SOUTH HEIDELBERG TWP., Pa. | The Caron Foundation's president and CEO has spent more than two decades pushing the world of addiction treatment forward.
Now, before he steps down, he's being honored with the 2021 Richard J Caron Award of Excellence.
As Doug Tieman, president and CEO of the Caron Foundation, works behind his desk for one of the last times, he's recalling a moment in third grade when his passion for helping sparked.
"I call myself a career do-gooder. I hate to see people in misery. I hate to see people suffer, and I made a decision early on to work in that field," Tieman noted.
That decision has led to his leadership at one of the most well-known addiction treatment facilities in the country, in a secluded section of Berks County where many go to get help.
"People come to Caron broken, suffering in pain, hopeless, and being a small part of providing hope, purpose, meaning and a life where people can thrive and enjoy is just incredibly meaningful," said Tieman.
Treatment facilities like this one have faced many battles along the way, not just for their patients, but within society itself, as we learn more about mental health and addiction.
"In the early 1980s, when I started, there was a great deal of stigma," Tieman commented. "One of the things I do feel very good about is that so many families feel comfortable talking about this as a chronic brain disease illness."
Now, as hundreds prepare to attend an awards ceremony for him at the DoubleTree in Reading, he knows there's more to be done, including the Fran and Doug Tieman Research Center, and the hope of a 100% success rate.
"I look forward to in the near future when my successor Brad sort of can stand in front of people and say we have the answer come to Caron and we can guarantee recovery," he stated.