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From left: Betty LaBonia, YNHH Auxiliary president; Richard D'Aquila, YNHH president; Mary O'Connor, MD, director of the Center for Musculoskeletal Care at YNHH; and Marna Borgstrom, president and CEO, Yale New Haven Health System.

Nearly 90 members and supporters of the Yale New Haven Hospital Auxiliary came together Sept. 24 for the organization's 63rd annual meeting. The evening celebrated the many accomplishments and initiatives conducted by the Auxiliary on behalf of YNHH throughout the year.

"It has been a wonderful and productive year. Auxiliary members have come together in an effort to fulfill our mission of supporting the work of the hospital and have succeeded at every turn," said Auxiliary President Betty LaBonia.

At the meeting, held at the Pine Orchard Yacht and Country Club in Branford, the Auxiliary presented Toy Closet awards to organizations and families for their support of the program that provides toys to YNHH pediatric patients. Award-winners were:
  • Ben Amarone, Greater New Haven Warriors Tomahawks hockey team
  • Kostas Sousoulas, Parthenon Diner
  • Long Hill Fire Company, Trumbull
  • Joanne Tafuto, Ultimate Image Hair Salon
  • Colleen McGinn, Fairfield University Student Alumni Association

A highlight of the evening was a presentation by Mary O'Connor, MD, the inaugural director of the Center for Musculoskeletal Care at Yale- New Haven Hospital and Yale School of Medicine. A national leader in orthopedic surgery and musculoskeletal diseases, Dr. O'Connor joined YNHH and YSM in 2015 after 23 years with Mayo Clinic. She gave an update on the center's range of services, and discussed how coordinating care across all musculoskeletal disciplines can provide innovative, nonsurgical care to treat a growing population of patients with changing medical care needs.

New Auxiliary officers were also installed, including Betty LaBonia, president; Ellen Highkin, president-elect; Albina Cannavaciolo, treasurer; Chris Dowling, assistant treasurer; Mary Jane Celentano, recording secretary; and Sylvia Greene, corresponding secretary. Board of managers members elected at the meeting include: Karen Anderson, Anne Andrews, Alyce Block, Albina Cannavaciolo, Mary Jane Celentano, Mary Ann Connors, Ally Crisco, Peggy DeZinno, Chris Dowling, David Gannon, Sylvia Greene, Cathi Greenstein, Maureen Herbert, Ellen Highkin, Ellie Jones, Edith Kufta, Betty LaBonia, Beverly Lewis, Judy O'Connor, Diane Petra, Diane Rubeo, Barbara Scaramozza and Jane Snaider.