Enjoying the March 10 Bridgeport Firefighters benefit for the Connecticut Burn Center at Bridgeport Hospital—(standing, rear) Firefighter Zoltan Szabo, (foreground, from left) Burn Center nurses Helen Pappano, Kate Cieplinska and P.J. Krebbs.
The fundraising campaign for renovations to the Connecticut Burn Center at Bridgeport Hospital is 20 percent of the way to its goal of $1.5 million, thanks to a boost from Bridgeport Firefighters Local 834. The group’s March 10 “United for Recovery” benefit dinner-dance raised more than $26,000, which increased total cash and pledges for the campaign to $300,000.
“We can’t thank the Bridgeport firefighters enough for their support,” says Bridgeport Hospital Foundation President Steve Jakab. “This was a great event and it supports an important cause—enhanced care and a better environment of care for burn patients and their families.”
More than 440 people attended the dinner dance, which was co-chaired by Fire Lt. Salvatore Emanuel and fellow firefighter Zoltan Szabo. Guests included Bridgeport Mayor Bill Finch, Bridgeport Fire Chief Brian Rooney and many firefighters, physicians and staff from the Burn Center and hospital officials.
Renovations to the 40-year-old Burn Center—the only one in Connecticut—began last fall and completion is expected this fall. The centerpiece of the work is the addition of an overnight suite for families of patients—an addition to the Center requested specifically by Connecticut firefighters.
“The overnight suite will provide a comfortable place for family members of patients to stay at the hospital,” says Burn Center Nurse Manager Jacqueline Laird. “We have critically burned patients whose families are here with them 24 hours a day, seven days a week.”
The Burn Center’s last major renovation took place in 1999, when improvements were made to the critical care wing. The new renovation project focuses on the Burn Center’s sub-acute wing.
In addition to construction of the overnight suite for families, patient rooms will be redesigned for greater privacy and comfort, the Center’s rehabilitation room and specially equipped shower room will be renovated and the nursing station will be enlarged to provide more space for staff to perform their duties.
“We want to move into the 21st century to provide a more private, comfortable, very functional environment for our patients and their families,” says John Schulz, MD, the Burn Center’s Medical Director.
The Connecticut Burn Center at Bridgeport Hospital is one of only 58 accredited burn centers in the United States. It serves more than 550 inpatients and receives more than 800 outpatient visits each year. For more information about the Burn Center and the current renovation campaign, visit http://foundation.bridgeporthospital.org.