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Navy Veteran named 1st female Chief Medical Officer at a Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation

First female Chief Medical Officer
One on one interview with the first female chief medical officer of Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation
Published: Nov. 11, 2021 at 12:15 PM MST|Updated: Nov. 11, 2021 at 12:42 PM MST
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AURORA, Colo. (KKTV) - Dr. Alta DeRoo served more than 24 years in the Navy as a naval flight officer, went on two deployments, and led 40 combat and humanitarian missions around the globe. She received a scholarship to the University of Florida College of Medicine and went on to become an OB/GYN.

On Veteran’s Day DeRoo is being promoted and named the first female chief medical officer of the Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation in 72 years. She’s taking over at the Aurora location in Colorado. The foundation is a nonprofit that focuses on helping people impacted by addiction to alcohol and other drugs.

Her leadership skills in the Navy and strong sense for humanitarian services paved the way for other women leaders around the world.

Early on, She found herself passionately drawn to helping others break away from substance abuse, and guide them down the road to recovery. DeRoo recently worked as the medical director at three Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation locations in California.

“In addition to her remarkable background, Dr. DeRoo models our values and will be a powerful ambassador for Hazelden Betty Ford, bringing her rich humility, empathy, heart and soul to our organization and to the people we serve,” said Joseph Lee, MD, president and CEO of the Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation. “She has been a difference-maker in multiple arenas and will bring fresh perspectives and diversity to our leadership team as we broaden our banner and move into a new frontier of health care excellence.”

Through prevention and education services she brings a unique perspective creating a deep sense of purpose and inspiration to others.

“I have felt a closeness to the Ford family my entire life,” DeRoo said. “Each day, walking past pictures and quotes of Mrs. Ford on our campus, I experience a deep sense of purpose, inspiration and awe. Joining the organization that bears Mrs. Ford’s name, and now getting the privilege to serve as chief medical officer, is a profoundly humbling honor and—for me—reflects the working of a higher power.”

For a full in-depth interview with Dr. Alta DeRoo, you can play the video at the top of this article.

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