Benjamin H. Underwood

Ben Underwood has been a respected leader in the field of behavioral health and addiction treatment for more than four decades. A graduate of the University of Georgia, Ben began his career in the mid-1960s as Associate Administrator of Atlanta’s Metropolitan Psychiatric Center, later serving as President and CEO. He served as CEO of Ridgeview Institute from 1977-1983 prior to serving as President and CEO of Safe Centers, which operated chemical dependency programs around the southeast.

Ben was instrumental in co-developing and opening the Talbott Recovery Program with G. Douglas Talbott, M.D. and has served as CEO since 1985. Mr. Underwood’s partnership with Dr. Douglas Talbott resulted in an addiction treatment program that has long been recognized as the gold standard in the treatment of addictive diseases and co-occurring psychiatric disorders.

His expertise has earned him national acclaim. Ben has served as chairman of the National Association of Addiction Treatment Providers (NAATP) and was awarded the American College of Addiction Treatment Administrator’s Outstanding Achievement Award in 1992. On behalf of Talbott Recovery, in 2006 Mr. Underwood accepted the prestigious James West M.D. Quality Improvement Award for clinical excellence from the NAATP. The award reflects Mr. Underwood’s and the entire Talbott Recovery staff’s dedication and ongoing commitment to providing Talbott patients and their families the finest in addiction treatment services.

In 2007 Mr. Underwood was awarded the Georgia Hospital Association’s (GHA) Chairman’s Award, the association’s highest honor, for his dedication and professional achievements over the last 40 years in Behavioral Healthcare. In 2011, he was awarded the Nelson J. Bradley, M.D. Lifetime Achievement Award during the NAATP Annual Conference in Arizona. In 2012, Ben was awarded the Georgia Hospital Association’s Gold Honor Award of Excellence, becoming only the seventh person to be awarded this prestigious honor in GHA’s history. He served on the Georgia Hospital Association Board of Trustees for 10 years, and he is a Fellow of the American College of Healthcare Executives and is Board Certified in Healthcare Management.

Ben was also awarded the Distinguished Alumni Award from the Georgia Military College. The Distinguished Alumni Award recognizes alumni whose lives have embodied the ideals of Georgia Military College including discipline, moral character, and learning, whose accomplishments have made a conspicuous and positive impression on those who will follow their lead, and whose lives are examples of extraordinary accomplishment.

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