Services for people with developmental disabilities.
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News Archive

Hattie Larlham supporters raise nearly $54,000 on Giving Tuesday
November 2017


Thank you to those who supported Hattie Larlham and those we serve on Giving Tuesday

Your donations raised nearly $54,000 to create opportunities for children and adults with disabilities.

Thank you for your generosity and support. With your help, Hattie Larlham is able to provide programs and services for people with disabilities of all ages. Here are just a few of the opportunities your donation creates:

– Community trips
– Medical care
– Recreational activities
– Art sessions
– Work training

A special thank you to this year’s match donor. If you did not make a Giving Tuesday donation, and would like to donate now. Visit us online.


Hattie Larlham honors Richard Grossberg, M.D. at Circle of Caring, breaks fundraising record
October 2017


On Sat., Oct. 14, more than 350 people gathered to honor Solon resident, Richard I. Grossberg, M. D. at the Rudolph H. Garfield Circle of Caring. Hattie Larlham’s 2017 marquee fundraiser at Signature of Solon was presented by The Alpha Group for the ninth year in a row. Hosted by Betsy Kling, Chief Meteorologist for WKYC-TV Channel 3 News and 2012 Circle of Caring honoree, the event raised $242,000 to support programs and services for children and adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

Dr. Grossberg has been the Medical Director at the Hattie Larlham Center for Children with Disabilities since 1999. In addition to this role, Dr. Grossberg is also a pediatric neurodevelopmental disabilities specialist at UH Rainbow Babies & Children’s Hospital. He is Associate Clinical Professor, Pediatrics, Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine. In 2017, Dr. Grossberg was named to Cleveland Magazine’s 2017 list of “Top Doctors” in Cleveland.

“Since he joined Hattie Larlham, Dr. Grossberg has embodied Mrs. Larlham’s philosophy of ensuring that the people we serve have the highest quality care possible,” says Hattie Larlham Interim CEO Stephen Colecchi. “We are deeply honored to celebrate his commitment to our organization.”

A gracious honoree, Dr. Grossberg’s acceptance speech focused on his own special thanks and recognition to people important in his life and career.  He recognized Hattie Larlham partners at Akron Children’s Hospital and University Hospitals Rainbow Babies and Children’s Hospital, family members of those he cares for, Hattie Larlham team members and his family.

The Circle of Caring featured a VIP and cocktail reception, a green-screen photo booth, dinner and a wine pull. Entertainment for the evening was provided by internationally renowned pianist Christopher Milo. Milo frequently performs for Hattie Larlham residents and has previously performed for participants of Hattie Larlham’s day program for adults with disabilities, Constant Companions. Auctioneer Rob Telecky returned to host the live, silent and Fund-the-Future auctions.

For the Fund-the-Future auction, guest raised their paddles to raise funds for new beds for residents at the Hattie Larlham Center for Children with Disabilities. The current beds were purchased 10 years ago and are no longer manufactured. The best option to ensure the long-term care and comfort of the children and young adults who live at the Center is to replace the beds.

“We are so grateful for the generous support of everyone who attended this year’s Circle of Caring to support our mission of comfort, joy, and achievement for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities,” says Chief Development Officer Catherine Schwartz. “Not only did we exceed our fundraising goal but we were able to highlight the many ways that Hattie Larlham makes a difference in the lives of those we serve.”

Local Knight of Columbus Chapters Support Hattie Larlham

September 2017


Last month, Hattie Larlham was one of the beneficiaries of the Knights of Columbus annual Measure Up campaign. Over two weekends in April and May 2017, the University Parish Newman Center Knights of Columbus Council #15312 and the Kent Knights of Columbus Council #1411 joined together to collect cash donations from shoppers at local establishments in Kent and Stow. The two councils presented checks totaling $2,836 for the Hattie Larlham Center for Children with Disabilities in early August.

The flagship charity of the Knights of Columbus has long been support for citizens with developmental disabilities. The Measure Up campaign raises approximately $370,000 annually for more than 322 statewide and local agencies in Ohio that provide services for people with disabilities.

Hattie Larlham has received support for its programs from the Kent Council (1411) since 1981 and the Newman Parish Council (15312) since 2012. Together, the councils have donated more than $32,000 in support of the children and young adults who reside at the Hattie Larlham Center for Children with Disabilities.

Anyone can host a third-party fundraising event such as this one, and they are a great way to bring awareness and support to people with disabilities served by Hattie Larlham. Contact Events Manager Wendy Voelker at 330-840-6845 or wendy.voelker@hattielarlham.org to get started.

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.