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Hospital for Special Care Celebrates 80th Anniversary, Honors Advocates

October 20, 2021

Hospital for Special Care (HFSC) celebrated the organization’s 80th anniversary at the Aqua Turf Club in the Plantsville section of Southington on Tuesday, October 19, 2021.  Nearly two hundred volunteers, patients, donors, staff, corporators and board members gathered to mark the occasion at the hospitals annual meeting and donor recognition reception.

“This organization was founded in 1941 to meet community health needs in a time when tuberculosis and polio threatened the well-being of individuals and families,” said Diane Chace, Esq., hospital board chair.   “The foresight of our founding families ensured that Hospital for Special Care would stand the test of time.  The remarkable generations of caregivers and community leaders who have followed in their footsteps made certain we were up to all of the challenges we would face through 80 years of service… including the COVID-19 global pandemic.”

Hospital for Special Care president and chief executive officer Lynn Ricci, FACHE, highlighted key clinical accomplishments that have expanded access to patient care during the evening’s program:

  • Hospital for Special Care’s Charles H. Kaman Foundation Neuromuscular Center has been selected as the only Connecticut HEALEY ALS Platform trial site, and has become one of the largest enrolling sites in the country accelerating the path to new therapies for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.
  • The Maximillian E. and Marion O. Hoffman Foundation Parkinson’s Disease Center of Excellence has been designated by the National Commission on Quality Assurance as the only Patient-Centered Specialty Practice for Parkinson’s in the country.  HFSC also maintains one-of-a-kind Patient-Centered Specialty Practice designations for autism and pulmonary rehabilitation services.
  • Hospital for Special Care opened its expanded autism inpatient unit and first-of-its-kind partial hospital program during the pandemic, significantly expanding access to care for children and adolescents impacted by Autism Spectrum Disorder. The autism continuum continues to earn national recognition and has been invited to contribute to national research collaboratives to advance care.
  • HFSC expanded its Patient-Centered Assistive Technology program, which loans augmentative and alternative communication devices and technology to individuals facing a broad range of speech and communication challenges, with help from Voice for Joanie and the Harold and Rebecca Gross Foundation.

“COVID-19 did not slow the pace of innovation at Hospital for Special Care,” said Ricci.  “I am incredibly proud of all of our team members for continuing to advance care while taking extraordinary measures to keep our patients and one another safe.”

Patient Hector Laureano, who spent weeks in the Hospital for Special Care dedicated COVID-19 Recovery Unit in 2020, shared his experiences with guests and was grateful for the opportunity to thank the individuals who helped him return home to his family – and to see their faces for the very first time, without N-95 masks.  “The whole team worked together to give me my life back, they are all a part of my recovery.”

(Pictured left to right:  Hector, Lisa, Isaah and Miko Laureano)

Hospital for Special Care honored area legislators with inaugural Servant Leader awards.  The servant leadership concept emphasizes service to individuals and teams and is a philosophy adopted within many nursing teams.  “These legislative advocates have gone above and beyond to make a difference for our patients and their families,” said Lynn Ricci.  “Each of these extraordinary individuals has invested the time to learn about our patient populations and the complex care they require.  They have looked for solutions where others have seen barriers.  They have made a commitment to building community for individuals impacted by autism, individuals thriving with disabilities… individuals others have, at times, forgotten.”

The following legislators were presented with the HFSC Servant Leader award for their outstanding advocacy:

  • State Representative Catherine Abercrombie (83rd – Meriden, Berlin)
  • State Representative Mike Demicco  (21st – Farmington, Unionville)
  • State Senator Rick Lopes (S06 – Berlin, Farmington, New Britain)
  • State Senator Patricia Miller (S27 – Darien, Stamford)
  • State Senator Catherine Osten (S19 – Columbia, Franklin, Hebron, Lebanon, Ledyard, Lisbon, Marlborough, Montville, Norwich, Sprague)
  • State Representative William Petit, Jr., MD (22nd – Plainville, New Britain)
  • State Representative Robert Sanchez (25th – New Britain)
  • State Representative Manny Sanchez (24th – New Britain, Newington)
  • State Representative Peter Tercyak (26th – New Britain)
  • State Representative Toni Walker (93rd – New Haven)

Left to right:  State Representative Peter Tercyak, State Representative Bill Petit, State Senator Catherine Osten, State Senator Patricia Miller, Lynn Ricci, State Representative Manny Sanchez, State Senator Rick Lopes, State Representative Cathy Abercrombie and State Representative Mike Demicco.

The following individuals were also honored for service to the Hospital for Special Care volunteer boards:  Elizabeth Fumiatti (Bristol) and Ted Gawlicki (Storrs).  The following members of the Hospital for Special Care Foundation Board of Directors were also recognized for their service:  Deborah Bibbins, Esq. (Simsbury); Charles W. Boos (Avon); D. Weston Boyd (Avon); Jennifer DiBella (Hartford); John E. Downes, Sr. (Berlin); Richard Feitel (Middletown).

Barry Kelly and Lisa Carrol presented Lynn Ricci with a check for $42,000 to HFSC to support the hospital’s Center for Cognitive Health.  The funds were raised through the Kelser Charity Challenge golf tournament held in September.


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  • Hollie Randall
    Social Media and Marketing Communications Manager
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