Celebrating the Life of Dick Mazza

Dick MazzaIt is with great admiration and sadness that the community celebrates the life of Dick Mazza.  While he gained distinction as a leading Senator serving Chittenden and Grand Isle counties, it was his connection to people and love of his community that made him a natural ally to the work and mission of UVM Health Network – Home Health & Hospice (HHH).

We each shared responsibilities for the residents of Chittenden and Grand Isle Counties in our respective roles as healthcare provider and state Senator and we understood the impact of each other’s work.  Dick saw firsthand through the experiences of his constituents the value of home health and hospice services and regularly spoke about the excellent care our community members received in their homes.  As the state’s largest home health and hospice agency, formerly named the VNA, we valued relationships with our legislators and appreciated their work on policy and funding that supported our mission.

Dick served on the board of VNA of Chittenden and Grand Isle Counties from 2012-2018 and was a member of the Agency Integrity and Government Relations committee from 2012 to 2014 and chaired that committee from 2014 to 2018. He served on the HHH Honorary Board from 2018 until the time of his passing.

One of Dick’s greatest legacies is his role as storekeeper.  Here, he demonstrated how important it was to listen to others, even if you disagreed, because this openness allowed understanding and it informed his decisions as a legislator and community leader.  “As we face growing needs and pressure on resources, our team will follow this model of listening to our community of residents, caregivers, professionals, and our own staff to guide our decisions and priorities,” said Christine Werneke, President and COO of UVMHN – Home Health & Hospice.

Sunny Eappen, MD, President and CEO of the UVM Health Network, reflects on Senator Mazza’s contributions to our state: “Senator Dick Mazza was the embodiment of selfless public service, not only through the four decades he spent in the Vermont Legislature, but also in his constant support for and engagement with the things that mattered to him in his community. His longtime support for UVM Health Network – Home Health & Hospice is a perfect example of how he worked for the general good of this region and also touched the individual lives of so many. He will be missed, and his impact will continue to be felt in the years to come.”

HHH Hospice Medical Director, Nancy Long, MD shares that it was “a pleasure and honor for our team to support Dick Mazza and the Mazza family over the past couple months. Dick was kind, patient, and gracious every step of the way. His family were the same, generously sharing treats from his store, donating hand-knit hats for our residents, and making us smile in so many ways.”