Christina Simos on the Need for Diversity in Treatment Leadership


In this video, the executive director of Friendly House speaks about establishing “lanes for folks to move up”

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From her perch as executive director of Friendly House in Los Angeles, Christina Simos sees many areas where the addiction treatment field needs to improve. One in particular is at the top of her list, especially since she’s a queer Black woman: creating more diversity in the leadership ranks.

In this video from a recent conversation with Annie Peters, PhD, LP, of the National Association of Addiction Treatment Providers (NAATP), Simos elaborates on leadership in the space, saying, “If you have diversity in leadership, if you create lanes for folks to move up, then you have more consciousness [of what is missing]. Somebody’s saying, ‘Hey, what about this?’ or “Hey, I see that we don’t have this.’”

You can read the full interview here and learn her thoughts on other voids in addiction treatment, including the lack of assessments on adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) and the need for insurance companies to do a more insightful job of covering care.

The interview is part of a collaboration between and the NAATP called Recovery Reimagined. The purpose of the initiative is to pick the minds of various leaders in addiction and mental health treatment to develop a sense of which approaches are working and which aren’t.

Previously, we’ve sat down with John Kelly, founder of the Recovery Research Institute at Massachusetts General Hospital; Matt Vogl, executive director of the National Mental Health Innovation Center (NMHIC) at the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus; and Shari Hampton and Ester Nicholson, who are addiction recovery coaches. Next up is Jerry Schwab, president and CEO of High Watch Recovery Center.