Ralph Thomas Reach, M.D. - President and Founder  
  After a lifetime of a painful struggle, near-miss brushes with death and the loss of several fortunes, Dr. Reach found the hope that would ultimately save his life and inspire the mission of Watauga Recovery Centers – twelve step recovery. Within the twelve step community, Tom found others who, like himself, had suffered with active addiction, but had found a new sanity and sobriety in recovery.

“These people were clean but was more than just not using. It went much deeper… it was spiritual,” says Dr. Reach.

What the dynamic Dr. Reach was seeing in action is one in which many within the recovery community are very familiar. To quote a popular passage found within Narcotics Anonymous literature: “The therapeutic value of one addict helping another is without parallel.” Dr. Reach goes to the heart of the matter when sharing about those who helped him. “The love and compassion of my family and friends, especially my wife and my mother, was an indispensable factor in getting clean. Sharing that compassion with other addicts is what keeps me clean.” For Dr. Reach, the concept of one addict helping another became the guiding factor along his personal road to recovery. Later, the same principle would become the keystone of the Watauga philosophy. Those early years would be a test for Dr. Reach as he faced the wreckage of his past mistakes and undertook the heavy lifting of building a new life.

The year 2005 was a year of new beginnings. That summer, Dr. Reach was granted a probationary Virginia medical license. Shortly thereafter, he began his residency in Family Medicine at East Tennessee University in Johnson City, Tennessee. In the fall of 2006, he was granted a probationary Tennessee medical license. Eventually, Dr. Reach would see both licenses restored to him without restriction. The hard work of learning to live life on life’s terms was beginning to pay off.

The next several years would be dedicated to practicing Family and Emergency Medicine in the Tri-Cities area. However, the vision of starting a practice that focused on addiction and featured a medical, psychosocial, and spiritual approach to treatment was never far from his mind. Dr. Reach’s vision began to manifest when he, his wife Maggie and one other opened a practice on East Watauga Avenue in Johnson City, Tennessee in June of 2010. Not only was this the seed that would grow into Watauga Recovery Centers, but it was also the birthplace of the Watauga Intentional Recovery Mission.

WRC has grown tremendously since the days of our humble beginnings in 2010. Today, Watauga Recovery Centers, Inc. has several locations that offer a message of hope coupled with compassionate and non-judgmental treatment to those who suffer under the weight of active addiction.
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