With the help of funding from the Rotary Club of Marietta (mariettarotary.org), The Extension was awarded a three year accreditation from the Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities (CARF). This put us in the top tier of all organizations receiving CARF accreditation, a distinction that can rightfully be considered as the best of the best.

CARF (www.carf.org) is the leading accrediting body for addiction treatment centers, as well as other health and human service providers.

The benefits of this accreditation cannot be overstated. While not as visible as a new facility, CARF accreditation is the most significant organizational accomplishment since the opening of our women’s center in 2009.

Benefits of this accreditation and the process leading to accreditation include improved effectiveness and efficiency, improved quality assurance, fulfillment of regulatory requirements, the expectation of increased funding to help us better serve the community, and assurance that we are meeting the highest standards of care.

While this new achievement is significant in many ways, the success of the organization is best revealed in the lives of those we serve. New accreditations are nice, but new lives are better.

When someone asks what’s new at The Extension, the real news will never be about a piece of paper hanging on the wall. If what’s new can be translated to paper at all, it’s the report cards of kids who stay in school because mommy and daddy are home, sober and engaged in their kids’ lives.

What’s new at The Extension are the lives of those we serve. Last year 110 men and women completed the program and successfully transitioned back into the community. Theirs is a story of recovery, of developing the skills necessary to live life on life’s terms, of being accountable to themselves, their families and the community. It is something that we have helped others do for a very long time, but for them this life that they now call their own is something brand new.

And it’s not just a new life for those who completed the program last year. It’s new opportunities for the children whose mother is home and sober and finally truly present in their lives. It’s the new peace shared by an aging couple whose son had previously lived a tormented existence inside the stranglehold of addiction, a son who has been clean for over a year and employed nearly as long.

That’s what’s new at The Extension. Yes, with the help of the Rotary Club of Marietta, we attained a three year accreditation from CARF. But the real impact of the Rotary Club of Marietta and so many other groups and individuals that support our organization is best seen in the lives of those we serve. We are grateful for that support and are honored to serve our community.