News & Events

Backus Auxiliary donates $80,000 to fight obesity and provide scholarships

May 10, 2011

The William W. Backus Hospital Auxiliary Tuesday donated $80,000 in scholarships and fundraising at its annual membership tea, which is held each year during National Hospital Week.

A $70,000 check, presented by Auxiliary President Yvette Jacaruso, was the second installment of a $120,000 pledge the Auxiliary made to fight obesity, which a Backus health needs assessment identified as one of the major health concerns in the region.

The remaining dollars were given in the form of four, $2,500 scholarships for people affiliated with Backus to pursue healthcare careers.

Backus President and Chief Executive Officer Dave Whitehead praised the Auxiliary for raising funds to help the hospital fulfill its mission of improving the health of the community, and also serving as leaders in helping to develop the healthcare workers of tomorrow.

“This is a phenomenal program, and a tremendous credit to the Backus Auxiliary” Mr. Whitehead said. “Thank you so very, very much.”

“It feels so good to do this,” said Fran Leta, Scholarship Committee Chairwoman who also thanked committee members Jean Carnaghan and Jamie Block fcor their hard work in judging the 28 applications this year.


This year’s winners included:


Cindy Arpin, RN

Currently coordinator of the Backus Stroke Center, she helped create the Be Aware Program aimed to decrease number of young people killed or seriously injured in car crashes. Her goal to complete her MSN at the University of Hartford.


Karen L. Butterworth, RN

Recently promoted to Clinical Director of E-3 and a Nightingale Award recipient this year, Ms. Buttterworth was formerly a Clinical Educator in the Backus Education Department, a Nursing Supervisor and as a nurse in the Emergency Department. Her goal is to complete her Masters of Science degree in Nursing at the University of Connecticut.


Claudette Faucher-Charles

Ms. Faucher-Charles is a Critical Care Unit nurse at Backus, and is actually following in the footsteps of her daughter Marissa who is a previous Backus Auxiliary Scholarship recipient. years and most recently has moved to the Critical Care Her goal is to receive a Master’s Degree in Nursing and to become a family nurse practitioner


Michael Tramontozzi

A member of the graduating class at Norwich Free Academy, he is the son of Mark and Tramontozzi, MD, and Mary Tramontozzi and the grandson of Tony Tramontozzi, MD, and  Pat Tramontozzi. A junior volunteer at Backus for three years, he plans to pursue a career in Medical Engineering at Penn State University.