Tag Archives: Hartford Hospital

Hartford Hospital Gala Benefits Institute of Living

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It was a sold out event Saturday evening at The Bushnell Center for the Performing Arts in Hartford as Hartford Hospital celebrated with their Black & Red Fundraising Gala. The evening’s theme was “Stop the Stigma” of Mental Illness.

Jan2014 924“For Hartford Hospital to recognize the importance of behavioral health, by recognizing the Institute of Living, reflects the enormous change in our consciousness in terms of mental health issues in American life,” said Dr. Harold (Hank) Schwartz, Hartford HealthCare regional vice president, psychiatrist-in-chief for Institute of Living at Hartford Hospital. “We’re really pushing this anti-stigma campaign to get everybody to recognize how important mental health issues are and to work against the stigma that keeps so many people from seeking the help and assistance that they need.”

Jan2014 929Among the 1,200 guests at the gala were Jonathan and Robyn Gengras, event co-chairs; Carol Garlick, VP Philanthropy, Hartford Hospital; Dr. Stuart Markowitz, M.D, president, Hartford Hospital and wife Deb; Elliot Joseph, president of Hartford HealthCare; and Henry Dominioni and Monica Georgeo of The Hartford. Java also spotted Gov. Dannel P. Malloy and UConn women’s basketball coach Geno Auriemma.

“We are raising funds, but we’re starting a campaign that will run essentially forever. It’s about stomping the stigma around mental illness” said Markowitz. “And really facilitating the ability for people that need help to get help. And so it takes money, it takes funds to do that and begin that project, but really the night is something so much bigger than that.”Jan2014 941

Jan2014 933During the event guests dined on butlered hors d’oeuvres and other cuisine, and the Barenaked Ladies provided the entertainment.

Additional photos here

Hartford Hospital Welcomes CT’s First 2014 Baby

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firstbabeLooks like Hartford Hospital may have started 2014 off with a first. The first baby to arrive in Connecticut in 2014!

The hospital announced Thursday that Dior Stephens (pictured left with mom) arrived at about 12:04  (and 21 seconds) a.m. New Year’s Day. She weighed in at 6 pounds, 14 ounces.

New mom Shaquana Stephens said she prayed the baby would arrive on New Year’s Day. And her New Year’s resolution? To be the best mom she can be!

Coming in a “by seconds” close second in the “first baby of the year” race was Kyrie Rivera, who arived at 12:05 a.m. at Yale-New Haven Children’s Hospital arrived at 12:05 a.m. Rivera, who weihged in at 5 pounds, 10 ounces, is the son of Brian and Tonya Rivera of New Haven.

Jason Alexander (and his hair) Ready For Lite Laughter In Hartford

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Jason-Alexander[1]Jason Alexander HighRes 2012 BYou might not recognize his real name, Jay Scott Greenspan, but bet you will recognize his “stage” name, Jason Alexander, and certainly the name of his “Seinfeld” TV series character, George Costanza. Alexander will be center stage at the Bushnell on Oct. 4 for the Lite 100.5 WRCH’s 16th Annual Nite of Lite Laughter. The show, titled “An Evening With Jason Alexander And His Hair,” benefits The Helen and Harry Gray Cancer Center. While best known for his television role, Alexander is a Tony award winning Broadway star, a celebrity poker player, a social activist, director, husband and father of two sons. He was spending an afternoon fielding press interviews recently and that included a Spilling the Beans with Java.

Q: This has something to do with your visit to Hartford, I guess, but I am looking at two recent pictures of you, one with hair and one without. What’s the deal?

A: I started the toupee thing for a specific reason. It started because I lost a couple of roles because of the stigma of George Costanza. You try to look so much like the new character you are playing but no matter what you do the audience is going to say ‘Oh it’s George.’ On Broadway I won a Tony for playing 14 people, so changing my look is part of the job of acting. But people still identify me with the part I played on TV for nine years. So I decided to have some fun and add the hair. It opened up some thinking and made me appear a little less ‘George-like.’ A little less ‘schmoe-y.’ There is something about putting on the hair, like women using make-up. I realize it is incredibly eccentric but it is the only eccentric thing I do and I decided to own it. It has become a nice linch pin for getting into the comedy material of the night.

Q: How are you describing yourself these days, professionally, Broadway star, TV star, celebrity poker player, director, standup comic, social activist?

A: All of the above, and take out the word star. It’s so wild these days because I don’t have the absolute steady gig. So people ask and I say ‘I am doing exactly what I want to do.’ I think I am more picky about what I do professionally. I feel like I am coming into a period of my life that is so interesting. My baby boy, Noah, is in his final year of high school and I have kept a lot of things at arm’s length so I can be home with my family. The things I have been looking at now include a TV series. I have been trying to develop some TV things that are of interest to me. Written some pilots and stay connected to theater as director and occasionally as actor but not so much because New York City is where the most opportunity is and I am here on the West Coast. When Noah goes off to college I may take up one of the offers and go back to theater. And if not, I do hope to do more directing.

Q: I know George Costanza is a person of your past but how are you like him and how were you different?

A: I’m not anything like him but I think we all know people like him. I think I was channeling (“Seinfeld” writer/producer) Larry David to the best of my ability. There was nothing of George that I wanted to be but I truly embodied most of what George was or I couldn’t have played him effectively and would not have had any perspective on him. I don’t have his neurosis or his histrionics or his ego or in some ways, his courage to express himself.

Q: What role of yours did you most identify with?

A: No single one. There was a lot of my heart and soul in “Love! Valor! Compassion!” but the outward frame of that character was very different from how I moved through life. The things that motivated that character, Buzz, were his turmoil and conflict, his heart. A lot of that I feel is very similar to me. I don’t usually get cast to anything that is close to the real me. I am either a character who is wildly aggressively comedic where I am a force of nature like “George” or “Shallow Hal,” or a villain like the college professor I played on “Criminal Minds.”

Q: What’s the role you still want to play?

A: I think I want to move into directing. I find that directing is intriguing me and challenging on levels that acting alone doesn’t quite match. I get much more of a thrill from directing. While the characters I have played over the past 40 years are all different, you can only do so much and I have gotten to the point where I understand enough about stories and elements and how they come together, I think as a director I could be an effective coordinator.

Q: I know you were very involved in the international grassroots “OneVoice” initiative. Have you ever thought about becoming active in politics?

A: I have thought about politics and been prodded a little bit. Everyone is very sweet about that. The practical side of it is what the hell would I run for, city council, mayor of L.A., the Senate? I have none of the actual background the best politicians have, law, political science, economics. I have never run a business. Those are all skills the best politicians have. And then there is the illusion of who I am. My real name is not Jason Alexander, and let’s not forget, I am not George. The truth is I have some friends who are very successful politicians and they are so frustrated that they can’t get anything done. I would rather pick a cause and work from outside the system.

Q: What will you be bringing to Hartford with you? I assume you know it benefits the Helen and Harry Gray Cancer Center. Does the cause hit any soft spots in your heart?

A: I don’t think there is anyone whose life has not been touched by cancer. We buried a cousin a couple of months ago and I have two friends right now with cancer. It’s a debilitating killer. It is definitely a disease we have to address and start making strides toward curing. And as far as what I am bringing to Hartford, a good show and lots of laughs.

Q: And finally, I must ask, what’s something nobody knows about you?

A: Is there anything left in this day and age? I’ve got nothing, no hobby, no hang ups. Well there was the stripper I dated, but Howard Stern got that out of me. She was a grad student and stripped to pay her way through school.

Q: Did you bring her home to mom?

A: I did, and Mom liked her. We went out for a better part of a year and she was a very lovely woman who is now a playwright and director. We kept in touch for years.

“An Evening With Jason Alexander and His Hair,” benefit show Oct. 4 at Hartford’s  Bushnell Center For The Performing Arts  for The Helen and Harry Gray Cancer Center begins at 8 p.m. Tickets range from $38 to $103. Information: 860-987-5900 or www.bushnell.org

Muro Leaving WTNH

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muro_640x480_20100426103954_320_240[1]Veteran WTNH general assignment reporter Jamie Muro is leaving the New Haven station.

Muro said Saturday he has accepted a position with Sullivan & LeShane Public Relations.


“I’ve been thinking about leaving the station and this offer came along,” said Muro. “I will be doing public relations and media  relations and working as the communications consultant for Pratt & Whitney.”

Muro begins the new job in early August.

“We are excited to be making Jamie’s in-depth communication experience and skills available to our growing list of Connecticut-based clients.” said Gene Sheehan. sheehan,   president and managing partner in the firm, said he expects Muro to work with client companies such as Pratt & Whitney, USJ, Colt, Farmington Bank and others.

Muro joined WTNH in 2004. During his television career, which also included stints at stations in Colorado and Virginia,  he has been a sports anchor, magazine show host, weather reporter and sports anchor fill-in, winning several Associated Press awards and an Emmy.

Muro is married to former FoxCt reporter Rebecca Stewart who is now  media relations director at Hartford Hospital.

This post has been changed from an earlier version to correct the description of Sullivan & LeShane.


Wonder Women Honored By Malta House

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wonda3wonda4It was a record crowd and a stellar list of honorees at the Malta House of Care Foundation’s “Celebrating Wonder Women” reception at the Bushnell Tuesday.

More than 400 people showed up to honor Dr. Patricia DeFusco, Medina Jett, Jocelyn Maminta, Yvonne Martin, Jeanne Milstein, Shari Phillips, Belle Ribicoff and Melinda Martin Sullivan, all chosen for their altruism and community leadership by Malta House, a non-profit that provides free primary medical care to those in need.

“Iwonda1 give away a lot of money,” joked Martin Sullivan about why she was chosen as one of the 2013 award winners. “Seriously though, I quietly try to make better the lives of those in the community who need help,” said the well-known philanthropist. “I don’t look for attention I have lived a very privileged life and it makes sense that I help others.”

 The reception was a perfect way to start the Mother’s Day celebration a bit early for DeFusco, whose daughter Katie Cavanagh had nothing but praise for her mom who is a Hartford Hospital oncologist.

wonda2She does everything as a doctor and as a caregiver and I aspire to be what she is,” said the young woman. “”I want to step up even more than she does someday.”

Several past “Wonder Women” including Karen Cronin Wheat and Thea Montanez were part of the crowd and among the few guys there,  there was Malta House Foundation president Peter G. Kelly.

Emcee for the awards program was ESPN SportsCenter co-host Sage Steele.

Hebrew Center Hosts “Celebrate Life” Gala

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On Sunday, the Hebrew Health Care Inc. will hold its “Celebrate Life 2013″ gala featuring historian, author and tv personality Doris Kearns Goodwin.

chairThe evening, benefiting the center’s Dementia Care Services, also includes a special auction featuring celebrity-designed Adirondack chairs. Designs were created by celebrities including Tim and Elisabeth Hasselback, Matt Lauer, Savannah Guthrie, Natalie Morales, and Al Roker, Don Hasselback and Karen Rossi.

The gala begins at 6 p.m. at the Hartford Marriott Downtown. Information: hebrewhealthcare.org

And earlier on Sunday, the 13th annual Cut-A-Thon at Matthew Phillips Salon 68 LaSalle Road in West Hartford from  9 a.m. to 5 p.m . Proceeds  from haircuts as well as  tips, door prize ticket sales and the silent auction benefit Hartford Hospital’s Helen and Harry Gray Cancer Center !


CVS Awards $$ To Hartford Hospital

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hhIt’s a good day for Hartford Hospital!

“The CVS Caremark Charitable Trust, the private foundation created by CVS Caremark Corporation, whose purpose is to help people on their path to better health by providing funding for initiatives that support access to health care and children’s programming, today announced that it has donated $50,000 grants to Hartford Hospital in 2012. Hartford Hospital is the major teaching hospital affiliated with the University of Connecticut Medical School, serving the New England region. This support is part of $2.6 million in grants awarded to 66 non-profit organizations across the country as part of the 2012 CVS Caremark Charitable Trust grant cycle.

CVS Caremark Charitable Trust grants awarded in Connecticut support innovative approaches that increase access to health care for underserved populations, including support for mobile health innovations that bring health care services to locations where people need them most. A number of these grants also align with CVS Caremark All Kids Can, a signature program of the CVS Caremark Charitable Trust and CVS Caremark, that is committed to helping children of all abilities to be the best that they can be by increasing access to specialized medical and rehabilitation services, and providing inclusive opportunities for physical activity, play and social enrichment.

“We are thrilled to support deserving non-profit organizations that share our commitment to helping people on their path to better health,” said Eileen Howard Boone, President, CVS Caremark Charitable Trust. “As we strive to build healthier communities in 2013, we are honored to recognize the efforts of organizations in Connecticut and the important work they do to make a difference in the lives of children and families in the communities we serve.”


This story has been edited from an earlier version to correct the release reference to “California.”



A Heartfelt Anniversary and Thanks From The LaBoissieres

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laboissiere (3)It was a special first wedding anniversary Monday for Hartford artist Tao LaBoissiere and wife, fellow artist Amy LaBoissiere. They were basking in a twofold glow.

Despite the blizzard and a one night postponement, the two were surrounded by hundreds of friends and supporters Sunday at their “Art for the Open Heart.” The fundraiser at Hartford’s ArtSpace Gallery was planned weeks ago to help the couple with an estimated $42,000 in uninsured medical costs they will incur when Tao has unexpected heart valve replacement surgery at Hartford Hospital  later this month.

“We were overwhelmed by how many people managed to come,” said any Amy LaBoissiere about the turnout at the fundraiser which included food, entertainment and a raffle. More than 350 people came, and about $10,000 was raised at the event that included, food entertainment and a raffle.

“We had a soft opening Saturday,” she said, about a more informal get-together on the original that included mostly people who lived in Hartford and could walk to the Asylum Street building. “We had about 40 people including some who just broke the law and drove here,” she said, alluding to the weather-related driving ban imposed by Gov. Dannel P. Malloy Saturday. “The support is all unbelievable.”

“I had tears in my eyes as I posted thanks to everyone online,” said Tao LaBoissiere, a volunteer exhibit coordinator at ArtSpace who is well-known for his murals that grace several area restaurants. “It’s hard to put into words the feeling from so much community support.”

And while the two were caught up in the excitement of the fundraiser Sunday night, when the clock struck midnight, it was another poignant heart-related moment as they celebrated the start of their first anniversary.

DJ Jon Eastman took the moment to spin Adele’s cover version of “Make You Feel My Love,” the song the couple danced to on their wedding day.

“It was perfect,” said Amy LaBoissiere.

The “Art for the Open Heart” continues Wednesday and Thursday with some pieces still for sale, the two noted. There will be potluck dinner Friday to mark the end of the exhibition.

“We just want people to come by,”  said Amy LaBoissiere, noting that any art that has still not been sold byFriday may still be sold on an online auction.

The Black/Red Party Is On At The Bushnell

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hh4hh20Nearly 1300 guests are at the Bushnell for the annual Hartford Hospital Black & Red Ball, which, this year, benefits the Transplant Program there.

It is a more spirited crowd than usual thanks to the additon of FoxCt live coverage aimed at attracting more organ donors to the program, and a performance by Grammy Award winning group Earth, Wind & Fire.

Among the guests are famed heart transplant recipient and blogger Colby Salerno, who drove from Duquesne grad school in Pittsburgh to be part of th eparty in Hartford tonight.  Salerno received the transplant seven months ago and become a star at Hartford Hospital through a blog he started while waiting for a suitable donor.

Become a donor by calling 860-545-1888.



What’s Up this Weekend? Bob Steele St., Black/Red Ball, Brides

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bsteele[1]_optIt’s a weekend trifecta when it comes to what’s happening in Hartford on this first official weekend of 2013.

Friday, Hartford will honor one of its most beloved celebrities, the late radio personality Bob Steele.

Grove Street in downtown Hartford will be renamed Bob Steele Street at ceremonies at 11:30 a.m. there. Steele, who died in 2002, was a well-known broadcaster who educated and entertained listeners for more than 60 years. He was also well- known for his trademark delivery of  the early morning “no school” weather announcements to generations of families.

Steele worked from the  WTIC broadcasting studio once located on Grove Street.

Following the renaming ceremony, there will be a reception at the Front Street Bistro where New York architect Michael Keropian, will share plans for a historic marker for the street.


Rest up because on Saturday because Hartford Hospital holds its 22nd annual Black & Red Ball that evening  at the Bushnell. And there’s more.

black3Entertainment for the evening will be provided by legendary, Grammy-award winning band  Earth, Wind & Fire. The party begins at 6 p.m. with cocktails and food. the band performs at 8 followed by dancing and a dessert reception.

Proceeds will benefit the hospital’s Transplant Program.   For tickets information, call 860-545-1932. Only tickets for the show and dessert reception are available.


bride-23[1]Did you get engaged over the holiday season or envision a wedding in your future?

On Saturday and Sunday, head over to the Connecticut Convention Center for the annual Connecticut Bridal Expo. The show runs from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m both days and features hundreds of vendors, fashion shows (including one on  Sunday at 1 p.m. with Kathy Faber Designs and Java),  floral designs, cakes, food samples and give-aways .

Tickets are $10 a person will a $2 discount available here.


The annual Three Kings Day parade in Hartford will begin at 10 a.m. at 95 Park St. Sunday. The traditonal parade, which includes marchers and a camel,  lasts about an hour and conclude at the Pope Park Recreation Center in Pope Park. Organized by the Spanish American Merchants Association and the Institute for the Hispanic Family, there will be activities for children following it at the recreation center.



bush10Winter is bad enough to deal with  so why not stretch the weekend out a bit with some good music and dancing.  The  smash-hit show, “Million Dollar Quartet,”  inspired by a famous mid-’50s Sun Records session when Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, Jerry Lee Lewis and Carl Perkins showed up in the same room together, opens at the Bushnell Tuesday and continues through Jan. 13.  Tickets are $20 to $65. go to thebushnell.org.