Heart and Vascular

Leir Foundation Grant Funds Vascular Access Center

nuvance health news banner


A $2.5 million grant from the Leir Foundation will have an extraordinary effect on Danbury area residents living with end-stage renal disease (ESRD) who often need frequent hemodialysis treatments to maintain their health. Scheduled to open in late 2022, the Henry J. and Erna D. Leir Vascular Access Center of Excellence will elevate the ambulatory vascular access support that Danbury Hospital and Nuvance Health can provide for patients receiving lifesaving hemodialysis treatments.


The Center will be staffed by highly trained vascular surgeons who will be utilizing state-of-the-art technology to provide rapid vascular access repair and maintenance.


“The Leir Center will make a profound difference in the lives of kidney failure patients and their families,” said Dahlia Plummer, MD, interim chair of the Department of Surgery and section chief of Vascular Surgery. “It means they will receive comprehensive and compassionate outpatient care close to home.”


The friendship between Danbury Hospital and the Leir Foundation started many decades ago, when Erna D. Leir, a resident of Ridgefield, CT and wife of Henry J. Leir, the founder of the Leir Foundation, was treated by the Hospital’s physicians during the latter part of her life. The Leirs’ experience with the care, staff and faculty of Danbury Hospital was a positive one and it left a lasting impression. More recently, a longstanding friend and supporter of the Leir Foundation required emergency care and treatment at Danbury Hospital; the Hospital’s physicians and, in particular, Dr. Plummer, provided professional and compassionate treatment and follow-up care, a Foundation spokesperson noted.


“We are profoundly grateful to the Leir Foundation for its exceptional generosity,” said Alan Dietzek, MD, Danbury Hospital’s network chief of Vascular Surgery and the Linda and Stephen R. Cohen Endowed Chair in Vascular Surgery. “Making this critical initiative a reality is life-changing for patients who will benefit from the specialized care provided at the new Leir Vascular Access Center.”


The Leir Foundation continues Erna D. and Henry J. Leir’s philanthropic work and legacy and is committed to nurturing exceptional medical care and treatment for the communities and regions that are served by Danbury Hospital and Nuvance Health Institutions.