“Our daughter ran in the Boston Marathon last year. She went from NICU patient to Stepping Strong runner. That speaks to the Brigham’s impact.”
For John and Stephanie Connaughton, Brigham and Women’s Hospital represents life-changing care. Their 19-year-old twins spent their first weeks of life in the hospital’s Newborn Intensive Care Unit (NICU). And more recently, the Brigham saved the life of their friends’ daughter, who was critically injured in the 2013 Boston Marathon bombings.
These moments have been particularly poignant for the Connaughtons, who have become loyal philanthropists and volunteer leaders at the Brigham. Recently, they made a $1.5 million pledge dedicated to three areas: the NICU, women’s health, and trauma innovation.
The Connaughtons committed $1 million of their gift to help the Brigham offer babies the most advanced treatment and care environment. Their contribution will further brain imaging and clinical studies that aim to improve babies’ outcomes following NICU discharge. In celebration of their gift, which also supports the recently renovated and expanded NICU, the hospital will name the Connaughton Family Growth and Development Neighborhood.
“Our son and daughter received terrific care in the NICU, but we remember what a difficult time it can be for families,” says John, a member of the hospital’s Board of Trustees.
In addition, the Connaughtons devoted $200,000 of their gift to the Mary Horrigan Connors Center for Women’s Health and Gender Biology.
“There’s still so much to learn about how medical conditions affect men and women differently, and Connors Center researchers are filling this knowledge gap,” says Stephanie, who has served as a member of the Women’s Health Advisory Board and Stepping Strong Center Advisory Board.
They are dedicating the remaining $300,000 of their gift to the Innovator Awards Program within The Gillian Reny Stepping Strong Center for Trauma Innovation. Named for the daughter of their close friends, Audrey Epstein Reny and Steven Reny, the center takes a collaborative, multidisciplinary approach to transform research and care for patients who experience traumatic injuries and events.
John says, “Our daughter ran in the Boston Marathon last year. She went from NICU patient to Stepping Strong runner. That speaks to the Brigham’s impact.”