Hina Mauka CEO to step down
Thousands of adolescents and adults with alcohol and drug addictions have benefited from M.P. "Andy" Anderson's personal fight against alcohol.
He has been active in treatment and prevention programs for more than 40 years, including 11 years as chief executive officer of Hina Mauka, Hawaii's largest alcohol- and drug-treatment provider.
Anderson, 72, is stepping down as Hina Mauka's CEO on Jan. 1, but says he's just changing offices at the 48-bed Kaneohe residential facility so he can devote more time as "the voice of recovery" and do advocacy, fundraising and development.
Alan Johnson, Hina Mauka's chief operating officer and managing director, will succeed Anderson. "He is bright, full of ideas and dedicated to keeping people well," Anderson said.
Hina Mauka has grown under Anderson's leadership from an organization threatened by debt in 1996 to a comprehensive program offering prevention, treatment and recovery at 22 sites. About 9,000 adults, 4,000 adolescents and 1,000 families have received treatment from the programs from 1996 to 2006.
The outgoing CEO said he got into the profession because of "my own recovery and people like me who didn't know much about alcohol or addiction."
"When I got into recovery in 1961, there was absolutely no treatment at that time for alcohol or other drugs," he said during a recent interview. "Many patients who had alcoholism ended up in the state hospital for many, many years. Once they got in, they didn't leave."
Anderson said he was lucky he was in the Air Force when he battled alcoholism. "I wound up in Tripler right after New Year's of 1961. I was pretty inebriated, in terrible condition, belligerent, angry, demanding to get some help."
He went through a series of interventions and a psychiatrist recommended he try the 12-step program. "I'm one of the luckiest guys going because that worked for me."
Anderson said he began volunteering about 1965 with the old Hawaii Committee on Alcoholism doing advocacy, education and referrals to doctors.
While still in the Air Force, he began a part-time, per-diem job with the alcoholism committee, married and continued his education at mainland universities, then volunteered to serve in Vietnam.
Returning to Hawaii from Vietnam, he retired from the Air Force in 1972 after 20 years and started the first alcohol and drug program for the Air Force in the islands.
He was appointed executive director of the Hawaii Committee on Alcoholism in 1972 and underwent training from the National Institute on Alcoholism over four years to develop employee-assistance programs.
In 1977, he became director of the Naval Air Force Counseling and Assistance Center at Barbers Point, and in 1990 he also directed the Pearl Harbor center. He went to Louisiana in 1992 and developed a 30-bed acute psychiatric dual diagnosis treatment unit, then returned here in 1996 to head Hina Mauka.
Anderson said state administration and legislative support for drug prevention and treatment during his tenure has been "absolutely unbelievable."
Hina Mauka was involved in starting town meetings on the "ice" epidemic with Bob Nakata and the Key Project in Kahaluu in 2002. More than 200 people showed up to vent and demand more treatment and police enforcement, he said. "It kind of blew us away. It was what we'd been hoping for years."
Hina Mauka served as an information resource during the community outcry over ice in 2003, and the Legislature in 2004 appropriated $14 million for treatment and prevention.
Families and employers are more aware of drug and alcohol addictions, more people are able to be treated and more are seeking treatment, Anderson said. But he said there is a huge need for more treatment for women, for residential treatment for adolescents, and for outpatient treatment.
Hina Mauka has won several awards for its programs, but Anderson said one of his proudest achievements is that Hawaii will be the only state to offer drug and alcohol counseling services in every public high school, middle and intermediate school as a result of state legislation this year.
At 72 years of age, he said he's looking forward to learning new things, such as doing film work with Olelo (Oceanic cable channel 49) for spots on addiction, recovery and mental health.