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Barabani becomes new Soldiers' Home superintendent

Date: 4/19/2011

April 20, 2011

By Katelyn Gendron

Assistant Managing Editor

HOLYOKE — The motto of the Holyoke Soldiers' Home — "care with honor and dignity" — will be coveted and strengthened under the direction of its newest superintendent, Paul Barabani.

Lt. Gov. Timothy Murray administered the oath of office to Barabani at a public ceremony witnessed by more than 200 people, including state and city officials from throughout the region, at the Soldiers' Home on April 14.

"We owe our veterans the care they deserve and the services they've been promised," Barabani, a retired U.S. Army colonel, said.

"Today, I consider myself the luckiest man on the face of the earth ... I've earned the privilege to serve at the Holyoke Soldiers' Home to take care of our nation's heroes but I'm only one person and the success of the Holyoke Soldiers' Home is based on a collaborative effort," he added.

Barabani said he would rely on the expertise of the home's employees and dedicated volunteers to further the facility's mission.

"We've every confidence he'll carry on the tradition of caring for veterans with respect and dignity," Murray said. "We're honored that he's come to the Soldiers' Home to continue his work with us."

Barabani previously worked as an administrative officer for the Department of Veterans' Services Medical Center in Leeds, after serving 20 years in the Massachusetts Army National Guard. He is a 32-year veteran of the Army.

Barabani noted his plans for improving the facility and its quality of care would be aided by a $1 million grant from the U.S. Department of Veterans' Services for window replacements, which are part of the second phase of renovations to the Soldiers' Home.

"I'm delighted to make Mr. Barabani's appointment official with today's swearing-in ceremony," Dr. JudyAnn Bigby, secretary of the Executive Office of Health and Human Services, said. "His wealth of personal experience working with veterans makes him the ideal person to lead the Holyoke Soldiers' Home. His knowledge of the spectrum of veterans' health needs will fully inform his leadership."

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