Farmington Campus

UConn Health January 2019 Programs, Events

Jan 2019 calendarHere is a list of UConn Health programs scheduled for January and early February 2019. This information will be updated with any additions or other schedule changes. (Last updated 1/18)

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.

Free Hospital Maternity Tours
Saturday, Jan. 12, 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.

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.

Infertility Peer Support Group
Thursday, Jan. 17, 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.

(Added 1/18)
Stroke Survivor Group
Wednesday, Jan. 23, 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.

(Added 1/18)
New Brain Aneurysm Support Group
Thursday, Jan 24, 3 to 4 p.m.
, UConn Health, Outpatient Pavilion, 6th floor large conference room.

In partnership with the Brain Aneurysm Foundation, UConn Health now offers an educational setting to provide support for patients and survivors of brain aneurysm, as well as caregivers, family and friends. The group will meet on the fourth Thursday of the month. Attendees will discuss recovery topics and learn about helpful resources, all in an environment to foster reassurance and personal exchange. To learn more, call Deb Feigenbaum, MSW, LCSW, at 860-679-2377 or email feigenbaum@uchc.edu.

Free Hospital Maternity Tours
Saturday, Jan. 26, 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.

(Error corrected 1/7)
Free Workshop: “Things to Consider Before Joining a Research Study”
Monday, Jan. 29 28, 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, Feb. 2, 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, Feb. 2, 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.

(Added 1/9)
‘Docs and Divas’
Wednesday, Feb. 6, 6 to 8 p.m.
, La Belle Chateau Salon & Spa, 55 Mill St., Unionville
UConn Health’s free educational series “Docs and Divas” features Dr. Jullian Fortier, UConn Health plastic surgeon, discussing the latest cosmetic trends for aging gracefully and looking your best. Treatment discounts, free samples, prizes and live demonstrations are included. Learn more, and register online by Jan. 31, at h.uconn.edu/docs-and-divas.

Childbirth Preparation Class
Friday, Feb. 8, 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.

Childbirth Preparation Class
Saturday, Feb. 9, 10 a.m. to 2 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.

Free Hospital Maternity Tours
Saturday, Feb. 9, 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, Feb. 13, 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.

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

 

Looking at Us: Dr. Alan Lurie, 45 Years and Counting

Alan Lurie and his father (1974)
Do you recognize Dr. Alan Lurie without a beard? Pictured here in 1974, Dr. Lurie says his father, Mitchell Lurie (left), was his favorite musician and used to be “pretty widely considered the greatest clarinetist in the world.” Dr. Lurie is an accomplished concert pianist and says a career in classical music was a close second to oral radiology. (Photo provided by Alan Lurie)

He most likely has been at UConn Health longer than you have. Dr. Alan Lurie, professor and chair of the UConn School of Dental Medicine Division of Oral and Maxillofacial Radiology, recently was recognized for 45 years of service. UConn Health is the only place he’s ever worked full-time. He started as an assistant professor of oral and maxillofacial radiology and has been division chair for the last 28 years. Dr. Lurie lives in West Hartford with his wife, Dr. Susanne Shrader, who’s a UConn School of Medicine alum. They have three adult children and three grandchildren.

How has your role here changed over the years?

I was here for almost 20 years, most of that time spent being a scientist working on radiation cancer induction and interaction with chemicals. I did some teaching and clinic coverage, but I was mainly in the lab. And then in 1990, the person who had been the chair the whole time, Allan Reiskin, left the institution, and they asked me if I would take it over. I had to think about that, because when you do that you can’t be a lab scientist anymore. I accepted that, and I saw a shift in my research over to collaborative clinical and translational research, and then got involved with administration of research programs, of oral biology, of the DMD-Ph.D. program, and before that the residency Ph.D. program, then known as the dentist-scientist award. I shifted gears frequently.

Dr. Alan Lurie

Alan LurieFavorite book:
The Lord of the Rings

Favorite author:
David Brin

Favorite musical:
Tie between “My Fair Lady” and “West Side Story”

Favorite actress:
Kate Beckinsale

Favorite place to visit:
The Brazilian Pantanal

Person I’d most like to meet:
Barack Obama

Something about me that my younger self would never believe:
I like birding, and I have parrots living in the house with me: Prestwick (military macaw) and Ava (African grey parrot).

What would you say are the biggest changes that have taken place in the dental school over 45 years?

When I first came here, there wasn’t a CT (computed tomography) machine in the institution. I don’t believe there was one in the state. There’ve been so many big changes. CT shows up, MR (magnetic resonance) shows up, nuclear medicine shows up, PET (positron emission tomography) scans, molecular imaging, cone beam CT, all of these things didn’t exist, and they’re still showing up. You have to be very nimble to be in radiology because it’s advancing so rapidly, and I think that the advances over the next quarter of a century are just going to be astonishing.

When I arrived here, this dental school was unique in the history of dental schools. It was truly creating a physician stomatologist, scientifically based. The interaction between the medical and dental wings of this institution was very very close, very very intense. We were really in a partnership. It was very small. I arrived here after the first class graduated, and I think there were eight people; and then the next class, the first class I taught, I think there were 12 people, and the medical school was about 24 people. The faculty was small. Everybody knew everybody. It was very intimate, what today would be called evidence-based (back then it was called science-based) medicine and dental medicine. The student body has always been a powerhouse. We’ve always had a very strong faculty. We’ve almost always been on top of technological advances.

Probably we have been best known for our emphasis on the science behind imaging and the safe imaging of patients. We’ve had a lot of research on carcinogenesis and extrapolation out to risk, and what are the safest practices and how do you teach the safe practices. I think that’s had a fairly significant influence on the way radiology is taught and practiced.

When you first started in 1973, if someone told you that you’d be here for 45 years, how would you have reacted?

I can answer that in one word: disbelief.

For the first several years here, I was fully intending to return to my home state of California. However, over time, I really got entrenched in this area, and I became more and more committed to this institution, more and more committed to my personal health care providers, committed to giving my children a stable environment and school system and friends. I just got to like it more and more.

What motivates you to keep coming to work at the same place every day for as long as you have?

Great students, great residents, terrific staff and faculty colleagues, and an interesting job that’s quite variable in its texture. I can control its shifts from clinical activities to teaching to doing collaborative research and overseeing other people doing research and helping them, and participating in national activities. It’s quite variable and that keeps it interesting.

What are your plans moving forward?

I’m going to keep doing what I’m doing. I like it too much. I’m having too much fun. There’s something new happening in my field like every week, so I’m just waiting to see the next thing.

What makes the UConn School of Dental Medicine so successful and highly regarded?

It’s a variety of things. I think the smallness is a great strength, because it lets you be very selective in your student and resident selection. It also lets you be selective in your faculty. I think we always had a very strong faculty. We still have many close relationships with people in the medical school and in the hospital, and so there’s a good deal of interactive teaching in patient care and residency training. The science that’s coming out of the dental school is still a leader in the world. We have world-renowned scientists and leaders through the dental school, and I think with the addition of the Biomedical Engineering Department and the sharing between the schools and with Storrs has the potential to become something really tremendous, because that’s playing to our strengths. Interactions in imaging and in medically complex patients and in cancer patients and especially in bone and musculoskeletal, are ongoing major strengths of this place.

What do you like to do when you’re not at work?

I’m a serious classical pianist. I have been all my life. That was my other career choice. I was a guest artist in the Casals Festival in 2015. I run a chamber music trio (we’ve been together over 20 years now) and we play annually on commencement weekend here. Our name is The Noteworthy Ensemble; my wife plays violin and viola, and Gwen Winkel, the music director for the Simsbury school system, plays clarinet and ancient wind instruments. My parents were both professional musicians, so I grew up in a household of classical music, and I’ve been at the keyboard since I was 6.

I love golf. I’m a competent player. I used to be a pretty good player, but it’s hard to be good when you’re 72.

I’ve done quite a bit of birding around the world, in Japan, Europe, South America, the U.S., and in New Zealand (my daughter lives in New Zealand). I’ve led a few birding-based eco tours in Latin America. I love birds. There are a couple of birds that have been living in our home for over a quarter of a century.

I’m a big sports fan. My favorite team is the Patriots, and my second favorite team is – most people won’t know what it is –the All Blacks, the national rugby team of New Zealand, probably the greatest dynasty in the history of team sports. I like all sports, I’ll watch any of it.

The other thing I love is science fiction, movies and books. I’ve been a member of the Science Fiction Book Club since two years after it was founded in 1956. I’ve been a member for 60 consecutive years and I’ve read hundreds if not thousands of science fiction novels and seen an awful lot of science fiction movies. My favorite is Godzilla. I was interested in radiation from the first time I saw Godzilla, and I was only 8 when I saw it. I watched science fiction and horror movies as a kid, and almost all of them were radiation – making things big, making things small, making things blow up – but it was always radiation. And in dental school I found out that there was a real science of radiation. That headed me into being a radiologist.

 

Boyko Heads 2018 Employee Recognition Honorees

Employee Recognition 2018Employee Recognition 2018Employee Recognition 2018Employee Recognition 2018Employee Recognition 2018

November has become synonymous with inspiration and celebration at UConn Health, with the annual employee recognition of milestone years of service ceremony and the presentation of the Dr. Peter J. Deckers Employee Appreciation Award.

This year’s winner is Jeff Boyko from the Department of Logistics Management.

The Dr. Deckers award is given to an outstanding employee who consistently demonstrates commitment and passion, strong leadership, exemplary professional skills, and commendable personal attributes, all in support of the UConn Health mission. This year’s four nominees were singled out of over 5,000 employees for displaying all these attributes with style, grace, and fortitude.

The 2018 Dr. Peter J. Deckers Employee Appreciation Award Nominees

The November 19 event also recognized over 650 UConn Health employees achieving milestones of five, 10, 15 or 20 years of service.

“This is a fabulous occasion to feature the distinguishing, everyday contributions our employees make towards the enhancement of our UConn Health mission,” says Carolle Andrews, chief administrative officer and interim vice president of Human Resources.

–Alexis Crean

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.

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.

One Year of Wellness

UConn Health Wellness Center One Year Anniversary
UConn Health Wellness Center One Year Anniversary. November 1, 2018. (Kristin Wallace/UConn Health Photo)

The UConn Health Wellness Center is celebrating its first year of operation, a year that saw enrollment shatter initial expectations.

More than 800 faculty, staff and students have signed up to be members of the Wellness Center, located on the main floor of the academic building, former location of the Friend’s Lecture Hall (LM034).

“We were projecting 500 members to start,” says Lisa DeToma, the administrative program coordinator who oversees the Wellness Center. “We offered three classes a week when we first opened, and now we have more than doubled the weekly class offerings.”

Regular classes include qi gong, yoga, and tai chi. Themed programs such as the “stair and step challenge” are also available.

Dr. Andy fits in a chair massage during the Wellness Center’s first anniversary celebration. (Kristin Wallace/UConn Health Photo)

Today the wellness center marks its first-year success with a full day of events, including chair massages, “Ask the Dietitian,” gifts for all members, healthy snacks, nutrition information, music, and drawings.

“I have been going to our gym since the opening and my life has improved for the better in so many ways,” says Rob Gottlieb, an environmental health and safety specialist. “My stress level is down, my cholesterol and blood pressure are down, and I am feeling better about myself. I love our gym and hope to maintain an active membership. I hope it flourishes and that it is properly maintained because it offers such a valuable service to its employees – a healthy lifestyle!”

Other plans for future programs include self-defense, total body conditioning, mindfulness meditation, and possibly spin classes.

The UConn Health Wellness Center is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week. It’s accessible by ID badge and offers cardio machines, free weights, resistance machines, locker rooms with showers, and rooms for fitness classes. Registration forms are available on the Membership page.

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.

Congressional Visit to UConn School of Dental Medicine

Rep. Joe Courtney with UConn ASDA members (from left) Cameron Christiansen, Shiyuan Mao, Marina Zoghbi, Taleen Kalajian, Jessica Rudman, Mariamma Chaluparambil, and Eric Ress at a visit to the UConn School of Dental Medicine. (Photo by Andrea Keilty)

U.S. Rep. Joe Courtney recently came to UConn Health to meet with UConn dental student members of the American Student Dental Association (ASDA).

“He came to meet with us as ASDA aims to discuss legislative issues that pertain to us as current students and future health care providers,” says Taleen Kalajian, a second-year dental student and UConn ASDA delegate. “We wanted to gain insight into what is currently being done at the Congressional level in order to pass different bills and raise awareness about current issues that have the potential to impact our education and future.”

Dental student Jessica Rudman addresses Rep. Joe Courtney during the congressman’s visit to the UConn School of Dental Medicine. (Photo by Taijah Anderson)

Chief among those issues is student debt. By some estimates the average American dental student graduates with nearly $300,000 in debt. Courtney, a senior member of the House Education and the Workforce Committee, discussed the Aim Higher Act, which his committee introduced in July. It’s a reauthorization of previous legislation that would provide students with a chance to earn a debt-free degree.

“One pillar of the Aim Higher Act is to protect and expand public service loan forgiveness programs,” says classmate Marina Zoghbi, a UConn ASDA legislative co-chair. “The Aim Higher Act also allows students to refinance high-interest loans to lower rates. I really appreciated that he is committed to advocating for students pursuing higher education.”

The congressman held a roundtable with seven members of UConn’s ASDA chapter: Zoghbi, Kalajian, Jessica Rudman, Mariamma Chaluparamabil, Eric Ress, Shiyuan Mao, and Cameron Christiansen. They met for about 30 minutes in the dental admissions office following a tour of the renovated dental care center and the simulation lab Oct. 18. Other topics of discussion included access to care and the opioid epidemic.

Chaluparamabil, the chapter’s president, and Rudman, a legislative delegate, had invited Courtney to visit during an ADA lobbying engagement in Washington, D.C., in the spring. Because of scheduling conflicts, it took several months to orchestrate.

“He’s very down-to-earth, really listens to problems, and you really feel like he’s listening to you,” Rudman says. “It can be nerve-wracking when you’re meeting someone like this, but he makes you feel at ease and able to talk about the issues that are important to you. It really helped us be comfortable.”

Looking at Us: In Compliance With Deb Abromaitis

Healthcare Compliance team
The UConn Health Office of Healthcare and Regulatory Compliance includes (from left) Joanna Mackie, Shannon Kelmelis, Kim Bailot, Deb Abromaitis (interim compliance officer), Michelle Mendocha, Kaitlyn Rewenko, and, not pictured, Rikel Lightner. (Photo by Chris DeFrancesco)

One of the reasons for the UConn John Dempsey Hospital’s high marks in the latest Joint Commission survey is the work of the Office of Healthcare and Regulatory Compliance. Longtime UConn Health nurse and nurse administrator Deb Abromaitis serves as its interim compliance officer, and she credits her staff (and many others) for the successful visit. Today we get to know Deb a little better. She lives in Unionville with her husband, and has two grown sons and two grandchildren.

Deb Abromaitis

Favorite sport:
Figure skating

Favorite holiday:
Christmas. I love giving puzzles to my nieces, nephews and my children to figure out how to solve the puzzle to get a gift.

Favorite place(s) to visit:
Istanbul, Turkey. I also love to vacation in the Outer Banks with friends.

Favorite dining spot:
I love going out to different restaurants for breakfast on the weekend with my husband and friends.

Interest outside of work:
I always love and treasure spending time with my family.

Describe your role here, and how your roles have changed/evolved over the years?

I’ve been the Interim Compliance Officer in the Office of Healthcare and Regulatory Compliance for less than a year. The first time I worked at UConn Health was about 30 years ago, and I have been in many positions over the years, starting as a per diem nurse then a nursing supervisor, manager, and director.

Some of the areas where I have managed include the Nursing Supervisors, Bed Control, Float Pool, Transportation, Emergency Management, Environment of Care, Patient Relations, Volunteers, Spiritual Services, Interpreters, Quality and Regulatory.

When you were first starting as a nurse, if someone told you that you’d be a hospital compliance officer, how would you have reacted?

I would never have believed it! I love people and knew that as long as I was a nurse I would never be anywhere but at the bedside!

What are the most challenging and rewarding aspects of your job today?

The most challenging would be having others understand that we are trying to be helpful when we work with areas to meet the needs and regulatory requirements for the patients, the staff and the institution.

The most rewarding is watching patient care improve, staff pride and satisfaction grow, and the institution get recognized for the great work that we do and the care that we provide.

We recently had an unannounced accreditation survey by The Joint Commission. What goes into preparing for and dealing with that, and what made it successful?

In the hospital we say that we are always prepared for a survey. It’s working hard every day to do everything possible to educate and train all staff to meet all regulations to provide the highest level of care to all patients.

What made it successful is the commitment of everyone at UConn Health to remain regulatory compliant and provide the highest level of care to our patients. We hear that it takes a village….and it truly does! There are so many employees who work very hard and are willing to do whatever they can to help have a positive impact on our survey. They are sincerely appreciated!

I don’t want to name individuals as I know I would feel terrible about leaving out the many, many people who were instrumental in this success. I do need to recognize Dr. Agwunobi’s constant support of the readiness process, including his commitment to securing repeated visits from The Joint Commission Resource consultants who helped us prepare for the actual survey. In addition, I do need to highlight:

  • My staff in the Office of Healthcare and Regulatory Compliance, who worked tirelessly for months training and obtaining all documents needed.
  • Senior leadership, who provided a plethora of time and support as well as vision.
  • Chapter leaders, who ensured compliance and readiness with Joint Commission standards.
  • Nursing and all staff who worked tirelessly to prepare their units and the entire hospital to be ready for the survey each day. Those who willingly spoke with Joint Commission surveyors and shared the positive aspects of what we do were terrific!
  • Support staff who assisted day in and day out as ambassadors, scribes, runners, drivers, catering, maintenance, facilities, housekeeping.

Everyone worked together to ensure we showed The Joint Commission the best of UConn John Demspey Hospital. The work of so many wonderful, dedicated staff made the entire survey an incredible success!

And when you’re not working, you’re often volunteering?

I love to volunteer, including being the opening ceremonies and figure skating competitions director and coordinator for the Connecticut Special Olympics for many years, volunteering on the Community Emergency Response Team (CERT), fundraising for the American Heart Association, and I’m very proud that I brought and chaired the first Relay for Life in Farmington!

Your family seems to have several connections with UConn basketball.

My husband played basketball at UConn (Jim Abromaitis, 1975-1980). My older son played basketball at Yale (Jason Abromaitis, 2003-2007), and married Ann Strother, who played basketball at UConn. They have two children, a 3-year-old boy and 1-year-old girl. My other son played basketball at Notre Dame (Tim Abromaitis, 2007-2012). I never played basketball, but was a UConn cheerleader.

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.