“It Really Does Make a Difference”

Categories: Fundraising

The Joel E. Smilow Heart Institute at Bridgeport Hospital

Bridgeport Hospital Smilow Heart Center ribbon cutting eventhas a patient reception and education center, thanks to the generosity of the man who gave the institute its name.   The patient reception and education center gift to the Heart Institute was recognized by the hospital president and CEO William M. Jennings, “What is often never discussed in philanthropy is compasstion.  Your gift gives us the ability to provide greater compassion to our patients.” It really does make a difference, so Donate Now!


L to R: Foundation president Steve Jakab,
Joel E. Smilow, Chief of Cardiology Stuart Zarich, MD
and hosptial president Bill Jennings

“The new center is a centerpiece for our doctors and patients, the glue of our Heart Institute,” added Chief of
Cardiology Stuart Zarich, MD. “We now have private surroundings to talk with our patients, and a place where patients and their families can relax, contemplate and learn.”

Smilow_JESHI-Shot-NCG“Space like this is a necessity, allowing patients and their families some private time to collect themselves,” said MaryEllen Kosturko, senior vice president of Patient Care Operations and chief nursing officer. “It’s a fabulous gift.”

“I’ve become a real believer that it’s important for patients to psychologically feel that they’re in a top-notch facility,” said Smilow, of Southport, a former chairman and CEO of Playtex Products. “It really does make a difference, and doctors and nurses can see it.”

SMILOW_DedicationStaffNCGOver the years, Smilow’s philanthropy has benefitted a number of other community organizations, including Smilow Cancer Hospital at Yale-New Haven, Yale University, Norwalk Hospital, the Westport Public Library and the Hopkins School in New Haven.

L to R: Gini Neglia, RN, Diane Rudzy, RN,
Joel E. Smilow, and senior vice president of Patient Care
Operations and chief nursing officer,
MaryEllen Kosturko.

The Joel E. Smilow Heart Institute at Bridgeport Hospital has been at the forefront of advanced cardiovascular care for more than 50 years. The hospital is the site of Fairfield County’s first open-heart surgery, diagnostic cardiac catheterization procedure, balloon angioplasty and cardiac electrophysiology laboratory. More recently, the hospital was the first in New England to perform an innovative hybrid ablation procedure that combines the best surgical and catheter-based approaches to treat atrial fibrillation, the most common heart rhythm disorder.

Part of Yale New Haven Health System, Bridgeport Hospital is a 383-bed acute care hospital (plus 42 beds licensed to Yale-New Haven Children’s Hospital) serving parts of Fairfield and New Haven counties. The hospital admits more than 18,000 patients and receives more than 240,000 outpatient visits annually.

It really does make a difference, so Donate Now!