Obituary for a Pioneer –

Jan. 8, 2020 – At Hazelden—established in 1949 on farmland near Center City, Minnesota—Grimm started a spiritual care department and founded an accredited training program for clergy that became world-renowned. He also started Hazelden’s Professionals in Residence program and, for a time, led the training division that ultimately became an accredited graduate school of addiction studies. In addition, Grimm spent time late in his career responsible for Hazelden’s health promotion, public policy, development and research efforts. Known by some as Hazelden’s “goodwill ambassador,” Grimm also represented the organization as a public advocate. He was one of 127 people from around the country appointed to serve on the White House Conference for a Drug-Free America, which helped drive six regional conferences and a seventh national one that resulted in a June 1988 final report for President Reagan.

Grimm’s strongest legacy, though, remains the spiritual essence he instilled at Hazelden. Today, the organization is known as the Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation and is the leading national nonprofit provider of addiction treatment, recovery services and addiction-related education. But that essence of connection, hope and healing still hangs palpably in the air on the Center City campus, a place where tens of thousands have initiated a new life in recovery. Thanks to the far-reaching influence of Grimm and Hazelden, addiction care today continues to reach beyond medicine to also help people find purpose, meaning and protective connections rooted in loving kindness.



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