Betty Ford Center

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Betty Ford Center
BFC logo.jpg
Location Rancho Mirage, California
Coordinates 33°45′44″N 116°24′01″W / 33.76222°N 116.40028°W / 33.76222; -116.40028Coordinates: 33°45′44″N 116°24′01″W / 33.76222°N 116.40028°W / 33.76222; -116.40028
Patron Betty Ford
Beds 100+[1]
Founded October 4, 1982
Website Betty Ford Center

On February 10, 2014, the Betty Ford Center merged with the Hazelden Foundation to form the Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation, the nation's largest nonprofit treatment organization.

In a joint statement, the Hon. Susan Fox Gillis and Dr. Mary Turner Pattiz, the chair and vice chair respectively of the new Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation Board of Trustees, said, "We are proud of the individual legacies of both Hazelden and the Betty Ford Center and excited to come together as one today. With decades of combined expertise and industry-leading knowledge, we are poised now to bring even more innovation and leadership to our mission of restoring hope, healing and health to more individuals and families."

Susan Ford Bales, Trustee of the Elizabeth B. Ford Charitable Trust, stated: "Mother would be pleased. Her pioneering achievements of ensuring access to quality treatment will be expanded through the new Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation. I am especially pleased, as I know Mother and Dad would be that her legacy of commitment to patients and their families will continue for generations to come through the work of a wonderful Betty Ford Center staff that has now been united with the outstanding leadership and staff of the Hazelden organization. The Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation will lead the way in providing care and reducing the stigma of drug dependency and alcoholism."

The Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation now has 15 sites across the U.S., offering both residential and outpatient services based on a Twelve Step, abstinence-based treatment model. Services are available to individuals and their families and other loved ones. The new foundation also includes the nation's largest addiction and recovery publishing house, a fully accredited graduate school of addiction studies, an addiction research center, a prevention training program, an education arm for medical professionals and a unique children's program.


The Betty Ford Center (BFC), opened its doors on October 1982 as a non-profit, separately licensed residential chemical dependency recovery hospital in Rancho Mirage, California. Services include inpatient, outpatient, and residential day treatment for alcohol and other drug addictions, as well as prevention and education programs for family and children. The Betty Ford Center, which is adjacent to Eisenhower Medical Center, has 100 inpatient beds available on campus and additional lodging for 84 clients in the off-site Residential Day Treatment program.[1]

The Center was co-founded by the late U.S. First Lady Betty Ford and Leonard Firestone.[2] Dr. James West served as the Betty Ford Center's first medical director from 1982 until 1989.[2] He left that position to become the Betty Ford Center's Director of Outpatient Services.[2]

Betty Ford's decision to undertake such a project followed on the heels of her own battle with alcohol dependence and opioid analgesic addiction,[3] and after her release from the Long Beach Naval Hospital, she pursued the goal of creating a treatment center that emphasized the needs of women.[4]

In September 2010, the Center introduced a pain management track. The program allows patients to gain insight into the ways in which pain has changed their ability to think and approach life.

Betty Ford Center has an active alumni program, with groups meeting on a regular basis across the United States and in Canada.

The Betty Ford Center Foundation raises money to support the mission of the Betty Ford Center through gifts, pledges, and planned giving programs.

In 2006, the Betty Ford Institute was created. Its mission is to conduct and support collaborative programs of research, prevention, education and policy development that lead to a reduction of the devastating effects of substance use disorders on individuals, families and communities. In 2008, the BFI established the Children’s Program Training Academy with the goal of training and certifying service providers in cities around the country to offer Children’s Programs locally. In 2009 the Professionals in Residence Program (PIR) and the celebrated Summer Institute for Medical Students (SIMS) were realigned within the Betty Ford Institute. Both programs offer an incomparable learning opportunity about the Betty Ford Center.

In April 2013, Betty Ford Center received accreditation by ABAM (American Board of Addiction Medicine) that allows the chemical dependency recovery hospital to begin an Addiction Medicine Fellowship Program.


The Center offers the following levels of care/programs:[5]

  • Inpatient – detox and treatment – typically 30 days.
  • Residential Day Treatment (RDT) – typically 30–60 days in off-campus housing, usually following inpatient treatment.
  • Licensed Professionals Program – specialized treatment designed for individuals who may have specific licensure requirements; they may include, but are not limited to, physicians, nurses, pilots, judges, and attorneys.
  • Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP) – five evenings a week for 8 weeks.
  • Clinical Diagnostic Evaluation (CDE) – A diagnostic assessment program for licensed healthcare professionals, attorneys, pilots and other individuals to determine whether or not they meet the DSM-IV criteria for "Substance Dependence".
  • Family program – education on addiction as well as skills and tools for family members (age 13 and up) to begin their own healing process.
  • Children's program – a 4-day program for children aged 7–12 with families suffering from addiction, under the direction of Jerry Moe, Vice President, National Director of Children’s Programs.
  • The Young Adult Track (YAT) is designed to meet the unique treatment needs of young female and male adults ages 18–25, who are financially dependent upon their parents or other family members. Phase 5 for young adults was added to the BFC list of services in August 2011.
  • The Pain Management Track is available for patients with co-occurring disorders such as chronic pain and trauma. Many patients enter treatment at the Betty Ford Center for addiction to pain medication.


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