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Over 120 attend tribute to longtime NICU physician
More than 120 donors, supporters and staff of the Allison Family Neonatal ICU at the Yale New Haven Children’s Hospital campus at Bridgeport Hospital attended a May 17 reception in Fairfield to learn more about the ongoing NICU modernization project and pay tribute to the unit’s 40-year medical leader, Robert Herzlinger, MD.
Among those on hand were many of Dr. Herzlinger’s colleagues and donors to the $7 million modernization project.
“Bob (Herzlinger) is a leader, mentor and role model for the entire NICU staff,” said Bridgeport Hospital Chair of Pediatrics Harris Jacobs, MD, who like Dr. Herzlinger is a neonatologist specializing in the care of premature and critically ill newborns. “Bob’s career parallels the evolution of neonatal intensive care over the last four decades.”
That evolution has included significant medical and technological advances that allow 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 for child development issues.
The NICU is undergoing a $7 million upgrade to provide more patient and family privacy and improve other aspects of family comfort. The work, funded entirely through community donations, will be completed in December. Over $6.2 million has already been raised, according to the Bridgeport Hospital Foundation.
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.
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