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Hattie Larlham appoints Stephen Colecchi as interim leader
August 2017

Colecchi_Stephen_headshotThe Boards of Directors of Hattie Larlham are pleased to announce the appointment of Stephen Colecchi, J.D., FACHE as Hattie Larlham’s interim leader, effective August 1, 2017.

Mr. Colecchi brings to Hattie Larlham 30 years of experience in transformational and effective organizational leadership, primarily in the healthcare field. A lifetime resident of Northeast Ohio, he has a deep understanding of and appreciation for Hattie Larlham’s high quality programs and services. The skills and experience he will bring to the role offer an invaluable complement to Hattie Larlham’s current executive leadership team, who will remain highly involved in the organization’s day-to-day operations.

“Steve is an experienced leader who is deeply committed to Hattie Larlham’s mission,” said Hattie Larlham Care Group Board of Directors President Michael Weinhardt. “His understanding of the healthcare landscape, appreciation for the needs of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities and their families, and his experience in navigating change make him the right person to lead Hattie Larlham at this time in our history.”

Previously, Mr. Colecchi served as president and chief executive officer of University Hospitals Portage Medical Center, formerly Robinson Memorial Hospital. In that role, he guided the hospital’s transition from county ownership to non-for-profit independent hospital to a member of the University Hospitals health system.

“It is a privilege to be entrusted with Hattie Larlham’s leadership as we focus on ensuring that high quality programs and services remain sustainable,” said Colecchi. “I am honored to be part of this organization, which has strong core of dedicated, caring employees and a long history of impacting the lives of people with intellectual developmental disabilities in meaningful and long-lasting ways.”

Initially, Mr. Colecchi will serve under contract as the executive consultant to Hattie Larlham. This arrangement ensures the presence of a leader with a strong background in organizational transition while the Ohio Board of Development Disabilities authorizes his appointment as Interim CEO.

Mr. Colecchi holds a Bachelor’s degree in business administration from Kent State University and a Juris Doctor from the University of Akron School of Law. He and his wife Andrea reside in Kent, Ohio.

Hattie Larlham partners with local organizations to host community exploration day for people with disabilities
July 2017


On Wed., July 12, Hattie Larlham partnered with seven Northeast Ohio businesses and organizations to host Community Compass, a community exploration day for its Constant Companions participants. Constant Companions is Hattie Larlham’s day program for adults with disabilities. Partnering businesses and organizations included radio station 107.3 The WAVE, the United States Army Reserve Center in Canton, Ohio, Akron Children’s Hospital, Stow City Hall, Department of Parks and Recreation, Darko, Walgreens and the Stow Monroe Falls Library.

Each Community Compass location provided participants with a behind-the-scenes tour of their operations. This opportunity went beyond a normal day trip for Constant Companions and gave participants greater knowledge of how people and businesses contribute to their community.

“Community Compass has been a great opportunity for both the people we serve and for the surrounding community,” says Constant Companions Program Director Stacy Timm. “It has allowed our participants to see what skills it takes to work at some of these places while also getting a greater appreciation for how these businesses and organizations work operationally. Connecting them at this level provides a great opportunity for community integration and a learning experience for everyone involved.”

Morning show host at 107.3 The Wave Grace Roberts gave participants a tour, showed them how the radio works including timing and recording and had practice interviews with them. At the Army Reserve Center, participants viewed information on the Lakota Helicopter and had a hands-on experience with the Black Hawk, Shinook and night vision goggles. The Akron Children’s Hospital tour included information on employment opportunities and a visit to the Nutrition and Food Services department where they made pizza and cookies. At the City of Stow, participants toured several departments including Parks and Recreation, learned about the mapping program and discussed a handicap accessible fishing dock. The team at Darko provided a tour and showed the participants how to package products. The Walgreens tour included store operations and photo services, as well as the loading docks. Stow Monroe Falls Library the participants learned about book storage and repair, modern uses of the Dewey Decimal Classification System and services available to them.

Constant Companions serves more than 233 adults with disabilities across nine Ohio locations. The program is currently accepting referrals. Services are available weekdays from 9 a.m. until 3 p.m. If you are interested in services for your loved one, contact Program Director Stacy Timm at 330-760-2744. For more information and location details, visit www.hattielarlham.org.

Hattie Larlham engages in reorganization
June 2017

In November 2016, Hattie Larlham embarked on this reorganization with an in-depth review of its programs and operations. After a comprehensive review of its options, Hattie Larlham has made the difficult decision to scale back and close select sites for its work training program and to also explore the feasibility of an acquisition by another organization. Hattie Larlham CEO Wendy Pardee will also be leaving the organization. Following her departure on July 31, an interim CEO will be appointed while the board seeks a longer term solution.

“Wendy Pardee’s strong financial background has been critical to charting Hattie Larlham’s path forward,” said Mike Weinhardt, Hattie Larlham Board President. “We thank her for all she has contributed to Hattie Larlham and respect her decision.”

Over the last decade, the 56 year-old organization that serves people with disabilities launched innovative programs that served people with a wide range of needs and responded proactively to new state requirements that targeted large Intermediate Care Facilities (ICFs) like the Hattie Larlham Center for Children with Disabilities in Mantua, Ohio. At the same time, disabilities funding remained stagnant and many of Hattie Larlham’s new programs failed to generate sustainable revenue. As a result, Hattie Larlham faces an increasingly challenging financial landscape.

Talks with potential partners for acquisition are ongoing and are expected to take 12 to 18 months.

“The option to be acquired by an organization who shares our commitment to provide high-quality programs and services will create the best outcome possible for the people we serve,” said Weinhardt.

On the work training front, Hattie Larlham will seek a partner to assume the operation of Hattie’s Food Hub in Akron, Ohio. Hattie Larlham will cease its operation of Hattie’s Food Hub on August 31, 2017. In addition, Hattie’s Café at Canal Place in Akron, Ohio will close on July 31, 2017 upon expiration of its lease.

Hattie Larlham will continue to operate Hattie’s Doggie Daycare & Boarding, its community employment program, the Constant Companions day program, its community homes and homecare programs, and the Hattie Larlham Center for Children with Disabilities. Its programs in Central Ohio including Community Connections, ADDVentures, the Dahlberg Gibson Learning Center, Franklin County Recreation and residential services will also continue.

Weinhardt said, “Our tradition of integrity and compassion will guide the way in which we will go forward to ensure that the most vulnerable people in our care continue to receive high quality care and services.”

If you would like more information about Hattie Larlham’s reorganization, please contact our Corporate Communications department. You may also review our FAQs to see if we have already answered your question.