Ron Bianchi Gets His "Way" at the Long Island Sound in Bridgeport CT
With a beautiful view of the Long Island sound as its backdrop, a section of the park at St. Mary’s By the Sea in the Black Rock section of Bridgeport will be dedicated as “Bianchi Way” in honor of longtime St. Vincent’s administrator and community leader Ronald J. Bianchi, on Monday, July 30 at noon. A well-known figure and hospital spokesperson, Bianchi is retiring in August after a 37-year career with St. Vincent’s. A fitting tribute to this community icon and leader of the SVMC Foundation and SWIM Across the Sound.
“We are thrilled that our community leaders are recognizing Ron Bianchi for his unmatched dedication and commitment to residents of this area,” said St. Vincent’s Health Services CEO Susan L. Davis, EdD, RN. “So much of what you see throughout St. Vincent’s health system is here because of Ron’s vision, creativity, credibility and ability to connect with others and help them see the value of investing in the hospital. He is an icon at St. Vincent’s.”
Ribbon cutting participants include Bianchi, Bridgeport Mayor Bill Finch, St. Vincent’s Health Services CEO Susan L. Davis, EdD, RN, St. Vincent’s Medical Center President Stuart Marcus, MD, and Ann McManus, vice president/general manager of Cumulus Media Bridgeport (WICC/WEBE), who conceptualized and followed through on the idea of the naming. Event organizers report that United States Senator Richard Blumenthal and Governor Dannel Malloy may be in attendance. Blumenthal has been a supporter of St. Vincent’s SWIM Across the Sound since its early days.
The section of the park named in Bianchi’s honor is located in front of the flagpole at St. Mary’s Point. Two benches will flank the flagpole on each side. The words “Bianchi Way” will be etched into a stone slab that will further designate the area named in honor of the popular St. Vincent’s Medical Center (SVMC) administrator, SVMC Foundation and SWIM Across the Sound leader.
Members of the community came together to recognize Bianchi for his contributions to the greater Bridgeport area through his work at St. Vincent’s Medical Center in community relations and legislative advocacy, and in organizing and nurturing the growth of St. Vincent’s SWIM Across the Sound cancer charity, this year celebrating its 25th anniversary. During his career with St. Vincent’s, Bianchi raised more than $350 million to help the hospital and its affiliates grow services, provide access to the underserved, and bring in new technology.
The SWIM has grown from a single marathon race in 1987 raising $5,000 to a year-long series of events which, in 2011, raised $2.6 million and helped 20,000 people through its more than 35 programs. The SWIM has had a unique niche, providing cancer education, screening and prevention programs at low- or no-cost for the uninsured and underinsured. It also contributed significantly to the creation of the Elizabeth M. Pfriem SWIM Center for Cancer Care at St. Vincent’s.
For more details on the event, or to learn more about St. Vincent’s Foundation and SWIM Across the Sound organization, please call 203-576-5451 or visit them online at www.swimacrossthesound.org
Ronald J. Bianchi
Ronald J. Bianchi of Trumbull has served as President of the St. Vincent’s Medical Center Foundation since its founding in 1987and Corporate Senior Vice President of St. Vincent’s Health Services in Bridgeport since1990.
In his dual role at St. Vincent’s, Bianchi has overseen the growth of the St. Vincent’s Medical Center Foundation and has been responsible for all external activities of St. Vincent’s including marketing, community relations, patient relations, legislative activities, and institutional networking.
As the senior fundraising executive at St. Vincent’s, Bianchi has been responsible for the management of all fundraising activities at the Medical Center and its not-for-profit entities.
Under his leadership the Foundation has created an endowment in excess of $70 million, and has just completed a capital campaign, which has raised $60 million. The campaign supported a $145 million expansion project, which includes the Elizabeth M. Pfriem SWIM Center for Cancer Care, opened in 2010, and the Michael J. Daly Center for Emergency and Trauma Care, completed in 2011. In his 37-year career at St. Vincent’s, Bianchi has raised more than $350 million to support numerous projects and needs.
The Foundation also sponsors and manages Swim Across the Sound, one of the most successful hospital special events in New England. This year’s event raised $2.6 million for the cancer prevention and patient support programs at St. Vincent’s and in the community.
In his capacity as President of the St. Vincent’s Foundation, Bianchi has served as chairman of the Connecticut Hospital Development Association, and worked for many years in the Ascension Health Council of Foundations.
In his other role as Corporate Senior Vice President of St. Vincent’s Health Services, Bianchi created two statewide provider networks to partner with managed care companies to deal with managed care and Medicaid issues. He is a past board chair of the United Way of Eastern Fairfield County and a past board member of the Greater Bridgeport Regional Business Council. He has also led coalitions regarding health and public policy on the local, state, and federal level, and overseen all Medical Center external activities.
Bianchi serves on the Connecticut Hospital Association’s Council of Government and was chairman of the Daughter of Charity National Public Policy Committee.
Bianchi and his wife Lynnette have been married for 44 years and reside in Trumbull.