Community

Thanksgiving Shoes for the Homeless

Kathleen York, Dr. Lauren Geaney, Lori EngengrroKathleen York, Lori Engengrro providing shoesLauren Ganey retrieving a box of shoesKathleen York, Lori Engengrro providing shoes

In what is now at 12-year Thanksgiving tradition, UConn Health foot care specialists spent Monday evening providing new shoes and socks at two local homeless shelters.

Lori Engengro, Kathleen York, and Dr. Lauren Geaney represented UConn Health at this year’s “Our Hearts to Your Soles” outreach event at the Friendship Service Center and the Salvation Army shelter, both in New Britain.

More than three dozen people were given new shoes and at least one pair of new socks. Additional shoes and socks – more than 60 pairs of each – were left behind at the two shelters to give to others.

“Our Hearts to Your Soles” is a national effort to provide quality shoes and boots, fittings and foot exams to less fortunate men and women. Foot problems are especially common among the homeless, often exacerbated by lack access to properly fitting footwear.

UConn Health’s involvement goes back to 2007, when Dr. Michael Aronow, who at the time was on the faculty, started organizing local volunteers to take part for a night leading up to Thanksgiving. He has continued that every year since.

Red Wing Shoes provided shoes, boots, and socks. Orthopaedic Associates of Hartford also provided socks.

UConn Health December 2018 Programs, Events

December 2018 calendarHere is a list of UConn Health programs scheduled for December 2018 and early January 2019. This information will be updated with any additions or other schedule changes.

Living Well With Epilepsy: A Support Group for Young Adults
Saturday, Dec. 1, noon to 1:30 p.m.
, UConn Health Outpatient Pavilion, 2nd floor large conference room S2010

The Epilepsy Foundation of Connecticut, in partnership with the UConn Health Department of Neurology, offers a support group for young adults who live with epilepsy. This group is open to those aged 18 to 30 who would like to join others to share experience, gain peer support, and learn together about epilepsy and overcoming its challenges to live well. The group generally meets on the first Saturday of the month. Please call 860-346-1924 or email manzelone.efct@sbcglobal.net for more information.

Bladder Cancer Support Group
Saturday, Dec. 1, 2 to 3 p.m.
, UConn Health, Onyiuke Dining Room
Patients, family members and caregivers (not limited to UConn Health patients) are invited to join others whose lives have been touched by bladder cancer. This month, UConn Health’s oncology dietitian joins as a guest speaker. This support group, established in partnership with the Bladder Cancer Advocacy Network, usually meets on the first Saturday of the month and is the only group of its kind in New England. Call 888-901-BCAN for more information.

Free Hospital Maternity Tours
Saturday, Dec. 1, 2 p.m.
, UConn Health, University Tower lobby
A representative will guide you through labor and delivery, postpartum, and the nursery at the UConn John Dempsey Hospital. Children and grandparents are welcome. Call 800-535-6232 to register or for more information.

Auxiliary Festival of Trees
Tuesday, Dec. 4, through Thursday, Dec. 6
, UConn Health, University Tower, mezzanine
The UConn Health Auxiliary brings back its display of holiday-themed trees donated by UConn health faculty, staff, students, and Auxiliary members. The trees are on display for three days before a drawing is held for each to be taken home. For more information please call 860-679-2963.

Auxiliary Holiday Bazaar and Basket Raffle
Friday, Dec. 7, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
, UConn Health, main building, cafeteria
The UConn Health Auxiliary’s annual winter holiday shopping event includes local crafters and artists offering unique holiday gift ideas, including, home décor and personalized ornaments. At 3 p.m., the winners will be drawn for the popular raffle of gift baskets created and donated by UConn Health employees. For more information please call 860-679-2963.

Free Cosmetology Services for Cancer Survivors
Tuesday, Dec. 11, 1 to 3 p.m.
, UConn Health Outpatient Pavilion, 4th floor
“Look Good…Feel Better” is a free program to help improve the self-image and self-esteem of women experiencing appearance-related side effects from cancer treatment. During this hands-on workshop, a trained volunteer certified cosmetologist will teach women how to cope with skin changes and hair loss using cosmetic and skin care products donated by the cosmetic industry. Classes are offered every other month and are not limited to UConn Health patients. Please call 860-679-7820 to register (required).

Breastfeeding Class
Wednesday, Dec. 12, 6 to 8 p.m.
, UConn Health Outpatient Pavilion, 3rd floor large conference room S3301
A certified lactation consultant leads a discussion of topics including the benefits of breastfeeding, how to get started, and how the rest of the family can help the breastfeeding mother as well as how to continue breastfeeding and working. Fee is $25 per couple. Call 800-535-6232 to register or for more information.

Free Hospital Maternity Tours
Saturday, Dec. 15, 2 p.m.
, UConn Health, University Tower lobby
A representative will guide you through labor and delivery, postpartum, and the nursery at the UConn John Dempsey Hospital. Children and grandparents are welcome. Call 800-535-6232 to register or for more information.

Infertility Peer Support Group
Thursday, Dec. 20, 7 to 8:30 p.m.
, Center for Advanced Reproductive Services, 2 Batterson Park Road, Farmington.
The Greater Hartford chapter of RESOLVE, a national nonprofit resource for those facing the challenges of infertility, offers support, information and confidential, informal, peer-led discussions on the third Thursday of the month. To learn more or to check for weather-related cancellation, call 860-523-8337.

Free Hospital Maternity Tours
Saturday, Dec. 29, 2 p.m.
, UConn Health, University Tower lobby
A representative will guide you through labor and delivery, postpartum, and the nursery at the UConn John Dempsey Hospital. Children and grandparents are welcome. Call 800-535-6232 to register or for more information.

Free Workshop: “Things to Consider Before Joining a Research Study”
Monday, Dec. 31, 5 p.m.
, UConn Health, Onyiuke Dining Room
The UConn Health Human Subjects Protection Office offers an educational session about the rights and responsibilities of participants in research projects on the last Monday of the month. Registration is required: 860-679-8802 or cagganello@uchc.edu.

Living Well With Epilepsy: A Support Group for Young Adults
Saturday, Jan. 5, noon to 1:30 p.m.
, UConn Health Outpatient Pavilion, 2nd floor large conference room S2010
The Epilepsy Foundation of Connecticut, in partnership with the UConn Health Department of Neurology, offers a support group for young adults who live with epilepsy. This group is open to those aged 18 to 30 who would like to join others to share experience, gain peer support, and learn together about epilepsy and overcoming its challenges to live well. The group generally meets on the first Saturday of the month. Please call 860-346-1924 or email manzelone.efct@sbcglobal.net for more information.

Bladder Cancer Support Group
Saturday, Jan. 5, 2 to 3 p.m.
, UConn Health, Onyiuke Dining Room
Patients, family members and caregivers (not limited to UConn Health patients) are invited to join others whose lives have been touched by bladder cancer. This support group, established in partnership with the Bladder Cancer Advocacy Network, usually meets on the first Saturday of the month and is the only group of its kind in New England. Call 888-901-BCAN for more information.

Breastfeeding Class
Wednesday, Jan. 9, 6 to 8 p.m.
, UConn Health, Onyiuke Dining Room
A certified lactation consultant leads a discussion of topics including the benefits of breastfeeding, how to get started, and how the rest of the family can help the breastfeeding mother as well as how to continue breastfeeding and working. Fee is $25 per couple. Call 800-535-6232 to register or for more information.

Childbirth Preparation Class
Wednesday, Jan. 16, 6 to 10 p.m.
, UConn Health Outpatient Pavilion, 3rd floor large conference room S3301
This one-day class covers anatomy and physiology of pregnancy and labor, emotions of pregnancy, nutrition, fetal growth and development, comfort measures for labor, working with unexpected events in labor, cesarean delivery, and practice of relaxation and breathing techniques for labor. Class size is limited to eight couples. Remember to bring two pillows and wear comfortable clothing. Light snack is provided. Fee is $100. Call 800-535-6232 or 860-679-7692 to register or for more information.

Living With Heart Disease Meeting
Thursday, Jan 17, 11 a.m. to noon
, UConn Health, University Tower, 2nd floor conference room
Men and women affected by heart disease meet to discuss post-diagnosis topics such as prevention and wellness, social and emotional support, heart-healthy recipes, coping strategies and resources. Significant others and caregivers are also welcome to attend. Please call Sue at 860-679-3633 for more information.

Breast Cancer Support Group
Thursday, Jan. 17, 7 to 8 p.m.
, UConn Health, Onyiuke Dining Room
This is a support group intended for women under the age of 45 who’ve been diagnosed with non-metastatic breast cancer. Women at any point in their cancer survivorship journey are welcome. Meetings are the third Thursday of the month. To register or more information, call 860-679-7820 or email tillinghast@uchc.edu.

Directions to UConn Health are available at health.uconn.edu/locations.

Helping Those Who Help Those With Dementia

When a person has dementia – and the decline in independence that comes with it – loved ones often find themselves in the role of care partner.

It’s happening more and more as the population ages and dementia becomes more prevalent, coupled with a trend of people waiting longer to enter assisted living or skilled nursing facilities.

Karina Berg, M.D.
Dr. Karina Berg, UConn Center on Aging

“Care partners, or informal caregivers, have often been called ‘the invisible army’ because they’re vast in number and they go largely unrecognized by the health care system,” says Dr. Karina Berg, a geriatrician in the UConn Center on Aging.

More than 80 percent of the help provided to older adults in the United States comes from unpaid or informal caregivers, primarily family members. Nearly half of these caregivers provide care to someone with Alzheimer’s disease or another type of dementia. In 2017, caregivers of people with dementia provided an estimated 18.4 billion hours of assistance, a contribution to the health care system valued at $232.1 billion.

“Despite their social and economic value, care partners get very little support and very little education,” Berg says. “They’re doing an incredibly hard job and the best strategies are not clear because they don’t have any training.”

To address this, twice a year Berg and colleagues offer a four-week care partner course in partnership with the Connecticut chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association. She’s offered it in the spring and fall each of the last two years and plans to continue on this schedule.

For many of the challenges care partners endure, there are real, teachable strategies for caring for parents or spouses with dementia, Berg says. “Things like how to help a person with dementia bathe, how to encourage them to get adequate nutrition, and perhaps most importantly, how to communicate in ways that are productive instead of agitating.”

Serious Senior Man With Adult Daughter At Home
(iStock)

Care partners also are thrust into having to handle matters such as, when is it no longer safe to live alone, or drive, and how to have those difficult conversations, plus complex legal and financial issues, and understanding community resources and state or federal benefits. They often use their own financial resources and may miss time at work or stop working full time.

And while they’re dealing with their loved one’s health suffering, care partners are prone to their own health suffering. They’re less likely to take care of themselves, which can exacerbate chronic conditions like diabetes and hypertension. When they don’t feel comfortable leaving their parent or spouse alone, they can become isolated and feel unable to go anywhere – including their own medical appointments. The emotionally taxing nature of being a care partner commonly leads to depression and anxiety. Among caregivers of people with dementia, nearly six in 10 report high or very high levels of emotional stress due to caregiving.

“The health of the caregiver affects the health of the person with dementia,” Berg says. “So even though the caregiver is not my patient, I spend a lot of time providing support and education to them. Because if we can reduce caregiver stress, it’s better for the patient, and that’s my primary responsibility.”

The well-attended semiannual series of care partner workshops is scheduled to return in the spring. In addition to Berg’s presentation on how to better understand Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia, presenters include an educator from the Alzheimer’s Association to discuss communication and behavioral challenges, a local elder care attorney to discuss legal and financial issues, and UConn Health social worker Vicky Aldrich to discuss family dynamics, community resources, and keeping the caregiver healthy.

More information about the UConn Center on Aging is available at health.uconn.edu/aging.

November is Alzheimer’s Awareness Month.

Irene Engel Ready to Try ‘True’ Retirement

Irene Engel in 2012 (John Sponauer/UConn Foundation Photo)

Even though it’s been more than 20 years since she retired from UConn Health, Irene Engel never stopped working to make it a better place.

Irene has been a fixture at UConn Health since before John Dempsey Hospital opened, first as a nurse at the old McCook Hospital in Hartford, then as a nursing administrator, then in various positions as part of the medical school administration, and then, in “retirement,” working to rejuvenate the UConn Health Auxiliary.

Today, Irene’s life as a retiree in the more traditional sense is underway. Earlier this year she stepped aside as Auxiliary facilitator and helped with the leadership transition, with Debbie Baril and Chris Kaminski now serving as co-facilitators.

The Irene Engel Fund for Professional Advancement in Nursing

In honor of Irene’s dedicated service to UConn Health, both as an employee and in retirement as facilitator of the UConn Health Auxiliary, the UConn Foundation has established the Irene Engel Fund for Professional Advancement in Nursing. This fund is to benefit UConn Health nurses who would like to enhance their professional development through channels such as academic courses and conferences.

The Foundation is accepting checks (payable to The UConn Foundation, please specify it’s for Irene’s fund) at 10 Talcott Notch Road, Suite 100, Farmington, CT 06032. Checks also can be dropped off at the Connucopia Gift Shop.

The next chapter for Irene starts with her spending winters in Florida. But we couldn’t let this snowbird fly without answering a few questions before she left!

How did a young nurse from New Hampshire end up at UConn?

After nursing school (Mary Hitchcock Memorial Hospital School of Nursing, Lebanon, N.H.) I got a job in the ER at Hartford Hospital to be near Harry, who was my fiancé. He worked at Pratt and Whitney in East Hartford. I came to Connecticut in 1955, and lived in the old Hartford Hospital maternity ward. They rented out rooms to the employees. My whopping salary was $232 a month, and I paid $28 to live in the dorm. I was allowed to have a hot plate and an electric skillet, and we had common bathrooms.

I started in 1968 at McCook Hospital, part-time on the surgical floor, weekends only. I went to full-time in 1970 when David (our son) turned 5. I’ve been part of the Auxiliary since 1969 (its founding year). That’s when we started the art collection.

You retired as an associate dean in the UConn School of Medicine in 1996. How did you get there?

At McCook we opened the ICU, started the renal dialysis program, and instituted primary care nursing, where the patient always had the same nurse, and the nurse followed the patient. It was a really big deal at the time. In 1975 the hospital in Farmington was ready and we started all over there. By then I was assistant director of nursing and we set up all the floors in the hospital, the ER, the ICU, the NICU, the OR, and eventually pediatrics, surgery on the 7th floor, and moved the ICU to the 2nd floor.

After Harry died (in 1978) I went back to school and got a degree in business. David and I both graduated in 1983, him from high school and me from Post College in West Hartford. At that time the faculty wanted to move out of the hospital and have a faculty practice, and they needed an administrator. They originally were looking for a physician, but they gave me a chance. That was the start of what would become known as UConn Medical Group (UMG), run out of the Department of Surgery. About six years after that, my work there was done, and I moved into the dean’s office first as an assistant dean then an associate dean. My nickname was “the Czarina of Space.” I was loved by some and hated by others.

By the time I was 60 I had worked myself out of a job. In 1996, I turned 60 on April 29 and retired May 1.

But how “retired” were you really?

About a year later, I got a call from Peter Deckers (then the medical school dean) and Dr. [Steven] Strongwater (hospital director) saying they’d like to talk to me about the Auxiliary, which was struggling. They asked me if I would consider taking on a job as president of the Auxiliary. Instead I agreed to take a different approach, as a facilitator. I wouldn’t do monthly meetings, I’d only do quarterly meetings, I’d keep up the newsletter, and I would try to make us profitable again.

We were profitable, for many years, but unfortunately, the last few years have been very difficult for the Auxiliary. The gift shop moved from the main lobby in the C building to the University Tower, and although the space is beautiful, sales have been down since the move. If things don’t turn around in the next few years, the sad part is, we may have to get rid of the shop, and that would be the end of the Auxiliary, which would be a shame.

UConn Health Auxiliary Board at Patient and Family Education Center dedication November 2015
Irene Engel (left), who recently turned over the role of facilitator of the UConn Health Auxiliary, is now enjoying retirement. She and the Auxiliary board were joined by Drs. Andy Agwunobi and Dr. Bruce Liang for the dedication of the UConn Health Auxiliary Patient and Family Education Center in the Outpatient Pavilion in November 2015. The board members pictured, from left, are Irene Engel, Mary Louise Wadsworth, Margo Granger, Debbie Baril, Swapna Das, Ellen Cartun, Ann Lazarek, and Wendy Urcioli. (UConn Health file photo)

If you had to choose a few of the Auxiliary’s accomplishments you’re proudest of, what comes to mind?

The Family Place at Homewood Suites, for NICU parents, that was such a special thing. And gladly, it’s still there, even though it’s not ours anymore. The second thing I would say is the webcam project that we did with the Rotary in the NICU. Those are two things I think we should really be proud of.

The Healy Chair (Fall 2005 UConn Health Magazine, P. 15), that was a big deal. We didn’t do it alone either. The faculty collaborated with us to make that chair happen. We took on a $950,000 pledge, and with the help of the faculty to get the money, we got the $1.5 million. It still pays Audrey Chapman’s salary today.

Over the years we’ve done a lot for research, and for students, with scholarships and travel money for medical, dental and nursing students.

What is it about UConn Health that makes it such a special place to you?

My love for a teaching institution. Not only can you help medical and dental students become educated with patients, but there was a warmth and a love that we all had in those early days. We just bonded together in a way to want to be successful and be proud of what we called the health center.

So many people that I mentored went on to do such great things in the state, in other institutions and in our own institution, so it always made me feel I’ve had a tie. I’ve always been pleased that I’ve had so much to do with medical care in this state: starting up the open-heart surgery at Hartford Hospital, starting up the neonatal intensive care unit as we know it at the Health Center, and now at Children’s, and helping bring paramedics to Connecticut. Those were all big things. And that’s my life, because I felt that I helped educate other nurses, and medical students, and I met so many great people doing my jobs.

What will you miss the most?

The people. That’s easy. The people, the friendships, the loyalty.

Making Strides 2018

Our Husky Heroes rocked it at the American Cancer Society’s Making Strides Against Breast Cancer event on Sunday, October 28. American Cancer Society patient navigator, Amber Tillinghast, tells us that there was an incredible team of 35 participants this year. They raised over $1200 and hosted a very successful survivor reception, in which they were able to mingle with many UConn Health breast cancer survivors. They joined the other 1500 walkers in the fight against breast cancer – one step at a time. Thank you to our participants and donors for their time, effort and support!

UConn Health November 2018 Programs, Events

Here is a list of UConn Health programs scheduled for November and early December 2018. This information will be updated with any additions or other schedule changes. (Last updated 11/16)

Living Well With Epilepsy: A Support Group for Young Adults
Saturday, Nov. 3, noon to 1:30 p.m.
, UConn Health Outpatient Pavilion, 2nd floor large conference room S2010

The Epilepsy Foundation of Connecticut, in partnership with the UConn Health Department of Neurology, offers a support group for young adults who live with epilepsy. This group is open to those aged 18 to 30 who would like to join others to share experience, gain peer support, and learn together about epilepsy and overcoming its challenges to live well. The group generally meets on the first Saturday of the month. Please call 860-346-1924 or email manzelone.efct@sbcglobal.net for more information.

Bladder Cancer Support Group
Saturday, Nov. 3, 2 to 3 p.m.
, UConn Health, Onyiuke Dining Room
Patients, family members and caregivers (not limited to UConn Health patients) are invited to join others whose lives have been touched by bladder cancer. This support group, established in partnership with the Bladder Cancer Advocacy Network, usually meets on the first Saturday of the month and is the only group of its kind in New England. Call 888-901-BCAN for more information.

Free Hospital Maternity Tours
Saturday, Nov. 3, 2 p.m.
, UConn Health, University Tower lobby
A representative will guide you through labor and delivery, postpartum, and the nursery at the UConn John Dempsey Hospital. Children and grandparents are welcome. Call 800-535-6232 to register or for more information.

Breastfeeding Class
Wednesday, Nov. 14, 6 to 8 p.m.
, UConn Health Outpatient Pavilion, 3rd floor large conference room S3301
A certified lactation consultant leads a discussion of topics including the benefits of breastfeeding, how to get started, and how the rest of the family can help the breastfeeding mother as well as how to continue breastfeeding and working. Fee is $25 per couple. Call 800-535-6232 to register or for more information.

Breast Cancer Support Group
Thursday, Nov. 15, 7 to 8 p.m.
, UConn Health, Onyiuke Dining Room
This is a support group intended for women under the age of 45 who’ve been diagnosed with non-metastatic breast cancer. Women at any point in their cancer survivorship journey are welcome. Meetings are the third Thursday of the month. To register or more information, call 860-679-7820 or email tillinghast@uchc.edu.

Infertility Peer Support Group
Thursday, Nov. 15, 7 to 8:30 p.m.
, Center for Advanced Reproductive Services, 2 Batterson Park Road, Farmington.

The Greater Hartford chapter of RESOLVE, a national nonprofit resource for those facing the challenges of infertility, offers support, information and confidential, informal, peer-led discussions on the third Thursday of the month. To learn more or to check for weather-related cancellation, call 860-523-8337.

Free Hospital Maternity Tours
Saturday, Nov. 17, 2 p.m.
, UConn Health, University Tower lobby
A representative will guide you through labor and delivery, postpartum, and the nursery at the UConn John Dempsey Hospital. Children and grandparents are welcome. Call 800-535-6232 to register or for more information.

Free Workshop: “Things to Consider Before Joining a Research Study”
Monday, Nov. 26, 5 p.m.
, UConn Health, Onyiuke Dining Room
The UConn Health Human Subjects Protection Office offers an educational session about the rights and responsibilities of participants in research projects on the last Monday of the month. Registration is required: 860-679-8802 or cagganello@uchc.edu.

Stroke Survivor Group
Wednesday, Nov. 28, noon to 1 p.m.
, UConn Health Outpatient Pavilion, 3rd floor
The UConn Health Stroke Center invites stroke survivors, families and caregivers to a monthly group meeting to discuss topics such as prevention, coping methods, support systems, rehabilitation tips, resources, and promoting independence. The Stroke Survivor Group generally meets on the fourth Wednesday of the month. Call 860-679-4846 for more information.

Living Well With Epilepsy: A Support Group for Young Adults
Saturday, Dec. 1, noon to 1:30 p.m.
, UConn Health Outpatient Pavilion, 2nd floor large conference room S2010
The Epilepsy Foundation of Connecticut, in partnership with the UConn Health Department of Neurology, offers a support group for young adults who live with epilepsy. This group is open to those aged 18 to 30 who would like to join others to share experience, gain peer support, and learn together about epilepsy and overcoming its challenges to live well. The group generally meets on the first Saturday of the month. Please call 860-346-1924 or email manzelone.efct@sbcglobal.net for more information.

Bladder Cancer Support Group
Saturday, Dec. 1, 2 to 3 p.m.
, UConn Health, Onyiuke Dining Room
Patients, family members and caregivers (not limited to UConn Health patients) are invited to join others whose lives have been touched by bladder cancer. This month, UConn Health’s oncology dietitian joins as a guest speaker. This support group, established in partnership with the Bladder Cancer Advocacy Network, usually meets on the first Saturday of the month and is the only group of its kind in New England. Call 888-901-BCAN for more information.

Free Hospital Maternity Tours
Saturday, Dec. 1, 2 p.m.
, UConn Health, University Tower lobby
A representative will guide you through labor and delivery, postpartum, and the nursery at the UConn John Dempsey Hospital. Children and grandparents are welcome. Call 800-535-6232 to register or for more information.

(Added 11/16)
Auxiliary Festival of Trees
Tuesday, Dec. 4, through Thursday, Dec. 6
, UConn Health, University Tower, mezzanine
The UConn Health Auxiliary brings back its display of holiday-themed trees donated by UConn health faculty, staff, students, and Auxiliary members. The trees are on display for three days before a drawing is held for each to be taken home. For more information please call 860-679-2963.

(Added 11/16)
Auxiliary Holiday Bazaar and Basket Raffle
Friday, Dec. 7, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
, UConn Health, main building, cafeteria
The UConn Health Auxiliary’s annual winter holiday shopping event includes local crafters and artists offering unique holiday gift ideas, including, home décor and personalized ornaments. At 3 p.m., the winners will be drawn for the popular raffle of gift baskets created and donated by UConn Health employees. For more information please call 860-679-2963.

Breastfeeding Class
Wednesday, Dec. 12, 6 to 8 p.m.
, UConn Health Outpatient Pavilion, 3rd floor large conference room S3301
A certified lactation consultant leads a discussion of topics including the benefits of breastfeeding, how to get started, and how the rest of the family can help the breastfeeding mother as well as how to continue breastfeeding and working. Fee is $25 per couple. Call 800-535-6232 to register or for more information.

Free Hospital Maternity Tours
Saturday, Dec. 15, 2 p.m.
, UConn Health, University Tower lobby
A representative will guide you through labor and delivery, postpartum, and the nursery at the UConn John Dempsey Hospital. Children and grandparents are welcome. Call 800-535-6232 to register or for more information.

Directions to UConn Health are available at health.uconn.edu/locations.

UConn Health October 2018 Programs, Events

Here is a list of UConn Health programs scheduled for October and early November 2018. This information will be updated with any additions or other schedule changes. (Last updated 10/15)

Living Well With Epilepsy: A Support Group for Young Adults
Saturday, Oct. 6, noon to 1:30 p.m.
, UConn Health Outpatient Pavilion, 2nd floor large conference room S2010

The Epilepsy Foundation of Connecticut, in partnership with the UConn Health Department of Neurology, offers a support group for young adults who live with epilepsy. This group is open to those aged 18 to 30 who would like to join others to share experience, gain peer support, and learn together about epilepsy and overcoming its challenges to live well. The group generally meets on the first Saturday of the month. Please call 860-346-1924 or email manzelone.efct@sbcglobal.net for more information.

Bladder Cancer Support Group
Saturday, Oct. 6, 2 to 3 p.m.
, UConn Health, Onyiuke Dining Room
Patients, family members and caregivers (not limited to UConn Health patients) are invited to join others whose lives have been touched by bladder cancer. This month, UConn Health’s oncology dietitian joins as a guest speaker. This support group, established in partnership with the Bladder Cancer Advocacy Network, usually meets on the first Saturday of the month and is the only group of its kind in New England. Call 888-901-BCAN for more information.

Free Hospital Maternity Tours
Saturday, Oct. 6, 2 p.m.
, UConn Health, University Tower lobby
A representative will guide you through labor and delivery, postpartum, and the nursery at the UConn John Dempsey Hospital. Children and grandparents are welcome. Call 800-535-6232 to register or for more information.

Breastfeeding Class
Wednesday, Oct. 10, 6 to 8 p.m.
, UConn Health Outpatient Pavilion, 3rd floor large conference room S3301
A certified lactation consultant leads a discussion of topics including the benefits of breastfeeding, how to get started, and how the rest of the family can help the breastfeeding mother as well as how to continue breastfeeding and working. Fee is $25 per couple. Call 800-535-6232 to register or for more information.

Childbirth Preparation Class
Wednesday, Oct. 17, 6 to 10 p.m.
, UConn Health Outpatient Pavilion, 3rd floor large conference room S3301
This one-day class covers anatomy and physiology of pregnancy and labor, emotions of pregnancy, nutrition, fetal growth and development, comfort measures for labor, working with unexpected events in labor, cesarean delivery, and practice of relaxation and breathing techniques for labor. Class size is limited to eight couples. Remember to bring two pillows and wear comfortable clothing. Light snack is provided. Fee is $100. Call 800-535-6232 or 860-679-7692 to register or for more information.

(Corrected 10/15)
Living With Heart Disease Meeting
Thursday, Oct. 18, 11 a.m. to noon
, UConn Health, University Tower, 2nd floor conference room

Men and women affected by heart disease meet on the third Thursday of every other month to discuss post-diagnosis topics such as prevention and wellness, social and emotional support, heart-healthy recipes, coping strategies and resources. Significant others and caregivers are also welcome to attend. Please call Sue at 860-679-3633 for more information.

Breast Cancer Support Group
Thursday, Oct. 18, 7 to 8 p.m.
, UConn Health, Onyiuke Dining Room
This is a support group intended for women under the age of 45 who’ve been diagnosed with non-metastatic breast cancer. Women at any point in their cancer survivorship journey are welcome. Meetings are the third Thursday of the month. To register or more information, call 860-679-7820 or email tillinghast@uchc.edu.

Infertility Peer Support Group
Thursday, Oct. 18, 7 to 8:30 p.m.
, Center for Advanced Reproductive Services, 2 Batterson Park Road, Farmington.

The Greater Hartford chapter of RESOLVE, a national nonprofit resource for those facing the challenges of infertility, offers support, information and confidential, informal, peer-led discussions on the third Thursday of the month. To learn more or to check for weather-related cancellation, call 860-523-8337.

Free Hospital Maternity Tours
Saturday, Oct. 20, 2 p.m.
, UConn Health, University Tower lobby
A representative will guide you through labor and delivery, postpartum, and the nursery at the UConn John Dempsey Hospital. Children and grandparents are welcome. Call 800-535-6232 to register or for more information.

Free Cosmetology Services for Cancer Survivors
Monday, Oct. 22, 1 to 3 p.m.
, UConn Health Outpatient Pavilion, 4th floor

“Look Good…Feel Better” is a free program to help improve the self-image and self-esteem of women experiencing appearance-related side effects from cancer treatment. During this hands-on workshop, a trained volunteer certified cosmetologist will teach women how to cope with skin changes and hair loss using cosmetic and skin care products donated by the cosmetic industry. Classes are offered every other month and are not limited to UConn Health patients. Please call 860-679-7820 to register (required).

Stroke Survivor Group
Wednesday, Oct. 24, noon to 1 p.m.
, UConn Health Outpatient Pavilion, 3rd floor
The UConn Health Stroke Center invites stroke survivors, families and caregivers to a monthly group meeting to discuss topics such as prevention, coping methods, support systems, rehabilitation tips, resources, and promoting independence. The Stroke Survivor Group generally meets on the fourth Wednesday of the month. Call 860-679-4846 for more information.

Free Workshop: “Things to Consider Before Joining a Research Study”
Monday, Oct. 29, 5 p.m.
, UConn Health, Onyiuke Dining Room

The UConn Health Human Subjects Protection Office offers an educational session about the rights and responsibilities of participants in research projects on the last Monday of the month. Registration is required: 860-679-8802 or cagganello@uchc.edu.

Living Well With Epilepsy: A Support Group for Young Adults
Saturday, Nov. 3, noon to 1:30 p.m.
, UConn Health Outpatient Pavilion, 2nd floor large conference room S2010
The Epilepsy Foundation of Connecticut, in partnership with the UConn Health Department of Neurology, offers a support group for young adults who live with epilepsy. This group is open to those aged 18 to 30 who would like to join others to share experience, gain peer support, and learn together about epilepsy and overcoming its challenges to live well. The group generally meets on the first Saturday of the month. Please call 860-346-1924 or email manzelone.efct@sbcglobal.net for more information.

Bladder Cancer Support Group
Saturday, Nov. 3, 2 to 3 p.m.
, UConn Health, Onyiuke Dining Room
Patients, family members and caregivers (not limited to UConn Health patients) are invited to join others whose lives have been touched by bladder cancer. This support group, established in partnership with the Bladder Cancer Advocacy Network, usually meets on the first Saturday of the month and is the only group of its kind in New England. Call 888-901-BCAN for more information.

Free Hospital Maternity Tours
Saturday, Nov. 3, 2 p.m.
, UConn Health, University Tower lobby
A representative will guide you through labor and delivery, postpartum, and the nursery at the UConn John Dempsey Hospital. Children and grandparents are welcome. Call 800-535-6232 to register or for more information.

Breastfeeding Class
Wednesday, Nov. 14, 6 to 8 p.m.
, UConn Health Outpatient Pavilion, 3rd floor large conference room S3301
A certified lactation consultant leads a discussion of topics including the benefits of breastfeeding, how to get started, and how the rest of the family can help the breastfeeding mother as well as how to continue breastfeeding and working. Fee is $25 per couple. Call 800-535-6232 to register or for more information.

(Corrected 10/15)
Living With Heart Disease Meeting
Thursday, Nov. 15, 11 a.m. to noon
, UConn Health, University Tower, 2nd floor conference room

Men and women affected by heart disease meet on the third Thursday of every other month to discuss post-diagnosis topics such as prevention and wellness, social and emotional support, heart-healthy recipes, coping strategies and resources. Significant others and caregivers are also welcome to attend. Please call Sue at 860-679-3633 for more information.

Free Hospital Maternity Tours
Saturday, Nov. 17, 2 p.m.
, UConn Health, University Tower lobby
A representative will guide you through labor and delivery, postpartum, and the nursery at the UConn John Dempsey Hospital. Children and grandparents are welcome. Call 800-535-6232 to register or for more information.

Directions to UConn Health are available at health.uconn.edu/locations.

UConn Health September 2018 Programs and Classes

Here is a list of UConn Health programs scheduled for September and early October 2018. This information will be updated with any additions or other schedule changes.

Living Well With Epilepsy: A Support Group for Young Adults
Saturday, Sept. 1, noon to 1:30 p.m.
, UConn Health Outpatient Pavilion, 2nd floor large conference room S2010

The Epilepsy Foundation of Connecticut, in partnership with the UConn Health Department of Neurology, offers a support group for young adults who live with epilepsy. This group is open to those aged 18 to 30 who would like to join others to share experience, gain peer support, and learn together about epilepsy and overcoming its challenges to live well. The group generally meets on the first Saturday of the month. Please call 860-346-1924 or email manzelone.efct@sbcglobal.net for more information.

Bladder Cancer Support Group
Saturday, Sept. 1, 2 to 3 p.m.
, UConn Health, Onyiuke Dining Room
Patients, family members and caregivers (not limited to UConn Health patients) are invited to join others whose lives have been touched by bladder cancer. This support group, established in partnership with the Bladder Cancer Advocacy Network, usually meets on the first Saturday of the month and is the only group of its kind in New England. Call 888-901-BCAN for more information.

Free Hospital Maternity Tours
Saturday, Sept. 8, 2 p.m.
, UConn Health, University Tower lobby
A representative will guide you through labor and delivery, postpartum, and the nursery at the UConn John Dempsey Hospital. Children and grandparents are welcome. Call 800-535-6232 to register or for more information.

Breastfeeding Class
Thursday, Sept. 20, 6 to 8 p.m.
, UConn Health Outpatient Pavilion, 3rd floor large conference room S3301
A certified lactation consultant leads a discussion of topics including the benefits of breastfeeding, how to get started, and how the rest of the family can help the breastfeeding mother as well as how to continue breastfeeding and working. Fee is $25 per couple. Call 800-535-6232 to register or for more information.

Breast Cancer Support Group
Thursday, Sept. 20, 7 to 8 p.m.
, UConn Health, Onyiuke Dining Room
This is a support group intended for women under the age of 45 who’ve been diagnosed with non-metastatic breast cancer. Women at any point in their cancer survivorship journey are welcome. Meetings are the third Thursday of the month. To register or more information, call 860-679-7820 or email tillinghast@uchc.edu.

Infertility Peer Support Group
Thursday, Sept. 20, 7 to 8:30 p.m.
, Center for Advanced Reproductive Services, 2 Batterson Park Road, Farmington.

The Greater Hartford chapter of RESOLVE, a national nonprofit resource for those facing the challenges of infertility, offers support, information and confidential, informal, peer-led discussions on the third Thursday of the month. To learn more or to check for weather-related cancellation, call 860-523-8337.

Free Hospital Maternity Tours
Saturday, Sept. 22, 2 p.m.
, UConn Health, University Tower lobby
A representative will guide you through labor and delivery, postpartum, and the nursery at the UConn John Dempsey Hospital. Children and grandparents are welcome. Call 800-535-6232 to register or for more information.

Free Workshop: “Things to Consider Before Joining a Research Study”
Monday, Sept. 24, 5 p.m.
, UConn Health, Onyiuke Dining Room

The UConn Health Human Subjects Protection Office offers an educational session about the rights and responsibilities of participants in research projects on the last Monday of the month. Registration is required: 860-679-8802 or cagganello@uchc.edu.

Stroke Survivor Group
Wednesday, Sept. 26, noon to 1 p.m.
, UConn Health Outpatient Pavilion, 3rd floor
The UConn Health Stroke Center invites stroke survivors, families and caregivers to a monthly group meeting to discuss topics such as prevention, coping methods, support systems, rehabilitation tips, resources, and promoting independence. The Stroke Survivor Group generally meets on the fourth Wednesday of the month. Call 860-679-4846 for more information.

Living Well With Epilepsy: A Support Group for Young Adults
Saturday, Oct. 6, noon to 1:30 p.m.
, UConn Health Outpatient Pavilion, 2nd floor large conference room S2010
The Epilepsy Foundation of Connecticut, in partnership with the UConn Health Department of Neurology, offers a support group for young adults who live with epilepsy. This group is open to those aged 18 to 30 who would like to join others to share experience, gain peer support, and learn together about epilepsy and overcoming its challenges to live well. The group generally meets on the first Saturday of the month. Please call 860-346-1924 or email manzelone.efct@sbcglobal.net for more information.

Bladder Cancer Support Group
Saturday, Oct. 6, 2 to 3 p.m.
, UConn Health, Onyiuke Dining Room
Patients, family members and caregivers (not limited to UConn Health patients) are invited to join others whose lives have been touched by bladder cancer. This month, UConn Health’s oncology dietitian joins as a guest speaker. This support group, established in partnership with the Bladder Cancer Advocacy Network, usually meets on the first Saturday of the month and is the only group of its kind in New England. Call 888-901-BCAN for more information.

Free Hospital Maternity Tours
Saturday, Oct. 6, 2 p.m.
, UConn Health, University Tower lobby
A representative will guide you through labor and delivery, postpartum, and the nursery at the UConn John Dempsey Hospital. Children and grandparents are welcome. Call 800-535-6232 to register or for more information.

Breastfeeding Class
Wednesday, Oct. 10, 6 to 8 p.m.
, UConn Health Outpatient Pavilion, 3rd floor large conference room S3301
A certified lactation consultant leads a discussion of topics including the benefits of breastfeeding, how to get started, and how the rest of the family can help the breastfeeding mother as well as how to continue breastfeeding and working. Fee is $25 per couple. Call 800-535-6232 to register or for more information.

Childbirth Preparation Class
Wednesday, Oct. 17, 6 to 10 p.m.
, UConn Health Outpatient Pavilion, 3rd floor large conference room S3301
This one-day class covers anatomy and physiology of pregnancy and labor, emotions of pregnancy, nutrition, fetal growth and development, comfort measures for labor, working with unexpected events in labor, cesarean delivery, and practice of relaxation and breathing techniques for labor. Class size is limited to eight couples. Remember to bring two pillows and wear comfortable clothing. Light snack is provided. Fee is $100. Call 800-535-6232 or 860-679-7692 to register or for more information.

Living With Heart Disease Meeting
Thursday, Oct. 18, 11 a.m. to noon
, UConn Health, University Tower, 2nd floor conference room
Men and women affected by heart disease meet on the third Thursday of every other month to discuss post-diagnosis topics such as prevention and wellness, social and emotional support, heart-healthy recipes, coping strategies and resources. Significant others and caregivers are also welcome to attend. Please call Sue at 860-679-3633 for more information.

Directions to UConn Health are available at health.uconn.edu/locations.

UConn Health Auxiliary: A 50-year Legacy

Debbie Baril manages the Connucopia Gift Shop at UConn Health, which is run by the UConn Health Auxiliary. (Photo by Tina Encarnacion)

The UConn Health Auxiliary is in its 50th year of existence. Over that time, “The Good Deed People” have contributed more than $9 million to UConn Health.

The Auxiliary runs the Connucopia Gift Shop, both the main store in the University Tower (main level next to Starbucks) and the kiosk on the first floor of the Outpatient Pavilion, as well as the UConn Health Auxiliary Thrift Shop on Park Road in West Hartford. Whenever you patronize those shops, or any of the vendors who visit UConn Health during the year, or any of the vendors who come to the Spring Market or the Festival of Trees and Winter Faire (look for more details in the weeks to come), you’re supporting UConn Health by supporting the Auxiliary.

The UConn Health Auxiliary Patient and Family Education Center in the Outpatient Pavilion was dedicated in November 2015. Pictured, from left, are Irene Engel, Dr. Andy Agwunobi, Mary Louise Wadsworth, Margo Granger, Dr. Bruce Liang, Debbie Baril, Swapna Das, Ellen Cartun, and Ann Lazarek. (Photo by Defining Studios/Roger Castonguay)

Historic contributions include:

More recent contributions include:

  • Scholarships and student travel funding
  • Cancer survivors’ program
  • Patient assistance program
  • Web cams in the NICU (with the Farmington Rotary)
  • The UConn Health Auxiliary Patient and Family Education Center in the Outpatient Pavilion, including two interactive kiosks
  • Providing notebooks for patient education in both the Outpatient Pavilion and the UConn John Dempsey Hospital

New members and volunteers are always welcome!