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Rosary Hall


The Basics

Rosary Hall is housed at St. Vincent Charity Medical Center, which was the first private hospital in Cleveland, Ohio to designate a separate ward for the treatment of alcoholism.  St. Vincent founder Sister Ignatia Gavin—lovingly referred to as ‘the drunk’s Sister of Hope”—worked closely with AA founder Dr. Robert (Bob) Smith until his death in 1950. Two years later, she opened Rosary Hall specifically for the medical treatment of alcoholism and substance abuse. During her service there, Sister Ignatia introduced the ritual of giving tokens to people in recovery for time sober in addition to starting Al-Anon groups for families and ensuring that a pot of coffee was always brewing. Today, the tradition continues with detox and outpatient treatment that are infused with the 12 steps.

Accommodations and Food

In the 27-bed inpatient detox facility, clients share double-occupancy rooms, reflecting Rosary Hall’s belief that individuals in  treatment should not live alone. The only single room, which has been there since the facility was opened, is reserved for the most severe cases and was named the “defrosting room” by Sister Ignatia.

Meals are served in the hospital’s cafeteria, but clients are also encouraged to take whatever food they want anytime from the kitchen. There is a 24/7 coffee and juice bar and, in addition to caffeine, sugar is permitted.

Treatment and Staff

The foundation of Rosary Hall’s treatment is the 12 steps.  All clients undergo the same process: inpatient medical detox, which typically takes between three and seven days and may include Suboxone for opiate withdrawal, assessment, Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP) and then enrollment in the outpatient program.

During detox, there is no visitation and TV and other electronic devices are prohibited. After detox, assessment for IOP is conducted by a mental health professional on staff. Upon admission, clients participate in a 17-week IOP that includes group and individual therapy in addition to daily AA meetings. Though there is no formal dual diagnosis support, the staff works closely with psychiatrists who specialize in mental disorders.

Between 18 and 22 staff members are always available to assist clients. There are three LCSWs, five licensed clinical nurses and a recovery coach to help clients with everything from understanding their addiction to making healthier life choices. All groups are  facilitated by a CADC with an emphasis on identifying the root causes and conditions of each client’s substance abuse. Two doctors with specialties in addiction medicine serve as medical director and associate medical director. Because of its renown, Rosary Hall is also affiliated with some of the nation’s top specialists in addiction medicine.


With a majority of Rosary Hall’s funding from the Cuyahoga County Drug and Alcohol Board,  all prospective clients have access to treatment on a sliding scale.

In Summary

The professional staff at Rosary Hall works to continue Sister Ignatia’s vision in ways large and small—like maintaining a hot pot of coffee at all times. Individuals seeking a 12-step approach will find Rosary Hall an excellent option with a highly competent staff that continues to honor the spirit of its founder.

Rosary Hall
2351 E 22nd St
Cleveland, OH 44115

Rosary Hall Cost: Sliding scale. Reach Rosary Hall by phone at (216) 363-2580 or by email at [email protected] Find Rosary Hall on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Google+ and LinkedIn

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