Helping People Find Their Way 

Annual Reports

"New Beginnings"
"Building on Our Past

Building for Our Future"
"One: Mind & Body"
"Making A Difference"
"Connections for Life"
"Empowering People. Changing Lives."
"Investing in Brighter Futures"
"Answering the Need"
"Extraordinary Care"
"Family Matters"
"Building a Better Future"
"50th Anniversary Report"

2015 Annual Message

"New Beginnings"

We are currently in the midst of an exciting time for behavioral health. I have never seen as much public interest and open dialogue around mental health and substance abuse as I do today, and Natchaug has been part of that change. Our efforts include bringing Mental Health First Aid into the community so that non-clinicians are trained to identify and respond to behavioral health crises; the integration of primary care and behavioral health, breaking down barriers to treatment; and partnering with Shatterproof and its efforts to end the stigma of addiction.

Likewise, we made a difference for our clients by constantly working to improve our programs. In 2014, we took the services we already provide and made them even better. In our Clinical Day Treatment Schools, we created even more opportunities for transitional support and vocational training. On the inpatient units, which serve our most vulnerable clients, we introduced a new tool for measuring how we’re doing, and identifying areas for improvement. And we implemented evidence-based crisis intervention training for staff to improve safety, not just for the people we serve, but our employees as well. Each of these initiatives, and many others across HHC, has had a real and lasting impact on the communities we serve.

As some of you may know, in February I announced my decision to retire at the end of the calendar year. The announcement was bittersweet; although I look forward to spending more time with family, especially my grandsons, I will miss Natchaug. During my time as president of the hospital, I’ve built relationships with so many tremendous staff members, community leaders, board members and our partners in the provider community. And when I reflect on the last 25 years, I’m astounded by what we’ve been able to accomplish to improve access to behavioral health services in eastern Connecticut.

My time leading Natchaug may be coming to a close, but I could not be more excited about my successor — former DMHAS Commissioner Patricia Rehmer. Over the years, I have had the opportunity to work closely with Pat as we advocated for mental health at the state level. Her skills and leadership are remarkable, but what has always impressed me most about Pat is her tireless work as an advocate for the clients and families that we serve. She embodies the H3W leadership behavior of “humanistic,” and I have no doubt that she will carry on the growth and legacy that we have created at Natchaug and in the Hartford HealthCare Behavioral Health Network.

Since this is my last Annual Report, I’d like to take this opportunity to thank you each of you for your support of Natchaug Hospital. With your help, we’ve assisted thousands of people in Connecticut as they found their way into recovery. I am proud to have been a part of Natchaug and am confident that there are even more great things on the horizon for the hospital and for behavioral health in our community.


Stephen W. Larcen, Ph.D.
President, Natchaug Hospital
View our 2015 Annual Report "New Beginnings

To request a copy of the 2015 Annual Report, call Natchaug’s Community Relations Office at 860-456-1311, or CLICK HERE



2014 Annual Message

"Building on Our Past, Building for Our Future"

Anniversaries give us an opportunity to reflect on the past, celebrate our accomplishments and look toward the future. With Natchaug Hospital’s 60th anniversary nearly upon us, I invite you to take a moment to review this annual report, which highlights our accomplishments since 2004, and to celebrate Natchaug Hospital’s staff, clients and the communities we

It seems like just yesterday we were celebrating Natchaug’s 50th anniversary and the vision of community-based health care conceived by our founders, Drs. Mervyn and Olga Little. Ten years later, I am astounded at how far we have advanced the services we offer our clients and community. In just this last decade, Natchaug Hospital:

• Opened Journey House, Connecticut’s only private locked facility for at-risk adolescent girls.
• Expanded the child and adolescent inpatient unit to reduce time spent waiting for an open bed and keep treatment close to home.
• Introduced new treatment for adult clients, including medication-assisted treatment for opioid addiction and an evening program for those with daytime commitments.
• Moved four existing programs into larger, improved facilities.
• Created new treatment options, including in-home psychological services, vocational education, adolescent substance abuse treatment, and a program specifically for young adults.

Many of our accomplishments this past year have focused on creating a better tomorrow, for Natchaug and the people we serve:

• Joshua Center Northeast piloted the Supervised Employment Education (S.E.E.) program, which gives at-risk adolescents in our clinical day treatment schools the opportunity to go into the community and gain valuable work experience.
• Natchaug and other affiliates of the Hartford HealthCare Behavioral Health Network (BHN) launched the Stop the Stigma campaign to help eliminate the fear and discrimination associated with mental illness. The campaign is still running strong and aims to collect 10,000 pledges by the end of the year.
• Joshua Center Thames Valley in Norwich and Joshua Center Southeast in Groton opened their doors, bringing new and improved behavioral health options to children and adolescents in southeastern Connecticut.

In this annual report, you will read more about Natchaug’s successes from the last 10 years. But the accomplishment that speaks the most about our services is the thousands of clients Natchaug has helped find their way to recovery. Their stories are testaments to the knowledge, experience and compassion of our staff, as well as the support of the community and donors who make our work possible. Through this continued collaboration, Natchaug Hospital will carry on its mission of providing behavioral health treatment for the communities of eastern Connecticut today, tomorrow and for many more years to come.

Stephen W. Larcen, Ph.D.
President, Natchaug Hospital
View our 2014 Annual Report "Building on Our Past, Building for our Future"

To request a copy of the 2014 Annual Report, call Natchaug’s Community Relations Office at 860-456-1311, or CLICK HERE


2013 Annual Message

"One: Mind & Body"

Tragic events of this past year, which placed mental illness in the spotlight of public attention, deeply affected the Natchaug Hospital community, which lost loved ones and professional associates in the Sandy Hook shooting in Newtown. We may never know the answers to how and why someone would commit such an act, but Natchaug is committed to addressing what we know best – mental health – and to being part of the solution. For example:

  • Natchaug and our Hartford HealthCare affiliates, in partnership with the Connecticut Department of Mental Health & Addictions Services, brought Mental Health First Aid training to Connecticut; previously it was only available in Washington, D.C. and Missouri. Just as CPR training saves lives, so will the Mental Health First Aid program, as teachers, first responders and parents are better trained to recognize and respond to mental health and substance abuse issues.

  • Many months before this tragedy, Natchaug staff responded to the greater Mansfield community’s need for a support program for families living with children with autism spectrum and other pervasive developmental disorders. The monthly support groups are staffed by Natchaug clinicians who volunteer their time and expertise to help these families.

  • Young adults ages 18 to 25 (an age group identified as vulnerable by the Connecticut General Assembly’s Bipartisan Task Force on Gun Violence Prevention and Children’s Safety) who are struggling with mental health or substance abuse issues now have their own Natchaug Hospital treatment program. First opened in Mansfield in January 2012, the program has already expanded to our Quinebaug treatment center in Dayville and will further expand to the Hospital’s Care Plus program in Groton in 2014.

  • Adult Medicaid clients in acute psychiatric distress are able to receive care at local, private hospitals, like Natchaug, for  the first time in decades thanks to the Federal Medicaid Psychiatric Emergency Demonstration program. Connecticut is one of 11 states taking part in the demonstration, and Natchaug is the only participating hospital in Connecticut.

Behind these initiatives is the larger goal of incorporating mental health into all health care; the artificial separation of mental and physical health care services contributes to stigma, disparity in care, and a 25-year shorter life expectancy for those with mental illness. Natchaug, one of five members of the Hartford HealthCare Behavioral Health Network, is addressing this challenge in three ways:

  • We are leading the collaborative implementation of an electronic medical record to be used by all members of the Hartford HealthCare Behavioral Health Network, providing clients and their treatment teams with real-time updates and continuity of care throughout the system.

  • We are participating in the Accountable Care Organization created by Hartford HealthCare’s Integrated Care Partners, to improve the health outcomes for Medicare patients who have both medical and mental health conditions.

  • Addressing anxiety, depression and substance abuse, common conditions that impact medical care and outcomes, respects the reality that mind and body work together in recovery. To better care for the whole person, we are seeking national funding to pilot behavioral health assessments for our four general hospital partners.

We invite you to read through this report for an overview of our work helping people find their way.

Stephen W. Larcen, Ph.D.
President & CEO
View our 2013 Annual Report "One: Mind & Body"

To request a copy of the 2013 Annual Report, call Natchaug’s Community Relations Office at 860-456-1311, or CLICK HERE

James E. Watson, M.D.
Chairman, Board of Directors


2012 Annual Message

"Making A Difference"

There are times in life that challenge our strengths and change the way we see the world. This past year has been one of those times, and I am pleased to report that, at Natchaug Hospital, the organization and programs are as strong and vital as ever.

First and foremost, the outstanding leadership team and entire staff of Natchaug Hospital needs to be recognized for demonstrating that they are capable of growing in each of their individual roles. The best example of this is the incredible transformation we launched, H3W (How Hartford HealthCare Works), that will unleash the energy and creativity of our staff to improve what we do everyday. We continued to grow to meet our community’s needs by:

  • Opening a new program for young adults with a focus on issues faced by 18 to 25 year-olds.

  • Opening, and then expanding, the Joshua Center Shoreline to meet the needs of the underserved Old Saybrook region.

  • Relocating our northeast Quinebaug adult program to a larger, handicap-accessible space.

  • Creating a team of psychiatrists, psychologists, and neuropsychologists to conduct in-school student evaluations, saving time for busy school staff and reducing stress on students and their families.

  • Adding a fourth intensive in-home team to help more families receive critically needed services to support their children in the home.

Many challenges were faced with creative energy. For example:

  • Maintaining services to clients by using available space at our nearby RiverEast program in Vernon when the weight of snow on the roof at our Enfield Joshua Center forced a temporary evacuation.

  • Controlling the financial impacts of revenue lost due to inclement weather and from the erosion of public reimbursement rates through numerous expense and revenue adjustments, without diminishing client services.

It is especially rewarding that after many years of advocacy, Connecticut was selected for the Federal “Medicaid Emergency Psychiatric Demonstration” and Natchaug, as the state’s sole site, will be able to improve access to care for Medicaid-insured adults in our region.

Our relationship with Windham Hospital, nearly six decades strong, was advanced during this past year. Our Chief Medical Officer Deborah Weidner, MD, MBA, recruited Carl Washburn, MD, a psychiatrist and psychosomatic specialist, who is now providing daily psychiatric consultation services to Windham Hospital’s inpatient unit and emergency department as needed. And last August, I accepted the appointment to serve concurrently as President and CEO of both organizations.

This unplanned opportunity to strengthen the benefits that the Hartford HealthCare system can bring to our region was made possible by the support of the Boards and management teams of both organizations.

Most notable among those making a difference this past year is David Klein, PhD. I know I am not alone in appreciating his contributions; his promotion to Chief Operating Officer understates the importance of his role at Natchaug and the extent to which we all value his leadership. I invite you into the stories that follow, to learn a bit more about the people and teams that are making a difference at Natchaug Hospital – helping people find their way.


Stephen W. Larcen, Ph.D.
President & CEO
View our 2012 Annual Report "Making A Difference"

To request a copy of the 2012 Annual Report, call Natchaug’s Community Relations Office at 860-456-1311, or CLICK HERE

2011 Annual Message

"Connections for Life"

View our 2011 Annual Report "Connections for Life"“Most trusted for personalized, coordinated care”, our shared vision with our Hartford HealthCare partners, drives our daily work, and for good reason.

  • A young child is having more tantrums as he gets older, not fewer.
  • A ninth grader has to explain to her friends the cuts on her arm.
  • A college student who was maintaining a 4.0 average stops going to classes.
  • A business owner can’t seem to do without the oxycodone he started after back surgery.

The list of behaviors is long and the experience for these clients and their loved ones is often overwhelming as they navigate the health care maze.

Disorders such as anxiety, depression, obsessive compulsive, anorexia, bi-polar, and schizophrenia are more difficult and complex in their diagnosis than a broken bone, strep throat or diabetes. The diagnosis may even be misdirected because people with mental illnesses have higher-than-average rates of heart disease, diabetes and serious infections. This destructive loop contributes to a shorter life expectancy for those with mental illness – as much as 25 years shorter!

This is part of the back-story to changes at Natchaug Hospital and our parent organization, Hartford HealthCare. We are connecting our clients and our community with comprehensive, coordinated care - the right care at the right time at the right place and at a reasonable cost.

Hartford HealthCare connects Natchaug to an extensive network of specialty resources, research, and advanced technology that is focused on making the client experience as comprehensive and beneficial as it possibly can be. Our goal is to treat the “whole” person.

Natchaug is also connected with other health care organizations — Lawrence & Memorial Hospital contracted with Natchaug this year to manage all of its inpatient and outpatient psychiatric services, and Natchaug’s Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Deborah Weidner, is also the Medical Director of Behavioral Health Services at Windham Hospital. These connections formalize long-standing relationships, and help to simplify care for clients as they move between specialized treatment programs offered by our respective hospitals, and community providers.

Help is available for the young child, the ninth grader, the college student, and the business owner. Natchaug Hospital and the Hartford HealthCare team are creating health care connections for life.

As you read this report, our staff, and our clients will tell you this story, in their own words.

Stephen W. Larcen, Ph.D.
President & CEO
View our 2011 Annual Report "Connections for Life"

To request a copy of the 2011 Annual Report, call Natchaug’s Community Relations Office at 860-456-1311, or CLICK HERE

2010 Annual Message

"Empowering People. Changing Lives."

Click to view the 2010 Annual ReportNatchaug Hospital’s mission of helping people find their way to recovery from mental illness and from the often co-occurring disease of addiction is grounded in an unwavering commitment: to empower our clients to participate in their own care, education and recovery.

“We helped 4,717 people”* becomes more than a statistic when considered one story at a time.

Robert and his family who were seeking help as his retreat into a delusional world of nightmares put his job at risk. Kristen, who attempted suicide at the tender age of 13 while battling the highs and lows of bi-polar disorder. Jason, only six years old, whose explosive behavior was the only way he knew of to deal with the abuse he has experienced.

Each story involves a life that needs to be understood – the first step on the road to recovery. Natchaug Hospital’s staff is extraordinary in their dedication to helping people find their way: educating clients families, the community, and even our elected officials to better understand the complex world of mental illness and addiction.

The power of understanding has fueled important changes during this past year both within the hospital and at a national level. For example:

  • Admission to our inpatient programs is more responsive, thanks to the teamwork of staff from all areas of the hospital working together to understand an improve the processes that affect communications, paperwork, and the experience of our clients.
  • Staff have reached out to families with evening support groups to help families better understand the treatment program and to engage them in the recovery plan for their loved ones.
  • Treatment for Robert, Kristen, and Jason in the future is more assured because our elected officials understood and insisted that access to mental health treatment should be equal to access to medical care. Both the Wellstone-Domenici Parity Act, which became effective in January 2010 (after becoming law in 2008), and the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act passed in March 2010 include long-sought protections for people with mental illness and substance abuse disorders.

The power of understanding has also unleashed community support from every sector of our community; our appreciation for this generosity is celebrated throughout this report.

We invite you to review the benefits we have provided the community highlighted in the following pages, and to join us as we continue to enhance and strengthen our excellent treatment programs and community services for the future.

* There were 4,717 admissions for treatment in our network of inpatient, partial hospitalization, intensive outpatient, extended day, clinical day special education, and residential treatment programs this past year.

Carol A. Wiggins, Ph.D.
Chairman, Board of Directors
View our 2010 Annual Report "Empowering People. Changing Lives."

To request a copy of the 2010 Annual Report, call Natchaug’s Community Relations Office at 860-456-1311, or CLICK HERE

Stephen W. Larcen, Ph.D.
President & CEO

2009 Annual Message

"Investing in Brighter Futures"

Click to view the 2009 Annual ReportNever has the importance of behavioral health been more significant than during the past year. Throughout this period of uncertainty and economic distress, the story of Natchaug Hospital is one of continuity. We have developed several initiatives focused on our continued investment to expand access to behavioral health care and our unwavering Commitment to Caring.

For example, evening treatment programs for adults are now offered at all four of Natchaug’s community-based adult programs. Thus, people with daytime employment and family commitments can receive the help they need. Two of our Joshua Center programs moved to larger facilities in Danielson and Enfield. Our Intensive In-Home Child and Adolescent Psychiatric Services, launched in March of 2008, grew to accommodate more children and adolescents in need of in-home treatment.

During the past year we have realized the tangible benefits to improved access for children, with more than 100 additional children and adolescents served as a direct result of the Extraordinary Care Appeal and the generosity of the community that responded with an investment in the future of our children.

We invested in continuous improvement of quality and safety as an integral aspect of expanded access to care, including implementation of electronic health records. We also made systemic improvements in the areas of medication administration, and health information management using the LEAN approach to improvement. The September 2008 award of a full three-year accreditation and receipt of the “Gold Seal of Approval” from The Joint Commission affirm the commitment to patient care that guides all of Natchaug’s investments.

In a major investment in the future for patients and staff, Natchaug converted the 165 Storrs Road facility in Mansfield into a training center for our employees. We welcome college and university students for their internships in psychiatric medicine, encouraging them to consider careers in behavioral health fields. For feedback on how we’re doing as an employer, we conducted an employee satisfaction survey to enable us to glean key information on factors of importance in recruiting and retaining outstanding staff to carry out our mission. This survey has already led to the implementation of programmatic changes.

The formal independent audit of Natchaug’s finances presents a remarkable story of financial stability. That a stand-alone psychiatric hospital of our size is in the black, and has been for the past five years, is testimony to Natchaug’s management and staff, and to the community that generously supports our programs through charitable donations.

In June 2008, we welcomed Elizabeth “Betsy” Ritter, State Representative for the 38th District, as our newest Board member. She and the other 12 members of Natchaug’s all-volunteer Board have helped Dr. Johnson prepare for his planned retirement from the Board this June. “As Chairman, it has been an honor and a privilege to have served Natchaug Hospital during its time of incredible change: expanding and enhancing programs to better meet community needs.”

However, the most incredible, heart-warming changes taking place at Natchaug Hospital are those that happen one at a time in the lives of our clients and their families, as the care they receive in our programs helps them find their way!

Raymond B. Johnson, M.D.
Chairman, Board of Directors
View our 2009 Annual Report "Answering the Need"

To request a copy of the 2009 Annual Report, call Natchaug’s Community Relations Office at 860-456-1311, or CLICK HERE

Stephen W. Larcen, Ph.D.
President & CEO

2008 Annual Message

"Answering the Need"

Click to view the 2008 Annual ReportThe need for improved access to mental health services is a nation-wide challenge which Natchaug Hospital continues to answer.

We continue to strive to address emerging community needs on a financially sound basis. While this may seem remarkable in today’s health care sector, it is a testimony to the extremely capable and dedicated staff of Natchaug Hospital and the support of our community.

During the past year we opened a new wing on our child and adolescent inpatient program, an initiative which responds to the need of our general hospitals for relief from the increasing number of young people arriving in emergency departments in acute psychiatric distress. Julia and Dr. Carl Lindquist have provided remarkable leadership with the Extraordinary Care Appeal, generating crucial financial support for this project from the community. In its first three months of operation, this expanded program has supported a 24% increase in pediatric and adolescent admissions.

More than half of the people under the care of Natchaug Hospital receive treatment in our expanded community-based outpatient programs. We launched a new intensive in-home program in New London County to support court-referred youth and other young clients and their families. Adults with daytime responsibilities of work and/or college are now able to receive treatment through Natchaug’s expanded evening outpatient behavioral health treatment programs in Groton, Mansfield, Putnam and Vernon. Additionally, our Enfield Joshua Center will answer the need for expanding school and after-school programs with a newly leased facility this summer.

Looking ahead, Natchaug is addressing the ever-increasing demand for clinical health care professionals by hosting more than 40 nursing, pharmacy, psychology and social work students for their behavioral health internships this year.

These answers to emerging community needs are guided by Natchaug Hospital’s all-volunteer Board of Directors, which is welcoming a new member this year: William Anderson, Jr.. This year also marks the milestone transition of Dr. George A. Little, in his 54th year with the hospital and his 31st year of service on our current Board. We have been fortunate to have had George’s sustained participation and support throughout this time. We look forward to his continued involvement with Natchaug Hospital as a Director Emeritus, maintaining an uninterrupted legacy with the Little family.

We are proud of our dedicated staff and their answers to the needs of our community, and we look forward with confidence as we continue our commitment to caring for people living with mental illness, substance abuse and special education needs. Always foremost in our minds is our vision of “helping people find their way.”

Raymond B. Johnson, M.D.
Chairman, Board of Directors
View our 2008 Annual Report "Answering the Need"

To request a copy of the 2008 Annual Report, call Natchaug’s Community Relations Office at 860-456-1311, or CLICK HERE

Stephen W. Larcen, Ph.D.
President & CEO

2007 Annual Message

"Extraordinary Care"

Click to view the 2007 Annual ReportProviding extraordinary, compassionate care for those who suffer from mental illness requires a talented staff with many skills. One of the most important is active listening, which requires understanding needs and responding in an appropriate and timely manner. Active listening is a hallmark of the Natchaug Hospital team, and it supports the two tenets in our philosophy of health care: that a person’s journey through the health care system should be as smooth as possible, and that people should be able to receive the care they need as close to home as possible.

Parents and children will have faster access to the near-home extraordinary care they have learned to expect at Natchaug.

We’ve done a lot of active listening this year, including having our Board of Directors and senior staff make regular visits to each of our 15 programs so we can listen to patients, their families and the staff who provide their direct care.

In response to identified needs, we have launched two new programs. In our Putnam and Mansfield locations, and soon to be offered in Vernon and Groton, we are offering a state-of-the-art medication called Suboxone (buprenorphine), which suppresses symptoms of opioid withdrawal and decreases cravings, making it possible for patients to recover at home rather than in the hospital. Second, knowing that it can be difficult for adults who work during the day to find appropriate, convenient treatment, we are now offering evening programs in Mansfield and Groton.

Our Board and staff continue to support local, state and national advocacy efforts to provide payment for mental health services on the same basis as payment for general health services. We know that having a mental health disorder can be as serious as having cancer or suffering from heart disease. Yet, many who suffer from mental health conditions don’t seek treatment because they lack insurance, or their insurance excludes their condition or puts limits on their treatment. In the same vein, we continue to be active in the Chamber of Commerce of Eastern Connecticut’s Healthcare Council, an effort that improves our collective ability to ensure that all people have insurance coverage.

Through actively listening to parents and healthcare providers, and by joining with volunteers from the community, we are expanding our inpatient program for children. This will eliminate long waits in the emergency rooms of our region’s general hospitals, or referrals out of the region. Parents and children will have faster access to the near-home extraordinary care they have learned to expect at Natchaug.

In each of our current and future endeavors, it is our intent to continue to listen, hear, and respond to the behavioral health needs of the Natchaug “community.”

Raymond B. Johnson, M.D.
Chairman, Board of Directors
View our 2007 Annual Report "Family Matters"

To request a copy of the 2007 Annual Report, call Natchaug’s Community Relations Office at 860-456-1311, or CLICK HERE

Stephen W. Larcen, Ph.D.
President & CEO

2006 Annual Message

"Family Matters"

Families from all walks of life have stepped forward to advocate for services that support recovery from mental illness. They make a compelling case to policy-makers and providers alike that we must maintain vigilance and continue the expansion of community-based treatment resources.

Click to view the 2006 Annual ReportAt Natchaug, we are proud of the role we play in this effort. We have joined with family advocates and other community providers to ensure that services are responsive to the needs of families. Our work in familyfocused services, multifamily education and support
groups, and community treatment programs reflects our commitment to families and the pursuit of our mission...

"To provide a continuum of accessible, community-based services for those suffering from psychiatric illness and chemical dependency, with a commitment to the dignity and privacy of our patients, empowering them to participate in their own care and recovery."

Family advocacy reflects a refreshing willingness to share that which once was private, embarrassing, and frequently stigmatized – the stories of the impact of mental health struggles upon family dynamics. Stories shared by Natchaug families emphasize this point. For example, a local business executive who recovered at Natchaug from a suicide attempt as a teenager. She indicates that her successful achievement of a full life is
due, in no small part, to the extra time our staff spent with her family, educating them and enhancing their ability to help their daughter sustain her recovery.

We have heard stories from parents, grateful that someone finally understood and could help with the challenges they were experiencing with their children. We have also heard from adult patients, recognizing and thanking Natchaug’s counselors and physicians for providing the life-changing “Aha!” moment of insight – the moment when their disease is correctly diagnosed, and they are finally steered onto the road of appropriate treatment and subsequent recovery.

At Natchaug, we are continuously increasing our efforts to meet the need for community-based behavioral health services in Eastern Connecticut, through our own programs as well as through partnerships and collaborations with other providers. One example of emerging success is Connecticut Community KidCare, a program now in its fifth year, which is reforming the delivery and financing of children’s behavioral health services in Connecticut. Another example is the Behavioral Health Partnership launched in January 2006, a program which links state funders, community providers, and families in the design and delivery of behavioral health care for children and families.

The substantial increase in Natchaug’s day treatment programs reflects our response to community need, the knowledge of which is the direct result of our community involvement. The sixteen members of our all-volunteer Board of Directors live in the communities we serve, and our staff are active as members of Boards of Education, town Finance Committees, fire departments, and other volunteer community services.

Above all, we are committed to providing the highest quality of care at every level of our operating programs. Our May 2005 certification by the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations, and this year’s renewed approval by Connecticut’s Department of Education of all of our school programs for the maximum five years, affirm this commitment.

Regardless of wars and natural disasters that may occupy headlines and press for society’s attention, one in four families will be experiencing the immediate impact of mental illness, either that of a family member or someone of significance in their lives. Natchaug Hospital is and will be here to help these families find their way.

Raymond B. Johnson, M.D.
Chairman, Board of Directors
View our 2006 Annual Report "Family Matters"

To request a copy of the 2006 Annual Report, call Natchaug’s Community Relations Office at 860-456-1311, or CLICK HERE

Stephen W. Larcen, Ph.D.
President & CEO

2005 Annual Message

"Building a Better Future"

Natchaug Hospital ’s Golden 50th year of service to the community is a story of growth and strength.

Click to view the 2005 Annual ReportThrough the efforts of dedicated individuals and the solid support of the community, Natchaug Hospital has truly spun a golden year. Since our last annual report, Natchaug has:

  • Expanded programs and services supporting admissions of 3,411 people from 124 towns, an increase of 26 percent over last year.

  • Successfully completed our triennial survey by the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations (JCAHO).

  • Restored financial stability, closing the fiscal year in the black.

Increased services, institutional integrity, and financial stability. These are remarkable achievements for a nonprofit, free-standing psychiatric treatment organization. Other accomplishments are equally prodigious. For example:

  • We launched our new residential treatment center for girls, where 12 young women are now advancing through the intensive, comprehensive treatment program.

  • We completed the acquisition of the CarePlus and Thames Valley programs in Groton and Norwich from Saint Francis Behavioral Health. This acquisition preserved day treatment services for the people of Southeastern Connecticut and enhanced the continuity of care for more than 1,000 New London County residents already receiving treatment in other Natchaug programs.

  • The Enfield Joshua Center that we opened late in 2003 blossomed this year. More than 265 adolescents from 34 communities have already benefited from this treatment option for teenagers with social, emotional and behavioral health problems.

  • We are pleased to note that our community outreach is working: eight times more people participate in our day treatment programs than receive inpatient hospital care on a given day. This is a testament to advances in the treatment of mental illness and a reflection of the dedication of Natchaug’s staff at all nine of our sites.

  • Seven of our sites benefited from renovations and program enhancements made possible through the generosity of community support for the Joshua Appeal.

  • Natchaug’s decades-long attention to quality of care and constant pursuit of improved services continues to reap benefits. For example, laboratory results are now conveyed electronically in “real time”, and we achieved a 93 percent reduction in restraints in the past three years.

An anniversary within Natchaug’s 50th was the celebration of Carol Marchand’s 35 years of service with Natchaug Hospital. The longevity among Natchaug’s staff provides a depth of experience and level of professionalism of which we are extremely proud.

We invite you to review the details of our year in this report and online at our web site,

On behalf of the Board of Directors, the Management Team and our staff, we welcome you to the sustained and ever-growing Natchaug “family ”.

Raymond B. Johnson, M.D.
Chairman, Board of Directors
View our 2005 Annual Report "Building a Better Future"

To request a copy of the 2005 Annual Report, call Natchaug’s Community Relations Office at 860-456-1311, or CLICK HERE

Stephen W. Larcen, Ph.D.
President & CEO

2004 Annual Message

"Clear Vision"

An open letter to Drs. Olga Little (1910 – 1997) and Mervyn Little (1908 – 1997), founders of Natchaug Hospital.

Beloved Founders:

We are looking forward to celebrating the 50th anniversary of the hospital you opened on August 4, 1954. As you might expect, it is a time of great activity, endless details, and innumerable contacts with history. In the midst of this happy frenzy, we spread before us the photographs, certificates of accreditation, by-laws, testimonials, maps, architectural drawings and the rest -- and we pause for a moment to reflect.

Click to view the 2004 Annual ReportFirst, please accept our profound thanks for your clear vision. You got it right. It’s about access, community support and recovery. You were dedicated to serving the community, providing the best medical care with compassion and respect for each person. Your attention to detail is impressive, but there are also what appear to be leaps of faith. It is there on every page.

Some of the people you hired more than a quarter a century ago are still here – Carol Dauphin-Kilburn, Jo-Ann Feeley, Carolyn Marchand, Claire Shea, Diane Richards, Peggy Raye Hynes, David Klein and many more – still providing excellent care to the more than 3,000 people receiving treatment each year. Our staff is what makes Natchaug programs so successful. They are professionals at every level, with high standards, unlimited compassion and the expectation that people can recover from mental illness.

The Board of Directors is actively involved with policy and governance issues and are the stewards of this legacy of helping people find their way. Among the several subcommittees they chair is this year’s five-year strategic plan. The continuity and perspective from long-term members such as Antoinette Ellzey and your son, George, are invaluable, as is the fresh perspective coming from our newest members.

We are still developing new programs, new ways to make behavioral health care available to more people. We continue to look for partners to make sure programs truly meet community needs. For example, this past year we worked with Community Health Resources and Johnson Memorial Hospital to open a new Joshua Center in Enfield, and facilitated the transition of the Thames Valley Clinical Day Treatment program to Natchaug from Saint Francis Care Behavioral Health.

You built Natchaug Hospital because there was no other place that would care for your patients with chronic conditions or long periods of recovery. Following your example, when the state, which did not have a place that could care for teenage girls in the juvenile courts who need intensive treatment for mental illness, asked for help, we responded. We are building the facilities and the program that the community needs. The new residential treatment center for girls will be dedicated in June 2004 as a unique collaboration between Natchaug and the Department of Children and Families.

And thank you for the name, Natchaug. The land between two rivers. Upstream, we know people will continue to need behavioral health care. We will be here for them, with advanced medicine and caring hearts. Downstream, we are proud of the thousands of people we have helped find their paths to recovery. Mostly, they are silent about their time at Natchaug. The stigma associated with mental illness lingers. But the land between the rivers is good – we’re growing new choices for better futures on it.

We are proud to be here, carrying your vision forward into the next 50 years.

On behalf of the Board, Management Team and our staff,

Raymond B. Johnson, M.D.
Chairman, Board of Directors
View our 2004 "50th Anniversary Report"

To request a copy of the 2004 Annual Report, call Natchaug’s Community Relations Office at 860-456-1311, or CLICK HERE

Stephen W. Larcen, Ph.D.
President & CEO

2002 Annual Message

"With Values as our Guide"

Natchaug Hospital is making a difference. Thousands of people in communities throughout the state benefit from Natchaug’s care. Drawing on the hospital's nearly fifty years of experience in responding to community need, and guided by a clear understanding of the institution's core values, Natchaug’s Board of Directors and management are able to respond quickly and effectively in areas that further its mission and vision.

Click to view the 2002 Annual ReportNatchaug Hospital’s core values – six statements that reflect the institution’s soul – emerged from an extended exchange in which all employees participated. We learned what, in hindsight, seems obvious: that compassion, teamwork, respect, empowerment, education and quality are fundamental to the way we treat patients and each other. Though recently adopted, these core values are not new. In fact, they reach back to Natchaug’s founders, who passed those values to us as the building blocks to create a better future for people suffering with mental illness, then and now.

A key component of Natchaug’s ambitious construction and renovation project has been the expansion of our capacity for inpatient treatment of children. Natchaug doubled its admissions of children for inpatient treatment this past year, significantly reducing (but, sadly, not eliminating) the stress on area emergency rooms.

The growing need for day treatment programs for school-age youth generated waiting lists for Natchaug’s child and adolescent day programs – a year-round phenomenon for the first time this year.
Natchaug is pursuing funding to expand and enhance our day treatment programs in Danielson, Mansfield, Montville and Windham through a special initiative – the Joshua Appeal.

Natchaug Hospital is continuously alert to community need, assessing how, when and where Natchaug can further its mission.

When approached by Community Health Resources and Johnson Memorial Hospital to replicate the Joshua Center program in the Enfield area, Natchaug responded. A Natchaug Joshua Center will open in partnership with these organizations this month.

When the state of Connecticut solicited proposals for residential treatment programs to serve adolescent girls, Natchaug responded. The plan to build a facility staffed with specially trained professionals adjacent to the main hospital in Mansfield fulfills a well-recognized behavioral health need.

Natchaug is proud to serve as the primary provider of behavioral health care for Eastern Connecticut. Even in a year of national and international stress and uncertainty, the need for effective treatment of mental illness is recognized – a condition that knows no bounds of race, income, education or geography. Natchaug is confident it can help people recovering from mental illness and substance abuse find their way to living full, productive lives.

Raymond B. Johnson, M.D.
Chairman, Board of Directors
View our 2002 Annual Report "With Values as or Guide"

To request a copy of the 2002 Annual Report, call Natchaug’s Community Relations Office at 860-456-1311, or CLICK HERE

Stephen W. Larcen, Ph.D.
President & CEO

2001 Annual Message

"A Helping Hand Can Change the World"

The headlines of 2001 from Natchaug Hospital reflect the American spirit of extending a helping hand to help improve the lives of our neighbors and the quality of life in our community.

Click to view the 2001 Annual ReportAs the tragedies of September 11, 2001 started to unfold, Natchaug’s experienced staff went into action. Mental health workers and therapists not already at work lent a hand by voluntarily coming in help their co-workers and patients. Students in Natchaug Hospital’s School program developed a 4-week plan to collect money for victims of September 11 that not only raised $746 but also the spirits of the entire hospital.

Earlier in the year Natchaug’s big news was the June 10, 2001 dedication of the expanded and renovated facility. Celebrating this dream of Natchaug’s founders, Drs. Olga and Mervyn Little, were Senator Joseph Lieberman and more than 200 of Natchaug’s friends and neighbors.

The new facility achieved virtually every goal that was incorporated into the design and construction, including the critically important 30 percent increase in capacity for inpatient treatment of children and adolescents. Concurrently, census in Natchaug's outpatient programs, including the Natchaug K-12 special education school, after-school treatment and adult day programs, increased 13.8 percent.

Helping hands from throughout the State worked as teams in Manchester, Putnam, Willimantic, Norwich and new London to make this dream of improved access to behavioral health care come true. The Century Appeal, which funded the expansion and renovation project, topped the $1,150,000 goal for community contributions in June, 2002. This testament to the dedication and hard work of more than 50 Century Appeal Leadership volunteers and 300 contributors from throughout the state was celebrated on June 13, 2002.

Colin K. Rice
Chairman, Board of Directors
View our 2001 Annual Report "A Helping Hand Can Change the World"

To request a copy of the 2001 Annual Report, call Natchaug’s Community Relations Office at 860-456-1311, or CLICK HERE

Stephen W. Larcen, Ph.D.
President & CEO