Danbury Lawmakers Secure $1.2 Million for Healing Hearts Grief and Bereavement Center

June 17, 2013

Members of the Danbury legislative delegation that include State Representatives David Arconti, Bob Godfrey, Dan Carter, Janice Giegler, David Scribner and State Senator Michael McLachlan announced today that the State Bond Commission will approve $1.2 million in state financing to support building a new hospice residential facility for the Regional Hospice and Home care of Western CT, Inc. (RHHC) that includes the Healing Hearts Center for Children & Families program in Danbury.

Governor Dannel P. Malloy’s office confirmed that the bonding is expected to be approved when the State Bond Commission meets Friday, June 21 in the Legislative Office Building in Hartford.

“I am thrilled that Healing Hearts, Western CT Regional Hospice and Home Care and the City of Danbury will be getting this funding,” Rep. Arconti said. “The work they do is commendable, unique and extremely valuable for grieving children and their families. We have worked closely with Regional Hospice and the Governor’s office over the last few months on this project and I want to thank the Governor for prioritizing this project in Danbury and our House leadership for their support.”
Governor Malloy said, “Healing Hearts is important to the Greater Danbury community because of the invaluable services they provide to those in need. These funds, which will go towards the new facility, will help ensure that their significant work can continue.”

“There is no other group that provides the same services to so many families across Connecticut. Fundraising, donations and grants allow healing hearts to provide this deeply personal bereavement counseling at no cost,” said Rep. Godfrey. “They are very deserving and I am pleased to see this funding approved and so proud to have this group here in Danbury.”

“Healing Hearts has played an integral role in providing services and counseling to heartbroken families in the aftermath of the horrific tragedy in Newtown,” said Rep. Scribner, who serves on the Board of Directors for Regional Hospice of Western Connecticut. “This worthy investment will go a long way to help those grieving in our community. I want to thank Reps. Giegler, Godfrey and Arconti, and Gov. Malloy and Lt. Gov. Wyman for their interest, commitment and support.”

“This is a wise and compassionate investment of state funds, and it is much appreciated,” Sen. Michael McLachlan said. “These funds will help many people in western Connecticut, and I thank my fellow Danbury legislators for speaking with one, united voice on this project. It will benefit our region for decades to come.”

“On behalf of the thousands of children and families we serve and have the privilege of caring for, we are delighted that the Governor, Lt. Governor, Reps. David Arconti, Bob Godfrey, David Scribner and Betty Boukus and the community have rallied around supporting regional hospice and homecare of Western Connecticut,” said Cynthia E. Roy, MS, LCSW, CHA and President and CEO of RHHC. “We thank Governor Malloy and Lt. Governor Wyman in recognizing the needs of our dying patients and community members who are grieving the tragic loss of a loved one. This bonding support will make a huge difference in providing services to grieving family members that are left behind when a loved one dies.”

“This facility will be a meaningful asset to all of Western Connecticut, providing families the best end-of-life care possible and giving them some desperately needed comfort and peace of mind during trying times,” said Rep. Giegler. “I applaud the Bond Commission and the Governor for recognizing the importance of funding quality palliative care.”

Rep. Carter said, “This commitment from the State Bond Commission reaffirms the state’s commitment to helping Newtown and its families to continue to heal. We deeply appreciate the ongoing support from the State of Connecticut as we look to the future.”

Since 1995, Healing Hearts has provided bereavement support to more than 1,000 children and families every year for the past 18 years.

“Our attendance at programs and support groups has grown 32 percent in the last year alone,” said Cynthia Roy. “Sadly since the Newtown tragedy the need has greatly increased.”

The new facility will incorporate Healing Hearts into 35,000 square foot RHHC patient care residence building where Healing Hearts has 3,600 square feet including 6 children’s rooms. The official ground breaking ceremony is June 25 at 30 Milestone Road in Danbury. The new facility will open in September of 2014.