Bridgewater resident donates $3 million to Danbury Hospital
Published 12:00 am, Wednesday, August 9, 2017
A Bridgewater woman has donated $3 million to Danbury Hospital to help build a state-of-the-art cardiovascular surgical suite.
In 2015, Yoriko McClure had coronary bypass surgery at the hospital under the care of cardiothoracic surgeon Dr. Cary Passik. McClure said she was impressed and grateful for the care she received, according to a written release about the donation.
“Dr. Passik and his team treated me so well,” she said. “They saved my life. When I woke up, it seemed like Dr. Passik was always there. Saturday, Sunday, he always came.”
The new suite, which will be named after McClure, will allow surgeons to complete more minimally invasive surgeries, which are less painful and have a shorter recovery time, Passik said.
“It is really the future,” he said. “This will create a new operating room, absolutely state-of-the-art, which will allow us to do work that’s not currently possible.”
The donation will pay for the construction of the suite, which will be between 800 and 1,000 square feet, as well as new imaging tools, lighting and other equipment.
Passik, who is a past chief of cardiothoracic surgery at the hospital, said he was shocked when he heard about the donation.
“To find out that a patient you did a relatively routine surgery for is so thankful for that, it’s really extraordinary, it’s really something,” he said.
“People don’t realize the role of philanthropy in health care,” he added. “Hospitals’ operating margins are very slim and the ability to do things for the future is tough without these kinds of gifts.”
About 250 to 300 heart surgeries are completed each year at Danbury Hospital, which is part of the network that also includes New Milford and Norwalk hospitals. The most common procedures are valve replacements and coronary bypass surgery, which diverts the flow of blood around a section of a blocked or partially blocked artery in the heart.
“We are extremely grateful to Mrs. McClure for her exceptional generosity,” said Dr. John Murphy, president and CEO of Western Connecticut Health Network, in a news release. “Her gift will have a tremendous impact on our ability to provide western Connecticut and neighboring New York with the most advanced cardiovascular care for generations to come.”
Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death worldwide, accounting for about 17.7 million deaths in 2015, according to the World Health Organization. In Connecticut, cardiovascular disease causes more than 9,300 deaths each year.