Foundation donates $500,000 for healing garden in Trumbull

The Norma F. Pfriem Foundation Board of Trustees has donated a naming gift of $500,000 for the Healing Garden at Bridgeport Hospital’s planned outpatient cancer center in Trumbull.

The gift was presented by Paul Miller of Miller Nissan, trustee of the Norma Pfriem Foundation, to Bridgeport Hospital President and Chief Executive Officer Bill Jennings, Bridgeport Hospital Foundation President Steve Jakab and Norma F. Pfriem Breast Care Center Executive Director and Vice President of Development Donna Twist in the hospital lobby on Aug. 5.

“We could not be more grateful for the generosity of the Norma Pfriem Foundation in supporting the care and services Bridgeport Hospital provides to cancer patients and their families,” said Jakab, the hospital’s chief fundraising executive. “We believe the Pfriem Foundation’s gift will inspire more support for the Healing Garden from other individuals and organizations.”

The gift for the Healing Garden follows an earlier annual gift from the Pfriem Foundation of $2 million to support cancer services at Bridgeport Hospital.

The Healing Garden will be part of a comprehensive outpatient cancer center and medical office building at 5520 Park Ave., intended provide cancer patients with an attractive, serene place to rest, recuperate and reflect with family and friends. Construction of the center is expected to begin next spring, with a projected 2015 completion date.

A longtime resident of Fairfield, Norma Pfriem was a well known philanthropist who supported a number of community organizations and causes. In appreciation for the care provided by Bridgeport Hospital to her late brother, John Pfriem, publisher of the Bridgeport Post (later the Connecticut Post), Norma Pfriem provided a gift that established the Norma F. Pfriem Cancer Center at the hospital in 1994. Another gift in 1999 established the Norma F. Pfriem Breast Care Center, with locations at Bridgeport Hospital and Fairfield, and in Trumbull.

Norma Pfriem died in 2005. She left her entire estate to charity and selected Bridgeport Hospital as one of her beneficiaries. Administered by the Norma Pfriem Foundation, the first gift from the estate resulted in the renaming of the cancer center as the Norma F. Pfriem Cancer Institute, to reflect the expansion of Bridgeport Hospital’s cancer services. Pfriem’s estate continues to support the hospital and other organizations to this day.

The Norma F. Pfriem Cancer Institute at Bridgeport Hospital provides care to more than 1,000 newly diagnosed cancer patients each year, a greater number than any other hospital in Fairfield County. The hospital is a member of the Yale-New Haven Cancer Network, an alliance of hospitals across Connecticut that provides access to the latest breakthroughs and delivers an unparalleled level of expertise in cancer prevention, early diagnosis and groundbreaking therapy.