From the Offices of Stuart Markowitz, MD and Stacy Nerenstone, MD


Free CME for License Renewal: Click here for instant access

In This Issue... June 8, 2014 Edition

Wash In - Wash Out









We continue to improve our hand-hygiene compliance, advancing from a 75 percent total overall compliance rate in July 2013 to 88 percent as of mid-May. However, we still have work to do in our hospital and system.

In mid-May, although Hartford Hospital nurses were top in the system with a compliance rate of 84 percent, that rate was down from 89 percent in April.

Our physician assistants were first in the system with a compliance rate of 91 percent in mid-May, compared to 86 percent in April.

Our physicians were fourth in the system with an 82 percent compliance rate, compared to 84 percent in April.

We will continue peer checking and reminders and increase the number of accountability agents on the floors.



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.



"This year, Hartford Hospital celebrates 160 years of medical firsts and continues to deliver excellent, compassionate care to the communities we serve."

- Dr. Stu Markowitz, President


HH Facts and Firsts:

2004 - Dr. Domenic Zambuto was the first physician in the state to successfully retrieve an inferior vena cava filtering device.


Follow Hartford Hospital on facebook, youtube and twitter


Chief's Corner

GreeneWelcome 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. Should you have any comments or suggestions along the way, please share them with us.

- Dr. Jack Greene, Hartford HealthCare regional vice president of Medical Affairs for the Hartford Region and Hartford Hospital


Change in Pharmacy Policy Regarding Prescribing IV Acetaminophen

Recently, the cost of IV acetaminophen has tripled from $12 per one gram dose to approx. $36 for a one gram dose. This means at HH we will be spending more than $2 million per year on IV acetaminophen. This cost increase is untenable and cannot be sustained by Hartford Hospital.

Therefore, both the P&T Committee and Medical Executive Committee have approved the following cost saving program, which went into effect Thursday, June 5, 2014. It is important to start this process now as the new house-staff will be starting in the next few weeks.

If patients are not NPO and have an NG tube or are receiving tube feedings, then the acetaminophen liquid may be ordered.

If patients are taking oral medications or are not NPO (receiving a regular diet, full liquids, etc.) and IV acetaminophen is ordered (ATC or PRN), then the pharmacist must automatically switch the IV acetaminophen to oral acetaminophen at the same dose, frequency and schedule as the IV order.

The order you enter does not need a 24 hour outdate. The order should be entered in Sunrise as a "Protocol" and not under the prescriber's name.

If there are issues with this change that arise during the day shift, then prescribers may page Richard Gannon, Pharm.D., (beeper 3315). During the off shifts, please email or leave a voicemail message (860-972-4316) for Dr. Gannon.


GreeneVertebral Compression Fracture Treatment

Dr. Michael Hallisey, division director of Interventional Radiology

Vertebral compression fractures (VCF) affect an estimated 25% of all postmenopausal women and 40% of women greater than age 89. The presenting history is not specific and 66% of VCFs go undiagnosed.

About 900,000 spine fractures occur each year, exceeding the combined fractures of the hip and wrist. More than 150,000 people are hospitalized due to pain and medical management of VCFs, and the average hospital stay is eight days.

Vertebral augmentation (Kyphoplasty) appears superior in treating these fractures and may shorten hospital stay. Vertebral augmentation involves mechanically creating a cavity in the vertebral body by placing a needle through the posterior elements of the verterbral body, compacting the fracture fragments with a balloon and then cementing the fragments together.

The procedure is performed using imaging guidance in interventional radiology using either CAT scan or fluoroscopy and takes less than 90 minutes. A newer modification of this technique is also allowing treatment of metastatic tumors that cause vertebral body compression by using high energy ablation and cementing of the fracture.

Many of the procedures are performed with local anesthesia only. This new procedure may reduce the pain associated with these fractures, get the patient back on their feet faster and shorten hospital stay.

If a patient has a suspected compression fracture, they can contact Interventional Radiology at 860-972-3597.


NO EXCEPTIONS to Hair Covering Policy in the OR

We just underwent an unannounced CMS visit pertaining to infection control.

One major issue was exposed hair in the operating rooms. It was made clear that this has been cited on previous visits and if this is found again at a future visit THERE WILL BE serious consequences.

WE MUST COMPLY with the hair covering policy. Failure to comply with our own policy may result in interruption of and/or delays in OR cases until we can assure compliance.

There will be no exceptions. Please pay attention to this important patient safety concern.


High Reliability Training Sessions for Physicians

Sessions for physician training in high reliability training are being scheduled. All doctors who go into the hospital should plan on taking the 90-minute course.

Pick a time today! Email to register.

Sessions will be held in JB-118 unless otherwise indicated:

  • Thursday, June 12 - 6:45 a.m. (dining rooms A, B, C)
  • Tuesday, July 8 - 6:45-8:15 a.m.
  • Wednesday, July 9 - 5:30-7 p.m.
  • Wednesday, August 13 - 6:45-8:15 a.m.
  • Thursday, August 14 - 5:30-7 p.m.
Top News

Doctors First in the State to Offer New Groundbreaking Treatment for Atrial Fibrillation

For the third time in recent months, the team of electrophysiologists at Hartford Hospital have completed another first in providing the latest, most advanced treatment for patients with heart rhythm complications.

Doctors at Hartford Hospital are now using the THERMOCOOL SMARTTOUCH Catheter, the first catheter approved by the FDA in the U.S. to feature contact force technology for ablation procedures in patients with atrial fibrillation (A-Fib) and ventricular tachycardia.

Dr. Edmond Cronin, Hartford Hospital cardiac electrophysiologist, was the first physician in Connecticut to use the new catheter.

This latest technology enables doctors to accurately control the amount of contact force applied to the heart wall during radiofrequency catheter ablation procedures.

Consistent and stable application of contact force while threading a catheter against the heart wall has been demonstrated to have a significant impact on patient outcomes during catheter ablation and avoidance of excessive contact may also improve safety.


April HCAHPS Score Just Shy of Goal

Hartford Hospital's HCAHPS overall score for April was 67.5%, slightly shy of the FY14 goal of 69.8%.

Breaking it down by nursing units:

  • 7 were above the institutional goal (CB4, N9, N8, B10E, B5E, C10, N11)
  • 5 were close to the goal (N10, B9E, B8, CB2, N12)
  • 7 were below goal (CB6, B7E, B11E, Maternity, ED, CB5, C12)


Hartford Anesthesiology Associates Supports Bone & Joint Institute with $1 Million Gift

Hartford Anesthesiology Associates (HAA) is contributing $1 million to the Campaign for Hartford Hospital, the building and facilities improvement project that will reshape the hospital's campus and strengthen its position in the rapidly changing healthcare environment.

HAA is the first medical group to make a donation to the campaign. The group's lead gift will support the new Hartford HealthCare Bone & Joint Institute at Hartford Hospital. The generous commitment will be recognized on one of the 30-bed inpatient floors in the $110 million Bone & Joint Institute, which is expected to be up and running in two years.

"Our group has provided care at Hartford Hospital for more than 50 years," said Dr. William Ceruzzi, president of HAA. "We are very excited with the new initiatives the hospital is pursuing. HAA is pleased with our partnership and excited about the vitality of Hartford Hospital and Hartford HealthCare. We proudly support and contribute to the hospital's mission of patient-centered care."


GreeneDr. Linda Durst Named Medical Director of IOL

Dr. Linda Durst has been named medical director at the Institute of Living (IOL), a division of Hartford Hospital and an affiliate of the Hartford HealthCare Behavioral Health Network.

"Dr. Durst is a board certified psychiatrist with extensive clinical, teaching and administrative experience, a mix of skills that make her the right person to take on the responsibilities as IOL medical director,” said Dr. Harold I. Schwartz, IOL psychiatrist-in-chief and vice president of the HHC BHN. "We welcome her to Connecticut and to IOL knowing that her leadership, her clinical expertise and her health care management skills will greatly benefit the patients IOL serves and the community at large."

Dr. Durst comes to IOL from the Pennsylvania Psychiatric Institute, where she was chief medical officer. At the same time, she served as associate professor of Psychiatry at Penn State College of Medicine.

"I am very excited about joining the Hartford HealthCare family, particularly such a venerable institution as the Institute of Living," Dr. Durst said. "I look forward to relocating to beautiful Connecticut and serving the behavioral health needs of the community."

Dr. Durst has worked in all levels of behavioral health care, including inpatient, outpatient, partial hospital, intensive outpatient, residential and nursing home, achieving expertise in the treatment of behavioral dyscontrol in intellectually disabled adults as well as grief therapy.

She has received awards for writing, teaching and clinical skill and has been recognized as a Best Doctor in America since 2009.


Tricia Hasselman Named ICP VP of Contracting and Payer Relations

Tricia Hasselman has been appointed ICP vice president of Contracting and Payer Relations. She will be responsible for planning, developing and executing strategic initiatives related to the development of our fee-for-value arrangements with both commercial and government payers.

She comes to ICP with a wealth of experience in medical-cost management, planning and forecasting, financial analysis, and provider negotiation and contracting, as well as in developing networks with commercial insurers, Medicare and Medicaid.

Hasselman's previous position was with Wellpoint, the parent company of Anthem Blue Cross/Blue Shield, where she served as staff vice president of Medicaid Provider Engagement and Contracting. Previously, she was vice president of Medicaid Network Development and Medical Economics for Aetna, with responsibility for the East Region of the United States. One of her many accomplishments in that role was to implement a cost-management process for the Medicaid Business Unit, increasing cost savings by 150 percent. Her other positions with Aetna include Medical Economics head for the Northeast, manager of Pricing and Compensation for the Northeast Region, and financial consultant for Provider Pricing and Compensation.

In the community, she has served in a number of roles, including board member, with MARC: Community Resources Ltd., a Middletown-based organization that assists adults and children with intellectual and developmental disabilities by providing them with opportunities for housing, employment and social activities.


Physician Leadership Development Institute Graduates

The following 31 physicians from throughout the HHC system, including 17 from Hartford Hospital, have graduated from the Hartford HealthCare Physician Leadership Development Institute.

Dr. Nader Bahadory

Dr. Christine Bartus

Dr. Jennifer Bellino

Dr. David Coletti

Dr. Elizabeth Deckers

Dr. Michael Einstein

Dr. Fadi Hammami

Dr. Daniel Kombert

Dr. Syera Mathews

Dr. Christopher Morosky

Dr. Rajani Nadkarni

Dr. Thomas Nowicki

Dr. Pavlos Papasavas

Dr. Mahesh Patel

Dr. Joseph Portereiko

Dr. Michael Posner

Dr. Joseph Radojevic

Dr. Nirmala Ramadhar-Persaud

Dr. William Sardella

Dr. Mark Shekhman

Dr. Isaac Silverman

Dr. Robert Spillane

Dr. Barry Stein

Dr. Jay Stutz

Dr. Colin Swales

Dr. Kevin Tally

Dr. Elizabeth Tillman

Dr. Nicholas Verdura

Dr. Alan Weiner

Dr. Paul Weigle

Dr. Steven Zweibel


HHC Eliminating 350 Jobs

The Hartford Courant, June 2

Hartford HealthCare, a statewide network of health care providers with 18,000 workers, is eliminating 350 jobs, the chief operating officer announced June 2. About 230 people will be leaving, through layoffs, buyouts and retirements, and the rest of the jobs are vacant positions, a spokeswoman said.

Hartford HealthCare includes Hartford Hospital and the Institute of Living as well as smaller hospitals in Meriden, Windham, New Britain and Norwich, nursing homes, physicians' practices and home health care services.

In November, HHC cut 179 jobs, 95 through layoffs, voluntary retirements and resignations, and by eliminating 40 unfilled positions. In June's round of layoffs, 46 people are leaving the Hartford region, which includes Hartford Hospital and Hartford HealthCare Rehabilitation Network, 44 people are leaving from the East Region, which contains Windham and Backus Hospital and Clinical Laboratory Partners; and 34 are leaving the Central Region, which includes MidState Medical Center and the Hospital of Central Connecticut. The other 88 people who are leaving their jobs are from other parts of the system.

Jeffrey Flaks, chief operating officer, wrote to staff Monday and explained the layoffs are because "We are focused on creating a more cost-efficient organization. We have reduced and targeted more than $200 million in non-staff costs through HHC Thrive and other initiatives. However, we have to ensure that our staff size is appropriate to our patient volumes and the current economic conditions."

Flaks said the cuts are necessary because fewer patients are covered by private insurance and more have Medicare or Medicaid, which pay providers less. He wrote, "We have seen a significant drop in our core inpatient business."

The workers will be leaving over the next 30 days.

"There is a national mandate to lower the cost structure of health care. Today's announcement -- although difficult and painful -- shows how we are organizing ourselves to stay ahead of the change," said Rebecca Stewart, director of media relations. "Over the past several years, we have had an ongoing effort on driving efficiencies, lowering costs, reducing duplication in services and enhancing quality to make health care more affordable to patients. We expect to achieve a positive operating margin, but we need to reduce costs further."

Flaks said it may seem like a paradox that the system is spending on new outpatient sites and The Hospital of Central Connecticut's new cancer center, but he said investing in growth is essential in the competitive marketplace.

"If we do not reach our financial performance goals, we are in danger of losing access to the capital we need for growth at a time when we face new, for-profit competitors with substantial financial capabilities," he wrote.


Advancing Medicine Looks at Men's Health

Men's health at Hartford Hospital is the subject of the next episode of Advancing Medicine, scheduled to air Thursday, June 26, at 7:30 p.m. on WFSB-Channel 3.

Hartford Hospital's expert care in bariatric surgery, cardiology, urology, and black men's health will be showcased.

Participating will be Dr. Darren Tishler, Dr. Godfrey Pearlson, Dr. Robert Hagberg, Dr. Steve Shichman, Dr. Joseph Wagner, Dr. Pavlos Papasavas, Dr. Andrew Salner, and Dr. Michael O'Loughlin.

After the show, the physicians will be in studio to answer call in questions.

To program your DVR online or via a mobile device, go to


Partnership Grows Adult Cystic Fibrosis Center

Hartford Hospital's Adult Cystic Fibrosis Center has grown to now serve 100 patients. Through a partnership with Connecticut Children's Medical Center, we formed the Central Connecticut Cystic Fibrosis Center to transition pediatric patients to adult-specific services.

The Adult Cystic Fibrosis Center at Hartford Hospital has been committed to a seamless transition from pediatric to adult care, continuous quality improvement, and adherence to established standards of medical therapy. The center provides multidisciplinary, high-quality care based on education and research and is one of only 117 centers accredited by the nationally recognized the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation.


Farmington and Storrs HHC Family Health Centers Opening

Hartford HealthCare will hold grand openings of two family health centers - in Farmington and Storrs - in June.

The Farmington Family Health Center grand opening will be held on Saturday, June 14, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. with a ribbon cutting at 10:30 a.m. It is located at 406 Farmington Ave., Farmington.

The grand opening of Storrs Family Health Center will be held on Monday, June 23, from 5-7 p.m. It is located at 1244 Storrs Road, Storrs. The opening will feature a "business after hours" event, where we bring the business community together, showcasing how we help to improve health and wellness through primary care, urgent care and rehabilitation services, as well as to provide education resources. This is an opportunity to get to know the Storrs community while celebrating our newest family health center.


Take the CareConnect Survey By Wednesday and Be Entered in a Drawing

Please take a moment to complete the CareConnect survey about acute care at Hartford Hospital. We need your valuable feedback to help with our transformation to using Epic as our electronic health care records platform.

The deadline to complete the survey is Wednesday, June 11.

When you finish the survey, you are welcome to enter a drawing to win one of three $50 gift cards. To submit your entry send an email to; type Raffle in the Subject line and click Send. Your email address will not be linked to your survey responses. Your survey responses will remain anonymous.

Complete the survey here:


Stop the Stigma of Mental Illness

We are asking all HHC medical staff to take a pledge and sign their name to the following:

  • I pledge: To teach by sharing my own experiences with mental illness and encouraging others to share their stories with me; I will learn in order to change.
  • I pledge: To show compassion by reaching out to those in need of help; I will not let anyone suffer in silence.
  • I pledge: To have the courage to speak up and challenge stereotypes and attitudes; I will not tolerate or perpetuate stigma.
  • I pledge: To demand a change in how we view and address mental illness; I will help lead the way.

The goal is to obtain 10,000 individual pledges, spreading the message that changing attitudes can begin to change minds. So far, more than 8,600 have taken the pledge.

Ask everyone — fellow employees, volunteers, patients, the community — to “take a pledge.” It is online now at


Drs. Gluck, Venkatesh and Rheiner Receive Aldo Belucci Faculty Teaching Award

The UConn Internal Medicine residents selected Drs. Jason Gluck, Peru Venkatesh and Jacqueline Rheiner to receive the Aldo Belucci Teaching Award in recognition of their contributions to their education and professional growth.

The citation reads: "This award has been created to recognize member(s) of the attending staff at Hartford Hospital deemed by interns and residents of the University of Connecticut Internal Medicine Residency Program to be an outstanding teacher, unselfish, and dedicated to the education of the house-staff."


Dr. D'Andrea Joseph Participates in Little Black Dress Event for Interval House

Dr. D'Andrea Joseph was a guest model at the 2014 Little Black Dress event on June 7 at the Hartford Hilton. The event raised money for Interval House, and highlights our partner in trauma and domestic violence prevention.


Our Physicians Are Great Sources For Local Media

Dr. J. Craig Allen was interviewed by Fox CT on May 27 about PTSD and military deployments.

Dr. Peter Beller interviewed by NBC CT on May 27 about deep vein thrombosis in young women.

Dr. A.K. Jain interviewed by NBC CT on May 27 about deep vein thrombosis in young women. Watch it here.

Dr. Kent Stahl was interviewed by WTIC AM on May 30 about the HHC MG access initiative and HHC's clinical affiliation with CVS. Hear it here.



You can always view a list of media interviews on the website under Hartford Hospital Making Headlines.

Academics and Research

List of Available Continuing Medical Education

There is a list of continuing medical education offerings available on the Hartford Hospital web site (

Click on the Medical Professionals tab, then click on Continuing Medical Education in the drop-down menu. That opens up the Continuing Medical Education page; in the center of the page is the link to the Program Grids. There are three different grids listing recurring programs.


Schwartz Center Rounds: Advanced Self Preservation for Healthcare Providers

Schwartz Center Rounds will be held on Wednesday, June 25 from 11:30 a.m. to 12:45 pm in Gilman Auditorium. Lunch is provided free.

The topic this month is Advanced Self Preservation for Healthcare Providers. Special guest speakers are Doris Armstrong, RN, retired vice president of nursing, and Dr. H. David Crombie, retired director of surgery.

Please join us. No need to RSVP. If you have questions, please call Kathy Burns at 860-545-5712.


First Annual Medical Cannabis Symposium

The First Annual Medical Cannabis Symposium will be held on Wednesday, June 25 at the Aqua Turf Club in Southington from 7:30 a.m. to 3:15 p.m.

Faculty members are: Dr. Alexander Makryannis, Northeaster University; Dr. Mark Ware, Canadian Consortium for the Investigation of Cannabinoids; Dr. Deepak D'Souza, Yale School of Medicine; John Gadea, RPh, director of the CT Drug Control Division; and Dr. Alan Shackelford, MD from Amarimed in Denver.

The symposium is co-sponsored by Windham Hospital and the CT Pharmacists Association. Continuing education credits will be available.

Price is $99, which includes CE, breakfast, lunch, and program materials.


Small Grant Program and New Investigator Initiative Introduced

Hartford Hospital Research Administration is pleased to announce funding opportunities in two areas: Small Grant program and New Investigator initiative. The funds are sponsored by HH Medical Staff and Hartford Hospital Research Administration.

The Small Grant program funds promising investigator-initiated projects or pilot studies that address system wide goals of patient safety, quality or personalized medicine AND will lead to major submissions for external funding. The funding can cover any aspect of study cost, including salary support, supplies, analytic and/or data base support, etc, however requests for travel, lap-tops, computers, or other capital expenses are generally not allowable. The maximum award will be $10,000.

The New Investigator program provides support for projects involving investigators in post graduate training programs or Hartford Healthcare employees in the first five years of their careers who require nominal financial support for small research projects. Residents and fellows must be working with a mentor who is willing to assume the responsibility of being the Principal Investigator. The grant funding can cover statistics and database services, lab or test fees, or patient compensation. Salary costs and travel are not covered. The maximum award will be $2,000.

The maximum funding amounts should be viewed as a limit and not a target. Budgets should be streamlined and designed to cover essentials only. The RC will evaluate the scientific merit, originality, budget and relationship to the specific goals of the HHC research enterprise. The RC may approve a proposal for funding at a funding level less than the total requested.

Key dates:

  • June 16, 6 p.m. - Letter of Intent submitted by e-mail
  • July 15: Investigators will be informed as to whether they are being invited to submit full application by or before July 15
  • August 18, 6 p.m. - Full Application/Proposal due, submitted thru IRIS
  • Sept. 30: RC funding decisions made and funds encumbered for new proposals

It is anticipated that projects will be approximately one year in duration. Any projects with a longer duration than one year must apply for an extension. A progress report is due at month 6 and one year. A draft manuscript is due at the completion of the project.

Please share with any potential investigator that did not receive this notice.

Any questions concerning this timeline should be addressed to Dr. Ilene Staff (

Voices of Our Patients

Voices of Our Patients: Kudos to Dr. Karen Zabrensky, Dr. Aaron Shafer, Dr. Elena Tunitsky, and Dr. Jonathan Tress

Dear Dr. Zabrensky, Dr. Shafer, Dr. Tunitsky, and Dr. Tress,

I would like to express my gratitude for your exceptional care and expertise before, during and after my surgery. The teamwork shown for my care exceeded any expectations i could have imagined. Your expert assessment, skill, and coordination resulted in a successful outcome and fast recovery.

Surgery and the prospect of cancer is always a scary thing, but i always felt comfortable as i went through the process of tests and appointments due to your communication and explanation of problems and procedures. The quick scheduling gave an additional comfort and produced less anxiety. Your office support staff was always helpful and pleasant.

The atmosphere surrounding my care was outstanding. When i arrived at 5:45 a.m. the Information Desk person was bright and cheery. Getting off the elevator to be greeted and walked to the pre-op area, I never was left wondering if I was in the right area. The surgical team visits and questions in pre-op gave additional confidence. the entire hospital staff in pre/post-op, and on the floor, were responsive, considerate and caring.

This is the way healthcare should be. I cannot thank you all enough for my care, and appreciate how fortunate I am to have you taking care of me.

Thank you,

Merrill Knapp

Operational Update

Library Services for HHC Physicians

The Librarians of Hartford HealthCare's Knowledge Management and Library Services Division have selected a core collection of resources that offers balanced coverage of all areas of Medicine. The collection includes books, journals and literature databases. Professional librarians are available to provide assistance, demonstrations or classes on how to use resources.

MyAthens is your direct access to all library services and resources and is provided free to you by Hartford HealthCare. Registration is required, but you pick a password. You never have to change the password, but you will need to re-verify your registration yearly.

Register for a "MyAthens" account at:

Please Note: You must use your HHChealth email address. If you do not have a HHC email, please call Robinson Library at 860-545-2230 or email

Please give us your:

  • Full name
  • Primary HHC institution
  • Email address
  • Phone number
  • Specify if you are a physician, APRN or PA

We will create a registration for you and it will be sent to your email.

From any computer, on-site or remote, you have access to these high quality knowledge-based resources and information services which will support the exceptional patient experience envisioned for our system.


Save the Date for the 2015 Black & Red, featuring the Blues Brothers Starring Dan Aykroyd and Jim Belushi

Join us for a night with the Blues Brothers Starring Dan Aykroyd & Jim Belushi and a celebration of the dedication and extraordinary work of the Hartford Hospital Trauma Center at the 24th annual Black & Red gala on Saturday, January 24, 2015, at The Bushnell in Hartford.

The beneficiary of the 2015 gala, the Hartford Hospital Trauma Center, is the only Level 1 Trauma Center in the region, as classified by the American College of Surgeons. Evaluating more than 14,000 injuries a year, ranging from minor to life-threatening, the Emergency Department and LIFE STAR are the gateway for many patients to Hartford Hospital's innovative and complex trauma care.

The gala provides us with an exciting opportunity to recognize one of the busiest trauma centers in New England. With the Blues Brothers Starring Dan Aykroyd and Jim Belushi as the night's entertainment, the 2015 gala promises to be a don't-miss event.

Stay tuned for ticket and sponsorship information. For up-to-the-minute details, visit


Third Annual Medical Staff Chef to Farm Dinner - June 20

Members of the Hartford Hospital Medical Staff and their guests are invited to join the officers and other members of the Medical Staff for a special social evening at the third Annual Medical Staff Chef to Farm Dinner on Friday, June 20 at Rosedale Farms, 25 East Weatogue Street, Simsbury.

It is a unique opportunity for members of the Medical Staff to socialize and enjoy each other’s company while celebrating the beauty and abundant bounty of our local farms.

Cost is $100 per person. Please make your check out to the Medical Staff Office.


Do You Have Any Old Stethoscopes? Donate Them To An African Mission

Don't know what to do with your old stethoscopes? Donate them to a SOTENI work camp/mission trip that will be traveling to Mbakalo, a small village in the western region of Kenya, East Africa in early July. The nurses who work in the Dispensary/Clinic in this village need stethoscopes.

Thank you in advance for your donations.

You can drop off your stethoscope with Sue Podolski in the main administration office.


Please Take This Brief Survey: Center For Global Health

The Hartford Hospital network has a history of leadership in providing volunteer health services both domestically and abroad.  At the same time, Hartford Hospital continues to advance tremendously in technology and service excellence. In order to best utilize these resources to have a positive impact on global health issues, a Center for Global Health has been created to facilitate and coordinate various local and international activities.

A generous contribution has been made by the Medical Staff and the hospital. We are actively working to raise awareness and funds for the center.

Our goal is to build a Center for Global Health that will integrate and coordinate the global health activities of our staff. The center will leverage existing relationships and strengthen our ability to have a positive impact on global health matters and serve a global health mission that is in line with the mission of Hartford Hospital. The support we receive from our community will be vital as we work to build the Center for Global Health at Hartford Hospital.

Please complete a survey by the Hartford Hospital Center for Global Health.  This survey should only take about five to ten minutes of your time.  Survey results will be used in the development of Hartford Hospital's first global health database. Your survey responses are important to us as we work to identify the global health activities of our physicians, clinicians, and staff, as well as your interest in participating in future opportunities.


No-Fee Deadline extended to June 30 to Move HH 403(b) TSA to Prudential

Until June 30, you may transfer your Hartford Hospital 403(b)/TSA balance to Prudential and pay no fees for the transfer.

Hartford HealthCare's retirement savings plans are now managed by Prudential. As of Jan. 1, 2014, your retirement savings deductions go into your new Prudential account. But the balance of the Hartford Hospital 403(b)/TSA was not automatically moved.

Account consolidation is entirely your choice and you can do it at any time. Until June 30, Prudential will reimburse you for any fees associated with the account transfer charged by your previous fund manager. After June 30, you will be responsible for fees associated with the switch.

To ensure that employees who wish to can take advantage of the fee waiver, representatives from Prudential may call or e-mail you to offer personalized assistance. This is a service offered by HHC for your convenience and you are under no obligation. Keep in mind that if Prudential attempts to contact you, both caller ID and email address will identify the correspondence as coming from Prudential or Before any personal account information is discussed you may be asked to confirm name, address and last four digits of your social security number.

It is recommended you start the consolidation process no later than June 15. If you have an outstanding loan at the prior provider, it may not be possible to transfer your entire balance to Prudential.

For more information call Prudential at 1-800-249-2430.


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.” Follow this link for instant access

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.



Remind a Colleague: Wash In, Wash Out

All health care workers and patients should feel comfortable reminding any other health care worker to sanitize regardless of their role. This should always be done in a courteous and constructive manner. All health care workers should respond courteously and gratefully when reminded.

If you remind another health care worker to sanitize, and he or she responds with irritation or hostility, please notify their department chief, Dr. Jamie Roche or Dr. Jack Ross, who will communicate with them to prevent recurrences.

Did You Know?

Supply Cost Stats

In FY2013, the Hartford Hospital Laundry purchased more than $1.9 million worth of linen, scrub wear and textiles.

ICP News

ICP News! Palliative Care and Patient Satisfaction

Please find attached the June issue of ICP News.

This issue's feature story is "Palliative Medicine Rising to Awareness in Improving the Quality of Care."

Read what ICP is doing and what it means for you.

HH In the News

Genetic Changes Linked to Altered Default Mode Network in Psychosis

MedWire News, May 8

Researchers have identified biological processes likely to underlie altered activity in the resting-state default mode network (DMN) in patients with psychosis.

The study involved 1305 participants who underwent functional magnetic resonance imaging. They included 324 mentally healthy controls, 296 patients with schizophrenia and 179 of their unaffected first-degree relatives, and 300 patients with psychotic bipolar disorder and 206 of their unaffected first-degree relatives.

Lead study author Shashwath Meda (Institute of Living at Hartford Hospital, Connecticut, USA) and team identified three DMNs in these participants: an anterior, inferior-posterior, and superior-posterior DMN.

Meda et al say that such pathways have been directly linked to psychotic diagnoses. By contrast, their study provides a link with a recognized, measurable intermediate phenotype, rather than with psychiatric diagnoses that are "based on clinical phenomenology and lack biological validity."

They conclude: "Having measurable phenotypes and knowing their molecular underpinnings in a transdiagnostic, multivariate-context suggest novel strategies for drug targeting and customization in these serious disorders."

Read more here.

Hartford Hospital Funds Revitalize, Helps Make Impact

Hartford Courant, May 23

When many people - with an array of strengths and resources - join together to make an impact, incredible things can happen. The beauty of collective impact is the opportunity it provides for many people, from varying sectors, to collaborate to address a problem and work together to find a solution. While Urban Alliance has been working alongside Hartford Hospital to help identify health needs in Hartford, Hartford Hospital has now stepped up to partner with Urban Alliance through Revitalize, an initiative that provides avenues for people in the Hartford community to achieve optimal physical health.

In 2010, Urban Alliance assisted Hartford Hospital, and others in a local consortium of health care organizations, by conducting a resident survey on human service needs which was developed into a Community Needs Health Assessment. The assessment has provided the foundation upon which community health programs and interventions, such as Revitalize, can be targeted, developed, and evaluated with the ultimate goal of improving the health of the community and its members.

And now, Hartford Hospital has awarded Urban Alliance a 2014 Community Benefit grant in the amount of $10,000 to fund the collaborative efforts through Revitalize that help address obesity, diabetes and cardiovascular disease, and increase Hartford residents' access to health services.

Read more here.


Doctors Warn People to Take Lyme Disease Prevention Steps

Eyewitness News 3, May 30

Doctors said Lyme Disease affects hundreds of thousands of patients each year and that wearing long shirts and pants could help lower the risk. However, they also said timing helps.

"Because the weather is now getting warm, the larvae from last year are now coming out and becoming infectious," said Dr. Robert Levitz, an infectious disease M.D. at Hartford Hospital.

Read more here.


State Restrains Psychiatric Patients at High Rate

CT Health I-Team, May 31

As the state works to improve its mental health system, new federal data shows that hospitals in Connecticut restrain psychiatric patients at more than double the average national rate, with elderly patients facing restraint at a rate seven times the national average. Connecticut ranks in the top fourth of states (11th highest) in the use of physical restraints in inpatient psychiatric facilities - and is the third highest state in restraining patients 65 and older.

Hartford Hospital and four other CT hospitals restrain patients at more than triple the national rate, among the 1,753 psychiatric facilities nationwide that are included in the federal reports, (October 2012 through March 2013).

Bridgeport Hospital's geriatric psychiatric unit serves many patients with dementia and behavioral problems that cannot be managed in other facilities. About 18 months ago, he said, the hospital put in place an "action plan" to reduce restraints, including using "comfort" rooms.

Hartford Hospital's Institute of Living (IOL), which has a geriatric unit for complex dementia patients, has made similar changes over the past few years, nursing director Ellen Blair said. She said restraints are now rarely used, and only for patient safety. The IOL requires that a physician's restraint order be reviewed every two hours, rather than every four, which is the standard of care.

"We look at our data every single day" to ensure that restraint and seclusion are being used only as "a last resort," Blair said.

The federal data shows Connecticut psychiatric facilities fare well in some categories, including lower-than-average rates of restraint for children and teenagers. Five hospitals reported no use of restraints for any age group: Sharon, MidState Medical Center, Bristol, John Dempsey and Natchaug hospitals.

Read more here


Harvard Pilgrim signs 18 CT hospitals to provider network

Hartford Business Journal, June 2

Harvard Pilgrim Health Care, which recently received its Connecticut license and has begun selling health plans in the state, said it has signed more than half of the state's 29 acute care hospitals to its provider network.

The not-for-profit health insurer, which is based in Massachusetts, said it has reached provider network deals with the following hospitals: Hartford, Hospital of Central Connecticut, MidState Medical Center, William Backus, Windham, Bristol, Charlotte Hungerford, Connecticut Children's Medical Center, Griffin,Hospital for Special Care, Johnson Memorial, Middlesex, Sharon, St. Francis Hospital and Medical Center, John Dempsey, Yale-New Haven, Bridgeport, and Greenwich.

Provider network deals are extremely important, particularly for an insurance company entering a new market. When an insurer has a hospital in its network, the health plan can offer consumers "in-network" rates, which are cheaper than rates charged to patients who visit out-of-network medical facilities.

Harvard Pilgrim CEO Eric Schultz said the company is still negotiating with the remaining Connecticut hospitals to complete contracts.

In the HHC System

Rushford doctors receive prevention award

Middletown Press, April 14

Rushford's addiction medicine fellow Brian Murray, MD, and fellowship director Samuel Silverman, MD, FAPA, FASAM, have been selected by the American Board of Addiction Medicine (ABAM) Foundation to receive the Next Generation Award for Adolescent Substance Use Prevention.

"This award speaks volumes not only about Dr. Silverman's leadership, but also about the potential of the Rushford fellowship program to influence the next generation of addiction providers like Dr. Murray," said Stephen W. Larcen, Rushford President and Senior Vice President of the Hartford HealthCare (HHC) Behavioral Health Network (BHN), in a written statement announcing the awards. "We are very thankful to the ABAM Foundation for its support."

The award, made possible by funding from the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation, recognizes addiction medicine fellows whose achievements and career plans distinguish them as emerging leaders in the field of addiction medicine.


Bill Could Encourage 'Warm Handoff' for Mental Health Treatment in CT

CT Mirror, May 30

Jeff Walter looked into having the clinicians from his mental health and substance-abuse treatment agency partner with nearby primary care practices. He knew well that many people with mental illness don't get primary care, and that many people who need mental health care don't receive it.

But the arrangement Walter was hoping to set up wasn't possible under the agency's license, he learned. Instead, the agency, Rushford, would need a separate license for any off-site locations where its clinicians worked, even for one therapist to spend one afternoon a week at a primary care office.

"It just didn't make any sense," said Walter, who recently retired as CEO of Rushford and is now working for the agency's parent company, Hartford HealthCare.

That roadblock helped fuel a push for legislation that passed the General Assembly earlier this month. It's now awaiting action from Gov. Dannel P. Malloy. It's a somewhat technical measure -- but one that Walter and others say could make it significantly easier for people to get treatment for mental health issues or substance abuse.

A primary care doctor might suspect during a patient's annual physical that he's struggling with depression. If there was a therapist who worked out of the same office, the doctor could walk the patient down the hall and introduce him to the therapist, beginning their relationship there. Clinicians refer to it as a "warm handoff."

Read more here


Harvard Pilgrim Signs 18 CT Hospitals to Provider

Hartford Business Journal, May 31

Harvard Pilgrim Health Care, which recently received its Connecticut license and has begun selling health plans in the state, said it has signed more than half of the state's 29 acute care hospitals to its provider network.

The not-for-profit health insurer, which is based in Massachusetts, said it has reached provider network deals with the following hospitals: Bristol, Charlotte Hungerford, Connecticut Children's Medical Center, Griffin, Hartford, Hospital of Central Connecticut, MidState Medical Center, William Backus, Windham, Hospital for Special Care, Johnson Memorial, Middlesex, Sharon, St. Francis Hospital and Medical Center, John Dempsey, Yale-New Haven, Bridgeport, and Greenwich.

Provider network deals are extremely important, particularly for an insurance company entering a new market. When an insurer has a hospital in its network, the health plan can offer consumers "in-network" rates, which are cheaper than rates charged to patients who visit out-of-network medical facilities.

Harvard Pilgrim CEO Eric Schultz said the company is still negotiating with the remaining Connecticut hospitals to complete contracts.

Health Care News In the Region

With Special Clinics, Hospitals Vie for Hesitant Patients - Men

New York Times, May 28

Still smelling of fresh paint, it is NYU Langone Medical Center's health center devoted to men, one of two such centers opened in the last two years by major New York hospitals, within 10 blocks of each other, and using marketing techniques common to lifestyle companies and luxury spas.

NYU Langone and other medical institutions have long had services devoted to women, an outgrowth of the belief that the male-dominated medical establishment had not paid enough attention to their particular needs. Now men are beginning to get equal treatment as hospitals try to take advantage of an enormous untapped market: men who, studies show, avoid doctors for virtually anything short of a bullet wound.

The Men's Health Center at the Miriam Hospital in Providence, R.I., affiliated with Brown University, opened in 2008 and was one of the first in the nation. The Curtis D. Robinson Men's Health Institute was founded in 2010 at St. Francis Care in Hartford. One focus is prostate health; the Curtis D. Robinson center, named after a black businessman in Hartford who financed much of the center's start-up costs, is geared toward black men, who have a higher rate of prostate cancer than the general population.

Read more here.


Independent Hospitals Weigh Strategic Alliance

Hartford Business Journal, May 26

Middlesex Hospital CEO Vincent G. Capece Jr. has been in talks with other Connecticut healthcare executives about independent hospitals forming a business partnership.

As a new wave of consolidation sweeps through Connecticut's healthcare industry, the state's remaining independent hospitals are weighing their future options, including potentially creating their own alliance to share resources, combine purchasing power, and protect their market share.

Over the past year, several Connecticut independent hospital CEOs have talked about forming a partnership that would allow them to rein in operating costs by pooling resources and combining their purchasing power when shopping for medical supplies and other services like health and medical malpractice insurance, said Middlesex Hospital CEO Vincent G. Capece Jr., who has been involved in the discussions.

More importantly, Capece said, independent hospitals have talked with insurers about developing new tiered or limited network insurance plans that incentivize patients to go to lower cost hospitals for certain care. Such a model-common in other states but not in Connecticut-could allow smaller, independent hospitals, which tend to offer lower cost care than larger medical centers, to protect their market share as other healthcare networks extend their geographic footprint.

"While we believe that being an independent hospital has its advantages we have always recognized there are also advantages to being part of something bigger," Capece said. "We are trying to develop a way we can have the best of both worlds."

Read more here.


Little Planning, Much Handwringing About ECHN Sale

Journal Inquirer, May 31

Vernon officials have no plan to prevent Tenet Healthcare Corp. - the big for-profit hospital chain poised to buy Eastern Connecticut Health Network - from closing Rockville General Hospital or radically reducing its programs and services.

Officials also have no contingency plan in the event that that the hospital, the tow'’s largest private employer, is shuttered after a three-year period spelled out in the purchase agreement between ECHN and Tenet.

They instead insist they're working to simply keep open the hospital through private discussions with company officials and state lawmakers, even with the potential for its consolidation with ECHN's other hospital, Manchester Memorial.

Read more here.


Patient-Centered Care New Focus in UConn's New Facility

Fierce Healthcare, June 3

Hospital leaders at UConn Health Center hope a new facility will help bring a more integrated, one-stop, patient-centered experience, and give the organization a more competitive boost after many years of financial struggle, according to the Hartford Business Journal.

The new 300,000-square-foot building, which is still under construction and set for completion in December, will bring all of the provider's outpatient services under one roof, feature new technology and a physical design that will foster collaboration, and change care delivery, Denis Lafreniere, M.D., medical director of UConn Medical Group, told the publication.

The new building will host services ranging from primary care to oncology to physical therapy, and will streamline the care process and eliminate inefficiencies in the system. It will also eliminate silos by taking down walls between departments, allowing physicians to more easily communicate and collaborate, according to the article. Doctors from different departments will share 120-square-foot exam rooms, reducing the outpatient centers' overall space needs.


Malloy Signs For-profit Hospital Legislation

Hartford Business Journal, June 4

Gov. Dannel P. Malloy on Tuesday signed a bill passed in the recent legislative session that effectively paves the way for more for-profit hospitals in the state.

The law, which takes effect Oct. 1, will allow for-profit operators to acquire nonprofit hospitals and physicians practices, and will also allow nonprofits to convert to for-profit status.

The governor's signature means Tenet Healthcare Corp. can move forward with its acquisition of Waterbury, Bristol, Manchester Memorial and Rockville General hospitals.

The state's independent nonprofit hospitals have been in talks recently about how they might partner to respond to a changing competitive landscape. The for-profit option opens up another potential avenue.

Hot Topics in Health Care

CMS Tightens Controls on Medicare Prescribing

MedScape, May 21

Changes designed to curb fraud and abuse in prescribing drugs through Medicare Advantage and Part D programs are expected to save $1.6 billion over the next 10 years, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) says.

CMS on May 19 issued final regulations that include tighter restrictions on prescribers. Among them is a requirement that physicians and other providers be enrolled in Medicare, or have a valid opt-out affidavit on file, for the drugs to be covered under Part D. Although most physicians are already enrolled, CMS says, anyone not enrolled would have until June 1, 2015, to do so.

Read more here


Is Physician Employment The Right Move For Hospitals?

Fierce Healthcare, May 28

Hospitals continue to buy medical practices at record pace, but is physician employment what's best for patients, doctors and hospitals?

The number of physicians employed by hospitals jumped 34 percent between 2000 and 2010, according to the American Hospital Association. In 2004, hospitals conducted just 11 percent of physician searches, but that number grew to 64 percent in 2013, according to Merritt Hawkins.

By employing more physicians, hospitals can negotiate more favorable payment rates with insurers, the article states. In addition, more hospital physicians mean a reduction in variations in practice, and better care coordination between different specialties and health professionals, according to an article in The Atlantic. Using information systems to track physician behavior, the article states hospitals can garner more patients and generate more revenue.

Read more here


Continue training, testing to maintain ICD-10 momentum

Fierce Healthcare, June 4

Healthcare organizations should use the extra time afforded by the delay of ICD-10 to conduct more testing and training and to maintain the momentum they've developed thus far, according to AHIMA officials, CIOs and consultants.

"I think the biggest concern that I have involves most of our clients keeping that level of engagement," Mary Beth Haugen, president of Haugen Consulting, said in an AHIMA article.

Other advice from the article:

  • Keep physicians practicing clinical documentation--especially in the emergency department
  • Keep coders working with the new code set
  • Seek out payers willing to do claims testing

There are widespread concerns that the delay will increase the expense of implementing the new ICD-10 code set and that further delays will follow.

Wesley Wright, CIO at Seattle Children's Hospital, referred to the delay as the "Boy who cried wolf," as FierceHealthIT recently reported. Wright said he's evaluating how much it will cost to extend ICD-10 training for yet another year. But, he added, the cumulative impact of the delays have made it difficult to sell staff on the fact that this delay will be the last one.

Meanwhile, Robert Tennant, a senior policy advisor for government affairs with the Medical Group Management Association, told FierceHealthIT recently that Medicare should be doing end-to-end testing with any willing partner.

"The more testing that is completed and the more the results of that testing are disseminated, the better chance the industry has of a successful transition. If any one of the critical links in the chain are not ready then practices themselves cannot be ready," he said.

There are indications the training is going well: The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services just announced that it accepted 89 percent of ICD-10 claims from testing in March with providers, suppliers, billing companies and clearinghouses.

Coming Events

June 14 (Saturday)

Family Health Center in Farmington Grand Opening

406 Farmington Avenue, Farmington, 10 a.m. - 2 p.m.

June 19 (Thursday)

Valedictory Grand Rounds With Dr. AJ Smally

Dr. AJ Smally, medical director of the Emergency Department, will be giving his Valedictory Grand Rounds on Thursday, June 19 at 12 noon in Gilman Auditorium. The occasion is his Imminent retirement after 27 years of service at Hartford Hospital. The topic will be: “A Quarter Century plus of Emergency Medicine at Hartford Hospital.”

June 20 (Friday)

3rd Annual Medical Staff Chef to Farm Dinner

Rosedale Farms, Simsbury

You and your guest are invited to join the Officers and other members of the Hartford Hospital Medical Staff for this special evening – celebrating the beauty and abundant bounty of our local farms – as a unique opportunity for members of the Medical Staff to socialize and enjoy each other’s company. Rosedale Farms, 25 East Weatogue Street, Simsbury. $100 per person.

June 23 (Monday)

Family Health Center in Storrs Grand Opening

Storrs Family Health Center, 5-7 p.m.

June 25 (Wednesday)

Schwartz Center Rounds: Advanced Self Preservation for Healthcare Providers

Gilman Auditorium, 11:30 a.m.-12:45 p.m.

June 26 (Thursday)

Advancing Medicine: Men's Health

WFSB-Channel 3, 7:30 p.m.

July 8 (Tuesday)

High Reliability Training Session for Physicians

JB-118, 6:45-8:15 a.m.

July 9 (Wednesday)

High Reliability Training Session for Physicians

JB-118, 5:30-7 p.m.

July 12 (Saturday)

ERRACE (Everyone Ride / Run Against Cancer Everyday)

Avon Cancer Center

ERRACE (Everyone Ride / Run Against Cancer Everyday), the Helen & Harry Gray Cancer Center, 80 Fisher Drive, Avon. For more information:

August 13 (Wednesday)

High Reliability Training Session for Physicians

JB-118, 6:45-8:15 a.m.

August 14 (Thursday)

High Reliability Training Session for Physicians

JB-118, 5:30-7 p.m.

September 8 (Monday)

Hospital Auxiliary Golf Tournament

Tumble Brook Country Club, Bloomfield

November 20 (Thursday)

Annual Meeting of Hartford Hospital Corporators

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

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. Stacy Nerenstone, Medical Staff president, at (860) 545-3043.