Home Health Aide Tells the World He Loves Helping Others

By Bonnie Tormay
Daniel Adomako, PCA, right, looking after his client Raul Grande in his home art studio. Photo by Chris Rakoczy

When the Hartford HealthCare Independence at Home team wanted to promote the services it offers to people across the state, leaders and marketing communications experts turned to Daniel Adomako to become the face of home care ina new TV commercial.

Adomako became a home health aide with Hartford Healthcare in 2011 after emigrating from his native Ghana, where he was a teacher. We asked him about his work, shooting the commercial and being recognized in public since it aired in the fall.

What is your experience working at Hartford HealthCare?

It has been a positive experience because my colleagues at Independence at Home work together as a team to help our clients.

What do you enjoy most about your role?

I love taking care of people because it makes me feel good that I’ve helped another human being so they can live a better life in their home. When I meet clients the first time, I like to understand their needs. It’s all about being positive.

What was it like doing the commercial?

My overall experience was great! I wasn’t sure what to expect. As soon as I walked through the door, it was like working on a movie set. We filmed at two different locations, a home in Old Lyme and Hartford HealthCare Health Center in Waterford.

Val, the makeup artist, was constantly in my face wiping away sweat and made sure I looked good. They would also adjust my uniform and name badge. It was quite the experience and I felt like a movie star!

At some points, I had to do several reshoots to get it perfectly. Shooting the client getting out of the car to an appointment took a lot of takes because it was shot at different angles.

They filmed me driving in the car with the green screen. Four guys were in the car and it was packed with equipment. The scene where the car is driving in front of the health center was filmed using a drone. It was a challenge to drive and not focus on the drone in front of me! That particular shot I had to do over and over as well.

Do people recognize you after starring in the commercial?

Yes! I had friends, old friends, my family, caregivers and their families reaching out to share that they saw me. Another time, I was at Stop & Shop shopping for a client and the cashier noticed and says, “You’re the Hartford HealthCare guy from the commercial who loves your job and taking care of people!

See the commercial here!


BJI Team Returns Runner to Competition

By Kate Carey-Trull
Hartford Hospital social worker Kelly Pabilonia worked for a year with the Bone & Joint Institute team to return to running after an injury. Here she crosses the finish line of a half Ironman competition.

Running and hiking had been stress outlets for Kelly Pabilonia for more than 10 years, and the Hartford Hospital Emergency Department social worker would run after her shifts.

In July 2021, Pabilonia was hiking in the White Mountains, part of her goal to hike the Appalachian Trail, when she slipped and fell. She had to hike out three miles using walking poles as she had broken her ankle and fibula in one leg, and tore the deltoid muscle in one shoulder. She had surgery within a week and was sent to the Hartford Healthcare’s Bone & Joint Institute for physical therapy.

She was afraid her running days were behind her.“I was depressed and anxious,” Pabilonia remembers. “Sarah Emlaw, a physical therapist at the Hartford HealthCare Bone & Joint Institute, figuratively wrapped her arms around me. She saw how overwhelming it was for me not to be able to exercise.”

Frustrated with her recovery, Pabilonia decided to set a goal to get motivated — competing in a half Ironman race.

Emlaw set Pabilonia up with a nutritionist at the BJI to make sure she was eating enough protein to heal her bones and be strong for exercising, and she started a return to run program. She also saw a behavioral health specialist, who helped her find coping mechanisms and evaluated her anxiety.

“Sarah really went the extra mile for me… I give her half the credit as to why I am healed mentally and physically after this.”

“Sarah really went the extra mile for me,” Pabilonia says. “I was able to use the amazing equipment at BJI, such as the treadmill that holds you up, so I could reduce the weight on my ankle, but still be able to run and exercise. She was phenomenal.”

The program included running for short intervals, as well as physical therapy sessions at the BJI.

On the one-year anniversary of her ankle injury, Pabilonia headed to the Finger Lakes in New York, where she competed in the Musselman half Ironman race, finishing a 1.2-mile swim, 56-mile bike and 13.1-mile run, for a total of 70.3 miles.

“I went and showed Sarah my medal, I was so excited. It gave me purpose through my recovery to strive for this goal,” she says. “I give her half the credit as to why I am healed mentally and physically after this.”