Chuck Faris joined Spectrum Health Systems as a counselor in 1971, not long after the start of a new decade. Now, 45 years later, and a little more than halfway through the second decade of a new century, he is calling an end to a career that saw him rise all the way to the top.
Spectrum announced Wednesday, Feb. 17 Faris will retire July 1, moving into a senior advisory role to help in the leadership transition.
“I am grateful to have spent 45 years with this great company, with an outstanding staff of professionals,” Faris said. “It has been an honor to have had the opportunity to lead it for the last 16. As I transition to this new phase, I plan to stay active in the addiction treatment field, and will remain connected to all the wonderful people who have been involved with and supported Spectrum over the years.”
First serving as a counselor with Spectrum, Faris was promoted to associate executive director in 1979, vice president in ’85, and ultimately to president and CEO in 2000.
He is the recipient of the National Nyswander Dole Award for Outstanding Contribution to Methadone Treatment, the Francis O’Brien Award for Leadership in the Field of Substance Abuse, the Nathaniel Hakim Askia Award for Lifetime Work in Addictions, the Worcester Business Journal’s 2012 Nonprofit Business Leader of the Year and the National Council for Behavioral Health 2015 Visionary Leadership Award.
The company, in announcing his retirement, said Faris was instrumental in Spectrum’s evolution from a single, long-term residential program to a comprehensive continuum of care.
“Chuck’s contributions to Spectrum, and to the field of addiction treatment, will be felt for years to come,” said David Felper, Chairman of the Board of Spectrum. “More importantly, for 45 years Chuck has demonstrated an unwavering commitment to our mission of providing the highest quality of care to people seeking treatment for substance abuse or mental health issues. The system’s growth during his tenure allows us to fulfill that mission by helping thousands of people battling addiction get access to the treatment they need.”