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Mary Wade’s Mission of Service

Mary Wade is planning to expand its mission to meet the growing needs in the community.  Connecticut is undergoing a permanent and historic transformation in its demographics - it is aging. Between 2010 and 2040, Connecticut’s population of people age 65 and older is projected to grow by 57%, with less than 2% growth for people age 20 to 64 during the same period. Moreover, residents born in Connecticut today can expect to live to be 80.8 years old—the third highest life expectancy in the nation.  This unequalled long life, combined with firm increases in the number of older adults, has profound implications for everyone in Connecticut.

In addition, the State of Connecticut has been actively engaged in rebalancing their Medicaid long-term care services from institutional settings such as skilled nursing centers, toward more emphasis on home-and community-based services and settings, for example, home care and adult day centers. The State has invested a significant amount of resources toward creating an environment where Medicaid recipients with a skilled nursing center level of care designation are aware of their options, including the opportunity to receive home and community based services (HCBS). In 2013, 56.6% of CT Medicaid recipients were utilizing HCBS and with State intervention it is predicted that by 2025, 75.1% of these individuals will be utilizing HCBS.  

Mary Wade’s Programs and Services

Mary Wade has a longstanding and proven record of responding to the needs of the community, and in particular with the needs of seniors and their families.  This is evidence by the fact that Mary Wade’s Senior Care Campus has an array of services available to seniors from:

Home and Community Based Services, such as, (1) transportation, (2) adult day health center, (3) homemaker and companion service, (4) community navigator, (5) outpatient rehabilitation, and (6) primary care.

Institutional Senior Care Services, such as, (1) assisted living (Residential Care Home), and (2) short term rehabilitation including pulmonary rehabilitation, innovative treatment modality for dysphagia, (3) chronic long term care, (4) hospice & palliative care.

Housing, such as providing low income housing to workforce families.

Mary Wade has been able to continue to expand its services and programs, improve its campus, while intensifying its relationship and role in the urban setting by engagement of the neighborhood.  By working closely with our neighbors and neighborhood association (in particular Chatham Square Neighborhood Association) we build a stronger community.

Mary Wade’s Naming Origins

Mary Wade’s name originated from Lucy Boardman and her sister, Mary Wade

In 1866, a group of women founded this organization initially to serve women and children following the Civil War, and named it the Home for the Friendless.  In 1897 Lucy Hall Boardman made it possible to begin new construction on the previous building when she contributed $20,000 in honor of her sister, Mary Wade.  Lucy (1819-1906) was born in Poland, Ohio, into a family that had originated in Connecticut.  In 1857 she married William H. Boardman, a New Haven man whose family owned land in Ohio.  She came to New Haven, and she and her husband, who was both a judge and member of Congress, lived at 46 Hillhouse Avenue.  She became Connecticut’s leading female philanthropist, giving away more than $750,000 including $125,000 to Yale for the construction of Kirtland Hall (Kirtland was a family name), $100,000 to Christ Church, and $83,000 for the building of the Boardman Training School.  The last-named gift was made in 1894 in memory of her husband.

Her sister, Mary P. Wade (1816-1908), also was born in Poland, Ohio.  She married Edward Wade of Ohio, who was also a judge and congressmen, and they lived in Washington, D.C., during the Lincoln administration.  He died in 1866, and she lived thereafter with the Boardmans on Hillhouse Avenue.  When Lucy died, Mary Wade moved to 331 Temple Street.  She, too, was very charitable.  Neither Lucy nor Mary had children.  They are buried at the Grove Street Cemetery in the Boardman Plot. 


Mary Wade’s Goal over the next ten years

Over the next decade, Mary Wade will continue its commitment to serving the needs of the Greater New Haven Community from our original address at 118 Clinton Avenue and as an integral part of our community.  As a senior care community, it is the goal to continue to link a venerable history of care with a commitment to energetically offer a continuum of coordinated, innovative and high quality care in which compassion, human dignity, diversity and social responsibility are primary concerns.  It is the intention of this organization to endeavor to expand this philosophy in the broader community


Two immense challenges to be faced in the future

One of the biggest concerns in the future is to have the pool of skilled individuals to employ in order to sustain the mission and services.  This is a concern among all providers of health services as we see the increase of the older population while birth rates have been steadily decreasing.  Financial resources is another challenge since both State and Federal Governments struggle to balance these budgets, and funding for social services continues to increase and strain the economy.  This is the reason Mary Wade is focusing on philanthropic initiatives in order to fund vital services and maintain the level of quality we are best known to provide.


David V. Hunter, President & CEO

Mary Wade

July 19, 2016


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Out of concern for the welfare of our community and staff, The Community Foundation office at 70 Audubon is closed to visitors until further notice; Foundation staff are available by phone and email during normal business hours Monday through Friday between 8:30 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. to conduct business. For up-to-date information about The Foundation’s response to COVID-19, please visit: To contact a staff member, view our staff directory.

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