Abandoned hospital site gets new life as drug rehab in Fulton, Kentucky

FULTON, KY — There is new hope for a local community with two big problems — job loss and drug addiction.  A new company is buying out the old Parkway Regional Hospital building, where hundreds of people were once employed.

Empty hallways of Purchase Parkway Hospital in Fulton, Ky.

“It was a big impact for a small town that at one time had at least three hospitals running at one time,” Fulton City Manager Mike Gunn said.

Changes Rehabilitation is bringing back more than half of those jobs with its new facility.

Shirley Jankowski is the center’s program director, and she said she’s ready to lead the charge.

“Having lived the journey with my daughter, I’ve been there,” Jankowski said. “I know what it feels like, and I want to help others.”

The center will have 60 beds for a 29 day program to help men and women in separate units. The program is for general addiction and treats most chemical drug problems.

“It’s affecting everyone, every family — whether your lower income or higher income.”

Jankowski said their program offers a more extensive outpatient program, so people stay clean.

“Most failures occur 10 days after leaving a rehab,” she said.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says Kentucky ranks 16th highest for drug deaths in the United States.

“We’ve seen drug trafficking, lots of drugs and drug use,” Gunn said.

While hoping to lower drug use, it is also bringing 60 full-time positions. Those include entry level positions like activities assistant, food service,  housekeepers and security officers.

It’s a big win for the community seeing big closures over the past few years.

“For the community, it’s going to mean jobs. Those jobs will then bring wealth for the community.” Gunn said. “What it does is take an empty, non-productive facility and puts it back, brings life into it, and puts it back on the road again.”

Changes Rehabilitation is having a job fair on March 26 at Pontotoc Community Center from 10 a.m.- 2 p.m.