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New Milford Hospital Receives $1.39 Million Gift From Visionary Who Founded New Milford Cablevision

Wednesday, November 16, 2011 - New Milford, CT

New Milford Hospital has received a gift of $1.39 million from the charitable trust established by visionary Paul Hancock, who founded New Milford Cablevision Co. and brought cable television into thousands of homes in the region.

The generous gift – one of the largest donations ever received by the New Milford Hospital Foundation – is from the Paul M. Hancock 2nd Charitable Trust that Hancock established at age 78 when he sold New Milford Cablevision Co. in 1992.

Hancock’s work in the cable television industry impacted the lives of thousands of area residents. The same can be said of Hancock’s gift to the hospital – a gesture that will touch the lives of thousands of patients at New Milford Hospital for generations to come.

“My father loved New Milford,” said Barbara Valocore, Hancock’s daughter. Hancock decided to leave a portion of his fortune to New Milford Hospital following a bout with septic shock, a serious infection that can prove deadly. “New Milford Hospital saved his life.”

Supporting advanced technology

“We greatly appreciate this wonderful and thoughtful gift from the Hancock family. It is a testament to our entire organization and the hard work of the many dedicated men and women who work here,” said Deborah Weymouth, executive director of New Milford Hospital. The donation comes at a time of growth for New Milford Hospital, which this year partnered with Danbury Hospital to form Western Connecticut Health Network, a healthcare delivery system that broadens the scope of services available to residents.

“This gift is for the community-at-large because it allows New Milford Hospital to continue delivering quality care,” said Weymouth. “Healthcare is an important factor people consider when selecting a community to raise their children or grow old in. Access to high-quality personalized healthcare is key to a vibrant, viable community.”

Hancock requested the funds be used to acquire equipment that would impact many people over a long period of time. To honor his request, New Milford Hospital plans to purchase automated medication-dispensing machines (for the Emergency Department, operating rooms and intensive care units) that track when and where medications are due to patients. “The automated process supports the nursing team in providing doctor-ordered doses of medication to the right patient at the right time,” she said.

A pioneer in the cablevision industry

Born in 1914, Hancock was fascinated by the discoveries of Marconi and the legendary electrical genius, Nikola Tesla, so it was only natural that he gravitated to the broadcasting industry, eventually working at the Mutual Broadcasting System and at the National Broadcasting Company (NBC).

In 1964, Hancock acquired the franchise licenses to bring Community Antennae Television (as it was known back then) to twelve rural towns in middle Connecticut. After years of fundraising, Hancock opened the New Milford Cablevision Co. in 1978 with three employees. “He started a new career at the age of 64,” explained Valocore. “He was a visionary who recognized the potential of this emerging technology.”

For years, Hancock was devoted to New Milford, serving as president of the New Milford Chamber of Commerce and the United Fund. He also chaired the town’s 275th anniversary celebration. In 1992, Hancock sold his share of the cable business to Crown Media and used the funds to establish the Paul M. Hancock 2nd Charitable Trust.

“My father gave away most of his money with the stroke of a pen the day he sold New Milford Cablevision,” said Valocore. A major portion of the funds went to establish The Lifebridge Foundation, an organization with a mission to “support the concept of one humanity and the interconnectedness of all life,” said Valocore, the inspiration behind the foundation. Lifebridge has assisted hundreds of non-profit organizations and individuals.

Those who knew Hancock remember him as a hard-working individual who was dedicated to his customers, whether he was on the phone talking to a concerned client or constantly searching for ways to get the best television reception for viewers. “He was always interested in serving the community.”

About Western Connecticut Health Network

Western Connecticut Health Network is a patient-centered health care organization established in 2010 by two nationally recognized hospitals, Danbury Hospital, New Milford Hospital and their affiliated organizations, to provide the highest level of care to patients throughout Western Connecticut and adjacent New York. In addition to the two hospitals, other network affiliates include:

  • An integrated physician practice with primary and specialty care expertise
  • An agency for home care and community health services
  • A full-service retail pharmacy located at Danbury Hospital
  • Emergency medical services
  • An occupational wellness and medicine program, providing services for business and industry

Western Connecticut Health Network has centers of excellence in Women’s, neonatal, cardiovascular and cancer services; weight loss and orthopedic surgery; digestive disorders and radiology and diagnostic imaging. It also offers specialized programs for sleep disorders and asthma management.  Both hospitals also maintain active clinical research programs, offering clinical trials for patients with cancer and other health concerns.

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About New Milford Hospital

New Milford Hospital is a Planetree organization dedicated to patient-centered care that nurtures every patient's body, mind and spirit.  The Hospital has an extraordinary tradition of warm and caring personal attention backed by top-notch physicians, world-class technology and the newest, most advanced diagnostic and treatment options available. Your healthcare team of highly trained physicians, nurses, technicians and administrators is determined and committed to improving the health and quality of life of those we serve.

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