From the Offices of Elliot Joseph and Jeffry Nestler, MD
October 3, 2010 Edition

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"The task of leadership is not to put greatness into humanity, but to elicit it, for the greatness is already there." - John Buchan

Off-Beat: HH One of Two New England Center in AF Treatment Trial

Hartford Hospital is recruiting atrial fibrillation patients for a research study to determine whether catheter ablation is more effective than state-of-the-art drug therapy in managing AF symptoms and reducing mortality. Hartford Hospital is one of only two medical centers in New England chosen by the NIH for this study, referred to as the CABANA Trial. Patients interested in participating in the study or obtaining further information should call (860) 545-1506. 

First Robotic-Assisted Gastric Bypass

Last week, Drs. Pavlos K. Papasavas and Darren S. Tishler completed the first four robotic-assisted gastric bypass procedures at Hartford Hospital. This advance was made possible by the efforts of the Robotic Steering Committee, OR management, the departments of Anesthesia and Surgery and the OR staff.

Emergency Department Moves from SCM to ED Allscripts

Starting Oct. 19, the Emergency Department will transition from Sunrise Clinical Manager (SCM) to ED Allscripts as the patient electronic health record. This includes all orders and results, provider notes, nursing assessments and interventions, medication administration record (MAR) and discharge plans and instructions. Access to documents in ED Allscripts will be limited to ED personnel and disciplines working with ED patients only. However, the entire ED record can be viewed in SCM on the new “ED Chartlink” tab. (Click here for detailed information and instructions.)

Financial Update: HH Growth Stands Out

Hospital admissions in Hartford County were down by more than 1,200 for the first 11 months of FY2010 compared to the previous fiscal year. Despite this regional downturn, Hartford Hospital admissions were up in the same year-to-year period.

Hartford Courant: Hartford Hospital Blasts Anthem in Letter to Patients

letter to Hartford Hospital patients from EVP & COO Jeff Flaks is quoted in a story focusing on continuing negotiations between Hartford Hospital and Anthem Blue Cross of Connecticut. Hartford Hospital is working to obtain more fair and reasonable contracts with rates similar to the rates paid to other hospitals in the Northeast and in Connecticut. Unless an agreement is reached before Oct. 31, 2010, Hartford and Windham hospitals’ current contracts with Anthem will expire.

Hand Call is Back

Hand Call for urgent and emergent care has been re-established at Hartford Hospital. This represents an important commitment to the community by the hand surgeons on the medical staff. This partnership with the hospital is made possible by dedicated support in the operating room and elsewhere in the hospital. The result is better care for our patients and enhanced education of hand surgery fellows, surgical residents and emergency medicine residences. This success comes because of the contributions of our hand surgeons from the disciplines of orthopedics and plastic surgery and includes: Drs. Ashmead, Babigian, Bass, Burton, Caputo, Mastella and Smith.

Summit on Medical Futility: Medicine, Ethics, & Law

Hartford Hospital’s Ethics Committee presents a Summit on Medical Futility from 7:30 a.m. to 12:45 p.m., Oct. 21, in Heublein Hall of the Education & Resource Center (ERC). The purpose of this meeting is to gather experts from the disciplines of medicine, law and ethics from around the state of Connecticut to begin the discussion needed to reconcile the problem of hospital-based medical futility and to shape a program of action. There is no charge for the summit (which includes breakfast), but registration is required. Register online here.

Back to School for HH Heart Docs

Dr. Detlef Wencker, Director of Heart Failure at Hartford Hospital, and Dr. Steven Zweibel, Director of Electrophysiology at Hartford Hospital, swapped the operating room for the classroom on Sept. 27 when they served as guest lecturers at the Sports and Medical Sciences Academy Magnet School in Hartford. The two cardiology specialists described what they do at the hospital and how the heart functions. It was the perfect complement to the school curriculum because the students are studying human body systems.

HH2020: Building Our Future

View Images of HH2020 Projects

  • The new oncology inpatient unit on the second floor of the Conklin Building is scheduled to open for patients in early November.
  • The final phase of construction on Center for Education, Simulation and Innovation (CESI) is in process. The space is scheduled to open later this fall.
  • Lobbies will be completed this month. The new spaces have a similar look and feel and set the tone for a high-quality patient encounter. The new Au Bon Pain café in the main lobby will open later this fall.

Dr. Lenworth Jacobs Named Co-Chair of Key ACS Committee

The American College of Surgeons has named Dr. Lenworth Jacobs co-chair of the SAGES-ACS FLS Committee – the body that gives strategic direction on simulated education which drives the initiatives of the ACS Education Committee. Dr. Jacobs is director of Trauma and Emergency Medicine at Hartford Hospital and Trauma Director at Connecticut Children's Medical Center.

5th Annual Interdisciplinary Transplant Symposium, October 19

The HH Transplant Program presents an all-day, interdisciplinary educational conference on transplantation for referring physicians, MLPs, HH staff, dialysis units, transplant centers and students. It will be conducted from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m., Tuesday, Oct. 19 in the Education & Resource Center (ERC)/Heublein Hall. Fees are: $25 - HH Employees; $50 - Non-HH Employee; $15 - students. To register, go to or call Hartford Hospital’s Health Referral Service at 860-545-1888 or toll free at 800-545-7664.

Research Update: Scientific Progress for Patients

The 2010 Research Symposium, "Genomics and Personalized Medicine: The Future is Now" will take place from 4 to 6:35 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 14, in Heublein Hall at the Educational Resource Center on the Hartford Hospital campus. The keynote speaker will be Lawrence J. Lesko, PhD, FCP, director, Office of Clinical Pharmacology, Center for Drug Evaluation and Research at the Food and Drug Administration. A wine and cheese reception and poster session will follow the presentations. Attendance is free. Please contact Chris Harvey (860) 545-5620 to register (click here to download a bochure). Investigators interested in presenting posters are invited to contact Anita Fowler (860) 545-2093 for more information.

13th Annual Nite of Lite Laughter, October 22

Lite 100.5 and Hartford Hospital are proud to present Lily Tomlin for the 13th Annual Nite of Lite Laughter fundraising event at 8 p.m., Friday, Oct. 22, at the Bushnell Theatre in Hartford. Proceeds will support Breast Cancer Programs at the Helen & Harry Gray Cancer Center. Tickets are on sale at the Bushnell Box Office. Tickets are available by phone at (860) 987-5900 or online at

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