Category: News

Join us for the 2019 Dr. Walter E. Pleban Memorial Lectureship!

This lecture, open to the public and hosted by the Connecticut Burns Care Foundation, will be held in the Hollander Auditorium. It will feature the second highest-ranked expert in burns in the world, Dr. Marc Jeschke from Toronto, Canada.

Upon completion of this lecture, attendees will be able to:

  1. Understand the current state of burn care
  2. Understand today’s burn care challenges
  3. Understand how we can improve burn care in the elderly

For more information on attending this lectureship, visit the Facebook Event page!

Dr. Marc Jeschke has been caring for burn patients and conducting research in the field of burns for nearly 20 years. He is a global leader in burn care, research, and education; according to Expertscape, he is the second highest-ranked expert in burns in the world. Dr. Jeschke was appointed Director of the Ross Tilley Burn Centre at Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre in 2010. He is a Surgeon Scientist and a Professor in the Departments of Surgery and Immunology at the University of Toronto. This past October, he was named the Director of the Translational Research Committee for the Department of Surgery at the University of Toronto. Before joining Sunnybrook, Dr. Jeschke held faculty positions and the distinguished Annie Laurie Howard Chair in Burn Surgery at the University of Texas Medical Branch and Shriners Hospital for Children. He worked as a Staff Surgeon and Coordinator of Research with a focus on increasing research productivity and obtaining independent grant funds.

The contributions of Dr. Jeschke’s research are numerous and encompass all aspects of burn care and treatment. Specifically, he changed treatment of metabolic and inflammatory responses after burn injury, poor or excessive scarring, and production of tissue engineered skin. Recently, Dr. Jeschke broadened his research spectrum to study long-term outcomes and quality of life after burn. These contributions have led to changes in standard of care throughout the world in burn patients and patients with complex wounds.

Dr. Jeschke has a continuous commitment to scholarly work with over 350 peer-reviewed articles, books, and book chapters on burn care. Service to the profession is evident from many years of active membership in organizations like the Society for Critical Care Medicine, American Burn Association, Surgical Infection Society, Shock Society, American College of Surgeons, and the American Surgical Association. He serves on numerous committees and editorial boards; most recently, he was elected President-Elect of the Shock Society for 2018-2019. Dr. Jeschke is a reviewer for funding agencies including the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, National Institutes of Health, and the U.S. Department of Defense. His reputation extends beyond burns as an invited speaker nationally and internationally.

He has won numerous awards that are given to individuals with outstanding productivity, as shown by publication record, grants held, and students trained. Among others, distinctions include the Lister Prize from the University of Toronto in 2018; in 2017, he received two awards, in the spring, he received the Excellence in Education Award: Educating Beyond Sunnybrook and, in the fall, the Leo N. Steven Excellence in Leadership Award; the George Armstrong-Peter’s Prize from the University of Toronto in 2013; the Marvin Tile Distinguished Service Award from Sunnybrook in 2011; and the Fellow Award from the American Surgical Association Foundation in 2008. He has been funded continuously since 2000 and has a significant track record of successes with federal funding agencies and private foundations. He has a total lifetime funding of over $20,000,000 as principal or co-investigator. Dr. Jeschke has an essential role in worldwide multicenter clinical trials and is currently engaged in multiple ongoing multi-centre trials.

Another hallmark of the Dr. Jeschke’s career is education. Dr. Jeschke has an established training program and has mentored well over 100 MD, PhD, and other graduate students in the field of burn care and research. The effectiveness of Dr. Jeschke as an educator can be assessed by his students’ success at winning highly competitive federal funding, grants, national research competitions, countless first place prizes, and leadership positions they currently hold.


  • 1994, MD, Summa cum laude, Eberhard-Karls-Universitat Tübingen, Tübingen, Baden-Württemberg, Germany
  • 1999, MMS, Graduate School of Biomedical Science, University of Texas Medical Branch, Galveston, Texas, United States
  • 2002, PhD (Habilitation), Experimental Surgery, Department of Surgery, Universität Regensburg, Regensburg, Bavaria, Germany

Appointments and Affiliations:

  • Senior Scientist, Biological Sciences, Trauma, Emergency & Critical Care Research Program, Sunnybrook Research Institute
  • Chair in Burn Research, Sunnybrook Research Institute
  • Director, Ross Tilley Burn Centre, Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre
  • Professor, Division of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, Department of Surgery, University of Toronto
  • Professor, Department of Immunology, University of Toronto

Burn is a severe trauma to patients inducing various responses in the body such as stress, inflammation, hypermetabolism, catabolism and alterations in the entire glucose, fat and amino acid equilibrium. Cells are undergoing major stress and die, thus compromising organ function. The source of the stress is most likely the burned area inducing these detrimental changes via several signals and mediators. The goal of Dr. Jeschke’s research is to attenuate stress hypermetabolic and catabolic responses, and improve cell regeneration and survival. His team are studying the stress-induced changes in the liver and various other tissues at a cellular and cell organelle level in an attempt to identify key signalling molecules and pathways that may be altered to improve cell survival and organ function.

The Jeschke lab also studies various potential perturbations to improve the cellular stress response which can be rapidly implemented in the clinical arena. They also study new techniques to cover the wounds of a severely burned patient, not only with the patient’s own skin, but also using adult stem cells.

Overall, the research focus of his laboratory is to improve morbidity and mortality of severely injured trauma patients, such as burn patients, and to identify major modulating aspects of these responses.

That’s A Wrap: DRS Delivers Record Amount of Coats

Disaster Restoration Services, of 338 Airline Ave., Portland, wrapped up their annual coat drive on Wednesday, December 12th. The final delivery was made to Button Up Connecticut headquarters out of Siracusa Moving & Storage in New Britain, where owner Dan Siracusa was presented with 710 winter coats for the mission. Over a three month period of time, DRS worked with over 30 collection points across the state of Connecticut, those places consisting of insurance agencies, property management companies, schools, local businesses and municipal buildings.

Button Up Connecticut’s mission is to collect clean, new and gently used coats and distribute them to residents in need all across Connecticut. The coats are received from various companies, schools, churches and other organizations throughout the state who run their own coat drives and donate the coats they receive to Button Up Connecticut for distribution.

The coats they collect are provided to local non-profit agencies (schools, churches, children’s homes, shelters, food pantries, and other social service agencies) by appointment only for distribution to their clients.

DRS teams up with Sal’s Clothing Restoration in North Haven annually where Sal’s receives all of the coats after collection is complete & they clean the coats at no cost as well as deliver them to Button Up Connecticut.

“DRS is definitely the top donor of coats every year” said Kara Lucht who helps run Button Up Connecticut. “Last year, 492 coats were collected so this year we set our goal to 600 to top that! We came in well over our goal at 710” said Tammy Strong, DRS Vice President who began this tradition 4 years ago.

“DRS tries to give back to the community any way we can, this year we are proud to say that over 700 people will have a winter coat to keep them warm with our efforts,” said Danny Strong, DRS President. John Mastrioanni, who runs the North Haven plant of Sal’s Clothing Restoration, said proudly “over the last four years, Sal’s has cleaned over two thousand coats to be delivered to Button Up Connecticut through this coat drive alone.”

Of course, there is nothing like a great friendly competition, so this year DRS went a different route. In lieu of “prizes”, the top three collecting locations received donations from DRS to three charities in their company names.

First place collector, Bouvier Insurance of West Hartford, collected 179 coats, got a donation of $300 to CT Burns Care Foundation in their name. Second place collector, South Oxford Management, collected 177 coats and received a donation of $200 to the CT Food Bank in their name. Third place collector, Olderman & Hallihan Insurance of Ansonia, collected 69 coats and received a donation of $100 to the Ronald McDonald House Charity in their name.

Agencies can set up appointments to get coats for their clients by emailing Kara Lucht at or call the Button Up Connecticut Hotline at 860-259-0239 or for more information visit

DRS Coat Drive 2018

DRS joins Sal’s Clothing Restoration to deliver 710 coats to Button Up Connecticut. Pictured from left: Luis Gonzalez, DRS Supervisor; Tammy Strong, DRS Vice President; Christine Avery, DRS Public Relations; Gosia Yanes, DRS Executive Assistant; Danny Strong, DRS President; John Mastrioanni, Sal’s Clothing Restoration Manager; Jackie Barresi, Sal’s Clothing Restoration North Haven Plant Manager; Sal Jr., Sal’s Clothing Restoration President


DRS Coat Drive 2018

First place winner, Bouvier Insurance hands a check over to CT Burns Care Foundation Executive Director Kathlene Gerrity. Pictured from left: Dan Siracusa, Owner of Siracusa Moving & Storage & Founder of Button Up Connecticut; Tammy Strong, DRS Vice President; Danny Strong, DRS President; Kathlene Gerrity; Suzanne Gendron, Bouvier Insurance Media Marketing Director; John Mastrioanni, Manager of Sal’s Clothing Restoration; Jackie Barresi, Sal’s Clothing Restoration North Haven Plant Manager; Sal Jr., Sal’s Clothing Restoration President.


Washington-based ABC News Speaks with CBCF Kids & Counselors

Nice article and TV segment about The Arthur C. Luf Children’s Burn Camp. Washington, D.C.-based WJLA ABC news highlights the D.C. area children and counselors who attend camp.

Be a Gala Sponsor or Advertiser to support the CBCF!

Click here to download the 2018 Gala Sponsor/Advertiser Contract Form!

This year we will be Celebrating our 40th Anniversary! It all began with one firefighter’s dream. Arthur C. Luf formed an organization that would help educate the community on fire safety and fire prevention, support training of professionals on the latest techniques in care and treatment of burn patients, and fund research projects. From this dream sprang The Arthur C. Luf Children’s Burn Camp. Now going on its 27th year.

The reception starts at 6:00pm and dinner begins at 7:00pm. Tickets are $100 per person and will soon be available for purchase online! can be purchased online by clicking here.

The Dinner Dance Committee has once again put together a very special evening, this year celebrating our Ruby Jubilee, and we are anticipating 250 guests – each of whom will receive our program book with your ad in it. Festivities include dinner, dancing, a silent auction, and a 50-50 raffle. The highlight of the night is the introduction of The Arthur C. Luf Children’s Burn Camp 2018 Camper and Counselor of the Year and the first-time announcement of our 2018 Benefactor of the Year.

As a past supporter, we sincerely hope that you would consider taking out an ad in our Program Book again. Your ad sponsorship strengthens Art’s legacy and supports his dream as CBCF furthers fire safety education in our state, underwrites the Dr. Walter E. Pleban Lecture Series for Bridgeport Hospital Burn Center staff, and affords the opportunity for us to offer The Arthur C. Luf Children’s Burn Camp – free of charge – to young burn survivors ages 8 to 18.

Thank you. For being a part of our 40-year mission. We could not have successfully gotten this far without you.


Diversity Makes For Great Theater

Theater has the power to help us better understand ourselves as well as others, whether it’s people from diverse cultures or anyone who is different than us. So it’s no surprise that New Paradigm Theatre (NPT), a company renowned for its imaginative productions that embrace diversity, will present another show with a poignant and timely social message.

Coming on the heels of its sold-out shows of Oliver! Reinvented in 2016 and last year’s Peter Pan, the company will present The Hunchback of Notre Dame Aug. 18-19 at the Fairfield Theater Company. NPT’s mission is to bridge the gap between arts and the community by creating shows that celebrate diversity in cultures, ages, and gender in its casting.

New Paradigm always partners with a community non-profit to echo the theme of the show. The Connecticut Burns Care Foundation was chosen to partner for Hunchback and several of the children there may appear in the show. In its application letter for the partnership, the Burn Center likened children who have been burned to Quasimodo’s character, saying both are treated like outcasts.

“At the very end, the morale of the story is the world is cruel but there is hope,” Kristin Huffman, the theatre’s producing artistic director/president said. “Our Hunchback has braces on his legs so we are not hiding that in the show. We are really trying to hammer home just because people look differently, doesn’t mean you have to treat them badly. This is a message everyone has to hear today.”

Actor Patrick Tombs who plays Quasimodo is a perfect example of how New Paradigm has such inventive casting. Playing the role of a disabled character, Tombs was born with arthrogryposis, a birth disorder that causes an infant to have atrophied muscles and stiff limbs. “It is my hope that we see more ‘abled’ people represented in the arts, but that only starts by us reclaiming those roles that fit our body features,” he said.

The Disney version of Hunchback was one of his favorite movies growing up. “I loved the music, and I felt a connection with Quasimodo because of his body differences,” Tombs said.

“Every year we try to choose a show where we can make a community difference,” said

Huffman. “We love the shows we chose so far because we can use young people from the area.” Hunchback and the company’s previous shows use a mix of Broadway professionals with community actors of all ages.

“This year we have three to four kids with special needs in the show; we wanted to make sure it’s about all abilities, not just kids with tons of experience. We are looking for inclusivity across the board,” she said.

The show features performers from a variety of cultural backgrounds and the cast ranges in age from 8 to 75 years old. The role of Frollo, the villain, will be played by Emmy and Oscar winner Paul Bogaev, who is also serving as the musical producer. TV and stage veterans Scott Bryce and Jodi Stevens will co-direct the show.

While two of the show’s leads are men and Hunchback is seen as a male-centric show, NPT has a strong core of women working on and off the stage. With a female-dominated production team, and a talented leading lady (Gina Naomi Baez, playing Esmeralda), this group of women is redefining women’s roles in Hunchback to tell a story of love and hope.

Besides Huffman, Baez and Stevens, the group of women includes choreographer Maria Cheniscki, lighting designer Elizabeth Stewart, stage manager Erin Joy Swank, assistant stage manager Sage Frasilli, costumes and props designer Sarah Korn, NPT Youth Board presidents Julia Levine and Marie Fulde; interns Katherine Griffin, Jennifer Beveridge, Anna Martinsky and NPT treasurer Lynn Vetare.

The women behind The Hunchback left to right: Choreographer Maria Cherniske, NPT Youth Board President Julia Levine, Costume Designer Sarah Korn, Exec Dir of CT Burns Care Foundation Kathlene Gerrity, Leading lady Esmeralda played by Gina Naomi Baez, NPT Artistic Director Kristin Huffman, Hunchback Co-Director Jodi Stevens, marketing intern Anna Martinsky company manger intern Katherine Griffin, directing intern Jennifer Beveridge, Stage Manager Erin Joy Swank, Lighting Designer Elizabeth M. Stewart. Photo by Mark Holleran. Special effects by Chloe Glenn.

“As an artistic director who is female and has been in this business 25 years, we are a minority as ADs,” Huffman said, adding that she realizes it is up to women to hire not only the best person for the job but to work hard at opening up these opportunities to women.

Given the polarized socio-political climate today in the country, Huffman hopes the show’s message resonates with the audience.

“New Paradigm is a theatre with a social conscience. We produce events and shows that not only entertain with Broadway pros but that also connect directly to our community,” she said.

For information visit, or

By Andrea Valluzzo for – originally published at:

CBCF Spends a Minute with the Mayor of Milford

Watch the video below of CBCF Executive Director Kathlene Gerrity speaking with Ben Blake, Mayor of Milford, Connecticut about the Arthur C. Luf Children’s Burn Camp and upcoming events to support the Connecticut Burns Care Foundation.