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Hospital for Special Care Announces Neuroscience Innovation Fund, Honors Physicians, University Leaders at Annual Event

June 16, 2022

Hospital for Special Care (HFSC) announced the establishment of a new philanthropic fund and honored community physicians, university leaders and others at the organization’s annual meeting hosted at the Aqua Turf Club in the Plantsville section of Southington on Wednesday, June 15, 2022.  More than two hundred volunteers, patients, donors, staff, corporators and board members gathered to celebrate the honorees and the hospital’s recent achievements.

“Hospital for Special Care is a dynamic leader in the healthcare space,” said Diane Chace, Esq., chair of the board of directors. “Many people in our community contribute to our mission and enhance our capacity to serve our patients.”

Hospital for Special Care President and Chief Executive Officer Lynn Ricci, FACHE, announced the establishment of a new philanthropic fund, the Neuroscience Innovation Fund, at the event.  “Established through the generosity of Jeffery and Sara Buell, the Neuroscience Innovation Fund will allow Hospital for Special Care to build on the unique multidisciplinary care models, clinical research and trials capacity and support the human and technological capital we need to better serve patients and their families, improve clinical outcomes and prolong lives.”

Pictured Left to Right: Jeffery and Sara Buell, John Votto, DO, FCCP

The fund will support neuromuscular, neurobehavioral, neuropsychological, autism, spinal cord injury and other types of care related to the functioning of the brain and nervous system.  “Our strategic vision includes continued investments in these areas, and we look forward to sharing our plans for expansion with the community over the course of the coming year,” said Ricci.

Hospital for Special Care also presented annual Servant Leader awards at the event.  The Servant Leader award recognizes individuals who have demonstrated a commitment to putting community above self and focusing on the greater good. Long-time member of the Board of Directors, David Kelly was the first to be recognized for his service.

Also honored were community physicians who have made a commitment, some over decades, to enhancing patient outcomes and access to specialist care for HFSC’s patients.  “Taking time away from a busy community practice isn’t an easy thing to do,” said Ricci.  “Each of these physicians has gone above and beyond to ensure that our patients received the specialized care they needed to improve their quality of life.”  Honorees included:

  • Dr. Paul Dobies – Podiatry
  • Dr. Terry Donahue – Surgery
  • Dr. Denis Lefreniere – Ear, Nose and Throat
  • Dr. J.P. Augustine “Gus” Noonan – Psychiatry
  • Dr. Mark Versland – Gastroenterology
  • Dr. Farid Shafik – Ophthalmology
From Left to Right: Lynn Ricci, FACHE, President and CEO, Paul Dobies, DPM, Terrence Donahue, MD, Denis LaFreniere, MD, J.P. Augustine Noonan, MD, Mark Versland, MD, Farid Shafik, MD, William Pesce, DO, Senior VP, Chief Medical Officer

HFSC also recognized university leaders, Dr. Rhona Free, President of Saint Joseph University and Dr. Zulma Toro, President of Central Connecticut University for their commitment and collaboration in building stronger pipelines to prepare future nurses and other health care professionals.

“We are so grateful to partner with Dr. Free and Dr. Toro in creative, and mutually beneficial collaborations designed to improve student education and clinical competency across many different disciplines,” said Ricci.  “Their willingness to innovate is what’s needed as we address workforce shortages today and, in the years ahead.”

Pictured Left to Right: Zulma Toro, PhD, Lynn Ricci, FACHE, President and CEO of HFSC, and Rhona Free, PhD


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