Our story began in 2007, when Kevin Kirby, a seasoned business executive, connected with Charlie Day, a lawyer, CPA and health care finance expert.
Kirby, a survivor of addiction, had been active in Sioux Falls, SD, establishing a network of sober living homes and a residential, non-medical addiction treatment program. These made a difference, but he felt something more fundamental had to change for more people to get well from addiction.
Day had recently served as a senior finance officer in one of the nation’s largest regional integrated health care systems. He was an experienced start-up strategist and business innovator and ready to give back to the community.
The two met, and began crafting a vision for a community-wide transformation around the disease of addiction. They quickly engaged some of the nation’s leading experts. Very soon they could see that those with the most “skin in the game” – employers, health care organizations and others – needed to play a leading role.
Their work led to a seven month community town hall process in Sioux Falls that enlisted the private, public and social service sectors to identify shared solutions to addiction in the community.
These meetings led to the creation of a new nonprofit “Community Addiction Management Organization,” Face It TOGETHER Sioux Falls. The organization was charged with implementing an innovative community model designed to foster system-wide change and eliminate barriers to addiction wellness while reducing costs.
Face It TOGETHER Sioux Falls opened its doors in 2009. The organization:
- Partners with more than 33 employers to bring addiction wellness into workplaces community wide. Their work reaches one-third of the area’s workforce.
- Eliminates barriers to getting well through advocacy, education and awareness initiatives.
- Partners with integrated health systems to mainstream addiction care into primary care clinics and other approaches.
- Delivers proven addiction wellness support services to help people manage their disease. In 2014, 62 percent of Recovery Coach clients remained healthy after one year.
- Utilizes a groundbreaking evaluation program to track and measure results.
In 2011, the success at the local level in Sioux Falls served as the catalyst for the creation of Face It TOGETHER, a nationally focused social enterprise dedicated to advancing the Sioux Falls model to communities nationwide. Learn more about the national organization.
In 2015, Face It TOGETHER began meeting with business and civic leaders in Bemidji to explore the feasibility of establishing a Face It TOGETHER affiliate in the community. Face It TOGETHER is also working to establish affiliates in Fargo-Moorhead and Bismarck-Mandan, ND, and has plans to establish additional affiliates across the upper Midwest.