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Meet Our New Board Chair: Q&A with Andrew Salmon

Earlier this year we announced Andrew Salmon's appointment to Board Chair. We recently sat down with Andrew to get to know him better and learn about his perspectives on Spectrum as well as his vision for the future.

What brought you to Spectrum Health Systems?

Spectrum's former CEO Chuck Faris invited me to join the board six years ago, at a time when the opioid crisis was just coming into prominence in the state and the media.

Why did you decide to devote your time to supporting addiction treatment?

There were a lot of reasons – my parents always taught us to be philanthropic to our communities, and getting involved in addiction treatment was an excellent opportunity to have an impact. I also had a number friends who were affected by addiction and saw the effects on them firsthand. In the end, my time at Spectrum comes down to one simple thing, trying to help others.

What does your new role as Board Chair entail?

It's really to be the link between the day to day leadership of the organization and the board. I also help map out Spectrum's future growth strategy and am a sounding board to the leadership team. Before becoming Board Chair, I served as a Trustee and was involved in helping transition Kurt Isaacson from COO to CEO. My real focus now is to empower Kurt and the C-suite to think outside the box when considering the next steps for this fantastic organization. We're on the frontlines of this disease, so we have to think big. I want to make sure that the board is aligned with Kurt's vision and that everyone has what they need, when they need it.

I'm also passionate about making sure the work environment is good for everybody who we are lucky enough to have to work within our system and that the board is supporting the leadership team.

What are you hoping to accomplish in this new role?

I see myself as a custodian. Spectrum has had several talented people in this role before me, and I want to make sure I uphold their past commitments while helping bridge the past and the future. The company was in a great position when I became Chair. I want to do my best to keep supporting the board and the leadership team and prepare someone else to come in and pay it forward when my term is over.

What makes Spectrum unique?

From my perspective, healthcare rarely excels when people need it. The fact that Spectrum is peaking quality-wise, and able to meet this crisis is fantastic timing. Most healthcare organizations try to evolve to meet a crisis as it unfolds, but Spectrum is uniquely capable of addressing the changing needs of their clients. Over the years, Spectrum has developed its breadth and depth to serve all people struggling with addiction – young, old, male, female, rich, poor. Spectrum meets them where they're at with evidence-based approaches to help when they're ready to get help.

Spectrum recognizes that addiction is color, gender, and income blind. They're able to meet wide-ranging needs including treatment for individuals in the private pay and insurance-based markets while at the same time serving several states’ criminal justice systems through its impressive outpatient treatment, inpatient treatment and more. Simply put, Spectrum can do things that many organizations cannot.

Tell us more about your life outside Spectrum. Do you have any hobbies or activities you partake in?

I'm a husband and dad first – I have a wife and two daughters. I played high school and college baseball and then transitioned to endurance sports. I've completed six Ironman races, including qualifying for both the 140.6 and 70.3 World Championships. In 2013 I put down the swim/bike/run training and picked up Brazilian jiu-jitsu. I also love to read, and I love people.

I'm also the Vice-Chair of the Milford Hospital Board and Chairman of the Milford Hospital Foundation. I love to give back to communities, and I like to just be around people. Meaning, I want to provide solutions where everybody wins – you win, I win and others win.

Andrew's tireless energy is just what we need to meet the latest challenges in the world of addiction. Andrew continues to guide us to new and exciting paths, and we're so excited to watch Spectrum grow and thrive under his leadership.

For more information about Spectrum's correctional treatment programs, visit http://www.spectrumcorrections.org. For current job openings at Spectrum, visit our careers page at http://www.spectrumhealthsystems.org.

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