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Updated: October 5, 2020 2020 Power 25 — Health Care

Health Power 25: 16. Lynn Ricci and Sonja LaBarbera

Connecticut’s short-term acute care hospitals, particularly the big ones, tend to get the most media attention, especially during the COVID-19 surge in April, when they were on the front lines.

Lynn Ricci, CEO, Hospital for Special Care

But those 28 facilities are far from the only hospitals in Connecticut.

Connecticut’s two long-term care hospitals — the Hospital for Special Care in New Britain and Wallingford’s Gaylord Specialty Healthcare — play a crucial role in providing care and rehabilitation for elderly and seriously injured or ill patients.

At the respective helms of HFSC and Gaylord are CEOs Lynn Ricci and Sonja LaBarbera.

Sonja LaBarbera, CEO, Gaylord Specialty Healthcare

Combined, the two care providers — which have a different mix of patients and payers — serve tens of thousands of inpatients and outpatients each year and bring in about $190 million in revenue.

Ricci has played a key role in building HFSC’s autism inpatient program, which in early October cut the ribbon on a $13-million facility expansion built with the help of state funding. She’s also pushed back against state legislative proposals over the past decade seeking to levy property taxes on nonprofit hospitals.

LaBarbera is overseeing an ongoing $10-million renovation on her Wallingford campus.

Some academics have questioned the high cost of long-term care hospitals. LaBarbera has collaborated with her predecessor, George Kyriacou, to counter that argument with research showing that long-term care hospitals provide important value.

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