From the Offices of Jeffrey A. Flaks and Jeffry Nestler, MD

The Seymour Street Journal is published every two weeks to communicate key messages pertinent to our hospital’s physicians, and to promote alignment between the medical staff and administration. It will keep you informed on hospital news in a concise, convenient format. SSJ will be sent to your preferred email address every other Sunday at 6 p.m.

We’d like to hear from you. For any questions or suggestions, please contact Dr. Jeffry Nestler, medical staff president, at 860-836-7313, or

October 30, 2011 Edition

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HH Facts
1936: Dr. Ralph M. Tovell was appointed as the first full time chief of anesthesia in a Connecticut hospital.

Top News


Hartford Hospital Gets A Mention In Apple iPhone National Ad

"What’s the fastest way to Hartford Hospital?" is the question directed to Siri, the Apple iPhone 4S voice-command feature, on an ad that’s airing on national TV. The shout-out from Apple has a lot of people wondering: How did Hartford Hospital win such a high-profile the product placement? Hartford Hospital is the only business name spoken in the ad, which also includes questions to Siri such as: "Do I need an umbrella in New York this weekend? What does a weasel look like?" Apple had to get the hospital’s permission to use the name in the ad, and executives were more than happy to sign off.,0,2720043.story; and,0,3569664.story

2011 Balanced Scorecard Accomplishments Include Reduced BSIs and VAPS

Hartford Hospital successfully achieved most of our balanced scorecard goals in 2011. Out of 19 initiatives, 15 were successfully completed; two were partially completed, and two were not completed.

Patient safety and quality was much improved, with significant reductions in VAPs and BSIs.

  • Prevention of ventilator associated pneumonia (VAPs): there was a 40% improvement, from 6.1 to 3.4 VAPs/1,000 ventilator days from 2010 to 2011.
  • BSI initiative: there was a 56% reduction in BSIs, from 2.15 to 0.95 BSIs/1,000 catheter days, and best practice levels were sustained.

Improved PCP Notification Rates; 80% Goal Exceeded in 2011

The 2011 Balanced Scorecard showed that the service excellence initiative on improving communion with physicians in the coordination of care was also successful. A standardized process was initiated, and the goal of having 80% of PCPs notified of admission, discharge and major procedures was exceeded by the end of the September.

Dr. Stuart Markowitz Named Chief Medical Officer for Hartford Hospital

Dr. Stuart Markowitz, chair and medical director of Hartford Hospital’s Department of Radiology, has been appointed chief medical officer for Hartford Hospital, effective January 1. Markowitz has been a leader at Hartford Hospital for decades, serving as vice president of the medical staff for two years and serving as the chair and medical director of radiology since 1995. He also spent nearly 30 years in private practice. With this change, Dr. Rocco Orlando will become full-time chief medical officer for Hartford HealthCare, which will allow him to focus on creating seamless care coordination across the entire health care system.

"Dr. Markowitz brings such respect, experience and skill to the hospital that a national search was not necessary," said Jeffrey Flaks, Hartford Hospital president and CEO. "He lives the values we hold dear at Hartford Hospital each and every day. He is a physician of great integrity, someone who truly understands our culture and our organization. Dr. Markowitz has the foresight, the experience and the personality to help us lead Hartford Hospital into the future. He is a trusted member of the medical community and a proven leader."

"I think this is an exciting time for our medical staff," said Markowitz. "I hope we can further open the lines of communication between administration and the medical staff by using proven tools, such as H3W, which helps our staff become more fully engaged in shaping the hospital of the future. I’m thrilled to have the opportunity to be a part of that."

You Are Invited: State of the Hospital Meeting November 8

All physicians are invited to the "State Of The Hospital" meeting, on Tuesday, Nov. 8 from 9:30-11 a.m. in the ERC, Heublein Hall. Accomplishments and challenges from the past year will be reviewed, and the 2011 Team of the Year will be named.

New Systemwide Compliance Line Available

Hartford HealthCare has established a single ComplianceLine for all affiliates within the system to provide physicians, employees, patients, and visitors with the ability to report a concern regarding perceived misconduct or violations of governmental regulations, the organizations code of conduct, policies or practices. Concerned persons can either speak with a trained operator or provide information via the web 24/7. Reports can be made anonymously. All reports will be handled objectively, professionally and securely by a third party vendor and responses will be given after due diligence and investigation by the Office of Compliance, Audit and Privacy (OCAP). The new toll-free number, 1-855-HHC-OCAP, and ComplianceLine web site are now available.

New Members of Medical Staff Welcomed At Hartford Club Dinner/Reception

New members of the Hartford Hospital medical staff were welcomed at a dinner/reception coordinated by Physician Relations at the Hartford Club last Wednesday (Oct. 26) President/CEO Jeff Flaks and medical staff president Dr. Jeff Nestler delivered welcoming remarks and presented certificates to the new medical staff members. Dr. Stuart Markowitz, chief medical officer-elect, delivered closing remarks. One-hundred-twelve physicians have joined the Hartford Hospital active medical staff in the past year.

Last Chance To Qualify 6% Credit on Malpractice Premium

All physicians insured by Connecticut Health Systems, Ltd (CHS)/CNA Insurance are eligible to receive a 6% credit off next year’s premium for full completion of the 2011 Risk Management Educational Program by the Dec. 31 deadline. Requirements are:

1. Attend one Risk Management Rounds session. The last session of the year is Thursday, Nov. 10 from 6-7:30 p.m. in Gilman Auditorium.
2. Watch two web-based modules, accessible at  

  • “Patient Relations–Strategies to Mitigate Risk,” and
  • “Standard of Care in the Hospital Setting” OR “Standard of Care in the Physician Group Setting.”

Medical Risk Management, LLC (MRM) is managing the education and monitoring compliance with these requirements. If you have any questions, please contact MRM at 860-920-5475, or the CHS Insurance Department at 860-696-6227.

First Two Physician Focus Groups Yield Great Feedback; Three More Sessions Scheduled

We need the input of our medical staff and adjunct medical staff (PAs and APRNs) as we work toward a momentous change. Hartford Hospital is reinventing the way physicians work through the Hartford Hospital Patient-Centered Institutes. We’ve already held two sessions, and the physicians who attended had great feedback and questions. There are three more focus group sessions scheduled in November. Please attend one to hear a presentation on the institute model, discussion of the work to date and, of course, an opportunity to provide direction and wisdom. RSVP to Sandi Beggs at or 860-545-2390. The sessions are:

  • Tuesday, Nov. 1: 6:30-8 a.m. in the Boardroom
  • Tuesday, Nov. 1: 5-6:30 p.m. in the Special Dining Room
  • Wednesday, Nov. 9: 6:30-8 a.m., Taylor Conference Room

Flaks and Cohen Interviewed About Connecticut Surgical Group Integration

President/CEO Jeffrey Flaks and Dr. Jeff Cohen were interviewed in the Hartford Business Journal (Oct. 24) about the health system’s Oct. 1 integration of the Connecticut Surgical Group. Flaks said it was a move toward creating a center of excellence that will allow more seamless coordination of care, enhanced access to services, a single electronic medical record and scheduling system, coordinated physician recruitment and service expansion. "In subspecialties, because surgeons are so integrated into the care of the hospital, we saw a lot of value in moving in this direction," Flaks said. Dr. Jeff Cohen, the former president of the CSG, said the integration probably wouldn’t have been likely four years ago. But the relationship between the two healthcare providers has grown much closer in recent years as they have partnered on projects including weight loss and breast cancer service lines. "It became clear to me that not being together presented more of an obstacle than staying separate," said Cohen, who is now leading the surgical institute at Hartford Hospital. Cohen said he believes the combination will help Hartford HealthCare recruit doctors nationally. Flaks said it also will further the hospital’s teaching and research mission. The arrangement is part of a growing national trend of consolidation within the health care industry being spurred by financial pressures related to healthcare reform and lax reimbursements from government payers, making it harder for independent physicians to do business on their own.

Nominations Sought for Medical Executive Committee

Four two-year terms are available on the 16-member Medical Executive Committee. Contact Linda Calli at 860-545-6167 or with nominations by tomorrow (Oct. 31).

New Dress Code and Professional Image Policy To Go Into Effect Tuesday

A new dress code and professional image policy will go into effect Tuesday (Nov. 1), replacing the existing dress code (HR policy #105.) The new policy was created by Team EXCEED to reflect the hospital’s core values. Multiple studies show that employee appearance affects patient satisfaction, and that patients are often unable to identify their caregivers’ roles because of inconsistent dress. We are instituting a caregiver identification program, with different assigned uniform colors for nurses, PCAs, physical therapists, respiratory therapists, and so on. This is designed to maintain an atmosphere conducive to the delivery of quality health care services and commitment to safety. January 1 is the full go-live date for the first group, RNs, who will wear royal blue scrub uniforms. Fitting and purchasing of the new scrubs for nurses is taking place in the next month. In March 2012, there will be full implementation for all other uniformed employees.




Dr. Gualberto Ruaño Appointed to CT Life Sciences Group Advisory Team

Dr. Gualberto Ruaño, director of the Hartford Hospital Genetics Research Center, was appointed to the Advisory Team of the Connecticut Life Sciences Group. The group, whose goal is to help bring scientific discoveries to market and foster a vibrant life science industry in Connecticut, is composed of representatives from the stem cell initiative, leaders in the business and venture capital communities, universities, hospitals, the Connecticut Legislature and the Department of Economic and Community Development (DECD). The group is developing strategies and policies that will position Connecticut as a world leader in key areas of life science that have high commercial potential. The aims are to establish synergistic connections between various stakeholders including university scientists, clinicians, advocacy groups and volunteers, to identify commercialization opportunities, to strengthen the skill-sets of the state’s work force, to recruit important researchers and companies to the state and to stream-line regulatory and licensing procedures.

Drs. Evan Fox, Jeffrey Kamradt and Rocco Orlando Honored by Generous Pledge

A generous pledge inspired by Drs. Evan Fox,  Jeffrey Kamradt and Rocco Orlando will benefit the patients and families of the Helen & Harry Gray Cancer Center for years to come. For the donors – Lori Levesque, family and friends – the gift represents a memorial to Lori’s husband, Wayne, a cancer patient here for three years who passed away in April. It also reflects a grateful tribute to the compassionate care he received from the Cancer Center staff, who, in Lori’s eyes, were all “terrific.” She particularly noted those times when Dr. Orlando would see Wayne in passing and make it a point to ask him how things we’re going. “That always made Wayne’s day and we were all very touched by that,” she said. “Wayne always referred to him as ‘The Rock.’” A portion of the gift will come from the proceeds of an annual memorial golf tournament.


Innovative and Complex Care


Xpert Flu Test Now Being Used

As of October 25, the traditional rapid influenza EIA test is being replaced with the newly FDA-approved Xpert Flu test. The Xpert Flu test is based on reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) to provide timely and sensitive detection of influenza A, influenza A 2009 H1N1 and influenza B. Analytical performance of the Xpert Flu test is between 99.3%-100% sensitivity and specificity for Influenza A, A 2009 H1N1, and B. A variety of specimens are acceptable for the Xpert Flu test including nasal aspirate, nasal wash or nasopharyngeal (NP) Swab. Nasal aspirate/wash specimens may be submitted on ice or in pink liquid medium (VTM). NP swabs must be placed in VTM. Specimens should be transported to the laboratory at room temperature. Turnaround time is approximately two hours. To order the Xpert Flu test, use test code: Influenza A/B& H1N1 2009 PCR. Please note, the respiratory shell viral culture (test code: Resp Virus Shell Vial Culture) will continue to be offered, with an expected turnaround time of 48 hours. If you have questions or concerns, contact Dr. Jaber Aslanzadeh or Dr. Gregory Makowski in the Microbiology Laboratory.


Care Coordination


First Board Certified Dermatopathologist Joins HH’s Division of Anatomic Pathology

Dr. Zendee P. Elaba, a dermatopathologist, has joined the Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine’s Division of Anatomic Pathology. Her recruitment was the joint effort of Hartford Pathology, Hartford Hospital and the Cancer Center to support the initiative to enhance dermatologic oncology at the institution. Dr. Elaba is board certified in dermatopathology (American Board of Pathology), clinical dermatology (Philippines) and anatomic and clinical pathology (American Board of Pathology). She trained in AP/CP at Hartford Hospital, surgical pathology at Yale and dermatopathology at the University of Alabama. Elaba fills an important specialty niche as she represents the first board certified dermatopathologist to join the department. Contact Elaba at 860-545-6122 or


Central Scheduling Expands Services & E-Orders

Central Scheduling is expanding services to include Nuclear Medicine, Fluoroscopy and Interventional Radiology beginning Monday, October 31. All cardiology and radiology services are now available through the Central Scheduling Call Center or through E-Orders. Electronic Ordering is available to all physician practices. For more information or a demonstration, please contact Steve Nowicki at 860-696-6448 ( or Becky Peters at 860-545-1383 ( For updates, please visit the Central Scheduling tab on the left side of the Medical Staff home page. The direct link is


Research and Academics


Dr. Lauren Sansing to Lecture on Intracerebral Hemorrhage at UConn Health Center Nov. 8

Dr. Lauren Sansing, director of translational cerebrovascular research at Hartford Hospital, will deliver a lecture in the Lowell Weicker Clinical Research Center Seminar on Methods in Clinical Research on Tuesday, Nov. 8, at the Low Learning Center at the UConn Health Center in Farmington. Her presentation is entitled: “Inflammation After Intracerebral Hemorrhage – Potential Targets for Treatment.” The event runs from 12 noon to 1 p.m., and a light lunch and beverage will be provided. The lecture will be webcast at:

Research Results Presented at IDSA on In Vitro Potency Against Multidrug Resistant P. Aeruginosa

A study conducted by researchers at Hartford Hospital demonstrated that three representative RX-04 compounds possessed greater in vitro potency (MIC distributions ranged from 2-8 ug/mL) than currently utilized antimicrobials for Pseudomonas aeruginosa respiratory infections. Results were featured in a poster session at the 49th Annual Meeting of the Infectious Diseases Society of America (IDSA) in Boston on October 20-23.

Dr. John Goethe Delivers Paper in Buenos Aires at World Congress of Psychiatry

Dr. John Goethe, director of the Burlingame Center for Research and Education at the Institute of Living, delivered a paper at the World Psychiatric Association’s 15th World Congress of Psychiatry in Buenos Aires, Argentina on Sept 20. His paper was entitled “Psychodynamic Issues in Healthcare Research.”

Dr. Jeffrey Lieberman, Columbia University, Wins IOL’s Burlingame Award

Dr. Jeffrey A. Lieberman, the Lawrence C. Kolb Professor and chairman of the Department of Psychiatry at Columbia University Medical Center, and director of the New York State Psychiatric Institute in New York City, has been named the winner of the Institute of Living’s 2011 C. Charles Burlingame, M.D. Award. He delivered the annual award lecture at Psychiatric Grand Rounds on Oct. 20, entitled “Treatments for Schizophrenia: Current Limitations and Future Strategies.” The Burlingame Award was established in 1988 and has been presented annually in recognition of outstanding leadership and lifetime achievement in psychiatric research and education. It is named in memory of Dr. Burlingame, who was superintendent of The Hartford Retreat (now the Institute of Living) from 1931 to 1950.


Operational Update


Flu Shots Available Now

All Hartford Hospital staff must be immunized against influenza this fall, or sign a declination form. Free flu vaccinations will be available for all staff and volunteers (with ID badge) at the following times and places:
Cafeteria, Dining Room A: Monday, Oct. 31, 7 a.m.-2 p.m., and Tuesday, Nov. 1, 7 a.m.-2 p.m.
IOL: Thursday, Nov. 10, 7 a.m.-5 p.m.
Newington Campus - Jefferson House: Thursday, Nov. 10, 7-9 a.m. and 2:30-4 p.m.
Newington Campus – Curtis Building: Wednesday, Nov. 16, 2:30-4 p.m.
Next year we will have universal flu vaccination.

DynaMed, Evidence-Based Data Base, Available For Trial Through Library

DynaMed, the only evidence-based reference shown to answer most clinical questions during practice, will be available through the Health Science Libraries on a trial basis through Nov. 30. This clinical reference tool created by a physician for use by physicians primarily at the “point-of-care,” contains clinically organized summaries for nearly 3,200 topics. For more information, contact Sheila Hayes, 860-545-2416. To access DynaMed, go to:

Dedication of New Multifaith Chapel Held Oct. 25

Hartford Hospital employees, patients, pastoral care staff and local religious leaders celebrated the official opening of our beautiful new Multifaith Chapel on the ground floor, Bliss connector last Tuesday. There was a ribbon cutting ceremony and reception at the chapel, which has been open since August. It was designed as a warm welcoming and peaceful space for all people of various religious traditions and spiritual beliefs. “It is really a place of solace for patients, families and staff,” said Rev. James Cooke, director of pastoral services. “People come here for services, or just to sit and think or pray.”

Dr. Dana Wiseman Closing Practice; Accepted Position at US Naval Base in Groton

Dr. Dana Wiseman, a family practitioner on the Medical Staff since 2000, has accepted a position as a civilian family physician at the U.S. Naval base in Groton. He will be closing his practice in Glastonbury at the end of the month, and Hartford Medical Group will be providing continuing care for his patients. Read his letter of thanks to the medical staff:


HH In the News


Yale Study Finds Large Drop in Heart Failure Hospitalizations; Connecticut Has Third Lowest Decline
Hartford Courant, Oct. 18

A study from Yale finds that hospital stays for heart failure have declined by 30 percent nationally. At Hartford Hospital, Dr. Michael Lindberg, director of the department of medicine, said he has seen patients “becoming much more savvy about heart disease. They’re asking ‘Why am I on these medicines?’” At the beginning of the year, Lindberg said, Hartford Hospital launched a project to reduce the number of readmissions for heart failure, including an outpatient program that allows doctors to treat patients without admitting them, training programs for heart disease care at nursing homes and educating patients about caring for themselves. The readmission rate was reduced from 24.5% to 20%.

Developing Drugs to Fight "Superbugs"
News 8, Oct. 24

Research and politics are coming together in Hartford, where discussion has begun over what is being described as an "arms race against superbugs." At the Center for Anti-Infective Research and Development at Hartford Hospital they’re working hard to develop drugs to fight superbugs; bacterial infections that are resistant to currently used antibiotics. Approximately 80 to 90 percent of the funding for this research comes from the big drug companies.


In The System


Hospitals in New Britain, Bristol To Receive Grants
Hartford Courant, Oct. 24

The Hospital of Central Connecticut is on track to get $5 million in state aid toward building a cancer treatment center. The grant would cover preparation work and some of the actual construction cost, while the hospital would be responsible for raising more money through donors, federal aid or other sources. THOCC is going ahead with plans to build the center, and state grant will pay for design, engineering and land acquisition as well as some early stages of construction. The hospital also will use part of the money to renovate its oncology unit.,0,4652870.story

MidState Nurses to Picket Friday Over Wages, Pension
Meriden Record Journal, Oct. 25

Nurses at MidState Medical Center will stage an informational picket Friday to highlight ongoing contract negotiations. Members will continue to work but will picket when they are not on duty. The union represents about 340 nurses. The union's contract expired Sept. 30, according to the hospital, and was extended until Oct. 15. The two sides will meet Nov. 3 with a mediator. "Our goal is to make the public aware that MidState Medical Center has a sterling reputation and the patients get excellent care, and the nurses are just asking for a little respect and dignity based on the job that they do for the patients and for their relatives and for their employer," said Barbara Simonetta, president of the union. "We're having a very difficult time coming to an agreement with this employer.” MidState, which is part of Hartford Healthcare, said it is trying to reach a new three-year deal with the union. "We intend to continue to bargain in good faith until we reach an agreement," the hospital said Friday in a statement.

Union Leader Blames Windham Hospital Layoffs on Merger with HHC
Norwich, Oct. 24

Layoffs announced in March are now coming to fruition at Windham Hospital. The hospital announced it had $2.2 million in expenses, resulting in 15-20 layoffs. Gail Greci, president of Windham Community Memorial Hospital United Employees Union, said 21 positions are being terminated in billing and transcription, effectively eliminating both areas at the hospital. Greci blamed the hospital’s merger with Hartford Hospital for the layoffs. “At a time when Connecticut’s, and especially the region’s economy are struggling, this so-called ‘partnership’ with Hartford Hospital is resulting in jobs being lost,” Greci said. Greci said the union has never met with Hartford Hospital’s CEO, and she has only met with Windham Hospital’s interim CEO once. “Management has made no point to mingle with the little guys,” Greci said. “We just wanted the community to understand what’s happening.”


Regional Healthcare News


Republicans Raise Questions About Jackson Lab Proposal
Hartford Courant, Oct. 14:

Gov. Dannel P. Malloy announced with much fanfare recently that a research laboratory will be coming to Farmington with the state’s help, but the plan is running into a buzzsaw of criticism from Republican legislators who say there are too many unanswered questions.

Failures Spur an Overhaul of Kidney Transplant Program at Lahey
Boston Globe, October 21

Lahey Clinic has revamped its adult kidney transplant program after organs failed in an unexpectedly large number of patients from mid-2006 through 2009, triggering a review by the federal government…. Following unfavorable Medicare reviews, Hartford Hospital in Connecticut temporarily closed its liver transplant program to hire more surgeons, while Maine Medical Center in Portland is working to improve its kidney transplant program, which is still open.


Coming Events


November 3 (Thursday):
Diagnostic and Clinical Approach to Children Born Small for Gestational Age

Dr. Mark Sperling, pediatric endocrinologist, University of Pittsburgh Medical Center; author and editor of several textbooks including Pediatric Endocrinology, Type I Diabetes Etiology and Treatment, and Diabetes Mellitus in Children. 6 p.m., Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse and Wine Bar, 44 South Main Street, West Hartford.

November 4 (Friday):
Management of Patients with Childhood Onset Growth Hormone Deficiency Through Transition to Adulthood

Dr. Mark Sperling, pediatric endocrinologist, University of Pittsburgh Medical Center; author and editor of several textbooks including Pediatric Endocrinology, Type I Diabetes Etiology and Treatment, and Diabetes Mellitus in Children. 12 noon, Gilman Auditorium.

November 17 (Thursday):
Department of Surgery Semi-Annual Recognition Celebration

The Department of Surgery and Surgical Collaborative Management Team will be hosting their Semi-Annual Recognition Celebration, 2–4 p.m. in the Special Dining Room. For more information, contact Kathy Smyth at 860-545-1568.

More events


Hot Topics in Healthcare


Medical Device Innovation — Is "Better" Good Enough?
NEJM, Oct. 20

Last year, the United States spent $95 billion on medical devices, nearly half of the $200 billion spent on devices worldwide. Our investment in devices has yielded impressive gains in length and quality of life from products such as implantable cardioverter–defibrillators, pacemakers, and artificial joints (cardiovascular and orthopedic devices account for more than 35% of the market). Inspired by these successes, medical device innovation continues.

HHS Releases Final Regulations For ACOs
Kaiser Health News, Oct. 20

The Obama administration on Thursday bowed to health industry concerns about its plans for Medicare accountable care organizations, making it easier for doctors and hospitals to participate in the program designed to lower medical costs. Physician and hospital groups applauded the changes in the final ACO rule announced by officials at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. The administration is betting the new design will entice scores of health care providers to form into an untested health care model next year.


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.