Governor Dannel P. Malloy never forgot the impact Regional Hospice and Home Care’s Healing Hearts Center for Grief & Loss had on his constituents during his most painful days as Governor of Connecticut. His concern for grieving families lead to even more comprehensive bereavement services onsite in the new facility Regional Hospice recently opened in Danbury.
At a reception on Friday, June 5, at its new Center for Comfort Care & Healing, Regional Hospice and Home Care honored Governor Malloy for his advocacy and support of its new Healing Hearts Center for Grief & Loss.
From left to right: State Rep. David Arconti, Regional Hospice and Home Care Chief Clinical Officer Deborah Ryan, Gov. Dannel P. Malloy, Regional Hospice and Home Care President and CEO Cynthia E. Roy and Regional Hospice and Home Care Chief Operating Officer Paul L. Sirois at the reception honoring Gov. Malloy for his advocacy and support of Regional Hospice and Home Care’s Center for Comfort Care & Healing and Healing Hearts Center for Grief & Loss.
Regional Hospice President & CEO Cynthia Emiry Roy presented Governor Malloy with an award for his advocacy as head of the State Bond Commission that awarded a $1.2 million grant to build a 3,200 square-foot expansion to the hospice center’s original plans and house its bereavement center onsite.
“We are so grateful to Governor Malloy for helping us obtain bonding support for our new bereavement center,” said Roy. “On behalf of thousands of children and families we have the privilege to care for, we thank him for recognizing the needs of dying patients and the community members who are grieving the loss of loved ones.”
On December 14, 2012, as word spread throughout the media that a tragedy had unfolded in Sandy Hook, the bereavement team at Regional Hospice’s Healing Hearts Center immediately responded. To this day, the Healing Hearts Center team continues to support the Newtown community and their family members from throughout the region who suffered unfathomable loss that morning.
“Regional Hospice and Home Care’s Healing Hearts Center provides so many valuable support services to residents in the community during some of the most difficult times of people’s lives,” Governor Malloy said. “The services offered are very unique, and the folks who provide this care do an amazing job delivering strength and understanding to those in need. Organizations like this are what truly make the neighborhoods in which we live stronger, more resilient communities.”
Members of Newtown’s Kids In Deeds Organization (KIDOs) were among the 75 guests who attended the event in the Center’s tribute garden. The KIDOs started supporting the Healing Hearts Center as 7th graders in 2012 and raised $51,000 for the custom-designed heartstrings playscape for children in Healing Hearts bereavement groups and whose families are being cared for at the Center. Barb Patrick, the mother of the KIDOs founding member, Ryan Patrick, spoke on the group’s behalf and presented Governor Malloy with a quilt made in his honor. Regional Hospice also installed an etched paver in the garden walkway honoring Governor Malloy.
The state grant allowed Regional Hospice to include a playground for children, and four specially designed and fully-appointed meeting rooms to serve children from age four through seven and pre-teen groups. Additionally, the grant supported large meeting rooms outfitted with technology to better serve the teen and adult groups. This past January, the Healing Hearts Center relocated from a small building on Stadley Rough Road into the new family centered, state-of-the-art Center for Comfort Care & Healing at 30 Milestone Road in Danbury.
The Healing Hearts Center provides free bereavement support to more than 1,200 participants annually. Programs are designed for adults and children as young as four, with support groups focused on different types of loss, such as loss of a parent, infant loss, loss of a spouse and loss of a loved one by suicide.
Photo credit: Keyvan Behpour photograph