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L+M Hospital supports community efforts to promote good health

Friday, May 22, 2020

New London, CT (May 22, 2020) - In coordination with the City of New London and the Freedom Trail Neighborhood Association, Lawrence + Memorial Hospital (L+M) is pleased to announce that it has made a $75,000 donation to the City of New London to further the city’s efforts to develop a public park at 43 Hempstead Street.

The development of the 0.6 acre lot will provide greenspace to neighbors and support L+M’s work in improving the health and wellness of the community it serves. The City Council approved the purchase of the 0.6 acres parcel at its May 18 meeting.

“We have a vision to enhance the lives of the people we serve which includes being pro-active as it relates to health and wellness,” said Patrick Green, president and CEO, Lawrence + Memorial Hospital. “We all know what a little extra open space in our lives can do to improve the way we feel. An expanse of green can help us breathe easier, reduce stress and simply feel more positive about who we are and where we live. These things are at the root of improving community health overall.”

Green further stated that L+M Hospital enthusiastically embraces quality of life improvements in the community because health care is not limited to what happens inside the hospital. “We’re reaching out because improving health is quite literally about things like parks, fresh air and the grassroots cooperation between neighbors, municipalities and organizations like ours,” Green said. “We’re proud to be working together for a healthier future.”

“I am so thrilled with the way our community pulled together to help the Hempstead Historic Neighborhood realize its dream of establishing public open space on this important parcel,” New London Mayor Michael Passero said. “We are thankful for the generosity of the Shiloh Development Corporation and L+M Hospital that has enabled the city to move forward with this significant quality of life initiative.”

The Freedom Trail Neighborhood Association (FTNA) has advocated transforming the property into an active recreational green space for over twenty years. “This is a game-changer,” said FTNA Co-President Estelle Harrison. “Mayor Passero, Social Services Director Jeanie Milstein, Director of Development and Planning Felix Reyes, along with City Council President Dominguez and our City Councilors, all are to be commended for their vision and leadership in bringing people together.

“This is key to addressing this blight in our community and improving the health of inner-city children and adults.” FTNA Treasurer Kathleen Barrett added, “We are grateful to L&M for its donation to the City for funds to acquire the property, and look forward to being a strong community partner on this important project.”

In its recently completed Community Health Needs Assessment (CHNA), the Southeastern CT Health Improvement Collaborative notes that sedentary behavior is strongly correlated with chronic disease and impacts longevity. Residents who lack access to safe and available spaces for recreation or whose economic situations limit their ability to be physically active are at greater risk. L+M is a member of the collaborative.

The City’s acquisition of 43 Hempstead Street aligns with both the CHNA and comprehensive Community Health Improvement Plan (CHIP) which identify significant disparities on numerous indicators, including life expectancy, poverty, educational attainment, social cohesion, and chronic disease, many of which disproportionately impact certain geographies and people of color in our region.

Investing in efforts to positively impact the social determinants of health in the neighborhoods where there are the greatest needs has the potential to dramatically improve the health and well-being of its residents. The City’s creation of a safe place for recreation and social gathering in a challenged neighborhood can in and of itself have a positive impact but will also be a catalyst for other neighborhood improvements.

L+M encourages healthier living by offering an array of programs, services and opportunities that engage people in the community.

Lawrence + Memorial Hospital, a member of Yale New Haven Health, is a non-profit, 308-bed general and acute care hospital providing patient care to medical, surgical, pediatric, psychiatric and obstetrical patients in southeastern Connecticut and southern Rhode Island since 1912. Lawrence + Memorial offers cardiac acute, step-down and rehabilitation programs and is the only eastern Connecticut hospital that performs emergency and elective angioplasty.

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