Staff Stories

We are a vibrant, community-based non-profit with more than 900 employees in 35 locations across Connecticut. Our culture celebrates quality, innovation, diversity and professionalism. We foster learning and professional development, and we respect and reward meaningful contributions. Our workforce is as broad and diverse as the array of clients we serve and the programs and services we offer, and we’re bound by a passionate commitment to a common goal: to foster positive change in the lives of individuals, families and communities.


“It is truly a privilege to be part of this team.”

Tina Loarte-Rodriguez, MSQAc, BSN, RN, CIC, CPPS, CPHRM
Vice President of Nursing


Ericka Gardener, APRN, Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner


Victoria Prestileo, LCSW, Associate Director, Community-based Services


Douglas Kerr, Director, Human Resources


Keturah Kinch, MPA, Site Director, Wheeler Family Health & Wellness Center, Hartford



A Supportive Culture and Professional Growth and Development

Dieudonnee “Deedee” Kokoszka’s role within Wheeler has been a work in progress over the span of several years. She credits the organization’s supportive culture and leadership to her professional growth and development.

A clinical trainer in Wheeler’s Human Resources Department, Deedee teaches clinicians how to document services in the organization’s electronic health record system and navigate other aspects of required documentation. She also manages the agency’s internship program.

Deedee started her career in Wheeler’s Mobile Crisis Intervention Services as a clinician. She also worked as a clinician in the agency’s Multidimensional Family Therapy (MDFT) program before transitioning into her current role.

“I’ve always felt supported by Wheeler, and I truly believe there’s always an opportunity to grow and learn and to acquire the skills I need to succeed,” said Deedee. “There are invaluable technological resources available to us, and we are consistently nurtured through training and other professional opportunities so that we can truly achieve our full potential.”



Staff News from Wheeler


Visibility Campaign: Shayn Ember

As part of LGBTQ+ History Month, we are sharing our very first Visibility Campaign, where we look to our diverse and talented staff, to tell their stories and shed light on the rich cultural diversity that exists in our workforce.

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Visibility Campaign: Rena Fox

Wheeler shares stories during LGBTQ+ History Month of our diverse and talented staff to shed light on the rich cultural diversity that exists in our workforce.

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Visibility Campaign: Zoë Ackerman

Wheeler shares stories during LGBTQ+ History Month of our diverse and talented staff to shed light on the rich cultural diversity that exists in our workforce.

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Top Workplaces: Sabrina Trocchi preaches transparency amid a pandemic at Wheeler Clinic

Wearing a blue surgical mask, Sabrina Trocchi stood outside the Susan Walkama Health and Wellness Center at the Wheeler Clinic’s expansive Hartford campus, not far from the center’s COVID-19 testing site. Trocchi, a former chief of staff with the Connecticut Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services a.nd previously Wheeler’s chief operating officer, was promoted to president and CEO in November 2019. Four months later, the coronavirus pandemic tested virtually everything she knew about leadership.

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Wheeler Wins "Top Workplace" Honors for Seventh Year

Wheeler is a 2020 Top Workplaces award winner from The Hartford Courant for the seventh time. In addition, Wheeler President and CEO Sabrina Trocchi, PhD, MPA, received “Top Leader” in the Large Employer category of the same survey.

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Monique Daley Joins Wheeler as Diversity Officer

Monique Daley, MS, has joined Wheeler as the first diversity officer. In her new role, she will promote and monitor equity, diversity and inclusion for the Wheeler workforce and patients; lead the Wheeler Diversity and Inclusion Committee; monitor and review the effectiveness of diversity and inclusion efforts; promote full integration of National Standards for Culturally and Linguistically Appropriate Services in Health and Health Care (The National CLAS Standards) and health equity throughout Wheeler; and much more, including training and education, as well as ensuring Wheeler is working with minority- and women-owned businesses.

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Our Work To Do

"This is an individual, organizational, community, national, and international issue, and it starts with a mirror." Letters to Wheeler's staff on June 1 and June 6 by Sabrina Trocchi, PhD, MPA, President and CEO.

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COVID-19: Loving Foster Homes Needed for Children and Youth

Now, more than ever, loving foster homes are needed for hundreds of children and youth in Connecticut. In a short video, Wheeler's Allison Casinghino, foster care specialist, and Sharon Pendleton-Ponzani, LCSW, director, Community-based Family Services, highlight the pressing need for foster families amid the COVID-19 crisis.

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