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New outpatient drug treatment center says it offers hope, purpose and opportunity

 

A Christian drug treatment center has opened in Danville. It’s the fourth location for Isaiah House, which has its main campus in Willisburg. The intensive outpatient program (IOP) is in the Southland Shopping Center, off of Hustonville Road. 

CEO and founder Mark LaPalme spoke from underneath a tent located in a grassy area next to the center’s parking lot during a grand opening event Monday. Several came out to celebrate the new location and all the work done by staff to get the center where it is today. 

CEO and founder of Isaiah House, Mark LaPalme, welcomed guests Monday to the grand opening of its IOP treatment center in Danville.

“July 1 of this year, I celebrated by 20th year of sobriety,” LaPalme said, garnering a round of applause. He and his wife, Tammy, began Isaiah House in 1999, first by opening up their home to the homeless. 

Isaiah House has now grown into one of the state’s biggest holistic treatment centers, employing a staff of 200. “Today, we manage the care of 156 residential treatment beds,” LaPalme told the crowd. Treatment includes “every level of care,” from detox to inpatient, outpatient and transitional homes. He said Isaiah House has a total of 236 clients right now “in some sort of residential treatment.”

Aside from its main campus and center in Willisburg there is also Patricia’s Place; the Jake Kuertz & Greg Bowen centers in Chaplin; and the Lisa Walker Center in Harrodsburg, a women’s center. 

LaPalme said more than 30 of the staff are “licensed, master-degreed professionals,” from social workers to counselors, psychologists and psychiatrists. 

He said the philosophy of Isaiah House focuses on bringing “three essential items in recovery to those suffering from this horrible affliction that has killed over 70,000 of our moms and dads, brothers and sisters, sons and daughters — last year alone.” 

Those three essential items are instilling hope, helping them find a purpose and establishing opportunities. Hope, LaPalme said, is found in Jesus Christ “as well as the tools to maintain sobriety,” and helping them “find their God-given purpose in life. Without purpose, we wander aimlessly.” He credited Isaiah House with being “a program of firsts.” He said from the beginning, in 1999, when it opened, “there weren’t but a small handful of residential treatment centers in the state.”

LaPalme said In 2010, Isaiah House became the first Christ-centered AODE (alcohol and other drug entity) licensed treatment program. Also that year, he said it became the first treatment center in the state to have a collaboration with employers on hiring its clients, as well as the first to have an employment training program in cooperation with Inoac, an international company with locations in Bardstown and Springfield. 

“We’re actually employing 100 clients a quarter while they are in treatment,” LaPalme said.

In 2012, the center was the first to “organize alumni-managed, client-operated businesses,” where he says “we have master electricians and master plumbers, and HVAC and we can build homes from the ground up.” Those businesses include Isaiah 58 Builders, Howard’s Metal Sales and Clean Cut Landscaping. The landscaping company mows more than 500 acres weekly at Mercer and Nelson county schools, Danville Independent Schools, Campbellsville University and several factories, LaPalme said. 

Isaiah House employee Hilary Blevins helps visitors sign in Monday during the center’s grand opening of its IOP in Danville.

In 2013, the center became the first non-profit, Christ-centered treatment center in the state, he said, to bill and collect insurance for treatment. In 2015, it then became the first in the state to be licensed as a behavioral health service organization.

“And in 2015, Isaiah House became the first treatment center in the country to offer on-site, free college through collaboration with Campbellsville University … taught by three alumni of Isaiah House,” LaPalme said. It’s now a certified satellite location for the school, he said. 

“Then in 2018, we became the first center to hire a full-time data analyst, because we knew the successes that we were seeing, and we needed to translate that into usable, empirical data,” he said.

He said 68% of short-term completions who come out of the center are still sober six months after completing; 83% of long-term clients are sober six months after; and said zero have reoffended 90 days after completion. 

“We talk about recidivism being 70 and 80%,” LaPalm said. “We have zero after 90 days.” He said 90% are still sober “post one year completion when we get them connected to our collaborations with Campbellsville University.” 

Roger Fox, an employee of Isaiah House, talks with a visitor during Monday’s open house event.

“Keep in mind, we see about 80 completions per quarter,” he said. “And by the third quarter of 2018, our clients — who were by then off of food stamps and Medicaid — had paid $160,000 that quarter, back into the system and taxes.” 

Before introducing Rev. Joey Pusateri, who gave a small sermon under the tent, LaPalme said, “Keep in mind this affliction is coming and we’re only human; and we can’t do this alone.” 

 

For more information on Isaiah House, visit isaiah-house.org or call (859) 239-9598.