September 25, 2023
Pictured Above: The 2023 Hartford Hospital Flynn Fellowship Graduates were honored during a August 2023 ceremony. Pictured left to right: Mary Kate Eanniello, Director of Nursing Education and Professional Development at the Hartford HealthCare Cancer Institute at Hartford Hospital; Taylor Ashby; Kathleen Gilland; Sydney Provencher; and Fred Flynn, founder and president of The Flynn Foundation.
Family and friends knew Susan Flynn to be an extraordinary woman, a devoted wife, a loving mother, a successful business leader, and an active community volunteer. Following a courageous battle against Stage 4 Ovarian Cancer, Susan sadly passed away in May 2013 at the age of 61.
Susan’s husband Fred was so thankful for his wife’s cancer care team that he and his family created the Flynn Foundation to honor her memory. The Flynn Foundation works with several leading cancer hospitals—including Hartford Hospital—to create paid fellowships that provide nursing students with hands-on clinical experience, mentorship, and a pathway to a successful career in oncology nursing.
“Hartford Hospital was one of the first hospitals I considered when we were looking to expand the Flynn Fellows program,” said Fred Flynn, founder and president of The Flynn Foundation. “For 16 years I worked at United Technologies—initially when Harry Gray was CEO. Mr. Gray was an extraordinary leader and also had a big heart. When I learned that he and his wife Helen were major benefactors of Hartford Hospital’s cancer center, it really inspired me since I admired them so much. It personally means a lot that I knew and worked with the namesakes of the Helen and Harry Gray Cancer Center.”
Since its creation in 2014, the Flynn Oncology Nurse Fellowship has produced 22 “Flynn Fellows” at the Hartford HealthCare Cancer Institute at Hartford Hospital—including three graduates who were honored in an August 2023 ceremony attended by Fred Flynn. This was the first year that the program expanded to other hospitals in the Hartford HealthCare system, with St. Vincent’s Medical Center in Bridgeport hosting two students.
The 2023 Hartford Hospital Flynn Fellowship Graduates are:
- Taylor Ashby from the University of Connecticut
- Kathleen Gilland from the University of Saint Joseph (West Hartford, CT)
- Sydney Provencher from the University of Connecticut
“Hartford Hospital has done a fabulous job, both organizationally and operationally, supporting this program,” said Flynn. “You can see it at the graduation event. There is pride, joy, and satisfaction from the students—and there is a tremendous commitment to their professional development by their preceptors.”
“One of the greatest benefits of the Flynn Fellowship is the time each fellow is able to spend with their preceptor on the unit to really see what a nurse does during a 12-hour shift,” shared Emily Boucher, an oncology nurse educator who oversees the Flynn Fellowship program at Hartford Hospital. “There is so much more to nursing than what students are able to see in their clinical rotations and the most consistent feedback we receive each summer from our fellows is that the time on the floor was their favorite part of their time with us.”
“We have such admiration for Fred Flynn, who has always been so personally engaged with our fellows—he truly cares about their development, career advancement, and impact on the world,” says Lynn B. Rossini, VP of Philanthropy at Hartford Hospital. “The philanthropic and moral support we receive from Fred, his family, and the Flynn Foundation greatly strengthens our oncology services and has helped to make Hartford Hospital one of the best hospitals in the nation for cancer care.”