Newswires
ADDICTION PIONEER, ST MARY'S FOUNDER GEORGE MANN PASSES

02/19/2012  -ATIN-  One of the major founders and pioneers of the addiction treatment field as we know it today, Minnesota's George Mann, has passed at the age of 88. Mann, whose roots in the treatment business go back to the earliest days in Minnesota, the 1950s and 1960s, when other pioneering figures, addiction treatment institution building figures such as Hazelden's Dan Anderson, were also blazing uncharted treatment territory. Mann, an anesthesiologist deeply in love with his wife of 63 years, Marion, was first exposed to the ravages addiction through the alcoholism struggles of his spouse, with whom he had seven children. Mann will be best known for his founding in 1968 of St. Mary's, the first hospital-based addiction treatment program in United States history. Of course, as insurance reimbursement for addictions later became ubiquitous in the 1980s, it became hard to find a hospital that didn't have an addictions program. But with the advent of managed care in the early 1990s, the hospital-based addictions business was decimated, and now few med-surg facilities offer anything beyond detox and very short term programs. With the sharp decline of insurance reimbursement - at its height in the 1980s commercial payors accounted for 30 percent of the industry, which has dwindled currently to less than 10 percent - private pay and government became the critical sources of funding for care. Along with private pay came a huge increase in cost for the average person to get access to care, with institutions like Hazelden becoming basically unaffordable for a family in trouble. Mann, ever concerned about throwing the recovery net as wide as possible, began to search for a low cost solution to a ‘treatment gap" that once again had begun to widen sharply. His solution, and his last legacy and gift to the still suffering alcoholic and addict, is The Retreat, an innovative, very low cost program that was located in the old Post cereal family estate near Minneapolis and that more recently moved to a former Catholic retreat in Wayzata, MN. 

A celebration of George Mann's life and contributions will be held at 7 PM on February 29th at The Retreat.

George Mann

 

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Newswire Staff

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