Gina Apicella, Vice President of Autism Spectrum Services, receives her first dose!

We are excited to share the news that vaccinations of eligible staff at Chapel Haven Schleifer Center has begun.

Through a process overseen by the State of Connecticut, qualified providers through DDS (state Department of Developmental Services) are being given priority access to the COVID-19 vaccine for staff identified as direct care in Phase 1a. Phase 1a allows the State to vaccinate “critical members of the workforce who work in healthcare settings and who have the potential for direct or indirect exposure to clients.”

“As an employee who provides direct care to our students, you have been prioritized to get this vaccination in the first phase of the roll-out,” the State DDS wrote in correspondence to Chapel Haven.

Nearly 100 CHSC employees have been notified that they are eligible to receive the vaccination in Phase 1a and many have already gotten the first round, including Vice President of Autism Spectrum Services Gina Apicella, who even wore her Chapel Haven spirit wear for the occasion (pictured).”I’ve never been so excited to have a vaccine,” Gina said. “Knowing this small action on my part can help to keep our CHSC community, and my loved ones safe means so much to me.”

See a gallery of photos of staff getting their vaccinations here


“Today is an exciting day at Chapel Haven,” said President Michael Storz. “The start of vaccinations for our staff is great news and we have assurance from the State that our adults will also be eligible soon! We have been so fortunate and so careful to keep our campus and our adults as safe as possible and that is all thanks to our staff, who reported to work through this challenging pandemic and always put our adults first. I am so happy to see the vaccination roll-out begin.”

Storz gave special thanks to Mary Gow, Chapel Haven Schleifer Center’s Human Resource Manager, Sherry Robitaille, Vice President of Operations and Compliance, and Einera Beauvais, Executive Vice President and Chapel Haven’s Registered Nurse, for overseeing Chapel Haven’s eligibility process through the State’s Vaccine Administration Management System (VAMS).

Phase 1B of the state’s vaccination rollout will target people at increased risk for severe COVID-19 illness, which will include Chapel Haven adults.
Jenna Holt, a new support coordinator for Chapel Haven, got her vaccination today. “Today is especially a good day as I received the COVID vaccine this morning. I feel so incredibly grateful.”

For more information about the COVID-19 vaccine, you can visit COVID-19 Vaccinations, CT Over 75,000 people across the State of Connecticut have already received a COVID-19 vaccine and over 4 million people nationally. Stay tuned for more updates and Happy New Year!