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Seven organizations and individuals were recognized by Wheeler for outstanding support of its mission at the organization’s 11th Annual Hands & Hearts event, held virtually, on December 8.

This event honors individuals and families, corporations, and foundations for helping Wheeler to provide equitable access to innovative care that improves health, recovery, and growth at all stages of life. Wheeler has recognized more than 70 philanthropists since the inception of this event.

“Our Hands & Hearts recipients this year comprise a mix of some of our earliest contributors and leaders who helped to shape the direction of Wheeler, as well as newer partners who play an integral role in moving the organization forward,” said Sabrina Trocchi, PhD, MPA, president and chief executive officer, Wheeler. “The generosity of our honorees makes it possible for Wheeler to respond to emergent community needs, particularly basic needs assistance for patients, including food, clothing, transportation, and more.

“This year continued to present many hardships and challenges for individuals and families in our communities,” added Trocchi. “Without our Hands & Hearts recipients—and all of our donors—we would not be able to meet the needs of the more than 50,000 individuals we serve annually.”

The 2021 Hands & Hearts Appreciation Award recipients are:
Genoa Healthcare® (Headquartered in Renton, WA)
With on-site at pharmacies in Wheeler’s community health centers in Plainville, Hartford, New Britain, and Waterbury, Genoa Healthcare® is a true care partner. Committed to combatting the country’s opioid crisis and epidemic, the organization plays an integral role in Wheeler’s medication-assisted treatment (MAT) for addiction programs and offers NARCAN for patients and families to save lives from overdose. Over the past year, the organization provided COVID-19 vaccines through Wheeler’s community health centers. For many years, Genoa Healthcare® has been a steadfast supporter of Wheeler’s Annual Golf Classic and other events, and more recently, its Basic Needs Fund.

GO Agency (Hartford, CT and Atlanta, GA)
GO Agency, Wheeler’s marketing agency of record since 2014, has been instrumental in building overall brand awareness for Wheeler and its strategic service areas. GO Agency is a steady contributor to Wheeler’s major events, including the Golf Classic, Evening of Wonder Gala, Farm to Table 50th Anniversary event, and more.

Dennis and Mary Keenan (West Hartford, CT)
A former executive director of Wheeler for two decades, Dennis Keenan led the organization through significant growth, with a $1.7 million budget in 1978, to $12.5 million at the time of his retirement in 1998. Dennis started his career at Wheeler as head of Northwest Village School in 1974. He and his wife, Mary, are generous investors in Wheeler’s work, supporting the Basic Needs Fund, Northwest Village School, and providing a vision for innovative ways to grow, through their own gifts and through the Main Street Community Foundation.

Karl J. Krapek (Avon, CT)
Year after year, Karl J. Krapek has supported the Wheeler Golf Classic, by sponsoring golfers, attending the event, and generously donating to tournament goals. His role in supporting and and shaping our state and its health care system is even greater. Karl served as president and chief operating officer of United Technologies Corporation from 1999 until his retirement in January 2002. He has been a leader at Trinity Health of New England / Saint Francis Hospital in Hartford for more than four decades. His dedication to improving the health of Connecticut is demonstrated through the Karl J. Krapek, Sr. Comprehensive Women’s Health Center at the hospital. He is also a director of Northrop Grumman, Prudential Financial, Inc. and American Virtual Cloud Technologies, Inc.

Ann E. Thomas and Michael B. Bonzagni (West Hartford, CT)
An independent non-profit consultant and former Wheeler board chair from 2007 to 2009, Ann oversaw the leadership transition between the late David Berkowitz and Wheeler’s past President and Chief Executive Officer, Susan Walkama, LCSW. This past year, Ann and Michael made a significant investment in Wheeler’s Basic Needs Fund, further enhancing the organization’s ability to meet the basic needs of underserved individuals and families.

Wheeler provides comprehensive solutions that address complex health issues, providing individuals, families, and communities with accessible, innovative care that encourages recovery, health, and growth at all stages of life. Our integrated approach to primary and behavioral health, education, and recovery creates measurable results, positive outcomes, and hopeful tomorrows for more than 50,000 individuals across Connecticut each year. Learn more: