During Fiscal Year 2013, Bridgeport Hospital provided $734,000 in community health improvement services, including health education programs, support groups and health fairs. Examples of these important services and programs are provided below.

Child FIRST – The Child FIRST program, the Bridgeport Hospital-based early intervention program for at-risk children, was designated as one of only nine evidence-based home visiting models for maternal, infant and early childhood care by the U.S. Health Resources and Services Administration for Children and Families. In addition, thanks to a major grant from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and local supporting organizations, Child FIRST has expanded from the Bridgeport area to five other metropolitan areas in Connecticut: Hartford, New Haven, New London, Norwalk and Waterbury. Child FIRST intends to replicate the model in at least two other states by 2015.

Parenting Support – The hospital offers the Nurturing Connections Parenting Program for first-time parents who live in Bridgeport. The support program focuses on infant health and good parenting, and covers a variety of developmental newborn subjects such as establishing routines, ways to promote development in newborns’ brain, eye, and motor areas and proper nutrition. The program also helps to connect families with helpful community resources.

Social Work Help for Cancer Patients – The Oncology Social Worker in the Norma F. Pfriem Cancer Institute assisted over 300 patients with requests for referrals or assistance from outside agencies. These requests were for a variety of community resources including transportation, financial assistance, support services and head coverings. Through these referrals, individuals received over $25,000 in financial grants from organizations such as the American Cancer Society, Cancer Care, Connecticut Sports Foundation Against Cancer, Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, National Brain Tumor Association, CHAIN Fund, Breast Cancer Emergency Fund and Take A Swing Against Cancer.

Patient Support Groups and Activities – The hospital sponsors free support groups for patients recovering from cancer, heart disease, lung disease, stroke and other conditions. More than 200 people participated in these groups during FY 2013. Nearly 800 people attended free hospital-sponsored health lectures and awareness events on topics such as back pain, cardiovascular health, congestion, dementia and hip or knee pain. The sixth annual “Celebrate Life” cancer survivors’ event at the Connecticut Beardsley Zoo in June attracted more than 600 people and provided information about cancer prevention and treatment.

Bridgeport Hospital provided free blood pressure screenings and information at senior centers located in Bridgeport, Fairfield, Shelton and Stratford to nearly 600 people.