The Orchard prides ourselves as an institution well versed in the best contemporary practices around health and mental wellness. In an effort to ensure we stayed abreast on pertinent topics, and to ensure we provide our clients and alumni with the best treatment and resources, we toured across America to connect with other established health care providers and those impacted by addiction.
We began our re-education in Florida, where we attended the 34th World Medical Tourism and Healthcare Congress as the flagship addiction rehabilitation provider. Our Executive Director Lorinda Strang brought her experience and 25 years of sobriety and advocacy in the recovery movement to a high-level, round table discussion on medical cannabis, where she provided a comprehensive, 360 overview on the implications of marijuana as a prescriptive solution. We also soaked in the wealth of knowledge from other healthcare practitioners as we strategized ways to implement wellness for not only our clients, but for our employees and ourselves.
We ran with this momentum to America’s capital to join the UNITE To Face Addiction rally. This annual event is a grassroots advocacy initiative bringing together people, communities, and institutions who are committed to pursuing addiction solutions across legislation, health care reform, prevention and prescriptive treatment. American citizens and other international attendees congregated to make a statement to both congress and the world at large: addiction is preventable and treatable, and recovery is possible. Many of those affected by the affliction of addiction have faced imprisonment, and that is an unacceptable solution to an global mental health epidemic. Our Executive Director and General Manager, Lorinda Strang and Joanna Journet, brought a Canadian presence to this event, which began on October 2nd and lasted until the 4th. was thought provoking, emotional and exhilarating. The opportunities to see the message of recovery live and in action is a memory that the staff here at the Orchard will cherish, and further fuels our commitment to building strong communities of recovery that, in turn, make meaningful contributions to society as a whole. We are committed to being a leader in the growing recovery advocacy movement in Canada and to celebrating recovery!
The event, which unfolded at the foot of the Washington Monument, featured musical performances, speeches from celebrities and politicians, book readings and signings, and access to a variety of addiction and recovery resources and services. Thousands packed the grassy area in front of the stage, waving signs and cheering as the speakers and musicians shared their own stories of addiction.
Events at the rally also included the FED UP! Rally, on Oct 3rd. The expressions of anger, grief and the sheer force of determination from families and friends whose loved ones have died from opioid overdose sent a powerful and urgent message for change to the White House. The quote which resounded from the podium which echoed through the march was “Fed Up, Fired Up and not going to Give Up!” by Chief Medical Officer Marv Seppala of Hazelden BettyFord Institute for Recovery Advocacy.
This was followed by comedy tribute, featuring Bill Burr, Tom Papa, Nick DiPaolo,Jesse Joyce and Mark Lundholm, which was an emotional affair that well utilized comedy’s ability to take the audience from tears to laughter and back again. The families of late Greg Giraldo and Harris Wittels, both comedians affected and taken by addiction, spoke with raw emotion and in support of the Facing Addiction foundation and rally. The night closed with a video clip showing the vision of Unite To Face Addiction rally with Stephen Tyler’s song Dream on playing loudly for the crowd. The energy and passion in the room was powerful.
We capped off our wellness investigation with our attendance to the Self Insurance Institute of America, where we contextualized our market presence as a self-insurance solution to those suffering from addiction. Here, our Chief Marketing Officer connected with brokers, providers, underwriters, administrators and other health care facilitators to better grasp changing contemporary insurance practices as applied to the notion of addiction treatment.