The Warner Model
A non-institutional socially-integrated approach to a life well lived with mental health disorders.
Dr. Richard Warner was an internationally known for his groundbreaking approach to mental health treatment and for the new model of treatment he created that is based on:
Since Dr. Warner’s passing in 2015, we continue to innovate based on these core principles. The model has delivered exceptional outcomes through its signature continuum of care and helped create lives of purpose as they practice new tools in management of their mental health disorder.
We provide services in the community to adults with serious mental illness that will stabilize their illness, minimize symptoms, improve functioning and enhance each person’s social inclusion, quality of life and sense of meaning in life.
To empower adults with mental illness, and those who support them, with an unrelenting optimism for recovery, purposeful involvement in the community, and an enhanced sense of meaning in life.
Richard Warner M.D., Founder of Colorado Recovery
We opened Colorado Recovery, an independent treatment center in Boulder, Colorado, in 2006 in order to create a non-hospital treatment center for people with serious mental illness that employed the most effective diagnostic and treatment methods, and focused on respectful, compassionate, and optimistic care.
The business flourished, clients did well and their families were grateful for the good results. In 2011, preparing for the eventual retirement of the owner and founder, Dr. Warner, the board and managers of Colorado Recovery faced an important decision: what to do to ensure that the facility carried on the values on which Colorado Recovery was founded. We knew that treatment facilities can change drastically when leadership changes, so simply selling to a new owner or commercial entity was not likely to be a successful move. After much research and discussion, we determined the best way to maintain our high standards and core values was to sell the business to the employees – the people who understood better than anyone the importance of the principles underpinning our work. In developing our ownership model we were guided by business attorney Maureen Eldredge at Hutchinson, Black and Cook in Boulder, Colorado.
We examined an array of business approaches from the worker cooperative to the employee stock ownership approach and eventually developed a plan that most closely reflected our needs.
With the help of our board of directors, including Jason Wiener, a cooperative and social enterprise attorney, we began to work out the necessary legal structure and never looked back. The staff and managers fashioned an ownership plan that set out how we would make ownership possible for employees with widely different incomes, preserve our core values and create a flow of co-owner participation in management that would provide opportunities for creative vision to come from every level of the organization.
In December 2014, 16 staff members became co-owners of Colorado Recovery. In the summer of 2016, the employees became owners of 100 percent of the voting shares in the company.
The board of Colorado Recovery is comprised of external board members with broad experience in commercial, non-profit and employee-owned settings, employees and family-member investors.
For more information about Colorado Recovery’s employee ownership plan, see the article by Cat Johnson at: http://www.shareable.net/blog/why-a-healthcare-entrepreneur-is-selling-his-business-to-employees