Bridgeport Hospital recognized nearly 400 key employees and caregivers throughout Fairfield County at its Employee Recognition Dinner, which took place on Tuesday, May 14 at The Waterview in Monroe.
The Employee of the Year award is presented annually to the staff member who best reflects the hospital’s values of patient-centeredness, respect, compassion, integrity and accountability. This year, the award was given to Paul de Regt of Trumbull, physical therapist at Ahlbin Rehabilitation Centers.
A coworker shared a personal account of how de Regt embraces the hospital’s values:
“Recently, I asked Paul if he would take post-operative range of motion and strength measurements on a patient so we could provide information for the patient to receive a wheelchair,” the co-worker wrote. “I knew the patient could not possibly return to school without the chair and could not afford to fall further behind in his studies.
"Paul quickly coordinated a meeting with the patient’s family to take the measurements and then went a step further and visited the patient’s home. He also reached out to the surgeon and nurse involved in the case and arranged for home services.
"Paul had clear and excellent communication with all members of the care team over the course of three weeks. It is because of Paul that this patient is on track recovering from his surgery and the wheelchair was approved.”
The George B. and Alice P. Longstreth Humanness Award recognizes caregivers for both clinical skill and humanistic patient treatment approach. This year, the award was given to Victoria Monks of Stratford, Cardiovascular Services technologist.
“Victoria is undoubtedly the most caring person I have ever met in my life,” wrote one nominator. “She treats patients, families, physicians and staff like they are the most important people in the world. She is always sure all her patients’ needs are met, whether it’s getting them a warm blanket, helping them get to the bathroom, or getting them a drink or meal. She makes everyone feel like they are human.”
Service milestones were also celebrated; Linda Podolak, DNP, Patient Care Operations, of Trumbull, led the list of this award type with 50 years of service.
Podolak started her career at the hospital as a nurse’s aid before she completed her studies at the Bridgeport Hospital School of Nursing. Positions she’s held over the years including staff nurse, nurse manager, critical care and maternal-child health nurse educator and administrative manager. She is now a part-time director in Patient Care Operations.
Each of the employees on hand were congratulated and thanks for their dedication by hospital leaders including Michael Ivy, MD, interim president and CEO; John Falconi, chair of the hospital board of trustees, and Kenneth Lipow, MD, medical staff president.
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