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Stethoscopes and Sneakers: One Nightingale’s Tools for Healing

Saturday, May 13, 2017

Inspired by Mom, Gaylord Hospital Nurse Believes It’s the Little Things That Make the Biggest Impact for Traumatic Brain Injury Patients For months, Melissa DeSandre, RN, toted a pair of bri... read more


Inspired by Mom, Gaylord Hospital Nurse Believes It’s the Little Things That Make the Biggest Impact for Traumatic Brain Injury Patients

For months, Melissa DeSandre, RN, toted a pair of brightly colored running shoes with her to work.

The sneakers were more than just a comfortable choice of footwear for the 27-year-old Gaylord Hospital nurse. Rather, they were a means of caring for one young man that proved to be just as therapeutic as any medicine to heal his mind – and soothe his spirit.

The traumatic brain injury patient had spent more than a year recovering at the Wallingford, CT acute-care specialty hospital. One day, the restless man asked his nurse if she would go for a jog with him around Gaylord’s bucolic campus.

Though the request was unusual, Melissa understood his motivation. “He needed to vent all of the energy and anxiety bottled up inside,” she explained. “It was a quick jog but when we returned, I could see the relief on his face.”

Their jogs soon became a daily ritual that continued for months until the patient’s discharge. Melissa acknowledges that although running isn’t a conventional form of nursing, the outcome was unmistakable: The once short-fused young man had become much calmer and content.
 
“Sometimes it’s the smallest things that can make the biggest impact,” she said. “Yesterday one of my patients said she really wanted a shower. Some people would say it’s an aide’s job; but it’s not. I’m part of a team and I had the time. That shower was simple to do, but it made her feel 100% better.”

Although she was described by one peer as a “natural-born” clinician, Melissa readily admits that nursing was not her first passion. Her original plans to be a gym teacher were derailed by a souring economy that brought widespread cuts to school P.E. and sports programs throughout the country. “I wanted to find a career that was both fulfilling and in-demand,” she said.  

Melissa’s thoughts began to turn towards her mother, a certified nursing assistant at Gaylord Hospital who loved her job and was happy to help her patients. “I started thinking, ‘Maybe healthcare is for me too!’”

While still enrolled in nursing school, Melissa followed her mother’s footsteps becoming a CNA at Gaylord. Not only did the first-hand experience of caring for the hospital’s critically ill and injured patients cement her determination to become a nurse, but it was at Gaylord that she found her calling within her calling: caring for patients with traumatic brain injuries (TBI).

She explained, “When TBI patients are admitted, a lot of them cannot walk or talk. It may take weeks or months, but when you stick with them, you see them gradually grow beyond the injury and come back to the person they were before the accident.”
 
Tina Ufferfilge, RN, BSN, CRRN, Team Leader on Gaylord’s Traumatic Brain Injury floor, said that Melissa’s innate talent impressed her as she oriented the new nurse graduate. “She’s excellent at what she does. Working with TBI patients isn’t for everyone, but I knew it was the right path for her.”

Tina explained that by nature of their injury, TBI patients can be prone to emotional and behavioral outbursts. “Melissa knows their different moods and isn’t thrown when they change five minutes later. She’s flexible … she reads how they are in the moment and changes her approach.”
 
“It’s hard for our patients,” Melissa agreed. “Sometimes they’re not sure where they are or who you are, so when you come at them with needles and medications they can be skeptical and aggressive. But you gradually form a bond. And then comes the day when they finally start to remember your name and it’s like, oh wow! Such a huge reward!”

Although the Nightingale honoree is still in her twenties, her colleagues and those under her care agree that her nursing intuition goes well beyond her years. She smiled as she recalled one young patient who recently asked her age.

“When he realized I was only two years older than he was, he said, ‘Oh my gosh … Then why do you act like such a mom?’ I laughed because I do feel like a mom to my patients. You have to be compassionate and caring and keep them positive.”

Ufferfilge recounted how Melissa often goes beyond the call of duty for patients with little support, including one older gentleman who arrived at the hospital with little clothing and no local family to visit him. “She asked what kinds of things he liked to wear and then went out and got him shirts and pants … he was just overjoyed!”

Melissa was one of 78 nurses who were nominated by their peers for the 2017 Greater New Haven Nightingale Awards. It’s an honor that made her mother, Lisa, cry.

“I am so honored and happy,” Lisa said. “People often tell me, ‘Your daughter is so sweet; she’s so good with her patients.’ She has a true heart for nursing … she loves her job just as much as I love mine.”

“She makes a mother proud, for sure!”


4th Quarter 2017 Joseph A. Lindenmayer Employee of the Year Award Nominees

Monday, Apr 17, 2017

The 4th Quarter 2017 Joseph A. Lindenmayer Employee of the Year Award Nominees are:     p.p1 {margin:... read more


The 4th Quarter 2017 Joseph A. Lindenmayer Employee of the Year Award Nominees are:

 photo of Lindenmayer Employee award nominee
 

 Bradley Fletcher, Rehab Therapy Aide, Outpatient Therapy

 

 

 photo of Lindenmayer Employee award nominee  Joyanna Zdrojowy, Physical Therapist, North Haven
 photo of Lindenmayer Employee award nominee  Lexi Waller, Occupational Therapist, Inpatient Therapy  Department
 photo of Lindenmayer Employee award nominee  Ryan Wanat, Respiratory Care Practitioner

Nominee Bios and Nomination Details PDF


2017 Gaylord Nightingale Nursing Award Nominees

Monday, Mar 27, 2017

Excellence in nursing. That's the hallmark of nurses honored with the Nightingale Award. The award was developed by the Visiting Nurse Association of South Central Connecticut to be a collaborative ef... read more


Excellence in nursing. That's the hallmark of nurses honored with the Nightingale Award. The award was developed by the Visiting Nurse Association of South Central Connecticut to be a collaborative effort to celebrate outstanding nurses and elevate the nursing profession. Gaylord is proud to announce that Joan Buckley, RN, Melissa DeSandre, RN, Jennifer Mordino, RN, and Nicole Morrill, RN will be among the ranks of excellent nurses honored at the annual Nightingale Gala in May.


Joan Buckley, RN
  Joan Buckley, RN
Melissa DeSandre, RN
  Melissa DeSandre, RN
Jennifer Mordino, RN
  Jennifer Mordino, RN
Nicole Morrill, RN
  Nicole Morrill, RN
Congratulations to all of our nominees!

Nominee Nomination Details PDF


 


Innovative Stroke & Neurological Rehab Treatment Approaches Course, 4/8/17 at Gaylord

Wednesday, Feb 22, 2017

INNOVATIVE STROKE & NEUROLOGICAL REHAB TREATMENT OPTIONS COURSE to be held at Gaylord on April 8, 2017, will provide therapists with treatment ideas to improve function for patients with stroke, t... read more


INNOVATIVE STROKE & NEUROLOGICAL REHAB TREATMENT OPTIONS COURSE to be held at Gaylord on April 8, 2017, will provide therapists with treatment ideas to improve function for patients with stroke, traumatic brain injury and other neurological issues. The latest research on neuroplasticity and motor learning will be presented and how to integrate this information into practice. To sign up call: (800) 791-0262 or email: admin@motivationsceu.com or see the website: www.motivationsceu.com

Stroke Course on April 8, 2017 information


Formation of Spaulding New England Regional Spinal Cord Injury Center (SNERSCIC) Model System,

Wednesday, Jan 11, 2017

We are pleased to announce the formation of the Spaulding New England Regional Spinal Cord Injury Center (SNERSCIC) Model System, representing a merger of the Spaulding-Harvard Spinal Cord Injury Mode... read more


We are pleased to announce the formation of the Spaulding New England Regional Spinal Cord Injury Center (SNERSCIC) Model System, representing a merger of the Spaulding-Harvard Spinal Cord Injury Model System and the New England Regional Spinal Cord Injury Center Model System.

SNERSCIC has been funded as one of 14 SCI Model Systems across the United States, working together to optimize clinical care, research, education, and service related to the impact of spinal cord injury on individuals and their communities. SCI Model Systems are funded by the National Institute on Disability, Independent Living, and Rehabilitation Research.

SNERSCIC has a long and distinguished history in working with the spinal cord injury community across the New England region. As a Model System, the Center serves as an advocate and resource for individuals with SCI, their families and caregivers, and healthcare professionals. SNERSCIC works to enhance the lives of people with SCI across their lifespan through innovative science and technology, with particular attention to underserved populations.

The SNERSCIC network of treatment, research, and educational facilities includes the Massachusetts General Hospital, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Spaulding Rehabilitation Network, Harvard Medical School, and Boston University School of Public Health, as well as Gaylord Hospital and Yale-New Haven Hospital in Connecticut.
PDF of Announcement/ Research Priorities /Meaning of Change


3rd Quarter 2017 Joseph A. Lindenmayer Employee of the Year Award Nominees

Thursday, Jan 05, 2017

The Third Quarter Nominees for the Joseph A. Lindenmayer Employee of the Year Award are:      Katie Zimmerli    Inpati... read more


The Third Quarter Nominees for the Joseph A. Lindenmayer Employee of the Year Award are:

 Photo of Employee of the Year Nominee    Katie Zimmerli
   Inpatient Therapy 
 Photo of Employee of the Year Nominee    Ann Pacileo
   Outpatient Therapy 
 Photo of Employee of the Year Nominee    Cheryl Tansley
   Inpatient Speech 
 Photo of Employee of the Year Nominee    Jaclyn Magnuszewski
   Inpatient Therapy
Congratulations to all of our nominees!

Nominee Bios and Nomination Details PDF  


Hartford Business Journal Names Health Care Heros

Wednesday, Nov 30, 2016

Dec. 1, 2016 - The Public Relations Department is proud to announce that David Rosenblum, MD and Heather Hancort, RN, BSN, CRRN will be honored as recipients of Hartford Business Journal’s Healt... read more


Dec. 1, 2016 - The Public Relations Department is proud to announce that David Rosenblum, MD and Heather Hancort, RN, BSN, CRRN will be honored as recipients of Hartford Business Journal’s Health Care Heroes awards on December 1 at the Connecticut Convention Center in Hartford. The Health Care Heroes Awards identifies outstanding leaders in the health care industry who are the epitome of a "hero”. Dr. Rosenblum and Heather were nominated for their patient-centered work with rehabilitation patients. Their nominations for the award are in the links below. Dr. Rosenblum Nomination Heather Hancort Nomination


Gaylord Hospital Dedicates Unit to Care of Complex Stroke Patients

Saturday, Aug 26, 2017

Gaylord Hospital Dedicates Unit to Care of Complex Stroke Patients WALLINGFORD, CONNECTICUT, August 24, 2017 - Gaylord Hospital, a not-for-profit specialty hospital in Wallingford, recently opened... read more


Gaylord Hospital Dedicates Unit to Care of Complex Stroke Patients

WALLINGFORD, CONNECTICUT, August 24, 2017 - Gaylord Hospital, a not-for-profit specialty hospital in Wallingford, recently opened a new unit dedicated to the unique medical needs of the hospital’s most complex and medically fragile stroke patients.

According to Sonja LaBarbera, Vice President of Operations and Strategy, Gaylord Hospital has long been a recognized leader in stroke care throughout the Northeast and has the only stroke program in Connecticut to be accredited by CARF (Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities).

“We continually strive to incorporate best practices into our stroke program as it continues to grow year after year,” she said. “We’re employing an evidence-based model of care that proves that cohorting the hospital’s most complex stroke patients leads to better outcomes.”

“With individuals being discharged from acute care hospitals sooner, we’re finding that stroke patients are arriving at Gaylord with more complex medical needs than ever before,” LaBarbera continued. “Our most medically fragile stroke patients will benefit from coordinated, multidisciplinary care from nurses, therapists, hospitalists and physiatrists who are experienced and trained in providing the highest level of stroke care.”

The complex stroke unit was also recently outfitted with a state-of-the-art telemetry system. It’s an investment in technology, LaBarbera says, that “further commits Gaylord to providing the best in care.”

About Gaylord Specialty Healthcare:
Gaylord Specialty Healthcare, headquartered in Wallingford, Connecticut is a not-for profit, 137-bed specialty hospital that provides care and treatment of people with complex medical and intensive rehabilitation issues. Gaylord also operates outpatient therapy centers in Wallingford, North Haven, and Cheshire. For latest news or more information go to www.gaylord.org.

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Renowned Concussion Expert, Mark Herceg, Ph.D., Joins Gaylord Specialty Healthcare

Saturday, Aug 26, 2017

Renowned Concussion Expert, Mark Herceg, Ph.D., Joins Gaylord Specialty Health Care as Director of Psychology, Director of the Center for Brain Health and Director of the Center for Concussion Care ... read more


Renowned Concussion Expert, Mark Herceg, Ph.D., Joins Gaylord Specialty Health Care as Director of Psychology, Director of the Center for Brain Health and Director of the Center for Concussion Care

WALLINGFORD, CONNECTICUT, August 23, 2017 - Gaylord Specialty Healthcare recently announced the addition of Dr. Mark Herceg, Ph.D. to its staff as Director of Psychology and Director of the Gaylord Center for Brain Health and the Center for Concussion Care.

Dr. Herceg will lead a team of neuropsychologists as they diagnose and treat various neurocognitive and psychological changes due to traumatic brain injuries, stroke, Parkinson’s and more to help promote and maximize a person’s recovery.

“I look forward to working with an interdisciplinary team to help those with traumatic brain injuries rehabilitate and recover,” Dr. Herceg said. “I have long known about Gaylord’s incredible reputation and the staff’s attentiveness to each patient’s specific and individual recovery. I am especially impressed by Gaylord’s focus on the importance of neuropsychology in the treatment of traumatic brain injuries, an emphasis not often seen in other rehabilitation centers.”

Dr. Herceg has nearly 20 years of experience, including working with high school, college, and professional athletes who have sustained concussions. Prior to arriving at Gaylord Hospital, Dr. Herceg was the Commissioner of Mental Health for Westchester County, NY where he served as chair of the 28-member County Concussion Task Force and was lead author of the group’s article, “10 Best Practices for Concussion Management,” which was endorsed by the Brain Injury Association of America and New York State Chapter (BIANYS). He was honored with the BIANYS “Founder’s Award” for his efforts to increase concussion awareness in youth and high school sports. He was also appointed by the Brain Injury Association as co-chair of a state-wide concussion initiative.

Prior to his County appointment, Dr. Herceg was the Director of Neuropsychology for the Brain Injury Unit at Burke Rehabilitation Hospital in White Plains, New York, where he specialized in evaluating and treating individuals with various neurological changes, illnesses and brain injuries across the life spectrum.

In 2013 he authored a chapter on concussion management in the book “In the Arena” published by the NY State Bar Association. In 2017, he organized & co-chaired the first Croatian Conference on Concussions in Split, Croatia. Dr. Herceg is an Assistant Professor of Psychology in Clinical Neurology at Weill Cornell Medical College, a Lecturer in the Department of Epidemiology and Community Health at New York Medical College, and is also a member of the Big Ten/Ivy League TBI Research Collaboration.

Dr. Herceg sits on the Executive Board of the Sports Neuropsychology Society, is a member of the American Psychological Association, International Neuropsychology Society, and the National Academy of Neuropsychology where he is the Chair of Social Media. He currently resides in Westchester County with his wife, Agnes, and his three daughters.

About Gaylord Specialty Healthcare:
Gaylord Specialty Healthcare, headquartered in Wallingford, Connecticut is a not-for profit 137 bed specialty hospital that focuses on the care and treatment of people with complex medical and intensive rehabilitation issues. Gaylord also operates outpatient therapy centers in Wallingford, North Haven, and Cheshire. For latest news or more information go to www.gaylord.org.

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Adaptive Golf Program Receives Donation from Mt. Carmel Women’s Golf League

Saturday, Aug 26, 2017

Gaylord Hospital’s Adaptive Golf Program Receives Donation from Mt. Carmel Women’s Golf League WALLINGFORD, CONNECTICUT, August 23, 2017 – The Gaylord Hospital Sports Association... read more


Gaylord Hospital’s Adaptive Golf Program Receives Donation from Mt. Carmel Women’s Golf League

WALLINGFORD, CONNECTICUT, August 23, 2017 – The Gaylord Hospital Sports Association was recently presented with a donation of $1,505 raised by the Mt. Carmel Women’s Golf League’s annual golf tournament. The Hamden-based club’s generous gift will be used to support the Gaylord Hospital Sports Association’s Adaptive Golf Program.

According to Katie Joly, Gaylord Hospital Sports Association Program Manager, the Adaptive Golf Program has helped hundreds of individuals who have experienced a permanent physical disability such as a spinal cord injury, amputation, stroke or brain injury try a new activity or return to the sport they loved before their injury or illness.

“We are grateful to the Mt. Carmel Women’s Golf League for helping us improve the lives of persons with disabilities. Programs like Adaptive Golf help our participants embrace new challenges and reach beyond the barriers to discover what is possible through adaptive sports,” Joly explained.

The program offers introductory adaptive golf clinics held at Gaylord Hospital, a Veteran’s adaptive golf program, an Adaptive Golf Club, and the annual Ken Murphy Memorial Open tournament for adaptive players.

About the Gaylord Hospital Sports Association:
The Gaylord Hospital Sports Association provides adaptive sports and recreation programs to adults with a permanent physical disability or visual impairment living in the state of Connecticut and throughout the Northeast. The Association is dedicated to improving participants’ lives through opportunities to participate in more than a dozen adaptive sports throughout the year including alpine skiing, archery, cycling, golf, kayaking, paratriathlon, quad rugby, rock climbing, sled hockey, tennis, veteran’s fishing, and water skiing. For more information, visit www.gaylord.org/sports.

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CHEFA Grant Helps Gaylord Patients Re-Enter Society Following Devastating Illness or Injury

Monday, Jul 03, 2017

June 30, 2017, WALLINGFORD, CT – Gaylord Specialty Healthcare recently received a generous $74,747 grant from CHEFA (Connecticut Health and Educational Facilities Authority) to fund the purchase... read more


June 30, 2017, WALLINGFORD, CT – Gaylord Specialty Healthcare recently received a generous $74,747 grant from CHEFA (Connecticut Health and Educational Facilities Authority) to fund the purchase of a custom-built, handicapped-accessible van.

The 15-passenger vehicle will be used to transport individuals in the specialty hospital’s inpatient and outpatient programs to off-campus community re-integration trips.

Tara Knapp, Gaylord Specialty Healthcare VP of Marketing and Development explained that the staff-supervised trips help patients recovering from the aftermath of devastating illnesses or injuries learn how to function and adapt to their new physical challenges in the outside world.

“The therapeutic value that our community-reintegration program provides our patients is immense,” she said. “For someone with a recent amputation, it could mean figuring out how to navigate public spaces with a wheelchair or prosthetic. For aphasia patients – or someone who has loss of speech from brain damage – it might mean practicing how to communicate with a cashier by using an assistive device. Our Traumatic Brain Injury patients often benefit from these group trips by giving them experience making decisions such as what movie to see and solving problems such as how to make change.”

The Gaylord Sports Association – the State’s largest adaptive sport program – will also utilize the van to bring participants with physical disabilities and visual impairments to sporting and recreation programs throughout the Northeast.

“Both Gaylord’s Therapeutic Recreation Department and Gaylord Sports Association are very grateful to our partner, CHEFA, for the funding to supply our new van which will serve our patients for many years to come,” Knapp said.

“CHEFA is pleased to provide funding for Gaylord Hospital’s purchase of a handicapped-accessible van,” said Jeanette Weldon, CHEFA’s Executive Director. “Supporting a patient’s ability to get back into the community after a medical challenge helps to foster their empowerment and provide hope. By awarding this capital needs grant to our client, Gaylord Hospital, CHEFA fulfills a portion of our mission to provide financial assistance to healthcare providers.”

About Gaylord Specialty Healthcare:
Gaylord Specialty Healthcare, headquartered in Wallingford, Connecticut is a not-for profit long-term 137 bed long-term acute care hospital that specializes in the care and treatment of people with complex medical and intensive rehabilitation issues. Gaylord also operates outpatient therapy centers in Wallingford, North Haven, and Cheshire. For latest news or more information go to their website at www.gaylord.org.

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Adolescent SCI Program Honored with Healthcare Award

Thursday, Jun 15, 2017

WALLINGFORD, CT, June 13, 2017 - Gaylord Specialty Healthcare, a nationally-recognized long-term acute care hospital that specializes in the care of people with complex medical and intensive rehabilit... read more


WALLINGFORD, CT, June 13, 2017 - Gaylord Specialty Healthcare, a nationally-recognized long-term acute care hospital that specializes in the care of people with complex medical and intensive rehabilitation issues, is pleased to announce that Gaylord Hospital’s Adolescent Spinal Cord Injury Unit was today recognized with the Greater New Haven Chamber of Commerce’s “Health Care Program Award” at its 15th Annual Regional Healthcare Breakfast and Awards in Hamden.

Gaylord was among five institutions to receive the award which honors health care organizations who have encouraged wellness in their company or have developed cutting-edge technology or programs to advance healthcare.

“Gaylord is honored to receive this award,” said Gaylord Specialty Healthcare President and CEO George Kyriacou. “As the only program of its kind in Connecticut, we are committed to addressing the unique medical and social needs of our adolescent patients and help them return to their highest level of function and independence possible.”

Heather Hancort, RN, Gaylord Hospital Rehabilitation Nurse Manager, described how Gaylord’s award-winning spinal cord team recognized an opportunity to provide for the unique social and medical needs of their adolescent patients, a population she describes as “not pediatric, yet not quite adult.”

“Dealing with the aftermath of a life-altering trauma in a young person is not only an immensely stressful and emotional experience for the patient, but also for their family,” Hancort explained. “It was important to make sure that our hospital’s youngest patients could receive specialized care in a comfortable and socially enriched environment with the support of family nearby.”

From the colorful, cheery linens to the teen-friendly artwork adorning the walls, each patient room was designed to resemble more of a patient’s own bedroom than a hospital room. An adjoining suite is attached to each of the private hospital rooms allowing parents to stay free of charge for the duration of their child’s hospitalization. The family suites offer a variety of amenities including a private bathroom, an in-room mini fridge and available laundry pickup and delivery.

It’s a system, says Hancort, that “enables families to focus one-hundred percent of their energies on their adolescent’s recovery” while affording patients “privacy and autonomy when they want it.”

Hancort explained that much effort and thought was put into ensuring that teens remain as socially enriched as possible throughout their stay. “Each patient has free access to a tablet computer, a Netflix subscription and Wi-Fi so that they can stay connected with their friends and the outside world.”

At the heart of the unit is the Adolescent Game Room called “The Loft” where patients can meet with other patients and friends to watch movies on a big screen TV or play on the XBOX ONE gaming system which was specially modified with “sip and puff” technology so that gamers with limited or no use of their hands can play against their able-bodied peers. Special gaming chairs for visitors were purchased so that “patients don’t always have to look up to their friends. Instead, they are at the same eye level. That’s a huge impact to someone in a wheelchair.” The space is also equipped with an adaptive desk and schooling area that is available for any patient who would like to pursue private tutoring during their hospitalization.

Many of the unit’s patients request daily visits from Galya, the hospital’s on-staff working facility dog, and also enjoy visits from peer mentors (adolescent patients who have successfully been discharged from the unit) for support.

SCI Unit Award from Greater New Haven Chamber   

Kathleen Sullivan MSPT, Manager of Admissions, Sonja LaBarbera MS CCC/SLP, VP of Strategy and Operations, Tim Kilbride, DPT Inpatient Therapist, Heather Hancort RN, CRRN Unit Manager, Dave Rosenblum, MD Medical Director.

Front Row – Katie Kowalski, CTRS Recreational Therapist, Galya, Gaylord’s Working Facility Dog




Morris Resident Dr. Luci Juvan Recognized as Connecticut Magazine “Top Doc”

Thursday, Apr 13, 2017

WALLINGFORD, CONNECTICUT, April 11, 2017 – Morris resident Luci Juvan, M.D., a physiatrist at Gaylord Hospital in Wallingford, was recently recognized as a 2017 Connecticut Magazine “Top D... read more


WALLINGFORD, CONNECTICUT, April 11, 2017 – Morris resident Luci Juvan, M.D., a physiatrist at Gaylord Hospital in Wallingford, was recently recognized as a 2017 Connecticut Magazine “Top Doc”.

Dr. Juvan joined Gaylord Hospital in 1998 specializing in musculoskeletal issues, spasticity management, muscle and nerve injuries, and neurologic disorders including stroke and brain injury. Juvan’s peers say she is a stalwart patient advocate who leaves no stone unturned in her pursuit to help patients overcome potential obstacles that can impede their further rehabilitation.

“The goals of physiatry,” she explained, “are to maximize health and functional capacity in our patients. I am committed to educating my patients so that they are able to prevent re-injury and to empower them to make necessary lifestyle changes for their health.”

Dr. Juvan graduated from the Sophie Davis School of Biomedical Education of the City University of New York in an accelerated seven-year B.S./M.D. program with Mount Sinai School of Medicine, now known as the ICAHN School of Medicine.
She completed her residency at the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey and Kessler Institute for Rehabilitation. She is board-certified in Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation.

Dr. Juvan is a member of the American Academy of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, the Connecticut Society of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, and the New Haven County Medical Society.


Gaylord Hearing Center Offers Complimentary Hearing Tests, Consultations at Open House

Monday, Apr 10, 2017

WALLINGFORD, CONN. (April 6, 2017)— The Gaylord Hearing Center invites area residents to experience all-around better hearing at their one-day Open House on Tuesday April 11 from 9:00 a.m. to 4:... read more


WALLINGFORD, CONN. (April 6, 2017)— The Gaylord Hearing Center invites area residents to experience all-around better hearing at their one-day Open House on Tuesday April 11 from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. The Gaylord Hearing Center is located on the Gaylord Hospital Wallingford campus (outpatient entrance) at 50 Gaylord Farm Road, Wallingford, CT.

Attendees will receive a complementary hearing test and consultation with one of Gaylord’s certified audiologists, no purchase necessary. Participants will be able to test-drive the latest in hearing aid technology and will receive free batteries with purchase. Light refreshments will be served.

Appointments are limited; to register please call (203) 284-2880. Anyone unable to attend the special event may still call to schedule a free, personal and confidential consultation.


Gaylord Hospital’s David Rosenblum, M.D. Earns “Top Doc” Ranking by Connecticut Magazine for 11th Y

Monday, Apr 10, 2017

WALLINGFORD, CONNECTICUT, April 11, 2017 – David S. Rosenblum, M.D., of Gaylord Hospital has been named a 2017 “Top Doc” by Connecticut Magazine. Dr. Rosenblum is the Medical Directo... read more


WALLINGFORD, CONNECTICUT, April 11, 2017 – David S. Rosenblum, M.D., of Gaylord Hospital has been named a 2017 “Top Doc” by Connecticut Magazine. Dr. Rosenblum is the Medical Director of Outpatient Medical Services at Gaylord Hospital, the Director of Gaylord’s Spinal Cord Injury program and Spinal Cord Injury Research, and the Co-Director of Clinical Care and Site Principal Investigator at Gaylord for the Spinal Cord Injury Model System site to which Gaylord belongs.

The announcement, featured in the April issue of the magazine, marks the eleventh year that Dr. Rosenblum has been lauded with the honor.

Since 1992, Dr. Rosenblum has treated patients at Gaylord Specialty Healthcare with a spinal cord injury or other types of neurologic injury or disease. As a physiatrist board certified in physical medicine and rehabilitation, subspecialty board certification in spinal cord injury medicine as well as additional board sub-specialization certification in brain injury medicine, Dr. Rosenblum continuously seeks out new ways to improve the present and future quality of life for his patients.

His innovation and leadership has propelled Gaylord Hospital to the national forefront of spinal cord injury care and rehabilitation. In the 1990s, Dr. Rosenblum was instrumental in creating and directing Gaylord’s Multiple Sclerosis Clinic. At that time he also brought intrathecal baclofen - a technologically advanced treatment for spasticity (a muscle control disorder in which muscles are continuously contracted) - to Gaylord and to Connecticut. Gaylord continues to have an active program in providing state-of-the-art care to people with spasticity.

Dr. Rosenblum also achieved his goal of helping Gaylord become an integral part of a Model Spinal Cord System – the only hospital in the state to achieve this status. With only 14 model systems in the U.S. funded by NIDILRRL (National Institute on Disability, Independent Living and Rehabilitation), the application process is rigorous and facilities must meet specific criteria. Dr. Rosenblum currently serves as Co-Principal Investigator of this Model SCI System.

Dr. Rosenblum was also a key player in bringing exoskeletal robotic technology – a recent development in spinal cord injury therapy – to Gaylord. The wearable robot is used to help patients with spinal cord injury or lower extremity paralysis or weakness to stand and walk. Gaylord is one of the few facilities in the world to offer the Ekso bionic exoskeleton, which was named a top-ten invention by CNN and Wired and one of the “Best Inventions” by Time.

"Dr. Rosenblum is extremely deserving of this honor,” explained George Kyriacou, President and CEO of Gaylord Specialty Healthcare.

“He is valued by patients and peers for his compassionate approach and forward-thinking vision. We are proud to have outstanding doctors like Dr. Rosenblum who help make Gaylord a national leader in rehabilitative health.”

Dr. Rosenblum was recently honored by the Hartford Business Journal with the 2016 Healthcare Hero Award.

The Woodbridge resident graduated summa cum laude and as a member of the Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Medical Society from the University of Buffalo School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences. He completed his residency in physical medicine and rehabilitation at Columbia-Presbyterian Medical Center where he served as chief resident. Dr. Rosenblum is also an associate clinical professor at Yale Medical School.
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Gaylord Speech Language Pathologist to Address Swallowing Difficulties with Free Seminar at Meriden

Monday, Apr 10, 2017

WALLINGFORD, CONN. (April 6, 2017) — Did you know that one in five people over the age of 50 experiences some level of difficulty swallowing? Join Gaylord Specialty Healthcare’s Speech... read more


WALLINGFORD, CONN. (April 6, 2017) — Did you know that one in five people over the age of 50 experiences some level of difficulty swallowing?

Join Gaylord Specialty Healthcare’s Speech and Language Pathologist Cheryl Tansley, M.S., CCC-SLP as she explains what you need to know in a free seminar, “The Aging Swallow”, on Thursday, May 11 from 10:30 to 11:30 a.m. at the Meriden Senior Center, 22 West Main Street, Meriden.

Participants will learn the role of the speech pathologist in helping people to swallow better, understand the basic anatomy and physiology of a “normal” swallow, discover how aging changes basic swallow function, and learn what one can do to make difficult swallowing easier.

Interested participants may sign up at the Meriden Senior Center front desk or call (203) 237-0066.
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Cheshire Community YMCA Presents Gaylord with “Healthy Living Award” for its Commitment to Communit

Tuesday, Apr 04, 2017

Cheshire Community YMCA Presents Gaylord with “Healthy Living Award” for its Commitment to Community’s Wellbeing CHESHIRE, CONN. (April 4, 2017)— Gaylord Physical Therapy,... read more


Cheshire Community YMCA Presents Gaylord with “Healthy Living Award”
for its Commitment to Community’s Wellbeing

CHESHIRE, CONN. (April 4, 2017)— Gaylord Physical Therapy, Orthopedics and Sports Medicine of Cheshire was recently honored by the Cheshire Community YMCA with its 2016 Healthy Living Award. This recognition is given annually to a local organization who demonstrates an unwavering commitment to improving the health and wellbeing of the Cheshire community.

In 2016, a new Gaylord Physical Therapy, Orthopedics and Sports Medicine (PTOSM) office opened on Highland Avenue. In accepting the award Jacob Hunter, Manager of Gaylord PTOSM, said, “With a rich history in rehabilitation and medical care, we continuously strive to extend our reach to serve those in need. Opening a new location in Cheshire has allowed us to integrate Gaylord’s mission into the heart of the Cheshire community.”

Since the facility opened in June, Cheshire Gaylord PTOSM staff have formed collaborative relationships with the YMCA, as well as local businesses, the senior center, and the athletic community. In addition to providing patient care to hundreds of local patients, Gaylord’s highly trained physical therapists have participated in multiple community events which included education to the Cheshire YMCA about the principles of physical therapy and ways to maintain an active and healthy lifestyle. Gaylord PTOSM therapists have also volunteered by providing manual stretching for athletes at local racing events such as Running with the Rams, Ives Farm Land Trust Tractor Trot, and the Hot Cocoa 5K and plan to participate in more community events in the coming year.

“Events such as these allow our entire Gaylord team to become part of the fabric of this warm Cheshire community,” said Hunter. “We look forward to continuing to build strong bonds, serving those in need of physical therapy services and to reinforce our commitment to public service."

YMCA Healthy Living Award photo


Wine, Beer & Cordial Tasting to Benefit Multiple Sclerosis and Brain Injury Patients at Gaylord, May

Tuesday, Mar 28, 2017

Wine, Beer and Cordial Tasting on May 5 to Benefit Multiple Sclerosis and Brain Injury Patients at Gaylord Hospital WALLINGFORD, CONN. (March 25, 2017)— The community is invited to raise a ... read more


Wine, Beer and Cordial Tasting on May 5 to Benefit
Multiple Sclerosis and Brain Injury Patients at Gaylord Hospital

WALLINGFORD, CONN. (March 25, 2017)— The community is invited to raise a glass for a good cause at the Wine, Beer and Cordial Tasting on Friday, May 5, 2017 from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. The event will be held inside and on the outdoor patios (weather permitting) of the Brooker Building at Gaylord Hospital, 50 Gaylord Farm Road, Wallingford, CT.

The event will benefit the Elizabeth Birney Gagliardi Endowment Fund for Multiple Sclerosis and TBI, to provide equipment, care and financial assistance to MS and brain injured patients who are struggling to pay for services or equipment they may need. The evening includes hearty appetizers, carving and pasta stations, dessert and coffee bars as well as raffle items and a Treasure Chest.

Tickets are $50 per person and are available on-line at www.gaylord.org/wine. For more information, call (203) 284-2881 or email publicrelations@gaylord.org.

The annual Wine, Beer and Cordial Tasting has raised more than $142,000 for the Elizabeth Birney Gagliardi Endowment Fund since the event’s inception in 2008. In 2016 the EBG Fund spent nearly $13,000 to cover co-pays, a foot drop brace, a lift seat, two walk aides, a forearm crutch and assistance with the cost of a power wheelchair.

Purchase Tickets


Adaptive Sports Fest Encourages with Individuals with Physical Disabilities, Visual Impairments

Wednesday, Mar 15, 2017

WALLINGFORD, CONN. (March 13, 2017)— The Gaylord Hospital Sports Association, SCSU Institute for Adaptive Sports and Inclusive Recreation and Chapter 126 Sports and Fitness will host the 2017 Ad... read more


WALLINGFORD, CONN. (March 13, 2017)— The Gaylord Hospital Sports Association, SCSU Institute for Adaptive Sports and Inclusive Recreation and Chapter 126 Sports and Fitness will host the 2017 Adaptive Sports Fest to build awareness of the opportunities and benefits of participating in adaptive sports programs.

The one-day festival will take place on Sunday, April 9, 2017 from 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. at the Moore Field House at Southern Connecticut State University, 125 Wintergreen Ave., New Haven, CT 06515. All are invited to attend and admission is free.

“The festival is a great way for people with permanent physical disabilities and visual impairments to become familiar with the world of adaptive sports,” said Gaylord Hospital Sports Association Program Manager, Katie Joly. “It’s a fun opportunity to learn about - and even try - new activities.”

Joly explained that during the festival, attendees will have the opportunity to watch demonstrations or participate in clinics for wheelchair rugby, wheelchair tennis, wheelchair lacrosse, boccia and wheelchair basketball.

Attendees will also have the opportunity to meet with local and national athletes and parathletes and to peruse an expo area featuring adaptive sports programs and resources in Connecticut including sled hockey, archery, yoga, kayaking, running and much more.

To register, please contact the Gaylord Sports Association at (203) 284–2772 or email sports@gaylord.org

2017 Sports Fest Postcard Photo


Thomaston Feed Commits to Feeding Galya - Gaylord Hospital’s Working Facility Dog - For Life

Thursday, Nov 03, 2016

WALLINGFORD, CONNECTICUT, October 27, 2016 - It all started with a single birthday wish. Gaylord Hospital Regional Manager of Outpatient Services Jason Zagorski was about to turn 40 years old, and his... read more


WALLINGFORD, CONNECTICUT, October 27, 2016 - It all started with a single birthday wish. Gaylord Hospital Regional Manager of Outpatient Services Jason Zagorski was about to turn 40 years old, and his friend Nicole Cammack and her fiancé wanted to celebrate by giving him a special gift.

That’s when Zagorski told his friend, who also happened to be manager of Thomaston Feed in Cheshire - a store offering holistic pet food and supplements - all about Galya, Gaylord Hospital’s working facility dog who has lifted the spirits of hundreds of patients recovering from devastating injury or illness.

“All Jason wanted was for us to give Galya a month’s supply of dog food in his honor,” she said. Cammack and her Thomaston Feed colleagues were not only happy to not only fulfill Zagorski’s request, but took it one step further: the family-run natural and holistic pet food and supplement business happily offered to feed Galya for life.

Galya is a sweet-natured yellow lab who came to Gaylord after two years of training from Canine Companions for Independence and was integrated into the hospital’s care to improve patients’ quality of life, increase their motivation, and help patients de-stress.

At the beginning of each work day Galya and her handler, Unit Manager of Gaylord’s Rehabilitation Division Heather Hancort, RN, visit brain injured and spinal cord patients who have specifically requested to see her as well as other patients who have been identified to be in need of a morale boost. The rest of Galya’s day is equally busy as she is often found assisting patients in the gyms or in therapy sessions elsewhere on campus.

Gaylord Hospital recently celebrated Galya’s one-year anniversary at the hospital with a “paw-ty” for her, staff and patients alike. Cammack was on hand to present Galya with a basket of her favorite “cookies” and toys and to officially declare Thomaston Feed’s lifetime promise.

Cammack, an animal nutrition expert who also has committed to feeding several local police dogs for life, says that it is “always a joy to watch Galya interact with patients.”

“It’s so heartwarming,” said Cammack. “You can’t put words to it. You see Galya work with people who are trying to come back from the worst point in their life. And seeing them light up around her is amazing. It means a lot to be a part of that.”

About Thomaston Feed
With stores located in Brookfield, Cheshire, Thomaston and River Vale, NJ, Thomaston Feed is a family run business specializing in dog and cat nutrition and holistic alternatives to synthetic medicines since 1990.


Gaylord Hospital donates furniture to women's shelter

Wednesday, Sep 20, 2017

September 19, 2017 11:22PM By Matthew Zabierek, Record-Journal staff WALLINGFORD — Gaylord Hospital loaded a truck with used furniture Tuesday to be donated to My Sister’s Place, an or... read more


September 19, 2017 11:22PM
By Matthew Zabierek, Record-Journal staff

WALLINGFORD — Gaylord Hospital loaded a truck with used furniture Tuesday to be donated to My Sister’s Place, an organization in Ansonia that supports victims of domestic violence.

The furniture was removed from the Traurig House on the Gaylord campus to make way for new, handicapped-accessible furnishings as part of a renovation of the building, which serves as a transitional living center for patients recovering from a stroke or brain injury.

The furniture was given to the thrift store operated by My Sister’s Place, where donated items are sold to collect proceeds for domestic violence victims. Store manager Nancy Cahoon estimated the donated furniture will help raise between $1,500 and $2,000.

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Gaylord Hospital opens unit for complex stroke

Friday, Sep 08, 2017

Hartford Business.com, Sept. 6, 2017 By John Stearns Gaylord Hospital, a 137-bed specialty hospital in Wallingford, last week announced the opening of a new unit in its facility to treat the most co... read more


Hartford Business.com, Sept. 6, 2017
By John Stearns
Gaylord Hospital, a 137-bed specialty hospital in Wallingford, last week announced the opening of a new unit in its facility to treat the most complex and medically fragile stroke victims.

The 24-bed unit, which opened in July, is housed within existing hospital space and all rooms are private. It was recently outfitted with a $125,000 telemetry system monitored 24/7 by at least two telemetry technicians. Five were hired for the system.

Telemetry measures and records heart rate, electrical activity of the heart, breathing rate and oxygen level in the blood as the patient moves, takes medication or rests, allowing clinicians to effectively evaluate patients, according to information provided by Gaylord. It cited a Loyola University of Chicago School of Medicine study showing that 17 percent of stroke patients placed on telemetry developed new cardiac arrhythmias and that almost half of the cardiac arrhythmias were atrial fibrillation – a leading indicator of a possible second, deadly stroke.

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New Concussion Guidelines

Friday, Sep 08, 2017

WTHN.com, Sept. 6, 2017 By Nicole Warren, Senior Producer (WTNH)-Dr. Mark Herceg, Director of Center for Concussion Care and Director of Psychology at Gaylord Specialty Healthcare, discusses new gui... read more


WTHN.com, Sept. 6, 2017
By Nicole Warren, Senior Producer
(WTNH)-Dr. Mark Herceg, Director of Center for Concussion Care and Director of Psychology at Gaylord Specialty Healthcare, discusses new guidelines for post-concussion recovery. Dr. Herceg was among the world’s top concussion experts invited to participate in the Annual Consensus on Sports Concussion Conference in Berlin, Germany. Resulting from the conference are new, research-based guidelines for returning to activity post-concussion that are a major shift away from the conventional wisdom of limiting patients to isolation and dark until asymptomatic. By day three post-concussion, a careful, moderate return to normal daily activities, study and play is healthy and safe for many (but not all) patients — even while still symptomatic.



Renowned Concussion Expert, Mark Herceg, Ph.D., Joins Gaylord Specialty Healthcare

Friday, Sep 08, 2017

Gaylord Specialty Healthcare recently announced the addition of Dr. Mark Herceg, Ph.D. to its staff as Director of Psychology and Director of the Gaylord Center for Brain Health and the Center for Con... read more


Gaylord Specialty Healthcare recently announced the addition of Dr. Mark Herceg, Ph.D. to its staff as Director of Psychology and Director of the Gaylord Center for Brain Health and the Center for Concussion Care.

Dr. Herceg will lead a team of neuropsychologists as they diagnose and treat various neurocognitive and psychological changes due to traumatic brain injuries, stroke, Parkinson’s and more to help promote and maximize a person’s recovery.

“I look forward to working with an interdisciplinary team to help those with traumatic brain injuries rehabilitate and recover,” Dr. Herceg said. “I have long known about Gaylord’s incredible reputation and the staff’s attentiveness to each patient’s specific and individual recovery. I am especially impressed by Gaylord’s focus on the importance of neuropsychology in the treatment of traumatic brain injuries, an emphasis not often seen in other rehabilitation centers.”

Dr. Herceg has nearly 20 years of experience, including working with high school, college, and professional athletes who have sustained concussions. Prior to arriving at Gaylord Hospital, Dr. Herceg was the Commissioner of Mental Health for Westchester County, NY where he served as chair of the 28-member County Concussion Task Force and was lead author of the group’s article, “10 Best Practices for Concussion Management,” which was endorsed by the Brain Injury Association of America and New York State Chapter (BIANYS). He was honored with the BIANYS “Founder’s Award” for his efforts to increase concussion awareness in youth and high school sports. He was also appointed by the Brain Injury Association as co-chair of a state-wide concussion initiative.

Prior to his County appointment, Dr. Herceg was the Director of Neuropsychology for the Brain Injury Unit at Burke Rehabilitation Hospital in White Plains, New York, where he specialized in evaluating and treating individuals with various neurological changes, illnesses and brain injuries across the life spectrum.

In 2013 he authored a chapter on concussion management in the book “In the Arena” published by the NY State Bar Association. In 2017, he organized & co-chaired the first Croatian Conference on Concussions in Split, Croatia. Dr. Herceg is an Assistant Professor of Psychology in Clinical Neurology at Weill Cornell Medical College, a Lecturer in the Department of Epidemiology and Community Health at New York Medical College, and is also a member of the Big Ten/Ivy League TBI Research Collaboration.

Dr. Herceg sits on the Executive Board of the Sports Neuropsychology Society, is a member of the American Psychological Association, International Neuropsychology Society, and the National Academy of Neuropsychology where he is the Chair of Social Media. He currently resides in Westchester County with his wife, Agnes, and his three daughters.

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Gaylord Dedicates Unit to Care for Complex Stroke Patients

Friday, Sep 08, 2017

Gaylord Hospital, a not-for-profit specialty hospital in Wallingford, recently opened a new unit dedicated to the unique medical needs of the hospital’s most complex and medically fragile stroke... read more


Gaylord Hospital, a not-for-profit specialty hospital in Wallingford, recently opened a new unit dedicated to the unique medical needs of the hospital’s most complex and medically fragile stroke patients.

According to Sonja LaBarbera, Vice President of Operations and Strategy, Gaylord Hospital has long been a recognized leader in stroke care throughout the Northeast and has the only stroke program in Connecticut to be accredited by CARF (Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities).

“We continually strive to incorporate best practices into our stroke program as it continues to grow year after year,” she said. “We’re employing an evidence-based model of care that proves that cohorting the hospital’s most complex stroke patients leads to better outcomes.”

“With individuals being discharged from acute care hospitals sooner, we’re finding that stroke patients are arriving at Gaylord with more complex medical needs than ever before,” LaBarbera continued. “Our most medically fragile stroke patients will benefit from coordinated, multidisciplinary care from nurses, therapists, hospitalists and physiatrists who are experienced and trained in providing the highest level of stroke care.”

The complex stroke unit was also recently outfitted with a state-of-the-art telemetry system. It’s an investment in technology, LaBarbera says, that “further commits Gaylord to providing the best in care.”

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No "Stone" Left Unturned

Monday, Jul 24, 2017

New England Hospital News By Joy Savulak Gaylord Adaptive Sports Association Opens Whole New World to Young, Quadriplegic Dad A quick glimpse in the rearview mirror told 36-year-old Joe Stone tha... read more


New England Hospital News
By Joy Savulak Gaylord Adaptive Sports Association Opens Whole New World to Young, Quadriplegic Dad

A quick glimpse in the rearview mirror told 36-year-old Joe Stone that something was amiss in the backseat.

His three-year-old daughter’s seat belt had become unsafely tangled around the armrest of her car seat. As he reached back to untwist it, the car lost control and began careening down a hill. Without hesitation, the father of two removed his own safety belt and hurled himself into the backseat to secure his daughter before veering over the embankment. For a brief moment, he was aware of tumbling, falling, and then - blackness.

Doctors said it was a miracle that he had survived the crash, but explained that the spinal cord injury he sustained would leave him permanently paralyzed from the chest down. It was a crushing blow to the active Florida resident who loved volleyball and all-things outdoors. “I remember telling my mom, ‘I don’t want this to change my heart.’ I was struggling to find the silver lining,” he said.

Joe found it the day a smiling hospital volunteer in a wheelchair came to visit with a DVD titled “Murderball” in hand.

“I thought, ‘what on earth does this have to do with me?’” he chuckled.

Murderball – or quad rugby as it’s referred to in the U.S. – is a team sport played by people with physical disabilities. Like its able-bodied counterpart, physical contact is an integral part of the game.

“As soon as I was done watching the video I knew I wanted to be a part of it. And four months later, I joined the Orlando Clash quad rugby team. I just fell in love with the sport … it made me feel alive again.”

When Joe contemplated relocating to the Northeast two years later, he looked online for a Connecticut-based quad rugby team and a local rehabilitation hospital where he could continue his outpatient therapy. His research led him to Gaylord Specialty Healthcare in Wallingford.

“A few people in Florida even referred me to Gaylord ... their reputation preceded them!” he said.

After his move, Joe continued his intensive outpatient physical therapy at Gaylord Hospital, an institution he refers to as “top-notch.” There, he used the Ekso Bionics wearable exosketon – the only one of its kind in the state – to help him stand and walk. He credits the high-tech device with helping him gain enough strength to stand and take steps on his own using only the help of a walker.

Outside of the therapy gym, Joe became very involved with the Gaylord Hospital Sports Association, a program that hosts more than 200 adaptive sports and recreational events each year for physically disabled and visually impaired individuals in Connecticut and the Northeast. The Association offers more than a dozen adaptive sports ranging from alpine skiing to sled hockey.

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New van helps patients at Gaylord Hospital

Monday, Jul 24, 2017

Record Journal By Matthew Zabierek, Record-Journal staff WALLINGFORD — Patients at Gaylord Hospital are getting more opportunities to go out into the community thanks to a new handicap-accessi... read more


Record Journal
By Matthew Zabierek, Record-Journal staff

WALLINGFORD — Patients at Gaylord Hospital are getting more opportunities to go out into the community thanks to a new handicap-accessible van.

The specialty hospital recently received a $75,000 grant to purchase the 15-passenger van, which is used for outings designed to help patients re-adjust to normal life.

On the outings, patients learn to become more independent by interacting with strangers, managing money and making decisions in real life situations, said Katie Kowalski, a Gaylord therapeutic recreational specialist.

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New van helps patients at Gaylord Hospital

Monday, Jul 24, 2017

WALLINGFORD — Patients at Gaylord Hospital are getting more opportunities to go out into the community thanks to a new handicap-accessible van. The specialty hospital rece... read more



WALLINGFORD — Patients at Gaylord Hospital are getting more opportunities to go out into the community thanks to a new handicap-accessible van.

The specialty hospital recently received a $75,000 grant to purchase the 15-passenger van, which is used for outings designed to help patients re-adjust to normal life.

On the outings, patients learn to become more independent by interacting with strangers, managing money and making decisions in real life situations, said Katie Kowalski, a Gaylord therapeutic recreational specialist.

On Friday, a group of patients in Gaylord’s brain injury residential program traveled to eat at Breakfast Connections in North Haven.

“It gives me the opportunity to get back into the swing of life,” said Mike Miller, a Southington resident who is recovering from a coma.

“Getting out and being in the community, we’re doing all the things that people take for granted,” said Cheryl Chiari, a Wallingford resident who suffered a brain hemorrhage. “It’s not as easy as it looks to communicate with strangers, to walk, even just to get out of the van.”

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Gaylord Hospital in Wallingford receives new handicapped van

Monday, Jul 03, 2017

New Haven Register, July 2, 2017 By Luther Turmelle WALLINGFORD >> Gaylord Hospital has a new handicapped-accessible van, thanks to a grant from a quasi-governmental agency created to help C... read more


New Haven Register, July 2, 2017
By Luther Turmelle

WALLINGFORD >> Gaylord Hospital has a new handicapped-accessible van, thanks to a grant from a quasi-governmental agency created to help Connecticut-based nonprofit organizations.

The 15-passenger van was purchased using $74,747 from Connecticut Health and Educational Facilities Authority. The van will be used to transport patients to off-site events, according to Gaylord officials.

Tara Knapp, Gaylord’s vice president of marketing and development, said the trips help patients learn how to function and adapt to new challenges in the outside world as they recover from their injuries and illnesses.

“The therapeutic value that our community-reintegration program provides our patients is immense,” Knapp said. “For someone with a recent amputation, it could mean figuring out how to navigate public spaces with a wheelchair or prosthetic. Our traumatic brain injury patients often benefit from these group trips by giving them experience making decisions such as what movie to see and solving problems such as how to make change.”  


Gaylord Hospital in Wallingford has special unit to treat adolescents with spinal cord injuries

Monday, Jun 26, 2017

By Anna Bisaro, New Haven Register WALLINGFORD >> Even in a hospital floor full of nurses, a mother of a teenager recovering from a spinal cord or brain injury never wants to be far away. &l... read more


By Anna Bisaro, New Haven Register WALLINGFORD >> Even in a hospital floor full of nurses, a mother of a teenager recovering from a spinal cord or brain injury never wants to be far away.

“I can hear ‘mom’ in my sleep,” said Shirleyann Pompea, whose daughter fractured her neck and injured her spinal cord in April. “I can get there before the call bell.”

Pompea’s daughter, Janelle, lived at Gaylord Specialty Healthcare for close to two months while she recovered from the injuries she suffered in a car accident in Redding. And every night of her stay in Wallingford, Pompea or her husband, have been right next door.

“For the 49 days she’s been here, we’ve been here,” Pompea said on a recent day her daughter was set to finally go home.

The Adolescent Spinal Cord Injury Unit at the Gaylord Hospital was recently recognized by the Greater New Haven Chamber of Commerce’s Health Care Council for its innovative approach to caring for teenagers and their families.

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Photos of the Fourth Annual Gaylord Gauntlet 5k in Wallingford

Monday, Jun 26, 2017

Link to photos taken during the Gaylord Gauntlet on held June 24, 2017 on the Gaylord Hospital campus. Proceeds from the event benefit the Gaylord Sports Association which offers adaptive sports for i... read more


Link to photos taken during the Gaylord Gauntlet on held June 24, 2017 on the Gaylord Hospital campus. Proceeds from the event benefit the Gaylord Sports Association which offers adaptive sports for individuals with physical disabilities.

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Gaylord Gauntlet Can't Compare to Obstacles Joe Stone Already Overcame

Monday, Jun 26, 2017

By Lori Riely, Hartford Courant, Contact Reporter It wasn't that long ago that Joe Stone couldn't feed himself. Or go to the bathroom by himself. Or even roll over in bed. Stone, 41, of Stratford,... read more


By Lori Riely, Hartford Courant, Contact Reporter It wasn't that long ago that Joe Stone couldn't feed himself. Or go to the bathroom by himself. Or even roll over in bed.

Stone, 41, of Stratford, has come a long way in a little over five years. Saturday, using his one stronger arm, he muscled his way on an all-terrain wheelchair through mud, sand, over rocks. He went up and over walls, swung on a rope over a mud pit, army-crawled over tires and went down a waterslide — holding a selfie stick aloft — as he became the first quadriplegic to complete the Gaylord Gauntlet 5K obstacle race in the woods surrounding Gaylord Hospital. He was among 900 people who competed in the event.

"He's a total bad ass," said Tim Kilbride, a physical therapist at Gaylord and friend who helped Stone through the race. "To do this — to try to move yourself through this distance using arms instead of legs — it's inconceivably difficult. Then to tackle all those obstacles with the ferocity he did — I strive to be a 10th of that athlete when I'm doing the stuff I do."

Stone was paralyzed in a car accident in Florida 51/2 years ago. He was reaching into the back seat to fix his younger daughter's seat belt on her booster seat and lost control of the car.


Gaylord Gauntlet: Where taking on challenges is a matter of course

Monday, Jun 26, 2017

By Ryan Conchado Record-Journal WALLINGFORD — Saturday began as a rather wet and dark morning, with storm clouds overhead. Gaylord Hospital’s Sports Association didn’t let the ear... read more


By Ryan Conchado Record-Journal

WALLINGFORD — Saturday began as a rather wet and dark morning, with storm clouds overhead. Gaylord Hospital’s Sports Association didn’t let the early damp weather stop them from holding its fourth annual Gaylord Gauntlet 5k Trail and Obstacle Run.

The Gauntlet played out along the outskirts of Gaylord Hospital’s 500 acres of land. Not only was the run all-terrain, it was made additionally challenging with obstacle courses prevalent throughout the 3.1-mile stretch.

“Many of the obstacles require a good amount of upper-body strength,” noted Joy Savulak, head of the Gaylord Sports Association.

 

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Redding teen released from hospital months after serious car accident

Friday, Jun 23, 2017

News 12 Connecticut, June 23, 2017 "REDDING - A Redding teenager has been released from the hospital months after a serious car crash and says she feels fortunate to be alive. Janel... read more


News 12 Connecticut, June 23, 2017

"REDDING - A Redding teenager has been released from the hospital months after a serious car crash and says she feels fortunate to be alive.

Janelle Pompea, 16, completed her inpatient care at Gaylord Hospital Thursday morning after the April accident that also hurt five other teens. The crash fractured her spinal cord, broke her femur and gave her third-degree burns on her legs and arm.

Over her 49 days in the hospital, Pompea had to utilize her feet for functions like holding electronic devices or putting on pants because she had no control of her arms."

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Gaylord Gauntlet in Wallingford on WTNH

Wednesday, Jun 21, 2017

Interview on WTNH with Katie Joly, Gaylord Sports Assoc., and Joe Stone, Sports Assoc. participant and first quadriplegic to tackle the Gaylord Gauntlet 5k and Obstacle Run on June 24, 2017. "(WTNH)-... read more


Interview on WTNH with Katie Joly, Gaylord Sports Assoc., and Joe Stone, Sports Assoc. participant and first quadriplegic to tackle the Gaylord Gauntlet 5k and Obstacle Run on June 24, 2017. "(WTNH)-A Connecticut man is getting ready to become the first quadriplegic to tackle the Gaylord Gauntlet in Wallingford this weekend. Athlete Joe Stone talked about how the Gaylord Hospital Sports Association has helped him since his accident."

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Adaptive golfers score at Wallingford tournament

Thursday, Jun 15, 2017

Fox 61 News -- By Jim Altman WALLINGFORD  -- "Next week the Travelers Championship takes to the tees at the TPC River Highlands, but Monday at Wallingford's Farms Country Club showcases an ... read more


Fox 61 News -- By Jim Altman
WALLINGFORD  -- "Next week the Travelers Championship takes to the tees at the TPC River Highlands, but Monday at Wallingford's Farms Country Club showcases an impressive field.

Formerly known as the GHO -- the Gaylord Hospital Open -- what is now called the Ken Murphy Memorial Open brings in adaptive golfers from around the state to make their rounds no matter their affliction. The tournament is put on by the Sports Assocation at Gaylord Hospital where many of the players rehabbed and were taught to learn the game again.

"We have folks who might have had a stroke, a spinal cord injury, amputees, a traumatic brain injury and they're all out there playing golf in a competitive tournament," said Katie Joly, the program manager from the Sports Association."

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Stone set to become first quadriplegic to run Gaylord Gauntlet

Thursday, Jun 15, 2017

CT Post--June 15, 2017 By Michael Fornabaio WALLINGFORD — Coming around the bend on Gaylord Farms Road, alone in a field, across from The Farms Country Club, sits one massive oval boulder... read more


CT Post--June 15, 2017
By Michael Fornabaio

WALLINGFORD — Coming around the bend on Gaylord Farms Road, alone in a field, across from The Farms Country Club, sits one massive oval boulder. It’s 30ish feet by 20ish feet, from the satellite pictures, and at least from the road, it looks just high enough that it might not be simple to clamber over that rock.

Next weekend, Stratford’s Joe Stone will be one of nearly 1,000 to give it a try. They will jump across, crawl through, climb upon and clamber over obstacles just like the rock in the “Gaylord Gauntlet,” a 5-kilometer obstacle course on the campus of Gaylord Hospital.

Stone is a special case, though: After a car accident in Florida five years ago, doctors told him he probably wouldn’t move from his chest down on his own ever again. Instead, on June 24, Stone will become the first quadriplegic athlete to take part in the Gaylord Gauntlet.

“I’ll be interested to see how Joe does,” said Steve Holland, Gaylord’s chief medical officer and the race director. “It’s going to take a team to get him through the course.”

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GOLF: At the Ken Murphy Memorial, there’s no impairment to a good 9 holes

Wednesday, Jun 14, 2017

By Ryan Conchado Special to the Record-Journal   WALLINGFORD — The Farms Country Club hosts its share of golf tournaments throughout the year. The one it hosted Monday — the Gaylo... read more


By Ryan Conchado Special to the Record-Journal
 
WALLINGFORD — The Farms Country Club hosts its share of golf tournaments throughout the year. The one it hosted Monday — the Gaylord Hospital Sports Association-sponsored Ken Murphy Memorial — is one of a kind.

“What makes this tournament unique is that it’s just for people who have a psychical disability or a vision impairment,” said event organizer Katie Joly. “Some of the disabilities are amputees, spinal cord injuries, traumatic brain injury, a stroke, and other mobility based disabilities.”

The tournament has more of a purpose than being a fun, good-hearted event. It’s also to help those who have experienced these types of injuries get back to doing the things that they thoroughly enjoyed.

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Many a Mile to Freedom

Friday, Jun 02, 2017

By Lucy Gellman, June 1, 2017   New Haven Independent One recent morning Katie Kowalski was helping get people with disabilities back on bicycles. She had her hands midway up my right calf, wo... read more


By Lucy Gellman, June 1, 2017   New Haven Independent

One recent morning Katie Kowalski was helping get people with disabilities back on bicycles. She had her hands midway up my right calf, working it into a black attachment that was half-bike, half-ankle foot orthotic. She tightened a gear with a blue-headed wrench, then secured velcro straps and double-checked my helmet. With her nod of approval, I hit the pedals hard and headed onto a path at Edgewood Park.

Low-hanging trees and frizz-topped grasses bent in the wind to say hello. A couple walking their dog pulled over to the side of the road, long enough for me to notice that they weren’t keeping leash laws. My cycling partner, bike advocate Paul Hammer, regaled me with the history of invasive species in the park. As we cruised toward the park’s small lake, a gust of cool air pressed up against my face, delivering a burst of early summer smells. Everything felt green. 

 

Tom Breen Photo

TOM BREEN PHOTO

Me! On a bike!

It was a normal bike ride, except the bike was a recumbent, and my feet were in all sorts of toe clips, and I was riding a bike for the first time in almost 20 years. In under 10 minutes, it reminded me why biking is magical — and yet still an uphill pedal in this city, especially if you have any sort of barrier to moving.  

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North Haven Resident, Gaylord Hospital Nurse Honored with Nightingale Award for Excellence in Nursin

Thursday, May 18, 2017

North Haven Patch - May 18, 2017 -  Gaylord Specialty Healthcare proudly announces that North Haven resident Joan Buckley, RN, has been honored with the Nightingale Award for Excellence in Nursi... read more


North Haven Patch - May 18, 2017 - 

Gaylord Specialty Healthcare proudly announces that North Haven resident Joan Buckley, RN, has been honored with the Nightingale Award for Excellence in Nursing at a recent gala celebration at Anthony’s Ocean View in New Haven.

The Nightingale Award is one of Connecticut’s most prestigious nursing honors and was created to celebrate outstanding nursing professionals and elevate the profession in the state of Connecticut. Buckley was among 78 exceptional nurses from Greater New Haven health care organizations who received the honor.

An admissions nurse, Buckley is described as a strong patient advocate who handles each case meticulously and compassionately.

Affectionately nicknamed “Joan of Arc” by her peers, she is well-known for ensuring that the admissions process for patients with devastating illnesses and injuries is seamless and safe for all involved.

Buckley uses her vast knowledge and her strong belief in what Gaylord can do for patients to ensure that they receive the care they require. She recently went to bat for a Guillain-Barre patient whose insurance denied the request for acute rehab despite the documented need from his doctor, therapist and hospital case manager. Buckley left no stone unturned in her successful quest to persuade the insurance company to approve his case.


Dozens take part in sports fest at SCSU for people with physical impairments

Monday, Apr 10, 2017

FOX 61 News - NEW HAVEN — More than 100 people with physical disabilities and visual impairments showed up for the adaptive sports fest at SCSU Sunday. Over 20 adaptive sports and recreationa... read more


FOX 61 News - NEW HAVEN — More than 100 people with physical disabilities and visual impairments showed up for the adaptive sports fest at SCSU Sunday.

Over 20 adaptive sports and recreational organizations participated in the festival where adaptive athletes joined in on sport demonstrations including wheelchair tennis, blind hockey, and wheelchair basketball.

“A lot of people are out there living with a physical disability or visual impairment and we want people to know that there are opportunities to get out and get active. Life doesn’t stop because you’re in a wheelchair so you gotta find something new you can do,” Katie Joly, Sports Program Manager, Gaylord Hospital.

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Record Attendance for Adaptive Rock Climbing in Wallingford

Sunday, Mar 26, 2017

March 25, 2017 Myrecordjournal.com By Sheridan Cyr Special to the Record-Journal WALLINGFORD — The Sports Association at Gaylord Hospital hosted its fourth annual adaptive rock climbing cli... read more


March 25, 2017 Myrecordjournal.com
By Sheridan Cyr Special to the Record-Journal

WALLINGFORD — The Sports Association at Gaylord Hospital hosted its fourth annual adaptive rock climbing clinic at Prime Climb in Wallingford Saturday afternoon with record attendance.

Employees from Prime Climb, from the Sports Association at Gaylord Hospital, from Hangar Clinic and students studying therapeutic recreation at Southern Connecticut State University volunteered time to help visually impaired and disabled people face an incredible challenge — rock climbing.

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Galya, Gaylord's Facility Dog, and Heather Hancort Profiled on "Crossroads Magazine"

Monday, Mar 20, 2017

GALYA & HEATHER on TV: See Heather Hancort, BSN, RN, CRRN and Galya, Gaylord's facility dog, in action during this video profile for "Crossroads Magazine." Galya is a 3 yr. old yellow lab specia... read more


GALYA & HEATHER on TV: See Heather Hancort, BSN, RN, CRRN and Galya, Gaylord's facility dog, in action during this video profile for "Crossroads Magazine." Galya is a 3 yr. old yellow lab specially trained to work in a setting like Gaylord. Their story starts at 10:08 minutes into the video.


Why You Should Get Your Hearing Checked

Wednesday, Mar 08, 2017

WALLINGFORD, Conn. (WTNH) – Can’t hear any noise? Need to turn up the television or radio? You may need to have your hearing screened. Audiologist Lori Charette heads up the Gaylord Hea... read more


WALLINGFORD, Conn. (WTNH) – Can’t hear any noise? Need to turn up the television or radio? You may need to have your hearing screened.

Audiologist Lori Charette heads up the Gaylord Hearing Center.

“Once you are 50, just like you would have many other screenings, when you have a screening for hearing then you know, is your hearing on a decline and you can do something about it,” said Audiologist Lori Charette at Gaylord Hearing Center.

Doing something about it could have a huge impact.

“A brain that can hear is a well functioning brain,” said Charette.

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Rare condition helps two young women form special bond

Wednesday, Jan 25, 2017

WALLINGFORD, CT (WFSB) - A special bond was formed between two young women who recognize how life can change in an instant. After one of them shared the story of her health scare on Channel 3 a fe... read more


WALLINGFORD, CT (WFSB) -
A special bond was formed between two young women who recognize how life can change in an instant.

After one of them shared the story of her health scare on Channel 3 a few months ago, the other wound-up having a lifesaving surgery.

Last September, Channel 3 introduced viewers to Skylar Vumback who was recovering from an arteriovenous malformation, or an AVM.

It's a condition when blood vessels get tangled in the brain, and in Vumback’s case, there was a brain burst that left her in a coma for nine days.

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New Haven Register Photos of CT Jammers Wheelchair Rugby vs. Southern

Wednesday, Jan 25, 2017

New Haven Register - The Southern Connecticut State University Rugby Team competes in a wheelchair rugby match against the CT Jammers at Southern's Pelz Gymnasium in New Haven on 1/22/2016. The match ... read more


New Haven Register - The Southern Connecticut State University Rugby Team competes in a wheelchair rugby match against the CT Jammers at Southern's Pelz Gymnasium in New Haven on 1/22/2016. The match was organized by the Institute for Adaptive Sports and Recreation at Southern and Gaylord Hospital.
Photos by Arnold Gold/New Haven Register

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Walter Camp All-Americans visit Gaylord Hospital in Wallingford

Sunday, Jan 15, 2017

January 14, 2017 By Pete Paguaga Record-Journal Staff WALLINGFORD — When she was admitted to Gaylord Hospital three weeks ago, Erika Van Buren noticed the hospital would be hosting current a... read more


January 14, 2017
By Pete Paguaga Record-Journal Staff

WALLINGFORD — When she was admitted to Gaylord Hospital three weeks ago, Erika Van Buren noticed the hospital would be hosting current and former Walter Camp Foundation All-Americans.

Van Buren, who had brain surgery after it was discovered she had Arteriovenous Malformations, is a freshman at the University of Michigan.

“I was so excited because there were three (Michigan) players who made the Walter Camp All-American team this year,” said Van Buren, who is from Canton.

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With therapist's help, paralyzed man proposes to girlfriend at Wallingford hospital

Saturday, Dec 10, 2016

FOX 61 News, Dec. 9, 2016, Posted by Doug Stewart WALLINGFORD — A man who was paralyzed in a diving accident last summer proposed  to his girlfriend with the help of his therapists Th... read more


FOX 61 News, Dec. 9, 2016, Posted by Doug Stewart

WALLINGFORD — A man who was paralyzed in a diving accident last summer proposed  to his girlfriend with the help of his therapists Thursday.

Joe Graham, 29, broke his neck and crushed vertebrae when he dove into a pool this past July. At the time he was told he would be on a ventilator to help him breathe for the rest of his life.

According to Gaylord Hospital, while he was In the intensive care unit, his girlfriend Tonya told him she was pregnant. Video Link:  http://bit.ly/BendedKnee

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Local paralyzed man proposes on bended knee

Saturday, Dec 10, 2016

WFSB News, Dec. 9, 2016, by Olivia Lank WALLINGFORD, CT (WFSB) -A local man was able to propose on bended knee even though he is a quadriplegic.  Joe Graham ,29, was able to propose to his girl... read more


WFSB News, Dec. 9, 2016, by Olivia Lank WALLINGFORD, CT (WFSB) -A local man was able to propose on bended knee even though he is a quadriplegic. 

Joe Graham ,29, was able to propose to his girlfriend at Gaylord Hospital with the help of his team of physical therapists. 

Graham broke his neck and crushed his vertebrae when he dove into a pool in July of 2016. 

According to Gaylord Hospital, he was told he would be on a vent his whole life.

Graham found out that his girlfriend, Tonya, was pregnant when he was in the ICU. 

When Graham was transferred to Gaylord, he was motivated by the news of the baby to get off the vent and increase his strength to use both arms. He then asked his team of physical therapists to help him propose to Tonya. 

Video link: http://bit.ly/BendedKnee

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Lori Riley: After Brother's Accident, Kaylea Mazzamurro Gives Back To Gaylord Hospital

Monday, Dec 05, 2016

Hartford Courant - Dec. 3, 1016 - by Lori Riley Every December, it's tough for Joe Stone to find a gym in which to run his Connecticut Classic wheelchair rugby tournament "It seems like basketball... read more


Hartford Courant - Dec. 3, 1016 - by Lori Riley Every December, it's tough for Joe Stone to find a gym in which to run his Connecticut Classic wheelchair rugby tournament

"It seems like basketball was pushing our dates out of the way," said Stone, who is a member of the Connecticut Jammers wheelchair rugby team at Gaylord Specialty Healthcarein Wallingford. "Every December, our gym that allows us to practice year round, they close. Every year, it's a fight to find a gym to allows us to host. We called a lot of gyms. We need an inside person to move things along."

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Renovations planned for Gaylord Hospital facility

Monday, Dec 05, 2016

MyRecordJournal.com - December 2, 2016 By Matthew Zabierek Record-Journal staff WALLINGFORD — Gaylord Hospital is soliciting donations for renovations to its Traurig House, a transitional hom... read more


MyRecordJournal.com - December 2, 2016
By Matthew Zabierek Record-Journal staff WALLINGFORD — Gaylord Hospital is soliciting donations for renovations to its Traurig House, a transitional home for patients with brain injuries.

The facility helps patients transition from inpatient care before returning home. Case manager Joy Oliano said the facility has not undergone a major renovation since it was built in 1988.

“It’s dated and needs renovations,” Oliano said.

In September, Gaylord launched a fundraising campaign dubbed “The Traurig Challenge” with hopes of raising $120,000. The CUNO Foundation, a Meriden-based organization that provides grants for public, charitable or educational purposes, has pledged to donate $60,000 along with an anonymous donor. With the pledge, the hospital has collected about $104,000 in total.

The money will go for new carpet, furniture, bathroom fixtures and painted walls. Oliano believes the renovations will take the home’s “college dorm” appearance and transform it into a state-of-the-art facility.

Patients stay in the co-ed facility, which includes eight beds, for roughly eight weeks while completing therapy to repair cognitive and speech skills. Injuries that patients rehab include traumatic brain injury, stroke, aneurysm, or neurological disease.

Patients have often lost the ability to complete everyday tasks, like balancing a checkbook and grocery shopping, Oliano said.

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Choate Boys and Girls Hockey Team Come Together for Charity Ice Hockey Game

Monday, Nov 07, 2016

SportsEdge.com--November 6, 2016 Nicole McGuigan has been playing hockey since she was 7-years-old. McGuigan is a junior at Choate in Wallingford and Sunday she organized a charity ice hockey game... read more


SportsEdge.com--November 6, 2016 Nicole McGuigan has been playing hockey since she was 7-years-old.

McGuigan is a junior at Choate in Wallingford and Sunday she organized a charity ice hockey game for the Gaylord Sports Association’s Wolfpack Sled Hockey team. After volunteering at a sled hockey game at her home in Long Island, McGuigan decided to do the same thing at Choate.

“I love hockey its my passion, I love hockey,” said McGuigan.

Members of the boys and girls varsity hockey team battled the Wolfpack in a sled game that was pretty one-sided

“I thought it would be really fun event so I came out and played and I got lit up a little bit, but it was fun,” said Jackson Elkins.

Elkins joined McGuigan and their teammates on the ice, but more important that the score, they raised money for the Wolfpack. Over $8,000.

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Choate Teams Up with Wolfpack Sled Hockey Players in Wallingford Charity Event

Sunday, Nov 06, 2016

November 6, 2016 07:24PM By Pete Paguaga Record-Journal Staff WALLINGFORD — When she was just three weeks old, Choate Rosemary Hall’s Nicole McGuigan had to have open heart surgery and... read more


November 6, 2016 07:24PM
By Pete Paguaga Record-Journal Staff

WALLINGFORD — When she was just three weeks old, Choate Rosemary Hall’s Nicole McGuigan had to have open heart surgery and over the past 17 years she has been giving back.

Whether it was donating hair for Locks of Love, being a puppy walker for the Guide Dog Foundation, serving as a Red Cap Ambassador for the American Heart Association, helping out at the Building Homes for Heroes annual skate-athon or volunteering with the Long Island RoughRiders sled hockey team, she has always wanted to help.

Helping out with the Long Island RoughRiders inspired her to organize the first sled hockey charity game with the Gaylord Wolfpack sled hockey team on Sunday at Choate.

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