Christine and Matthew Bromberg
Imagine a children’s hospital where world-class care meets world-class centers.
For Christine and Matthew Bromberg of West Hartford, it’s not hard to do. The campaign to build a new Infusion Center and an outpatient pediatric Dialysis Center at Connecticut Children’s Medical Center is well underway and the Brombergs are helping to make it happen.
“We’re very supportive of Connecticut Children’s and we are happy to support this campaign,” Matthew said.
The Brombergs not only gave a leadership gift in support of the new centers but hosted an event on May 31 to raise awareness about the critical need. More than 40 people attended the evening program, in which Jeffrey Hyams, MD, The Mandell-Braunstein Family Endowed Chair for Pediatric Inflammatory Bowel Disease, and Cynthia Silva, MD, Division Head of Nephrology and Medical Director of the Center for Kidney and Bladder Disorders, shared their insights about the need for these new facilities.
Connecticut Children’s administers upwards of 3,400 infusions a year in a space that opened more than 20 years ago with 20 percent of the current patient volume. Meanwhile, children who require pediatric outpatient dialysis while awaiting kidney transplants must travel to out-of-state locations to receive dialysis services geared toward children.
With funding, the new centers will change all that.
“We know and love the fact that Connecticut Children’s Medical Center has world-renowned care for children,” Christine said. “This is an exciting project and we’re excited to be part of it.”
Up Close and Personal
As members of the Infusion and Dialysis Centers Steering Committee since the fall of 2017, the Brombergs have personally witnessed how difficult it can be for children undergoing infusions for hours at a time every few weeks, some facing intravenous (i.v.) infusion therapy for the rest of their lives.
“The existing infusion suite is fantastic because of the medical staff,” said Matthew, who is president of the Military Engine Division at Pratt & Whitney. It’s the physical space that is challenging for patients and their families, he explained.
Currently, children undergoing infusion therapy for a range of diseases receive treatments in a 363-square-foot suite equipped with six infusion chairs and little privacy.
“It’s a very small space,” said Christine, a partner at Robinson + Cole, LLP, in Hartford, and a member of the Connecticut Children’s Medical Center Foundation Board. “It’s hard to have a confidential conversation when sitting in crowded quarters.”
The space also lacks amenities, like video games, which might make a one- or two-hour infusion session seem less overwhelming for children and teens, she noted.
According to Dr. Hyams, there has been a tremendous increase in the past decade in the use of biologic medications to treat a variety of immune-mediated conditions, including inflammatory bowel diseases like Crohn’s and ulcerative colitis, and arthritis.
The new Infusion Center, which will be developed on Connecticut Children’s Farmington campus at 10 Birdseye Road, will be able to meet the growing needs of patients who require infusion therapy. As infusion volumes continue to rise, the new space in Farmington will accommodate this growth in an open, child-friendly space offering private treatment bays large enough for patients and their families.
“It’s going to make what is a long and difficult process for children more palatable,” Christine said.
“It’s all about helping children feel normal,” Matthew added.
First in the State
Meanwhile, the new Dialysis Center, which will be housed on the fourth floor of the Medical Center at 282 Washington in Hartford, will provide outpatient dialysis services for children, making it the first pediatric center of its kind in the state.
Eliminating the need to drive long distances for outpatient pediatric dialysis services will be less taxing on families whose children may require dialysis three to five times a week for up to three to four hours per session, while awaiting transplant.
It will also pave the way toward a Nephrology Fellowship, which will allow the Medical Center to attract and train top talent and offer even more services on-site.
“We know that health care options are changing at the speed of light,” Christine said. “This will bring Connecticut Children’s to the forefront of Medicine. We really want to support that.”
For more information on the Infusion Center and Outpatient Dialysis Center or to make a donation, please visit the campaign webpage.