30 Jun 2017 Events

ETHOS Chicago: The Most Important Thing We Learned

Kelsey Galles
Kelsey Galles
Content Marketing Coordinator

Yesterday, we hosted our first ETHOS seminar in Chicago, and I was lucky enough to attend. The event is part of a larger series of one-day workshops taking place across the country this year. In each city, we are drawing together an intimate crowd of addiction treatment providers to discuss strategies for improving business operations.

We kicked off our Chicago event with a panel of experts who discussed ethical considerations in our industry. When we opened up our panel to questions from the audience, one individual asked “why do you think we need this panel on ethics?” This question struck me, and it really set the tone for the entire day. Why are ethics even a question? How did we get here when so many people enter the industry with the intention to do right?

Our panelists candidly discussed this question for a few minutes and categorized the need for more evolved ethical conversations as follows:

  1. If self-policing and transparency are not improved, our industry will be diminished. Bad actors are everywhere — not just in the addiction treatment space. And that’s important to remember. However, the rehab industry is particularly vulnerable to unethical practices due to the financial opportunities and competition. We all need to take a stake in the ethics conversation to ensure that doing right is always top-of-mind and at the core of our business decisions.
  2. It’s important to shift the philosophical nature of ethics conversations into something more tangible and actionable. The discussion of ethics is pervasive in our industry, but a lot of people are still scratching their heads wondering “is this marketing practice ethical?” or “is that referral partner ethical?” These uncertainties cause people to cower and avoid transformative spaces like digital marketing and healthcare technology. We can advance our ability to reach and care for more people in need if our abstract discussion of ethics matures into practical standards.
  3. To sustain the life-saving nature of our industry, we need to prove the legitimacy of our practices by providing ethical justifications for treatment. This can only be accomplished by coming together to develop standards of care established around evidence-based approaches to treatment.

I’m sure this particular discussion could have continued for another hour. The question of ethics is central to operations for any addiction treatment-related business, and we all need to have a stake in the conversation. No one is exempt.

This question was also something our speakers turned to frequently in their presentations following the opening panel. The common theme we arrived at was this: if the client is considered first in every decision that’s made, it’s always right.

You truly do not want to miss the opportunity to take part in ETHOS. Our next event will be held in Denver on August 25th. It’s a great opportunity to connect with your peers on a deeper level and glean insights from experts who know the space and are passionate about the integrity and future of our industry.

If you attended the ETHOS Chicago event, please add to the discussion in the comments below. If you’re interested in joining us for the Denver ETHOS seminar in August, click here for more information.

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