Leadership Spotlight Q&A: Dave Long, Senior Vice President, Human Resources

Experience/ Leadership Philosophy

What is your leadership philosophy and how does that tie into treatment?

My leadership philosophy has been shaped over the years by my many experiences, as well as my personal beliefs and values. Having worked in healthcare my entire career, service to others has been an essential element – not just in the organizations I join, but also how I interact across those organizations. As a leader, self-awareness, humility, the ability to listen – truly listen – has been effective in forming some of the best teams across healthcare.

What is your own personal healing philosophy?

This quote from Mahatma Gandhi sums up my healing philosophy perfectly:

“Your beliefs become your thoughts, your thoughts become your words, your words become your actions, your actions become your habits, your habits become your values, your values become your destiny.”

I have been very intrigued with the recent work around the power of the mind and the ability to change more than just your outlook. The work in mindfulness, neuroplasticity and the power of habits has been life-altering for me.

Based on your experience, what will you focus on during the next year at Pinnacle Treatment Centers?

Pinnacle Treatment Centers is unique in that we provide a myriad of services to those with addiction issues – one of the most comprehensive continua of care in the industry. In order to do this effectively, we need to create an environment and culture that supports and engages our team members in a truly differentiated and meaningful way.

As we strive to become the employer of choice for experts in our field, we will be focused on listening to feedback, the growth and development of our team members and our company culture. Our culture will become a strong differentiator for Pinnacle. Many organizations focus only on ‘what’ will be accomplished – the operational, financial and clinical outcomes. In addition to the ‘what’, we will also focus on the ‘why’ and ‘how’ we do what we do. We’re an organization with both head and heart that cares about how we get there.

Tell us how you approach change.

If you’re not changing, you’re standing still. Change (and growth) is an essential part of progress – working to improve and get better. Change is inevitable and an important aspect in both our professional and personal worlds. The power is in affecting our own positive change rather than becoming a victim to it.

What does success look like in your position at Pinnacle Treatment Centers?

Success in my role is when Pinnacle becomes the employer of choice in our field. When the majority of service providers in a specific geography view Pinnacle as the industry leader and want to work with us.

Treatment Philosophy

How would you describe treatment in one word?

Support. When individuals feel support from their family, friends, treatment team and community, they begin to have hope. That hope then becomes recovery.

In your opinion, what’s the biggest advancement in treatment right now?

I think the biggest advancement in addiction services is the move to a medical model. Addiction is a disease of the brain that is best treated through evidence-based methodologies and a cross-disciplinary treatment team. While this focus has had a positive impact on clinical outcomes, it has also helped to reduce the stigma associated with this chronic disease allowing many to come out of the shadows and seek effective treatment. Every day, I am impressed with the professionalism and clinical expertise our physicians, nurses, counselors and others bring to fighting this disease.

Personal

Why is the treatment industry important to you?

We are in the midst of a national crisis. I have learned that addiction discriminates against no one – everyone, every family and every community is at risk. It is a disease that impacts every corner of our country regardless of socio-economic class, age, race, gender, political persuasion, upbringing, lifestyle, etc. The good news is that this is being recognized through availability of services, funding and support.

What keeps you motivated?

I am motivated by working with some of the best leaders in our industry. I have been so impressed with the caliber of talent that Pinnacle has been able to attract across multiple functional lanes, including compliance, clinical, finance, operations to just name a few. I look forward to working with these teams as we become the industry leader serving more and more patients.

If you could work on solving one problem in the world, what one problem would it be?

I had the wonderful opportunity of working abroad for a number of years. This experience taught me the power of connectedness through our same humanity. Having exposure to people, ideas, customs and traditions unlike your own can lead to powerful growth and greater acceptance. So many barriers have been removed by these shared experiences with different cultures. I leave you with this quote:

“As you move through this life and this world you change things slightly, you leave marks behind, however small. And in return, life – and travel – leaves marks on you. Most of the time, those marks – on your body or on your heart – are beautiful…” 

– Anthony Bourdain