Duane Dean Behavioral Health Center provides educational resources, addiction intervention, addiction treatment and prevention services to individuals and families living in Kankakee and Iroquois counties in east-central Illinois.
15% of adults in the U.S. reported having a substance use disorder in the past year, according to 2023 research from the national nonprofit Mental Health America. Of those experiencing substance use disorders, over 93% did not receive any form of treatment.
“Organizations like Duane Dean Behavioral Health Center may be the only hope for so many struggling in our nearby communities.”
– George Ryan, Principal and Owner, George Ryan Jr. Insurance Group, Inc.
As drug overdose deaths remain at epidemic-level numbers, the stakes have never been higher. “My community, along with so many others, needs support when it comes to substance abuse and behavioral health,” said George Ryan, principal and owner at George Ryan Jr. Insurance Group, Inc. “Organizations like Duane Dean Behavioral Health Center may be the only hope for so many struggling in our nearby communities.”
A nonprofit with family continuity
Duane Dean Behavioral Health Center was founded 50 years ago by M. Duane Dean, a local pharmacist alarmed by the growing amount of heroin addiction in his community. Today, the nonprofit’s mission remains more salient than ever. It employs an impressive team of licensed counselors, social workers and clinical providers to treat substance abuse and behavioral health issues.
Ryan, who happens to be the nephew of the late M. Duane Dean, now serves as chairman of the board of directors and helps carry on his uncle’s legacy. “Our small but mighty agency team is involved with the nonprofit at every level,” said Ryan. While agency employees Beth and Amanda attend the annual fundraiser and volunteer throughout the year as needed, Ryan and his wife make regular monetary donations, coordinate large donor gifts and serve on the planning committee for the annual dinner.
“George Ryan’s direct family relationship to our founder helps keep our vision clear and our mission strong.”
– Eddy Borrayo, President and CEO, Duane Dean Behavioral Health Center
Treatment that works
“It’s wonderful to have George Ryan and his team onboard,” said Eddy Borrayo, president and CEO of Duane Dean Behavioral Health Center. “George’s direct family relationship to our founder helps keep our vision clear and our mission strong.”
The late Duane Dean was passionate about making sure people got the best treatment available. That’s why the organization specializes in medication-assisted treatment (MAT), the use of FDA-approved medications in combination with counseling and behavioral therapies, to treat substance use disorders.
“We provide a whole-person approach,” said Borrayo. “So, we look at the whole person and all aspects of their life to design a comprehensive treatment plan that is individually tailored to them. We find that really works for clients.”
Reducing stigma through community education
One of the nonprofit’s main goals is to raise awareness and reduce stigma. A $10,000 donation from Liberty Mutual Insurance and Safeco Insurance would allow the organization to host educational workshops about treatment options and how to help those at risk of overdose. This would include training on how to use Narcan, a life-saving medication that can help reverse opioid overdose in real time.
“A strong community is a community that looks out for each other,” said Borrayo. “I want to give people the tools and education they need to continue doing that, and I know Duane Dean would want that, too.”