In 1966, Philadelphia-area advertising executive and entrepreneur Standish Forde Hansell was finishing renovations to a 50-year-old country estate house he’d purchased on what had been the Brice Farm in Bensalem, Bucks County. His plan was to open a retirement community, where gentlemen of means could continue a pastoral lifestyle and live and grin into their golden years. Instead, on the advice of a few trusted friends (and, according to one account, outspoken actor/director Orson Welles), he turned his 46-acre property into one of the very first non-hospital facilities in Pennsylvania to treat alcoholism.
Mr. Hansell believed in his heart that there was a tremendous need in the region for a nonprofit to help the many people that were suffering. The often whimsical Hansell kept the Livengrin name.
Throughout the 1970s, Livengrin Foundation built its reputation as a trailblazer, launching numerous innovative programs such as its Family Education Program and extensive Aftercare and Outpatient Services.
The organization also collaborated with the business and labor communities, identifying those among their workforce who were challenged by addiction, and and offering them opportunities for treatment and recovery.
Standish Forde Hansell died in February 1983, having seen his beloved organization become a successful, nationally recognized provider of treatment services to male and female alcoholics and their families.
The Foundation has continued to grow, implementing a network of Pennsylvania counseling centers throughout Bucks, Montgomery, Delaware, Lehigh, and Philadelphia Counties. Specialty programs have been created to respond to emerging needs, such as the healthcare professionals’ track that assists nurses, pharmacists, and physicians. We host scores of postgraduate students and professionals who come to study and gain real-life experience.
In 1966, with the belief that he and his colleagues were making a positive contribution to the community and the public, Standish Hansell planted the seeds of what was to become a caring, professional, and progressive organization that has helped more than 125,000 patients and families struggling with the disease of addiction to find help, hope, and healing.