Bridgeport Hospital Auxiliary gala raises over $80,000 to support Neonatal ICU upgrade, other programs

Thursday, May 11, 2017
Staff members participating in the “Dancing with the Hospital Stars” contest included (clockwise from top left) Dr. Harold Sauer, Nickia Jackson, Theresa Donnelly, Paul Possenti, Dr. Lisa Caramico and Dana Generelli.
BRIDGEPORT, CT (May 11, 2017) – Nearly 150 people attended the May 4 Bridgeport Hospital Auxiliary spring gala at Brooklawn Country Club in Fairfield and helped raise over $80,000. The funds will support the modernization of the Allison Family Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (ICU), Dr. Tom Kennedy Toy Closet, therapist scholarships for Ahlbin Rehabilitation Centers and other grants and programs that benefit patients.

For the third year, the highlight of the gala was “Dancing with the Hospital Stars,” a dance contest inspired by the popular television program. Six hospital staff members were each paired with a professional dancer from Fred Astaire Dance Studio of Southport during the competition, which was won by Director of Trauma Services, Emergency Preparedness and Emergency Medical Services Paul Possenti, the hospital’s chief surgical physician assistant.

Other contestants included anesthesiologist Lisa Caramico, MD, nurse anesthetist Theresa Donnelly, operating room nurse Dana Genarelli, performance management coordinator Nickia Jackson and Chairman of Obstetrics and Gynecology Harold Sauer, MD.

“All the dancers were wonderful,” said Auxiliary President Bonnie Molloy, who oversaw planning for the gala with event co-chairs Amparo Castillo, Rita Crispino and Kim Miranti. “They spent several hours practicing over a number of weeks and gave it their all on the dance floor. We are grateful to all of them and to all our gala guests for making the evening a great success.”

The gala also included an auction for items such as a one-week stay at a Bahamas resort and a diamond necklace.

The Allison Family ICU is part of the Yale New Haven Children’s Hospital campus at Bridgeport Hospital, a Yale New Haven Health member. The 20-bassinet unit, established in 1972 and last renovated in 1998, has begun a facility upgrade that will provide more privacy and comfort to premature and critically ill infants and their families. The work is expected to be completed by the end of the year.

The Dr. Tom Kennedy Toy Closet, named for the hospital’s former chairman of Pediatrics who died in 2015, houses toys and games for hospitalized children, most of them donated or purchased with gifts from the community.

Established in 1959, the all-volunteer Bridgeport Hospital Auxiliary has spent almost 60 years supporting hospital programs, services, facility upgrades and staff scholarships. The group also operates the hospital’s gift shop, which offers greeting cards, flowers, clothing and a variety of other gift items for patients, visitors and staff.

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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