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Backus Named Nonprofit of the Year for Life-Saving Care

June 16, 2021

“Backus saved both of my parents over a period of two months. They are my only immediate family left alive and I love them both very much.”

So said Regan MacBain Traub, Founder and Managing Principal of The Human Resources Consortium, in her nomination letter to the Chamber of Commerce of Eastern Connecticut, proposing Backus Hospital as the Chamber’s 2021 Nonprofit of the Year.

The hospital will be recognized at a ceremony Thursday, July 22, at Latitude 41 in Mystic by the Chamber. Additionally, Backus is receiving the award for its work during the COVID pandemic. Lawrence + Memorial Hospital is also receiving the award for its COVID response.

In announcing the award, the chamber quoted from another nomination by a member:

“(East Region President) Donna Handley and her team quickly pivoted utilizing best practices during the pandemic to assure health and wellness to patients and our community. They dedicated floors to COVID (only) areas, maintained safety precautions, increased mental health support, and assured non-COVID patients return to wellness with attentiveness, even when staff were fatigued and stressed both professionally and for their family members.

“Additionally, they expanded their home care and integrated Independence at Home services and staffing during the pandemic to assure well being for individuals who were especially vulnerable to isolation and health needs.”

“We are so grateful for this recognition,” Handley said. “It’s a reflection of all our team members, whether we are facing a worldwide pandemic or providing compassionate, excellent care as we do every day. One thing never changes — their dedication to our patients and the community we are so privileged to serve.”

Traub’s personal story spans from November 2020 through January of this year, when first her mother fell ill, and then her father. In November, Traub’s 91-year-old mother was admitted to Backus after arriving at the Emergency Department.

“The tests ordered included a CT scan of her lungs as she has been fighting mycobacterium abscessus for a couple years,” Traub said. “What was found was she had developed pneumonia on top of the abscessus and was then on IV meds for five days at Backus as well as careful monitoring. She was discharged on Nov. 21 with Home Care.”

In January, Traub’s 92-year-old father felt weak and disoriented, and was admitted to Backus, where he received two blood transfusions and the start of diabetic treatment.

“He was discharged the next day and both of my parents were relocated to my home where I could provide full-time support with the help of Hartford HealthCare HomeCare for both parents,” Traub said. “This was ongoing for six weeks until both parents were strong enough to return to their own home, where we’ve now transitioned them with great success to Independence at Home staff.”