The Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation Pivots to Modern, Engaging Learner Experience to Improve Critical Mental Health Treatment


The addiction and mental health treatment services foundation supports families and communities affected by substance use disorder and mental health disorders, underpinned by education programs, research, and published materials.

The Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation works with clinicians across the US to equip them with the up-to-date, best-practice education needed to better support patients and their families. This comprises medical education, professional training, a graduate school, a publishing house, studies from the Butler Center for Research, and more.

The foundation had been using a decade-old content software tool that was not mobile friendly and lacked important features like search and filter and bookmarks. It wasn’t designed with the growing digital needs of users in mind. As the foundation and it’s ambitions grew, they knew they needed a fresh platform to support their customer learning efforts across the US.

In 2020, as the COVID-19 pandemic was taking hold in the US, the foundation chose to work with Thought Industries to roll out a new learning platform. This enabled HBFF to segment its complex audiences for more customized learning experiences and more valuable, insightful reporting.

Despite the uncertainty and challenges of collaborating throughout the pandemic, the foundation was able to launch their new Thought Industries platform quickly, gain access to valuable behavioral data, and boost customer engagement. The longer users stay engaged, the greater likelihood of patient success in their recovery journeys, helping HBFF achieve its overarching mission.

Some of the key results from the Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation’s work with Thought Industries include:

  • Pivoting from a linear learning program to a learner-driven experience in just 60 days (during COVID-19)
  • Creating over 300 micro-content assets in 60 days
  • Achieving an initial increase of 30% in engagement numbers in just one program
  • 87% of learners rating the content as 4 or 5 (out of 5 stars)


Thought Industries has given us a whole new way to approach how we deliver content. It’s completely transformed how we support clinicians, and enables us to get the right information, to the right people, at the right time.”

Mark Korf, New Product Development


The Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation needed to replace its outdated, restrictive digital platform with a more user-friendly solution, both for end-users and administrators.


The Thought Industries enterprise learning platform enabled HBFF to target specific audiences with tailored learning, along with segmented reporting and platform usage analysis.

The Challenge

At over 10 years old, the Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation’s previous digital platform lacked much of the functionality needed to provide a great experience for learners and administrators alike. It didn’t have basic features, such as the ability to search or bookmark resources, and it was essentially a page full of PDFs and videos. This left users struggling to find the resources they needed, and administrators couldn’t track who was using what. As customers’ digital needs evolved, HBFF knew that it needed a new platform that would enable the foundation to drive better engagement with its customer education program and better understand user behavior.

We didn’t have a lot of control in our old platform. We had a lot of limits, and no access to data – we’d built some rudimentary reports, but didn’t know who was using it or why. It also lacked the integrations we have now. Now we can connect best-in-class software together.

Mark Korf, Director, New Product Development

I don’t think we could do it without Panorama! We’re using it to segment our large customers, and it helps with custom branding, access control, content, being able to filter down to sub licenses, and reporting!

Kacie Mathison, Director, Publishing Tech & Procurement

The Solution

The Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation chose the Thought Industries customer education platform owing to its “learning as a product” approach. The platform is scalable, supports ecommerce, custom branding, and offers much more control over the learner experience. They use Panorama to manage their content repository for their segmented audiences, allowing for better filtering, user management, and more valuable reporting.

A more powerful, customizable learning platform empowers the foundation to deliver learning to a geographically dispersed audience with synchronous and asynchronous learning without needing people to physically travel to receive their education. This means that more clinicians across the US benefit from the foundation’s curriculum, and best-practice delivery for patient care.

-day implementation
increase in engagement for one client
of learners rated their satisfaction with the program content as 4 or 5 (out of 5 stars)
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The Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation now has a modern, user-friendly customer education platform to support its diverse range of audiences. The foundation now has a scalable, fully customizable platform that can adapt to its changing customer education needs over time, allowing us to provide a better experience to clinicians across the US long into the future. What’s next is to build the webhooks to establish a dashboard to showcase the progress.

Kacie Mathison, Director, Publishing Tech & Procurement