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A reading from
the Funeral Mass

Love is patient, love is kind and is not jealous, love does not brag, and is not arrogant, does not seek its own, is not provoked, does not take into account a wrong suffered, does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth, bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails.

1 Corinthians 13:4-8

Laraine was a Board Certified Family Practice Physician. She was a physician on Manchester Memorial Hospital's Prompt Care staff for 18 years, having left in 2004 to pursue other interests. Laraine was planning on returning to the practice of medicine in the Fall of 2006.

Dr. Laraine, Prompt Care, Dec. 11, 2004

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When I think of Laraine, a few things immediately come to mind: goodness, honesty, curiosity, and passion. The first two are quite self-evident to those of us who had the pleasure of knowing Laraine. There was never any doubt that her motivation was pure, just, and right for the world around her, whether it was for her patients, friends or community. She always had the interests of others at heart and in mind when she interacted with her patients, friends, and colleagues. And, she rarely left you wondering what she was thinking!

Laraine approached the world with an intriguing curiosity about what made people and things tick, why things happened, and why people behaved in the ways that they did. Of course I couldn’t explain many of these to her, and, in retrospect, took Laraine’s curiosity to be rhetorical way more often than it really was. She truly sought answers, or at least dialogue, but there were precious few things I could address on the spot. Many required some research and most required careful thought…and my trademark, “I’ll have to get back to you.” But that guaranteed a second interesting conversation. This is also what made Laraine an excellent physician. She was unhappy until she answered all of the questions… big and small…about her patients.

The fourth is a bit trickier. The first few times I experienced the passion, I was, well… a bit scared…until I recognized that the intensity was Laraine’s way of expressing the first three traits. Laraine would approach my door, knock, give that half-smile, and before I could blink would be sitting in the chair. Suddenly, there she was. The first few moments were consumed by my trying to sort out whether it was going to be a question, a concern, a confession, a funny thought, or something that defied all traditional categories. But before long it was always clear. Over time I realized that all of these were important to Laraine, expressed by the sometimes difficult-to-distinguish passion.

It’s still so hard to believe that all of those years blew by so quickly for all of us, and only the memories remain.

(Joel J. Reich, MD, FACEP)
March 7, 2007

I had the good fortune to work with Laraine for 18 yrs as "her" nurse! Laraine had a special way with people in that she made them feel they had her undivided attention.Many of our patients were uninsured and no way to get medical care except coming to the hospital.Many times patients would delay coming because they were embarrassed or had been brushed aside in other attempts at getting health care.With Laraine she managed to address all their needs whether physical or emotional.Laraine did that in such a caring manner.Laraine always sought follow up care as needed by speaking personally to the physician whom she was referring to.Laraine never made the patient feel rushed no matter how many other patients were waiting for her.Laraine also cared for all her coworkers by never starting the day without speaking to each one and asking how they were.She never left work without saying thank you for your help.The medical field lost a great physician and I lost a very dear friend.

Joanne Sargent R.N.
October 6, 2006

Laraine came later in life to medicine than the usual student, having worked previously as an electron microscopist. That did not deter her however, and she approached medicine with the same gusto and enthusiasm as she did everything. It did not take long for her to finish her training and then come to the Manchester Memorial Hospital in Manchester, Connecticut where she worked in the Ambulatory Care Department. Laraine worked in the PromptCare division of the department from 1985 to 2004, often seeing more that 30 to 40 patients in a day, many times under trying conditions.

During the years she worked at the hospital Laraine touched thousands of lives not only with her medical knowledge but also with compassion formed from her deep sense of respect for all fellow human beings regardless of their station in life. When she sensed that her medical education had been lacking in certain areas, she got training in gestalt therapy so she could better relate to and care for her patients that needed those skills.

Co-workers remember Laraine as a dedicated physician with an irrepressible love of life. She will also be remembered for her honesty-if you asked her a question, or for her opinion on something, you knew you would hear what she truly felt-even if the reply was not what you wanted to hear! This quality alone, at a time when such a low premium is placed on honesty, made her a special person and a trusted physician.

written by
Derrick Bailey, M.D.


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