Two from UConn Health Center Named Health Care Heroes

The Hartford Business Journal has released its annual Health Care Heroes Awards and two of the nine honorees are UConn Health Center employees.

Marc Lalande, professor and chairman of the Department of Genetics and Developmental Biology (Al Ferreira for UConn Health Center).

Marc Lalande, chair of the Genetics and Developmental Biology Department and director of the Stem Cell Institute, won in the category of “Advancements in Health Care – Innovation.”  Lalande has spent much of his career studying Angelman Syndrome (AS), a genetic disorder occurring in approximately 1 in 15,000 births. Lalande and his team of researchers have generated individualized stem cells to create in vitro models of AS. Their goal is to figure out what’s wrong with the cells in order to evaluate drugs that could offer a treatment, possibly even a potential cure for AS.

David Rosinski is the director of cardiovascular perfusion in the Calhoun Cardiology Center and was honored in the “Health Care Staff” category. Rosinski has been instrumental in developing a system allowing cardiac surgeons to utilize perfusion in heart surgeries while maximizing the use of staff and other resources. Perfusion helps cardiac surgeons with the passage of fluid through organ tissue to ensure adequate exchange of oxygen and carbon dioxide. There are currently only about 3,500 perfusionists in the entire country.

The Hartford Business Journal recognizes Rosinski as “instrumental in the development of four programs for cardiac surgery in the state,” at the UConn Health Center, Connecticut Children’s Hospital, St. Mary’s Hospital in Waterbury, and Waterbury Hospital. He and his team of four have “created a new model of efficiency for the hospitals,” the article states, offering coverage around the clock and throughout the year.

David Rosinski, Director of Perfusion Services at UConn Health Center, is the winner of the Hartford Business Journal's Health Care Hero award for 2011. (Tina Encarnacion/UConn Health Center Photo)
David Rosinski, director of Perfusion Services (Tina Encarnacion/UConn Health Center Photo)

The heroes were nominated by their co-workers, clients, and patients and selected by independent judges, based on established criteria.

Two other Health Care Hero honorees have connections to the Health Center. Dr. Lenworth Jacobs won the physician award. Jacobs is the director of trauma and emergency medicine at Hartford Hospital and chairman of traumatology and emergency medicine at the UConn Health Center. Jacobs was instrumental in establishing LIFE STAR, Connecticut’s only critical care helicopter service.

Qualidigm, a health care consulting organization, won the “Advancements in Health Care – Prevention” award for its Communities of Care initiative. A component of the program is patient education. Working in conjunction with the Health Center, Qualidigm recently produced “Heart Talk,” a video series that provides basic information aimed at keeping heart patients out of the hospital. Dr. Jason Ryan, cardiologist with the Calhoun Cardiology Center, was the narrator.

You can read more about the 2011 Health Care Heroes at

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