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Renowned Canadian Addiction Treatment Centre Continues Family Legacy

July 15, 2009

In 1984, the late Dr. Gordon Bell and his daughter Linda Bell opened the doors of Bellwood Health Services to their first client. Today, as they celebrate 25 years of providing quality addiction treatment and education – the words Dr. Bell had often said, "It has been a privilege to be of service", ring true.

Taking a look back at some of his accomplishments, it is no wonder that Dr. Bell is known as an international pioneer in addiction medicine. Bellwood′s roots began when Dr. Bell established some of Canada′s first addiction treatment programs over 60 years ago. As a recipient of the Order of Canada and a United Nations Global Citizen, the contributions Dr. Bell made have touched the lives of many, and changed the way we view and approach addiction treatment in Canada and around the world.

He began by opening a private addiction treatment centre in his own home in 1946, during a time when society′s solution for alcohol dependency was to institutionalize addicts in psychiatric wards or jails. In the years following, some of the historical contributions he made included:
ˇ Developing the first North American clinic for women alcoholics in 1951
ˇ Producing films that were used in treatment centres across Canada and the United States
ˇ Creating Canada′s first public hospital for addictions treatment, The Donwood Institute, in 1967

In 1971, with the encouragement of Dr. Bell, his daughter Linda joined the Donwood staff and led the development of services for families as well as international training initiatives. Together, Dr. Bell and Linda′s accomplishments included:
ˇ Assisting with the development of 15 U.S. Navy hospital treatment units and six centres for the Canadian Department of National Defence in the 1970s
ˇ Founding Bellwood Health Services in 1984 through a unique private placement
ˇ Recognition of Bellwood as a preferred provider by the Government of the North West Territories and later collaborating on the establishment of the first Inuit treatment centre for addiction on Baffin island
ˇ Establishing the first Canadian in-patient cocaine treatment program in 1987 and a residential treatment program for problem gambling in 1996 at Bellwood
ˇ Launching Canada′s first residential treatment program for sexual addiction in 2002
ˇ Designation by the Department of National Defence and Veterans Affairs Canada in 2005 as a preferred provider of treatment for members of the military and veterans dealing with co-morbid PTSD/trauma and addictions.

Upon Dr. Bell′s retirement in 1990, Linda Bell assumed the role of Bellwood′s President and Chief Executive Officer. Another of Dr. Bell′s daughters, Dr. Janice Hambley, joined the Bellwood team and took on the responsibilities of Vice-President of Health and Clinical Services.

Today, the Bell family continues to extend the work that Gordon Bell began. Now three generations into the family business, Bellwood is pleased to announce that Dr. Bell′s granddaughter, Laura Bhoi, will be carrying on the family legacy in her new role as President of Bellwood Health Services. Ms. Bhoi brings valuable expertise in business development and health services management to her role, and is committed to upholding Bellwood′s values of providing excellence in quality care and service in addictions. Describing her new role, Ms. Bhoi says, "It is an honour to have the opportunity to carry on the work that has been my family's passion for over 60 years. Addiction continues to be a serious and widespread social issue, impacting thousands of Canadians. I look forward to working with Bellwood's professional team to provide high quality innovative treatment and education to Canadians."

Linda Bell will continue as Bellwood′s CEO, building partnerships within the community and industry. Dr. Janice Hambley has moved into a new role of Clinical and Research Consultant.

As a leader in addiction treatment and education, Bellwood is looking forward to continuing to address the important issues of addiction and mental illness in our communities. To mark the occasion of their 25th anniversary, Bellwood will be hosting an intensive two-day addiction education opportunity for health-care and corporate professionals. "The Many Faces of Addiction" symposium will be held October 1st and 2nd at the Ontario Science Centre and will be facilitated by leading national and international experts in the field of addiction research and treatment.

For further information, contact Julie Bowles at 416-495-0926 or 1-800-387-6198, ext. 315.


For more information contact:
Julie Bowles
Manager, Business Development
Bellwood Health Services
Phone: 416-847-0751

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