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Winter 2017 Advantage News
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In the News

Southington Care Center Nightingale Award recipient credits grandmother as her inspiration

By her own account, Shelby Verrone-Webb, LPN, has always been a nurturing soul. And just because she outgrew her dolls didn’t mean that her caring nature ceased. Instead her passion grew even greater when she started taking her grandmother to medical appointments. “It made me want to learn more and get into geriatrics,” she said.
Verrone-Webb, a 2017 Nightingale Award recipient, is now nurturing residents of Southington Care Center where she has worked since 2011. “I’m the first in my family to work in the medical field – the first nurse,” she said.
When she began at Southington Care, located at 45 Meriden Ave., she floated on different floors each week including short-term rehabilitation. Now, she is in long-term care and particularly enjoys relating to those with dementia. “I love getting to know the people. We’ve become like family to each other. I am a familiar face and know their moods, their habits and what can make their lives easier,” Verrone-Webb said.
For most healthcare personnel, there is no such thing as a “typical” day. When she comes in for her shift, she makes sure she tidies the Garden Room, making it homey and cozy for the residents who gather there. Then she hits the floor: doing morning medical passes and rounds and checking in on “her” residents to make sure everything is going smoothly. “I like to talk to them and know that they are OK. This is their home,” she said.
Connecting with families is vital. When her own grandmother came to Southington Care Center for short-term rehabilitation, she really understood how families felt. “They can’t be here as much as we are so it reassures them to know their loved ones are being well cared for,” she said.
“Shelby shows an unwavering commitment to our residents, patients and her coworkers,” noted William Kowalewski, Southington Care Center executive director. “Even on her most hectic days she is seen with a smile.”
A leader, she raises those around her to a higher level of performance, Kowalewski remarked. She often assists the nursing assistants on her team with providing direct patient care.
Verrone-Webb, a Meriden resident, values the residents’ quality of life and enjoys taking them outside to meditation garden when it is warmer. She also was instrumental in organizing the Outdoor Summer Concert Series held at sunset four times each season.
“Shelby can often be seen spending discretionary time one-on-one with residents. Whether it be singing, taking someone around the campus for a walk or just sitting and chatting with a lonely resident, she is always in the moment,” Kowalewski said.
Her biggest challenge? Seeing people decline in health as they come to end of life. “I accept that but I always wonder if I could have done something more,” she said.
She holds only one regret: her grandmother died before she could see her granddaughter become a registered nurse, a goal on which she has set her sights. However she is reassured in knowing, “My grandmother was very proud of me,” she said.
Southington Care Center offers skilled nursing and rehabilitation services, and is a not for profit member of Hartford HealthCare Senior Services. For more information about Southington Care Center, visit or call 860.621.9559.

Southington Care Center achieves U.S. News & World Report national rating

Three skilled nursing facilities that are Hartford HealthCare Senior Services partners are among the best in the country, according to a U.S. News & World Report article published on Nov. 16.
Southington Care Center, Jefferson House in Newington and Jerome Home in New Britain were included in the Best Nursing Home list. U.S. News & World Report recognized those facilities with overall ratings of 4-1/2 stars or greater from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. A total of 2,005 nursing homes nationwide earned this recent recognition. Profiles on are marked with a badge indicating the Best Nursing Home designation.
Jefferson House, a department of Hartford Hospital, has 104 beds and offers short-term/outpatient rehabilitation, skilled nursing and palliative care. It is located at 1 John H. Stewart Drive in Newington. Jerome Home, with 94 beds, offers skilled nursing, short-term rehabilitation, residential care, memory care and assisted living at 975 Corbin Ave. in New Britain. Southington Care Center, located at 45 Meriden Ave. in Southington, has 130 beds and offers skilled nursing and rehabilitation services.
“It is a result of our caring and professional staff that our skilled nursing communities are named among the best in Connecticut. We have continuously been able to provide high quality care and services to hundreds of seniors coming through our doors annually,” said Lisa Connolly, NHA, MS, vice president, Hartford HealthCare Senior Services. “It is an honor and a privilege that we don’t take lightly, and a recognition that our team has earned.”
Hartford HealthCare Senior Services is a not for profit Hartford HealthCare Partner. For more information about Hartford HealthCare Senior Services, visit


Hartford HealthCare Senior Services honors milestone employees

SOUTHINGTON – Hartford HealthCare Senior Services recently honored milestone employees from its seven communities including Southington Care Center, The Orchards at Southington and Mulberry Gardens. The staffers were congratulated at the Longevity Celebration held Oct. 13 at Southington Care Center Courtyard. Executive directors from each community presented the awards.

Southington Care Center honorees included: 25 years – Colleen Daddona, Cheryl Morek, Irene Stankus; 20 years – Krystyna Barniak, Sally Brennan, Margaret Gorski, Mary Klosek, Gina Melendez; 15 years: Carmen Castano, Wai Chung, Joseph Cordani, Astrid Edward, Linda Fournier, Dana Pardo, Jeanette Simonetta, Zofia Skalska, Elaine Stath, Maddalena Velez, Jolanta Wyluda, Anna Zajda; 10 years: Marlis Clingan, Donna Malicki-Gornicz, Erica Onofreo, Esther Rankine, Anna Russo, Michelle Silva, Zofia Kopacz; and five years: Penny Baker, Elzbieta Brzostek-Parciak, Charlotte Ineza, Kelsey Lang, Rebecca Martinez, Emily Parizo, Agnieszka Parzych, Rachel Pinter, Ramonet Rosario, Jonathan Sadusky, Jelisa Sampson, Victoria Smith, Milagros Vazquez, Shelby Verrone-Webb.

Mulberry Gardens honorees included: 15 years - Maria I. Bilotti, Kathleen Castolene; 10 years - Lorraine Belas, Theresa Czak, James Gallagher, Barbara Mulcahy, Karen Mulcahy, Debra Peterson; and five years – Barbara Cahill, Marissa Cranney, Ruth Landry, Katherine Marovich.

The Orchards honorees were: 15 years – Brenda Martin, April Pastor; 10 years – Jacqueline Kavadas, Richard Zimmer; and five years – Cassandra Bouchard and Jose Portorreal.

“Today we honor our milestone anniversary recipients who have worked between five and 35 years,” said Lisa Connolly, NHA, MS, vice president, Hartford HealthCare Community Network, in remarks during the ceremony. “This is a testament to the culture of our communities, the extraordinary commitment of the staff, and their passion for seniors we are so privileged to serve each and every day.”
Hartford HealthCare Senior Services is a not for profit Hartford HealthCare Partner. For more information about Hartford HealthCare Senior Services, visit

Music & Memory brings the healing benefits of music to Southington Care Center residents

Music & Memory, a non-profit organization that brings personalized therapeutic music to seniors to enhance their quality of life, has been introduced at Southington Care Center.
“The premise is that our brains are hard-wired to connect music with our long-term memories. Think about a time when you heard a song and how that song took you back to a memory,” said Karen King, staff development educator. “Music fires up the brain, improving cognition, communication and engagement.”
Southington Care Center, 45 Meriden Ave., celebrated Music & Memory, officially rolling it out on Oct. 17 following a five-month pilot program. A grant from the State of Connecticut Department of Public Health provided the funding for 15 iPod Shuffles, chargers, headphones, and an iTunes gift card for the initial introduction. These were individually loaded with favorite music and genres that were suggested by families of the residents.
Furthermore, The Retirement Research Foundation funded the Brown University Center for Long Term Care, Quality & Innovation to work with Music & Memory and B & F Consulting to learn how to effectively implement the program. Southington Care Center was chosen by the state of Connecticut as one of six skilled nursing centers to work with B & F Consulting to identify best practices in the implementation of Music & Memory.
The intent is to maximize the impact of the program, anticipating benefits including - but not limited to - the reduction in the reliance of anti-psychotic and anti-anxiety medications, reduced agitation and sun downing as well as enhanced engagement and socialization with family, friends, staff and peers.
As an appreciation for Southington Care Center’s success in implementing the program, Barbara Frank and Cathie Brady of B & F Consulting announced that Music & Memory will donate an additional five iPods for residents.  The information about how to implement the program effectively will be shared with others in a published guide, Frank said.
During the opening celebration, certified nursing assistant Jessica Cordani, who has worked at the Care Center for 12 years, spoke of her personal experience with Music & Memory. She recalled giving an individualized iPod to a resident to listen to her personalized playlist. She then responded by becoming restful and meditative. Cordani said the music usually triggers a positive response. “I love music and believe in its benefits,” she said.
Rotary Club of Southington is also funding Music & Memory. "I really think what this donation will do is much more than purchasing iPods. For residents the music brings back those memories that have been long forgotten and provide a time of joy, clarity and peace even if it's only for a short time. It is a wonderful thing to give that gift to those who will most benefit," said Rev. Victoria Triano, Southington Care Center pastor and Rotary member, speaking on behalf of Robin Morrell, Rotary president.
In preparation for the launch, Music & Memory team members attended a three-day in-service. Members are: Executive Director Bill Kowalewski, Therapeutic Recreation Director Stacy Carleton, Director of Nursing Marje Palladino, Assistant Director of Nursing Cirie Dorosh, Marsha Jarush, Jessica Cordani, Rachel Wallace, Vinnie DeSanti and Donna Malicki-Gornicz.
The Fanelli Room erupted in applause when it was announced that the goal is every resident will receive a personal iPod loaded with their own favorite music.
Southington Care Center offers skilled nursing and rehabilitation services, and is a not for profit member of Hartford HealthCare Senior Services. For more information about Southington Care Center, visit

‘Timeless Creativity’ showcases artistic talents at Southington Care Center

Paintings, poetry and needlework created by residents, family and staff of the Southington Care Center will be featured in “Timeless Creativity,” an art exhibit, poetry reading and book signing planned for Sunday, Oct. 9, from 2 to 4 p.m.
This is the fourth year for the popular event, which will be held in the outpatient rehabilitation center located at the rear of the Southington Care Center, located at 45 Meriden Ave. People can park and enter at the rear of the building.
“Timeless Creativity” is a component of Harvest the Arts, which is part of Southington’s 48th Annual Apple Harvest Festival. A team of residents, staff, and committed volunteers is organizing the event. 
Residents, staff and volunteers will be reading original and favorite poetry beginning at 2:30 p.m. and visitors are welcome to browse the art displays. This celebration of art is free and open to the public.
Southington Care Center offers skilled nursing and rehabilitation services, and is a not for profit member of Hartford HealthCare Senior Services, a Hartford HealthCare Partner.

Enjoy the last summer concert of the season on Sept. 15

The last concert in the Southington Care Center Summer Concert Series is set for Thursday, Sept. 15, from 6 to 7 p.m., featuring “Shine.” This free performance will be held outside at the Southington Care Center, 45 Meriden Ave. Visitors are asked to bring a lawn chair.

Southington Care Center announces new director of nursing

SOUTHINGTON – Southington Care Center Executive Director William Kowalewski recently announced Marjory Palladino, RN, BS, MSN, CRRN, CSPHP, as the new director of nursing effective May 23. Southington Care Center, located at 45 Meriden Ave., is a 130-bed community specializing in long-term care, short-term inpatient rehabilitation and nursing care, and outpatient rehabilitation services.
A Wallingford resident, Palladino began her nursing career in 1977 as a licensed practical nurse. Since that time, she has achieved higher levels of education, most recently a Master of Science in Nursing from the University of Phoenix. Her credentials include Certification for Rehabilitation Nursing, Certification for Safe Patient Handling Professional and JUST CULTURE, a values-supportive model of shared accountability. She considers herself a lifelong learner.
At Southington Care Center, Palladino provides leadership, direction and administration of operations to ensure appropriate clinical services are provided. Her administrative authority includes responsibility and accountability for the functions, activities and standards of practice of the nursing staff. Her prior experience includes serving as director of care coordination, director of resource effectiveness, and director of nursing and clinical informatics. She was also on numerous hospital committees and has been the lead for the Department of Public Health, Joint Commission and Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities.
Joining the staff at Southington Care Center has been ideal, she said. “Southington Care Center has so much to offer and I am happy to be in the nursing leadership role. I enjoy the opportunity to connect with patients and staff and feel that I have returned to my roots – patient care and nursing.”
Palladino holds professional memberships in multiple organizations and boards including the Association of Rehabilitation Nurses and American Nurses Association. She has been active in rehabilitation nursing on the local and national level, including serving two terms on the national board and as the local chapter president. She has also presented at many state and national conferences related to healthcare.
Being a certified registered rehabilitation nurse gives her the opportunity to help patients achieve their highest level of function, “focusing on the best that they can be.”
She and her husband Rocco have been married 38 years and they have three grown children.
Southington Care Center offers skilled nursing and rehabilitation services, and is a not for profit member of Hartford HealthCare Senior Services. For more information about Southington Care Center, visit

Meet our 2016 Nightingale Nursing Award recipients: Jodi Trottier, LPN and Kathy Chiulli, RN, MSN

                                                      Jodi Trottier, LPN, follows her life's work at Southington Care Center

Jodi Trottier, LPN, knew her niche was in nursing right from the get-go when she entered the nursing program at Wolcott High. Her instructor not only provided the education but the inspiration as well, Trottier recalled. “It was a great experience. I fell in love with nursing and the people,” she said.
Now Trottier is being recognized for her passion, dedication and expertise with the Nightingale Award for Excellence in Nursing, Connecticut's largest state-wide nursing recognition program. She has worked at Southington Care Center for more than 10 years and was nominated by her peers. She was among three Hartford HealthCare Senior Services nurses being honored, the others being Kathy Chiulli, RN, MSN, clinical systems analyst; and Maureen Lahickey, RN, case manager/admissions director, Jefferson House
In Trottier’s nomination, she was described as: “an amazing nurse,” “respected by the CNA staff and other nurses,” “is truly committed to her patients,” and possibly most importantly, “is totally committed to SCC.”
At the care center, Trottier has worked in every department, from long-term care to short-term rehabilitation. She is accustomed to being flexible, filling in wherever, whenever needed. “Time management skills are important – priority is whatever the need is,” she said. Assisting patients in all areas has its own rewards, she said. With long-term care, there is a continuum and staff has the opportunity to form a relationship with the patient. Yet, it is wonderful to be able to play a role in recovery, enabling the short-term patient to return home. “I’ve always been comfortable in my role,” she said.
A Bristol resident, she is presently pursuing her registered nursing degree, a task which isn’t easy when working full-time and raising her family. Receiving the Nightingale Award was a surprise, she said, because she didn’t expect recognition for something she loves.


                                                                     Clinical systems analyst bridges nursing and technology

SOUTHINGTON - Kathy Chiulli, RN, MSN, no longer provides direct patient care but her work has impacted nursing staff and residents across the board. As the clinical systems analyst for Hartford HealthCare Senior Services, she recently received the Nightingale Award for Excellence in Nursing, Connecticut's largest state-wide nursing recognition program. She was among three Hartford HealthCare Senior Services nurses being honored, the others being Jodi Trottier, Southington Care Center; and Maureen Lahickey, RN, case manager/admissions director, Jefferson House.
“Kathy is an amazing teacher, coach and mentor who also happens to have an extraordinary technical and analytical gift,” according to her nomination.
Under her leadership, the new electronic medical records system was successfully implemented at Southington Care Center, Arbor Rose and Jerome Home. “With the resident always at the center, every decision was made with quality and safety at the forefront,” the nomination details. “The hundreds of staff that were affected by this project looked to Kathy for leadership, a sense of calm, patience and understanding. Her confidence, professionalism and support during this very stressful time ensured a smooth transition and instilled confidence in the team and in the software.”
Other roles include conducting training as well as new hire orientation for all licensed personnel so that they are comfortable with the software. “My role is unique in senior services – I am the bridge between technology and nursing,” she said.
A resident of Southington for 18 years, she credits her family as the inspiration for being a nurse. “I come from a long line of nursing professionals – my mom, aunt, maternal grandmother and many others, all nurses. I have always wanted to go into healthcare,” she said.
Her experience has encompassed multiple roles including critical care, post-anesthesia care, and she even spent a few years working for a medical device manufacturer, becoming a clinical expert in laparoscopic and bariatric surgical instruments. Chiulli began working as staff development coordinator at Southington Care Center in July 2012. Throughout it all, her zeal has only grown.
“I have seen people at the most vulnerable times in their lives, I’ve been there for someone’s final breath, I’ve made mistakes and been able to learn from them, I’ve shared my knowledge and helped build confidence in others,” Chiulli said. “I have been rewarded in so many ways and feel truly blessed to have had every opportunity that nursing has given me.”



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