HARTFORD – West Hartford resident Ellen D. Rothberg, RN, MPH, president and chief executive officer of VNA HealthCare and vice president of Hartford HealthCare has been selected as a “2010 Health Care Hero” by the Hartford Business Journal. Rothberg and six other honorees will be formally recognized at the Health Care Heroes Luncheon on Jan. 26 at the Hartford Convention Center. Rothberg, who joined VNA HealthCare in 1998, was chosen as the winner in the “Community Service – Advocacy / Policy” category because of her role as an advocate for home care and a leader of one of the area’s largest non-profits.
“The agency works day-to-day to make sure the family of a client may go on with their lives knowing their loved one is in capable hands,” she recently told The Hartford Business Journal. “We are here for those who lack family and may not realize what services are needed and available, or how to apply for them, whom to trust or simply that they are entitled to advocacy. Health care is global, but home care is the glue between acute episodes… or for chronic conditions,” she continued.
Rothberg, who says her inspiration to become a nurse came at an early age when, as a child, she read the books about a fictional character named “Cherry Ames,” a nurse. Rothberg went on to earn a bachelor’s degree in nursing from Cornell University. She worked as a staff nurse at Columbia Point Health Center in Boston, where she cared for poor families living in a neglected city housing project. She later earned a Master’s degree in public health from Yale University.
Rothberg currently serves on the board of directors of Visiting Nurse Associations of America (VNAA) and is on the Public Policy Committee and chairs the Nominating and Governance Committees. She also serves on the board of directors of the Connecticut Association for Home Care and Hospice (CAHCH) where she chairs the Government Relations Committee, as well as on the West Hartford Chamber of Commerce Board. In 2005, she was recognized by the Hartford Business Journal as one of the Eight Remarkable Women in Business. In October 2008, she received the Judith Hriceniak Award for Excellence in Nursing Leadership from CAHCH.