ARC, Louisa-based treatment organization in discussion to purchase former OLBH property
RUSSELL, Ky. (WSAZ) - April marked one year following the closure of Our Lady of Bellefonte Hospital that took thousands of jobs out of the area.
While there have been community concerns the property would sit empty grew since the closure, Addiction Recovery Care is hopeful they can be a part of the solution.
“We don’t want to wait on some outside parties to come, fix and solve the issue we’re all facing. Just like addiction affects a whole person, addiction also affects the whole community,” said Matt Brown, senior vice president of administration. “I expect 2020 to break all the overdose records that we’ve ever seen. We’ve got a few rough years ahead of us. I don’t think it will get better overnight.”
ARC is in discussion with local leaders and Bon Secours Mercy Health, who owned the property, about a potential sale. If purchased, ARC plans to use the facility for residential treatment focused on their Crisis to Career program.
“As all of you are aware, our commonwealth has a very real problem with addiction issues and our area does have a need for a reputable addiction recovery program,” said Mayor Simpson in a news release on Monday. “... I met for several hours with (ARC CEO Tim Robinson) and he and his team assured those of us at the meeting that all treatment would be contained on the OLBH campus.”
The entire residential treatment program would be contained to one property, Brown said.
Following OLBH’s closure last year, 1,500 jobs were impacted as result, but the potential purchase by ARC could bring up to 300 jobs to Greenup County.
“We would need to have strong administration and health care leadership. We would hire physicians, nurse practitioners, nurses, CNAs, counselors, and other therapists. Janitors and maintenance to help keep the facility up to speed and a whole variety of other positions,” Brown said.
WSAZ reached out to Bon Secours Mercy Health, the property owner who told us in a statement, “Bon Secours Mercy Health is actively seeking users for the various facets of the Our Lady campus property.”
ARC plans to work with leaders in Russell to hold public meetings and address concerns in the near future.
The dates for those sessions have not been scheduled.
“We’re barely scratching the surface when it comes to meeting the true need in the state,” Brown said.
Brown said it’s early in the conversation process, so there is no projected opening date in place.
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