First Selectman Proposes Fund To Help New Canaanites In Need of Silver Hill’s Psychiatric Services

New Canaan’s highest elected official is proposing a new fund to be overseen by a prominent nonprofit organization that would help town residents seeking psychiatric treatment following substance-related emergencies. 

The fund would cover treatment at Silver Hill Hospital for people coming out of Norwalk Hospital following emergency admissions for overdoses or other problems involving substances, according to First Selectman Kevin Moynihan. About $500,000 would be needed to kickstart the fund, to be managed by the New Canaan Community Foundation and serving those who are unable to pay for treatment at the Valley Road facility through private health insurance, he said during a press briefing held Wednesday in his Town Hall office. “Money should never be the issue,” Moynihan said during the briefing, also attended by Patch and Hearst Connecticut. “Families that face that a crisis don’t know what to do and they don’t know where to turn. And there are agencies around—if you decide to go to this one in Westport or go to this one in Greenwich, who are you dealing with, right?

Ellen Brezovsky To Take Over as Executive Director of New Canaan Cares

A licensed clinical social worker who for four years has overseen communications for a world-renowned psychiatric hospital in the town will take the reins next month at one of New Canaan’s foremost human services organizations. Ellen Brezovsky will start June 11 as executive director of New Canaan Cares, according to the nonprofit organization’s incoming Board of Directors chair, Sara Schubert. Brezovsky, most recently director of community relations at Silver Hill Hospital, brings wide knowledge of New Canaan families to the role, as well as qualities of creativity and collaboration, said Schubert, who also led New Canaan Cares’s search committee. “She has been working with 13 different communities, so her personal outreach and connections to programming and new speakers is going to be wonderful for us,” Schubert told Brezovsky said she was “very excited about the prospect of leading up Cares” and “to do justice” to what longtime director Meg Domino has helped build in some 17 years at the helm.

John Santopietro Silver Hil Hospital President Medical Director

Silver Hill Hospital to Appoint New President, Ackerman Steps Down After 14 Years

Silver Hill Hospital has appointed Dr. John Santopietro as the new president and medical director effective in early September. He succeeds Dr. Sigurd Ackerman. 

“John has a broad knowledge of the mental healthcare industry on a national level,” said Peter Orthwein, chairman of the Board of Directors for the 86-year-old, New Canaan-based hospital. “He is an innovative leader with a track record of growth and program development, as well as an opinion leader and national spokesperson for mental health.” Santopietro joins Silver Hill Hospital from Carolinas HealthCare System in Charlotte, N.C. where he held the positions of chief clinical officer of behavioral health and chairman of the Department of Psychiatry. Carolinas HealthCare System is one of the nation’s largest not-for-profit healthcare delivery systems serving 2.3 million patients a year across 900 care locations, including 39 hospitals in North and South Carolina, and Georgia.

Did You Hear … ?

A Logan Road dog is under 45 days of strict home confinement after suffering a puncture wound while tussling with a raccoon, officials said. It happened around 3 p.m. Friday, and the 12-year-old Border collie had the raccoon in his mouth when the mammal appeared to have bit the dog in the face. The dog is up-to-date on its rabies vaccinations, according to Officer Allyson Halm of the New Canaan Police Department’s Animal Control section. The raccoon got away. ***

The Board of Selectmen on Tuesday approved by a 3-0 vote the hiring of Sandra Dennies as interim CFO for the town.

New Canaan Promotes ‘Tech-Free Family Time’ through ’30 Days of Family’

Town and local nonprofit officials are urging New Canaan families this month to unplug their mobile devices and spend more time communicating directly with each other. The Department of Human Services-led “30 Days of Family” initiative this year has taken up “tech-free family time” as its motto. Unplugging forces family members to talk to each other “with their voices and spend quality time making eye contact and practicing listening skills,” according to Jacqueline D’Louhy, the department’s coordinator of youth and family services. “Think about how much teens ‘talk’ to each other electronically,” D’Louhy said. “Sometimes they’ll be sitting in the same room but never utter a word to one another.