Champion of Public Health Served NDDH from 2000-2009
(BROOKLYN) – It is with great sadness that the Northeast District Department of Health (NDDH) shares the news of the passing of former NDDH Director of Health Patricia Beckenhaupt, RN, MPH, MS. Pat died on Thursday, January 26, 2023 after a brief illness.
Pat served NDDH with distinction as Director of Health from 2000 to 2009. She was instrumental in expanding the role of NDDH emergency preparedness services following the events of September 11, 2001. She was an early advocate of tele-health services, leading an initiative in 2007 long before it would become a necessity during the COVID-19 pandemic. That same year, as district services grew, she spearheaded agency relocation efforts to NDDH’s current location at 69 South Main Street in Brooklyn.
Pat provided strong leadership through a number of high-profile public health emergencies and events, including the InterRoyal Mill Fire in April 2005; a 2006 full scale Strategic National Stockpile exercise at Plainfield High School, conducted jointly by the State of Connecticut and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; and the 2009 H1N1 pandemic.
Pat successfully procured grants that provided indoor asthma assessments, oral health screenings, CPR-AED trainings, and breast health screenings, and increased community awareness to food-borne illness, green cleaning, obesity prevention, cardiovascular health, Lyme disease, and a host of other public health priorities. Working with her team, she created the NDDH logo and brand that we continue to promote today.
“Pat was a highly respected community leader and loyal public health servant who made countless contributions throughout her lifetime,” commented Elaine Lippke, a current NDDH Board member who served as Board Chair during Pat’s tenure. “She will be greatly missed by her former colleagues, community partners, and the many people she served throughout the NDDH region. We extend our sincerest condolences to her family, friends, and colleagues.”
Patricia Cordle Beckenhaupt
Patricia Cordle (Backus) Beckenhaupt RN, MPH, MS died on Thursday, January 26, 2023, after a brief illness. Pat leaves her husband Ken of 28 years; two daughters Laura (Michael Haluch) and Kathleen (Jeff Enger), a son Raymond (Aubrey) and seven grandchildren (Rebecca, Ashley, Sarah, Jazmine, Hunter, Rylie and Mac). She also leaves her brother Kevin Cordle; sister-in-law Janice Nicholl and four nieces (Heather, Kelsey, Lexi and Danielle). She was predeceased by her mother and father, Mary and Edgar Cordle.
Pat’s career in health care is expansive where she emerged early on as a leader in nursing, graduating in 1968 from Mary Immaculate Hospital School of Nursing in Jamaica, Queens, New York. She went on to serve for 11 years as Assistant Vice President and Director of Emergency Medical Services at Johnson Memorial Hospital in Stafford Springs, CT. That experience paved the way for her role as Director of Health for the Northeast District Department of Health in Brooklyn CT for nine years and then on to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta GA serving as a Public Health Analyst until her retirement in 2015.
Within a year of retirement Pat was back in the public health arena serving as an independent contractor for the Massachusetts Department of Public Health Immunization Program working as a VFC Site Assessor and Quality Improvement Immunization Nurse Consultant. Pat rounded out her career by serving as a COVID Case Investigator and Contact Tracer for Partners in Health – University of Connecticut stationed in Boston, MA.
In addition to her nursing degree, Pat obtained a Master of Public Health degree from the University of Connecticut and a Master of Science in Education from Eastern Connecticut State University.
Pat donated her body to science thus continuing her passion and commitment to medicine, science and research.
A Memorial Service will be scheduled at a later date. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in memory of Pat to the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution where she served as a dedicated volunteer: https://gift.whoi.edu/page/7738/donate/1?locale=en-US. Please select the button labeled “in honor or memory of” at the bottom of the page and include Pat’s name.
Mr. Ken Beckenhaupt
165 Vineyard Gate
East Falmouth, Massachusetts 02536
Donations online or mail to:
Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution
266 Woods Hole Road
Woods Hole, MA 02543