NORWALK, Conn. — Norwalk Hospital’s largest expansion project in its history will be named after a couple whose generous donation is helping to make it possible.
Carol and George Bauer, longtime dedicated hospital volunteers, have donated $20 million towards construction of a planned 188,000-square-foot patient pavilion, a news release said.
Video by Harold F. Cobin at end of story
Nuvance Health plans to invest $250 million over the next five years and the Bauer Family Pavilion will be the centerpiece of “Building Our Future. Together. The Campaign for Norwalk Hospital.” Plans are for:
- 60 single-bed private rooms
- A new labor and delivery unit
- A 17-bed postpartum unit and new newborn intensive care unit (NICU)
- A state-of-the-art intensive care unit (ICU) and step-down unit
- The latest medical equipment and technology
“The Campaign will also support renovations throughout Norwalk Hospital and its outpatient facilities, and a deeper investment in staffing excellence and community-based healthcare programs,” the release said. “The Bauers are among Norwalk Hospital’s most engaged, loyal and respected benefactors.”
The campaign is “about the pledge and promise on which this hospital was founded on more than a century ago to provide care for all members of the Norwalk community,” Norwalk Hospital President Peter Cordeau said at a recent news conference, honoring the Bauers. “… We are constructing a new state of the art pavilion that will house a new ICU, a neonatal ICU, all private beds, a new women and infants center with advanced technology, and many, many other features.”
While it might take a year of schmoozing to get contributions from benefactors, when it come to the Bauers, all it takes is lunch, he said.
The news release explained:
“The Bauers’ distinguished history of philanthropy at Norwalk Hospital has helped establish the Jeffrey Peter Bauer Newborn Intensive Care Unit in memory of their infant son, the Bauer Emergency Care Center, and the Carol Bauer Nursing Scholarship.
“In addition to philanthropy, the Bauers have contributed their acumen and time to Norwalk Hospital. Mrs. Bauer was on Norwalk Hospital’s Board of Trustees for 19 years, where she was the first woman elected Board Chair. She has been a Norwalk Hospital volunteer for more than 40 years and is a certified chaplain.
“Mr. Bauer is on the Board of Directors of Norwalk Hospital. The Bauers have both served on the Norwalk Hospital Foundation Board of Directors.
“The Bauers and many committed community members are supporting the Patient Pavilion project through philanthropy and leadership, including Nancy and Eugene Beard, Len DiNardo and family, Christian J. and Eva Trefz, and Gregory D. Smith. Mr. Bauer and Mr. Smith are campaign co-chairs of the Campaign.”
“Certainly in terms of business leadership, George is I think, peerless. Carol has volunteered here and played so many important roles … getting to know them has been a great pleasure and privilege and joy,” Nuvance CEO John Murphy, M.D., said.
“Today’s plan for $250 million is a major investment in Norwalk, Harry Rilling, in Norwalk hospital, and the surrounding communities. … This is a major vote of confidence in our future,” George Bauer said. “John and Peter, we hope these new facilities will allow our people to be more effective and efficient. And that you will lead them to the next level that of enhanced patient care. Bricks and mortar are important but it is the people who make the hospital work, as you know.”
“I feel that the staff here over the years are my family, anywhere from our environmental, our housekeeping people,” Carol Bauer said. “Every unit clerk, our aides, our wonderful medical staff, we’re a team. … We’ve seen a lot of changes in each other’s family lives… We are ready again for change.”