After years of supporting Regional Hospice and Home Care’s work and vision for Connecticut, Senator Richard D. Blumenthal spent the morning of August 14th touring and visiting patients at the new Center for Comfort Care & Healing in Danbury.
“Over the years, Senator Blumenthal’s advocacy for our services and support of our events have raised tremendous awareness of the unmet needs faced by hospice patients in Connecticut. I’m honored to have Senator Blumenthal spend time with us and see the impact our Center is having on our patients and their families.” said President & CEO Cynthia Emiry Roy.
Since its opening, awareness of the Center’s care and amenities has brought patients from throughout Connecticut, New York, New Jersey and Florida for hospice and palliative care. During Senator Blumenthal’s visit, each of the 12 private patient suites was occupied and had a waiting list.
Family members have the option to reside in suites with their loved ones and make themselves at home throughout beautifully-appointed common areas. Senator Blumenthal toured the tribute gardens, the Healing Hearts Center for Grief and Loss— now relocated to the new Center, and met staff and volunteers along the way. Hearing stories behind the dedicated rooms, he also visited with two families who were finding peace and comfort in those rooms.
Senator Blumenthal met a second generation of veterans at the bedside of their father, a WWII veteran and also a husband whose wife of 60 years was losing her battle with cancer. Despite their impending losses, both families were eager share their personal stories as they extolled the serenity and comfort they felt from staff and volunteers.
The tour led to the Jeffrey B.White Memorial Library and background on the beloved family behind its creation. Chief Operating Officer Paul L. Sirois shared the story of his childhood friend, Jeff White, who became a distinguished travel and political writer, dying at the age of 33 in 2009. Blumenthal was clearly touched by the library and the legacy it embraced. White’s parents designed and dedicated the library in his honor. They filled it with the books he loved, the international papers he wrote for, a bound collection of his work, and children’s books for young patients and family members.
Past the library, the scent of roasting vegetables wafted from the commercial kitchen where Senator Blumenthal, Roy and Sirois stopped by to chat with Chef Aaron Swart. The senator was impressed by the organic produce Swart orders from a local farm cooperative and at the variety of foods he prepares each day. Families regularly stop by Swart’s kitchen with personal meal requests which he accommodates as well as his daily menus and extraordinary baked goods.
Senator Blumenthal had been a strong advocate on behalf hospice families during the earliest days of Regional Hospice’s vision. It was a proud day for Regional Hospice’s president, chief operating officer, staff members and volunteers to share the Center’s new reality for compassionate end-of-life care with Senator Blumenthal.
Regional Hospice and Home Care’s team of experienced clinicians have been providing physical, emotional, spiritual and bereavement support to children, adults and their families through our palliative and hospice care program for the past 30 years. Regional Hospice and Home Care is a nonprofit, state-licensed and Medicare-certified home health care and hospice agency. Now, with the opening of our new private-room, specialty hospital for palliative and end-of-life care — the Center for Comfort Care & Healing — Regional Hospice and Home Care can bring that same hope and compassionate care close to home and under one roof.