Bridgeport Hospital Foundation recruits own board to re-energize fundraising

Monday, June 10, 2013

After 25 successful years as Bridgeport Hospital’s fundraising arm, the Bridgeport Hospital Foundation has reinvigorated itself by forming an independent board of trustees, its first since 1995.

Westport resident Ron DeFeo, Chairman and CEO of Westport-based Terex Corp., a worldwide leader in heavy-duty industrial equipment, is the new board’s chairman. Fellow Westport resident Mitchell Driesman, MD, of Fairfield-based Cardiac Specialists is vice chair. Dr. Driesman is a pioneering interventional cardiologist who performed some of the Fairfield County’s earliest balloon angioplasties and coronary stent placements.

Other board members include Carla Klein of Easton, community volunteer; Patricia McDermott of Newtown, Managing Director, Citi Private Bank; Patrick Shaw of Fairfield, partner in the New York law firm of Ehrenkranz & Ehrenkranz LLP; and Robert Stanton, MD, of Fairfield, President, Fairfield-based Orthopaedic Specialty Group. Ex-Officio members of the new board are Meredith Reuben of Stamford, Chair and CEO of Milford-based EBP Supply Solutions and Chair of the Bridgeport Hospital Board of Directors; Bill Jennings of Fairfield, President and CEO, Bridgeport Hospital; and Steve Jakab of Trumbull, President, Bridgeport Hospital Foundation.

“The increased financial challenges faced by hospitals in light of healthcare reform and cutbacks in federal and state funding triggered our decision to form a separate board, apart from the hospital board, which has governed our fundraising operations up to now,” explains Jakab. “The new board’s mission is to encourage dedicated, focused philanthropic support, with an emphasis on gifts that drive value in patient care.”

Jakab points to one donor’s recent gift to support the new Palliative Care program at Bridgeport Hospital as an example of a gift that drives value in care.

“The goal of palliative care is to provide the appropriate level of care to chronically ill patients in the right setting,” Jakab says.

Even without a separate board for most of its history, the Foundation has accumulated a notable list of achievements since it was established in 1988, among them:

• Bridgeport Hospital’s first Capital Campaign in the mid-1990s, which supported the renovation of critical care units, the pediatric center, the main lobby and construction of the 1,000-space Agnes & Ernie Kaulbach Parking Pavilion

• Naming gifts from late Fairfield philanthropist Norma F. Pfriem to for the hospital’s Cancer Institute in 1996 and Breast Care Center in 1998

• The campaign to expand and renovate the hospital’s Emergency Department from 2004 to 2007

• A naming gift from Southport philanthropist Joel Smilow for the hospital’s Heart Institute in 2011

• The campaign to renovate the Connecticut Burn Center, with the support of firefighters across the state, from 2010 to 2012

• More than $115 million in total philanthropy received in support of Bridgeport Hospital’s programs and services

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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