I want to wish everyone a very happy, peaceful and prosperous New Year.
As we look ahead, 2016 holds much promise for Bournewood Health Systems. We are very excited about a strategic planning process underway that will set the course for our direction and growth.
We at Bournewood can be very proud of what we have achieved in creating a well-respected hospital that delivers excellent behavioral health and addiction treatment. We have a 132-year history of continuous operation as a solid foundation for an exciting future of growth and expansion.
Bournewood is in the process of establishing a strategic communications plan, launching a new website, and exploring the development of a new adult partial hospitalization program. A staff and patient safety initiative will take top priority in the coming year. And we've only just begun. We will be engaging the Board of Directors and Bournewood staff in our strategic planning process and we look forward to full staff engagement in determining the values and priorities for Bournewood as we move forward.
I'd also like to share with you some information about a new statewide initiative that is very much aligned with our mission and the individuals we serve. The State Without Stigma campaign, an initiative of the Governor's response to the Commonwealth's opioid crisis, aims to change the way we all think about, talk about and treat people with addiction conditions.
We are living amid the state's greatest public health threat -- addiction to powerful opioid painkillers which takes the lives of four people in our state each day. Changing our attitudes will open the way for people to seek treatment. Here at Bournewood, we know that addiction is not a choice, it's a chronic disease like diabetes, heart disease or cancer. Powerful and debilitating words and labels like "addict" and "junkie" stand in the way of recovery.
I urge you to visit the State Without Stigma campaign by clicking here. There are many things we can do as a community of caregivers to reverse the stigma and create an environment of tolerance and healing. Read the personal stories, take the quiz, take the pledge, nominate a champion.
Thank you for caring about people who live with mental illness and addictions. We have much to look forward to in this very important work.