SWIM Across the Sound Co-Chairs
Frank Scifo, MD
St. Vincent's SWIM Across the Sound Co-Chair
Director of Primary Care Development, St. Vincent's Medical Center
Frank Scifo, MD, a family physician and host of St. Vincent's HealthTalk, a radio call-in program heard every Monday at 7:00 p.m. on WICC 600, was named co-chair of St. Vincent's SWIM Across the Sound in 1999.
In his practice, Dr. Scifo has seen the devastating impact of cancer on both the afflicted person and family. He realized there was a dire need for the programs and help that the SWIM provides to people.
"The SWIM steps in when insurance companies say no," Dr. Scifo said. "The SWIM helps so many people. There are a lot of good people volunteering to help others by working for the SWIM. Everyone knows someone who has cancer."
Dr. Scifo has relied on the SWIM to help some of his neediest patients. For instance, he had one patient, a mother with two children who developed cancer. She and her husband both worked but quickly exhausted their funds on medications and treatments. The SWIM was able to help with the purchase of a wig after she lost her hair from chemotherapy drugs and also pay for other incidental bills.
"Often responsible working people can't meet the financial burden of the disease," Dr. Scifo said. "It's not easy for some people to ask for help. It's a pride thing. The SWIM helps anyone who needs assistance to cope with the disease. It's such a great organization. All the funds raised go to the programs and the patients. Not one dime goes to salaries, and the cost of the events is covered by corporate sponsorships."
"The SWIM has taken on a life of its own," Scifo said. "It keeps growing and that's good because we continue to help more people. That's what we're all about - helping people with cancer."
2002 SWIM Volunteer of the Year
Co-Director of Captain's Cove Seaport in the Black Rock section of Bridgeport and Co-Chair of St. Vincent's SWIM Across the Sound, Jan Williams, passed away on February 14, 2009 from cancer.
As coordinator of Captain's Cove, Williams helped to turn a desolate, dirty corner of the city into a beautiful marina, restaurant and thriving commercial complex on the Black Rock waterfront. Since the Cove's inception in 1981, she operated the site along with several family members, and later opened it up as a home for SWIM events, such as the Marathon and the Walk. She was also co-founder of the annual Bluefish Tournament, involving hundreds of fisherman from Connecticut to Long Island Sound. She brought a vital energy and dedication to everything she touched.
"Jan Williams was a very special person who cared deeply about St. Vincent's Medical Center and especially the SWIM Across the Sound," said St. Vincent's Senior Corporate Vice President and Foundation President Ronald J. Bianchi. "She co-chaired the SWIM for several years with Dr. Scifo, and throughout that time she tirelessly and passionately committed herself to the work of this organization. She cared about all those who suffered with cancer and did all she could to support them through the SWIM."
Director of Primary Care Development at St. Vincent's Medical Center Frank Scifo, MD co-chaired the SWIM with Williams since 2005. "It was a distinct honor and pleasure to serve alongside her," he said. "More than a co-chair, she was truly a very special friend. To have known Jan was a life enriching gift. Her smile and warm personality were her trademarks. It has been written, that when you give of yourself you truly give. Jan gave of herself daily to anyone in need."
A life-long resident of Black Rock, Williams lived there with her husband Rob and was known for her enthusiasm, generosity and drive. She will always be remembered for everything she gave to St. Vincent's and the Bridgeport community.
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