Hartford Hospital Auxiliary

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HH Auxiliary logo

The Hartford Hospital Auxiliary provides funding for improvements and enhancements throughout the hospital community.

Auxiliary funding benefits patients, family members, visitors, employees, and volunteers.

Through membership dues and donations, fundraising events and store revenues, the Auxiliary funds project grants and annual gifts in all areas of the hospital. It is led by a volunteer, self-governed board of directors that also invests hours of service to maintain the many programs it serves.


Founded in 1921, the Hartford Hospital Auxiliary started its rich history by making bandages, clothing and other items needed by the hospital. During WWII many auxiliary members volunteered their time as nurse’s aides. This allowed the administration to keep open an additional third of the hospital. For nearly 100 years, the Auxiliary continues to grow, change and foster advancements in our hospital system.

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In The News

On April 18, 2023, the Auxiliary voted to approve fourteen Projects totaling $197,004.

View the List of Spring 2023 Projects

Auxiliary Gift of $150,000 Funds the Exoskeleton Device for the Inpatient Rehabilitation Unit.

Read the Full Story

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Support Our Mission

Your support makes it possible for the Auxiliary to respond to needs identified by staff, which are not covered under the hospital budget. We fund department initiatives, equipment upgrades, facility improvements, new technology, training, and more, to ultimately benefit patients, family members, visitors, employees, and volunteers.

100% of donations help to fund project grants and annual gifts throughout the hospital.

Your annual contribution, at any level or amount, makes an impact!

Click here to DONATE

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Project Grants

Project GrantsThe Auxiliary awards department and program grants in the fall and spring following a competitive application and review process. Additionally, special projects may be identified throughout the year.

Grant awards total approximately $500,000 annually and directly impact all areas of the hospital. Submitted proposals include requests for department initiatives, equipment upgrades, facility improvements, new technology, training, and more. 

Please see a complete listing of recent projects below and read more about the many initiatives that have been funded in the Auxiliary Bulletin Newsletters.

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Annual Gifts

The Auxiliary commits funds and hours of service to support Annual Gifts throughout the Hospital. Membership dues and donations, and fundraising and store revenues fund these annual gifts to ultimately benefit patients, family members, visitors, employees, and volunteers. Some highlights include:

Sons and Daughters Scholarships and Hazel Vail Award

For Children of Employees

Hazel Vail
Hazel Vail pictured with Maura Donahue, first Hazel Vail Award Recipient in 2016

In 1968, the Auxiliary established the scholarship fund for children of Hartford Hospital employees. Today, the Auxiliary funds up to $75,000 annually in undergraduate scholarships for children of employees. The Sons and Daughters Scholarships are competitive, one-time, merit-based awards of $1,000 to $10,000.

The top award of up to $10,000, is given in honor of Hazel Vail, an Auxiliary Board Member from 1992 to 2015. Established in 2016, this award honors Hazel, a Hartford Hospital volunteer since 1979, who has dedicated over 15,000 hours of service.

To apply, employees can visit the Hartford Hospital intranet under Human Resources | Employee Services & Programs | Sons & Daughters / Hazel Vail Scholarships

Read to Grow “Books for Babies”

books for babies
Read to Grow Volunteer (and Auxiliary Board member) Patti Maciag meets with new parents Karalyn and Devon to deliver information packet and welcome baby Ben.

The Auxiliary funds the early childhood literacy initiative at Hartford Hospital. This $30,000 annual commitment, implemented by the Auxiliary Board in 2008, brought the Connecticut-based Read to Grow “Books for Babies” program to the hospital. Literacy information is provided to new moms, trained volunteers meet with parents and families, and books are provided for newborns and siblings.

“Books for Babies” helps parents understand how books and reading play a role in developing language skills. It is an effective and powerful strategy that directly serves the over 3500 babies born each year at Hartford Hospital. Auxiliary members also donate nearly 1,000 books annually to the Read to Grow statewide program.

Rehabilitation Network Lymphedema Program

Rehabilitation Network Lymphedema Program
Linda Hodgkins, Lymphedema Program Manager, applies compression bandages

Patient supply needs continue to grow substantially each year at the treatment sites of Hartford Healthcare’s nationally recognized Lymphedema Program. Since 2017, the Auxiliary has committed funds annually to support the purchase of compression bandages and garments. In 2019, the Auxiliary further committed an annual gift of $15,000 in support of purchasing these critical supplies.

Compression bandages and garments necessary for reducing pain and swelling in the Lymphedema therapy program are often not covered by insurance. These supplies may be unaffordable for many patients thereby prohibiting the necessary therapy. Results if left untreated include severe discomfort, increased risk of life-threatening infections, or developing open wounds that are difficult to heal and more costly to treat.

Employee Holiday Event

The Auxiliary commits $10,000 towards the cost of this annual December event. Working with the hospital Human Resources Department since 1980, Auxiliary board members volunteer to make this a special day for staff.

Holiday Party
Auxiliary Board members on hand to support kitchen staff in keeping the food well stocked and ready for employees.
Holiday PartyLunch is served!

Fresh Flowers

The Auxiliary has played an active role in enhancing the physical appearance of our hospital spaces since the 1930’s. Today, the Auxiliary provides fresh flowers for the main lobby and multi-faith chapel. Arrangements are updated monthly and purchased through the Auxiliary Store florist to brighten the spaces throughout the year.

VolunTeen Scholarship

Since 2004 and in support of Volunteer Services, the Auxiliary funds an annual Volunteer Scholarship to a deserving high school senior who is a VolunTeen at Hartford Hospital. Eligible VolunTeens must be planning to pursue a medical or healthcare related field of study.

Handmade Gifts

Crocheted for our Patients

Handmade Gifts Crocheted for our PatientsHandmade Gifts Crocheted for our Patients

In collaboration with Volunteer Services, the Auxiliary has funded the yarn for the crochet and knitting program since the mid 1980’s. Currently, members of the Aetna Volunteer Council give their time and talents to create lap afghans, caps, baby afghans, and baby hats for Hartford Hospital patients.

Handmade Gifts Crocheted for our Patients

Bereavement Support

Fetal and Infant Loss

Hartford Hospital’s Women’s Health Services work to support families experiencing fetal and infant loss. Together, the Bereavement Team, Labor and Delivery, Postpartum, and High Risk Obstetrics provide supportive materials and memories for the grieving families. Upon hearing of these unique and caring memory boxes assembled and funded by the nurses themselves, the Auxiliary began funding them in 2017.

Institute of Living Holiday Gifts

Beginning in 2017, holiday gifts were delivered to children and adolescent patients in the IOL. An annual commitment of $1500 was made by the Auxiliary to provide games, puzzles, arts and crafts, and personal items.

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Fundraising Events and Activities

100% of Auxiliary Fundraising Events and Proceeds from Revenue Generating Activities Directly Benefit the Hospital Community


Auxiliary Benefit Golf Tournament

One of the finest outings in the region, the Hartford Hospital Auxiliary Benefit Golf Tournament has raised over $5M since its inception in 1989.

2019 Golf Tournament2019 Golf Tournament

This annual event is the Auxiliary’s largest fundraising endeavor and a wonderful celebration of the hospital and its supporters. A program beneficiary is designated each year and proceeds make a significant impact to the hospital. Scheduled in September, the tournament is now hosted at the Hartford Golf Club in West Hartford. Hospital volunteers participate from various departments and generous sponsors and supporters contribute to the tournament’s success.

2019 Golf Tournament2019 Golf Tournament

For more information on the upcoming tournament and sponsorship, donation and volunteer opportunities, please contact Lori Flaks (Lbflaks@yahoo.com) or Patti Maciag (Prmaciag@gmail.com).

Read about recent Auxiliary Benefit Golf Tournaments in our Bulletin Newsletters.

Rx for Fun

Rx For Cheer - A Wine Tasting

For over 10 years, “Rx for Fun” has brought Auxiliary members and friends together to raise money and awareness for a designated hospital project or department. A $10,000 check is presented annually at this fun spring event.

The event went virtual for 2020 in collaboration with the Philanthropy Department. "Rx for Cheer" raised over $50,000 for COVID relief.

Read about recent Rx for Fun events in our Bulletin Newsletters.

The Auxiliary Store

The Auxiliary Store

The Auxiliary Store is a custom gift shop experience with a rich history. Conceived to serve the comfort of the patient and raise funds for the benefit of the hospital, the Auxiliary opened the original store in 1943 in the Brownstone Building and soon expanded into the “new” South Building. By 1948, a store cart known as The Yankee Pedlar was introduced to serve patient rooms on the expanding campus. The Store became a model for success and was visited by Auxiliaries and administrators from around the country. In June 1972, the official ribbon cutting ceremony of the Auxiliary Store marked the first occupant of the new Bliss Wing.

For over 70 years, Auxiliary members and volunteers gave endless hours of service to staff the store and cart. For continuity in store hours and revenue, the Auxiliary partnered with a professional management company in 2015. The Auxiliary is now partnered with Lori’s Gifts, the nation’s largest hospital gift shop specialist, to provide the best in visitor service and selection. An online shop is now available for the convenience of patients and well-wishers.

The Auxiliary continues its oversight of the Store and all Auxiliary proceeds directly benefit the many projects and gifts awarded throughout the hospital community.

Shop Online, Hours of Operation and More Info ››

Baby Portraits

Since 1948, the Auxiliary has sponsored professional baby portraits to provide families with special pictures in the first days of their newborn’s life. Mr. Schaller, the hospital’s original photographer, was a staple in the Maternity Department for the first 20 years! The tradition continues today under contracted services of Bella Baby Photography. Highest quality photos from the comfort of the hospital room capture this once in a lifetime memory. The program raises nearly $10,000 annually and directly benefits the hospital community.

Hospital portraits of Sara Quadrato, Nurse Manager and new mom to baby Justin and big brother Evan.

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Bulletin Newsletters

HHA-Bulletin View past issues of the Hartford Hospital Auxiliary Bulletin

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Board of Directors
In 1921, the Auxiliary was organized to foster community interest in support of Hartford Hospital. Led by a volunteer, self-governed board of directors, the Auxiliary continues today, working to serve the needs of our hospital community.

Officers 2022-23

Co-Presidents: Julie Corroon and Gretchen Haimes
VP Projects: Julie LeBlanc
Recording Secretary: Liz Godbout
Corresponding Secretary: Cindy Klein
Co-Treasurer: Kim Conrad
Co-Treasurer: Marri Fairbanks
Retail Operations: Cindy Klein
VP Public Relations: Evi Shekhman
VP Auxiliary Fund: Christine Bennett
Immediate Past President & Nominating: Christina Rossi

Committee Chairpersons

Annual Meeting: Jen Wedeles and Shelley Dodd
Bulletin & Website: Patti Macaig
Employee Holiday Party: Cornelia Hull
Golf Tournament Chairs: Lori Flaks and Patti Maciag
Golf Tournament Auction/Raffle: Hilary Allen and Marri Fairbanks
Golf Tournament Volunteer Coordinators: Kim Conrad and Erin Healer
Hospital Liaisons: Erin Healer and Susanne Yeakel
Auxiliary Fund: Christine Bennett
Read to Grow: Amy Steinberg
Rx for Fun Annual Event: Erin Healer, Cindy Klein, Julie Daly Meehan
Scholarship Fund: Susanne Yeakel, Jen Martin
IOL Liaison: Kathy Herzog

Members Ex-Officio

Bimal Patel
President, Hartford Hospital
Hartford Region Senior Vice President, Hartford HealthCare

Lynn Rossini
Vice President, Philanthropy, Hartford Hospital

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Contact the Auxiliary