Addiction Recovery Care (ARC) is writing another chapter in the Our Lady of Bellefonte Hospital legacy, with the Bellefonte Hospital and Recovery Center that’s estimated to open within the next year.
The new treatment center will help to fill an urgent gap in treating Kentuckians with substance use and mental health needs—and will serve as a major area employer.
The treatment facility is expected to create approximately 200 new, local jobs, including nurses, counselors, case managers and maintenance workers. Two of those employees already are Scotty Sharp and Nick Dillow, former security guards at Our Lady of Bellefonte Hospital (OLBH) who will put their knowledge and expertise to work for ARC as safety officers.
Both Sharp and Dillow have longtime histories with Bellefonte. Sharp began working for the hospital 16 years ago, and Dillow’s journey began a couple years later. Both are relieved to see new life come to the building after it has sat empty for so many years—and are grateful to be part of this next chapter.
“The transition [from OLBH to ARC] has been great,” said Sharp. “No one knew for sure what was going to happen here. Once we were told that ARC was moving in, we were happy to have a job and do something good again.”
Safety and security are top priorities for ARC, and Sharp and Dillow will be two of the individuals responsible for ensuring the campus is well taken care of and safe for clients, employees, visitors and the surrounding community.
“I’m excited because I feel like this area needs a recovery center,” continued Sharp, who started working at the hospital right out of high school. “I have had family and friends who have taken the path of drugs and have ended up in prison. If they had only had something like this, they probably would’ve gotten better.”
Sharp is excited for what’s next, as he has always wanted to be the type of person to help others and better their lives.
“I’m excited to have people back in these halls and see it become something again—instead of just an empty shell of what it was,” finished Sharp.
Dillow concurs, noting that the closing of the hospital was “very emotional.”
“When the hospital closed, it was heartbreaking,” he said. “This hospital is the community, and it felt like the community died that day. But out of that, something new came along.”
Dillow is excited to stay employed locally as ARC’s vision for the treatment center begins to take shape.
“I have a lot of pride for this building and all the life that has lived here,” Dillow added.
Dillow was pleased to hear that the building was becoming a safe haven for those needing treatment for substance use disorder and other mental health conditions.
“Addiction is a major emergency in our area,” added Dillow. “I’m glad to see this is coming to our community and that this hospital can still give back in a different way.”
In their new roles with ARC, Sharp and Dillow will be able to continue playing a key role in Greenup County—and they couldn’t see themselves doing it anywhere else. In the words of Sharp, “This is home.”
Today, ARC operates more than 30 treatment programs in 21 Eastern and Central Kentucky counties. They are working toward a partial opening date in late 2023 or early 2024, with renovations currently underway.