Press Release

NEW BRITAIN, Conn. (Oct. 29, 2009) – Each year Hospital for Special Care (HSC) presents its community service award to an individual that has gone above and beyond to represent HSC in the broader community through outstanding service and relationship-building. This year HSC will present its 2009 Community Service Award to Middlesex Chamber of Commerce President Larry McHugh at its annual meeting held at the hospital tonight in New Britain.

“In addition to his consistent efforts in helping to further integrate the Hospital for Special Care into the thriving business community that is Middlesex County, Larry McHugh has made professional and personal connections that are critical in communicating the hospital’s ongoing effort to ‘rebuild lives’,” said David Crandall, HSC President and CEO.

A strong bond between HSC and McHugh developed in 2008 when a young Middletown man needed complex rehabilitation after a devastating automobile accident. Fortunately, the young man made a complete recovery, and, in the process, HSC “made a new friend in Larry McHugh,” said Crandall. “Since then, Larry has become an ambassador for Hospital for Special Care in the wider community welcoming the hospital further into the life and vitality of Middlesex County.”

McHugh, who has headed the Middlesex Chamber since 1983, has grown membership from 282 to more than 2,400 members today. “The Middlesex Chamber is considered one of the most powerful Chambers in the country,” Crandall commented. “It is a mecca for business, and the right place for Hospital for Special Care to be making friends and winning trust.”

After turning down a chance to play professional football with the New York Jets, McHugh began a long coaching career at Xavier High School in Middletown. He later went on to serve as President of the Middlesex Chamber where he remains today. McHugh says that his style is to be inclusive and “get people involved.”

McHugh was recently appointed by Gov. Jodi Rell as the new chairman of the board of trustees at the University of Connecticut. Last week the Governor appointed McHugh as the chairman of a new state board to negotiate a compromise solution for the future of healthcare in Central Connecticut. “I am confident that he will make his mark on the way healthcare will be delivered in Central Connecticut for years to come,” added Crandall.