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Hospital of Central Connecticut staff members heading to Haiti

New Britain [March 02 2010] - Calling themselves Hearts for Haiti, a team of Hospital of Central Connecticut (HCC) staff members will head to Haiti Monday, March 8 to provide medical care over 10 days to victims of the devastating Jan. 12 earthquake that struck the country.

Led by primary care physician Anthony Ciardella, M.D., the 10-member team, which includes nine staff members, will return Friday, March 19. Ciardella is coordinating the trip through World Cares Center with support from ReadyResponders Network and Housing Works, Inc.

“I’m glad I’m doing it,” says Ciardella of the upcoming trip. “I saw what was happening on TV and I thought I had to help.” While he’s been on four medical missionary trips to Mexico, none were in response to a natural disaster.

Ciardella, who practices and resides in Southington, attracted employee interest through a hospital email asking for volunteers. Within days, he had about 60 applicants.

Once team needs and expectations were known, the team was finalized. Members from HCC also include a physician assistant, an advanced practice registered nurse, five R.N.s, and a nurse technician. An emergency medical technician, who is not an HCC employee, is also joining the team that includes his wife.

The team will divide to cover three camps, two at Port-au-Prince, the area hardest hit by the quake, and the other at Saint-Marc. They’ll replace teams from other countries who are working with Haitian physicians and nurses. Translators will be on site at all camps.

Varied individual and group donations, including from businesses and the community, are helping the team offset personal expenses for the trip and with medical supplies acquisition. Donors toward trip expenses include The Hospital of Central Connecticut and its Medical Staff; as well as HCC Lab employees from the New Britain General campus who made personal donations totaling $650. The hospital’s Bradley Memorial campus has contributed supplies.

Deborah Ferretti, A.P.R.N., of Beacon Falls, who specializes in both wound and palliative care at the New Britain General campus, expects to see many patients with wounds and injuries that require ongoing medical care. “When this opportunity presented, in light of the profound need, and with my background in wound care, I felt this was someplace I could be helpful.”

While the team will be roughing it, sleeping in tents and supplying their own food, Ferretti, a Girl Scout leader and outdoor enthusiast, is up to the challenge. “We only have to put up with it for two weeks,” she says. “These folks have been living that way. If they can live like that for their whole life, I can manage it for two weeks.”

Contact: Kimberly Gensicki, 860-224-5900, x6507

HCC Corporate Communications
(860) 224-5695 • Fax (860) 224-5779