Man thanks doctor for wife's care with $100,000 anonymous donation to hospital

Bridgeport Hospital has received a $100,000 gift from an anonymous donor in of honor of Dr. Kevin Sprague, an Emergency Department physician who cared for the donor’s wife last fall.

The gift is the largest in the two-year history of the Bridgeport Hospital Foundation’s Honor Your Caregiver program, which allows donors to recognize specific physicians, nurses and other hospital staff.

The donor preferred to withhold his name from public release, saying the donation was intended to draw attention to his wife’s caregivers and not him.

“You attended professionally and with consideration to an elderly patient — my wife — and a half dozen concerned relatives,” said the donor in the letter to Dr. Sprague that accompanied his gift to the hospital. “Your diagnoses were right on. We brought my wife home in good shape.”

'Truly flattered'

Sprague said he was “truly flattered” that a patient would present such a sizable gift to the hospital in his honor.

“Every single patient matters to us in the Emergency Department,” he said.

“We don’t do our jobs for rewards or recognition, but appreciation expressed by patients helps validate all the years and hard work we put into our education and training to become healthcare professionals,” Sprague said.

Biggest gift in program by far

The $100,000 donation is nearly double the entire sum of the nearly 230 other gifts presented through the Honor Your Caregiver program since it was established in 2012.

Bridgeport Hospital Foundation President Steve Jakab said the average Honor Your Caregiver gift during the past year was about $350.

“Every gift counts,” Jakab said. “The fact that a patient or family member takes that extra step to thank a caregiver is itself a powerful expression of gratitude.”

Jakab called the donation “extraordinary, not only in its size but in that it recognizes the skill, dedication and service excellence of our Emergency Department staff.”

‘Requires a team effort’

Dr. Rockman Ferrigno, the hospital’s emergency medicine chairman, said the record gift reflects the performance of the entire department.

“Providing high-quality care requires a team effort,” Ferrigno said. “Although it’s expressed in a variety of ways, patient and family satisfaction is what we strive for every day.”

For more information about the Honor Your Caregiver program at Bridgeport Hospital, go to

About Bridgeport Hospital

Bridgeport Hospital is a private, nonprofit hospital that primarily serves patients from Fairfield and New Haven counties. A member of the Yale New Haven Health System, it has the only burn center in Connecticut.

Bridgeport Hospital has 383 licensed beds plus 42 beds licensed under Yale-New Haven Children’s Hospital, more than 2,600 employees, and 700 active attending physicians representing more than 60 subspecialties.