Beginning Our Fourth Chapter
“To leave the field of addiction treatment better than when we found it” has always been an important part of Kolmac’s mission. The development of our organization over the past 45 years can be divided into the following chapters.
Chapter 1. 1973 to 1983: Establishing outpatient rehabilitation.
When we launched the Kolmac program the rare existing outpatient alcohol and drug rehabilitation programs required a 6-hour treatment day, precluding participation by working patients. In creating a 3-hour intensive outpatient or “IOP” treatment unit that met up to 5 evenings a week, we provided for the first time an effective alternative for those who preferred to continue to work as well as receive treatment. Jim McMahon (the “mac” in Kolmac) was the clinician who provided the expertise about treating addictions. Preceding the IOP with outpatient detoxification and following it with once weekly continuing care created the 3-phase outpatient structure for the Kolmac model.
Chapter 2. 1984 to 2003: Replicating the model.
In keeping with our goal to make treatment more accessible, we began to set up new Kolmac offices close to where people lived and worked. Jim and I recruited and trained other clinicians who could ultimately follow our treatment design independently. This established that the treatment model could be transferred to others and was not dependent on any unique abilities of the founders.
Chapter 3. 2004 to 2018: Becoming regional.
In 2004, Mark Santangelo joined Kolmac, eventually assuming the position of CEO. During his time at Kolmac, Mark brought in professional administrative and business practices that enabled the organization to grow from 3 sites with 150 patients to 6 sites with 1,100 patients. He led our successful expansion substance abuse treatment to Baltimore, making us a two-city organization. In keeping with his long-term retirement plans, Mark will be stepping down at the end of the year. His final contribution has been to help with the successful search for an organizational partner who can help us grow Kolmac to a larger scale.
Chapter 4. 2018: Expanding beyond Baltimore/Washington.
We have begun planning to bring the Kolmac treatment model to other areas of the country. Wayne Sensor, who will be taking over the CEO role from Mark, brings with him 30 years of experience as an executive with large, multi-sited healthcare organizations. The challenge of growth on this scale will be to maintain the consistency and quality of the Kolmac program. We are committed to meeting this challenge.