Spring has sprung, and with the warmer weather, and longer days comes the greening of the grass and the blooming of flowers. The Ashley campus has never looked better, and we owe a great deal of gratitude to our dedicated ground crew, Kevin Piper, Bobby Judd, and Richard Williams. Keeping the Ashley campus at its best adds to the quality of our environment of care and contributes to the healing that is so vital to our patients. We will also be hanging new banners throughout the campus to add to the appeal. To quote our Co- founder Mae Ashley Abraham, “Ashley was built to be a beautiful and dignified atmosphere – free of blame, shame and Judgment.”
Another great example of ownership is the Farm to Table initiative implemented by Dave Taddeo and the Dietary staff that was announced on May 16th. With the start of the local growing season Dietary is sourcing farms within fifteen miles of Ashley to deliver fresh foods up to three times a week. The menus have already begun to feature greens and meats from these local farms, and when the new salad bar is set up by the end of June, there will be a wide variety of wholesome and healthy options to choose from.
I would also like to commend the Senior Leadership, Executive team, and in particular the Integration Team for all the hard work going into the Due Diligence process with Aquila. Andy Flood has taken on the full assignment of coordinating the effort of running Aquila’s operations as well coordinating the Due Diligence Process to determine if this acquisition is a good fit for Ashley. All of the above shout-outs are great demonstrations of Ashley’s I-ACT core values (Integrity – I do the right thing! Accountability – I own it! Compassion – I am with you!, and Total Commitment – I am all in!).
On Tuesday, May 14th, we celebrated our first big “Year of Mae” event with the 12th Annual Mae Abraham Legacy Luncheon at the Elkridge Club in Baltimore. This year we honored co-founder, Mae Ashley Abraham with the inaugural Lifetime Achievement Award for her strong and lasting commitment to recovery and Ashley, and her significant and lasting impact on the community. Her sister, Micki Thomas, shared stories of Mae’s enduring strength and courage to persevere in building Ashley. “Mae was the heart and soul of Ashley. She took the power of one, and turned it into the strength of many,” said Micki. The next celebration for Mae will be the crab feast on Wednesday, July 24th from 11:30 until 2 pm. During this event we will celebrate Ashley’s wonderful staff, and birthdays for Mae, Micki Thomas, and Yours Truly.
On Saturday, April 20th, we celebrated the life of our Former President and CEO, Reverend Leonard Dahl. To quote Rev Dahl, “My life when it ends will always be a celebration.” The memorial service was well attended and included past and present board members, staff, family and grateful alumni that celebrated Reverend Dahl’s life, and his long service to Ashley.
Ashley was well represented at the National Addiction Treatment Providers (NAATP) Annual Addiction Leadership Conference in Washington, D. C. on May 5th through the 7th. On May 8th, we participated in Hill Day, which included meetings with our key legislators, Senators Ben Cardin and Chris Van Hollen, and Representatives Dutch Ruppersberger, and House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer. We discussed how to move the National Parity Act agenda forward and get it implemented and monitored at the state level. Additionally, we can look forward to more participation with NAATP as I was elected to the Executive Committee as Secretary to the Board of Directors. I will also be the chairperson for the next NAATP conference. Ashley will be well represented with this organization and the national conference next year.
In the April newsletter I announced the work that Dr. Greg Hobelmann and I were doing to trademark
the term “Medication Supported Recovery.” We prefer the phrase Medication Supported Recovery (MSR) instead of Medication Assisted Treatment (MAT). This MSR communication, and education will be an ongoing process. In that vein, we were both recently interviewed by Gary Enos the Editor of Addiction Professional and Alcohol and Drug Abuse Weekly for an article regarding MSR. This article appeared in the May 24th issue of Addiction Professional and can be accessed here. I will keep you abreast of further developments regarding MSR as they unfold.
As we move closer towards wrapping up another successful fiscal year, I want to sincerely thank each and every one of you for your tenacity and commitment to the Ashley legacy and mission established by our founders, Father Martin, and Mae Abraham. As we look back we can take comfort in all of our accomplishments of the past, and look forward to a very productive and successful future.