News & Messages

‘A light of hope’

UNC Horizons’ new state-of-the-art facility is a place where women and children go to heal, and the program’s intergenerational, multi-disciplinary approach to healing holds the key to help women and children around the world, said Hendrée Jones, the program’s executive director.

UNC Horizons is a world leader in treating women with substance use disorder and also addressing and treating underlying trauma while keeping the women with their children.

“I think we have a moral mandate to share what we are doing,” Jones said. “We see ourselves, in this opioid epidemic era, as a light of hope.”

Jones spoke at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill’s Board of Trustee meeting on May 25.

UNC Horizons started with two employees in 1994. Now, 70 employees treat 230 women every year. The program’s new facility in Carrboro, North Carolina, opened in April and includes patient rooms for prenatal care, substance use disorder treatment and psychiatric care. It also includes a five-star Early Head Start child development center, and career counseling and housing assistance are also available at the facility.

At the trustees meeting, Chancellor Carol L. Folt asked Jones what her bigger dream for the program might be. Jones said she wanted to make the treatment that Horizons can provide “as accessible as McDonald’s.”

To do that would require packaging Horizons into small, medium and large models, Jones said.

With the small model, health care providers would get a how-to manual of Horizons’ best practices. The medium model would allow providers to come to Chapel Hill for professional training. The large model would have a team of Horizons professionals visit places where new programs are being started.

Already, Jones added, Horizons has become a global leader in the field. The World Health Organization and the United Nations have asked Horizons to be the lead author for international standards for treatment and care.

The trustees also heard from Sarah Strickland and Nehemiah Lawson, both third-year doctoral students at the School of Dentistry and co-presidents of the American Student Dental Association.

“The thing that really distinguishes our school of dentistry is its service and outreach, said Dean Scott S. DeRossi who introduced the two students.

Alumni provide free oral care, education and advocacy in 96 of North Carolina’s 100 counties, in all 50 states and in 12 countries, Strickland said.

Lawson said he participated in this year’s Cleft Palate Gallop, the annual 5k run and 1.2 mile family-fun walk that has raised more than $40,000 to benefit patients at the school’s Craniofacial Center since 2008.

The school’s total in-kind service last year exceeded $4.1 million, he added.

In other action, incoming student body president Elizabeth Adkins, a junior political science and journalism major from Fayetteville, North Carolina, was sworn into office.

The board also passed a resolution honoring departing trustee Don Curtis. Folt told Curtis how much she appreciated the “tap on the shoulder” or the “twinkle in the eye” he always provided when it was most needed. “That’s who you are, and you have done that for every single of us,” Folt said.

Outgoing faculty chair Bruce Cairns and outgoing Employee Forum chair Charles Streeter also received a standing ovation for their service. Folt said both have been “amazing, selfless wonderful leaders.”

Finally, Dwight D. Stone spoke of the “tremendous honor” it had been for him to lead the Board of Trustees as he completed his second and final term as chair. “For a small town boy from eastern North Carolina, it has truly been one of the highlights of my life to be entrusted to help lead this great university, this place I love – that we all love,” Stone said.

Haywood D. Cochrane is scheduled to become the new chair in July.

By Gary Moss, University Gazette