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2020 Health Care Heroes

The word hero often gets used in a cavalier way, bestowed upon people who don’t necessarily deserve it.

But there has never been a better use of the term to describe the front-line healthcare workers who have been caring for patients with COVID-19.

They are heroes in every sense of the word — saving lives and standing beside those who lose their battle with the deadly virus.

Hartford Business Journal has never been prouder to present its annual Health Care Heroes awards. And this year we placed a special focus on healthcare workers who have played key roles in helping patients or their organizations respond to the once-in-a-century pandemic.

We also made it a statewide award, honoring more than 25 people or institutions that represent nearly every hospital in Connecticut.

Hartford Business Journal’s 2020 Health Care Heroes exemplify what it means to truly care about people.

Our winners this year run the gamut from physicians, nurses and hospital executives to mental healthcare providers — all of whom responded to the pandemic in one way or another.

Collectively, their efforts have saved lives and given hope during an extremely difficult year for our state and country.

We all owe them a deep debt of gratitude for the sacrifices they have made — including exposing themselves to COVID-19 in order to help others.

The winners this year were chosen by HBJ’s editorial staff, which used standard criteria to judge nominees in eight different categories ranging from nurses, physicians and healthcare staff to industry leaders and organizations that made advancements in healthcare innovation.

We will honor our Health Care Heroes class of 2020 during a virtual event on Dec. 2, at 1:30 p.m. You can register for the event online at

Healthcare Staff

  • Nicole Caillouette
    Nicole Caillouette
    Director of Laboratory Services, Lawrence + Memorial Hospital/ Westerly Hospital
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  • Maria Capobianco
    Maria Capobianco
    Manager of Respiratory Therapy, Charlotte Hungerford Hospital/ Hartford HealthCare Northwest Region
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  • Nancy Dupont
    Nancy Dupont
    Nursing Director of Epidemiology, Infectious Disease, UConn Health
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  • Keith Grant
    Keith Grant
    Senior System Director of Infection Prevention, Hartford HealthCare
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  • Sarah Kenyon
    Sarah Kenyon
    Operations Manager, Respiratory Care, Yale New Haven Hospital
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  • Sara Newman
    Sara Newman
    Yale New Haven Hospital Clinical Program Director Medicine
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  • Michael Wolpensinger
    Michael Wolpensinger
    Executive Director, Support Services, Greenwich Hospital
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Community Service: Advocacy/Policy

  • Sarah S. Lewis
    Sarah S. Lewis
    Vice President, Health Equity, Diversity & Inclusion, Hartford HealthCare
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  • Alicia Aponte
    Alicia Aponte
    Nurse, The Village for Families & Children
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  • Matthew Dickinson
    Matthew Dickinson
    Adult Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner, The Village for Families & Children
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  • Kathleen Hauser
    Kathleen Hauser
    Registered Nurse, Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, Lawrence + Memorial Hospital
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  • Aileen Legnani
    Aileen Legnani
    Registered Nurse, Short-Term Rehabilitation Unit, Jefferson House
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  • Natasha Nazarro
    Natasha Nazarro
    Registered Nurse, Medical Intensive Care Unit, Bridgeport Hospital
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  • Audrey Scott
    Audrey Scott
    Interim Nurse Manager, Emergency Department, Hartford Hospital
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  • Kelly A. Toth
    Kelly A. Toth
    APRN & Manager, Ayer Neuroscience Institute, Hartford HealthCare
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  • Victoria Yesko
    Victoria Yesko
    Critical Care Educator, Greenwich Hospital
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  • Intensivists
    Greenwich Hospital
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  • Dr. David Banach
    Dr. David Banach
    Associate Professor, Hospital Epidemiologist, UConn Health
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  • Dr. Syed Hussain
    Dr. Syed Hussain
    Senior Vice President & Chief Clinical Officer, Trinity Health of New England
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  • Dr. Andrew Lim
    Dr. Andrew Lim
    Medical Director of Emergency Services, Bristol Health
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  • Dr. Megan Panico
    Dr. Megan Panico
    Medical Director, Critical Care Specialist, Gaylord Specialty Healthcare
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Mental Healthcare Provider

  • Dr. Steven Rogers
    Dr. Steven Rogers
    Medical Director of Emergency Behavioral Services, Connecticut Children's
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Skilled & Assisted Living Facility

Advancement in Healthcare- Innovation

  • Dr. Chris Carroll
    Dr. Chris Carroll
    Pediatric Critical Care Physician, Researcher, Connecticut Children’s Medical Center
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Corporate Achievement- Innovation

Advancement in Healthcare — Innovation