiction treatment for adults and youth. It has 17 sites across the country as well as extensive education, prevention, research, advocacy and publishing resources.

The Hazelden Betty Ford Patient Network-the first of its kind in the addiction treatment industry-was launched in the fall of 2017. Members are vetted to ensure they share the network's commitment to effective, evidence-based practices; collaboration; and improving patient outcomes.

"The power of strategic collaboration to improve patient outcomes offers great hope for our field and for the millions of individuals, families and communities affected by addiction to alcohol and other drugs," Poznanovich said. "As a center of excellence in our field, we are dedicated to sharing our own expertise, learning from other high-quality providers like the Sault Tribe Health Division, and changing lives together."

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 the nation's leading nonprofit provider of comprehensive inpatient and outpatient treatment for adults and youth, the Foundation has 17 locations nationwide and collaborates with an expansive network throughout health care. With a legacy that began in 1949 and includes the 1982 founding of the Betty Ford Center, the Foundation today also encompasses a graduate school of addiction studies, a publishing division, an addiction research center, recovery advocacy and thought leadership, professional and medical education programs, school-based prevention resources and a specialized program for children who grow up in families with addiction. Learn more at and on Twitter @hazldnbettyford

About the Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians
The Sault Tribe is a 44,000-strong federally recognized Indian tribe that is an economic, social and cultural force in its community across the eastern Upper Peninsula counties of Chippewa, Luce, Mackinac, Schoolcraft, Alger, Delta and Marquette in Michigan. The tribe's Health Division provides quality, patient-centered health care that is responsive, courteous, and sensitive to individual, family, community, and cultural needs with an emphasis on disease prevention and health promotion. Within the Health Division is the Sault Tribe Behavioral Health Program, which offers a variety of culturally sensitive outpatient services, including but not limited to: Intake and Assessment; Individual, Couples, Family, and Group Therapy; Psychological Evaluations; Psychiatric Evaluation and Follow-up Care; Crisis Intervention/Urgent Care; Enhanced Outpatient for Substance Use Disorders; Compulsive Gambling Counseling; Auricular Acupuncture; Continuing Care Counseling; Alcohol/Drug Education and Awareness; and Home-Based Parenting Education.

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