Vincentian Academy “Women of Courage” Recipient


Dr. Bridget Chufo

On Oct. 13, Vincentian Academy held their 5th Annual Academy Awards Gala which captures the spirit of the early days of the Academy as an all-girls school and the lives of 2 women of courage living in different centuries who serve as inspirations in a powerful blending of the charism of charity.  This year’s  “Woman of Courage” Award was given to Dr. Bridget Chufo, a 1970 Vincentian alumna.  Dr. Chufo stated that she was honored and extremely humbled to be chosen to receive this accolade.  “I strive to live the example and reflect the pioneering spirit that this honor represents.   I do live by the mantra that anything is possible with hard work, persistence, prayer and a positive attitude.”

Following her graduation from Vincentian, Chufo went on to receive her Bachelor’s in Nursing from Villanova University.  She practiced nursing at UPMC in the intensive care settings and the trauma unit.  She then attended Duquesne University, received her Master’s Degree in Nursing Administration and Family Health Nursing.  She taught Nursing at Duquesne for 4 years and went on to New York University to earn her Doctorate in Nursing Research in the study of Weight Loss and Obesity, making her a true pioneer in the field.

When asked why she received the Courage Award, Dr. Chufo humbly answered that she was surrounded by family members who extol the meaning of courage through their everyday living and this is how she was raised.  Her father was an immigrant and succeeded with all the struggles that coming to a new country entails and made a success of himself, providing a good life for his family.  Her mother lived courage by being a 43-year recovering alcoholic and helping thousands live healthy and sober lives.  Her husband lived the ultimate meaning of courage by being a US Marine, by being in combat in Vietnam and receiving the Purple Heart.  She smiles and tears up as she recalls their lives together of 28 years and his death just this past February.  She lights up as she talks about her children, Max, 24, and Carly, 22.  Max has challenges, as society says and is labeled as such, but Chufo says he doesn’t have an unhappy bone in his body and can bring a smile to anyone’s face.  Her daughter may be in her early 20’s but appears to have lived a former life, making her more like a 50 year old with all the struggles she has survived in her young life.
Friedrich Nietzsche says, “That which does not kill us makes us stronger.”  Dr. Chufo fully believes in the truth of that statement.  She says that she has lived through many endings in her life, but knows that every story has an end, but in life, every end is a new beginning.  Dr. Chufo knows that with every major and minor struggle in life, a new and better experience is right around the bend.  “Getting over a painful experience is much like crossing monkey bars.  You have to let go at some point in order to move forward.”  She also fully believes, that with God, all things are possible.  She knows this because she has lived emptiness and desperation in her life and has come out on the other side.

Chufo offers hope to all those she comes in contact.  Working with people who have food addictions and struggles, she consistently urges them not to give up and to take one day at a time and it WILL get better and they WILL be a success!  She is a coach in every meaning of the word to each and every client she cares for and has been since 1980.  She owns and operates Dr. Chufo’s Weight Loss and Wellness Center in Wexford.

Chufo continues her message of courage and hope by being and staying actively involved in several organizations, winning numerous awards and accolades in addition to “Woman of Courage,” and being a guest speaker on television, radio and events. It is no wonder that Dr. Chufo has been selected as Vincentian’s “Woman of Courage” Award, 2016!

To learn more about Dr. Chufo, her many accomplishments and awards, and her highly successful Weight Loss and Wellness Center, visit