Changes Are Afoot at Hazelden


Paul Mueller assumes the reins as chief operating officer, a new role for the organization

By Jason Langendorf

The Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation last week announced the hiring of Paul Mueller, a consultant with the organization since early 2022, as its chief operating officer.

Paul Mueller

Mueller steps into the position of COO, a new role at Hazelden Betty Ford, after serving almost 30 years with Rogers Behavioral Health. The chief executive officer at Rogers Memorial Hospital, in Oconomowoc, Wis., for most of the previous decade, Mueller had served as chief operating officer of the hospital’s parent organization for the 10 years prior. He also had worked as a marketing and product development leader for Rogers Behavioral Health, one of the largest nonprofit health systems in the country.

“I am excited and honored to apply my healthcare experience to Hazelden Betty Ford’s mission of helping more people overcome addiction and mental health conditions,” Mueller said. “As a consultant and observer over the past six months, I’ve seen firsthand how smart, skilled and passionate our employees are, and how much opportunity we have to expand our reach and pursue our vision of empowering recovery and well-being for all.”

Mueller’s charge at Hazelden Betty Ford will be accelerating growth in mental health, family and addiction treatment services, according to president and CEO Joseph Lee, MD.

“In my time working with Paul as a consultant, I have found him to be principled, hardworking and data-driven.”

—Hazelden CEO Joseph Lee

“Paul has proven he is one of the best behavioral healthcare executives in the country,” said Lee. “He has a tremendous track record of helping organizations grow to serve more people, and his experience will be invaluable as we write the next chapter in Hazelden Betty Ford’s story, working collectively to usher in a new era of focused growth, operational excellence and patient-centered innovation.”

Mueller’s background and areas of expertise should serve him well in the new role. With decades of executive-level experience in a leading health system and an advanced management certificate from the University of Chicago Business School (with an emphasis on developing and implementing growth strategies), Mueller is positioned to oversee Hazelden Betty Ford’s growth and scaling efforts.

“In my time working with Paul as a consultant, I have found him to be principled, hardworking and data-driven,” said Lee. “He’s a listener and bridge builder, and passionate about improving the quality of life for patients and their families.”