A 54 Year History

A 54 Year History

Founders Dr. Thomas Frist, Sr., and Robert Crichton, Sr., would undoubtedly be proud of what Cumberland Heights has become. In five decades we've expanded services, developed new programs and helped families rebuild their lives and relationships. Today, we are honored to feature family members of both founders as we recognize Cumberland Heights' 54 years of transforming lives. We look forward to serving the community for many more years to come.

Duke Kennedy Award Recipients Deserving of Honor

The Duke Kennedy Award was created to recognize those who have made a significant difference in the recovery community. Duke, a longtime friend and 17-year volunteer for Cumberland Heights, worked tirelessly to raise funds for those seeking recovery.  Everyone who knew him recognized his dedication to the recovery community as well as his passion for sports – especially SEC football.

This year, Cumberland Heights is proud to present the 2020 Duke Kennedy Award to brothers Don and Rob Crichton.

Don and Rob have been a part of the Cumberland Heights story since its inception 54 years ago. Their lives tell the story of family, service, sacrifice, dedication, and leadership to Cumberland Heights’ mission of hope and healing. Their contributions to the mission are too numerous to count and they collectively embody the servant spirit of the Duke Kennedy Award.

Many have heard Rob or Don recount the story of their trip as children down River Road with their father and Cumberland Height co-founder Robert Crichton, Sr., to visit Leo Johnson’s cattle farm along the Cumberland River. This serene and beautiful property of course would one day become Cumberland Heights’ River Road Campus.

As they grew to be successful businessmen in their own rights, the brothers would not be content to be mere spectators as the dream of Cumberland Heights continued to blossom. Instead, Rob and Don would carry their father’s legacy to heights he surely could have never imagined. Today, the brothers’ collective service time on Cumberland Heights board has surpassed 74 years and represents their dedication to their father’s visionary passion for transforming lives affected by alcohol and drug addiction.

Their unwavering leadership and generosity has seen the organization through difficult times; expanded services, new executive directors, massive shifts in managed care, and charting a course through countless twists and turns.

Their selfless giving and leadership in countless development campaigns has allowed Cumberland Heights to expand its once meager services to offer a broad suite of programs for those battling addiction. These include the addition of a women’s program, a young men’s program, an adolescent program, an outpatient program, as well as many new buildings that grew the capacity of the compassionate treatment programs their father dreamed to bring to Middle Tennessee.

It would have been easy for Rob’s and Don’s dedication and interest in the mission to ebb as the years passed by. Instead their commitment has remained steadfast. In recent years, they championed the creation and growth of an endowment program that will provide patient scholarships in perpetuity and most recently the establishment of ARCH Academy a facility that allows adolescent boys to pursue treatment while staying on track in their schooling.

Psalm 145.4 says, One generation shall commend your works to another, and shall declare your mighty acts.”

At Cumberland Heights, we believe that helping our patients break free from the cycle of addiction is a humble act of surrender and the mighty work of a higher power. Don and Rob Crichton have embodied the imperative “to declare the mighty acts” and healing power of 12-Step based recovery to the next generation.

On behalf of the countless lives your leadership, giving, and dedication has saved and impacted, we thank you Rob and Don Crichton from the bottom of our hearts!


How a Cumberland Heights Scholarship Saved Laura's Life

Hi all! My name is Laura Cadden, I am here today writing to you to try to help raise awareness of the importance of the Cumberland Heights Scholarship Initiative and the impact it can have, and hopefully continue to have, on patients’ lives.

Over 12 years ago, I was blessed by a close family friend, Frank Wade, and given an opportunity to save my life. Without him and the incredible donors who gave to the scholarship program, at that point in my life I would never have had access to Cumberland Heights and the absolute life changing opportunities they offer.

At that time, I was stuck in a four-year cycle of addiction and truly felt a deep hopelessness that I would never find my way out. Cumberland Heights gave me the life changing help and tools to turn my life around. I will never forget my fear going in to treatment and the indescribable feeling of life and hope I felt leaving my stay at Cumberland Heights.

Since then, I have married an incredible man and we have two beautiful children! We live in Enterprise, Alabama, and have a life that I always dreamed of during my lowest points in life. I work at a preschool that my son attends and my husband is director of IT at an accounting firm. We spend our weekends full of soccer tournaments and birthday parties, truly living out our best days!

I can never fully express my gratitude to Cumberland Heights, my scholarship donors and those who helped me find my way. I encourage you to consider giving to the Cumberland Heights  “Paving The Road To Recovery” campaign and providing others with the same scholarship opportunity that saved my life 12 years ago.

~ Laura Cadden

Why is it so meaningful to give to Cumberland Heights?

Your gift to Cumberland Heights through our annual and capital initiates gives immediate support to patients and their families. To make a longer term impact a gift to the endowment fund will provide patient assistance funding for years to come.

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