Area families featured in Bridgeport Hospital fundraising report

Friday, May 4, 2012

The Flanagan, Ricco, Shaw and Taikowski families of Fairfield and the Ryan family of Seymour are featured in this year’s Bridgeport Hospital Foundation Annual Report for their philanthropic support of patient care. The full report, “Our Donor Family…Rooted in Giving,” is available on the Foundation website at

As discussed in the report, the family of John Patrick Flanagan honored his memory after he lost his battle with cancer by funding the creation of a play area for children of patients in our Norma F. Pfriem Cancer Institute.

“It was important to John that he spend time with our children while he was receiving treatment,” says John’s wife Amanda. “To be able to offer families facing similar battles a place where their children can play together and take their minds off the seriousness of the situation, even for just a few minutes, is a very fitting way for us to honor—and remember—my husband.”

After Gregg Ricco underwent lifesaving surgery for a ruptured brain abscess, he and his wife Lauri established a scholarship at the Bridgeport Hospital School of Nursing as a way of thanking his caregivers.

“Bridgeport Hospital is a wonderful place,” says Lauri. “The nurses are compassionate, the doctors very skilled and the support staff always helpful and courteous. We are so grateful to everyone who took care of us.”

When Bill Ryan succumbed to the serious burn injuries he received in a 2009 accident, his family used memorial donations to help pay for renovations to the family waiting area in The Connecticut Burn Center.

Finley Shaw underwent surgery to treat a dangerous heart condition and one of her children received care in the Hospital’s Newborn Intensive Unit. Finley and her family expressed their gratitude by supporting fundraising events, and by donating toys, games and crafts to pediatric patients.

“The nurses (in the Newborn ICU) are so attentive,” Finley says. “For them, nursing is not just a nine-to-five job. They have so much passion for what they do.”

Following her mother’s breast cancer diagnosis in 2004, Lynne Taikowski has been involved in a number of fundraising activities for The Norma F. Pfriem Breast Care Center. Over the years, she has inspired the rest of her family—her husband, cardiologist Rick Taikowski, MD, and their daughters Allie and Kate to join her.

“I couldn’t do this [plan fundraising events] without my family’s support,” Lynne says. “They do whatever I ask—it’s wonderful! From moving furniture to running errands to cleaning out the garage, my husband and daughters are right there.”

The Foundation annual report also includes Bridgeport Hospital highlights from the past year as well as year-end financial and patient care information. Thanks in large part to the generosity of donors, the Foundation raised more than $7.8 million during fiscal year 2011 to support patient care improvements, facility enhancements and other programs at the hospital.

“On behalf of our patients, their families and our staff, thank you for your generous support,” Bridgeport Hospital President and CEO Bill Jennings and Bridgeport Hospital foundation President Steve Jakab write in the annual report’s message to donors. “We deeply appreciate your generosity as we strive to provide the safest, highest-quality healthcare to our patients.”

Yale New Haven Hospital (YNHH), part of Yale New Haven Health, is a nationally recognized, 1,541-bed, not-for-profit hospital serving as the primary teaching hospital for the Yale School of Medicine (YSM). Founded as the fourth voluntary hospital in the U.S. in 1826, today, YNHH has two New Haven-based campuses, and also includes Yale New Haven Children's Hospital, Yale New Haven Psychiatric Hospital and Smilow Cancer Hospital. YNHH has received Magnet designation from the American Nurses Credentialing Center, the nation’s highest honor of nursing excellence. YNHH has a combined medical staff of about 4,500 university and community physicians practicing in more than 100 specialties.

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