Gaylord Specialty Healthcare Receives $1.2 Million in Community Project Funding
Funds will be used towards facility renovations, equipment expenses necessary
to train and educate physiatry residents at Gaylord Hospital
WALLINGFORD, CONNECTICUT, April 1, 2022 – Gaylord Specialty Healthcare, a nonprofit, rehabilitation-focused healthcare system headquartered in Wallingford, announced in a joint press conference with Senator Richard Blumenthal that it has received $1.2 million in community project funding that will be used for facility renovation and equipment expenses necessary to accommodate faculty and residents as part of Connecticut’s first and only residency program in physical medicine and rehabilitation (also known as physiatry).
The state-wide residency program is a partnership with the University of Connecticut School of Medicine, Hartford HealthCare and UConn Health. The funds will be used to renovate and transform space within Gaylord Hospital to include dedicated space and technology for residents with areas for learning, collaboration, and innovation.
Gaylord Specialty Healthcare President and CEO Sonja LaBarbera called the announcement “a great day for the future of rehabilitation medicine.”
“This program will help address the critical shortage of physiatrists and will assist the nation’s population of baby boomers to age in place, remain independent, and have improved quality of life. Our vision is to not only train the next generation of physiatrists but to help transform the delivery of patient care for residents of Connecticut and beyond.”
Physical medicine and rehabilitation is a unique medical specialty that addresses the function of the whole person, not just an organ system. Their goal is to help people with physical and cognitive impairments maximize their function and independence and ultimately improve their quality of life.
Senator Richard Blumenthal said that the $1.2 million in funding is “a token of our investment and our tremendous confidence and trust in the great work that you will continue to do.”
“This kind of medicine – physical medicine and rehabilitation – is one of the new frontiers. It is growing exponentially in importance, especially with COVID. I know people who have come here after COVID and now are back to normal lives when seemingly they could never recover.”
Dr. Stephen Holland, Gaylord Specialty Healthcare Chief Medical Officer, said that the amount of interest from medical students in the program’s inaugural year has been “staggering” with more than 400 applications for the first four resident openings.
“We are deeply grateful for Senator Blumenthal for understanding this critical need in our healthcare system … and for recognizing that Gaylord is uniquely positioned to provide the hands-on training the next generation of caregivers needs to succeed,” he said.
Gaylord physiatrist Dr. Alyse Sicklick said, “On any given day, I see a range of patients from weekend warriors with sports injuries, people who have suffered strokes, to survivors of the most catastrophic injuries resulting in spinal cord and traumatic brain injuries.”
Dr. Sicklick explained that when she completed her residency in New York, she was struck by the lack of training opportunities between New York and Massachusetts, with little changing in the three decades since.
“Seeing this program come to fruition brings new hope to providing optimum care to people in Connecticut and beyond.
About Gaylord Specialty Healthcare:
Gaylord Specialty Healthcare is a rehabilitation-focused, nonprofit health system headquartered in Wallingford, Connecticut, that provides inpatient and outpatient care for people at every point in their journey from illness or injury to maximum recovery.
Gaylord Specialty Healthcare is anchored by Gaylord Hospital, a long-term acute care hospital, and includes Gaylord Outpatient Services and Gaylord Physical Therapy for patients who require diagnosis and treatment on an outpatient basis. Gaylord's Milne Institute for Healthcare Innovation is a hub for accelerating world-class rehabilitative research, technology development and innovation to improve the quality of life and function of people around the world. Together, these entities deliver a complete continuum of rehabilitative care driven by clinical experience, innovation and human compassion.