CEO Jim King speaking at a podium to a group of people seated at the Bellefonte Hospital and Recovery Center

Celebrating the Opening of Bellefonte Hospital and Recovery Center

Fahe, Recovery | March 26, 2024

On March 19, Fahe CEO Jim King joined Governor Andy Beshear, Addiction Recovery Care (ARC) Founder and CEO Tim Robinson, community leaders, and industry partners in Ashland to celebrate both the opening of a new treatment facility and Kentucky’s success in creating a strong recovery ecosystem.

The event was a ribbon cutting for ARC’s new Bellefonte Hospital and Recovery Center. ARC, the state’s leading provider of addiction treatment, operates a network of 30 centers throughout eastern and central Kentucky. This new 40-bed comprehensive behavioral health center is housed in the revitalized Our Lady of Bellefonte Hospital in Greenup County, which closed in 2020 after nearly 70 years of service to the community.

According to ARC the organization plans to open an approximately 300-bed substance use disorder (SUD) treatment facility on the main hospital campus, further expanding treatment options for individuals battling SUD across the Northeast Kentucky region.

Fahe’s Community Lending program provided $8 million in funding for the renovation. The loans, available to rural community development organizations and developers across the Appalachian region, provide beneficial terms for developing essential community facilities.

“The project will help the people of Russell and surrounding areas with not only top-notch [addiction recovery and mental health] services but will be able to provide jobs and a steady workforce for the community,” said King in a speech during the ribbon-cutting.

Alongside opportunities for healing and vocation, the event also highlighted Kentucky’s recovery landscape. While the drug epidemic disproportionally affects residents of the Appalachian region, who are 55% more likely to die from a drug overdose than residents of the rest of the nation, a new study by the ETSU Center for Rural Research ranks Kentucky #1 in the United States in residential substance use disorder treatment beds per capita. That ranking has had tangible results.

“We have tracked declining overdose mortality rates in Eastern Kentucky for several years now,” said Michael Meit, a co-author of the study. “What we have observed is an all-hands-on-deck approach, where policy makers, community stakeholders and provider organizations have come together to expand access to treatment, and build recovery supports.”

Fahe has been integral to that collaboration. Nationally-recognized, we provide collective voice and access to capital for our 55 local nonprofit members in Appalachia and surrounding states. We have served as a crucial partner in the construction of seven new recovery centers across Kentucky. Through our work packaging, administering, and financing, we have helped bring on-line over 1000 treatment beds, including those at Riverplace, the first licensed 100+ bed facility in the country, which is operated by ARC. We also supported Crown Recovery Center, which is the largest residential treatment center in the nation, for up to 450 men.

Beyond facilities, Fahe has been working on sustaining people in long-term recovery for nearly a decade. Through second chance employment, transitional housing, and transportation assistance, Fahe cultivates hope, the capacity to build for the future, and stronger communities.

Since 1980, Fahe has invested over $1.91 billion, directly changing the lives of more than 941,000 people. Gov. Beshear recognized the integral role Fahe plays in the region and our impact in his speech, saying, “Jim King and Fahe do such incredible work–from those who have lost everything to floods to those who are suffering from addiction. This is a group that has been there for our people time and time again.”

Gov. Beshear participates in the ribbon cutting ceremony for ARC’s new Bellefonte Recovery Center.