An Update from Vincent G. Capece, Jr.,

President & CEO of Middlesex Health

Fall 2023

Dear Friend,

As we approach the busy holiday season, I want to express my gratitude for your continued support of Middlesex Health.

We are pleased to share the following highlights with you in this quarterly update. Your commitment helps us continue to make our community a healthier place to live and work. 

We welcome your input or questions about our programs and initiatives. Please feel free to contact our Office of Philanthropy at 860-358-6200 or [email protected].

Kind regards,

Vincent G. Capece, Jr.


Previously known as The Crescent Center for Mental Health Services, the 54,000-square-foot, recently renovated building was recently dedicated in recognition of a

$1 million donation from two local families: The Beit family, of Glastonbury, and the Paley family, of West Hartford. Roger Beit and Mark Paley co-own Harvest Investments LLC.

This million-dollar donation is the largest gift for mental health services in the health system’s history — and the fifth-largest gift ever.

The Beit Paley Center, located at One MacDonough Place, houses all of Middlesex Health’s Middletown-based outpatient mental services, and the newly-renovated building allows the health system to improve access to its mental health services for both children and adults, while expanding outpatient mental health services to close gaps in care that are particularly acute, including services for women with postpartum depression and young adults ages 18 through 26.

Middlesex Health provides both inpatient and outpatient mental health services, helping nearly 10,000 children, adolescents and adults annually. In addition to The Beit Paley Center, Middlesex continues to have an outpatient mental health services office for adults in Old Saybrook, along with an inpatient mental health services unit at Middlesex Hospital.

Mark Paley says donating to Middlesex allows the Beit and Paley families to help people of all ages, especially young people, improve their lives by addressing the increased need for mental health services. “Mental health is a real problem, and instead of turning a blind eye, it needs to be highlighted,” he says. “This is a good place for us to start.”

Mark Paley adds that the Beit and Paley families have ties to Middletown and Portland — ties that span multiple generations — and that giving back to the local community is very important. “Both of our families have been proponents of helping others,” he says. “It’s a different feeling when you do something locally in the community — when you see the impact you are making. The old adage is true. ‘It is better to give than to receive.’”

For more information, visit


Artificial intelligence is a hot topic, and it can impact so many aspects of life. Workers in various job sectors are learning to use this new technology, and health care is no different. 

In 2020, Middlesex began using artificial intelligence (AI) to help improve PET (positron emission tomography) scans for patients who have cancer. This application of AI dramatically shortens the time it takes to do the scan — from 24 minutes to six minutes. This results in more comfort for patients, as well as better quality images because patients are better able to stay still during the shorter test time. Dr. Ravi Jain, a radiologist, says better imaging is important because it can result in a more accurate diagnosis and better outcomes. 

In addition, Middlesex Health invested in computer software that allows some of its MRI machines to utilize AI for brain, thoracic and cervical spine scans. Starting in 2024, Middlesex will begin upgrading its MRI units with machines that are AI-integrated, which will continue to reduce scan times for patients and improve image quality.

Middlesex is also using AI in the Emergency Department to rapidly identify patients with brain bleeds, blood clots in the lungs, cervical spine fractures and even potential indicators of a stroke. Dr. Jain says this is important because these patients often need immediate treatment, and the instantaneous alerts generated by AI analysis allows doctors to initiate life-saving treatment without delay.

Middlesex continues to identify future uses of artificial intelligence that can further improve outcomes for patients.


Middlesex Health is the proud recipient of a 2023 Outie Award from Out & Equal, the premier nonprofit organization working exclusively on LGBTQ+ workplace equity, inclusion and belonging.

The health system’s employee resource group, MH+ PRIDE, was named Out & Equal’s New Employee Resource Group Chapter of the Year, and health system representatives attended Out & Equal’s Workplace Summit in Orlando, Florida, this fall to accept the award.

For more than 20 years, the Outie Awards have recognized and celebrated individuals, organizational initiatives and employee resource groups as role models for advancing equity and belonging for LGBTQ+ people in the workplace, and beyond.

MH+ PRIDE aims to create a welcoming, affirming, inclusive and safe environment for all Middlesex employees. It also works to help the health system’s patients. Since its launch two years ago, MH+ PRIDE created pronouns badges that are now worn by staff, and it created a transgender resource guide as a tool for all employees. The group is also visible at Middletown’s PrideFEST and has pursued other initiatives meant to help better Middlesex Health and the community, while also increasing LGBTQ+ visibility.

For more information about Middlesex Health’s commitment to the LGBTQ+ community, visit


In an effort to make Halloween a more inclusive and less anxiety-inducing experience for families, The Mayer Center held its first-ever Fear-Not Halloween Fun Day on October 21. The Mayer Center, located in Essex, opened in the fall of 2022 and provides developmental services to children and adolescents with developmental challenges — all in one location. 

Fear-Not Halloween Fun Day was a

sensory-friendly community event that allowed children of all abilities to comfortably take part in Halloween activities without harsh lights, loud noises or spooky surprises. One of the highlights of the event was the trunk-or-treat activity, which offered a structured and fun way of trick-or-treating. Volunteers in non-scary costumes decorated their vehicles and handed out candy, healthy snacks, stickers and other items to attendees. Other featured activities included pumpkin painting, Mystic Aquarium’s touch tank with live sea stars and crabs, plus crafts led by Essex Library and High Hopes Therapeutic Riding.

This event was free and open to the public with 300 people in attendance. For more information about The Mayer Center, visit


Johanna Bond  

Johanna Bond, of Portland, serves as president and CEO of the Middlesex County Chamber of Commerce and has been with the organization for more than 25 years. She joined the chamber in 1994 and served as chief operating officer before being named president and CEO.

Johanna also currently serves as the executive director of the Connecticut Central Regional Tourism District, which represents 65 towns in central Connecticut. 

Jacquelyn Calamari 

Jackie Calamari, of Deep River, worked at Middlesex Health for 42 years. She retired in October 2020 as the vice president of patient care services and the chief nursing officer.

Jackie served on The Valley Shore YMCA’s Board of Directors and is currently serving on Deep River’s Board of Finance, Board of Assessment Appeals and the town’s Community Health Committee. She is also a committee member for The Campaign for a Brighter Future, a capital campaign that raises money for both The Mayer Center and The Crescent Center.

Melissa Davison-Wood

Melissa Davison-Wood, of Southington, is CEO of MARC Community Resources and has partnered with Middlesex Health through Project SEARCH, an intern-to-work program for adults with developmental disabilities.

Prior to leading MARC Community Resources, she worked at a number of other organizations, including Catholic Charities - Archdiocese of Hartford and Continuum of Care, Inc. in New Haven.

Mayor Ben Florsheim

Ben Florsheim is the 62nd mayor of Middletown, having been elected in November 2019 as the youngest mayor in city history. Since taking office, Mayor Florsheim has focused on investing in the local economy and is working to make Middletown a more sustainable city. He is also focused on keeping the cost of living in check and revitalizing the riverfront.

Before running for mayor, Ben worked at the nexus of local, state, and federal government as an aide to U.S. Senator Chris Murphy.

Toral Maher 

Toral Maher brings more than 10 years of experience in foundation leadership and administration, community engagement and volunteer program management to her role as executive director of Liberty Bank’s Foundation. She works closely with leaders across the organization to enhance Liberty Bank’s impact on communities; align the work of the foundation to pursue the bank’s social responsibility objectives; to advance diversity, equity and inclusion; and to build new programs to bring Liberty Bank’s Be Community Kind brand to life. 

Laura A. Martino

Laura Martino, of Guilford, worked as Middlesex Health’s vice president of marketing, development and community programs, for 27 years before retiring in 2022. She helped the health system grow during her tenure.

Before that, Laura held leadership roles in the Development Department at Stamford Hospital. She began her career at Middlesex as a development researcher. She currently serves on the Board of Directors for Guilford Savings Bank and was previously on the boards for Middlesex YMCA, Middlesex Habitat for Humanity of Connecticut, the Middlesex County Historical Society and Ivoryton Playhouse. 

Nancy Rini, MD

Dr. Nancy Rini currently serves as president of the Middlesex Health Medical Staff and as chair of the Department of Radiology.

Dr. Rini, who lives in Killingworth, is a radiologist at Radiologic Associates of Middletown and Middlesex Health. She has been a member of the Middlesex Health Medical Staff since 2005.

Shawonda Swain

Shawonda Swain, of Middletown, is president and CEO of Middlesex United Way, and she is the first Black CEO in the organization’s history.

Shawonda previously served as vice president and chief operating officer of the Boys & Girls Club in Hartford and has been involved with the Boys & Girls Club organization for a number of years. She was recognized with a National Youth Service Award for 30 years of service and was named Northeast Region Outstanding Youth Professional by Boys & Girls Club of America. 


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Office of Philanthropy | 860-358-6200 | [email protected]
Middlesex Health | 28 Crescent Street | Middletown, CT 06457
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