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Strong Hearts, Strong Swimmers: Hartford Hospital Fields Team for Swim Across the Sound

May 22, 2023

Hartford Hospital has fielded its first Swim Across the Sound team — ST Elevations – Hartford Hospital — with colleagues from the Cardiac Catheterization Laboratory at Hartford Hospital. The team is captained by Sarah Hope, a nurse and triathlete.

“I’m terrible at swimming — I’m more of a cyclist and runner,” shares Hope with a laugh. “But our team saw this challenge and we’re ready to take it on.”

After 35 years, the “Swim Across the Sound” is going statewide with the full support of Hartford HealthCare. Teams of open water swimmers are set to traverse the Long Island Sound as they raise funds for cancer patients on Saturday, July 29.

The ST Elevations—Hartford Hospital team is comprised of Hope; Elizabeth Ryan, RN; Benjamin Mucci, physician assistant; Joe Ingrassia, MD, interventional cardiologist; and two members, CJ Thomas and Suzie Flores from outside Hartford Healthcare. Together, they will endeavor to swim across the Long Island Sound from Whitehall Beach in Port Jefferson, New York, to Captain’s Cove Seaport in Bridgeport to raise money for cancer patients. They set their team fundraising goal at $15,000.

For Hope, the challenge of the long open water swim was unique but one that she felt was possible with her colleagues.

“Deep in my heart, I know that this is going to be a worthwhile investment — I’m doing something greater than myself,” says Hope. “It’s in our nature to want to help and this is a way that we can put money in the hands of people who need it and support them.”

Hope also shared that as a team there is an active group text chat that has been helpful in motivating members of the team. “It’s been a great team-building exercise, we’re going through a common experience and it’s been drawing us together on a different level,” says Hope. “At work, we check in with each other about how our swim training has been going. Outside of work, we text back and forth checking in with our workouts and motivating each other over the course of our training.

“It’s been a revitalizing experience. This event will be unlike anything myself or any of my Hartford Hospital colleagues have been a part of. To be able to help out people in need is truly the icing on the cake.”

Hartford Hospital invites the community to donate and help ST Elevations – Hartford Hospital reach their fundraising goal by visiting their team donation page.