FOR RELEASE: 9/28/2011Contact: Jackie Keren, (203) 255-5300

Created by Monroe volunteer, Quilt of Hope is dedicated at Bridgeport Hospital

The Norma F. Pfriem Breast Care Center held a dedication ceremony Sept. 7 for a hand-made Quilt of Hope donated by Mary Riga of Monroe, a former Bridgeport Hospital employee and one of the first Breast Care Center volunteers. The quilt is on permanent display in the third floor Digital Mammography Suite at Bridgeport Hospital.

Mary, who is 87 years old, began quilting after one of her daughters was diagnosed with breast cancer five years ago. She had never quilted before and turned to the Monroe Senior Center Quilters, who guided her through her first effort. Since then she has donated quilts to children with cancer and U.S. military personnel serving abroad.

Quilt of Hope is dedicated at Bridgeport Hospital Left to right: Donna Twist, Dr. Pamela Reeser, Mary Riga, Sally Cascella and Sonya Hitt

Mary was a secretary in the Bridgeport Hospital Emergency Department. She has been volunteering at the Breast Care Center for 11 years. Her daughter, Sally Cascella, is senior nurse educator and patient navigator at the Breast Care Center.

Members of her family as well as staff from the Breast Care Center and the Radiology Department gathered to thank Mary, including Dr. Twist, radiologist Pamela Reeser, MD, Sally Cascella and Sonya Hitt.

Part of the Norma F. Pfriem Cancer Institute at Bridgeport Hospital, the Norma F. Pfriem Breast Care Center has served more than 18,000 women and their families since it was established in 1999. A member of the prestigious National Consortium of Breast Care Centers, the Center provides a wide range of diagnostic care and treatment at its Bridgeport Hospital and Fairfield locations, including medical oncology, surgical and chemotherapy services, plastic surgery, mammography and radiation therapy, and genetic risk assessment as well as opportunities to participate in clinical trials.

The Breast Care Center office at 111 Beach Road in Fairfield also provides comprehensive women’s wellness services, including nutrition counseling, massage and Reiki therapy, wig and prosthesis fitting, counseling, yoga, Pilates, naturopathic medicine, and other patient support activities. In addition, the Center has a satellite office on Park Avenue in Trumbull.

For more information call 203-255-5300 or visit the Center on the web at

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Part of Yale New Haven Health System, Bridgeport Hospital is a 383-bed acute care hospital (plus 42 beds licensed to Yale-New Haven Children’s Hospital) serving parts of Fairfield and New Haven counties. The hospital admits more than 18,000 patients and receives more than 240,000 outpatient visits annually.