Long-time, passionate advocate for mental health retiring
With 37 years under his belt, Dan Strellner is retiring as President of AbbeHealth. He’s seen a lot of changes during his tenure, but he’s remained passionate about focusing on the person as a whole.
“In order to effectively treat mental health conditions we must treat it with the same urgency and priority that we do physical illnesses. The brain is a part of our body and should be treated as such,” says Strellner.
According to Strellner, individuals who experience a serious mental illness, on average have multiple other medical conditions such as diabetes, hypertension, and heart disease, and die an average of 20 years earlier. It was with Dan’s courage and vision to seize the opportunity that paved the way for UnityPoint Health – Cedar Rapids and AbbeHealth to form a working relationship.
“I can think of no one who has done more for our region to improve both the care and the approach for people struggling with behavioral health challenges.” said Ted Townsend, President and CEO of UnityPoint Health – Cedar Rapids. “He was the one over three years ago that broached the idea: could we work better together? Yes, we could and Dan was the one that kicked off that journey.”
When asked about his tenure with AbbeHealth, Dan says, “The people are what he will miss the most. I was fortunate enough to work for an organization that works for collaboration and partnerships focused on helping and assisting the most vulnerable people. Mental health is in every family, in every community and we’re here to help”
Not much will change for Dan after retirement. “I’m really only looking forward to the flexibility of my schedule and not being tied down,” he says. Dan and his wife plan to stay in Iowa to enjoy the ever-changing seasons, but that does not mean they won’t travel to see their children in Colorado and Texas.
Thank you for your help, Dan, and for your outstanding work at AbbeHealth. Congratulations on your retirement!