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Griffin Hospital “Campaign for Breast Wellness” Reaches Goal

By Ken Roberts on 2/27/2012

DERBY, CT (February 27, 2012) - Griffin Hospital has announced the completion of its Campaign for Breast Wellness to support the creation of a state-of-the art, comprehensive Center for Breast Wellness as part of the array of services now offered at the hospital’s Hewitt Ambulatory Pavilion. Griffin Hospital received contributions from more than 1,300 individuals, businesses, and foundations toward its goal of raising $1 million to create the new Hewitt Center for Breast Wellness.

“We are honored and humbled by the broad support that has been given to this effort, and we are deeply grateful for all of the help we received from so many throughout the region who provided the essential funding for this initiative,” commented Patrick Charmel, President and CEO of Griffin Hospital. “This was a true community effort of which the entire community should be proud.”

Susan Coyle, Co-Chair of the Campaign and Owner/Broker at Real Estate Two of Shelton, shared Charmel’s gratitude: “The success of campaign can be measured not only by the amount of money we raised, which was truly significant, but also by the number of lives that have been and will be impacted by the Center for years to come. What we accomplished in raising $1 million for the Campaign for Breast Wellness goes far beyond just creating a building or buying equipment.”

The Campaign for Breast Wellness began in earnest in May, 2010 with the goal of raising $1 million. Campaign Committee Co-Chairs Patricia Tarasovic, Director of the Volunteer Action Center at the Valley United Way, and Susan Coyle recruited a dynamic committee of volunteers who reached out to friends, colleagues, neighbors, businesses and foundations to explain the need for private philanthropy to support this effort.

“From the beginning, we believed it would be very important to conduct a grassroots effort,” said Cornelia Evans, Executive Director of the Griffin Hospital Development Fund. “The leadership of the hospital – our Board and Administration – stressed the goal of raising awareness about the importance of early detection in saving lives while also raising funds for the Center. The best way to do that was to involve as many folks as possible in a truly positive and empowering way. And we had the perfect Campaign leadership and committee to execute that strategy!”

“The grassroots aspect of the Campaign was so important – and so like the Valley.” said Co-Chair Patricia Tarasovic. “We have a strong tradition of rallying together for the greater good here, and that’s exactly what this Campaign encouraged. The entire community built this Center and made it possible for Griffin to offer these services. We should all be proud of that. And we should be proud of the increased awareness about breast cancer that resulted from all of these efforts. Awareness alone will save lives!”

The private funds raised included grants from the Hewitt Foundation, for which the Center is now named, a gift from the United Illuminating Foundation, and the Valley Community Foundation, among other donors. Proceeds from several community based events contributed a significant amount to the goal, including the Housy One-Miler Swim for Griffin, the 2010 Griffin Center for Cancer Care 5K Walk Run, the 2011 St. Patrick’s Day Dinner Dance, and 2010 and 2011 “Valley Goes Pink” community-wide events. The total cost of building and equipping the center was $2.2 million.

Now with the conclusion of the Campaign, the Hewitt Center staff and its Medical Director, Dr. Zandra Cheng, are looking forward to continuing to provide the very best care possible for residents of the Valley. Since the Hewitt Center’s opening in January 2011, over 8,000 mammograms have been performed. With a commitment to putting patients first, staff at the Center have redesigned and streamlined their clinical processes to ensure that patients receive their results by the end of the day. “We want to do everything within our power to decrease the anxiety patients experience when waiting for the next test, definitive diagnosis, or plan of treatment,” says Zandra Cheng, MD.  “We have assembled all the pieces necessary to deliver world class care at the Hewitt Center for Breast Wellness at Griffin Hospital.”

Though the Campaign has come to an end, our fundraising for patient care, education, training and technical innovation at the Hewitt Center will continue,” says Cornelia Evans. “Susan Coyle has agreed to continue chairing ‘The Valley Goes Pink’ effort, which this year raised over $50,000, thanks to more than 150 participants from schools, clubs, and corporations throughout the region.”

About Griffin Hospital:

Griffin Hospital is a 160-bed acute care community hospital serving more than 100,000 residents of the Lower Naugatuck Valley Region in Connecticut. The hospital has more than 300 active and courtesy physicians who have admitting privileges, and is affiliated with the Yale School of Medicine. Griffin was honored by the Planetree organization with its “2010 Distinction for Leadership and Innovation in Patient-Centered Care Award,” which recognizes its work to continually advance the practice of patient-centered care through outreach, research, scholarship and innovation. Recognized for having industry-leading patient satisfaction ratings, Griffin has also received numerous quality and clinical excellence awards, including recently being named one of the nation’s top performers on key quality measures. Griffin was the only Connecticut hospital and one of only 405 hospitals nationwide to earn this prestigious distinction from The Joint Commission, the leading accreditor of healthcare organizations in America.

Logo: The Campaign for Breast Wellness at Griffin Hospital | For Love of Life...For Lives We Love