Phoenix House CEO Howard Meitiner Resigns

Addiction Treatment Industry Newswire
12/10/2014 -ATIN – After about eight years after he took over leadership of non-profit addictions power house Phoenix House from founder Mitch Rosenthal, CEO Howard Meitiner has resigned from his post effective end-of-month with plans to remain on the non-profit’s New York regional board. Phoenix House has a kind of “holding company” organizational structure with the CEO and the charity’s main board based in New York City. Phoenix House has large operations in California, Florida and Texas and operations in about a dozen states. Phoenix House is one of the highest quality “public” treatment centers – that distinction in the addictions business is becoming increasingly irrelevant – in the nation and is one of the pioneers in the creation of public and donations funded adolescent academies and many other things.


For example, New York-based Phoenix House Foundation, the “holding company,” had revenues of just $12.5M in the fiscal year ending mid-year 2013. Yet Meitiner,62, in an interview with Treatment Magazine this afternoon told us that system wide Phoenix House had revenues currently of about $150M, which may make Phoenix House the largest specialty addictions focused non-profit in the nation and certainly neck-and-neck with institutions like Hazelden and Caron.

Sudden Departure?

Mr. Meitiner’s departure seems kind of sudden, but he explained that in the eight years he has largely succeeded in his mission of “professionalizing” the management of Phoenix House, bringing in Welligent to upgrade IT, hiring a new generation of top flight executives and, most importantly of all, a major diversification of Phoenix House’s payor mix. “When I took over we got almost 100 percent of our revenues from government sources,” said Meitiner. “We now get about 35 percent of our revenues from private insurance/Medicaid and expect in three or four years for that number to reach 70 percent.”

Industry Integration

Meitiner said that with all the integration going on, and the creation of larger and larger “health systems,” that Phoenix House would be better served by recruiting an executive with experience in running such a system. “We will be looking, by acquisition, to enter the mental health side of things, in which we have hardly any specialty capacity, in the future,” Meitiner said.

Personal Plans

On a personal level, as he nears the age when many executives retire from top jobs, Meitiner says he will be looking to apply his many years of expertise in running businesses as well as being a major player in the addictions space, for example he was running – turning around – the Pier 1 type furniture and household accessories company Fortunoff when he accepted the CEO post at Phoenix House after working in key areas on the Phoenix House board for years, to offer the myriad addictions and behavioral health entities nationwide help in any way he can.   

PLEASE READ OUR Special Report key industry leadership change featuring Howard Meitiner


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