NEW CANAAN — Dr. John Santopietro was unanimously appointed director of behavioral health in May.

Three months later, the doctor is headed to Hartford.

Santopietro, who was also appointed president of Silver Hill Hospital a year ago last September, said this was an opportunity he couldn’t turn down.

“I was asked to help lead behavioral health at Hartford HealthCare and, basically, it was like answering a call,” Santopietro said in a phone call Monday morning.

For Santopietro, the move to Hartford revolves around two things: more patients and family.

“That system (at Hartford) treats tens of thousands of people a year,” the Yale alumnus said. “And I’ll also be closer to my family.”

In May, Police Chief Leon Krolikowski and the Board of Selectmen had announced Santopietro as the town’s first director of behavioral health, a volunteer position.

Though Santopietro was only in that role for three months, town officials are planning to continue the initiative with Silver Hill Hospital and the community.

“In the coming months, we will work with Silver Hill to name a successor physician who will take over this role,” Krolikowski said via email Monday.

First Selectman Kevin Moynihan, who worked on the initiative with Krolikowski, wished the doctor luck in his new endeavors.

“We have been very pleased to have Dr. Santopietro’s advice and service in the short period he has been our director of behavioral health and we are sorry to lose him so soon,” Moynihan said. “In the past few months, Dr. Santopietro has been very helpful in particular in helping us explore new opportunities for tele-health services for our seniors.”

Santopietro praised New Canaan’s ability to organize effectively and believes the role of behavioral health director will continue to touch upon important themes in the community.

“I’m really thankful for these opportunities,” Santopietro said. “Silver Hill is an amazing place and the people are extraordinary.”

humberto.juarez@hearstmediact.com