The Littles' Dream: Our History of Community Care
More than half a century ago, Dr. Olga Little, a psychiatrist, and her husband Dr. Mervyn Little, a general practitioner, realized the need for psychiatric health services in northeastern Connecticut. Their dream was to create a health care option that would allow patients to receive care in the community that they called home.
The realization of that dream began in 1954 with the Littles' founding of an innovative convalescent facility for elderly, postoperative and terminally ill patients, many of whom required psychiatric health services. The hospital evolved over time to become the primary resource for local residents seeking mental health and substance abuse services. Natchaug Hospital has a strong tradition of working with other providers throughout the region to provide integrated quality care.
1954: Natchaug opened as a convalescent home with the capacity to provide behavioral health care.
1972: A specialized inpatient unit was created to offer psychiatric and substance abuse services.
1975: Sachem House, Natchaug's first day hospital program, opened to meet the need for intensive outpatient services and to provide ongoing support to patients and their families. In addition, adolescent services were added to Natchaug's programs, followed by services for children as young as five.
1977: Natchaug Hospital, Inc. was formed as a not-for-profit community-based specialty hospital.
1989: The first Joshua Center school program opened in Mansfield.
1998: Natchaug formalized its affiliation with Hartford Health Care Corporation (HHCC). The hospital also broke ground for construction of new and renovated space to convert the original nursing home structure to better serve the needs of behavioral health patients.
2000: New child, adolescent and adult in-patient units were opened in March. All of the new child and adolescent in-patient unit rooms are single-occupancy, resulting in a 30 percent increase in capacity for youths. The Extended Day Treatment program for children and adolescents was launched, and Natchaug Hospital's K-12 special education program received accreditation from the State Department of Education's Bureau of Special Education and from the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Health Care Organizations.
2001: The new Natchaug, with renovations and new construction completed, was dedicated on June 10, 2001. Senator Joseph Lieberman hosted the celebration.
2002: The Century Appeal, Natchaug Hospital's first-ever fund-raising campaign, reached it's $1.15 million goal for contributions from the community served by the hospital. This remarkable achievement, which funded improving access to behavioral health care, was celebrated on June 13, 2002.
2003: Construction started on a new Residential Treatment Center for Girls
2003: The Hartford HealthCare Corporation began the acquisition of St. Francis Behavioral Healthcare day treatment programs.
2004: Residential Treatment Center for Girls: Made possible by a unique partnership of Natchaug Hospital, the Department of Children & Families and the professionals involved with the Juvenile Court, this intensive psychiatric special education program served its first resident in July 2004.
2004: Services in Southeastern Region: Care Plus adult and adolescent day treatment programs in Groton and the Thames Valley Clinical Day Treatment Program in Norwich were acquired by Natchaug Hospital from Saint Francis Behavioral Health. This preserved day treatment services for the people of Southeastern Connecticut and enhanced the continuity of care for more than 1,000 New London County residents already receiving treatment in other Natchaug programs.
2005: Opioid addiction treatment using Suboxone (buprenorphine) medication and therapy is implemented in Natchaug’s adult day treatment programs.
2006: Extended Day Treatment for children 8-12 years of age opens at Natchaug Hospital’s Montville Joshua Center.
2007: Extraordinary Care Appeal launched to fund the expansion of inpatient child and adolescent treatment programs. In-Home Child and Adolescent Psychiatric Services (IICAPS) launched to serve New London County families. Evening hours added for adult Intensive Outpatient and Partial Hospitalization Programs.
2008: Enfield Joshua Center moves to larger space at 72 Shaker Road in Enfield. Brooklyn Joshua Center moves to Danielson and is re-named Joshua Center Northeast. Child and adolescent inpatient treatment program expands with the opening of a new patient care wing.
2008: In-home intensive psychiatric treatment program launched to serve families throughout New London County
2008: Natchaug selected to manage child and adolescent partial hospital program for Hartford Hospital in Bloomfield
2009: Enfield Joshua Center expands to serve younger children
2010: Natchaug selected to manage behavioral health programs at Lawrence and Memorial Hospital
2011: Joshua Center Shoreline opens in Old Saybrook
2011: Young Adult program created in Mansfield to better serve 18- to 25-year-olds, including college students.
2012: Young Adult program expands to Quinebaug location.
2012: Natchaug implements the Seven Challenges Program for teen substance abuse.
2013: Natchaug restructures Southeast Programs, including the creation of Joshua Center Thames Valley at 11A Stott Ave. in Norwich.
2013: The Supervised Employment Education (S.E.E.) program begins at Joshua Center Northeast to allow students to explore employment options in the community.