Douglas M. Leech

Founder & CEO, Ascension Recovery Services

Doug Leech is the founder of Ascension Recovery Services (Ascension RS). Through his own struggles with addiction and subsequent recovery, Doug developed a passion for helping those suffering from the disease of addiction and set out to increase access to substance use disorder (SUD) treatment across the country. The mission of Ascension RS is to expand access to care by opening fully integrated, comprehensive, and person-centered SUD and co-occurring mental health disorder treatment centers across the country providing for all who need treatment, regardless of insurance type or ability to pay, advancing Behavioral Health Equity.

Ascension RS has been recognized as one of the fastest growing health care companies in the country and is a leader in developing and managing behavioral health treatment centers. Ascension RS has opened dozens of SUD treatment centers across the full continuum nationally, creating thousands of jobs and building lasting partnerships with hospitals, payers, and community service providers. Currently, Ascension RS is opening two large portfolios of SUD treatment centers, spanning seven states, branded kathy ireland® Recovery Centers and Wise Path™ Recovery Centers. Ascension RS was ranked #46 for fastest growing health care business by Inc. 5000 in 2021. Doug is the 2020 recipient of the Mylan Puskar Entrepreneur of the Year award and also serves on a number of healthcare boards of directors nationally, including holding leadership positions on the boards of Third Horizon Strategies, Divided Sky Foundation, and West Virginia Sober Living.

Doug has a B.S. degree in Accounting from Pennsylvania State University Smeal College of Business and worked at Ernst & Young in Pittsburgh before founding Ascension RS. He has established charitable funds and foundations for patient care around the country to provide treatment for those who can’t afford it. Citing a desire to inspire student entrepreneurs, Doug and his wife, Leila, established and endowed the Douglas M. and Leila A. Leech Student Experienceship Fund at Smeal.