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Day Kimball Health’s Caitlyn Sward Honored as a 2024 Healthcare Hero by the Connecticut Hospital Association

Day Kimball Health’s Caitlyn Sward Honored as a 2024 Healthcare Hero by the Connecticut Hospital Association


Day Kimball Health is proud to announce that Caitlyn Sward has been honored with the 2024 Connecticut Hospital Association (CHA) Healthcare Heroes Award. 

The 2024 CHA Healthcare Heroes Award celebrates and recognizes the invaluable contributions of exceptional healthcare workers, both to their field and to the community at large.  This year, the award was presented to an individual from each Connecticut hospital.

Caitlyn is a Registered Dietician who originally came to Day Kimball as a dietician in its Oncology department. Caitlyn quickly identified the need for food assistance on the hospital premises as dietitian-recommended patient nutrition directions were not being implemented due to lack of funds and poor access to transportation to other food assistance facilities. An analysis of the state’s population showed that Northeastern Connecticut had one of the highest food insecure rates in the state with 11.9% of the population of Windham County experiencing food insecurity.  

When new data emerged showing that the food insecurity rate had increased by an estimated 34.1%, Caitlyn established a “Cupboard” in the spring of 2020 bringing more awareness to the importance of Windham County residents who regularly struggle with food provision.  What’s more, in addition to these staggering statistics, cancer patients often experience undue financial burden with 42% of cancer patients spend their entire life savings within two years of their diagnosis.  This program, designed to address food insecurity issues for patients being treated within the Oncology department, has affectionately been named “Caitlyn’s Cupboard.” 

Since Caitlyn’s Cupboard began over 200 patients have been provided with food supplies as well as limited non-food supplies, nutrition education, and coupons for fresh produce and dairy. Caitlyn’s Cupboard has been able to partner with IHSP’s Daily Bread (a food assistance organization in the community) for cancer nutrition. The Caitlyn’s Cupboard program continues to grow in its service to patients in our Oncology program and is supported via donations from the community and Day Kimball staff.  

“Caitlyn exemplifies what it means to be a Healthcare Hero. Her dedication to serving our patients and community is truly inspirational,” said Kyle Kramer, chief executive officer of Day Kimball Health. “Food insecurity is a critical issue in our community, affecting the health and well-being of many, especially those with chronic health conditions. Caitlyn is an invaluable asset to our organization, her patients, and the community. The food pantry program she created enhances our ability to treat the whole patient by addressing their nutritional needs during and after cancer treatment.”

Since 2002, CHA has included a celebration of healthcare heroes as part of its Annual Meeting, which took place on Thursday, June 13, 2024.  At the event, healthcare heroes who represent all types of care from every corner of Connecticut’s hospitals received a certificate from CHA and a Proclamation from the Office of Governor Ned Lamont, which says in part:

“This recognition celebrates your outstanding leadership. The honor you are receiving signifies your outstanding professional accomplishments in the healthcare services sector…  Through your thoughtful work, you have demonstrated professional excellence and extraordinary service to your community, organization, and to the State of Connecticut.  Therefore, I, Ned Lamont, Governor of the State of Connecticut, on this day of Thursday, June 13, 2024, do hereby officially convey honor and recognition upon Caitlyn Sward.

Read more about the 2024 CHA Healthcare Heroes here.

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