Silver Hill names new president and medical director

John Santopietro, M.D. has joined Silver Hill Hospital as its new president and medical director, effective in September.

Santopietro is the successor to the hospital’s current President and Medical Director Dr. Sigurd Ackerman, who has served in this capacity for 14 years.

“John has a broad knowledge of the mental health care industry on a national level. He is an innovative leader with a track record of growth and program development, as well as an opinion leader and national spokesperson for mental health. John will assume leadership of Silver Hill at a time when the hospital is in a strong financial position and has a renovated campus designed to accommodate a diverse array of quality treatment programs,” said Peter Orthwein, chairman of Silver Hill Hospital board of directors, in the announcement.

Santopietro joins Silver Hill from Carolinas HealthCare System in Charlotte, N.C., where he held the positions of chief clinical officer of Behavioral Health and chairman of the Department of Psychiatry.

He has devoted his career to transforming systems in order to improve care, and the experience of care, for people suffering with mental illness and substance use disorders. He has held leadership positions in public mental health systems, hospitals, and in the community and is nationally known for his work, according to the announcement.

In his current role, he is credited with driving transformation through such projects as the building of a state-of-the-art psychiatric hospital, integrating behavioral health into primary care and emergency rooms using “virtual”  teams and telemedicine, training nearly 10,000 people in the Charlotte area in mental health first aid, and launching a psychiatric residency program.

In addition, he has taught on psychiatric leadership and is passionate about the need for clinical leadership in solving the substantial challenges we face in health care, said the release.

Santopietro graduated from Yale University, Northwestern University Medical School, and completed his internship, residency, and fellowship at Harvard Medical School.

He is board certified by the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology and is a Distinguished Fellow of the American Psychiatric Association.