The 12-bed facility is expected to open in November

By William K. Alcorn


A vision for the future of behavioral health treatment here and a $350,000 grant from the Mahoning Valley Hospital Foundation have made possible construction of the second 12-bed recovery-supportive house in the last two years at Neil Kennedy Recovery Clinic.

The ceremonial groundbreaking was Tuesday for the new unit, named the Wellington “Doc” Hager House to recognize Hager for his many years of alcohol and substance-abuse counseling in the community.

The Doc Hager House, expected to open in November 2015, will house men, and the 12-bed Gelbman House, which has been a residence for men since it was built in 2014, will become a facility for women.

“We are truly grateful for the support of the MVH Foundation in our continuing efforts to provide lasting recovery to those who seek our help,” said Carolyn Givens, the clinic’s executive vice president.

“Research shows that the longer patients are engaged in treatment and have access to support services, the better their chances are for lasting recovery,” she said.

The Gelbman House and future Doc Hager House are temporary residential housing units that provide a structured, supportive, sober and clean-living environment for individuals in the early stages of recovery who no longer require detoxification services and medical monitoring, Givens said.

Besides housing, services provided include 24-hour security, meals, a full day of treatment services at NKRC’s adjacent main facility, community-building skills with other residents, and recovery coaching.

Hager, who did his internship at Neil Kennedy and was a counselor there for 10 years, is now a counselor with Meridian Community Care’s Men’s Center.

“I’m honored to be tied into something that will give people a second chance to start a new life,” Hager said.

“Breaking ground for a new supportive housing unit is a monumental for Neil Kennedy. This is our vision for those in the Mahoning Valley who suffer from addiction,” Givens said.

“We are blessed to have the leadership of Tracy Plouck at the state level, and the deep history of Neil Kennedy,” said Michael S. Senchak, the foundation’s president and CEO.

Plouck, director of the Ohio Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services, said there are a lot of changes in Ohio, including recognition that recovery housing is a huge part of treatment and that the stigma of addiction is being reduced.

The investment of the Mahoning Valley Hospital Foundation will move addiction treatment forward in the Valley, Plouck said.

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