From the Offices of Jeffrey A. Flaks and Jeffry Nestler, MD
August 21, 2011 Edition

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HH Facts
1854: Hartford Hospital was the first general hospital established in Hartford. The Institute of Living (originally the Hartford Retreat for the Insane) had been founded 32 years earlier.



Gifts From Grateful Patients Recognize Excellence

Philanthropic gifts to Hartford Hospital support our superb medical care through advanced technology, research, cutting edge clinical practices, and compassionate patient care. Gifts also recognize our superb staff! When employees go above and beyond for a patient and their family, it is unquestionably noticed and appreciated. Often Fund Development receives donations with a note that the gift is being made in honor of someone who works here. The following physicians were recognized in donations made from April 1–June 31:

  • Helen & Harry Gray Cancer Center Staff
  • Helen & Harry Gray Cancer Center - Avon Doctors and Staff
  • Alexandra Flowers, M.D.
  • Robert Gallagher, M.D.
  • Chester Humphrey, M.D.
  • Lenworth Jacobs, M.D.
  • Francis Kiernan, M.D.
  • Inam Kureshi, M.D.
  • Jeffrey Nascimento, M.D.
  • Asad Rizvi, M.D.
  • Werner Rosshirt, M.D.
  • Edward Salerno, M.D.
  • Andrew Salner, M.D.
  • Robert Siegel, M.D.
  • Hiroyoshi Takata, M.D.
  • David Underhill, M.D.
  • Joseph Wagner, M.D.

Celebration for Surgical Weight Loss Center’s “Blue Distinction Center of Excellence” Designation, Aug. 31

There will be a celebration on Wednesday, Aug. 31 to celebrate the Blue Cross/Blue Shield Blue Distinction Center of Excellence designation for the Surgical Weight Loss Center. This event will be held in the Special Dining Room from 3:30–5 p.m. (with remarks at 4 p.m.). It is an open house, but RSVP is requested by August 25 to Sally Strange, program coordinator of the Surgical Weight Loss Center, at 860-524-2717 or


Leadership Changes


Stephen Larcen Assumes Interim Presidency of Windham Hospital

Stephen W. Larcen, Ph.D., president and CEO of Natchaug Hospital and VP of behavioral health for Hartford HealthCare, has been appointed interim president and CEO of Windham Hospital, an HHC partner. He will retain his position at Natchaug but will physically relocate to Windham – less than three miles from Natchaug – for the six-month interim assignment. Working closely with the Windham leadership team, he will focus on growth and physician recruitment to expand community access to high-quality care, one of the primary goals of the HHC system. Larcen will assume the CEO role from Dick Brvenik who is leaving Windham Aug. 31.


Research & Academics


HH Cardiologists To Participate In Landmark EchoCRT Trial

Hartford Hospital will join 125 other sites worldwide in the landmark EchoCRT trial to evaluate the effects of Cardiac Resynchronization Therapy (CRT) on mortality and morbidity of subjects with heart failure due to left ventricular systolic dysfunction, already receiving optimized HF medication, with a narrow QRS width (< 130 ms) and echocardiographic evidence of ventricular dyssynchrony. Heart failure affects 22 million people worldwide, the majority of whom exhibit a narrow QRS width. CRT may improve outcomes in heart failure patients with a narrow QRS although studies thus far have been inconclusive due to low statistical power and too short of follow-up. The study will involve site principal investigator Dr. Christopher Clyne (Electrophysiology), and Drs. Detlef Wencker, Joseph Radojevic and Jason Gluck from the Heart Failure Division, Drs. Steven Zweibel, Eric Crespo and Jeffrey Kluger from the Arrthythmia Division and Dr. David Silverman from the Echocardiology Division. It will be coordinated at Hartford Hospital by Arben Ademi from the Clinical Research Center.  

The Pursuit of Accreditation Brings Changes to Research and the IRB 
The Human Research Protection Program (HRPP) recently submitted its application for accreditation to the Association for the Accreditation of Human Research Protection Programs (AAHRPP). To prepare, a comprehensive self-evaluation of our program was completed. New and updated policies, forms, and templates are now posted at: information sessions will be scheduled to ensure that everyone has the opportunity to hear about the changes, find out what accreditation means for them, and ask questions. Click here to read a detailed letter from the HRPP director Cherie Bilbie, or call her at 860-545-0088 with questions. 


Operational Update


Financial Update for July

Inpatient discharges were 1.7% below budget for the month of July. Year to date through July, the inpatient discharges are 3.1% below budget. Outpatient revenues in the month of July continued to be above the budgeted level by 6.8%. This favorable variance was primarily driven by Eye Surgery Center activity, as well as volume movement from inpatient to outpatient. Year to date through July, outpatient revenues are 6.5% greater than budgeted. The hospital anticipates achieving its budgeted 2% operating margin for the year.

Requests Invited for Auxiliary Special Projects Funding

The Hartford Hospital Auxiliary Board of Directors will be selecting special projects for the Auxiliary’s fall 2011 round of special projects funding. Successful requests will likely be in the range of $2,000 to $25,000. If you would like to seek funding, please complete and e-mail this form to Carol Garlick no later than September 16. Some previous beneficiaries of special projects funds are dialysis blanket warmers, Institute of Living sensory modulation tools, and Pathology glucose results upgrade.

6th Annual Pink Flamingos Program Sept. 22 Will Benefit Partnership for Breast Care

Physicians are cordially invited to the 6th Annual Pink Flamingos, an evening of fine wines, festive food, and a silent auction to benefit the Partnership for Breast Care and Take the Time Mobile Mammography programs at Hartford Hospital. The event will be held on Thursday, Sept. 22 from 5:30-7:30 p.m. at the Bushnell. Tickets are $50 per person, and the cost of attendance per person in excess of $26 is deductible for income tax purposes. Donations of $100 or more will be acknowledged in the event program provided the check is received by Sept. 2. For more information, please contact Karen Weingrod at or 860-545-1018. To RSVP online, please visit

HealthStream Required E-Learning for Employed Physicians

The annual E-Learning Courses on HealthStream that are required for employed physicians must be completed by Sept. 30. Please note that heavy usage of HealthStream close to the deadline slows the system.

Ribbon Cutting at New Multifaith Chapel

There will be a ribbon cutting ceremony at the new Multifaith Chapel on Wednesday, Sept. 14. More details to come.

New Physician Awards of Excellence Display Outside Doctors’ Lounge

There is a new permanent display in the hallway between the main lobby and the Jefferson Building that contains the names of the six annual physicians’ award winners. Listings include the young practitioner award, the physician in philanthropy award, the John K. Springer humanitarian award, the distinguished service awards, and the quality and safety award. There are also other new displays of historical interest in that hallway; it’s worth a quick look.


Care Coordination


Drs. Tishler, Papasavas and Shekhman Present Educational Seminar on Obesity, Joint Pain and Exercise

Bariatric surgeons Dr. Darren Tishler and Dr. Pavlos Papasavas will team up with joint replacement surgeon Dr. Mark Shekhman to present an educational seminar for patients entitled “Obesity, Joint Pain and Exercise: What’s the Connection?” on Thursday, Sept. 8 from 7-8:30 p.m. at the Manchester Country Club. The panel, including Allison Wiernasz, a physical therapist with Eastern Rehabilitation Network, will discuss the latest information on obesity and its effect on joints, surgical options, and exercise therapy. For more information, call the Health Referral Service at 860-545-1888.


Coming Events


August 23 (Thursday)
Webinar: Incorporating Ethics Into Emergency Planning and Response to Ensure Health Equity

2-3 p.m., Robinson Library, third floor, ERC. A discussion of an ethics framework for community level decision-making, and vaccine distribution incorporating economic and cultural considerations. Speakers are from the Multnomah County Health Department in Portland, Oregon: Gary Oxman, M.D., M.P.H., health officer; and Kathryn Richer, M.A., associate. Please register with senior librarian Sheila Hayes, 860-545-2416 or If you wish to attend this Webinar at your own desktop, email Bryan Damis, program manager, Environmental Health/Emergency Preparedness, Society for Public Health Education, at, and send him the title, date and time of the Webinar and he will send you the registration information.

Oct. 6 (Tuesday)
Psychiatric Grand Rounds: Bipolar Disorder and Schizophrenia: Two Disorders with Two Distinct Biologies, or a Continuum with a Complicated Biology?

Godfrey D. Pearlson, MD, director of the Olin Neuropsychiatry Research Center, The Institute of Living/Hartford Hospital; professor of psychiatry, Yale University School of Medicine. 12 noon, Hartford Room, Commons Building, IOL.

More Events


HH In The News


PR Newswire, Aug. 10:
Top 10 Metro Areas for Emergency Department Satisfaction Released by Press Ganey

Hartford was ranked second in Press Ganey's annual report on patient satisfaction in hospital emergency departments. (Miami ranked first.) A survey of more than 1.6 million patients at 1,908 hospitals nationwide between Jan. 1 and Dec. 31, 2010 gauged how satisfied they were with the ED treatment they received. One key finding is that patients placed the highest priority on being kept informed about ED delays – a higher emphasis than how well pain was controlled and overall rating of the care received.


Hot Topics in Healthcare


The Phantom Menace of Sleep Deprived Doctors
The New York Times, Aug. 5

Last month something extraordinary happened at teaching hospitals around the country: Young interns worked for 16 hours straight — and then they went home to sleep. After decades of debate and over the opposition of nearly every major medical organization and 79 percent of residency-program directors, new rules went into effect that abolished 30-hour overnight shifts for first-year residents.

Hospitals, docs anxious as ‘provider payment cuts are pretty easy to do'
Modern, Aug. 8

The newly enacted debt-ceiling deal may have saved the nation from a financial crisis, but it also managed to paint a target on the backs of healthcare providers.

Physicians Forecast Hot Winter on Capitol Hill
HealthLeadersMedia, Aug. 11

Come winter, legislative corridors will be sizzling. The heat will come from intense lobbying over how physicians are paid.


The Seymour Street Journal (SSJ) has been developed to communicate key messages pertinent to our hospital’s physicians. It will keep you informed and up-to-date on hospital, network, and health care news in a concise, convenient format. The SSJ will be sent to your preferred e-mail address every other Sunday. Back issues can be viewed here. For any questions or suggestions, please contact Dr. Jeffry Nestler, Medical Staff President, at (860) 836-7313.