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Hospital for Special Care Launches $1 Million Superhero Campaign for Autism; Elects Directors at Annual Meeting

June 12, 2019

Hospital for Special Care Launches $1 Million Superhero Campaign for Autism; Elects Directors at Annual Meeting


NEW BRITAIN, Connecticut  (June 12, 2019) – Hospital for Special Care (HFSC) unveiled plans for a $13 million dollar construction project designed to significantly expand access to care for children and adolescents impacted by Autism Spectrum Disorder on Wednesday, June 12, 2019 at the hospital’s annual meeting.  The project includes construction a new building on the hospital’s New Britain campus to house a 12 bed inpatient unit as well as a Partial Hospital Program.

Hospital for Special Care’s Autism Inpatient Unit is the only one in Connecticut and one of only 11 nation-wide.  The Partial Hospital Program will add a completely new level of care to the continuum of services available for youth diagnosed with autism.

“The prevalence of Autism Spectrum Disorder continues to rise.  It is now estimated to impact 1 in every 59 children nationally, with an even higher prevalence rate in Connecticut,” said Lynn Ricci, FACHE, President and CEO of Hospital for Special Care. “Yet the reality is that there are simply not enough resources to meet what have become urgent community needs for services. Children wait in emergency departments and too many families are living on the verge of crisis.”

Ed LaRose, a Waterbury father whose son has received care at Hospital for Special Care, shared his family’s experiences with the 200 assembled guests.  He highlighted the differences between the traditional healthcare system and the unique services designed specifically for children with autism that HSFC has developed.

The new building will allow HFSC to expand services for children across Connecticut and provide care to 130 additional families each year.  HFSC has already secured commitments for $12 million of the total construction costs, including a $10 million bond award from the State of Connecticut, and numerous corporate,  foundation and individual contributions.  The hospital thanked and recognized many of these contributors at the annual meeting and announced a $1 million Superhero campaign to raise the remaining funds needed for the project.

“I firmly believe there is a superhero within each of us,” said Ricci.  “We’ve been blessed to have such outstanding support for this effort, and I know there are more superheroes ready to help the children from every town and city in Connecticut, and beyond, who need our help.”

Ricci presented many of the project’s early investors with superhero capes at the event, including the following:

  • American Savings Foundation
  • William and Ellen Macristy Foundation
  • Petit Family Foundation
  • Stanley Black & Decker, Inc.
  • Connecticut Health and Education Facilities Authority
  • Richard P. Garmany Fund of the Hartford Foundation for Public Giving
  • Aldo DeDominicis Foundation
  • Farmington Bank Community Foundation
  • AT & T Innovation Partnership Program

The Greater Newington Charitable Giving Society, Connecticut Children’s Tennis Classic and the hospital’s own employees and leadership team were also recognized.  HFSC plans to raise the remaining funds needed for the project by 2020.  Construction is slated to begin this fall.  Additional program expansion, including emergency room diversion and consultation and launch of an Applied Behavioral Analysis Clinic are already underway.

Hospital for Special Care also welcomed new members of the non-profit health care institution’s Boards of Directors at the event.  Jane Gavin Knecht, PhD, RN, Interim Chair of the Department of Nursing at University of Saint Joseph was elected to the Hospital for Special Care Board.  Robert R. Daniels, owner of Daniels Farm and an Account Management Executive Consultant for Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield was elected to the Board of the hospital’s affiliate Manes & Motions Therapeutic Riding Center.


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