Brett Schnauffer

Recent Articles


MATCH program thriving

To combat the opioid epidemic, BHN’s reach now totals 16 locations  In the shadow of a relentless opioid epidemic, Hartford HealthCare has become a leader in addressing the challenges of addiction and mental health in a compassionate, accessible and discreet way with its rapidly expanding MATCH Program. MATCH, or Medication...


Fourth-grade project lights up infusion center

This might be a story about mothers and sons — one mother teaching her child the value of giving back to his community, another accepting support during her own son’s illness. It might also be about serendipity. Liz Abram, business coordinator of the new Infusion Center in Plainfield, happened to...


Bennies honor Backus supporters

From the introductory chorus of  “Fiddler on the Roof,” the theme of the seventh annual Backus Bennies event was tradition to correspond with the hospital’s 125th anniversary. Held in the East Region System Support Office on April 6, the Bennies celebrated the various groups that have sustained Backus Hospital over...


Proactive professionals prepare for ‘13 Reasons’ sequel

The controversial Netflix show “13 Reasons Why” promoted conversations between teens and parents around difficult topics like suicide and bullying, but also sparked a firestorm of criticism over its graphic content and concern about copycat suicides.  “Anecdotally, Hartford Hospital, Connecticut Children’s Medical Center and other  emergency departments saw a notable...


Farmington student films documentary on IOL history

Sean Shekhman knew a little bit about the Institute of Living when he started a recent documentary project for his middle school, but didn’t know how much the organization had helped lead progress in behavioral healthcare throughout its history. “I had been to the Institute of Living before,” Sean said,...

Nitro

Central Region Welcomes Newest Safety Team Member

The newest member of the Central Region’s safety team stands on four legs and is very furry. Nitro, a 18-month-old Belgian Malinois security dog, joined the team this spring. “Hospitals are like small cities, and we are happy to be able to welcome patients and visitors who freely walk through...


Hand hygiene key during flu season

Flu season is in full swing, bringing surges in census in our doctors’ offices, emergency departments and inpatient units. It’s important to remember that hand hygiene is the single most important thing you can do to prevent the spread of infection, and compliance is such a focus at Hartford HealthCare...


Sewing Group Provides Therapeutic Tools

‘Fidget quilts’ help calm those with diseases like Alzheimer’s With zippers, laces, snaps and buttons — all bordered in lively designs, soft fleecy fabric and dangling fringe — the “fidget quilts” are perfect for people with memory disorders like Alzheimer’s disease. The colorful quilts help calm people who struggle with...


Center for Healthy Aging Eases Transition for Employee’s Father

When Leroy Smith received an update and photos of his 69-year-old father in Raleigh, N.C., he was shocked and saddened. The Hartford Hospital Supply System coordinator could see how his father’s living situation was inadequate and his health was deteriorating. Smith moved his father from North Carolina to his Connecticut...


A Tribute to Dr. Lenworth Jacobs

By Dr. Jonathan Gates I suspect we will never really determine the source of the quote “great minds discuss ideas, average minds discuss things, and simple minds discuss people.” It has been attributed to any number of well-known folks from the early part of the 20th century including Eleanor Roosevelt,...


Over 200 attend nursing research and evidence-based practice conference

The 21st annual Nursing Research & Evidence Based Practice Conference was held Oct. 13 at Hartford Hospital’s ERC building. Sponsored by the Connecticut Nursing Research Alliance (CNRA), a consortium of academic and healthcare organizations, the conference featured a day of activities focused on this year’s theme: “The Nursing Role in...


Columbia’s Pincus Receives Burlingame Award For Work In Behavioral Health

Dr. Harold Alan Pincus, vice chair of psychiatry at Columbia University’s College of Physicians and Surgeons, received the 2017 C. Charles Burlingame Award Oct. 18 in Hartford for his contributions to health services and the diagnosis, classification and treatment of mental disorders. The Institute of Living’s annual Burlingame Award is considered among...


Do Not Overlook Alcohol When It Comes To Cancer Risks

As the opioid crisis continues to make national headlines, Rushford Medical Director Dr. J. Craig Allen cautions us not to overlook the dangers of alcohol. “Excessive alcohol use leads to nearly 90,000 deaths a year in the United States,” Allen said. Allen said people should be cognizant, not only of...


MidState staffers chop off their hair to support one of their own

Judy Johansen was at work as a patient service coordinator at MidState Medical Center in May 2014 when news that would change her life forever arrived on the office fax machine. A suspicious lump from her breast had been biopsied and because she works in the offices of Drs. Zeb...


HHC engineer seeks to ‘pay it forward’ as recovery coach

Recovery is Michael Meheran’s passion.  Now, the Hartford Hospital Engineering Department staff member would like to make helping people find the peace he’s experienced in sobriety a career. Meheran is enrolled in Recovery University, an 80-hour advanced training and certification program for persons with mental health and addiction histories. The...


Taking Steps to Defeat Lung Cancer

Noa Mencher, Thoracic nurse navigator at the Hartford HealthCare Cancer Institute at The Hospital of Central Connecticut (HOCC), remembers vividly how lung cancer touched her life. “A very, very close friend of my parents, someone who was like an uncle to me, died from lung cancer,” said Mencher. “I was...


Windham staff welcomes new surgeon

General surgeon Tamara T. Myers, MD, FACS, recently joined the medical staff at Windham Hospital. Dr. Myers earned an undergraduate degree in biochemistry from Mount Holyoke College, a medical degree from the University of Connecticut School of Medicine, and completed her internship and residency in general surgery at Geisinger Medical...


A life worth living: Zero Suicide initiative focuses on helping at-risk patients

Suicide prevention is a topic that’s very close to Patricia Hayward-Paige’s heart.  The Natchaug pharmacy technician lost a close friend to suicide nearly 20 years ago. “She made an attempt and was unsuccessful. I was able to get her to a hospital and get her some help. She moved back to...


Two HOCC nurses honored with annual awards

Two Behavioral Health Network nurses were recipients of Hospital of Central Connecticut awards recently. Joni Anderson-Senk, BSN, a registered nurse in the acute behavioral unit at HOCC, was this year’s recipient of the Viola Larson Award. The Viola Larson Award is given out each year in honor of Viola Larson,...


Windham gets American Heart Association recognition

Windham Hospital has received the Mission: Lifeline® Bronze Referring Quality Achievement Award for implementing specific quality improvement measures outlined by the American Heart Association for the treatment of patients who suffer severe heart attacks. Each year, more than 250,000 people experience an ST elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI). Considered to be...


Blood drive to honor Plourde twins

The Hospital of Central Connecticut (HOCC) is teaming up with Bristol Firefighters Local 773 to honor twin sisters Cameron and Olivia Plourde by hosting a blood drive Thursday, June 8, from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. at the Hillside Community Church in Bristol. Today, the three-year-old sisters are healthy and...


Backus Bennies honor community supporters

Panera Bread, Big Y of Norwich, and the town of Plainfield were celebrated for their continued support of Backus Hospital; and retired radiologist Manuel Kadish, MD, was given the Backus Lifetime Achievement Award during the 6th annual Backus Bennies — the hospital’s annual awards ceremony for benefactors held in the...


Working Women And Addiction: The Rising Risk

By Corey Hirth In the past two years, Connecticut has seen over 400 women lose their lives to drug overdose. In 2015, 1.2 million women nationwide started taking opioids, which averages to 3,300 women per day. With the state and country seeing a rise in opioid addiction, specifically with women, the...


MidState nurse takes on an extra role during snowstorm

During the recent snow storm, Katelyn Marullo, RN, BSN, clinical resource leader on Pavilion B at MidState Medical Center, spotted Melissa Dibble, RN, MSN, CAPA, going beyond her normal routine as a clinical resource educator to pass out trays in the short-staffed hospital kitchen. That inspired Marullo to volunteer, too. “It’s a wonderful thing to help out...


The importance of colon screenings

It was December 2012 when Laurel Vollono, RN, MidState Digestive Health Center, said she felt fatigued. She assumed it was holiday stress — nothing out of the ordinary. It turned out to be a symptom of colon cancer. A coworker convinced her to get it checked out. Vollono ended up having a colonoscopy, which showed a...


Purple balloon makes a special moment matter

Lindsey Guzman, RN, tries to find a connection with each of her patients on N2 at The Hospital of Central Connecticut. But the few minutes she spent with a patient on the unit recently made an unusual impression. He was kind and when he smiled, it lit up the room. “His stories really tugged at my heart,”...


Windham paramedics recognized for heroism

On Monday, Feb. 27, The Windham Hospital Paramedic Team was recognized by the town of Vernon and the Vernon Fire Department for its response to a home explosion in the town on Aug. 4. Seven people were trapped after the explosion on East Street which was caused by a propane...


Substance-Abuse Crisis: Two Hospitals Add Recovery Coaches In Emergency Departments

In her time as nurse manager of the Emergency Department at Windham Hospital, Meghan Hilliard has seen firsthand the devastation caused by addiction and substance-use disorders in her community. But for all the clinical resources that her department can bring to help revive someone experiencing an alcohol or drug-related overdose, Hilliard...


Backus and Windham Nurses complete residency, join staff

A new wave of nurses has arrived at Backus and Windham hospitals thanks to the East Region’s nurse residency program. Fourteen nurses have officially completed the year-long program and were recognized during a ceremony at Backus on Feb. 24.  All 14 — 10 at Backus and four at Windham —...


Hartford HealthCare pioneers Mazor X robotic-assisted technology for spine surgery

Hartford HealthCare (HHC) will soon become the first healthcare system in the Northeast to pioneer the latest robotictechnology for spine surgery. The new robotic system, calledthe Mazor X, enables the surgeon to perform a virtual dressrehearsal of the surgery, allowing potential complications tobe identified before the actual procedure begins. Surgeons will...


Mass casualty training provides hands-on experience for ED staff

On Feb. 14, there was an explosion at the XL Center in Hartford, injuring 25 people. The victims were transported to the Hartford Hospital emergency department. Amid the chaos, a family member of a patient who had just died from a fatal heart attack in the ED becomes extremely distraught, claiming the doctors let the patient...


‘Every Moment Matters’ program highlights staff that goes above and beyond

Whether it’s helping to shovel a patient’s car out of the snow, giving a patient an extra blanket when he or she is cold or offering a therapy dog to help a young girl feel comfortable in a strange setting, — in healthcare, every moment truly matters. Countless little moments. But...


Philanthropy paves the way for innovation at Hartford Hospital

Donors to Hartford Hospital, as a non-profit organization, play a vital role in the growth and opportunity on our campus. These investments are critical as the hospital adapts to today’s demanding healthcare environment where technology, research and patient care are of the utmost importance. Since 2013, the Campaign for Hartford Hospital has generated more than $62...


As the LMHA, we can reach those who need it most

AROUND THE BHN with Pat Rehmer The ongoing heroin and opioid epidemic is certainly garnering a lot of public attention these days, and justifiably so. But as someone who cares deeply about populations that too often go neglected, I worry that the focus on addiction is taking the spotlight from the...


Behavioral Health Home Care program brings services to homebound patients

Aging adults face a number of challenges unique to the older population — a loss of independence, chronic health conditions, the passing away of loved ones, and an altered financial situation as they enter retirement. One area that is often overlooked, however, is the impact of these changes on mental...