Topic: Fundraising

Claudia Cozzi awarded for Excellence in Nursing

Claudia Cozzi is, above all, a strong advocate for her patients.

As a result of her devotion to the people she serves, the 16-year VNA Community Healthcare & Hospice primary care nurse was recently chosen as a recipient of this year’s Nightingale Award for Excellence in Nursing. The ceremony usually held in May has been postponed as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The year 2020 is recognized nationally as the Year of the Nurse, among other reasons to mark the 200th anniversary of the birth of Florence Nightingale – acknowledged as the founder of modern nursing – which was May 12.

During her career, Cozzi has always gone above and beyond for patients and coworkers alike, according to VNA Community Healthcare & Hospice Director of Nursing Karen Naccarato.

“Claudia is a positive representation of VNA Community Healthcare & Hospice who has a natural gift to maker her patients laugh, smile and feel better,” Naccarato said. “Her ability extends to her coworkers as well who greatly appreciate all her kindness and support.”

Naccarato praised Cozzi for her extensive home care knowledge, professionalism, “true compassion and exceptional care.”

One patient said of Cozzi, “We honestly don’t know what we would have done without her during my husband’s long convalescence. She cared for him with extreme patience, professionalism and warmth.”

Another said, “Claudia’s honesty and great care went well beyond what any visiting nurse would be required to do and for that reason I say thank you.”

The Nightingale Awards program was developed in 2001 to celebrate and elevate the nursing profession. The program honors nurses from all health care settings and all Registered Nurses and LPNs involved in clinical practice, leadership or education may be considered.

Nurses can only be nominated once in their lifetime for the award. Nominations are made by the health care organization with which the nurse is affiliated. Award winners are selected based on criteria that examines what set the sets the nurse apart from others, how they impacted patient care and the profession, how they’ve shown commitment to the community and whether or not they’ve achieved a life-long legacy in a particular arena.

For information on supporting our healthcare heroes like Claudia, click here to learn more about our ongoing fundraising campaign We Are Stronger With You: The Campaign for VNA Community Healthcare & Hospice.

Think of mom and dad but think twice about visiting

This season can make it difficult to stick to social distancing measures – but now is the time to hold the line and resist the urge to relax restrictions.

Mother’s Day is just a few weeks away followed soon after by Father’s Day. These holidays, of course, are ones best celebrated in person with the people we love. Unfortunately, despite the fact that many states are at the very least in discussions to begin reopening, ending social distancing to see mom or dad is not in their best interest in the long run.

Even as businesses and public spaces open up again, it will still be important – particularly for the aging and chronically ill who are at high-risk for severe complications of COVID-19 – to remain at home as much as possible, to stay 6 feet away from others in public, to wear a mask in public and to avoid close contact with those who do not live with you in your home, including other family members.

There is potential for subsequent waves of this virus and until a vaccine is available there is a still a risk for infection, so the best gift you can give your parents right now is the gift of good health.

Here are some ideas for special ways to say “I love you” this spring:

Virtual performances can be a great way to lift the spirits of grandparents who are struggling with the need to stay distant from the young ones in their lives. Organize a Zoom hangout with all the grandchildren and have them learn a new song and perhaps some choreography that can be performed together for grandma or grandpa. This can be a fun bonding activity for siblings and cousins that is sure to brighten up their grandparent’s day.

Another fun activity for children that is sure to bring out smiles from the recipient is an outdoor display. One idea is to have the kids collect and paint small rocks with messages of love that can be set up in their grandparent’s garden or along a front walkway as a Mother’s Day or Father’s Day rock garden surprise.

Of course, special deliveries of cards, flowers, gift baskets or a meal are always appreciated at any time. Throughout this crisis, in particular, consider supporting local, small businesses when ordering these things for delivery. Make sure mom or dad remembers to sanitize anything coming into their home.

If you do want to see each other face to face, remember that masks are critical but also not a guarantee of full protection, so its best to see each other briefly through a closed, glass door.

We all look forward to the day when hugs and hand holding are no longer replaced with on-screen hangouts and hellos from afar, but for now it’s important to put thought into what will make your parents and grandparents feel well loved this season, but think twice about visiting.

Support our team through COVID-19

 

As a result of the significant financial impact we’re seeing as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, we have launched a $50,000 comprehensive campaign, We Are Stronger With You: The Campaign for VNA Community Healthcare & Hospice. To learn more about this campaign and to make a donation, click here.

 

VNA Community Healthcare & Hospice has a long history of serving members of the community in their homes to help them maintain independence and stay out of the hospital. This remains our focus in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic.

As is true for all members of the medical community, this outbreak poses risks to our nurses and other staff members that are only exacerbated by a shortage of protective equipment as well as cleaning and sanitation supplies.

Our staff members are entering the homes of patients to care for complex medical needs, taking every precaution to protect the patient and themselves from COVID-19, which can be transmitted by even asymptomatic people. They are also caring for recovering COVID-19 patients who have been discharged from area hospitals into homecare to make space for those who are actively ill.

We are in need of the following items:

  • Lysol spray
  • Lysol wipes
  • Hand sanitizer

All items should be unopened. A donation box is located inside the front door of our building, the back building in Concept Park located at 753 Boston Post Road in Guilford.

 

Other ways to show your support:

If you want to show the community that you stand beside our healthcare providers who are serving those in need each day in the face of tremendous challenges, make a statement on social media.

Tag us in photos and posts so our staff, and all healthcare workers, know you appreciate the work that they do.

Right click on our custom profile picture badge below and update your profile photo to show support for our team:

Be part of the #socialdistancing movement, both on social media and in practice, to help slow the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic and let us know with your posts who you are staying home for by using the #IStayHomeFor hashtag, a campaign launched by actor Kevin Bacon.

We’re proud to do this work and we are always grateful for your support.

VNA Community Healthcare & Hospice honors community partners at annual breakfast

VNA Community Healthcare & Hospice Volunteer Coordinator Jo Ann Begley, VNA Community Healthcare & Hospice President & CEO Janine Fay, Hospice volunteer Kathleen Bonvicini, Florence Griswold Museum Executive Director Rebekah Beaulieu and Florence Griswold Museum Director of Marketing Tammi Flynn.

 

When Kathleen Bonvicini lost her brother to cancer, she found a way to channel her grief and love for him into helping others.

“I saw how hospice helped my brother and I knew I would be a hospice volunteer one day,” Bonvicini told the crowd of more than 130 people gathered at The Woodwinds in Branford Tuesday, May 7 for VNA Community Healthcare & Hospice’s annual Breakfast in Bloom fundraiser.

Guilford Savings Bank and Smith Brothers Financial were the platinum sponsors of the event.

Bonvicini was one of three Community Partner Award recipients, along with the Florence Griswold Museum and VNACHCH’s own Hospice Volunteer Coordinator Jo Ann Begley.

“You’re thanking me, but I should be thanking all of you for allowing me to do this work,” Bonvicini said during her award acceptance speech.

An active philanthropist and community advocate, Kathleen is the Chief Executive Officer at the Institute for Healthcare Communication.

“Kathleen is committed to giving and making our world a better place. With a full time career that involves travel and volunteering in other parts of the world, she still makes time to help our patients and their families. And, often uses her work day lunch break to do it,” explained Begley.

She noted one instance when a family of a hospice patient was struggling, and so Kathleen responded to a last minute request to sit with the patient and hold her hand into the night, allowing social work and spiritual care to focus support on the family.

She met with a patient weekly for meditation sessions, always bringing him his favorite ice cream, and helped a patient finish writing a book and submit it for publishing before he died, which was his wish.

“She embodies the true spirit and the intent of our hospice program, which is to help
individuals make the most of the time they have left,” Begley said.

The Florence Griswold Museum, located in Old Lyme, was recognized this year for collaborating with VNACHCH in support of its mission.

A nonprofit itself, museum officials graciously offered the site and its collections as the structural backbone for the agency’s annual report, which featured an artistic theme – one that was carried through to the event.

The museum and 12-acre site is known as the home of American Impressionism. It served as the birthplace of the Lyme Art Colony that flourished at the site in the early 1900s as artists from up and down the seaboard flocked there to paint the scenery.

VNACHCH brought caregivers, volunteers and staff members who provided testimonials for its 2018 annual report to the museum to select artwork that spoke to them of their idea of a life well lived. Images of them standing alongside their chosen pieces were used to highlight their thoughts in the report of how the agency has made a difference in their lives.

Florence Griswold Museum Director Rebekah Beaulieu and Director of Marketing Tammi Flynn attended the breakfast to accept the award.

Begley’s recognition was a surprise to her and the entire crowd at the event.

Like Bonvicini, she expressed gratitude to the people in the room for supporting VNA Community Healthcare & Hospice and allowing her to do the work she is dedicated to on behalf of patients and families.

VNACHCH President & CEO Janine Fay praised Begley for her efforts to help caregivers on their loved one’s healthcare journey so entire families can achieve their best quality of life.

“When we talk about community partners, we often mean members of the community who support our mission to be beside patients at every turn. This year, however, we also felt it important to recognize a member of our staff who serves as one of our links to the community itself and who has touched the lives of so many people in our service area,” Fay said. “She works tirelessly to make a difference in the lives of others and empowers our proud and gentle army of volunteers to go out into our patients’ homes and provide them with care and compassion to help them find comfort and joy through the difficult moments.”

Begley will celebrate 15 years with the agency this summer, and Fay noted that so many of the success stories shared by grateful patients and caregivers include Begley in the narrative.

“In a quiet and thoughtful way, she graciously tackles every need that comes across her desk and she devotes herself to ensuring every patient and caregiver receives every possible resource and service available, every time,” Fay said.

The breakfast included instrumental music by the group Giving Bach of Daniel Hand High School in Madison and a visit from one of VNACHCH’s therapy dogs.

All proceeds from the event will support the nonprofit agency’s vital services, including home healthcare, community wellness programs and its Family Caregiver Support Network.

VNA Community Healthcare & Hospice is a century-old nonprofit agency with expertly trained staff who help individuals recover and regain independence quickly and easily. When a cure is no longer an option, VNA Community Healthcare & Hospice provides individuals and families with choices, control and comfort in their final months. As a leader in healthcare at home and the self-care movement, the agency proudly serves 35 towns in southern Connecticut.

Breakfast in Bloom 2019

Matilda Browne, Peonies, ca. 1907. Oil on wood. Courtesy of the Florence Griswold Museum

TO REGISTER CLICK HERE

Annual event will honor community partners, celebrate quality of life programs

Raphael Erwin McManus said, “A life well lived is the most exquisite work of art.”

This year, VNA Community Healthcare & Hospice is inviting members of the community to help build a masterpiece as it seeks to help patients, caregivers and all individuals in its 35-town service area live their best lives.

The nonprofit agency will hold its annual Breakfast in Bloom fundraiser at Woodwinds in Branford Tuesday, May 7 at 7:30 a.m. The morning will include a buffet breakfast, a raffle and a silent auction. All proceeds from the event will support the nonprofit visiting nurses agency’s vital services, including home healthcare, community wellness programs and its Family Caregiver Support Network.

The breakfast will also provide an overview of the myriad programs run by the agency to help clients be well so they can live well.

“Some individuals we serve are recovering from surgery and working hard to get back to their normal routine, while others are living with a chronic illness and seeking support as they work to achieve their best possible quality of life,” explained VNA Community Healthcare & Hospice CEO Janine Fay. “In addition to our patients, we reach thousands of caregivers and community program participants each year and seek to provide them with the best resources so they can live in good health and make the most of every day.”

VNA Community Healthcare & Hospice is a century-old nonprofit agency that employs expertly trained staff to help individuals recover and regain independence quickly and easily. When a cure is no longer an option, VNA Community Healthcare & Hospice provides individuals and families with choices, control and comfort in their final months. As a leader in healthcare at home and the self-care movement, the agency proudly serves 35 towns in southern Connecticut.

As it has annually, VNA Community Healthcare & Hospice will present Community Partner Awards to three people for 2019.

“We cannot have VNA Community Healthcare & Hospice without the word ‘community,’ and likewise we cannot have success without that critical component,” Fay said. “It is a special moment each year when we have the opportunity to thank our valued partners for all they do to help us realize our goals of promoting and preserving the health, safety, dignity and independence of individuals and families.”

Tickets for the breakfast are $40 each. Tables of 10 are available for $350. For more information and to purchase tickets, click here or call 203-458-4277.

Thank you to our sponsors!

Platinum sponsors:

 

Diamond sponsors:

    

 

Gold sponsors:

                      

 

Ruby sponsors:

                    

      John Watts Associates  

      

 

Table sponsor:

M.J. Petretto Foundation makes donation to VNA Community Healthcare & Hospice

$6,000 gift to benefit Parkinson’s disease exercise programs and support groups

GUILFORD – VNA Community Healthcare & Hospice is the grateful recipient of a donation from the M.J. Petretto Foundation for the eighth consecutive year.
Foundation representatives Linda Remington and M.J. Petretto recently visited the wellness center at the Guilford headquarters of VNA Community Healthcare & Hospice – a nonprofit home healthcare agency serving Middlesex and New Haven Counties – to present a $6,000 check.

The Foundation is itself a 501(c)(3) nonprofit established nearly a decade ago as part of Retirement Planning Group’s desire to give back to organizations that support education, health and quality of life in Connecticut communities. Each year the Foundation’s signature event, the M.J. Petretto Foundation Golf Classic proceeds are divided among multiple beneficiaries, including the Gaylord Hospital Spinal Cord Injury Program, the VNA Community Healthcare & Hospice Parkinson’s programs, and other charities such as the Shoreline Arts Alliance and Make a Wish Connecticut.

VNA Community Healthcare & Hospice provides twice-weekly Parkinson’s exercise classes at its Guilford wellness center, as well as monthly support groups for Parkinson’s family caregivers and those living with a Parkinson’s diagnosis. The agency has a variety of resource materials available for Parkinson’s patients and their family members and seeks to foster an environment of camaraderie. These community offerings augment the agency’s expertise in providing therapy in the home for Parkinson’s patients.

Linda Remington has a personal connection to the VNACHCH program as her father, Ray Pzygocki, lived with Parkinson’s and benefitted from its offerings.

“We’re proud to support the VNA Community Healthcare & Hospice Parkinson’s program and comforted to know that programs like this exist to help patients and families until such time a cure for Parkinson’s disease and other neurodegenerative diseases is found,” Linda said.

VNA Community Healthcare & Hospice CEO Janine Fay thanked Linda and MJ for the Foundation’s ongoing support during the pairs visit to a meeting of the Parkinson’s exercise group.

“This program is an important part of our mission to help individuals in the communities we serve live their best lives. We appreciate the opportunity to help Parkinson’s disease patients maintain their best quality of life possible and to support them and their family caregivers on their journey,” Fay said.

The 2019 M.J. Petretto Foundation Annual Golf Classic will be held Monday, June 10 at the Clinton Country Club. This year’s event marks the 10th anniversary of the golf outing. For more information visit mjpfoundation.org.

To learn more about VNA Community Healthcare & Hospice visit vnacommunityhealthcare.org.

Sunday FUND-DAY to benefit VNACHCH affiliate

MADISON – Strong House Adult Day Center, an affiliate of VNA Community Healthcare & Hospice, will host its second annual Sunday FUND-DAY to benefit Strong House Adult Day Center, Sunday, Sept. 16 from 1 to 3 p.m., 546 Durham Road, Madison. The event will include food, gelato, a wine tasting, raffle, live music and yard games. Park at the Exit 61 Commuter Lot and the Strong House van will drive you to the party.

This gathering of current and past Strong House family and friends serves as an opportunity to support all the great work done at Strong House. Admission is $25 per person or a suggested donation of $10 for children.

To register, click here: http://weblink.donorperfect.com/SundayFUNDDAY18

Can’t attend but want to help support Strong House? Click here: http://weblink.donorperfect.com/SundayFUNDAYDonation

Thank you to our sponsors:

Presenting sponsor:

Culinary sponsors:

 

Tent sponsor: