From the Offices of Jeffrey A. Flaks and Jeffry Nestler, MD
August 7, 2011 Edition

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HH Facts
1822: Founded by an act of the state legislature, the Institute of Living (originally the Hartford Retreat for the Insane) was the first hospital of any kind to be built in Connecticut. It is now Hartford Hospital’s Behavioral Health Division.

Leadership Changes

Jeffrey A. Flaks Assumes Hospital Presidency

On Aug. 1, Jeffrey A. Flaks assumed the role of president and CEO of Hartford Hospital. Flaks, formerly the executive vice president and chief operating officer of the hospital, assumed his new role from Elliot Joseph, who will retain his title of president and CEO of Hartford HealthCare.

“Hartford Hospital and Hartford HealthCare each will benefit from having its own dedicated leader,” Joseph said. “As CEO of the hospital, Jeff Flaks will provide the strong and steady leadership needed as we enter a new era in health care with federal health care reform. He led a number of initiatives at Hartford Hospital that have resulted in greatly improved facilities and increased patient and staff satisfaction. Hartford Hospital has become known nationally as a medical center that provides excellent patient care with the most innovative technology and in a compassionate way.”

“The medical staff is looking forward to working with Jeff in his new role,” said Dr. Jeffrey Nestler, president of the medical staff. “We already have a great relationship with Jeff, and he understands our needs. This is a natural evolution of both Hartford Hospital, and Hartford HealthCare, and will help in our efforts to continue to build a stronger health care delivery system in Hartford and the surrounding towns.”

“I’m honored to lead Hartford Hospital,” Flaks said. “We have an extraordinary staff that is engaged in making Hartford Hospital the fine institution that it is. I look forward to our continued work together, our continued drive to improve the patient experience and our continued service to our community.”


112 Hartford Hospital Physicians Named Top Doctors by US News and World Report

The U.S. News Top Doctors list was released on July 18, and 112 physicians from Hartford hospital were named. View the list here:

Dr. Lundbye Named One of “40 Under 40” Winners

Dr. Justin Lundbye, 39, was honored as a “40 under 40” recipient in the July 22 Hartford Business Journal for his position as director of the Cardiac ICU and use of the hypothermic cooling on cardiac arrest patients.

Dr. Thompson Appears on ABC World News

Dr. Paul Thompson, director of the division of cardiology, spoke with Diane Sawyer of ABC World News regarding the new exercise guidelines.

Dr. Joseph McIsaac Presents Papers in China

Dr. Joseph McIsaac, chief of trauma anesthesia, traveled to Beijing, China recently to present two papers at the World Congress on Disaster and Emergency Medicine: “Future WMD: Preparing for Emerging Threats” and “Advanced Surgical Cooling Garment to Combat Heat Stress in CBW PPE and Hot Surgical Environments.” The paper on management of heat stress is an extension of work done at Hartford Hospital on reducing surgeon’s heat stress through active cooling systems. Dr. McIsaac, an international leader in nuclear, biological, and chemical disaster preparedness, is chair of the Preparedness Task Force for the American Society of Anesthesiologists and author of the 2006 text, “Hospital Preparation for Bioterrorism: A Medical and Biomedical Systems Approach.” He is presently working with international experts from the CBRN committee of the World Association for Disaster and Emergency Medicine to develop systems for managing mass casualties resulting from unknown toxic and biological agents.

Dr. Palermino’s Family Tours Hospital To See Their Support In Action

Thanks to the efforts of Drs. Joel Sorosky, Jack Greene, Peter Beller, Tracy Brennan, Quan Dau and Stephen Curry (retired), a donor family was able to see up-close-and-personal how their support has made a difference at Hartford Hospital. Last month, the Women’s Ambulatory Health Center physicians hosted the Palermino family for a tour of the Park Street facility. The family helped establish the Donato Palermino MD Fund at Hartford Hospital in memory of their physician husband and father. Dr. Pal, as he was affectionately known, was highly respected for his excellence in the field of OB-GYN and his passion for teaching. The endowed fund supports a part-time teacher of the residents and students. The visitors included Dr. Pal’s widow, Winifred, sons Richard and Daniel, and daughters Laura and Gianni. They also toured the Labor & Delivery area of the Center for Education, Simulation and Innovation. Later, they admitted to feeling “a huge sense of honor and pride by the continued strength of [Dr. Pal’s] legacy.” The endowment continues to seek donations to grow and strengthen the wonderful work that reflects that legacy. For more information about supporting the fund, contact Carla Burgess, director of development, at 860-545-1932 or

Innovative & Complex Care

27th Annual Cardiovascular Symposium To Be Held Oct. 5

The 27th Annual Cardiovascular Symposium will be held on Wednesday, October 5 from 7:30 a.m.–3:30 p.m. at the Connecticut Convention Center. The symposium usually attracts more than 300 attendees. This intensive educational symposium that will provide a comprehensive update of the most recent advances in the contemporary management of patients with cardiovascular disease. Fee is $75 for physicians, and $30 for non-physicians. Registration is required by Sept. 16. Register online at For more information, contact Sharon Ballot at 860-545-1793 or email

Care Coordination

New Policy on Transport of Critical Care Patients From Medical Executive Committee

There is a new policy on intra-hospital transport of the adult critical care patient approved by the medical executive committee. It applies to patients in all adult ICU and Step Down Units, and patients admitted to the ICU from the ED. According to the new policy, there is standard emergency equipment needed for transport; steps that must be taken prior to and during transport; and monitoring guidelines to be followed during transport. To see the policy in its entirety, click here. All of the policies are posted on the Alfresco site.

Save the Date: 6th Annual Interdisciplinary Transplant Symposium Oct. 27

The 6th annual interdisciplinary transplant symposium will be held on Thursday, October 27 from 7 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. in Heublein Hall. The Transplant Program will be celebrating its 40th anniversary. For more information, contact Susan Podolski at 54339.

Research & Academics

IOL, Genetics Research and Genomas Publish on Personalized Medicine in Psychiatry

The Research Program congratulates investigators from the Institute of Living, the Genetics Research Center, and Genomas on the acceptance and back-to-back publication of two papers reporting significant steps forward in the development of personalized medicine in psychiatry. They represent important interdisciplinary collaborations in translational medicine at Hartford Hospital. Congratulations to Drs. Gualberto Ruaño, John Goethe and Harold Schwartz and to their collaborators Bonnie Szarek, Mohan Kocherla and Krystyna Gorowski. The papers, slated for publication in the August edition of the London-based journal Biomarkers in Medicine are “Novel Drug Metabolism Indices for Pharmacogenetic Functional Status Based on Combinatory Genotyping of CYP2C9, CYP2C19, and CYP2D6 Genes” and “Physiogenomic Analysis of CYP450 Drug Metabolism Correlates Dyslipidemia with Pharmacogenetic Functional Status in Psychiatric Patients.”

Operational Update

New Chapel Open

The new Multifaith Chapel is open. It is located across from the former chapel location, in the Bliss connecting corridor next to the Boardroom. An official dedication ceremony will be held in September. View photos of the new chapel in Construction Activities Updates, which followed the progress of the chapel construction and other HH 2020 projects. You can also view photos here:

Medical Staff Annual Campaign Half Way To Goal; Give Online Now

Physicians have contributed close to $50,000 to date towards our $100,000 Medical Staff Annual Campaign goal, which will go toward building a multi-media studio at Hartford Hospital. The studio will have a Ready Cam, which will allow the hospital to let everyone in the nation know about our extraordinary clinical expertise. Many physicians have already given to the project, which will enhance Hartford Hospital’s national recognition as a top-flight institution and benefit all of us. Please join your colleagues in making a gift to support this project. Go to to make your donation online.

Physician Leadership Development Institute

The inaugural program of the Physician Leadership Development Institute at Hartford HealthCare will kick off on September 15 with a full class of 30. Working with physician leaders from across the organization, HHC has developed a 10-month program to provide advanced leadership skills and management education to select physicians practicing in our system in group practices, hospitals and other HHC organizations. This program is designed for the physicians who have the desire to explore physician leadership as a career path, and will provide training from nationally known instructors on marketing and strategic planning, negotiating, quality, finance, managing physicians, leadership, team development and change management. The inaugural class of 30 physicians will participate as a cohort group from September through June 2012. Every month the group will meet for half a day with pre-reading and assigned project work in-between, including a mix of on-line education and a practicum in which participants will be asked to solve a current problem within their organization. Each participating physician will be paired with an experienced senior leader who will act as their mentor for support, advice, suggestions and as a sounding board for real-life management situations. The Physician Leadership Development Institute will be offered again next year.

Central Scheduling Implements “CarePricer”

Hartford Hospital recently launched CarePricer, a technology that produces accurate and fast liability estimates so patients understand their out-of-pocket responsibility at the time of scheduling, under the Central Scheduling initiative. Estimates are calculated based on procedure type, the patient’s underlying managed care plan and eligibility and benefit information. This replaces an often-frustrating process that was inconsistent and cumbersome. Calls go to Central Scheduling (860-696-3000) or Patient Financial Services (860-696-6119), and timely accurate estimates are given over the phone. The initiative is expected to improve the overall patient experience while lifting a burden off staff members who formerly were responsible for tracking down this information.

Coming Events

August 18 (Thursday)
Department of Traumatology and Emergency Medicine Grand Rounds:
New Drugs from 2010 That Might (Or Might Not) Change Your Practice

Dr. Joseph Lex Jr., associate professor of emergency medicine, Temple University School of Medicine. 12 noon, Gilman Auditorium.

Sept. 29 (Thursday)
Psychiatric Grand Rounds:
Bipolar Disorder and Schizophrenia: Two Disorders with Two Distinct Biologies, or a Continuum with a Complicated Biology?

Godfrey D. Pearlson, MD, director of the Olin Neuropsychiatry Research Center, The Institute of Living/Hartford Hospital; professor of psychiatry, Yale University School of Medicine. 12 noon, Hartford Room, Commons Building, IOL.

Click here for more events

HH In The News

Hartford Courant, July 27
Getting Out of Hell: A Suicide-Prevention Therapy That Saved My Life

A former patient from the IOL tells of a meeting at the IOL last month with Marsha Linehan, a pioneer in DBT, who was there to admit that she too had been treated at the Institute when she was younger.,0,362075.story

The CT Mirror, July 29
With Future Uncertain, Hartford Celebrates Medicare’s Birthday

Medicare turns 46 Saturday, and on Friday, Hartford Hospital and Aetna commemorated the role of the two city institutions in launching the program.

Hartford Courant, July 29
Elected Officials, Health Care Executives Celebrate Anniversary of First Medicare Payment

Gov. Dannel P. Malloy, Hartford Hospital CEO Jeffrey Flaks, President of Aetna Medicare Gary Thomas and Kevin Lynch of the Connecticut chapter of the Alliance for Retired Americans gathered at Hartford Hospital on July 29 to commemorate the program that has paid health care bills for people 65 and older since the mid-20th century.

Hartford Courant, Aug. 4
St. Francis and Johnson Memorial Explore Formal Ties

The Stafford Springs–based hospital, which emerged from bankruptcy last September, reached out in June to several hospitals (including Hartford Hospital) for affiliation proposals. St. Francis responded, and the two organizations are considering an affiliation.,0,6951345.story

Hot Topics in Healthcare

Modern, July 25
24 Hour Workdays Are Out As Residents, Hospitals Deal With Changes

As of July 1, first-year residents are limited to 16-hour shifts under a new rule aimed at improving patient safety as well as providing a better learning environment for new doctors. Teaching hospitals say the restrictions have forced a variety of immediate changes, such as hiring hospitalists to fill gaps and packing more tasks into shorter shifts.

Modern, July 28
AMA Asks For Further eRx Rule Changes

The AMA, joining 91 state and specialty medical societies, has called for further modifications of proposed changes to the CMS' physician electronic-prescribing incentive program.

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.