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Gaylord Gets Grant To Help Ventilator-Dependent Patients

Gaylord Specialty Healthcare has been awarded a $75,000 grant and plans to use the funds to help its patients who have breathing problems.

The Connecticut Health and Educational Facilities Authority (CHEFA) provided the funding to the non-profit health system, which provides both inpatient and outpatient rehabilitation services. The facility's staff treats patients with spinal cord and brain injuries and pulmonary, cardiac and stroke patients.

Headquartered in Wallingford, Gaylord will use the money for supplies and to produce an educational video.

Gaylord spokesperson Joy Savulak said a portion of the grant will be used to purchase new ventilators to help patients who can't breathe on their own.

Hospital officials also plan to buy Vapotherm units, which provide heated, high-flow humidity to patients and help wean patients off of ventilators.

When families bring ventilator-dependent loved ones home from the hospital, they need to learn how best to take care of them. Gaylord officials have decided to use some of the grant money to produce an original video aimed at educating families of ventilator-dependent loved ones.

Brett Gerstenhaber, a pulmonologist at Gaylord, said the grant will help address the unique needs of these patients and their families.

"Caring for someone on a vent in the home setting is an act of love," Gerstenhaber said. "It can be a difficult, emotionally taxing, and resource-intensive process."

Gaylord officials hope the video will prepare both families and patients and give them all the information they need to help with the transition from hospital to home.

CHEFA Executive Director Jeanette W. Weldon called it a "worthwhile project."

"It is our hope that vent-dependent individuals and their families will greatly benefit from the equipment and much-needed training," Weldon said.