Greatness at Natchaug Goes Beyond the Numbers

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Natchaug Hospital had a successful year in terms of inpatient volume, outpatient visits and financial stability. But most importantly, its focus on recovery for those suffering from mental health and addiction was stronger than ever.

“It’s been a remarkable year at Natchaug,” said Hartford HealthCare Behavioral Health Network (BHN) Vice President James O’Dea, PhD, MBA, speaking at Natchaug’s recent annual reception.

The numbers were impressive:

  • Natchaug averaged 55 out of 57 inpatient beds filled.
  • It experienced 200,000 outpatient visits.
  • It had a positive operating margin of approximately $165,000, which was better than what was budgeted.

But beyond the numbers — and behind the scenes —  Natchaug cared for traumatized teenage girls through its one-of-a-kind in Connecticut Journey House program and provided a network of schools to help children and teens who struggle to learn in a traditional environment. Many times these youngsters and their loved ones have lost confidence in their ability to graduate from high school, move on to secondary education or even cope in society. But because of Natchaug’s strong support system, time and time again Journey house clients and students have overcome those obstacles.

“If you have never been to a graduation for one of these students, you haven’t had the moment you need to have,” O’Dea said.

Natchaug’s growing footprint includes inpatient and outpatient, mental health and addiction services across eastern Connecticut — ranging from Putnam to Groton to Old Saybrook and Vernon – and many places in between.  Natchaug employs 525 people, from drivers to doctors.

All staff members, no matter what their role, are crucial in creating a compassionate, coordinated environment for clients to overcome their mental health and addiction services, said Patricia Rehmer, President of the Hartford HealthCare Behavioral Health Network and Hartford HealthCare Senior Vice President.

She said 80-90 percent of the clients Natchaug encounters have had  some kind of trauma. Many also suffer from suicidal thoughts and addiction. She praised Natchaug staff for the work they do, day in and day out, to help people overcome stigma, discrimination and ultimately put them on the path to recovery.

“Your contributions to the work that we do are indispensable,” she said.  “It takes a team that really works together, coordinates, cares about each other and puts patients first. I see the dedication every single day. Our clients have a better shot at recovery because of you.”

Dr. John Santopietro, the new BHN Physician-in-Chief who delivered the keynote address at the event, said he was honored to join the Natchaug team.

He said teamwork, leadership and innovation will be important for the future of Natchaug and the BHN.

“We want to create a culture where good ideas are blown up and survive,” Dr. Santopietro said.

Learn more here about the services available at Natchaug Hospital


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