Allison Family Neonatal ICU modernization moves forward at Bridgeport Hospital campus of Yale New Haven Children’s Hospital

Monday, August 7, 2017
(l-r) Bridgeport Hospital Chairman of Pediatrics Harris Jacobs, MD, and fellow neonatologists Robert Herzlinger, MD; Richard Freedman, MD, and Cheryl Menzies, MD, at a recent reception to honor Dr. Herzlinger.
BRIDGEPORT, CT (Aug. 7, 2017) – The $7 million modernization of the Allison Family Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) at the Bridgeport Hospital campus of Yale New Haven Children’s Hospital has passed its halfway point toward a planned December 2017 completion.

Spearheaded by a major gift from the Allison Family of Westport, the 100 percent philanthropy-supported Bridgeport Hospital Foundation initiative to fund the NICU project recently surpassed $6 million. Some of the recent funding came from guests at a May 17 reception in Fairfield to discuss the project and pay tribute to the unit’s 40-year medical leader, Robert Herzlinger, MD.

“This project will support our vision to offer the best in family-centered medicine and provide the best possible outcomes for premature babies entrusted to our care,” said Bridgeport Hospital Foundation President Steve Jakab. “By creating space that provides privacy and enhanced features for families, this project will improve the patient and caregiver experience significantly.”

“Children’s causes have always been close to my heart,” said Simin Allison, explaining why she and her family provided the naming gift. “The NICU staff does an amazing job and their efforts are very impactful in the community.”

The modernization project will provide:
  • Larger, more private patient areas to promote safe, high quality, family-centered care. The increased privacy will give anxious parents the calm, quiet environment they need to support their child.
  • Lower lighting in treatment areas to create a calmer, more healing environment that promotes the baby’s development.
  • A consultation room for family support and education.
  • A central nurses’ station with comprehensive monitoring technology for increased patient safety. 
Established by Bridgeport Hospital in 1973, the NICU became part of Yale New Haven Children’s Hospital when Bridgeport and Yale New Haven hospitals consolidated their pediatric services in 2012, giving Bridgeport area families improved access to a higher and broader level of neonatal specialty care.

The NICU was last renovated in 1998 and at the time was considered a state-of-the art facility. Nearly 20 years later, the standard of care has changed. “Families are encouraged to be part of the healthcare team and the number of infants requiring intensive care has increased as medical advances allow more babies to survive at increasingly younger ages,” said Dr. Herzlinger.”

The evolution of the NICU has included significant medical and technological advances that have allowed Bridgeport Hospital to care for babies born as early as 24 weeks gestation, weighing barely one pound, the very fringe of survivability. Most babies who leave the NICU go on to lead healthy, active lives, some with the assistance of the unit’s follow-up program, which provides special care and family guidance with child development issues.

Neonatology is one of eight Yale New Haven Children’s Hospital pediatric subspecialties ranked among the best in the nation in the 2017 Best Children’s Hospitals rankings published by U.S. News & World Report. This is the highest level of recognition YNHCH has received to date from U.S. News.

For more information on the NICU modernization campaign, visit https://foundation.bridgeporthospital.org/recep_for_herzlinger/

Bridgeport Hospital, part of Yale New Haven Health, is a non-profit 501-bed acute care hospital with two campuses (plus 42 beds licensed to Yale New Haven Children's Hospital). Its Bridgeport and Milford Campuses serve patients from across the region. The hospital admits more than 23,000 patients and provides nearly 350,000 outpatient treatments annually. The Connecticut Burn Center at Bridgeport Hospital is the only burn center in the state and one of only 64 verified burn centers in the United States. Bridgeport Hospital is committed to providing safe, compassionate and cost efficient care to its patients and the community.

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