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Silver Hill Hospital Names New President and Medical Director

Silver Hill Hospital

Silver Hill Hospital is pleased to announce John Santopietro, MD, DFAPA as the new President and Medical Director effective in early September.

“On behalf of the entire board, I am delighted to make this announcement,” said Peter Orthwein, Chairman, Silver Hill Hospital Board of Directors. “John has a broad knowledge of the mental healthcare industry on a national level. 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. John will assume leadership of Silver Hill at a time when the hospital is in a strong financial position and has a renovated campus designed to accommodate a diverse array of quality treatment programs. We know that John will preserve and advance the great work of Silver Hill Hospital,” added Orthwein.

Dr. Santopietro joins Silver Hill Hospital from Carolinas HealthCare System in Charlotte, North Carolina 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. He has devoted his career to transforming systems in order to improve care, and the experience of care, for people suffering with mental illness and substance use disorders. He has held leadership positions in public mental health systems, hospitals, and in the community and is nationally known for his work. In his current role he has driven transformation through such projects as the building of a state-of-the-art psychiatric hospital, integrating behavioral health into primary care and Emergency Rooms using ‘virtual’ teams and telemedicine, training nearly 10,000 people in the Charlotte area in Mental Health First Aid, and launching a psychiatric residency program. He has taught on psychiatric leadership and is passionate about the need for clinical leadership in solving the substantial challenges we face in health care.

Dr. Santopietro graduated from Yale University, Northwestern University Medical School, and completed his internship, residency, and fellowship at Harvard Medical School. He is board certified by the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology and is a Distinguished Fellow of the American Psychiatric Association. He serves on multiple national boards including the American Association of Community Psychiatrists, the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline and the American Hospital Association’s Governing Council of the Section for Psychiatric and Substance Abuse Services. He was president of the Connecticut Psychiatric Society in 2012 where he earned an award for his leadership during the Sandy Hook tragedy. Dr. Santopietro was appointed by governors in both North Carolina and Connecticut to serve on mental health commissions and co-chaired a task force on mental health convened by the North Carolina Institute of Medicine.

Dr. Santopietro is the successor to the hospital’s current President and Medical Director Dr. Sigurd Ackerman, who has served in this capacity for 14 years. During his tenure, Dr. Ackerman strengthened treatment programs, initiated and expanded the hospital’s current Transitional Living Programs, led the renovation of facilities on the hospital’s 43-acre campus and secured financial stability.

Dr. Ackerman says of Dr. Santopietro, “John brings to this position a combination of outstanding abilities as a clinical psychiatrist and an unusual depth of experience, and success, as a leader of psychiatric programs. I have great confidence that as he brings these strengths to Silver Hill Hospital we will continue to flourish”.