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Recognizing 100 CEOs & C-level Executives
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Dale Klatzker

President & CEO

Gaudenzia Inc.

Location: Norristown, PA

Founded: 1968

Industry: Healthcare

Dr. Dale Klatzker is a leader in the behavioral health industry with over 40 years of experience in nonprofit leadership. In 2019, Klatzker assumed the role of president and chief executive officer at Gaudenzia Inc., one of the largest nonprofit treatment providers for people and families affected by substance use and other disorders.

Klatzker took the reins from a long-time chief executive officer who had been with the organization for nearly 50 years. One of Klatzker’s first priorities was to address the urgent need for services in the face of the worsening opioid crisis.

Under Klatzker’s leadership, Gaudenzia adopted an evidence-based treatment model, expanding the organization’s offerings to include all forms of Food and Drug Administration-approved medication- assisted treatment across its service continuum, the nonprofit said. The shift allowed Gaudenzia to provide care and support to a broader population.

At the same time, Klatzker led the switch to an electronic health records system, streamlining billing, tracking and reporting processes. Klatzker’s approach also involved the integration of artificial intelligence to reduce administrative workload and enable clinicians to focus on delivering care.

Klatzker has also prioritized the development of substance use disorder treatment programs for pregnant and parenting women, emphasizing the importance of addressing the needs of the entire family.

“Early in my career, I was asked to take what, at the time, seemed to be a huge leap. I was directing a group home and a special education school and showing clinical and financial success. The organization CEO asked if I was interested in being promoted to the director of administration and finance,” Klatzker said. “I had never taken an accounting class, read a profit and loss (statement), created a budget or even balanced my checkbook. The CEO saw something in me that I did not see in myself — that risk turned out to be an instrumental turning point in my life and career. I gained experience and skills necessary to round myself out as a nonprofit leader. More importantly, I learned that trying something unfamiliar and different was a positive and not a negative.”

Klatzker has received both local and national recognition for his leadership and innovative contributions to the behavioral health field. He has been honored with the 2012 Visionary Leader Award from the National Council of Community Behavioral Healthcare, the 2012 Rhode Island Council on Alcoholism and Other Drug Dependence’s Bronze Key Award, and the 2010 Rhode Island Communities for Addiction Recovery Efforts’ Advocate of the Year Award. In 2007, Klatzker was honored by the Mental Health Consumer Advocates and named Behavioral Healthcare’s 2007 Behavioral Health Champion.

Klatzker has served as board chair of the National Council for Community Behavioral Healthcare, chair of Mental Health Corporations of America, fellow for the Rhode Island Foundation Fellows Program, associate clinical professor at Alpert Medical School at Brown University, adjunct professor of psychology at Johnson & Wales University and adjunct assistant professor at the Department of Social Sciences and Education at Colby-Sawyer College.

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Did you know?

A fun fact about Dr. Klatzker is that he is the father of 3 children, including twin daughters who have both in the last two years, left their careers and decided to go into business together operating food trailers.

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