The Observer has confirmed that the President and CEO of Waterbury Hospital, Darlene Stromstad, is leaving the position she has held in Waterbury the past five years. Stromstad is being replaced by Lester Schindel, who will serve as interim CEO to lead the health network’s next phase of growth.

   In a Q&A with Becker’s Hospital Review in June 2016, Stromstad was asked what she considered her greatest achievement at Greater Waterbury Health Network/Waterbury Hospital so far. This was her answer….

   “As of July 1st I will have been here for five years. It’s been five years of tremendous distractions, trials and tribulations. We’ve had several years of financial challenges, two failed acquisition transactions, and we have also negotiated several union contracts during what has been a very tumultuous time. Mergers and acquisitions are enormously challenging in themselves, but especially so in a highly regulated environment, while transitioning from nonprofit to for-profit. It has also been a very public process; it is not unusual for us to be on the front page of the local newspaper.

   When I first got here, I talked candidly to our employees and physicians about these distractions and the need to continue to work effectively despite them. We have one promise and that is to our patients: We will keep them at the center of everything we do. We refer to it as “Our Promise.” I believe we’ve done that. Our patients trust us. That focus has strengthened our culture. Asking ourselves if we are living up to that promise helps guide everyone in the work that they do. We are all proud of this hospital and the care we provide. It doesn’t cost anything to be nice to people, to keep our organization clean and to not tolerate clutter. Everyone has the opportunity to make positive changes and contribute to improving how we do our work every day. I’m very proud of the culture of this organization. I’m very proud of our employees and physicians and they know it.

   Our industry is going through so much change, and navigating these changes requires a certain level of courage and trust in yourself and your experience to guide your organization forward. I don’t think there has been a more meaningful time to be in healthcare than right now.”