Month: February 2012

Sarah Petela MSW ’11 Featured in NASW News Article

Sarah Petela, Project Coordinator for the Connecticut Coalition to End Homelessness was featured in “Recession Fallout, Social Workers Face New Challenges” in the February 2012 issue of NASW News. Sarah says, “Advocacy is key…Social workers should play a lead role in getting out there in the community and building relationships with civic leaders. If not engaged, we can’t move people out of homelessness, among other issues.”

Jennifer Vendetti MSW ’07 Coordinates a Resource for First-Time Parents

The Connections program offers first-time families perinatal and parenting support through phone contact, group programming and home visitation. The program is a link to the Nurturing Families Network, a statewide program created by the Children’s Trust Fund with the goal of reducing parenting stress, parent-child conflict, and parental social isolation by offering free resources and support to new families.

Jennifer Vendetti, MSW '07

More information about NFN group programs is available at

Read the UConn Today interview with Jennifer Vendetti.


Dr. Catherine Medina Elected Vice Chair

Dr. Catherine Medina was recently elected Vice Chair of the Connecticut Commission on Health Equity (CHE). In this role she will provide leadership within the Commission to collaborate with community based agencies to design and evaluate health equity models that address key social and physical determinants associated with health disparities.

Dr. Catherine Medina

Since 1981, Dr. Medina has worked on several policies related to increasing health equity through various leadership positions, active involvement in prevention campaigns, advocating for the right to health care, and promoting mentoring for graduate students to advocate for access to health care. She is a strong promoter for increasing health literacy, and removing structural inequalities that are at the root of health inequities. Dr. Medina believes that health is a right for all Connecticut’s residents.

By establishing the Commission in 2008 (Public Act No. 08-171), the Connecticut General Assembly acknowledged that equal enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of health is a human right and a priority of the state. The legislation recognizes that Connecticut residents experience barriers to the equal enjoyment of good health based on race, ethnicity, gender group, sexual orientation and linguistic ability; and that addressing such barriers requires data collection, analysis and the development and implementation of policy solutions. The purpose of CHE is to effect legislation and work collaboratively with state agencies and communities to improve the health outcomes of residents and eliminate health disparities.