Honoring legacy of service, care: Gala celebrates Milford Hospital’s centennial

Exterior views of Milford Hospital in Milford, Conn., on Friday June 7, 2019.

Exterior views of Milford Hospital in Milford, Conn., on Friday June 7, 2019.

Christian Abraham / Hearst Connecticut Media

MILFORD — Just over a century ago Milford was small, but growing, community of about 10,000 residents.

With its rising population, successful local industry and popularity as a destination beach resort, the area’s heavily traveled Boston Post Road became the site of many automobile accidents. Alarmed by the lack of local access to medical facilities, in 1920, a small group of citizens formed the Milford Hospital Society to lead the way in ensuring Milford had its own hospital.

With support from the town’s oldest resident, Judge Charles Beardsley, who donated 3.5 acres of land to the Society including the historic Stockade House, the temporary Milford Hospital admitted its first patients on Jan. 17, 1921.

With a significantly expanded footprint and numerous additions, the modern hospital still stands on the property today. To ensure continued access to healthcare in the region, on June 9, 2019, Milford Hospital became a fully integrated campus of Bridgeport Hospital and part of the Yale New Haven Health System.

After two postponements due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Bridgeport Hospital Auxiliary is finally going to mark the historic milestone with an in-person centennial gala on April 7, 2022, at the Inn at Longshore in Westport.

During the event, members of the Milford community will be honored with the Milford Campus LEGACY medal for Leadership, Engagement, Growth and Community Service through the Years.

The medals will be presented to Samuel Bergami, Jr., Richard Meisenheimer, Carol and Christian McInnis, Dr. David Esposito, and the former Milford Hospital Auxiliary. Their collective contributions, service, and commitment to the past, present and future of the hospital have paved the way for the next hundred years of caring for our communities.

“With its’ humble beginnings, rich history and promise for the future, we are incredibly excited to celebrate the 100-year anniversary of the Milford campus,” said Anne Diamond, President of Bridgeport Hospital.

“For the over 100 years, the hospital has been an important part of the fabric of our community,” Diamond added. “We remain one of the city’s largest employers and we are incredibly fortunate to have the talent, expertise and dedication of our employees, physicians and community supporters like Sam, Richard, Carol, Chris, and Dr. Esposito who are being honored with LEGACY medals.”

The gala will culminate a 15-month celebration of the centennial which, due to COVID-19 restrictions, included a variety of non-traditional and virtual events.

A limited number of tickets are still available for the centennial gala. Sponsorship, advertising, and congratulatory messages for LEGACY medal honorees are also being accepted for publication in the Milford Campus Commemorative Centennial Journal. To learn more visit bit.ly/centgala21

“As we look back, we all realize that our history and legacy are not just about buildings, equipment and dates, but about the people we care for and the people who are providing the care and support,” Diamond added.