In January of 2015, David Covington was named CEO and President of Recovery Innovations, now RI International. Since taking the helm as Acting Executive in October, 2014, he has reorganized business operations and transitioned the company (following an enterprise-wide organizational assessment) from regionally-driven programs to specialized and targeted business lines crafted to hit the bullseye of its customers’ needs. RI International’s key business lines include; advanced crisis, transition management, integrated outpatient and peer supports and consulting and training services.
Today RI International projects revenues of $65 million (in 2015) with recovery programs in five states (Arizona, California, Delaware, North Carolina, and Washington) and Auckland, New Zealand
The Early Years
RI International was launched in 1990 as META Services, delivering crisis services in the East Valley. Eventually, META Services took responsibility for the Urgent Psychiatric Units in central Phoenix and the West Valley, as well as crisis mobile services under the new RBHA system and ComCare. However, by the end of its first decade, this traditional behavioral healthcare company was shifting its focus to a new paradigm to becoming a “recovery organization.”
Recovery was a landmark term when RI began employing hundreds of peers in the early 2000s. We created opportunities and environments that empower people to recover; built crisis facilities known for recovery, opportunity, Welcoming Environments, and “No Force First;” and generated meaningful jobs for peer support specialists. Fran Silvestri (CEO of the International Initiative for Mental Health Leadership) has called these changes some of the most significant contributions to the field in the last thirty years.
From META Services to Recovery Innovations
In 2006, the company changed its name to Recovery Innovations, Inc. fielding a team of recovery trainers who delivered consultation and support to 30 U.S. states and seven countries through the company’s Recovery Opportunity Center. Behavioral healthcare leaders from across the country visited Phoenix for META immersions to learn about the RI approach and to see its Arizona health programs and services. Education and training became a central focus for RI, and yet, bigger changes lay ahead.
It quickly became evident that state, county, and health plan administrators for behavioral health were not content with simply receiving training and consultation from the Recovery Opportunity Center. They wanted more, so RI began to plant new programs in other states and countries. We’ve launched, on average, three to six new programs per year since 2007, and we’re currently in six states and Auckland, New Zealand.
In partnership with Optum Health and its Washington State leader Cheri Dolezal, RI co-created a Recovery Response Center and other key peer services in Pierce County that have become a model for integrated and recovery-oriented systems.
The latest development for RI is the explosion of what the field knows as “crisis stabilization programs.” The original META programs have now become Recovery Response Centers, using a peer-driven recovery model and offering welcoming, non-threatening spaces such as Living Rooms and Retreats. When individuals come into one of the RI centers from the back of a patrol car and are met not with the typical questions of what problem precipitated their arrival, but an inquiry into their hopes and dreams and an exploration of how to achieve their goals, it’s revolutionary and mind-bending.
RI International: Looking to the Future
Our vision is to activate the next generation of frame-breaking healthcare innovation to support people going beyond their behavioral health needs to succeed in the community where they live, work, and play. We’re dedicated to deep change and making a difference in the lives of all those we serve. With our employees around the world and our Board of Directors, we will partner with our Customers, both old and new, to create this vision of recovery and community inclusion together.