From the Offices of Jeffrey A. Flaks and Jeffry Nestler, MD
September 5th, 2011 Edition

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HH Facts
1877: Hartford Hospital opens the fourth school of nursing in the country. Nurses were trained here for nearly 100 years.

New Appointments


Nationally Acclaimed Liver Surgeon Named Third Director of Transplantation Program

Dr. Patricia Ann Sheiner, a renowned liver surgeon, has been named director of transplantation for Hartford Hospital, effective this fall. She is the program’s third director: the first was Dr. Robert Schweizer, and the second is Dr. David Hull, who will step down as director of transplantation, but will continue as emeritus director of the transplant program, focusing on outreach, quality and education. Dr. Sheiner, also known for biliary tract and pancreatic surgery, joins HH from Westchester Medical Center in Westchester, N.Y. She will lead Hartford Hospital’s transplant program, which was established 40 years ago as the state’s first transplant program. She will oversee the kidney, liver and heart transplantation specialties. At Westchester, Sheiner is director of liver transplant and hepatobiliary surgery, and vice chair of the Department of Surgery. Prior to that, she was a physician for the Liver Transplant Division at Mount Sinai Medical Center in New York and clinical associate of the liver transplant program at Toronto General Hospital. She was named physician of the year by the Transplant Recipient International Organization in Manhattan in 2003. She also currently is a professor of surgery at New York Medical College and previously was an assistant professor in the Department of Surgery at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine. She has directed and participated in a number of clinical trials and research studies, and has trained several physicians who moved on to head transplant programs.




Hartford Hospital Staff Shines With Caring and Dedication During Hurricane Irene

Hurricane Irene ripped a path through Connecticut and other states on the East coast last weekend, causing widespread destruction, flooding, power outages and closings of businesses and schools. But through it all, everyone at Hartford Hospital worked closely together to keep patients and staff safe and well informed. The Hospital remained fully operational throughout the storm. The medical and nursing staffs were steadfast despite long hours, and all support services were rock solid.

“Safety and excellence are two of our core values,” said Jeffrey Flaks, president and CEO. “This weekend, Hartford Hospital staff members put both on display in extraordinary ways. Throughout this remarkable response, there were countless examples of exemplary teamwork, dedication and resilience by our staff members. I am tremendously grateful for this phenomenal effort and the display of our values in action. This is how Hartford Hospital works.”

Late Friday night before the storm, we were contacted by New York University-Langone Medical Center, which was evacuating patients following an executive order from Mayor Michael Bloomberg. They asked if we were able to accept transfers of two critically-ill ICU patients, which hospitals closer to New York were unprepared to manage medically. LifeStar accepted the mission. When it was deemed unsafe to fly the helicopter, the LifeStar crew traveled to New York on the ground and transferred the patients here by ambulance. The patients were monitored and managed during the journey, and arrived here about 7 on Saturday morning and were admitted to our ICU with no problems. It was the epitome of a humanitarian mission, and was a tribute to our hospital’s excellence to be asked to respond, according to Dr. Lenworth Jacobs, director of the emergency medicine trauma program.

Heart Transplant Program Receives Unanimous UNOS Approval

Dr. James Dougherty, medical director of the cardiac transplant program, reports that the heart transplant program received unanimous and unconditional approval from UNOS (United Network for Organ Sharing) on Aug. 23 as a result of their on-site survey conducted in April. The program had a clinical compliance score of 95% and an administrative compliance score of 90%, which are within acceptable score thresholds. UNOS monitors compliance with bylaws and policies in accordance with their contract with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services for all OPTN (Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network) members.

18 Members of Department of Dentistry Named to “Best Dentists” List

Dr. Vernon Kwok, director of the Department of Dentistry, and 17 members of the teaching staff in the department were named to "the best dentists" in Connecticut in the August issue of Connecticut Magazine: Drs. Robert Bella, Elliot Berman, Judd Fink, Mark Fletcher, Robert Gange, Barry Gelber, Jonathan Goldman, Federick Googel, Stuart Lieblich, Richard Martin, Scott Merkelson, Steven Reiner, John Rosenlieb, Arthur Sperling, Ernest Spira, Martin Ungar and Brett Weyman.

Drs. Bruce Browner and Kim Ruscher Featured in ACS Video Campaign

Videos of Dr. Bruce Browner, director of the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, and Dr. Kim Ruscher, a former HH surgical resident and now a resident in pediatric surgery at CCMC, are featured on the website of the American College of Surgeons, as part of its “Inspiring Quality” initiative. They are among many surgeons, and health care leaders speaking about what inspires them to provide the highest quality surgical care.

Dr. Daniel Schwartz Invited to Perform With World Doctors Orchestra

Dr. Daniel Schwartz, an emergency medical physician who works full time in the Wound and Hyperbaric Center, will be performing with the World Doctors Orchestra to commemorate the 10th anniversary of Sept. 11 at the Music Center at Strathmore in Bethesda, MD. The WDO is a Berlin, Germany-based orchestra of about 500 physician/musicians worldwide, established in 2007. Proceeds from the performance will benefit Whitman-Walker Health. Dr. Schwartz is a trombonist.

Dr. Michael Drescher’s Research on “Ramadan Headache” Featured In The Media

A painkilling anti-inflammatory drug may help prevent headaches in Muslims fasting from dawn to dusk for Ramadan, according to a study from Israel, where a "Yom Kippur headache" is also known. "Religious fasting is associated with headache," wrote lead researcher Dr. Michael Drescher, associate chief of the Division of Emergency Medicine at Hartford Hospital, referring to Ramadan and Yom Kippur, when people fast for 25 hours.
The story was also featured in,7340,L-4112991,00.html

Drs. Kenneth Robinson and Thompson Nowicki Promoted at UConn School of Medicine

Dr. Kenneth Robinson, medical director and program director of LifeStar, has been promoted to professor of traumatology and emergency medicine at the UConn School of Medicine; and Dr. Thomas Nowicki, director of cognitive simulation at CESI, has been promoted to associate professor of traumatology and emergency medicine at the UConn School of Medicine.

Dr. Christopher Clyne Reappointed to Two Heart Rhythm Society Committees

Dr. Christopher Clyne, director of the electrophysiology laboratory, has been reappointed to serve an additional year on the health policy and the education committees of the Heart Rhythm Society.

Dr. David Silverman Publishes Book on Echocardiography

Dr. David I. Silverman, director of echocardiography, published a 360-page book on echocardiography in February with Dr. Warren Manning of Harvard Medical School. Silverman DI, Manning WJ.  The Complete Guide to Echocardiography. 2011; Jones and Bartlett, Sudbury, MA.

Dr. Paul Thompson Reappointed to ABIM’s Cardiovascular Disease Committee

Dr. Paul D. Thompson, director of cardiology, was reappointed to the cardiovascular disease committee of the American Board of Internal Medicine for a second three-year term. This committee of 12 cardiologists writes the board questions used in certification and recertification for cardiologists.

Electrophysiology Section Publishes Article in Journal of Atrial Fibrillation

Members of the electrophysiology section recently published an article in the Journal of Atrial Fibrillation called Intravenous Corticosteroid Use Is Associated With Reduced Early Recurrence of Atrial Fibrillation Following Radiofrequency Catheter Ablation. Co-authors were:  Drs. Guru M. Krishnan, Nitesh A. Sood, Jeffrey Kluger, Moise Anglade, Christopher A. Clyne and Craig Coleman.


Innovative and Complex Care


Interventional Neuroradiologists Insert First Pipeline Stents in New England This Week

Interventional neuroradiologists treated six patients with a total of eight aneurysms utilizing the Pipeline Embolization Device Tuesday and Wednesday of last week - the first time the device has been used at any hospital in New England since being approved by the FDA this spring. All six procedures went very well, and there were no complications. Drs. Gary Spiegel, Martin Ollenschleger, and Stephen Ohki from interventional neuroradiology performed the procedures. The Pipeline is a stent-like device that is intended to exclude aneurysms from the parent vessel by reconstruction of the parent vessel. It is a braided, tubular, bimetallic microstent with a smaller pore size that has been shown to create significant flow disruption along aneurysm necks. It allows the preservation of both parent arteries and small adjacent perforating arteries. It is expected to be a significant improvement in the treatment of broad-neck aneurysms. “It is complex technology, yet the initial results are very reassuring,” said Dr. Stuart Markowitz, chairman of the Department of Radiology.

Advancing Medicine: “Saving The Brain” To Air Sept. 15

Hartford Hospital’s next Advancing Medicine series will air Thursday, Sept. 15 at 7:30 p.m. on WFSB Channel 3. The featured episode is called “Saving the Brain: Prevention and Intervention,” and will highlight our Stroke Center. It is part of our ongoing Emmy-nominated series with Channel 3. For more information on the program visit:

Cancer Care 101 This Wednesday, Sept. 7

This course provides a foundation for caring for oncology patients and presents resources available for staff and patients at the Helen & Harry Gray Cancer Center. 11:30 a.m.–3:30 p.m., Taylor Conference Room A& B, Cancer Center. Free; lunch provided. Contact Kathleen van Gelder, 860-545-2108 or

Therapeutic Hypothermia Symposium This Thursday, Sept. 8

This program will address who/how/when to cool patients; EMS to ED to ICU management of the post-cardiac arrest patient; and how to develop a therapeutic hypothermia protocol. 7 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Heublein Hall. Registration required. $300 all day, or $100 for the morning lectures only. Contact Kathryn Kircher in cardiology at 860-545-4398, or


Research & Academics


Biomedical Engineering Society to Convene in Hartford for Annual Meeting

The 2011 annual meeting of the Biomedical Engineering Society will be held at the Connecticut Convention Center Oct. 12-15. Dr. Gualberto Ruano, director of the Genetics Research Center, will be conducting a panel on Personalized Medicine in the Translational Biomedical Engineering track. The event, co-hosted by Brown University and UConn, will feature 1,500 poster presentations, hundreds of oral presentations, a Career Day, and a host of professional and social activities. CMEs offered and special registration rate for physicians. Visit

Importing Outside Studies Onto Hartford Hospital PACS

These institutions can electronically push images into HH’s Public Access Computer Systems (PACS): Jefferson Radiology, Backus Hospital, CCMC, Charlotte Hungerford Hospital, Midstate Medical Center, New Britain General, and Windham Hospital. This should automatically occur with inter-hospital transfers and can be requested at anytime by calling the referring hospital’s Radiology Department. CT and MRI can typically be pushed, but generally not other studies. In addition, any discs which contain images in DICOM format can be directly imported into PACS. The Film Library (Bliss 244) has staff can import them for you; contact them at 860-545-2833. Click here for a list of FAQs about importing outside studies into PACS.


Care Coordination


Drs. Marc Eisen and Danielle Messier Present Educational Seminar on Vertigo

Dr. Marc Eisen, medical director for the Hartford Hospital Hearing and Balance Center, and Dr. Danielle Messier, site director of the ERN clinic in East Hartford, will present a free public seminar entitled Vertigo: What Sets Your World Spinning? Sept. 15 from 7-8 p.m., at the Helen & Harry Gray Cancer Center in Avon.

Drs. Immad Sadiq and Russell Stein Present Educational Seminar on PAD

Dr. Immad Sadiq, director of vascular and endovascular medicine in the Division of Cardiology and director of the Vascular Lab, and Dr. Russell Stein, board certified in internal medicine, cardiovascular disease, echocardiography and nuclear medicine, will present a free public seminar entitled What You Need To Know About PAD, Sept. 22 from 7-8 p.m. at Enfield Senior Center.


Operational Update


Construction of New Parking Garage To Begin This Month

Zoning approval has been granted for a new $40 million parking garage with 1,200 spaces, to be located on Hudson Street between Park and Jefferson streets. Those parking spaces will be mostly for staff, adding to about 5,000 parking spaces on the hospital's campus. Special thanks go to Hartford Mayor Pedro Segarra and COO David Panagore for their support and guidance during this process. Groundbreaking for the new garage will take place this month. The garage is part of a 10-year master facilities plan to change the hospital campus by 2020.

New Badges With “Doctor” Designation Piloting In ED

New identification badges are currently being piloted in the ED. In addition to a new design, there will be an attachment for clinical staff that clearly identifies the employees by role; i.e. DOCTOR, NURSE. This attachment clips behind the badge and lays flush to the badge itself. The new badge design is in response to repeated negative feedback received from patients during Hartford Hospital’s HCAHPS survey.
The ED is also in the midst of a $16 million expansion and renovation project that will add 20,000 square feet and about 26 new beds to the existing 60 beds. It is scheduled for completion after the first of the year.

HealthStream Required E-Learning for Employed Physicians

The annual E-Learning Courses on HealthStream required for employed physicians must be completed by Sept. 30. Please note that heavy usage of HealthStream close to the deadline slows the system.

Requests Invited for Auxiliary Special Projects Funding; Deadline Sept. 16

The Hartford Hospital Auxiliary Board of Directors will be selecting special projects for their fall round of special projects funding. Successful requests will likely be $2,000 to $25,000. Please complete and e-mail the attached form to Carol Garlick no later than September 16. Some previous beneficiaries of special projects funds are dialysis blanket warmers, Institute of Living sensory modulation tools, and pathology glucose results upgrade.

6th Annual Pink Flamingos Program Sept. 22 Will Benefit Partnership for Breast Care

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

11th Annual Liver Life Walk Hartford To Be Held Sept. 25

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

Dr. Sorosky Chairs Black & Red Medical Advisory Committee

Dr. Joel Sorosky has agreed to serve as chairman of the 2012 Black & Red Medical Advisory Committee. Proceeds from the event, scheduled for February 4, 2012, will benefit Women’s Health Services and be applied to a refurbishment of the Labor and Delivery areas. As it has been for the past 20 years, broad support from the medical staff is vital to the success of the Black & Red. More than 120 physicians closely affiliated with Women’s Health will be invited to participate on the committee and lend their prominence and support to this worthy endeavor. We hope the entire medical staff will join them in supporting Hartford Hospital’s premier fund-raising event. For more information about the Black & Red, contact Carla Burgess, director of development, at 860-545-1932 or


Throughout the System


Hartford Medical Group Offices Recognized For PCMH Model of Care

On Aug. 25, the National Committee for Quality Assurance awarded level 3 recognition as a Patient Centered Medical Home (PCMH) – the highest possible level – to nine Hartford Medical Group offices: Avon, Bishops Corner, East Hartford, Enfield, Glastonbury, Manchester, South Main, Wethersfield and Windsor. The PCMH model is about providing excellent coordinated care to our patients, ensuring we have robust processes in place to support that care, and educating and encouraging patients to take an active role in managing their health. Hartford Medical Group is a Hartford HealthCare partner.


Coming Events


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

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

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

Sponsored by the Connecticut Pain Society and Hartford Hospital’s Pain Treatment Center. Water’s Edge Resort and Spa in Westbrook, from 7 a.m.-2:30 p.m. Moderated by Dr. Jonathan Kost, director of HH’s Pain Treatment Center. Dr. Dean Mariano, also of the Pain Treatment Center will be presenting “Monitoring of the Patient on Opioids.” Other topics include the medical management of chronic pain, prescription drug abuse, information on the state’s prescription monitoring program, the psychological aspects of chronic pain, and a luncheon roundtable discussion. Contact the Pain Treatment Center at 860-696-2840 or e-mail Karen Larsen at

September 27 (Tuesday):
Prescribing Opioids For Chronic Pain: Balancing Safety and Efficacy

The Connecticut State Medical Society is presenting this full-day seminar on Tuesday, Sept. 27 from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at the CoCo Key Hotel and Convention Center in Waterbury. Designed for clinicians who prescribe opioid medications or care for patients receiving them. Faculty members are from Boston University, Yale University, and Case Western Reserve University schools of medicine, and Middlesex Hospital. Registration is required, and the fee is $30-$50, which includes lunch and a copy of Responsible Opioid Prescribing: A Physician’s Guide by Dr. Scott Fishman. Contact Marie Philopena at 860-714-2333, or Go to OpioidBrochure-CT_Rev1.pdf to view a copy of the brochure.

More Events


HH In The News


President Flaks Quoted In CT Mirror Story About Hospitalists

President/CEO Jeffrey Flaks is quoted in a story in the August 15 issue of The Connecticut Mirror entitled “More Physicians Turning to Hospital-based Practice.” Hartford Hospital, where nearly all medical inpatients are cared for by hospitalists, has 17 hospitalists and expects to add five more. "I believe that hospitalists and hospital medicine, in essence, is absolutely essential to the quality and safety and the advancements that are occurring and will continue to occur within hospitals as we work to more effectively coordinate care and eliminate the variations which historically existed in how care is delivered," said Flaks.

Hartford Courant, Aug. 14:
City’s New Benefit: “Medical Tourism”

The city of Hartford this summer began offering employees medical holidays in Puerto Rico, which may save the city 6 percent off their annual medical spending. Hartford Hospital needs patients with private health insurance, like city workers. Losing even a small portion of those sought-after patients to hospitals in the Caribbean is one more threat to the hospital’s stability in an industry facing many of them.

The Granbys Patch, Aug. 19:
Construction Proceeding on Hartford HealthCare Medical Center

Working with the shell of the existing Blockbuster building on Route 44, Hartford HealthCare is aggressively constructing their latest health care center in Avon. The facility is scheduled to be completed by Oct. 4, and an open house is planned for Oct. 15.

The Hartford Courant, Aug. 23:
New Medical Center Planned for Waterbury As City’s Two Hospitals Join With For-Profit Company

St. Mary's Hospital and Waterbury Hospital, both financially struggling, will merge into one hospital, in partnership with LHP Hospital Group of Plano, Texas. LHP has committed $400 million to building a new hospital within four years. The two hospitals are not-for-profit, but after the merger the new medical center will be for-profit. LHP will have 80 percent ownership of the venture, and each hospital will own 10 percent.,0,1656651.story

Hartford Courant, Aug. 29:
When Power Generator Fails, Hospital Takes Extreme Measure of Evacuation

At 8:30 a.m. Sunday, power went out at Johnson Memorial Medical Center in Stafford. The day that would end with a full evacuation of the hospital, which took the cooperation of several area hospitals, state officials, and emergency workers in surrounding towns. Transporting all 43 patients took 23 ambulances. Eighteen patients were taken to Hartford Hospital, and others to hospitals in Manchester, Vernon, New Britain and Hebron.

The Westerly Sun, Aug. 31:
Westerly Hospital, L&M Consider Alliance

The Westerly (RI) Hospital, struggling with years of operating losses, and Lawrence & Memorial Hospital in New London have entered into an agreement to examine how the two might align services. Leaders from both facilities described the agreement as an exclusive, non-binding letter of intent to explore a strategic alliance between the health care systems. Their research into a possible alignment is expected to take about four months.


Hot Topics in Healthcare


CMS Asks Providers To Test Bundled Payments, Aug. 23

The CMS expects “hundreds” of providers to “help test and develop” four versions of bundled payments unveiled Aug. 23. The bundled payments initiative, authorized by the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, aims to encourage clinicians and hospitals to coordinate care, improve the quality of care and save money for Medicare. Interested providers must submit letters of intent before either Sept. 22 or Nov. 4 to meet the 2012 “rolling” launch.

Price List Could Be A Radical Medical Tool
NPR, Aug. 23

A one-page list of 56 common medical tests and procedures and their prices is shaking up the way doctors deliver care at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center. Most doctors have no idea what they are spending when they order care — and finding out is eye-opening.

Three Physicians Come Clean About Medical Errors to Change Culture of Shame
ASC Review, Aug. 16

Three physicians have spoken out about medical errors they have committed during their careers in efforts to change the culture of shame and depression that is often associated with medical errors. Physicians commit suicide at twice the rate of the general population every year, and physicians who blame themselves for a medical error are three times likelier to consider suicide than other physicians.


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.