Bridgeport Hospital boosts breast cancer awareness with Pink Pledge

Wednesday, October 7, 2020

Bridgeport, CT (October 7, 2020) – Bridgeport Hospital’s Norma Pfriem Breast Center is kicking off its sixth annual Pink Pledge, a month-long, community-wide campaign to raise funds for the center’s life-saving programs while promoting breast cancer awareness and early detection. This year’s campaign introduces new avenues for the community to support breast cancer patients.

Campaign highlights include:

  • Pink Pledge Inspire Love Virtual Event, Oct. 1-16, 2020. Register at
    • Inspire in Motion: Run/walk a 5K (children can bike) and submit your time. Winners will receive a prize.
    • Inspire in Place: The team with the most “pinked out” decorated porch, storefront or yard will win a grand prize.
  • Pink Pop Up Party: Home Edition. A virtual talent show featuring singing, dancing, comedy acts and more. Send video submissions to [email protected] by Oct. 12 for entry.

“We are grateful for the overwhelming support that we have received for the last six years from the Fairfield and Bridgeport communities for our breast cancer patients,” said Donna Twist, PhD, executive director of the center and vice president of development for the Bridgeport Hospital Foundation. “With cars lined up to deliver groceries, community members volunteering on weekends and patients sharing their gratitude, we’ve seen an unprecedented outpouring of support this year as the community continues to rally around and meet the needs of our patients.”

Proceeds from Pink Pledge events benefit the Breast Center’s programs for women in need, including their Medically Underserved Initiative, which provides financial assistance to uninsured and underinsured women. Over 1,000 women receive screening and diagnostic services through the Initiative each year, making it the largest program in the area.

October is also a key time to emphasize the importance of early detection as some people may have delayed care or screenings due to the pandemic.

Melissa Mastroianni, MD, assistant professor, plastic and reconstructive surgery, Yale Medicine, who specializes in breast reconstruction after cancer, shares three things everyone should know about breast cancer in 2020.

Screenings are safe

“Early detection is one of the biggest factors in a good outcome,” said Dr. Mastroianni. “We have taken extensive measures, including spacing visits, to ensure it is safe to come in for a screening. Breast cancer impacts 1 in 8 women in their lifetime and if caught early, it is curable.”

Telemedicine is an important tool in physician patient relationships

“Because there is a high incidence of depression in breast cancer patients, we encourage people to use telemedicine to be connected with additional support when an office visit is not convenient or possible.”

The pandemic can exacerbate risk factors, but you can change that

“Some people may be drinking more and exercising less during quarantine, which is understandable. However, research shows that regular exercise and reducing alcohol intake to one drink per day or less can lower the risk of being diagnosed with breast cancer or breast cancer returning.”

Norma Pfriem Breast Center provides nearly 1,500 uninsured and underinsured women with financial assistance for patient care. One of only 500 sites accredited by the National Accreditation Program for Breast Centers (NAPBC), the Center provides a wide range of diagnostic care and treatment at its Bridgeport Hospital, Fairfield and Trumbull locations, including medical oncology, surgical and chemotherapy services, plastic surgery, mammography and radiation therapy, genetic risk assessment, clinical trial participation as well as wellness services like yoga, nutrition counseling and massage.

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.