Whether it was founding Simple Recovery or now serving as CEO and chief clinical officer of New Vista Behavioral Health, Stephen Odom, LMFT, PhD, has operated under a straightforward philosophy: Try to be the very best at what you do, but don’t try to do everything.
Each New Vista program – Avalon Malibu, Avalon Integrative Wellness, Center for Professional Recovery and Simple Recovery, which moved under the New Vista banner in 2016 – is designed with a specific purpose to foster recovery with specific populations. Services offered by New Vista, which is based in Costa Mesa, Calif., include mental health, addiction and co-occurring disorders.
Odom, who had spent much of his 30-year career working in large hospital systems, brought a similarly focused approach to the launch of Simple Recovery in 2012, aiming to create a treatment facility that offered a more residential feel so that “people could get clean and sober in the community where they live.”
“I love working in hospital systems. At the same time, it’s treatment inside the four walls of a hospital. It seemed to me that we would do good treatment, provide great care and then have an excellent discharge plan,” says Odom. “But invariably, patients wouldn’t execute the discharge plan. Next thing you know, they were in trouble and relapsing—either their behavioral health or chemical dependency—and would need to come back again.”
An in-network provider with most major payers, Simple Recovery was designed to focus on re-establishing living skills, identifying potential triggers and helping patients integrate back into their environments and relationships in ways that are safe and will help them stay sober.
A group of investors later approached Odom about creating a new organization, putting the wheels in motion on the launch of New Vista in 2016. New Vista has been built on many of the concepts that led to Simple Recovery's success, with the other programs in the New Vista portfolio providing self-pay and out of network options.
While New Vista aims to deliver treatment to various niche populations, the company isn't hesitant to refer potential clients to other facilities if they feel the fit elsewhere will improve their chances of recovery.
“We’re good friends to other treatment centers in the industry,” he says. “We refer a lot to other places because we believe they’re really good at what they do, and we believe they will find us to be the best at what we do. It’s a reciprocal, professional relationship. That’s how we do what we do at New Vista.”
Odom says he takes pride in continuing to work “in the trenches” with his clinical teams as New Vista’s chief clinical officer, being viewed by both staff and patients as trustworthy, approachable, and a “therapist who’s not a therapist.”
“People can just have conversations with me,” he says. “I like that, and I really love what we’re doing today.”
Addiction professionals annually convene at the National Conference on Addiction Disorders to share what’s working: Clinicians hear from thought leaders on delivering treatment, while executives of behavioral healthcare organizations learn how to run more effective, more efficient, and ethically minded businesses.