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Two Hospitals, One Boss

Windham Hospital gets a new interim CEO from nearby Natchaug Hospital.

More than half a century ago, the chief executive officer of Windham Hospital helped Natchaug Hospital get off the ground and get organized. Now 58 years later, Natchaug is returning the favor by sending their president and CEO, Stephen Larcen, back to Windham.

Now they’re not really settling an old debt, what they’re doing is something of an experiment in management and cooperation. Larcen has been named the CEO of Windham Hospital for a six-month interim assignment. He will still maintain his position at Natchaug, but has physically relocated to Windham.

David Klein, vice president of community programs at Natchaug, will oversee all of the day-to-day operations at the Mansfield-based Natchaug Hospital.

“From the standpoint of an opportunity to really enhance coordinated care, this has a real benefit at the patient level,” said Larcen.

After the six-month interim period is over, all of the parties involved, Hartford Health Care (HHC) and Windham and Natchaug Hospitals, will sit down to evaluate the effectiveness of the joint leadership and determine if the relationship should continue in the future, according to Larcen.

 “By partnering with the folks at Harford Hospital and other Hartford healthcare organizations, Windham and the broader Windham community; Mansfield, Hebron, Tolland and all the communities that the hospital serves would see an increase, hopefully, in the services they can get closer at home and not have to drive into Hartford for a certain kind of surgery,” said Larcen.

“He [Larcen] will continue Windham’s focus on growth and physician recruitment to expand community access to high-quality health care,” said Elliot Joseph, president and CEO of HHC, the parent corporation to both Windham and Natchaug Hosptials.

Larcen is originally from Philadelphia and studied psychology at Temple University. He then moved to Connecticut and obtained his master’s degree and doctorate in clinical psychology from the  and has spent most of his career in the area, having been the president and CEO of Natchaug since 1990.

“When I was in Philidelphia, I worked with children in a residential treatment center and I became interested in psychology through that experience,” said Larcen. “But once I got to Connecticut, to this part of the state … the needs of this area were such that there was a lot of opportunity to make an impact.”

Larcen’s involvement in the community extends well past the walls of the hospital, as he is involved in numerous non-profits, the chamber of commerce, rotary clubs and serves on the Board of Finance in East Lyme, where he lives.

“I have some skills that I can give back to the community. It’s a way for me to have an activity outside of work that uses some of the skills,” said Larcen. “But my real love of non-work activity is sailing. I have a sailboat. I race it a few times a year, not much, but enough to try to keep the skills there. That’s my real love.”

“Steve will provide outstanding leadership and expertise to Windham Hospital, just as he does with Natchaug,” said Joseph.

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