The Innovators: Larry Moliterno

As has become The Business Journal’s custom during the month of May, designated as National Small Business Month, we ask readers to tell us who is worthy of recognition. This time, we asked readers to nominate innovators – the risk takers, out-of-box thinkers and the status quo challengers.

Larry Moliterno
President & CEO, Meridian HealthCare

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio – What is hope? This question has driven Larry Moliterno’s vision throughout his past 20 years at Meridian HealthCare. When talking to patients about what brought them to Meridian, one common word continuously used was “hope.” When they picked up the phone to call Meridian, they wanted hope that they could receive immediate and effective treatment, have all their needs addressed at one location, and live to see another day.

As a result of those conversations, Larry developed a vision for how behavioral health patients needed to be treated. He recognized that only treating their behavioral health or substance use disorder and then making a referral to another facility to address their physical and mental health needs later was not the best provision of care Meridian could offer its patients.

Meridian was the first local agency to introduce integrated care to address not only behavioral health, but the mental and physical health needs of patients through a holistic approach. Implementing an integrated care model has helped our industry understand how to better serve patients using a similar approach based on Meridian’s success.

In the height of the opioid epidemic, many agencies were limiting and capping admissions due to capacity. Larry recognized the risk of turning people away. So Meridian expanded services to meet the growing population of individuals who were impacted by the epidemic. Since then, Meridian has continued to expand services and provide new tools and resources.

Nominated by Breanna Whirrett.

Published by The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.