RANCHO MIRAGE, Calif. - The Betty Ford Center admitted its 100,000th patient late last week, a spokesman said.
The number represents the total admitted to the addiction treatment hospital's inpatient, residential day treatment, intensive outpatient and family programs since the center opened on Oct. 4, 1982, according to spokesman Russ Patrick.
The former first lady, who founded the center in 1982 and died in July 2011 in Rancho Mirage, insisted that half the treatment beds at her namesake center be reserved for women. It "seems appropriate that the person admitted as our 100,000th patient is a woman," said Mary Pattiz, who chairs the center's board of directors.
Thousands of children ages 7 to 12 who participate in the center's children's program aren't included in the 100,000 figure. The youngsters, who aren't addicts but are exposed to addiction in their families, learn about addiction, treatment and recovery, Patrick said.
President and CEO John Schwarzlose commended the center's 240 staff members.
"We have very little turnover in our staff," he said. "That's highly unusual in the addiction treatment field. Our staff represents the best of the best."