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

September 18, 2011 Edition

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HH Facts
1890: The country’s first Native American trained nurse, Nancy Cornelius, graduated from the Hartford Hospital Training School for Nurses, which had been established 13 years earlier.

Notes from Nestler


Town Meetings For Medical Staff Coming Soon

In an ongoing effort to increase communication between the Hartford Hospital medical staff and administration, we will be scheduling town meeting discussions in the next few weeks for physicians to speak directly with the new HH president/CEO Jeff Flaks. In these open dialogue sessions, you can ask any and all questions, and we promise to address all of them. You are welcome to send me any questions or thoughts in advance, to We look forward to hearing from you, and seeing you at the meetings. We’ll let you know when they are scheduled.




CEO From NYU Langone Sends Thanks For HH Assistance During Hurricane Irene

President/CEO Jeff Flaks received the following letter of thanks from Dr. Robert Grossman, CEO of NYU Langone Medical Center in New York City:

Dear Jeff,
This is a personal note of thanks to you and your staff for the tremendous help provided to NYU Langone Medical Center during Hurricane Irene. Our mandated patient evacuation was unprecedented and, as you can imagine, a major challenge.

I’m sure you’ll be pleased to hear of the cooperation from your team. They were not only accommodating to our needs, but even more importantly, they helped ensure our patients continued to receive necessary treatments and services. Please extend my personal thanks to your entire medical, nursing, and administration teams who were involved in this effort. The concern shown by all the hospitals involved reinforces what we all already know about our collective commitment to health.

Let’s hope a similar situation never arises for your hospital, but if it does, NYU Langone will be here for you and your patients.

Robert I. Grossman, MD
Saul J. Farber Dean and CEO

HH Receives HealthGrades Emergency Medicine Excellence Award

Hartford Hospital is the only tertiary care teaching hospital in New England to win the HealthGrades 2011 Emergency Medicine Excellence Award, reports Dr. A. Jon Smally, medical director of emergency medicine. It is give to those hospitals performing in the top 5% in the nation. Out of 4,873 hospitals evaluated nationwide, only 268 received this award. HealthGrades is an independent health care ratings organization that provides reports on physicians, hospitals and dentists. Its “Emergency Medicine in American Hospitals” study focused on 12 of the most common and life-threatening medical emergencies, including heart attack, stroke, pneumonia and COPD. It included only those cases admitted from the ED for further treatment, representing the full continuum of a patient’s care.

LIFE STAR Awarded Air Medical Services Program of the Year

LIFE STAR has been selected as the recipient of Association of Air Medical Services (AAMS) Program of the Year for 2011. This is the highest recognition an air medical transport program can receive. It recognizes emergency medical programs that have demonstrated a superior level of patient care, management prowess, quality leadership through visionary and innovative approaches, customer service, safety consciousness, marketing ingenuity, community service and/or commitment to the medical transport community. The judging criteria include: number of years in operation, fiscal soundness, accident-free for 12 months, customer-service indicators, QA benchmarks, improvements in reimbursement criteria/revenue generation, and other awards. The AAMS represents more than 600 programs and companies internationally.

Mortality Rate in Dialysis Unit “Significantly Lower Than Expected”

For the past five years consecutively, the Hartford Hospital dialysis unit has had a significantly lower than expected mortality rate, placing it in the top 11% in the country. This is even more impressive when one considers that it is a hospital-based unit in an urban setting, which usually result in higher mortalities, said Dr. John D’Avella, nephrologist.


Research and Academics


Medical Staff Awards Research Grants to Four New Safety/Quality Projects

Drs. Joanne Grabska, Joseph Kuti, Justin Lundbye, and David Silverman have received grants from the Research Committee totaling $54,342 from the second round of the Medical Staff Patient Safety and Quality Research Grant Competition. The grants will fund new research projects to advance patient safety and quality. The projects are:

  • Dr. Joanne Grabska, internal medicine, “Medical Office Survey on Patient Safety Culture-Study of Hartford Hospital Ambulatory Clinics”
  • Joseph Kuti, PharmD, CAIRD, “The Effect of Reporting Negative BAL Cultures on Antibiotic Utilization Patterns in Patients Empirically Treated for VAP”
  • Dr. Justin Lundbye, cardiology, “A Quality Improvement Project on Chest Pain Evaluation in Low-Intermediate Risk Patients”  
  • Dr. David Silverman, cardiology, “Choice of Stress Test and Outcomes Influenced by Ethnicity and Socioeconomic Status?”

Biomedical Engineering Society to Convene in Hartford for Annual Meeting

The 2011 annual meeting of the Biomedical Engineering Society will be held at the Connecticut Convention Center Oct. 12-15. The Hartford HealthCare Research Institute will be hosting a booth featuring research and the Center for Education, Simulation and Innovation (CESI). Dr. Gualberto Ruano, director of the Genetics Research Center, will be conducting a panel on Personalized Medicine in the Translational Biomedical Engineering track. The event, co-hosted by Brown University and UConn, will feature 1,500 poster presentations, hundreds of oral presentations, a Career Day, and a host of professional and social activities. More than 27 CME credits will be available covering cardiovascular, orthopedic, tissue engineering, imaging and optics and several other subject areas. Physicians may claim a maximum of 18.5 AMA PRA Category 1 Credits from the meeting. Special registration rate for physicians. For more information, please visit


Operational Update


Hartford HealthCare Receives Favorable “A” Bond Ratings

Hartford HealthCare received favorable A ratings from three major bond rating services: Moody’s (A2), Standard & Poor’s (A) and Fitch (A), cementing its place as a financially solid, economic driver and affirming its future as a major, integrated health care delivery system that consistently puts patients first. In all, Hartford HealthCare seeks to raise $385.3 million dollars in bonds for the first time in its history. The bonds will help pay for improvements at Hartford Hospital’s Emergency Department, a new parking structure, and will also allow the Hartford HealthCare system to consolidate and better manage its debt. “In general, higher credit ratings make organizations attractive to potential investors, because it means lower interest rates,” said Hartford HealthCare chief financial officer Tom Marchozzi. “Issuing bonds allows us to provide additional capital for every member in our system.”

Nominate A Team of the Year

Please consider nominating a team that has achieved significant improvement in any of the six pillars on the 2011 Balanced Scorecard (Service Excellence, Quality, People, Growth, Financial Strength, and Academic Excellence). Nominated teams should have introduced measurable improvements (efficiencies, new programs, enhancements to safety, growth in volume, customer satisfaction, etc.) Cash prizes ($5,000, $2,500 and $1,000) will be awarded Nov. 8. Nominations should be sent to Cathy Torcia in Administration by Oct. 7. The nomination form can be found on the hospital intranet.

Michael Davis Appointed Nursing Director for Medicine, Oncology and IV Therapy

Michael J. Davis, RN, BSN, MBA, NE-BC, has been appointed nursing director for Medicine, Oncology and IV Therapy Services. He was a manager for 10 years of a surgical step-down unit at Baystate Medical Center, and manager on B11E at Hartford Hospital. Davis holds a B.A. in public administration and economics from Bentley College, a B.S.N. from the Massachusetts Center for Nursing Advancement, and an M.B.A. from Bay Path College.

Grand Opening of Central Scheduling Call Center in Newington Oct. 10

Please join Hartford Healthcare for the grand opening of the Central Scheduling Call Center on the Newington Campus on Monday, Oct. 10 from 5-7 p.m. Cocktails and hors d’oeuvres with your colleagues; tours and demonstrations. Learn the latest about this valuable resource, which will make things easier for patients and easier for you. Central scheduling improves the speed and accuracy of scheduling clinical services with one call, fax or E-order. Ordering services, scheduling and pre-registering patients this way results in improved efficiencies and increased physician, staff and patient satisfaction.

Peter Fraser Appointed VP of Human Resources for Hartford Hospital

Peter Q. Fraser will join Hartford Hospital on Sept. 26 as VP of human resources. He comes to us from Lawrence & Memorial Hospital in New London, where he served as VP and chief human resources officer since 2007. Fraser also brings a strong corporate background. He will report to Tracy Church, senior VP of HR for Hartford HealthCare, and Jeff Flaks.

HealthStream Required E-Learning for Employed Physicians Due Sept. 30

The annual E-Learning Courses on HealthStream required for employed physicians must be completed by Sept. 30.

Pink Flamingos Event Thursday; Will Benefit Partnership for Breast Care

The 6th Annual Pink Flamingos evening of fine wines, festive food, and silent auction to benefit the Partnership for Breast Care and Take the Time Mobile Mammography programs at Hartford Hospital is this Thursday, Sept. 22 from 5:30-7:30 p.m. at the Bushnell. $50 per person, and in excess of $26 is tax deductible. Contact Karen Weingrod at or 860-545-1018, or visit

11th Annual Liver Life Walk Hartford To Be Held Next Sunday

Hartford Hospital is sponsoring the 11th annual Liver Life Walk Hartford on Sunday, Sept. 25 at Rentschler Field. Join the team of walkers from the hospital, who will be part of the nation’s largest event related to liver wellness. Funds support research, education and advocacy to increase awareness and progress in the fight against liver disease. Contact Debi Palmeri at or 860-545-4084, or


Coming Events


Sept. 22 (Thursday):
Neurosurgery Grand Rounds: Meningiomas Involving the Optic Nerve: Techniques and Results

Dr. Chandranath Sen, director of the Benign Brain Tumor and Cranial Nerve Program at NYU Langone Medical Center. 7:30-9 a.m., JB 118.

Sept. 22 (Thursday):
Traumatology and Emergency Medicine Grand Rounds: Why We Make Mistakes

Jeffrey Young, MD, professor of surgery, senior associate chief medical officer for quality, University of Virginia Health System. 12 noon, Gilman Auditorium.

Sept. 24 (Saturday):
Pain Management for the Primary Care Practitioner

Sponsored by the Connecticut Pain Society and Hartford Hospital’s Pain Treatment Center. Water’s Edge Resort and Spa in Westbrook, from 7 a.m.-2:30 p.m. Moderated by Dr. Jonathan Kost, director of HH’s Pain Treatment Center. Dr. Dean Mariano, also of the Pain Treatment Center will be presenting. Contact the Pain Treatment Center at 860-696-2840 or e-mail Karen Larsen at

More Events


HH In the News


MedPage Today, Sept. 11:
ASNC: Gender, Language May Sway Selection for Exercise MPI

Dr. Geetha R. Swamy Iyah and colleagues from Hartford Hospital reported that English speaking men are more likely to be referred for a exercise stress test with SPECT myocardial perfusion imaging (MPI) as opposed to a pharmacological stress test. Of the total patients evaluated between 1996 to 2007, 68% of men and 59% of women underwent exercise MPI (P<0.001).>

Med Page Today, Sept. 13:
ASNC: Stress Imaging Drug Works As-Needed

Dr. Matthew W. Parker, cardiology resident, and colleagues at Hartford Hospital reported that the use of regadenoson (Lexiscan) is safe and can lead to cost and time efficiencies in patients undergoing exercise SPECT myocardial perfusion imaging (MPI), according to two randomized controlled studies presented at the American Society of Nuclear Cardiology meeting in Denver.


Hot Topics in Healthcare


Adjusting, More MDs Add MBA
New York Times, Sept. 5

Under heavy pressure from government regulators, more physicians are learning to think like entrepreneurs. There are now 65 joint MD/MBA degree programs in the country.

Health Care Reform and the Health Care Workforce — The Massachusetts Experience
NEJM, Sept. 7

In 2006, Massachusetts enacted universal health insurance coverage. It served as a model for national health care reform legislation in 2010. That experience has been watched closely for what might occur as national health care reform is implemented. Implementation of the ACA may increase health care costs and exacerbate expected shortages of physicians and nurses.


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.