WALLINGFORD — Gaylord Specialty Healthcare announced its top executive will retire at the end of this year.
President and CEO George Kyriacou will retire effective Dec. 31 after seven years as CEO, Gaylord said in a press release.
Robert Lyons, chairman of the Gaylord’s board of directors, called Kyriacou an “outstanding leader who has made significant contributions to Gaylord’s success during his tenure.”
“Very soon after he arrived in 2011, George was instrumental in bolstering the hospital’s financial health,” Lyons said.
Kyriacou will continue at Gaylord in a “part-time, consultative capacity.” He will be succeeded by Sonja LaBarbera, Gaylord’s chief operating officer, who has more than 20 years of progressive clinical and management experience at Gaylord.
Gaylord, located at 50 Gaylord Farm Road, is a not-for profit, 137 bed long-term acute care hospital that specializes in the care and treatment of people with complex medical and intensive rehabilitation issues.
Kyriacou, who has worked in the healthcare field for more than 40 years, said his time as Gaylord’s CEO was most rewarding.
“I am fortunate to have been a first-hand witness to Gaylord’s life-changing and compassionate care and I consider this role to have been the most rewarding I’ve held in my decades-long career,” he said.
Kyriacou has spent much of his career working as a health care executive in the area. He was a top executive at Veterans Memorial Hospital in Meriden and a vice president at Meriden-Wallingford Hospital in the 1980s. In 1994, Kyriacou took a job with Hartford Hospital as vice president for network development. In 2007, he returned to Meriden as MidState Medical Center's executive vice president and chief operating officer. MidState and Hartford Hospital are both members of the Hartford Healthcare System.
Prior to being hired at Gaylord in 2011, Kyriacou was president and CEO of Hanover Hospital in Pennsylvania, a 106-bed acute care hospital.
Lyons credited Kyriacou for leading Gaylord to become the only facility in the state to become accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities for in-patient rehabilitation, spinal cord, stroke and brain injury specialty programs.
Kyriacou, Lyons noted, also recently oversaw the opening of two Gaylord satellite offices in North Haven and Cheshire that specialize physical therapy, orthopedics and sports medicine. Those offices helped expand Gaylord’s outpatient therapy reach, Lyons noted.