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June 11, 2024 | New Britain, CT – Lynn Ricci, FACHE, today announced that she plans to retire as the President and CEO of the Hospital for Special Care (HFSC) in 2025, once a successor is chosen and onboarded.  Ricci also announced that HFSC has hired national executive search firm WittKieffer to conduct the search for HFSC’s next chief executive.

HFSC is the fourth largest, free-standing long-term acute care hospital in the United States and one of only two in the nation that serves both adults and children. HFSC provides advanced care and rehabilitation in pulmonary care, acquired brain injury, medically complex pediatrics, neuromuscular disorders including ALS research, spinal cord injury, comprehensive heart failure, and comprehensive inpatient and outpatient treatment for children and adolescents with autism spectrum disorder.

“It has been my honor and privilege to serve HFSC for 20 years, including the last 9 years as the President and CEO. I have been blessed to lead an amazing team of health care professionals who are ceaseless in their efforts to help our patients strengthen, heal, and rebuild,” said Ricci. “With Medicaid serving 85% of our patient population, HFSC cares for a very medically complex and financially challenged population. Our national reputation as a top performing long-term acute care hospital is due in no small part to the strong relationships we have built with state legislators and policymakers who understand and value the unique role we play in delivering high quality services to patients with challenging medical conditions.”

Ricci joined HFSC in 2004 and was appointed by the Board of Directors to the role of CEO in 2015.  She has navigated a dynamic and rapidly changing health care environment to ensure equitable access to high-quality, clinical care and expertise for patients with complex medical challenges.  HFSC’s program services grew significantly under Ricci’s leadership, with the hospital now serving patients from the entire state of Connecticut as well as 24 other states throughout the country.

Ricci led HFSC to national prominence within the long-term acute care provider community and in key strategic areas including autism and neuroscience clinical care and research.  She led the hospital into the national spotlight earning designation by the National Committee for Quality Assurance as the nation’s first and only patient-centered specialty practice for both autism and Parkinson’s disease treatment. Ricci also significantly expanded the hospital’s clinical research capacity, including selection as a trial site for the Healey ALS Platform Trial, a first of its kind global clinical trial for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) designed to accelerate the development of effective and breakthrough treatments for people living with ALS.

“Lynn has been a transformative leader.  She has guided HFSC to where we are now: a nationally recognized facility that has always kept patient care as its focus. Her dedication to our patients, their families, and our staff has never wavered while building HFSC into one of the country’s leading long-term acute care hospitals,” said HFSC Board Chair Diane Chace. “As we look to the future, the Board is committed to finding a successor who will focus on the future of HFSC as an independent hospital with a strong, desirable workplace culture, building on our core areas of expertise, and continuing to foster strong relationships with key stakeholders in the healthcare arena.”

“While I will be sad to leave the HFSC family, I know that the strong, solid leadership team we have thoughtfully built over the course of many years will support the next CEO and provide the operational continuity that will enable HFSC to remain and grow as a national leader in patient care, research, and cutting-edge therapies for children and adults with complex, unique, and specialized health care needs,” added Ricci.

WittKieffer will lead HFSC’s search for the hospital’s next President and CEO.  The national firm specializes in executive searches for healthcare organizations in pursuit of transformational leadership.  Its healthcare clients include academic medical centers, children’s hospitals, community hospitals, faith-based hospitals, FQHCs, integrated delivery networks and health systems, long-term care, home health, and hospice, national and regional associations, nonprofits and foundations, and payors and managed care organizations.  HFSC hopes to have a candidate in place by early 2025 to begin the leadership transition.