Coalition Building - The Hospital also works collaboratively with many organizations within the Greater Bridgeport Area and provides expertise to the governing bodies of other organizations. As a result, the Hospital provided over $50,000 of in-kind support to organizations such as Optimus Healthcare, the Bridgeport Regional Business Council Healthcare Council, Leadership Greater Bridgeport, Bridgeport Chamber of Commerce, Bridgeport Rotary, Trumbull Rotary, City of Bridgeport Neighborhood Revitalization Zones, Ronald McDonald House of CT, Barnum Museum, Department of Children and Families, the Primary Care Action Group, the Coalition to End Obesity in Bridgeport and Stratford, University of Connecticut Allied Health Advisory Board, VNS of Connecticut, Stratford Board of Education, Harding High School, and the Greater Bridgeport Adolescent Pregnancy Program.
Through its involvement in the Bridgeport Primary Care Action Group, Hospital senior leaders assisted in opening the Hope Dispensary of Greater Bridgeport, a pharmacy for people who need prescriptions but have no insurance coverage and lack resources to buy them. During FY 2011, the Hope Dispensary of Greater Bridgeport assisted over 100 patients in gaining access to necessary prescriptions, for a total benefit of over $18,000. Another Primary Care Action Group initiative, the Coalition to Eliminate Obesity in Bridgeport and Stratford, which is led by the Hospital, gained momentum in July with the launch of community task forces to address healthy eating, physical activity and support systems. The launch meeting was funded by a $10,000 grant from the United Way of Coastal Fairfield County.
In addition, Hospital employees also recruited volunteer walkers to help raise awareness and funds for the American Heart Association, American Cancer Society, Susan G. Komen for the Cure, CancerCare and the Southern Regional Sickle Cell Association. The events support research and patient education initiatives, which in turn benefited patients at Bridgeport Hospital.
Advocacy for Community Health Improvements - Bridgeport Hospital played a lead role in working with local, state and federal legislators and government agencies to improve access for patients to affordable health insurance and healthcare services.
Two Hospital representatives continue to chair the Health Care Council of the Bridgeport Regional Business Council. In FY 2011, the Council held a wellness event to help employers find ways to keep their employees healthy, a health care panel with key political presenters who educated the business community about health care reform and its implications, published three health care newsletters focused on wellness initiatives and health care policy and ran a “10,000 Steps” wellness program to encourage employers to motivate their employees to wear pedometers and walk at least 10,000 steps per day.
In advance of the legislative session, the Hospital held its annual joint Legislative dinner with St. Vincent’s Medical Center. The discussion focused on the safety and program enhancements at the hospitals, the difficult steps taken to recover financially from the tough economic years and the importance of maintaining current funding levels for Medicaid and other state assistance programs.
Workforce Development – Hospital staff form various departments including the Emergency Department, Women’s Care Center, Surgical Services, Central Sterile Processing, Food and Nutrition Services, and Physical Therapy participated in mentoring programs coordinated through the Hospital’s Human Resources and Volunteer Services Departments. Over 50 area high school students participated in the programs, which include e-mentoring, an internship program and Teen Camp focused on providing basic knowledge and insight into the skills required for a number of careers in healthcare.