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

In This Issue...

September 8, 2013 Edition

Wash In - Wash Out


In August, the overall rate of hand hygiene compliance by physicians was 79%. The target is 90%.

Click Headlines Above to Read Full Story

Note: Some stories may link to content on the hospital's Intranet.
If a login screen appears, simply enter your Novell username/password.

HH Facts:

2000 - Hartford Hospital broadcast the country’s first hospital-based webcast, making live surgical procedures available for general viewing on the Internet.


Follow Hartford Hospital on facebook, youtube and twitter


Top News

Hand Hygiene Update

  • In August, the overall rate of hand hygiene compliance by physicians was 79%.
  • This is up over the previous month, when it was 73%.
  • The institutional target is 90%.
  • Overall facility compliance was 81%.
  • Residents were at 82%; nurses were at 80% and PAs at 92%.
  • Medical students and social workers were at 100%.
  • 12 units had compliance greater than 80%.

Hartford Hospital has intensified our focus on hand hygiene, which is a critical element in reducing hospital-acquired infections. We have issued a new policy requiring all members of the Hartford Hospital medical staff and others to wash their hands before and after seeing a patient on hospital premises. The new policy illustrates our commitment to this simple procedure that truly can save lives.

Our policy outlines a process for non-compliance, ranging from verbal warnings and email notifications to supervisors, to suspension after several episodes of noncompliance. Termination also is a possibility after numerous non-compliance episodes.

Read the new policy here.


Contract Talks With Cigna Stalled

For the past six months, Hartford HealthCare has been working to negotiate a new contract with Cigna. The contract affects all Hartford HealthCare hospitals, non-acute care facilities, and Hartford Physician Hospital Organization (HPHO) physicians.

Unfortunately, talks with Cigna have stalled, and HHC decided May 31 to terminate our contract if we are unable to reach an agreement by Sept. 30, when the current contract expires.

We have sent letters to physicians, employers, managers, employees and patients throughout the system concerning the negotiations. For the past several years, Cigna payment rates have been below what other insurance plans pay for the same care. HHC is asking Cigna for rates that are more consistent with those of our other insurance partners. HHC is committed to continuing to push for an agreement.


Auto Fax Functionality Improved To Enhance Communication With Primary Care Physicians

On September 3, we enhanced our communication with our community primary care physicians by improving our auto fax functionality.

We have made great strides in accurately identifying the PCP associated with our hospitalized patients working with Patient Access staff, case coordinators, nursing and clinical teams. There has been great support from IT along the way to implement necessary system changes.

PCPs will now be receiving H&P’s, Op Notes, Dictated Consults as well as formal Transition of Care Summaries (Discharge Summaries).

We hope this will allow improved care in the post acute period as well as keeping PCPs informed of the events occurring during their patients' hospital stays. This was a great team effort and appreciation goes out to all involved.


Heart Patient's Transport Is a First in Connecticut

Dr. Jason Gluck led his team, including cardiac surgeon Dr. David Underhill and Ken Jelienowski, chief perfusionist, on a groundbreaking life-saving mission on July 26, when a Waterbury Hospital patient who had undergone open-heart surgery could not be removed from the heart pump.

Dr. Gluck and his team successfully placed the patient on Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation (ECMO) in the operating room before she was transported by LIFE STAR to Hartford Hospital. ECMO takes over the work of the lungs and heart by providing a way for blood to be re-oxygenated outside of the body. This was the first ECMO patient transport ever done in the state.

The patient remained on ECMO for 72 hours and then was successfully removed.


Sunshine Act: Physician Financial Transparency Reports

The American Medical Association has produced a document with information physicians about the Physician Payments Sunshine Act.

Beginning Aug. 1, the Physician Payments Sunshine Act (part of the Affordable Care Act) requires manufacturers of drugs, medical devices and biological that participate in U.S. federal health care programs to track and then report certain payments and items of value given to physicians and teaching hospitals. Manufacturers will submit the reports to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services on an annual basis. In addition, manufacturers and group purchasing organizations must report certain ownership interests held by physicians and their immediate family members.

The majority of the information contained in the manufacturers' reports will be available on a public, searchable website. Physicians have the right to review these reports and challenge those reports pertaining to them that are false, inaccurate or misleading.

THis AMA resource gives physicians important information that can help them navigate the road ahead. Read it here.


Dr. Sam Pope Appointed New Assistant Director of the Medical Intensive Care Unit

The MICU is pleased to announce that Dr. Sam Pope will assume the position of assistant director of the unit. Dr. Pope, who is board certified in pulmonary and critical care medicine, will commence his new duties effective October 1.

He succeeds Dr. John Russomanno who has served as the assistant director for B11i for over 20 years and is relinquishing the position in order to dedicate more time to his role as chairman of the board for Connecticut Multispecialty Group.

We wish to thank Dr. Russomanno for his many years of exemplary service to the MICU’s patients and staff.


Suicide Prevention Week Activities

Next week is worldwide Suicide Prevention Week, which we’re recognizing at Hartford Hospital with several events, in remembrance of the more than 40,000 people who commit suicide in the United States annually. Throughout the week, we will hold a variety of activities and educational events focused on this tragic decision that someone makes every 16 minutes in our nation. Our intent in recognizing Suicide Prevention Week is to increase awareness regarding the issues and challenges in identifying individuals at risk for suicide and putting preventative interventions in place.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, suicide is the third-leading cause of death among people aged 15 to 24; the second among people aged 25 to 34; the fourth among people aged 35-54; and the eighth among people aged 55 to 64.

Every day, our Hartford Hospital family cares for individuals affected by this issue. Unfortunately, our outstanding staff is not always successful in intervening, which is devastating to everyone involved.

Here is the schedule of events for the week:

Monday, Sept. 9:

Dr. Hank Schwartz, psychiatrist in chief, will appear on WNPR's "Where We Live" radio show, and on NBC CT to discuss suicide. He will also speak at the Auxiliary Golf Tournament dinner tonight about the link between enhanced emergency care and suicide prevention.

Tuesday, Sept. 10:

Silent flag-lowering ceremony, 7:45 a.m.

Worldwide Suicide Prevention Day Conference at the IOL, with keynote speaker Dr. David Rudd. 8:30 a.m.-noon

Management Forum will feature a patient story on suicide, 1 p.m.

Medical staff presentation in Gilman Auditorium at 6 p.m. Guest speaker: Dr. Luis Sanchez

Wednesday, Sept. 11

Issues of Suicide: For IOL Staff and Clinicians. 11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m., Donnelly Building Conference Room 1, IOL

Survivors of Suicide Support Group, open to public. Held in the Young Adult Services Group Room, IOL, 7-8:30 p.m.

Thursday, Sept. 12

Schwartz Rounds for all IOL medical and clinical staff: “Vulnerability: Business as usual? The effects of suicide on me.” 12-1:30 p.m. in the Hartford Room, Commons Building, IOL


Auxiliary Golf Tournament Tomorrow; Will Benefit ED Expansion

The Hartford Hospital Auxiliary's 24th Annual Benefit Golf Tournament will be held tomorrow ( Sept. 9) at Tumble Brook Country Club in Bloomfield.

Proceeds will benefit the Purple Pod in Hartford Hospital’s Emergency Department, which is being renovated and expanded. At the tournament dinner, Dr. Hank Schwartz, psychiatrist in chief, will speak about the link between enhanced emergency care and suicide prevention to mark Suicide Prevention Week.

Due to the tremendous success of last year’s tournament, the Auxiliary was able to donate more than $300,000 to Hartford Hospital, a large portion of which went to the new Epilepsy Center. This year they hope to do even better.

For more information, please contact Shelli Siegel ( or Amy Steinberg (


Magen David Adom Flight Paramedics Train at CESI

For the second time, flight paramedics from Magen David Adom, Israel’s emergency medical service, trained with our LIFE STAR crew at CESI. Two paramedics arrived Aug. 22 and over the course of two days spent time refining skills, most notable in airway management and labor and delivery.

Dr Henry Jacobs, with OB/GYN Associates of West Hartford, has made a generous donation to make it possible for us to continue to sponsor the program.


Nine Units Began Using Electronic Patient Daily CARE Plan Sept. 4

Improving communication and providing a consistent message to our patients is one of Hartford Hospital’s 2013 Balanced Score Card initiatives. By creating an electronic patient Daily “CARE” plan we have begun to improve this process.

The goal is for a “CARE” plan to be given to each patient or patient’s family every day. N12 successfully implemented this as a pilot on July 1st and have continued distributing this report with positive feedback from patients.

On Wednesday, September 4, nine additional units (N11, B5E, B7E, B8, B9E, B11E, CB5, C10, and C12) began this new process.

The electronic Daily “CARE” Plan includes the following data elements:

  • Anticipated Date of Discharge
  • Daily Goals (these are documented by the RN in patient friendly language each day)
  • Tests ordered (echocardiogram, MRI’s, CT scans etc.)
  • Treatment times (a box for the RN to write in respiratory treatment, finger sticks, etc.)
  • Diet
  • Activity
  • Medications- scheduled and prn’s are separated
  • Questions – this is a place for the patient or patient’s family to document any questions they have for the healthcare team

In addition to the Daily “CARE” plan report, CMG hospitalists will be piloting an electronic progress note. A paper will be on the front of the charts of all patients who have electronic progress notes.


SCM Orders Reconciliation Module Live

On July 23 Hartford Hospital went live with SCM Orders Reconciliation Module and Prescription Printing. At this time, 80% of patients have Admission Reconciliation done within 24 hours of admission and 98.5% of our patients have Discharge Reconciliation complete! These numbers show the commitment of Hartford Hospital to provide exceptional care to our patients.

Some challenges were encountered by users with this new module and enhancements have been made since the go-live. User support continues to be available by the E.H.R. Team, which can be contacted at any time through the Help Desk (ext.5-5699 or 860-545-6699). In addition, on-going classroom instruction will continue for the next several months on Wednesdays, 11-11:30 a.m. in ERC Classroom 121. Registration is not required.

Information is also posted on the SCM web-page, including FAQ’s, tip sheets and a training video:

You may contact Cynthia Thompson # 860-250-7361 ( to schedule additional training or classes.

Medication Reconciliation is the responsibility of the provider and supports the goal to provide safe medication administration and prevent potential medication events through the process of reconciliation of medications across the continuum of care.


Celebrating our Physician Authors

The library has published the new lists of the Hartford Hospital and IOL physician authors on the Library Intranet page.

The author lists are located under the Category “Featured Resources (Local/National).” Two of the lists cover the authors published from January – June, 2013. A third list is a reference list of all of the IOL authors from 2010 – 2012.

The lists are made up of authors claiming HH/IOL as the source of their publications, limited to the previous six months, and who are peer-reviewed and cited on PubMed.

Articles that are listed as “EPubs” that is, published ahead of print, are not listed until they have a full citation and a permanent PubMed identification.

Take the time to look at the lists. There is an amazing array of subjects. If you would like to order any of the articles use the library article ordering form


Drs. Vergara and Wang To Present On Health Care Team Roles at Medical Homes

Cunegundo Vergara, MD and Fei Wang, Pharm D. will present “Inter-Professional Health Care Team in Action: Roles of Health Care Providers in a Medical Home” on October 21 at the University of Connecticut Health Center as part of National Primary Care Week.  Drs. Vergara and Wang were selected to provide this lecture in recognition of their excellent work at the Brownstone Primary Care Center. 

National Primary Care Week is a celebration of the contributions of primary care to the health of the nation and aims to introduce health professions students to the importance of community responsive primary care, encourage their collaboration as members of future inter-professional health care teams, and to work to improve health care access to underserved populations.


Dr. Paul Thompson Provides Editorial Comment on Statin Report in Journal of American College of Cardiology

The August 20 edition of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology contained a report suggesting that statins block the increase in exercise performance and the mitochondrial adaptations that occur with endurance exercise training (Mikus et al JACC 2013; 62:709-14).

Drs. Paul Thompson, chief of Cardiology, and Beth Parker, an exercise physiologist in cardiology, provided the Journal’s editorial comment discussing the recent findings as well as Dr. Thompson’s and Parker’s studies on exercise performance in statin users (Thompson & Parker JACC 2012; 62:715-6).

Hartford Hospital’s statin research group also recently published their results of the NIH-funded STOMP trial (Studies of Muscle Performance in Statin Users) demonstrating that statins increase muscle complaints in statin users and average creatine kinase (CK) levels, but that statins do not produce muscle weakness at least during six months of high dose use (Parker et al Circulation; 2013; 127:96-103). This research group, In conjunction with Dr. Godfrey Pearlson of Psychiatry’s Olin Research Institute, is also completing a six-month NIH-funded study examining the effect of statins on cognitive function.


Runners and Research at the Hartford Marathon

Dr. Beth Parker, director of Exercise Physiology Research at Hartford Hospital and director for the Center for Health, Care and Well-Being at the University of Hartford, blogged about her upcoming research project, to be conducted with runners at the Hartford Marathon on Oct. 12. The study will examine the effect of compression socks on exercise-associated changes in the blood clotting process of runners in the marathon.

See also: "Are Marathons Dangerous?", Sept. 4


UphamObituary: Dr. Adolph Bushell

Dr. Adolph Bushell, a dentist at Hartford Hospital, died peacefully on July 26 at Caleb Hitchcock Health Center in Bloomfield with his loving wife, Bibi, by his side.

He attended Ohio State University, and received his degree in dental medicine from Temple University in Philadelphia. A life-long resident of Connecticut, Dr. Bushell practiced endodontics in West Hartford during his long and distinguished career in dentistry. He was a rare breed of dentist, who went out in rain, sleet and snow, seven days a week, day or night to administer dental care to patients in pain.

As a practicing endodontist, teacher and humanitarian, he made significant contributions to the profession that have earned him recognition from his peers and appreciation from those whose lives he touched. He was considered the "father of endodontics" in Connecticut.

Besides practicing, teaching and lecturing world-wide, he was actively involved for many years with volunteer dentistry in third world countries in Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean. He served with the hospital ship, HOPE, in Sri Lanka and the West Indies, provided dental services in Guatemala and Cambodia with Heal the Children, worked to set up a dental clinic in Haiti with the Haitian Health Foundation, and led a volunteer group of dental students from the University of Connecticut to the Amazon River area of Iquitos, Peru.

Dr. Bushell helped establish an organization whose goal was to collect and distribute dental and medical equipment at no charge to non-profit groups in the United States and abroad. During his career, he lectured and performed molar surgery demonstrations at dental schools here and abroad. Internationally, he was a visiting professor in China, Hong Kong, Europe and South America.

In 2009 he received Hartford Hospital's Humanitarian Award for his international involvement in volunteer dentistry. In April 2010, the American Association of Endodontists honored Dr. Bushell with the "Lifetime Dental Community Volunteer Spirit of Service Award" at its annual meeting in San Diego, CA. for his humanitarianism, generosity and dedication to helping those in need.

Before retiring in 2011, he was teaching at the Hartford Hospital dental residency program. For three years, he worked with the "Mission of Mercy" to deliver free dental care to Connecticut residents in need.

He was a decorated US Army veteran of World War II, prisoner of war in Germany, and recipient of the Purple Heart.

He leaves his beloved wife, Bibi Bushell, with whom he shared 30 years as loving companions and best friends. He is survived by a son and daughter from a previous marriage, Craig Bushell and Melissa Bushell, son-in-law Steven Bruce, and granddaughter Scarlett Bruce.

Read the obituary here.



UphamObituary: Dr. Henry Bonney

Dr. Henry Thurston Bonney, an anesthesiologist at Hartford Hospital for 34 years, died peacefully on August 9 surrounded by his children.

He graduated from the University of Saskatchewan, where his father taught, and got his medical degree at the University of Toronto, where his mother graduated. He went into general practice in 1952.

In 1960 he moved to Hartford to specialize in anesthesia at Hartford Hospital, joining the Hartford Anesthesiology Associates,and retired in 1994.

He retired to Charlestown, RI to enjoy hosting visits from his family and friends, play his daily tennis, walk his dogs and tend his flowers and vegetable garden.

He was predeceased by his wife, the mother of his five children, Jeanette Cook; his second wife, Anne; and his son Geoffrey. He is survived by three sons, David, George, and Douglas, a daughter Ann, and four grandchildren.

Read the obituary here.



bermanObituary: Dr. Elliot Berman

Dr. Elliot Berman, a dentist at Hartford Hospital since 1976, and associate director of the Department of Dentistry, died on August 12 at home surrounded by his family. He was 64.

He decided to become a dentist when he was a boy, and he turned that into a career that spanned nearly four decades. Elliot was dedicated to his practice in West Hartford Center, and he will be remembered as the most fun-loving and generous of colleagues.

Elliot graduated in 1971 from SUNY- Binghamton and in 1975 from New York University College of Dentistry. He did his internship at Hartford Hospital in General Practice Residency. Elliot was in practice since 1976 when he joined the Hartford Hospital Medical Staff.

He had many passions in life, and he enjoyed all of them to their fullest: dentistry, golf, the Mets and Giants, woodworking and, most of all, his family.

Elliot's unyielding positive attitude during his nearly four-year battle with cancer inspired his family and friends and lifted the spirits of all around him. He continued to work, travel and golf, and he entertained friends and family at his home until hours before his death.

He leaves his wife, Susan (Jacobson) Berman; his son, Russell; his daughters, Courtney and Alyssa; and their mother, Debra Berman; his brother, Jeffrey; and his step-children, Jacob and Joshua Schwartz.

Read the obituary here.



UphamObituary: Dr. Thomas Kugelman

Dr. Thomas Kugelman, a dermatologist at Hartford Hospital for 47 years, died August 18 at his home. He was 78.

He practiced dermatology at Hartford Hospital from 1964 until his retirement in 2011, serving as the hospital’s chief of dermatology from1986 to 2001, and chief of staff from 1991 to 1993.

He received his medical training at the Yale School of Medicine and completed his internship and residency in dermatology at the University of Michigan.

A dedicated teacher, he supervised physicians and students at Hartford Hospital and Yale School of Medicine.

Dr. Kugelman was also an avid music lover and noted authority on 18th-century Connecticut furniture. His passion for Connecticut furniture and decorative arts prompted Dr. Kugelman's dedication to the Connecticut Historical Society, where he served as a trustee and chair of the Museum Collections Committee from 1980 until shortly before his death. Even as illness impaired his physical mobility during his last year, Dr. Kugelman continued to perform research for the Society.

He enjoyed playing cello with the Connecticut String Orchestra, organizing several European concert tours and serving as president and librarian for many years. He also loved playing chamber music with friends and family.

He is survived by his wife of 54 years, Alice Kugelman; a sister, Barbara Merrill of Saratoga, CA; three daughters, Lisa Kugelman, Karen Paruolo, and Margaret Hofer; and eight grandchildren.

Read about his love of Connecticut furniture here, and his obituary here.



UphamObituary: Dr. Mark Robbin

Dr. Mark A. Robbin, 60, of Avon passed away at home on August 24 after a short illness. He was undergoing treatment for cancer, but was very optimistic about his chances of full recovery and was actively planning to return to work in December. His sudden passing was unexpected and a real blow to his family, his colleagues and to his patients.

Mark was a member of the Hartford Hospital Medical Staff since 1985. He graduated from Tufts University and UCONN Medical School.

He was a longtime primary care physician in private practice in Simsbury from 1986 to 2012 when he joined Hartford Healthcare Medical Group, Avon. He had hospital appointments at St. Francis and John Dempsey Hospital. Among his appointments were medical director/industrial medicine at Ensign Bickford Industries, McLean Home, Avon Nursing Home, Brightview Nursing Home, Governor's House, and Meadowbrook Nursing Home.

Mark is survived by his wife Carolyn, a son, Perry, and two step children, Suzanne and Alex Hoerle, sisters Barbara Silverman and Dana Robbin and brother Peter Robbin.

Mark was truly dedicated to his patients and to the art and science of patient care. Mark was kind, loyal, engaging, generous and known for his quick wit, with a joke on hand to lighten moods. He spent long hours working to assure his patients' needs were met often at significant personal expense. Among his enjoyments were his love of golf, art, reading, travel and spending time with his wife, children and Labradoodle Willa and his daily crossword puzzle.

A private memorial will be held at the convenience of the family. Donations can be made in Mark's name to Hartford Hospital, ATTN: Fund Development, 80 Seymour Street, P.O. Box 5037, Hartford, CT 06102. To sign the guest book for Mark, please visit online at

Read the obituary here.

Research and Academics

Dr. Carolyn Hoban, New Vice President of Research, To Begin Sept. 16

Carolyn J. Hoban, Doctor of Science (D. Sc.), will begin work as Hartford Hospital's vice president of research on Sept. 16. She will report directly to Dr. Lenworth Jacobs, vice president of Academic Affairs and chief academic officer.

Dr. Hoban has more than 20 years of experience developing research strategies and supporting genomics and translational medicine initiatives, which transition research results into innovative patient treatments. She has expertise in oncology, clinical operations and drug development and in working in academic settings and with biotech and pharma firms, non-profit advocacy groups and the National Cancer Institute (NCI). Dr. Hoban earned her Doctor of Science at the Harvard School of Public Health. She completed a National Institutes of Health Genetics Fellowship in cancer biology at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and completed the eMBA program at the University of Michigan Ross School of Business.

She comes to Hartford Hospital from the Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation in Norwalk, Conn., where she has served as director of translational research since 2011. Previously, she spent six years at the University of Michigan Medical School at Ann Arbor, where she served as research assistant professor in oncology and executive officer of the NCI Cooperative Oncology Group. Dr. Hoban’s business knowledge and extensive experience in fundraising, competitive grant applications and building collaborative relationships will be important in furthering Hartford Hospital’s development as a renowned training and research center.


Dr. Joseph Wagner to Teach Fundamentals of Robotic Surgery Course at Hartford Hospital

Dr. Joseph Wagner will teach a course called Fundamentals of Robotic Surgery on Sunday, Sept. 29 from 7:30 a.m.- 12 noon at CESI. There will be didactic sessions and hands-on training in basics of renal robotics and basics of pelvic robotics.

To register, go to or call 800-545-7664.


NE Section of American Urological Association Annual Meeting to Be in Hartford; CESI to Participate

Hartford Hospital's CESI will participate in the program of the upcoming 2013 New England Section of the American Urological Association Annual Meeting, Sept. 26-28 based at The Marriott Hartford Hotel & Convention Center.

There will be a Live-Surgery Demonstration on Robotic Radical Cystectomy, designed to provide urologists and other health care professionals with the “nuts & bolts” step-by-step practical knowledge of robotic radical cystectomy surgery, such that the interested surgeon may transfer this into their personal robotic practice. To achieve this, Drs. Inderbir Gill and Mihir Desai will demonstrate robotic high extended lymphadenectomy up to the IMA, and completely intra-corporeal robotic orthotopic neobladder in addition to radical cystectomy.

There will also be a Young Urologist Forum: Lap/Robotic Olympics. In this contest, surgical residents from urology residency programs throughout the New England Section are invited to showcase their laparoscopic skills. The Lap/Robotic Olympics will take place at CESI from 7-9 p.m. on Friday evening. Transportation will be provided to and from the facility from the Hartford Convention Center.

For Young Urologist Forum Signups and Programming questions, please contact Amy Nolfi at the NEAUA Section Office at or call 978- 927-8330.


Bariatric Surgery Symposium To Feature Drs. Papasavas and Tishler

Drs. Pavlos Papasavas and Darren Tishler will speak on the surgical aspects of childhood obesity at a Bariatric Surgery conference on Oct. 30 in Heublein Hall. They will be joined by Dr. Christine Finck, director of the division of Pediatric Surgery at CCMC.

In addition, Dr. Melissa Santos, pediatric psychologist from the IOL and Dr. Jennifer Ferrand, clinical psychologist for the IOL, will address the Psychological Impact of Bariatric Surgery; and dietitians Diane Lombardi and Mary Noon will discuss the basics of bariatric nutrition for adolescents and adults.

For further information: contact Michele Krivickas at 860.545.8364 or


Dr. Matthew Parker Wins Grant to Study Echocardiography

Dr. Matthew Parker of the Division of Cardiology was awarded a grant from the Intersocietal Accreditation Commission ( to study patterns and trends among echocardiography imaging laboratories around the country. Nearly 20 million echocardiograms, or ultrasound procedures to image the heart, are performed annually into he United States, making echocardiography the most commonly performed imaging procedure of the heart.

The Intersocietal Accreditation Commission reviews and accredits echocardiography providers to encourage high-quality, appropriate use of echocardiography. The accreditation process has not been studied previously to ascertain what factors are most associated with process measures of quality echocardiography. This study will investigate medical and technical staff credentials, laboratory volume, and geographic factors for trends and quality implications.

Chief's Corner

Welcome To "Chief's Corner"

We recognize the need for sharing information about activities throughout the hospital more widely with our Medical Staff.

Chief's Corner will bring you highlights of activities of interest, which will be authored by our Department Chiefs under my direction. Should you have any comments or suggestions along the way, please share them with us.

- Dr. Stuart Markowitz, Vice President, Chief Medical Officer


Length of Stay: Changing Culture

UphamMarkowitzDr. Steve Upham, Physician Advisor
Dr. Stuart Markowitz, Vice President, Chief Medical Officer
Cheryl Ficara, Vice President, Patient Care Services
Beth Lawlor
, Director, Case Coordination

As you are aware this past year we have focused great attention on the reduction of Length of Stay (LOS) and set an aggressive target of saving 6,800 additional days through the implementation of various processes and workflow changes which began with the assistance of the Huron Group.

For a very long time Hartford Hospital has had an average length of stay in excess of 0.5 days greater than similar benchmarked institutions. Many attempts have been made in the past years to look at the causative factors but lacking a systematic approach to managing the daily care planning and communication for inpatients, using common terminology and data to make decisions, we simply continued to see worsening performance.

It became clear this year that to effect any positive change would require a significant and well coordinated plan, and require a multidisciplinary approach with shared accountability and responsibility. It would require a change in our deeply rooted discharge process – a change in our culture.

The benefits were obvious to most. Facilitating timely patient throughput allows us to optimize capacity and make possible the timely acceptance of the next patient who needs to access our advanced care and services. Such work underscores our commitment to every one of our values. Financially, length of stay also has a direct effect on the bottom line. Medicare and most commercial payers reimburse the hospital on a DRG payment structure. That reimbursement is independent of how long the patient stays in the hospital.

As part of the LOS Initiative, unit specific goals were set based on historical performance the previous fiscal year. If we reduce our average LOS from 5.8 to 5.5 this year, this actually saves 7,046 patient days.

We wanted to share with you some of the changes and successes we have had to date.

Clinical Progression Rounds rolled out to all inpatient units
o Led by nurse manager and case coordinator
o Consistent time/location on every unit
o Discuss every patient, every day
o Ancillary attendees may include Pharmacy, Rehab, Educator, Nutrition, and Clinical Documentation specialists

• Physician Integration
o Improved cohorting of medicine hospitalists geographically in Medicine
o PA/NP integration into rounds schedule on many units
o Notification to PCP upon admission: new process pilot with Medicine hospitalists
o Key strategy is patient/family communication, and completion of discharge paperwork the day before the planned discharge
o Discharge milestones: identification starts on admission, including critical care areas

• Anticipated Date of Discharge entry by Nursing
o Appears in SCM header
o Entered by Nursing, and updated daily
o At least 80% of patients now have an ADOD entered within 24 hours of admission/transfer to discharging unit
o Anticipated discharge accuracy by patient is up to 37%, with a 13-week average of 31% (goal is 32%)
o Nursing utilizes the information to keep patients and families informed, and to ensure that discharge milestones are identified, communicated, and tracked
o Physician input on the ADOD is a critical component.
o Goal: to help us better plan for a more coordinated patient experience

• LOS Dashboard
o LOS by unit: already created and distributed to key stakeholders
o Unit-specific LOS metrics pushed out monthly to every unit’s H3W dashboard
o Physician Dashboard: Dr. Ajay Kumar working with Decision Support to create

• Inpatient Work flow Template
o Patient Progression Subgroup developing standard workflow for all providers, nursing, case coordinators, and physician consultants
o Goal is to standardize the approach to patient flow through the patient transition

• Nursing Unit Dashboards
o Updated with LOS targets
o Monthly LOS metrics sent to each nursing manager and director

• Case Coordination
o Avoidable Day capture and reporting
o Entered into Allscripts and pulls onto Patient Progression Report
o Escalate potential avoidable delays to department and administrative leadership
o Ensures that all areas are facilitating timely approach to patient needs
o AD Capture: over a 13-week period, average is 31 distinct patient entries, representing 80 total avoidable days or delay in timely service to the patient
o Clinical High Risk Team: multidisciplinary focused efforts on outlier patient population
o Continued work on improving system collaboration and facilitating timely care transitions

Focused approach on DRGs with excess opportunity days
• Sepsis: subgroup led by Dr. Ajay Kumar
• TAVR’s: subgroup led by Karen Habig and Dr. Matthew Parker
• Heart Failure: redesign of Coordinated Care/Heart Failure Committee to incorporate work on LOS opportunity. Group led by Dr. Matthew Parker and Beth Lawlor
• Psychiatry: IOL leadership engaged in LOS reduction strategies

For April-June 2013, the Average Length of Stay overall was 5.69. About half our inpatient units have met their LOS targets for this period and most of the remaining units are showing positive trending towards their goals.

We have had some very good success because of the commitment of a very large number of staff from all disciplines who have shifted our culture, never lost sight of the needs of our patients, and have exemplified incredible team work. Our work will continue beyond meeting this year’s goal and the challenges may be even greater looking forward. However, we are confident that we have the understanding, focus, and commitment for success.

Enhancing The Patient Experience

Voices of Our Patients: Kudos To Dr. Ken Robinson

I am writing to share my experience of my recent hospitalization at Hartford Hospital with you.
I arrived in the Emergency Department on July 4th with a fever of 104 degrees, incapacitating headache and nausea, severe chills, stiff neck, body aches and a very scared husband.

The entire staff in the ED was exemplary!

I was triaged, put in a room and seen by Dr. Ken Robinson quickly. Four or five hours later after receiving hydration, Morphine, Zofran, blood work, lumbar puncture and CT scan Bed Management found me a bed on Bliss 5E. The entire ED staff was efficient, kind and caring. I felt so safe and protected in their care. (For the record they also washed their hands every time!) They were also so kind to my poor husband!

Dr. Robinson later wrote me an email to check on me and ask what they could have done better. I truthfully responded NOT A THING!

I am not sure that I can find the right words to tell you about the wonderful Nursing care on Bliss 5 East, but here goes……

I was diagnosed with Lyme disease and Ehrlichiosis, an infectious disease double whammy!

I can honestly say during a 7 day stay I wanted for nothing. Every discomfort was addressed, but they went above and beyond merely addressing complaints.

They created a plan of care that intricately coordinated my medications to address the severe headache from the Ehrlichia and the nausea from the antibiotics. My blood work was abnormal and they were so good about reviewing the progress I was making on a daily basis. They recognized and acknowledged my perception of my illness (I had never been so sick) and supported me emotionally one hundred percent.

Carol G. is a fantastic leader. She is out there in the trenches every day with her staff encouraging them and leading them. The staff knows she has very high expectations of them. They also know she is respectful, kind and caring along with her expectations. It is clear that she is respected and loved by them.

Setting aside my association with that nasty tick, my experience at Hartford Hospital was really amazing.
I am proud to be a part of this institution.

With heartfelt sincerity,

Joyce Sauve

Operational Update

Clopidogrel (Plavix®) Gene Test is now available via ClpConnect from Clinical Laboratory Partners

A major advance in personalized medicine for the management of clopidogrel (Plavix) in cardiovascular and diabetic patients is now available for our patients.

CYP2C19 genotype testing for Clopidogrel (Plavix®) personalized prescription is available through CLP in partnership with the Genomas Laboratory of Personalized Health (LPH).

The CYP2C19 genotype test detects the presence of gene alterations and classifies each patient as ultra-rapid, functional, deficient, or null status for clopidogrel activation. The turnaround time is 3 days. Results and interpretation are delivered electronically through the ClpConnect Physician Portal. Most private insurance carriers, as well as Medicare and Medicaid reimburse for the test.

The FDA revised the Plavix® label in 2010 with the black box WARNING: DIMINISHED EFFECTIVENESS IN POOR METABOLIZERS, Tests are available to identify a patient’s CYP2C19 status and can be used as an aid in determining therapeutic strategy. Clopidogrel is a pro-drug converted to its active metabolite by the hepatic cytochrome p450 2C19 isoenzyme, encoded by the CYP2C19 gene. Various gene alterations (*2, *3, *4, *5, *6, *7, *8, *9, *10 alleles) result in null or deficient enzyme activity and the patient’s inability to activate clopidogrel. Patients who are carriers of these alleles do not receive the full antiplatelet effect of clopidogrel. Another common gene alteration (*17 allele) results in ultra-rapid activation of clopidogrel and potential bleeding risk. From studies and case reports at the Hartford Hospital Genetics Research Center, the carrier prevalence for CYP2C19 loss-of-function alterations is 30% and the frequency of ultra-rapid metabolizers is 4%.

The following patients should be prioritized for CYP2C19 genotyping: (1) High-risk cardiovascular and diabetic patients on clopidogrel, (2) Patients who have a drug eluting stent, (3) Patients receiving angioplasty (percutaneous coronary intervention), (4) Patients evidencing clopidogrel resistance on platelet aggregation, (5) Patients of Asian ancestry (carrier prevalence nearing 50%), (6) Patients receiving proton pump inhibitors (PPIs, CYP2C19 inhibitors).

For more information access or


Clinicians Appearing on WFSB Medical Rounds Every Wednesday

Hartford Hospital doctors and clinical staff appear on Medical Rounds on Eyewitness News every Wednesday evening. Viewers are invited to call in and chat online with the clinicians after the segment.
Upcoming episodes:

Sept. 11: Tallwood Urology and Kidney Institute

Sept. 18: Dr. Jonathan Kost - pain management

Watch past episodes here:
Dr. Christopher Lena, orthopedic surgery - USA gymnastics
Dr. Paul Thompson, medical director of Cardiology and The Athletes' Heart Program - Plavix clinical trial
Dr. Pavlos Papasavas, director of surgical research - the Linx System
Dr. Marc Eisen, medical director, Hearing & Balance Center; dizziness
Dr. Joseph Wagner, director of the Robotic Surgery Program - Prostate cancer testing
Dr. Eric Silverstein, chief of Podiatric Surgery - Nail Infection laser therapy
Dr. Heather King, surgeon, HHC Medical Group - Breast cancer treatment
Dr. Maria Johnson, gastroenterology - GI distress

Please Go Though Our Media Relations Department For Any Media Inquiries

We want to remind the medical staff that it is important to make sure all media inquiries go through our Media Relations Department. They are here to help, to give reporters context, and make sure legally that everything is in check.

There have been a few instances lately where some of our experts spoke to reporters directly. We need to make sure we are HIPAA compliant and that our discussions with reporters are thought through and deliberate. Please take a look at the procedure below to remind yourselves of the process.

Media Relations Procedure at Hartford Hospital (Internal Process)

All media calls, emails and other inquiries should be directed to the Media Relations Department.

Upon receiving any media call, please reach out to the on-site media contact to help assist, analyze and coordinate. The media relations contact will coordinate all follow-up interviews and determine how best to respond, including but not limited to:
- Figuring out who is the appropriate expert/spokesperson
- Scheduling an interview
- Supervising interview
- Making sure appropriate releases are signed and we are HIPAA compliant
- Coming up with talking points
- Helping strategize and analyze what story might come next

External Media Relations Procedure (posted on our website)
Inquiries & Interviews
Hartford Hospital welcomes inquiries from print, broadcast and internet outlets. Someone is always available to take your calls. All inquiries must come through the Media Relations Department. Hartford Hospital's staff includes many nationally-recognized experts in a host of medical fields. The hospital's media relations team is happy to connect reporters and producers with these specialists. We know you’re on deadline and will work as quickly as we can.

It is important to remember: Before reporters can interview patients or their doctors, patients must sign a release form. To protect the privacy of all other patients and families, someone from Media Relations must accompany all reporters and photographers on Hartford Hospital’s campus.

Contact the media relations team directly if you receive any inquiries:

REBECCA STEWART, director of media relations; 860- 972-4285; cell 860-726-8283;

TINA VARONA,, media relations manager; 860-972-4475; cell 860-310-7640;


Make Your Pledge to The Medical Staff Annual Fund

Join your colleagues and make your Annual Campaign gift or pledge by September 30 and continue keeping Hartford Hospital the very best in the region. One hundred percent of your donation goes to programs and services that make a difference for our patients and the community we serve.

Dr. Sharon Diamen is the chair of the Medical Staff Annual Campaign. To date, 155 physicians have contributed nearly $100,000 to the Annual Campaign.

Your gift can be directed to an established department fund or to the Medical Staff Annual Fund, which this year has provided support so far to the Institute of Living (through Behavioral Health Case Management), the Health Assistance Intervention Education Network (HAVEN), the CT Medical Society Medical Malpractice Campaign, Hartford Hospital's Outpatient Transplant Center, and to medical education through a summer pre-med research program.

For more information, please contact Mary Parola in Fund Development at 860-545-2322 or You can also make your gift online at


Golf Tournament Benefitted Helen & Harry Gray Cancer Center

The 3rd Annual Wayne Levesque Memorial Golf Tournament was held on August 24 at the Pequabuck Golf Club in Terryville. Benefiting the Helen & Harry Gray Cancer Center, the tournament boasted a record number of players and auction items this year.

The tournament was established in 2011 by Wayne’s friends and family, who were inspired by the great care he received from Drs. Jeffrey Kamradt, Andy Salner, Rocco Orlando, and Evan Fox, as well as nurse Laurie Scarpo. Wayne's widow, Lori, says they will always be tremendously grateful for the compassion Wayne received during his treatment at Hartford Hospital.


Donations Support Hospital Programs and Training

Since July 1, our hospital has received a number of key gifts, including $344,510 from an anonymous grant to standardize and facilitate resident training in Women’s Health, as well as over $450,000 from individuals supporting the growth of hospital programs. Additionally Hartford Hospital was honored to be the recipient of $75,000 raised by "Ron's Run for the Roses," an annual event organized by the Ron Foley Foundation Inc. on Kentucky Derby Day. The event, held at Folly Farm in Simsbury, included more than 400 guests bidding on auction items and donating money to a special fund-a-need program called "Ron's Rescue,” which assists pancreatic cancer patients with financial challenges while getting treatment.

On Aug. 20 The Connecticut Brain Tumor Alliance presented Hartford Hospital with a check for $25,000 of the $100,000 that was pledged in support of the Helen & Harry Gray Cancer specifically for the support of the Brain Tumor Program. The funds are raised from events organized throughout the year including a golf tournament, Well-A-Way Farm Horse Exhibition & Tent Event, Laughter on the Brain comedy event and a trivia challenge competition.


Robyn and Jonathan Gengras To Lead Black & Red Fundraising Effort

Hartford Hospital's annual Black & Red fund-raising gala will be held Saturday, January 25, 2014. Robyn and Jonathan Gengras have agreed to serve as co-chairs of the Black & Red Committee, which will solicit sponsorships and special gifts.

Committee members include: Edward Budd; Marla and John Byrnes; Joan Feldman, Esq; Nina and Evan Fox, MD; Marilda Gándara; Lee and Robert Goode; Susan Hatch; Katharine and Al Herzog, MD; David Holmgren; Carolyn Jimenez; David Kozak; Rabbi Philip Lazowski; Cathy Malloy; David McQuade; Lee Monroe; Claire Pryor; William Thomson; Connie Weaver; Diann and William Wienke; Denise Winokur, PhD and Andrew Winokur, MD, PhD; Dawn and John Yonkunas; Henry Zachs; Jessica and Eric Zachs; and Judith Zachs.

Funds raised will support the hospital’s Psychiatry Program. Entertainment at the Black & Red will be provided by the Barenaked Ladies, a group with several multi-platinum CDs.


New Issue of Clinical Integration Newsletter, Connected Care, Available Here First

In the new Sept. 9 issue of Connected Care, the Clinical Integration newsletter for Hartford HealthCare, Dr. James Cardon, CEO of Integrated Care Partners and HHC chief integration officer, writes about mental health care.

"Why has mental health care historically been pushed to the background or provided completely separately when we treat patients?" wrote Dr. Cardon. "The continuity of care between medical and behavioral health doesn't really exist in many places in U.S. health care. If we plan to manage population health by focusing on managing chronic illnesses and improving wellness, that has to change."


State Mandated CME Renewal Available Free To HH Doctors on Jubilant Learning Portal

State mandated CME for physician license renewal is available free on the Hartford Hospital Jubilant Learning Platform. You will need your Novell sign on information to access the portal. If you have forgotten your sign on, please call the HELP desk 55699 (outside: 860-545-5699).

To access Jubilant from the web, go to the Hartford Hospital page and click on the gold tab “Medical Professionals.” Click on “Learning Portal” from the drop down menu, and then click on the green tab “Learning Portal Login.”

From the home page of the intranet (inside HH), click on the Learning Portal for Medical Education and Training link. Once you’ve clicked on the link, use your Novell sign in, and the CME is under Physician License renewal CME.

Once you have passed the post-test, you will be awarded a printable CME certificate. Your CME will also be maintained and easily self-service accessed on the Learning Portal site, should you need a copy in the future.

Please note that your Risk Management required activities through MRM will provide your Risk Management CME.

Questions? Contact Maryanne Pappas at

HH In the News

Cigna in Contract Dispute With Parent Company of Four CT Hospitals

The Hartford Courant, Aug. 13

People who have Cigna Corp. as their health insurer could face higher, out-of-network rates for non-emergency medical care starting Oct. 1 at four hospitals in the Hartford region affiliated with Hartford HealthCare.

The health insurer and hospital system have failed to agree on terms of a new contract, and the current contract expires Sept. 30.

Hartford HealthCare sent letters Friday warning of the potentially higher rates that could affect 20,900 Cigna customers who have been patients at any of Hartford HealthCare’s acute care facilities: Hartford Hospital, MidState Medical Center in Meriden, Hospital of Central Connecticut in New Britain and Southington, and Windham Hospital in Willimantic.


Statins Are Linked To Muscle Pain, Sprains

Daily Bulletin, August 12

Cholesterol-lowering drugs could be tied to more muscle problems than researchers previously believed, a new study hints.

Researchers compared two groups of similar people enrolled in military health insurance and found those taking a statin were about 10 percent more likely to have muscle pain, sprains or strains.

Past studies have tied the popular cholesterol drugs to muscle weakness as well as the rare muscle-wasting disease rhabdomyolysis. Dr. Paul Thompson, chief of cardiology at Hartford Hospital in Connecticut, said his own research suggests about 5 percent of people will have muscle problems related to statin use.

“We think it’s a much bigger problem than it’s given credit for,” Thompson, who wasn’t involved in the new study, told Reuters Health. However, he said, those muscle problems don’t seem to be permanent. “I encourage people to not worry about the possibilities of muscle troubles,” he said. “If they get muscle troubles, we’ll stop the drug, and it will go away.”


Is There A Place For Google Glass In the Operating Room?

Smart Planet, Aug. 14

Google Glass, the futuristic eyewear that’s equipped with a camera, can shoot video, compose emails and use other specially designed apps, is being tested by educators and students, disabled men and women, rock stars and even Wall Street traders.

And it’s increasingly showing up in hospitals and even operating rooms.

Hartford Hospital in Connecticut was one of the recipients of Google Glass, which is currently in the developer-only stage. Staff at the hospital’s Center for Education, Simulation and Innovation are currently testing the device, reported the Hartford Courant.


Genetic Testing in West Hartford

Jewish Ledger, Aug. 14

On Sunday, Sept. 1, members of the Jewish community from throughout Connecticut will have the opportunity to learn more about their genes – and gain peace of mind — by taking a few minutes out of their day to stop by a genetic screening booth that will be open at the Mandell JCC’s All Wheel Derby event, beginning at 9:30 a.m. The testing is aimed at identifying those who carry genes for Ashkenazi Jewish diseases and Fragile X. The booth will be manned by a trained phlebotomist from the genetic testing lab, Progenity.

A few weeks after the testing, Dr. Adam Borgida, a physician at Hartford Hospital’s Prenatal Testing Center, will receive the confidential results. His genetic counselors will help those affected navigate the next steps.


Patients, doctors lining up for medical marijuana certification

CTPost, Aug. 17

Doctors are signing up on a daily basis to be certified for prescribing medical marijuana under the state's new law. Patients are signing up too, but they may have to investigate a little to find a doctor because the state is not planning to release its list of marijuana-certified physicians.

As of last month, 94 physicians had registered with the state to issue marijuana eligibility certificates to patients, and 766 patients had filed certifications from doctors, the first step in receiving a medical marijuana identification card to legally purchase and use weed.

While some doctors registered to prescribe marijuana are members of the mainstream medical community, such as Andrew Salner, chief of radiation oncology at Hartford Hospital, others work in the alternative or holistic health care field.


Fitch Affirms HHC at 'A'; Outlook Stable

Yahoo Finance, Sept. 6

Fitch Ratings has affirmed the 'A' rating for the following bonds issued on behalf of Hartford HealthCare (HHC):
Connecticut Health and Educational Facilities Authority
--$254.7 million series 2011A revenue bonds;
--$71.1 million series 2011B variable rate demand revenue bonds*;
--$50 million series 2011C taxable variable rate demand bonds**.
*The series 2011B bonds are supported by a direct pay letter of credit issued by Bank of America N.A. **The series 2011C bonds are supported by a direct pay letter of credit issued by JPMorgan Chase Bank, N.A.
The Rating Outlook is Stable.


HHC Commits $31.4 Million Total to 3 Private Equity Funds

Pensions & Investments, Sept. 5

Hartford HealthCare made a combined $31.8 million in new private equity commitments, according to David Holmgren, chief investment officer.

The pension and endowment fund, with a total of $2 billion in assets, committed $21 million to New Mountain Partners IV, managed by New Mountain Capital; $6.3 million to Wingate Partners V; and A$4.5 million ($US4.1 million) to Anacacia Fund II, managed by Anacacia Capital.

Private equity is part of the fund's 57% target allocation to growth assets, which also includes long-only equities, from which commitments will be funded through rebalancing, Mr. Holmgren said.

The New Mountain fund focuses on midcap buyouts; Wingate is a controlling-equity fund in small-cap industries; and the Anacacia fund is a small Australian buyout fund.

In the HHC System

Cigna and hospitals at impasse on contracts

My Record Journal, Aug. 20

Linda Carrano, of Meriden, has been a patient of MidState Medical Center and its affiliated doctors for 33 years and she doesn’t want to have to switch now. But she may have to or face higher out-of-network rates if her insurance company, Cigna Corp., and Hartford Healthcare don’t reach an agreement before their contract expires Sept. 30. The two sides have been negotiating since May.

Hartford HealthCare is the parent company of MidState Medical Center, The Hospital of Central Connecticut Bradley Memorial Campus, in Southington, and the New Britain General Campus, and Windham Hospital, in Willimantic, as well as the Hartford Physician Hospital Organization and 540 health care professionals with exclusive admitting privileges to these hospitals.

Hartford HealthCare sent letters Friday to its more than 20,000 Cigna customers warning of the possibly higher rates to its patients at the four hospitals.


Fitch To 'Watch' Backus Hosp. Debt After Hartford HealthCare Pact

Hartford Business Journal, Aug. 27

Fitch Ratings said Tuesday it is "watching" closely how William H. Backus Hospital handles its long-term debt now that the health care provider is affiliated with Hartford HealthCare.

The "watch" rating on Backus' $63 million in debt, however, isn't a red flag on the hospital's current financial position. In fact, Fitch said Backus' "financial performance and profile is excellent," and its overall debt burden is considered "light."

The hospital's bonds currently carry an overall "A+" rating.

Still, Fitch analysts want to see if Hartford HealthCare agrees to refinance and absorb Backus' debt, like Hartford Healthcare has done with other hospitals it's brought under its wings in recent years.

"[William H. Backus Hospital] is considering refinancing its outstanding debt and joining Hartford's obligated group, but this is still under review and no new money is expected at this time," Fitch said.


Bristol Hospital Advocates Troubled By Prospect of New Medical Facility at HOCC

Hartford Courant, Aug. 23

The Hospital of Central Connecticut is finishing work on a new 15,000-square-foot medical office and primary care center on Pine Street that it says will improve service for its patients from outside of New Britain.

But it's not getting a warm reception from supporters of Bristol Hospital, which is just over a mile away.

"I can only come to the conclusion that they're trying to put Bristol Hospital out of business," state Rep. Whit Betts, R-Bristol, said Thursday. "This is a very provocative and aggressive move by the Hospital of Central Connecticut."

The Hospital of Central Connecticut is relocating the Plainville offices of four physicians to a former school at the busy intersection of Middle and Pine streets in Bristol. That area has become a commercial hub since the new Route 72 was completed, with CVS and Thomaston Savings Bank building large outlets nearby.

When it opens Oct. 1, the facility will have a primary care and walk-in medical office, an outpatient lab, a radiology center and the HOCC Wound Care Center.

"By moving our Plainville office to Bristol, we can expand the range of services we provide to our current and new patients living in Bristol and in the surrounding communities," Dr. Kent Stahl, chief executive officer of Hartford HealthCare Medical Group, said in a statement when the move was announced in July.

Health Care News In the Region

Saint Francis HC Partners And Cigna Start Accountable Care Program To Improve Health and Lower Costs

Daily Finance, Aug. 26

Cigna and Saint Francis HealthCare Partners, a joint venture between Saint Francis Hospital and Medical Center and more than 900 affiliated health care providers, have launched a collaborative accountable care initiative to improve patient access to health care, enhance care coordination, and achieve the "triple aim" of improved health, affordability and patient experience. The program becomes effective October 1, 2013.

Collaborative accountable care is Cigna's approach to accomplishing the same population health goals as accountable care organizations, or ACOs. The program will benefit approximately 20,000 individuals covered by a Cigna health plan who receive care from Saint Francis HealthCare Partners' 216 primary care physicians, 530 specialists and 243 mid-level providers.

Under the program, Saint Francis will monitor and coordinate all aspects of an individual's medical care. Patients will continue to go to their current physician and automatically receive the benefits of the program. Individuals who are enrolled in a Cigna health plan and later choose to seek care from a doctor in the medical group will also have access to the benefits of the program. There are no changes in any plan requirements regarding referrals to specialists. Patients most likely to see the immediate benefits of the program are those who need help managing chronic conditions, such as diabetes, heart disease and obesity.

Hot Topics in Health Care

What's Next At The Health Insurance Exchanges?

NEJM, Sept. 4

On October 1, the health insurance exchanges created by the Affordable Care Act (ACA) will open for business. Administrators must complete myriad tasks if they are to serve the millions of individuals — many of whom will be eligible for subsidies — and employees of small businesses who are ready to buy insurance. Initial glitches are likely. Some may be serious. But with good will and persistence, they can be corrected, as Massachusetts' experience with a law similar to the ACA has shown.

That is not the end of the story, however. After the exchanges are up and running, they will be in a position to make decisions that will help shape the organization, quality, and financing of all U.S. health care.

Coming Events

September 10 (Tuesday)

14th Annual Wheeling and Able Golf Classic

Lyman Orchards Golf Club, Middlefield, 8 a.m.

This 14th Annual Wheeling and Able Golf Classic will be held on Tuesday, Sept. 10 from 8 a.m.-3 the Lyman Orchards Golf Club in Middlefield.

The Hartford Hospital Rehabilitation Network-sponsored golf tournament benefits the National Spinal Cord Injury Association, CT Chapter. The tournament features a scramble format, has several contests and is followed by a BBQ and raffle. Fee is $175/person; $600/foursome.

Brad Field, chief meteorologist at NBC-TV Channel 30, is honorary chair and emcee.

Registration is required by Aug. 23. Contact Ellen Franks at 860-972-2532 or


September 10 (Tuesday)

Cardiology Grand Rounds

JB 118, 11 a.m.

Dr. Lane Duvall


September 12 (Thursday)

Schwartz Rounds: Suicide

Hartford Room, IOL, 12-1:30 p.m.

For all IOL medical and clinical staff.


September 18 (Wednesday)

Department of Surgery Awards To Be Presented Sept. 18

HH Special Dining Room, 2 p.m.

The Department of Surgery and Surgical Collaborative Management Team will be hosting their annual awards ceremony on Wednesday, September 18, 2-4 p.m., in Hartford Hospital's Special Dining Room.

The event was rescheduled from May 30, following the death of Dr. Mark Sebastian, director of the Trauma Service, on May 28.

The event recognizes faculty and staff for outstanding professional achievements and activities that improve the quality and safety of patient care. For more information, contact Erika Perricone, ext. 5-4670.


September 19 (Thursday)

Emergency Medicine Grand Rounds

Gilman Auditorium, 12 p.m.

Dr. Michael Stone, Brigham and Women's Hospital: Ultrasound Evaluation of the Patient in Shock


September 23 (Monday)

Technical Writing for Better Documentation and Communication

ERC third floor Library Classroom, 2 p.m.

The Health Science Libraries are offering a class called "Technical Writing for Better Documentation and Communication" on Monday, Sept. 23 from 2-4 p.m. in the ERC 3rd floor Library Classroom. Instructor will be Sheila Hayes. 2 Category-1 PRA credits awarded for this class.

The class will be offered again on Monday, November 11.

To register, call/email Sheila Hayes at 860-972-2416 or


September 29 (Sunday)

Fundamentals of Robotic Surgery Course

CESI, 7:30 a.m.- 12 noon

Taught by Dr. Joseph Wagner. To register, go to or call 800-545-7664.


October 2 (Wednesday)

29th Annual Cardiovascular Symposium

Connecticut Convention Center, 7:30 a.m. - 3:30 p.m.


Jan Basile, MD, Professor of Medicine, Seinsheimer Cardiovascular Health Program, Medical University of South Carolina

Larry B. Goldstein, MD, Professor of Medicine (Neurology); Director, Duke Stroke Center, Duke University Medical Center

Martin S. Maron, MD, Assistant Professor of Medicine; Director, Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy Center; Tufts Medical Center

Patrick T. O’Gara, MD, Professor, Harvard Medical School; Executive Medical Director, Shapiro Cardiovascular Center; Director, Clinical Cardiology, Brigham & Women’s

Gosta Pettersson, MD, Vice Chairman, Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery, Surgical Director of Lung Transplantation; Cleveland Clinic

Daniel J. Rader, MD, Edward S. Cooper, MD/Norman Roosevelt and Elizabeth Meriwether McLure Professor; Chief, Division of Translational Medicine and Human Genetics; Associate Director, Institute for Translational Medicine and Therapeutics; Director, Preventive Cardiovascular Program, Penn Heart and Vascular Center

William S. Weintraub, MD, Christiana Care; John H. Ammon Chair of Cardiology, Center for Heart and Vascular Health; Director of the Christiana Care Center for Outcomes

To register visit


October 3 (Thursday) and Nov. 5 (Tuesday)

Updates in Urology and Kidney Disease for the PCP

5-8 p.m.

A two-session education event for primary care physicians on updates in the care of the patient with urologic conditions or kidney disease.

Attend one or both sessions- dinner and CME provided. No charge to attend. Angelo's on Main-Rockledge in West Hartford.

Speakers will be urologists and nephrologists from the Tallwood Urology and Kidney Institute.

Registration link.


October 11 (Friday)

Surgery Grand Rounds: The Fifteenth Annual Crombie Lecture on the Humanities in Surgery

Heublein Hall, 6:45 a.m.

Creativity in Art and Medicine
Presenter: Joseph J. Klimek, M.D., F.A.C.P. vice president, Physician Relations, Hartford Hospital
Art exhibit to follow


October 15 (Tuesday)

Women Physician Organization Meeting

The Hartford Golf Club, West Hartford, 6:30-8 p.m.

Presentation on the HHC Women's GI Center, with Drs. Maria Johnson, Kiran Sachdev, and Kristina Johnson

Register on line at or call 860-545-1888.


October 17 (Thursday)

Hepatitis C Summit

ERC Heublein Hall, 8 a.m.-3:15 p.m.

The Hepatitis C Summit is a one day conference focusing on the screening, diagnosis, pharmacological treatment and surgical management of people with Hepatitis C.

The event is sponsored by the Hartford Hospital Comprehensive Liver Center, Hartford Hospital Transplant Program and Connecticut Department of Public Health. Physicians-$75; Nurses, PAs, residents-$50; Others-$35. Physicians may register online at All other participants should call Health Referral Service at 860-545-1888.


SAVE THE DATE: Nov. 7 (Thursday)

8th Annual Interdisciplinary Transplant Symposium

Sheraton Hartford South Hotel in Rocky Hill, 7:45 a.m.-4 p.m.

The Transplant Symposium provides an opportunity for experts in the fields of kidney, liver and heart transplantation to present cutting-edge information to individuals working with transplant recipients and living donors. It also provides an opportunity for individuals interested in transplantation to learn more about this dynamic field.

Registration fees: (Early bird discount through September 30):

  • Hartford HealthCare Employees: $50 ($75 after Oct. 1)
  • Non-Hartford HealthCare Employees: $75 ($100 after Oct. 1)
  • Students: $25 ($50 after Oct. 1)

Participants paying the $100 registration fee may register online at All others should call the Health Referral Service at 860-545-1888 or toll-free 800-545-7664.

For more information, contact Eliz Valentin, Transplant Program, at or 860-972-4339.


November 21 (Thursday)

Annual Meeting of the Hartford Hospital Corporators

Heublein Hall, 11:45 a.m.-2 p.m.



January 25, 2014 (Saturday)

Black & Red

Bushnell Center for the Performing Arts, 6 p.m.

Featuring the music of Barenaked Ladies.




For more coming events, click here.

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. If you would like to be added to the Seymour Street Journal email list, or to receive it at a different email address, please opt-in at This ensures that you will receive the newsletter at your preferred email address. Back issues can be viewed here. For any questions or suggestions, please contact Dr. Jeffry Nestler, Medical Staff President, at (860) 836-7313.