Five Connecticut Nursing Students Receive Scholarships

New Haven (April 16, 2019) – Samantha DiCicco, CEO, Executive Director/Administrator of the Visiting Nurse Association of South Central Connecticut, has announced that five local nursing students each received a $1,000 scholarship through the Nightingale Awards for Excellence in Nursing program.

The Nightingale Awards for Excellence in Nursing program was originally developed by the VNA South Central to be a collaborative effort to celebrate outstanding nurses and elevate the nursing profession. The goals of the program are to encourage retention, focus public attention, recognize the breadth and scope of nursing practice at the local level, and inspire future nurses. To help achieve these goals, for the past fourteen years, the Nightingale program has provided scholarships to outstanding students from five local nursing schools: Yale School of Nursing, Southern Connecticut State University Department of Nursing, Quinnipiac University School of Nursing, Sacred Heart University College of Nursing, and Gateway Community College Department of Nursing.

This year the scholarships were presented to Brittany Butler from Southern CT State University, Riley Cassin from the Sacred Heart University College of Nursing, Connor Miniter from Gateway Community College Department of Nursing,  Jenna Gallagher from Quinnipiac University School of Nursing and Christa Varnadoe from Yale University School of Nursing.


All 2019 scholarship recipients were honored at a special reception hosted by the VNA South Central on April 13, 2018. In addition, thanks to the generosity of Platinum sponsor Yale-New Haven Hospital, they were recognized at the Nightingale Awards for Excellence in Nursing, which was held on Thursday May 2nd, at Anthony’s Ocean View in New Haven.

For more information about the Nightingale Awards for Excellence in Nursing, including sponsorship information and how to purchase tickets, visit the Nightingale website at or call the Nightingale hotline at 203-859-6765.

VNA South Central Unveils New Look

Visiting Nurse Association of South Central Connecticut, Inc. released a new logo, brand and tagline as part of an organizational rebranding initiative today. Over the next few months, VNA South Central, the now standard abbreviated name, will be launching a new website, and all new internal and external documents and communication used by the agency.

The new logo and tagline “Committed to making a difference!” was created with the help of Andrew Eaves, Principal of a.m.eavesConsulting, LLC based in Prospect, CT. Eaves developed the tagline when facilitating the Executive Leadership team in a strategic planning retreat in September. The logo used the original blue and green colors of the former VNA South Central logo and adds a third, bright orange accent to the brand. “Throughout our process, there was a central theme that emerged: VNA South Central defines itself by how it serves others and delivers value. In a dynamic and increasingly sophisticated healthcare landscape, the new brand platform captures not only this commitment to service, but also the fresh thinking that they bring to being innovators with their clinical programs and partnerships. It’s been a pleasure to help them begin to tell their story in a new way,” says Eaves.

Recently, VNA South Central announced it’s new President & CEO/Administrator, Lisa Dupuis, OTR/L, MBA who re-joined the company in July 2016. Dupuis had worked for the organization several years ago in a Quality Management leadership position and was most recently the President & CEO of another home care agency. Under her direction, VNA South Central will be forging ahead in an uncertain and rapidly changing home health industry, “We never want to lose sight of our mission: dedicated to enhancing the health, well being and quality of life at home and in the community it serves. In addition to making a difference to these individuals for over a century, we are showing the community-at-large: physicians, hospitals and those who support us with grant funding, that we are using the most advanced technology and home health practices for all of our patients, that we are flexible in meeting market demands and we strategically and effectively address the varying needs of a very broad patient base.”

Along with the new brand will be a rollout of new marketing materials through VNA South Central’s liaisons. “Everyone knows who we are and knows our strong reputation, but they have a limited knowledge of why we are great. That’s an important part of who we are and how we make a difference. It’s what sets us apart and delivers the value-added we bring to patient care. We have technology, such as telehealth and specialty clinical programs for high-risk diagnoses that aim to lower patient readmission rates and improve patients’ quality of life, yet, we’ve never really had the literature to show people how we make a difference to them and their patients,” comments Christine Fitzsimons, Director of Business Development.

The company unveiled its new logo and tagline to the staff on with an office celebration on November 30th. The logo was featured on a cake to thank all staff for their dedication to the organization and to celebrate the new chapter at VNA South Central.

About Visiting Nurse Association of South Central Connecticut, Inc.

Founded in 1904, the VNA South Central, which is the original VNA of New Haven, Milford, East Haven, and the Valley, is a state licensed, non-profit, community-based home health care agency. The VNA South Central staff consists of highly skilled nurses, therapists, medical social workers and home health aides. A vital resource to the communities it serves, the VNA South Central provides a wide range of specialized clinical services, community programs, the Nurturing Families Network and subsidized care, (through the Valley United Way and First Niagara Foundation) to those who are in need. The agency employs over 150 staff members, has yearly admissions of over 3,500 patients and makes over 105,000 home visits per year. The agency is the founder of the Nightingale Awards for Excellence in Nursing. The VNA South Central is supported in part by The Community Foundation’s for Greater New Haven and the Valley, Valley United Way, First Niagara, the Katherine Matthies Foundation and corporate sponsors and individual donors. To learn more about the VNA South Central and how to donate, visit