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At the backpack giveaway put together by Neighbor to Neighbor and the Greenwich Rotary Club, student volunteers Claire Maher and Carolina Mendez; Jane Naveros, Neighbor to Neighbor’s client services coordinator; Neighbor to Neighbor Executive Director Margaret Goldberg; and Rotary members Bill Morin and Steve DeLuca are ready to give out school supplies to Greenwich families.
For a second consecutive year, Greenwich Hospital has earned a five-star hospital quality rating from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.
Neighbor to Neighbor is helping students to get ready for the start of the new school year thanks to its partnership with the Greenwich Rotary Club.
The two organizations collaborated on Friday to distribute more than 500 backpacks to kids. Clients of the nonprofit Neighbor to Neighbor picked up new backpacks filled with three-ring binders, folders, notebooks, pens and other school supplies.
“It has all of the basics that children will need to start them off in the new school year,” Neighbor to Neighbor Executive Director Margaret Tjimos Goldberg said. “Families are really struggling, and they look at the inflated prices for food and health items and rent. This is something that is needed, but yet might still be down on the priority list. So we’re happy to be able to help.”
They handed out the backpacks from the nonprofit’s temporary headquarters in the Horseneck Parking Lot.
“This is something that is a main focus of ours,” said Steve DeLuca, co-chair of the Greenwich Rotary Club’s Community Services division. “We want to know where we can give the most help.”
Goldberg, a new Rotary member, she said the two sides connected “very early on” and now hold monthly meetings to determine how to collaborate to help the community.
“We are going to be partnering very frequently,” Goldberg said.
This operation also had the support of Point72 Asset Management, a Stamford-based investment company founded by Greenwich resident Steve Cohen. He and his wife, Alexandra, owners of the New York Mets, are major supporters of Neighbor to Neighbor, including in the construction of its new headquarters on the Christ Church campus that is scheduled to open this fall.
The firm helped financially and filled the backpacks with the supplies, Goldberg said. Neighbor to Neighbor and Greenwich Rotary took care of the distribution.
“They’ve been a vital partner,” Goldberg said.
The founder of Yoga By Danit Method, a yoga studio at 6 Lewis St., was looking to support the community as it celebrates its fifth anniversary in town.
“Our community of students has been a source of inspiration and pride that have helped us grow and thrive throughout these last five years,” founder Danit Schreiber said.
“Almost half of our time as a business has been during the COVID pandemic. We are so grateful that we have been able maintain and grow the business during these tough times that we feel the best way to celebrate is to give back to our community,” she said.
As a result, Yoga By Danit is again partnering with the nonprofit Neighbor to Neighbor “to make Greenwich a better place for everyone,” Schreiber said.
Neighbor to Neighbor serves Greenwich’s food insecure residents with its food pantry and delivery service. Demand for its services soared throughout the pandemic, which is why Schreiber said the yoga studio wanted to help the nonprofit.
She called it “important work supporting less fortunate families in our community.”
“Neighbor To Neighbor is running an important campaign to enable families in need to purchase essential personal hygiene and cleaning products not covered by SNAP,” she added. “The exclusion of these essential products from SNAP is a source of real financial stress for many low-income households.”
The studio is accepting donations for Neighbor to Neighbor via its website at www.yogabydanit.com. By clicking on the announcement bar, the donor will go to an Amazon Wishlist created by Yoga By Danit Method specifically for Neighbor To Neighbor.
Any item purchased from the list will be sent directly to Neighbor To Neighbor and from there to local families in need.
“Any donation, whether it is feminine hygiene products, toilet paper or a bottle of Lysol, will help a family here in Greenwich,” Schreiber said.
She founded the studio five years ago, after teaching yoga in Greenwich for nearly a decade. The studio’s classes are individual tailored to the students in the room, “enabling each student to derive the maximum benefit regardless of the level of their practice.”
The project to replace the water main on Brookside Drive will take a bit longer to finish due to delays caused by the required drilling work.
This past week, the Board of Selectmen unanimously approved a 60-day extension for A.J. Penna & Son Construction to complete the project. Work was approved to begin in May, but the company said it began the work in July and ran into difficulties with the excavation work needed.
“We’ve seen a lot of unfavorable digging conditions,” Dino Georgiadis, senior project manager, told the selectmen. “We’ve seen a lot of granite and a lot of hard rock. We’ve seen a lot of utilities that are in the way (underground). It’s slowed production down quite a bit.”
The Brookside project is 40 percent complete, Georgiadis said, and has moved closer to Town Hall. Currently the work is centered along the stretch of Brookside between Field Point Road and West Putnam Avenue, behind the Acme grocery store. The road is closed except to local traffic.
The extension will take the work into October. Without the road closure extension, Georgiadis said in a statement to the board, the company could not “effectively finish the project with minimal impact on the community.”
The extension was granted unanimously without any debate or objection. First Selectman Fred Camillo said he wanted to make sure neighbors were notified about the ongoing work.
Selectwoman Lauren Rabin said she has heard concerns about traffic backups during peak hours, especially for drivers coming from Arch Street toward Field Point. It would be a good idea to “get some extra help directing traffic,” she said, because it is already “a tricky intersection” for motorists coming up Sound View Drive onto Field Point.
“It’s getting a little dicey out there,” Rabin said.
Aquarion Water Co. says the new water main will be eight inches — up from six — for improved fire protection and service reliability. Parts of the water main are nearly 120 years old, Aquarion said.
For the second consecutive year, Greenwich Hospital has earned a five-star hospital quality rating from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services — the highest distinction offered by the federal agency.
“This designation is a tremendous honor that recognizes our culture of excellence and the dedication of physicians, nurses and staff who deliver exceptional care each and every day,” said Diane Kelly, Greenwich Hospital president. “They are the reason why thousands of Connecticut and New York residents turn to Greenwich Hospital for care.”
Found on Medicare’s Care Compare website at www.medicare.gov/care-compare, the CMS ratings provide consumers with a simple way to compare hospitals’ quality and performance. The ratings are based on more than 40 quality measurements in five categories: mortality, safety of care, readmissions after treatment of common conditions, patient experience and timely and effective care.
This year, only 13.8 percent of the 3,093 hospitals rated by CMS across the country earned a five-star designation.
For Greenwich Hospital, the CMS recognition comes on the heels of recent national distinctions, including six patient experience awards from Press Ganey, a national organization that measures consumer satisfaction; a second consecutive designation as a magnet organization by the American Nurses Credentialing Center; and national recognition for stroke care from the American Heart/American Stroke Association.
For more information on Greenwich Hospital, which is part of the Yale New Haven Health System, visit GreenwichHospital.org.
Ken Borsuk has been a reporter for Greenwich Time since 2015 but has been covering Greenwich news since 2000. He has extensively covered local government including the Board of Selectmen, Board of Estimate Taxation and Representative Town Meeting.
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