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Highly Credentialed Former Acadia Exec to Take Gateway Chicago Reins in May  E-mail
Addiction Treatment Industry Newswire

04/18/2015 -ATIN - After a long search led by top executive recruiters Korn Ferry, one of the most important CEO replacement searches in the addiction treatment industry easily in the last decade or more, former top Acadia executive Thomas Britton will be replacing Gateway Chicago CEO Michael Darcy, one of the founding treatment executives of the contemporary treatment business as we know it today in the United States. Dr. Britton, who comes to Gateway Chicago as the non-profit's new chief having just formerly worked as a top divisional CEO at fast growing Acadia Healthcare, will formally take the reins of power at Gateway Chicago when Mr. Darcy resigns as CEO on June 30th, 2015.

Gateway Chicago "Emphatically" Not for Sale

Partly because Gateway Chicago's board hired investment bankers Raymond James to do a top down study of Gateway Chicago about a year ago, with Michael Darcy telling Treatment Magazine that no stone would be left unturned in examining the range of Gateway Chicago's assets and what to do with them and how to deploy them in the future. In the last five years or so, Gateway Chicago  has gone from being basically totally reliant on state grant money to now having relationships with dozens of private health insurers and getting most it its revenue from the middle class well insured. Because of the Raymond James study, and because Acadia Healthcare last year reached over $1BLN in annual revenues largely through an aggressive and very successful national and international acquisition strategy engineered by Acadia's legendary CEO Joey Jacobs, we had some speculation here at Treatment Magazine that Dr. Britton may have been brought in by the Gateway Chicago board to bring about a sale of Gateway Chicago. So, our first question to Dr. Britton was if this was indeed the case and had he indeed been brought in primarily to look for a good sale of the Gateway Chicago assets. Dr. Britton's first response was a deep, throaty laugh saying: "Boy, you guys get right to the point," with this reporter agreeing. And Dr. Britton's answer was equally to the point: "Let me say emphatically" that that - a sale of Gateway Chicago - forms absolutely zero part of my leadership mandate here. The Gateway Chicago board remains just as committed as it was in the late 1960s, when Gateway was founded, to helping the addict and their families recover from the disease of addiction and at the lowest cost possible while still maintaining the highest quality clinical standards." Dr. Britton said that on the acquisition side, just the opposite is probably true with Gateway Chicago probably on the prowl for high quality acquisitions with its strong balance sheet and huge growth in revenue with Britton telling Treatment Magazine that when Gateway Chicago reports it most recent annual revenues at mid-year he expects them to fall between $80M and $100M.

Highly Credentialed

In fact it would make little sense for the Gateway Board to hire Dr.. Britton to do M&A on the sale side. He is one of the most managerially credentialed individuals Treatment Magazine has ever come across in the decade or so of covering the addiction treatment industry. Dr. Britton says he has dual MA's in addiction counseling and marriage and family counseling. Furthermore, Dr. Britton says he earned a Doctorate in Public Health Administration from the University of North Carolina's Gillings School of Global Health, which Dr. Britton says is recognized as one of the best training grounds for public health administration in the world.

Editors Note to Readers: Some of the confusion around Dr. Britton being with Acadia and the possibility he might engineer a sale can be cleared up with knowing the fact that Dr. Britton only worked for Acadia for about six months, having been a top talent acquisition when Acadia acquired CRC Health Corp in the largest addictions treatment acquisition in U.S. hsitory. Prior to Acadia, Dr. Britton worked at CRC as one of their top divisional presidents.

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written by Jim Keck, LCPC, CSADC, April 19, 2015
If Dr. Britton is not a Trojan Horse, he certainly has worked for two outfits, Acadia Healthcare and CRC Health Group, which are heavily invested in free standing methadone/suboxone clinics. Is that Gateway's fate? Only time will tell.
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