Throughout Spectrum's forty-three year history, our mission, vision and values have guided our work and shaped our direction. Our success is a credit to the inspiring commitment of the individuals we serve, the unwavering dedication of our staff and the humbling generosity of our donors. Here's a look back at Spectrum's journey over the past forty-three years …
1969 - 1979: Establishing Roots
Originally known as "Challenge House," Spectrum was responsible for establishing one of the first therapeutic communities in the country for the treatment of substance abusers. The program opened in Lawrence, Massachusetts in 1969 and was renamed "Spectrum House" before moving to Westborough in 1979.
1980 - 1992: Building a Continuum of Care
Throughout the 1980s, Spectrum led the movement to develop a comprehensive continuum of care in Massachusetts capable of providing seamless services to individuals at various stages of recovery. Over time, Spectrum added inpatient detoxification, transitional support services, outpatient counseling, narcotic treatment, and mental health services. In addition, Spectrum established outpatient treatment sites throughout central and eastern Massachusetts, making services more readily accessible to those in need.
1993 - Present: Growth & Diversification
In 1993, Spectrum entered a period of significant growth. Through diversification and acquisition, Spectrum expanded into other states while adding specialized programs for women, criminal offenders and at-risk youth. In 1997, Spectrum changed its name to Spectrum Health Systems to better represent the array of services being provided. Today, Spectrum operates more than 115 programs in community and institutional settings throughout Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Florida, Georgia, Maine, Tennessee, Iowa and Washington State. Services are performed under contracts with a wide variety of private and public sector clients, including federal, state and local governments, major insurance carriers, employee assistance programs, private corporations, philanthropies and the United Way.
At the core of Spectrum's successful history has been its ability and desire to keep pace with the growing research and information available on the treatment of substance abuse and related disorders. We've adapted to an ever-changing service delivery system while remaining committed to our core principles. In the years ahead, Spectrum will continue to further its mission by enhancing and expanding its programs, and building better lives, one step at a time.