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News Eagle - Hawley, PA
  • Former hospital may be used for rehab center, ER

  • Cindy Bellino, who formerly operated a home for women recovering from drug and alcohol abuse at 54 Lincoln Ave., is back in town with a new project.
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  • Cindy Bellino, who formerly operated a home for women recovering from drug and alcohol abuse at 54 Lincoln Ave., is back in town with a new project.
    She told the NEWS last week that she has signed the contract to convert the former Marian Community Hospital into a drug and alcohol treatment center, with a fully-equipped and staffed 24-hour urgent care unit on site as well. She noted that she is now seeking zoning approval for her plans, which she said is "the only remaining hurdle" to getting the new facility up and running.
    The city's Zoning Hearing Board is scheduled to take up the matter at its meeting on Wednesday night, Jan. 15.
    "Everything is set to go, we're just waiting on the zoning board decision," Bellino stated. "I don't see why the zoning would be a problem since we're keeping the same use for the property."
    "The drug and alcohol treatment facility will include a medical detox center, but that shouldn't be a problem either," she added. "They always had a detox center in the hospital."
    Bellino noted that the 24-hour urgent care center would be located in the former ER area of the hospital.
    "We'll basically be reopening the emergency room for the community," she explained. "That's something I feel is really needed here. It's a critical need."
    "We're going to have doctors, nurses and psychiatrists on our staff," she related. "We're going through the applications now, and we'll also be renting out the office spaces in the Professional Building."
    Bellino said she hopes to "put 300 jobs back into the community" at the facility, and that's just for starters. She stated that this, in turn, will have a very positive effect on local businesses and the local economy overall, creating a lot of customers for restaurants and shops in town, as well as the new hotel and other components of the Pioneer Plaza.
    "I think this is going to be a big plus for the town in every way," she offered.
    "More than anything else, we're going to be helping a lot of people," she explained, "even the nuns who are living at the property. They want to stay there and I'm sure we'd be able to accommodate them. I think they'd be great spiritual advisers for our drug and alcohol program."
    Bellino noted that she maintains the lease on the home at 54 Lincoln Ave. and she said the zoning ruling she won in that case still stands since the home hasn't been vacant long enough to overturn it. However, she said she won't be using it as a treatment center any longer, but rather as living spaces for staff members of her new facility at the former hospital.
    "We'll be using the upstairs apartments to house our interns in the psychiatric field," she pointed out. "The interns will live in those apartments and they'll work at the facility."
    Page 2 of 2 - Bellino is CEO of the company Just Believe Recovery, which has two drug and alcohol treatment centers in Florida. She said she is also in the process of trying to open a mens treatment center in Simpson.
    The zoning board hearing is set for 7 p.m. on Wednesday night.

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