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Gaylord Hospital Medical Director Dr. Megan Panico Named a 2020 Hartford Business Journal “Health Care Hero”

WALLINGFORD, CONNECTICUT, December 2, 2020 — Gaylord Specialty Healthcare, a nonprofit rehabilitation-based healthcare system headquartered in Wallingford, is pleased to announce that Gaylord Hospital Medical Director Dr. Megan Panico was today honored by the Hartford Business Journal as a 2020 Health Care Hero.

According to Hartford Business Journal, this year’s Health Care Hero Awards program placed special emphasis on recognizing front-line healthcare workers throughout the state who went above and beyond to care for patients with COVID-19.

Panico, a Durham resident, was nominated by her peers for epitomizing the essence of Gaylord’s
“Think Possible” approach to restoring the health, function and quality of life of people recovering from devastating injuries and illnesses.

“Throughout the COVID pandemic, Megan was a tremendous resource to our entire Gaylord staff. She brought calm and clinical expertise to an extremely stressful and challenging situation that was evolving daily,” noted Gaylord President and CEO Sonja LaBarbera.

LaBarbera explained that Panico treated many COVID patients throughout their continuum of care, as a pulmonologist in the Hartford Hospital ICU, to Gaylord’s inpatient program, to following their continued recovery as outpatients after their successful return to the community.

“Many of the ICU patients that come to Gaylord to begin their functional recovery are extremely deconditioned and in need of intensive rehabilitation. Megan was quick to identify the need and to advocate for her patients requiring this level of care. She understands the value of treating the whole person and takes time to get to know her patients, often following up well after their discharge,” LaBarbera explained.

“Her creativity, energy, and dedication make her stand out as a hero among heroes, a sentiment I know her patients would most certainly echo.”

“Receiving this award is truly humbling as COVID has defined my career,” said Panico.

“I share this honor with every individual I have worked with during the pandemic; it has truly been a team effort. Gaylord is a place that is like no other and I am so honored to be part of a group that gives people back their lives after being destroyed by this disease.”

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. Together, these entities deliver a complete continuum of rehab care driven by technology, research, clinical experience, and human compassion. For more information visit