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First of Series: How It All Began

The Nation's first private, freestanding, alcoholism treatment facility is opened on Lincoln Ave. in Youngstown OH, as a result of the effort and investment of Jack Deibel, and the encouragement from Neil Kennedy. (Neil was a recovering alcoholic who started Youngstown's first AA group in 1939. Neil's sponsor in AA was one of the fellowship's co-founders, Dr. Bob Smith).

The Youngstown Committee on Alcoholism, Inc., a non-profit organization made up of recovering people and community leaders in Youngstown, OH is founded by Neil Kennedy. The organization's initial purpose is to provide education to the community about alcoholism as an illness. In that same year, the Lincoln Ave. Clinic (subsequently known as the Alcoholic Clinic of Youngstown) is turned over to this new organization with Mr. Kennedy as its first director.

Neil Kennedy passes, and Phillip Ley is named Executive Secretary of the Committee and Director of the Clinic.

The Alcoholic Clinic of Youngstown moves from its original location to the site of its current main campus at 2151 Rush Blvd. in Youngstown. The new facility (one of the first in the nation to be built specifically for the purpose of treating alcoholics) opens debt free as a result of private contributions from the people of Youngstown.

Phillip Ley retires, and Gerald Carter is named Executive Secretary of the Committee and Director of the Clinic. The Clinic also expands its services to include residential rehabilitation services as well as detoxification services for alcoholics and other drug dependent people. At this point in time, more than 30,000 patients have been treated since 1947

The Clinic is certified by the Ohio Department of Health under its new standards for alcoholism treatment programs. It is also accredited by The Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations. The organization starts a new program called Mahoning County Alcoholism Services and began outpatient and preventive services with the assistance of public funds from the State of Ohio.

The Clinic adds outpatient services for adolescents to its increasingly comprehensive continuum of care.

The Clinic enters into a relationship with Western Reserve Healthcare system (Forum Health) and together they open Adolescent Recovery Services, an inpatient treatment unit for chemically dependent adolescents at Northside Hospital.

With the support of the Youngstown Junior League the clinic starts its Woman-to-Woman program, a gender-specific treatment continuum.

The Clinic adds a new residential treatment wing to its main campus facility and expands its intensive outpatient services. Once again, the people of Youngstown respond to a need and the new wing is opened debt free as a result of generous private contributions. In this same year, the Clinic opens the Dick Riley Fellowship Hall, a facility that is currently home to over 25 Twelve Step meetings a week and acts as a sober activity center for hundreds of recovery people.

All clinic services are consolidated under a new name, the Neil Kennedy Recovery Clinic, honoring the first director and spiritual founder of the clinic. Intensive outpatient and partial hospitalization services expand as residential rehab services shrink due to the impact of managed care.

In another innovative collaboration, NKRC joins with Mahoning County Juvenile Court to create a Juvenile Diversion Program at the Juvenile Justice Center. After consultation with Gateway Rehabilitation Center, a new GRC -style outpatient satellite is opened in Austintown, Ohio.

NKRC becomes a subsidiary of Gateway Rehab, one of the nation's premier alcohol and other drug addiction treatment organizations. The affiliation brings together two pioneers in the addiction field and increases NKRC's capacity to provide more services to more people.

NKRC opens a second outpatient satellite in Howland, Ohio expanding the outpatient services into Trumbull County. In this same year, NKRC becomes a primary partner with the Mahoning County Misdemeanor Drug court to provide treatment services for referrals from that court.

NKRC restructures its programming to provide gender-specific treatment tracks at its main campus site. The organization becomes a partner with a new Mahoning County Juvenile Drug Court to be a resource for outpatient adolescent treatment services for referrals from that court.

NKRC opens a third outpatient satellite in Dublin, Ohio.

Treatment capacity at NKRC's Youngstown site expands by opening a boarding house for women who are being treated in the site's day treatment (partial hospitalization) program. The name of this house is Emery House and it has beds for 8 women who participate in treatment at the clinic during the day and stay in a safe environment during the night.

NKRC moves administrative and community services offices to its Austintown site.

NKRC opens/expands its services for opiate addict people by adding a highly structural recovery focused medication assisted treatment (MAT) option for carefully selected clinically appropriate patients. This program begins with clients participating in a Suboxone program

NKRC secures foundation funding and began implementation of Recovery Coaching services. Also in this year, NKRC takes a leadership role in facilitation of SBIRT (Screening Brief Intervention & Referral to Treatment) initiatives in its service region.

NKRC once more expands by opening another boarding house for men with the generous funds from the Frank and Pearl Gelbman Foundation. This house is called Gelbman House and has room for 12 men who participate in programing at the clinic during the day and have, a safe environment at this house during the night.

Another house opens on Emery through the generous funding of the Mahoning Valley Hospital Foundation. This 12-bed house for men is named Doc's House, after Wellington "Doc" Hager, who spent 30 years counseling alcoholics and addicts mostly in the Youngstown and Mahoning County Area. Carolyn Givens is named Executive Director.

The MAT program expands to nearly 50 clients and along with Suboxone treatment, Vivitrol treatment is added.

Vision House, another house for women, opens.

NKRC opens a regional detox wing at Mercy Health St. Elizabeth’s Hospital.

NKRC expands services to utilize telehealth.

A new face to lead NKRC takes the position of Vice President of Ohio Operations, Dean Monteleone.