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Turning Point Founder Peter Hayden Steps Down After 47 Years of Addiction Recovery and Advocacy

This article was originally published by Minnesota Spokesman-Recorder and was written by Evette Porter. You can read the original article here.

After 47 years, Turning Point founder and CEO Dr. Vincent “Peter” Hayden announced that he is stepping down at the beginning of 2024. Dr. Hayden was instrumental in Turning Point receiving national acclaim for its contributions to addiction recovery and advocacy. He credits Turning Point’s success to the beginning of his own journey of sobriety half a century ago.

Settling in North Minneapolis in the mid-1960s, he recognized the impact of substance abuse and addiction on the community, something he had struggled with during his time in the military.

After completing his service in the Army in 1964, Dr. Hayden found himself dealing with the same addiction that plagued many in his community. He recalls his social worker’s words on the first day of recovery: “If you accept the program, your life will never be the same.”

Recognizing the need for culturally specific treatment in Minnesota, Turning Point was founded in North Minneapolis in 1976, pioneering a socially and ethnically responsive approach to recovery by integrating a cultural understanding in the treatment process, specifically for the Black community. It allowed Turning Point to tailor its treatment to the specific needs of the community, addressing environmental factors crucial to the recovery of its clients.

Over the years, Turning Point expanded its services, providing treatment as well as training other organizations to adopt a similar approach to recovery. His leadership guided Turning Point in serving 26,000 clients on their path to recovery.

Lori Wilson, who first joined the organization in 2001, and returned as Chief Financial Officer in 2022, will lead the organization in its next chapter. “No one is more equipped and capable than her to usher Turning Point into a new era,” said Dr. Hayden. As an ambassador and consultant for Turning Point, Dr. Hayden’s legacy endures as he takes on a new role. In a wide-ranging interview for the debut of the “Tracey’s Keepin’ it Real” program, MSR Publisher and CEO Tracey Williams-Dillard (TDW) spoke with Dr. Peter Hayden (PH) and his successor Lori Wilson (LW) about Turning Point’s legacy, its contributions to the community, and what lies ahead.

Check out the full interview below. 

Read the Our Turning Point Newsletter published in December 2023 that includes a letter from Dr. Hayden announcing his retirement, the history of the organization, and heartfelt messages from Turning Point's Board.

Dr. Hayden was the inaugural recipient and namesake of the Dr. Peter Hayden Diversity, Inclusivity, and Racial Equity Award, which is a yearly honor awarded at the NAATP National Leadership Conference that recognizes champions of diversity, equity, and inclusivity in the addiction treatment and recovery field. 

Turning Point is a culturally specific African American organization providing substance use disorder treatment as well as supportive services including housing, HIV education and testing, peer recovery coaching and FEMA crisis counseling.

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