Stephen W. Larcen, PhD is the recipient of the 2015 Grassroots Champion Award from the AHA and CT Hospital Association

July 07, 2015 By Hartford HealthCare

LarcenStephen W. Larcen, Ph.D., president of the Hartford HealthCare Behavioral Health Network, received the 2015 Grassroots Champion Award from the American Hospital Association and Connecticut Hospital Association (CHA) at a June 30 ceremony recognizing those who have made significant contributions to supporting the mission of hospitals.

The Grassroots Champion Award is given every year to one person from each of the 50 states who has done the most to educate elected officials and legislators about the need to support hospitals and the critical role they play in keeping communities healthy. The ceremony was part of CHAs 97th Annual Meeting at the Aqua Turf in Southington.

In a video played during the ceremony, American Hospital Association President and CEO Rich Umbdenstock said Larcen was selected for the award because of his long record of advocacy on behalf of the mental health system and mental health patients in Connecticut.

He takes seriously his role in educating legislators about the mental health system to effect positive public policy change, Umdenstock said. He is one of the most knowledgeable and well-respected mental health advocates in Connecticut.

Larcen, who has announced his intention to retire from his position next year after more than 40 years as a leader in mental health services, said the award is indicative of the quality of people he has worked alongside over his career.

Receiving this award is a real honor, but it takes a village, he said. Ive had a lot of mentors and colleagues over the years that I have worked with, and my wife has been my partner in this advocacy work at both the state and federal level.

Larcen serves as co-chair of the subcommittee on mental health at CHA. He became Vice President for Behavioral Health at Hartford HealthCare in 1997 while serving as President and CEO of Natchaug Hospital. He was named President of the Hartford HealthCare Behavioral Health Network in 2013. He has been appointed by the Governor to the Connecticut Behavioral Health Partnership Oversight Council, and was a board member of the National Association of Psychiatric Health Systems, which has also recognized him for his advocacy at the federal level.

Watch the video message from Rich Umbdenstock: