Connecticut Hospitals Celebrate National Nurses Week

Hospitals and health systems across Connecticut honored nurses during National Nurses Week, celebrated each year from May 6 to May 12.  Here are some of the ways in which Connecticut hospitals honored their nurses.

More than 150 staff nurses attended Bristol Health’s annual Nurses Dinner.  In addition to being recognized for the safe and quality care they provide to patients, numerous nursing awards were presented.  The Rising Star Award was given to Rachel Calvo, RN, BSN; the Interprofessional Collaboration Award was given to Elaine Demeo; the Preceptor of the Year Award was given to Angela Gallacher, RN, BSN; and the Clinical Excellence Outcomes Award was given to the Intensive Care Unit. 


In honor of Nurses Week, which took place just a few weeks after Connecticut Children’s received Magnet recognition from the American Nurses Credentialing Council, the hospital held various events for nurses on all shifts that included everything from pizza parties and massages to rock painting and mindfulness workshops.  Nurses were recognized across hospital social media channels and internally, with signage and a Nurses Week-themed newsletter.


Day Kimball Healthcare (DKH) sponsored the Eastern Connecticut’s Nightingale Awards for Nursing Excellence banquet, during which 10 nurses were recognized as “Florence Nightingales” and honored for reaching for better standards in patient care.  Each recipient was featured throughout the week on social media pages, the website, the hospital intranet, and on posters throughout the hospital.  Other activities included a dinner reception for all nurses, as well as a bulletin board featuring a “Name that DKH Nurse” activity to engage colleagues.

Griffin Hospital held its 33rd Annual Nurses Day Celebration to honor its more than 350 staff nurses.  The nursing staff were treated to hors d'oeuvres, raffles, and award presentations.  Carol Lauer, RN, BSN; Gene Brazee, RN, BSN, CCM; Maria Cantito, RN-BC; and Heather McFarland, RN-BC, BSN, were named winners of the 2019 Nightingale Award for Excellence in Nursing, and Ashley D'Agostino, RN, MSN, Clinical Educator in Professional Development, (pictured with Inpatient Services Administrator Kelly Egan) received the 2019 Outstanding Nurse of the Year Award.   

Hartford HealthCare celebrated Nurses Week with a variety of activities on each hospital campus.  

The William W. Backus Hospital, Windham Hospital, Natchaug Hospital, and Rushford recognized their 2019 Nightingale Award recipients during an awards ceremony at the Mashantucket Pequot Museum and Research Center.

At The Hospital of Central Connecticut, nurses were showered with tokens of appreciation for their hard work and commitment to delivering excellent care to patients.  Blessing of the Hands ceremonies, Reiki sessions, pet therapy visits, and sweet treats rounded out the activities.


Hartford Hospital held its annual Certification Breakfast, recognizing and celebrating the accomplishments of all nurses who are certified or have recently become certified in a specialty area of nursing.  There were also cupcakes, a basket raffle, special guest speakers scattered throughout the week, and a visit from WFSB Channel 3’s Liberty Bank Surprise Squad.

Teresa Fuller, RN, MSN, and Melissa Powell, RN, BSN, were nominated by The Charlotte Hungerford Hospital for the 2019 Nightingale Award for Excellence in Nursing

At MidState Medical Center, ice cream deliveries provided a sweet treat to staff.  Nurses received gifts of appreciation for their hard work and dedication to patients and visitors.  Pet therapy visits were a big hit, as irresistible retrievers made the rounds at the hospital.  Popular social media posts highlighted this year’s Nightingale recipients.

At Windham Hospital, nurses enjoyed a pet therapy visit from Scout.

Middlesex Health honored its nurses during Nurses Week in a variety of ways.  Terry Foster, RN, an experienced nurse and humorist, made three presentations that focused on the use of humor in healthcare, allowing nurses on all shifts to hear his message.  There was a Blessing of the Hands, nurses were also offered continuing education opportunities that focused on mindfulness, and a retreat was held at a local wellness center.

St. Vincent’s Medical Center kicked off festivities with a special breakfast, daily morning prayers and a Blessing of the Hands, a slide show display in the lobby, and recognition notes shaped as nurses’ caps displayed in the cafeteria.  The fun also included a raffle and door decorating contest.  Two educational presentations were provided, and the week culminated with an annual recognition and awards ceremony.

Stamford Health celebrated Nurses Week with a poster exhibit showcasing work aimed at improving quality and safety through evidence-based practices and research.  Nurses were also treated to a breakfast reception and award ceremony.  In addition, local Girl Scouts had the opportunity to learn about working in a hospital.  They met with nurses, clinical staff, and Kathleen Silard, President and Chief Executive Officer.  She answered questions from the enthusiastic group; the girls also learned about and toured the Catheterization Lab.

Trinity Health Of New England celebrated Nurses Week with regional ads and a social media campaign.  At the annual Nightingale Awards for Excellence in Nursing, eight nurses from Saint Francis Hospital and Medical Center, two from Johnson Memorial Hospital, and one from Saint Mary’s Hospital were honored, along with colleagues from other hospitals in the state. 

Saint Francis Hospital and Medical Center, Mount Sinai Rehabilitation Hospital, and Johnson Memorial Hospital honored their nurses with educational opportunities, a career fair, and a special Blessing of Hands to recognize that nurses and CNAs are a blessing to patients and families.  In addition, Mullane Awards were presented to nurses who exhibit the qualities of compassion, sharing, communication, and collaboration, and who exceed the needs and expectations of patients and their families.  Triompo Awards were given to nurses who make Saint Francis “a warm, caring, and healing environment.”  The awardees are chosen for advocacy, caring practice, and clinical practice.

Nurses at Saint Mary's Hospital were honored throughout the week, beginning with a physician-hosted breakfast, a Blessing of the Hands for all shifts by the Spiritual Care Department, and a presentation by humorist Michelle Gotay.  To celebrate their innovation and contribution to the profession, nurses shared their practice stories, hosted an Ignite Innovation poster presentation, and were given Nursing Excellence Awards.  For nurses looking to professional development, the Department of Nursing Professional Practice and Innovation hosted several area colleges and universities.

UConn John Dempsey Hospital celebrated its nurses with a recognition ceremony and reception, goodies delivered to the hospital floors, a Nurses Week lecture and lunch event, posters and tabletop presentations, and a Blessing of the Hands.


Western Connecticut Health Network hosted several appreciation activities.  Events and recognitions at Danbury Hospital, New Milford Hospital, and Norwalk Hospital included a Blessing of the Hands; meditation and yoga; ice cream socials; omelet, parfait, and nacho bars; appreciation treat carts; afternoon teas; and Nightingale and Team Excellence celebrations. 

During the week, nurses throughout Yale New Haven Health enjoyed a variety of events, including ice cream socials, a pizza truck, chair massages, and the traditional Blessing of the Hands.  

Bridgeport Hospital celebrated Nurses Week with a series of events and activities including chair massages; a presentation of the Nurse Manager of the Year Award; a complimentary breakfast during the week; a nursing awards ceremony recognizing excellence in more than a dozen nursing specialties; a Nursing Research, Quality, and Evidence-Based Practice Day, which showcased multiple initiatives to enhance quality, safety, and the patient experience; and a birthday celebration for nursing pioneer Florence Nightingale.

Greenwich Hospital honored Lynn Carbino, RN, Oncology, with the Helen Meehan Award for Excellence in Nursing.  The award is given each year to a nurse who demonstrates excellence in nursing practice, teaching, and leadership.  In addition, the hospital kicked of the week with a Blessing of the Hands.  Nurses also were treated to free sessions of Healing Touch, an energy therapy that uses gentle touch to restore harmony to the body’s energy field.  The week ended with nursing leadership delivering breakfast to both the day and night shift nursing staff in each unit in the hospital, as well as all offsite locations. 

Staff at Lawrence + Memorial Hospital attended a variety of events including a “High Tea” for nurse managers and nurses with 25 or more years of experience, a buffet dinner for night shift staff, a Blessing of the Hands ceremony, massage and pet therapies, ice cream, wood-fired pizzas, raffles, and a “Respite Room” for mediation and reflection.

At Yale New Haven Hospital Nurses Week activities included ice cream socials, breakfasts, chair massages, and mindfulness sessions.  The popular Blessing of the Hands tradition continued this year, and nurses led a special Nursing Grand Rounds presentation on de-escalation.


This Week: National Hospital Week

This week, hospitals across the nation are recognizing National Hospital Week by spreading the word about great patient care and the contributions hospitals make to their communities.

The American Hospital Association is leading the #MyHospital campaign; hospitals are sharing photos and videos on social media that explain why they are important to the communities they serve. 

National Hospital Week provides an opportunity to thank all of the dedicated individuals – physicians, nurses, therapists, engineers, food service workers, volunteers, administrators, and so many more – for their contributions.


Former U.S. Senator Jeff Flake to Headline CHA Annual Meeting

CHA is pleased to announce that former United States Senator Jeff Flake will deliver the keynote address at CHA’s 101st Annual Meeting on Thursday, June 20, 2019.

Mr. Flake served as U.S. Senator from Arizona from 2013-2019, and as a member of the United States House of Representatives from 2001-2013.

Known for his ability to work across the political aisle, Senator Flake took a stand for principle and civility in an era of hyper-partisanship in his New York Times bestseller, Conscience of a Conservative: A Rejection of Destructive Politics and a Return to Principle.  His 2018 Senate floor speech titled “Truth and Democracy” was carried live on CNN, MSNBC, and the FOX News Channel.

While in the Senate, Senator Flake chaired the Subcommittee on Privacy, Technology & the Law, which sits at the intersection of innovation and regulation.  He also chaired the Africa Subcommittee of the Foreign Relations Committee, where he passed landmark legislation on wildlife trafficking and democratic governance.  He was the lead House Republican in the successful effort to prohibit spending earmarks, and the lead Senate Republican in the successful effort to restore diplomatic relations with Cuba.

Prior to entering Congress, Senator Flake served as Executive Director of the Goldwater Institute in Arizona.  He also directed the Foundation for Democracy in Namibia during that nation’s transition to independence.  Senator Flake holds degrees in International Relations and Political Science from Brigham Young University.  He is a contributor to CBS News and partners with CBS on a series called “Common Ground.”

The theme of this year’s Annual Meeting is A Shared Vision For A Healthy FutureThe theme reflects work on multiple fronts – from improving patient safety to addressing social determinants of health and finding solutions to ensure a sustainably financed healthcare system for the future.


Upcoming Program - Housing Quality: A Strategy to Reduce Asthma Disparities

On Monday, May 20, 2019, CHA will host Housing Quality: A Strategy to Reduce Asthma Disparities.

The program, offered through a collaboration between CHA and the Connecticut State Department of Public Health’s Asthma Program, will be held at CHA from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. 

The keynote address will be provided by Megan Sandel, MD, MPH, an Associate Professor of Pediatrics at the Boston University School of Medicine and a nationally recognized expert on housing and child health.  Dr. Sandel, a former Director of Pediatric Healthcare for the Homeless at Boston Medical Center and a Co-Principal Investigator with Children’s HealthWatch, will lead a discussion on how housing is a new vital sign for health and a lever to improve asthma health outcomes. 

The program will also feature presenters from Connecticut who are engaged in multiple initiatives and systems change focused on improving the environment of those dealing with asthma.

The conference takes place during Asthma Awareness Month, during which organizations dedicated to asthma control and education work together to increase knowledge about a disease that impacts millions of Americans.

View Brochure | Event Registration


CHA Hosts Issue-Based Forum on Ligature Risk Mitigation

CHA will host an issue-based forum focused on helping hospitals understand and achieve compliance related to ligature risk mitigation on Thursday, June 13, 2019 from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.

Representatives from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services and the Connecticut Department of Public Health will provide guidance on regulatory expectations regarding ligature risk mitigation, as well as other safety issues for at-risk patients.  The presentation will be followed by a panel discussion with both regulators and hospital representatives.    

Click here to register online. 


Education Updates

HRO Apparent Cause Analysis
Tuesday, May 28, 2019
9:00 a.m. - 12:15 p.m.
Event Registration

This course will focus on how to conduct an Apparent Cause Analysis (ACA).  ACA methodology is used to evaluate and better understand the causes of precursor events at the microsystem level.  Analyzing events using this tool will help direct the front-line leader to the appropriate improvement activities.  This course is for front-line leaders—nursing and physician—and quality mangers.  After attending this program, the participant can serve as a local expert and provide coaching on ACAs to others in their setting.

HRO Safety Coach Training
Tuesday, May 28, 2019
1:00 p.m. - 4:15 p.m.
Event Registration

Wednesday, May 29, 2019
9:00 a.m. - 12:15 p.m.
Event Registration

Safety Coaches are peer mentors, designed to recognize and acknowledge good high reliability behavior and to remind people about opportunities to improve behavior that does not stay true to high reliability concepts.  This program is offered on May 28, and is repeated on May 29.

HRO Common Cause Analysis
Wednesday, May 29, 2019
1:00 p.m. - 4:15 p.m.
Event Registration

This course will teach attendees how to analyze data from ACAs and RCAs using a standardized approach.  This will allow leaders to recognize trends and establish themes occurring across their organization.  Common cause analysis aggregates themes, and directs and prioritizes improvement activities.

HRO Leadership Method Training
Thursday, May 30, 2019
9:00 a.m. - 4:15 p.m.
Event Registration

Leadership Method Training is for organizations that are new to high reliability or for new management employees in organizations that are already on the high reliability journey.  Both hospital and ambulatory organization leadership practices will be addressed.  The session, structured for leaders at the manager level and above, is designed to teach hospital or ambulatory leaders the concepts of high reliability science and behaviors.