News & Events

Backus Communications Department takes home 11 Lamplighter awards

May 20, 2012

NORWICH – The Backus Communications Department received 11 awards from the New England Society for Healthcare Communications (NESHCo) Thursday night, including a lifetime achievement award for Vice President and Chief Administrative Officer Keith Fontaine.

Surrounded by family and co-workers, Mr. Fontaine received the Evans Houghton award at a ceremony held at the Long Wharf Marriott in Boston. The award is given to an individual who has had a major impact on healthcare communications in New England. Mr. Fontaine received the award for his visionary approach to utilizing new communications platforms in healthcare.

“It’s an incredible honor, but really a reflection of the talented, creative team I work with every day,” Fontaine said. “I have the privilege of working for a great hospital, with great people.”

Helayne Lightstone, NESHCo board member and last year’s award recipient, said Mr. Fontaine’s dedication to the healthcare communications profession and reputation as a social media pioneer were among the reasons for him receiving the award.

“Although he is from a small hospital, he is a big player in the healthcare communications arena,” she said.

The department Mr. Fontaine oversees won 10 other awards — among the most of any health system in New England — including three golds, six silvers and one award of excellence.

Gold awards were received in photography for photos of Matthew Crowe’s recovery, Connections, the Backus online annual report, and logo design for the New London County Food Policy Council logo.

The silver awards were in electronic marketing for the Health E*Connections e-newsletter, outdoor advertising for the ‘Most Wired’ billboard, Web sites for, internal periodicals for HospiTell, community relations/outreach/advocacy for Rx For Health and crisis communications for Hurricane Irene.

The award of excellence was in the Advertising – Total Campaign category for the ‘Most Wired’ award.

The Lamplighters were established to showcase and honor communications excellence in healthcare in the New England region.  The 2012 competition included 300 entries from more than 85 organizations throughout the area.  Entries were judged by the Carolinas Healthcare Public Relations & Marketing Society.

For four decades, NESHCo has served as the region’s premier professional development organization for communication professionals working in the healthcare industry.  The Society is comprised of nearly 300 members throughout New England. For more information, visit