Community Impact

Cathleen Holland, Paul Holland
Cathleen and Paul Holland

One Gift. One Community. One Big Impact.

“As an attorney who focuses exclusively on estate planning, Paul Holland often asks his clients if they have intentions to make a community impact through a gift or a bequest, and merely asking that question has proven quite telling.

It’s half the battle,” Paul says. “If you’re asked, then you have to think about it, and a certain percentage of people who think about it are going to say yes.”

Paul and his wife, Cathleen Holland, who live in Stonington, asked themselves a similar question recently, and their decision to a community impact was reached without hesitation. The Hollands are making a significant pledge to L+M Hospital’s Capital Campaign, which is supporting the development of L+M’s Cancer Center in Waterford.
There are many reasons that led to the Hollands’ decision, including the fact that Cathleen is a breast cancer survivor who had her chemotherapy treatment at L+M. The care and support she received she counts as critical to her success.

In addition, Cathleen’s oncologist, Dr. Richard Hellman, whose competence and compassion she greatly admires, will also be the medical director of the new cancer center.


Furthermore, the Hollands believe that the new center’s affiliation with Dana-Farber Community Cancer Care in Boston will give the patients of southeastern Connecticut “the best of the best,” as Paul says, thanks to Dana-Farber’s world-renowned protocols, second opinion clinics, genetic counseling and extensive clinical trials.
But the Hollands’ commitment goes even deeper. While Paul is a trust and estate attorney with an office in Groton, Cathleen is co-owner of the S&P Oyster Company in Mystic., Connecticut They have worked hard and succeeded in life. Their many experiences and connections have helped them appreciate the broader landscape of community.


“My family has been involved in charitable endeavors for a long time,” Paul says. “It’s something that was ingrained in my brothers and me growing up, watching my parents. Today, we’re getting to that age where it’s sort of our turn to step up and to do things to help our community move forward. That’s the generation we’re approaching. We’re no longer the kids.”


Cathleen readily admits that one of the factors in her life that helped her grasp the significance of community was her own fight against cancer. As she says, “Being grateful that I’m here is at the heart of it. Until cancer is something that is intimate to you – whether it’s a parent, aunt, sister or yourself – you really don’t pay attention to it.”
“I was only 32 when I was diagnosed,” she explains. “It was very unsettling, but having the network when I went to the Cancer Center was everything, because you need that support.”

Photos courtesy of Yale New Health

Until cancer is something that is intimate to you, whether it’s a parent, aunt, sister or yourself, you really don’t pay attention to it.

Cathleen and Paul Holland

Cancer Center Garden
Cancer Center Interior
Nurses Station