Don’t Miss the Fun at Our Autumn Dinner!

RVNAhealth is hosting our annual Autumn Dinner on Saturday, September 24 at The Amber Room Colonnade in Danbury. We have a wonderful evening in store and invite the community to join us in celebrating and supporting RVNAhealth, our exceptional staff, and the vital healthcare services we bring to the greater area.

One of our biggest fundraising events of the year, guests will enjoy cocktails on the patio, a bourbon tasting, live music by local singer/songwriter, Nick DePuy, and a farm-to-table inspired dinner.  Our popular “Date Night for a Year” Raffle will return with gift certificates to fabulous area restaurants, from Ridgefield to Litchfield, an overnight stay at the West Lane Inn, a spa experience at Adam Broderick Salon & Spa, a shopping spree at J. Seitz & Co., tickets to ACT of CT, MoMA and more!

Additionally, our live auction will offer several exciting experiences, including:  box seat tickets to see Andrea Bocelli perform at Madison Square Garden; first row tickets to see the Jets/Patriots battle it out in Foxborough, complete with a weekend stay in Boston; catered dinner for 10 by Chef Sarah Bouissou, of Bernard’s & Sarah’s Wine Bar; three-night stay for two in Monterey, CA, including golf at the Links at Spanish Bay and the Del Monte Golf Course; and a Presidents’ week ski vacation at Loon Mountain.

If you’re interested in supporting the RVNAhealth Autumn Dinner, you may purchase tickets or make a donation to the event here or call Connie Marsala, Development Manager, at 203.438.5555 x1018.

Introducing the Wellness Academy!

As you may notice upon scrolling down to our calendar of events…its getting a little full…and we couldn’t be more thrilled!  We are pleased to offer everything from ongoing classes and support groups, to one-time educational offerings. And with all that’s going on, we thought we’d give you a sneak peak into one of our new upcoming communications to keep you better informed of all that RVNAhealth has to offer!

Introducing RVNAhealth’s Wellness Academy – our new way of organizing and communicating RVNAhealth’s expert-led offerings.  Our fall calendar is already packed with a variety of classes, support groups, and more, held at our RVNAhealth offices in Ridgefield and New Milford, as well as out in the community at partner organizations. Our Wellness Academy line up includes RVNAhealth employee experts covering a broad range of topics such as Nutrition, Neuropathy, Parkinson’s, Healthy Living, Strength and Balance, and Bereavement.  There are many free special-interest events and support groups, as well as some ongoing, pay-as-you-go, fitness and wellness classes.

“We are excited to be able to bring such a broad and dynamic line up of in-person classes and gatherings back to our communities.  Our RVNAhealth team brings a wealth of expertise and knowledge and we are all excited to open our doors and welcome the public back into our offices,” says Kim Cafiero, Director of Marketing.

Here’s just a highlight of things going on in September. Look out for our fall Wellness Academy special edition newsletter and please continue to check our website calendar for the latest information on available classes and events and new programs.

September 2022 Line Up

What’s on Your Nerves? – New Milford
This free session will provide an overview of neuropathy and how symptoms can be improved through food, exercise, and holistic medicine.
Tuesday, September 20th, 12:00pm – 1:30pm
RVNAhealth New Milford office, 68 Park Lane Road, New Milford
Registration Required (Lunch provided with registration)

Benefits of Exercise and Balance Training to Boost your Health as you Age – Wilton
It doesn’t take much to improve your balance, strengthen your bones, and benefit your heart health. Learn strategies on HOW to get started with regular exercise and WHAT kind of exercise to do depending on your overall needs.  Session is free.
Tuesday, September 27th, 3:00pm – 4:00pm
Comstock Community Center, 180 School Road, Wilton
Registration Recommended (Free)

Interactive Cooking Class – Recipes that Fight Inflammation: Miso Noodles with Glazed Salmon
Come cook with registered dietitian, Monica Marcello, and learn how food can help you fight inflammation and maintain bone density. Class fee is $65.
Wednesday, September 28th, 11:30am – 12:45pm
RVNAhealth, 27 Governor Street, Ridgefield
Registration Required ($65 class fee)

Balance & Beyond – Ridgefield
An ongoing weekly drop-in class (come for one or come for all!) that focuses on building muscle, restoring balance and improving your walk or jog, all while giving your brain a great workout! $20 per class, space is limited.
Every Tuesday & Thursday, 1:30pm – 2:30pm
RVNAhealth Rehabilitation & Wellness Center, 27 Governor Street, Ridgefield
Registration Required ($20 per class)

Living BIG – Ridgefield
An ongoing weekly class. Living BIG addresses the problem of patients’ movements becoming smaller and more tentative as Parkinson’s Disease progresses. Each class, the therapist takes the patient through a series of whole-body LSVT BIG exercises aimed at improving strength, balance, flexibility and coordination. $20 per class, space is limited.
Every Thursday, 11:00am – 12:00pm
RVNAhealth Rehabilitation & Wellness Center, 27 Governor Street, Ridgefield
Registration Required ($20 per class)

Living LOUD – Ridgefield
An ongoing weekly class. Living LOUD tackles the soft voice, mumbled speech, monotone speech and hoarse voice that often afflict Parkinson’s patients.  The class follows structured activities that continue to work the patient’s vocal range to maintain the progress made after LSVT LOUD treatment. $20 per class, space is limited.
Every Tuesday, 11:00am – 12:00pm
RVNAhealth Rehabilitation & Wellness Center, 27 Governor Street, Ridgefield
Registration Required ($20 per class)

Coping with Loss – A Six-Week Bereavement Class – Ridgefield
The RVNAhealth Bereavement Team will be hosting a free six-week class on grieving and coping with loss.  Advanced registration is required.
Wednesdays, September 21 through October 26, 3:00pm – 4:00pm
RVNAhealth, 27 Governor Street, Ridgefield
Registration Required (Free)

Bereavement Support Group – New Milford
The RVNAhealth Bereavement Team hosts this ongoing monthly support group. Sessions are free.  Registration is requested before the first time you plan to come.
The second Thursday of each month, 4:00pm – 5:00pm
RVNAhealth New Milford office, 68 Park Lane Road, New Milford
Registration Requested Before First Attendance (Free)

RVNAhealth Autumn Dinner 2022 – Join Us!

RVNAhealth will host its annual Autumn Dinner on Saturday, September 24 at The Amber Room Colonnade in Danbury. The Board of Directors, Autumn Dinner Committee, and friends of the organization look forward to celebrating the meaningful work of RVNAhealth and the continuum of care the agency provides throughout 35+ communities.

Guests will enjoy cocktails, live music by Nick DePuy, Bourbon tasting sponsored by Ancona’s Wines & Liquors, farm-to-table fare, and live auction all in support of RVNAhealth.

This year’s impact speaker will be Joseph Pastore, managing partner at Pastore LLC and active member of his community. Joe will share a personal success story about how the RVNAhealth team helped him recover his health following a sudden illness and return to the many activities he enjoys with his family.

RVNAhealth is very grateful for early sponsorship support from these businesses and friends.  If you are interested in supporting the Autumn Dinner, you may purchase sponsorships, program ads, or tickets online or complete this form  and return to RVNAhealth, 27 Governor Street, Ridgefield, CT.

If you have any questions, please contact Jennifer Christensen at 203.438.5555, x1052 or jchristensen@RVNAhealth.org

Travel Health Vaccines and Consultations Return

RVNAhealth is excited to announce the return of its Travel Health services!

Travel can make you feel wonderfully alive. But it can also expose you to serious diseases that may threaten your health. Don’t be among the people who experience health problems when traveling. Before you go, get in the know and learn about your travel health needs, including travel immunizations, by visiting our RVNAhealth travel health clinic.

Consultations and Vaccines Available by Appointment
Travel consultations with our Travel Health Nurses include itinerary-specific health advice; discussion and administration of immunizations; safe food/water practices; and other recommendations, including insect precautions and environmental considerations. Appointments should be scheduled 4 to 6 weeks prior to travel, especially if preventative vaccines or medications are required/recommended, but we will do our best to help you with last-minute appointments.

RVNAhealth Travel Health Nurses can administer the following commonly needed travel vaccinations*:

  • Hepatitis A & B
  • Yellow Fever {we are a U.S. Government Certified Yellow Fever Center}
  • Typhoid
  • Rabies
  • Japanese Encephalitis
  • Polio
  • Meningitis
  • Measles {MMR}

We can also provide advice on ways to avoid the mosquitos that carry diseases such as:

  • Zika virus
  • Yellow fever
  • Malaria
  • Dengue fever
  • Chikungunya

Travel consultations will be scheduled for the 1st and 3rd Fridays of each month.

To learn more or schedule an appointment, call 203.438.5555 x1012 or email BeWELL@rvnahealth.org.

* Please call us early so that we can best advise you on your travel preparations and review availability and timing of required vaccines.

Theresa Santoro honored by Thrown Stone Theatre Company

On Friday, July 15th, our own Theresa Santoro, MSN, RN, CHCA, RVNAhealth President & Chief Executive Officer was honored as an inaugural recipient of the Thrown Stone Theatre Company New Connections Award. Thrown Stone is a local theater company in Ridgefield, and their New Connections Award focuses on a distinct theme that relates to their current season of performances. The award was presented following the sold-out production of Athena by Gracie Gardner.

As stated by Thrown Stone: The New Connections Awards were envisioned to recognize individuals who exemplify Thrown Stone’s values and our mission to move, connect, and challenge all who join our theatrical conversation. Each year, the award will focus on a distinct theme that harmonizes with our season. In 2022, that theme is Mentoring Young Women. The inaugural honorees have distinguished themselves over a number of years as mentors, and have each selected a mentee, who will present their awards in a short ceremony following our opening night performances. Thrown Stone is grateful to these mentors who make a profound difference in our region, and we are delighted to celebrate their work with this award.

Theresa was asked to identify a mentee to be a part of the ceremony. “After over 20 years of working at RVNAhealth, I have had the privilege of mentoring and supporting so many of our team members, watching each grow in confidence, skill, and leadership. One of those individuals is Melissa Woodhouse, RVNAhealth Director of StayingWELL Services,” said Theresa. “It has been my pleasure to work alongside Melissa from her earliest days at RVNAhealth and to see her realize her growth and potential.”

Attending the ceremony alongside Theresa, Melissa expressed her mutual appreciation, “I will forever be grateful for her [Theresa’s] feedback, support, and guidance to grow and become the person I am today. A mentor is not someone who walks ahead of you to show you how to do it, a mentor walks alongside you to show you what you can do. Thank you, Theresa, for helping us all become better versions of ourselves.”

Theresa concluded, “Receiving this award reminds me again how important it is for all of us to take the time to support and champion each other. Without a doubt, we can all learn from each other, make each other stronger, and help each other become our best selves — both professionally and personally.”

Congratulations to Theresa! And congratulations to Thrown Stone Theatre Company for enriching our community. To learn more about Thrown Stone Theatre Company and the 2022 New Connection Awards, click here.

Celebrating Life…RVNAhealth’s Annual Hospice Memorial Service

On Tuesday, June 21st, RVNAhealth’s ComfortWELL team hosted its second annual RVNAhealth Hospice Memorial Service in the Ridgefield office for the families and loved ones of our hospice patients who have passed away. The memorial service is an opportunity for all to honor their loved ones who have passed away and pay tribute to the lives they led. It was a beautiful evening, made particularly special by the bonds and love shared by families, friends, and staff. We are grateful to the families who came and to all the families who entrusted us with the care of their loved one in their final stage of life.

 

This time helps family heal, connect with the team who cared for their loved ones, and express one more time their experience. It not only helps families but also staff. Our hospice staff spend significant time with patients and their families. Special bonds are created, so we grieve for patients as well. As Hospice Nurse, Lauren Messina, MA, BSN, RN put it “seeing the names of my patients at the memorial service gave me a sense of closure.”

 

One of the family members in attendance expressed her immense gratitude for our continuum of care. Her husband had been under our home health services for rehabilitation therapy but, after recognizing a decline in his health, he was referred to our ComfortWell hospice services. She expressed how easy and smooth the transition had been. From home health to hospice, she was in awe of the high caliber of RVNAhealth staff who visited her husband.


A second RVNAhealth Hospice Memorial will be held this coming fall in New Milford for families and friends of our ComfortWELL patients in the northern territory.

 

For more information on RVNAhealth’s ComfortWELL hospice services, please visit our website, or call 203.438.5555.

Well-Child Collaboration Receives Statewide Recognition

RVNAhealth was recently invited, along with Anne Mead, Director of Family, School and Community Partnerships at Danbury Public Schools, to present to a statewide panel of educators at the Connecticut Department of Education’s “Tuesday Talks” series.  Our collaboration was recognized as a statewide model for its ability to remove barriers for families to receiving well-child services upon registering their child to school.

What is the RVNAhealth/Danbury Public Schools Collaboration? Danbury Public Schools continue to see a growth in student registration.  The current healthcare system, especially for uninsured students, cannot support the related increased need for required school physicals and immunizations.  This imbalance can result in delayed school starts for kids of up to five weeks or more after registering.

To help address this growing issue, RVNAhealth is working with the Danbury Public Schools to host on-site well-child clinics at a Danbury school.  As children register for school, they are immediately scheduled for their physical and immunizations at RVNAhealth’s next well-child clinic.

At each of our 2-day clinics, bilingual clinicians provide children with full physicals, exams for vision and hearing, tuberculosis screenings, height and weight assessments, and more.  We also schedule kids for follow-up appointments at future clinics so they can complete their vaccination series.  An RVNAhealth social worker is also available to help enroll children in HUSKY, the state’s health care system.  At the end of appointments, we provide families with resource guides, and full bags of food, toiletries, and other personal care items to take home.

As we look to the future and evolve our well-child offerings, our plans include linking children to an established local physician’s office for future needs, providing more mental health support, and coordinating with other local agencies to connect families to community resources. These programs are made possible through grants and the generosity of our donors.  RVNAhealth is proud of our collaboration with the Danbury Public Schools, and we thank our staff, community partners, and donors for supporting this impactful program to benefit many children and families in the community.

Thank You to Community Food Rescue – A Helping Hand in RVNAhealth’s Well-Child Clinics

Across the United States, food insecurity for families with school-aged children is a common reality – and Fairfield County is no exception. Thanks, in large part, to Community Food Rescue of Danbury, families attending our RVNAhealth well-child clinics in Danbury are receiving large grocery bags (about 10-15 lbs.) of food to bring home.

Since June of 2021, RVNAhealth has distributed over 600 bags of food to families in need at pop-up COVID vaccination clinics and well-child clinics. Over 400 of these bags were donated by a dedicated community partner: Community Food Rescue of Danbury.  These bags include enough items for at least three complete meals: breakfast, lunch and dinner.  When available, they also include fresh produce and dairy from local farms and grocery stores.  In fact, during one of RVNAhealth’s Danbury vaccination clinics last summer, a volunteer from Community Food Rescue picked up fresh produce from a local Connecticut farm and drove straight to our site for families to take whatever they needed from a packed 20-foot truck!

Community Food Rescue is run by manager, Linda Hutchings, who started the organization September of 2020. With the help of a generous donor and a group of committed individuals, Community Food Rescue is determined to help end food insecurity in the Greater Danbury area.  Linda has vast experience with food-insecure populations, having organized a soup kitchen in Bridgeport for over 15 years.  “Feeding people is something I have always enjoyed doing,” says Linda.

At RVNAhealth, we are immensely grateful to Linda and everyone at Community Food Rescue for sharing our passion of caring for those in need.  “Linda’s commitment to helping families is unwavering.  Whenever we call her with a need, she always finds a way.  Her joy and excitement about her mission are genuine and it is a true privilege to work with her,” says Stephanie Collins, Program Manager for Community Health and Wellness at RVNAhealth.

If you are interested in supporting RVNAhealth’s partnership with the Community Food Rescue, please contact Stephanie Collins at scollins@rvnahealth.org, or to donate to RVNAhealth’s community health and wellness initiatives, click here.

Community Food Rescue is located at 78 Triangle St. in Danbury and is open to the public on Thursdays with Spanish-speaking staff to assist those in need of translating.  For more information, contact: 203.733.8848 or email communityfoodrescue@gmail.com.