Month: May 2010

Nightingale Awards

Commemorating the evening with some of the Nightingale Award winners.
Commemorating the evening with some of the Nightingale Award winners.

It was my honor to attend the recent Nightingale Awards for Excellence in Nursing reception. The Nightingale Awards for Excellence is Connecticut’s largest statewide nursing recognition program which pays tribute to nurses from throughout the region who personify excellence in their profession. Personally, I was especially proud to represent the UConn Health Center and the 10 Nightingale winners from throughout the Health Center. It was also gratifying to spend time with the Health Center winners and to learn more about the challenges and rewards of their careers.

Every day – in areas including our life-saving cardiac catheterization lab; our scleroderma service, part of the New England Musculoskeletal Institute; Correctional Managed Care; the NICU and more – these nurses advocate for patients and families, mentor colleagues and students and embrace creative, quality-improvement initiatives. Their work improves the lives of our patients on many levels and in many ways, and at the same time, inspires their peers and other members of our medical teams.

As an orthopaedic surgeon, I fully appreciate the vital role nurses play in the well-being of our patients. I am very proud of the UConn Health Center award winners and all nurses who contribute to the health of our region. Congratulations!

Support Coast to Coast for a Cure 2010

Coast to Coast 2010
From left: First-year medical students Stacy White Jr., Loreen Fournier, Arturo Montano and Alex Ocampo make up this year’s Coast to Coast for a Cure cycling team. They’ll spend their summer pedaling from California to Connecticut to raise money for Lea’s Foundation for Leukemia Research, a major philanthropic supporter of the Neag Comprehensive Cancer Center.

It’s the time of year when people around the Health Center start talking about their summer plans — whether it will be a special research project, an anticipated vacation with the family or a combination thereof.

For four of our School of Medicine students, the plans are quite clear. They will be riding at least 80 miles per day, rain or shine, as they pedal across the country to raise funds for the Lea’s Foundation for Leukemia Research.

Their journey is ambitious and awe-inspiring on many levels. For Loreen Fournier, Arturo Montano, Alex Ocampo and Stacy White, Jr., this summer is actually their last “free” time while attending medical school. All four are just completing their first year. And while they are all athletic and blessed with youth, none of them have ever done a bike trip of this magnitude.

The 2010 riders have set a goal of raising $50,000 for the Lea’s Foundation. It is important to note that the Lea’s Foundation has a special connection to the Health Center. Through the years, the Foundation has generously supported researchers, clinicians and programs at the Health Center, including the work of Dr. Pramod Srivastava and the establishment of the Lea’s Foundation Center for Hematologic Disorders, which is now part of our Neag Comprehensive Cancer Center.

Because of this close connection, I urge all of you to join me in supporting this year’s ride. Look for more information throughout the Health Center in the weeks ahead about how you can give.

While not all of us can actually join Loreen, Arturo, Alex and Stacy on their trip, we can certainly be with them in spirit – and lend them our support and appreciation.

Thank you!