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CHH Ceremony Marks One-Year Anniversary of First COVID Patient

March 23, 2021

Charlotte Hungerford Hospital (CHH) marked the one-year anniversary of receiving its first COVID-19 positive patient with a special observance and moment of silence at its main campus Monday, March 22. The ceremony remembered those lost to the pandemic, acknowledged the trials and triumphs of survivors, and thanked staff, first responders, and community for their ongoing strength and assistance during the past year.

Gathered in bright sunshine among heart shaped signs of healing and hope, Brian Mattiello, VP Strategy and Community Development at CHH, welcomed staff, guests, and first responders.

Dan McIntyre, Senior Vice President of Hartford Healthcare’s Northwest Region and CHH President, offered recognition and reflection to hospital staff. “They are compassionate, they have been courageous, and their sense of duty to our ill and injured is beyond reproach. Thank you for your personal sacrifices and for your great strength which continues to be so inspiring.” He said.

Also speaking was the Honorable Mayor of Torrington Elinor Carbone who recounted the phone call she received informing her of the first hospitalized patient and thanked the Hospital and local first responders for their continued dedication and care for the community. CHH Medical Staff President Neal Mandell, MD, Hospitalist Hemal Patel, MD, and Amy Bond, RN, offered personal reflections and appreciation to their colleagues and detailed the healthcare response to the pandemic.

The Hospital’s first COVID-19 diagnosed patient Deborah Manchester who was admitted one year ago and made a full recovery was on hand and thanked everyone for their support and work throughout the pandemic. ‘We just have to take it day by day,” she encouraged attendees.

Officer Blain Rogozinski of the New Britain Police Department who spent several weeks at the Hospital after contracting the virus last June, also spoke of his experience and thanked his family and fellow officers for all of their support. He was honored at the time by over 30 fellow officers who arrived at CHH in 15 squad cars to salute in formation as he waved from his Hospital window. “I would like to thank you all for saving my life. You are truly amazing people. Make the days count, don’t count the days,” he added.

Father Robert F. Tucker, representing the Chaplains that serve CHH patients and families, offered a blessing for all those affected by the virus. John Capobianco, VP Operations, HHC Northwest Region then led a moment of silence for those who have passed away from the virus which was followed by a violin performance of the song Amazing Grace by retired Torrington Middle School Teacher Matt Valenti. Hartford Hospital’s LIFESTAR medical Transport helicopter did a flyover salute at the conclusion of the ceremony.

The event was covered live on social media and can be viewed on the Charlotte Hungerford Hospital Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/charlottehungerfordhospital

For more information on coronavirus testing or vaccinations, visit www.charlottehungerford.org or call the Hartford HealthCare 24-hour coronavirus hotline toll-free at 833.621.0600.