A new drug rehabilitation center that’s moving into a former hospital building in Fulton plans to start accepting patients in early December after facing opening delays due to the pandemic, and due to delays in receiving licensing from the state.
Changes Rehabilitation LLC Program Director Shirley Jankowski said the center will begin accepting patients on December 7. She hopes the facility, licensed for up to 50 beds, will offer a positive perspective on rehabilitation for those struggling with drug addiction.
“As they’re approaching treatment, they’re approaching it usually from a negative place, so what I’m trying to do here is to have people feel blessed that they’re receiving treatment when they arrive here,” Jankowski said. “That they come in not in a place of feeling like they must do this and they’re being punished but in a, ‘Wow, I’m going to receive blessing and a healing.”
The facility has a room for yoga, musical instruments, and a gymnasium among other amenities for patients, Jankowski said. She said once patients leave the facility, the center will also offer patients up to four years of follow-up “aftercare” service with counselors, regardless of whether or not patients have health insurance.
“They’ll have that same support, all those services and skills they’re picking up here will stay with them,” she said. “I did a lot of research on why people don’t succeed, and the biggest part is the aftercare. So we can offer all kinds of rehab and residential programs, but really that team, that aftercare and that support will change the success rate [of patients].”
She said if the center’s “aftercare” model is successful, she hopes to create 10 other centers elsewhere with the Fulton center serving as a headquarters. Jankowski also added she’s optimistic about the economic benefits of the center. She said the center will hire 60 people total, ranging from mental health professionals to food service employees. She said she’s hired and trained 20 employees so far, with future hiring phases planned in upcoming weeks as patients are admitted. The center will offer additional beds for a detoxification unit in the future.
The Fulton County-Hickman County Economic Development Partnership last year announced Changes Rehabilitation LLC planned to purchase the former Parkway Regional Hospital building to create the center. The hospital closed in 2015.