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

July 22, 2012 Edition

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HH Facts:

1978-Dr. Robert Rosson performed the state’s first endoscopic removal of common bile duct stones.

The Seymour Street Journal is published every two weeks to communicate key messages pertinent to our hospital's physicians, and to promote alignment between the medical staff and administration. It will keep you informed on hospital news in a concise, convenient format. SSJ will be sent to your preferred email address every other Sunday.

We'd like to hear from you. For any questions or suggestions, please contact Dr. Jeffry Nestler, medical staff president, at 860-836-7313, or

In This Issue...
Top News

HH Heart Transplant To Be Featured on “NY Med” With Dr. Oz Tuesday

WTNH Channel 8

On this week’s episode of “NY Med” starring Dr. Mehmet Oz on the ABC television network, millions of viewers across the United States will learn about one of Hartford Hospital’s miracles: a heart transplant for an HIV-positive patient – an uncommon procedure for such a patient and the first heart transplant in an HIV patient to be done in New England. The patient, John Rankl, a former Army officer and now community volunteer and blogger, selected Hartford Hospital for his transplant, although he had been receiving care for advanced heart failure at New York’s Columbia/Presbyterian Hospital for several years. His story will be aired on Tuesday, July 24 at 10 p.m. on the local ABC affiliate, WTNH Channel 8. 


Dr. Hank Schwartz Extends Thanks To All Who Helped During IOL Fire

There was a fire on the Institute of Living campus on July 10. Fortunately, no one was injured and damage was minimal. Dr. Hank Schwartz, psychiatrist-in-chief at the IOL and vice president of behavioral health at Hartford Hospital, said of the incident: “Not only did we suffer no injuries, but we experienced an example of teamwork, collaboration and commitment to the common good unlike any I have witnessed in my career… This was an amazing response, which, I am certain, reflects the culture change underway at Hartford Hospital. Everywhere I turned I saw a reflection of our values. In the collaboration, focus and sense of purpose, I saw the product of all our work in H3W and our Leadership/Organizational Development programs. We have clearly developed a culture of integrity, caring, excellence and safety and that culture was in play at every moment of this incident.” Read Dr. Schwartz’ letter in its entirety here.


Patient Experience Enhancements in the Main Lobby

Enhancements were unveiled last week aimed at improving the patient experience. There is now a security officer present in the main lobby 24/7. This is the initial phase of our managed access plan, which will provide redesigned safety and security at our entrances. In addition, we have added new valet service “greeters” (if you’ve come through our main lobby this week, you most likely have seen them in uniform and hat). The greeter makes a connection with those using valet services in the horseshoe and expedites the process for the customer. This is a partnership with Valet Park of America to provide enhanced service and an incredible first impression to those using our valet services. This position came from the existing pool of valet staff; the uniform was designed with input the team who would be wearing it.


June Finances: Radiology, ED and Lab Bolster Outpatient Revenue

For the month of June, discharges were below budget by 1%, but exceeded June of last year by .3%. Outpatient revenues were greater than budget by 2.7%. The areas which contributed to the favorable outpatient revenues were Radiology, Emergency Department and Laboratory. Year to date through June, inpatient discharges are greater than last year by 1%. Outpatient revenues are 3.3% greater than budgeted.


$66,000 Donation Funds Robot Training Platform For CESI

Former members of the Connecticut Surgical Group donated $66,000 to our Center for Education, Simulation and Innovation, which used the funds to purchase a Mimic Technologies da Vinci™ robotics training platform, which provides cost-effective training for using the da Vinci™ system for robotic surgery. The dV-Trainer™ is the first simulator to recreate the look and feel of the da Vinci Surgery System.  Mimic Technologies is considered to be a pioneer and leader in robotic surgery simulators. Dr. Steven Shichman, CESI director and director of Urology; Dr. Joseph Wagner, Hartford Specialists urologic surgeon, and Steve Donahue, CESI program director, presented the check to President/CEO Jeff Flaks.


Give Today to Honor Dr. Takata

Dr. Hiroyoshi Takata, a pioneer in cardiac surgery, will retire from Hartford Hospital on October 1. In honor of his half-century of service to Hartford Hospital and its patients, the Hiroyoshi Takata, MD Fund for Cardiovascular Surgery is being established with gifts in his honor to benefit the advancement of cardiovascular surgery here. The fund has already received a very generous lead gift from Richard and Jane Lublin of Avon in honor of Dr. Takata, “whose surgical skills and dedication have saved hundreds of lives over the years.” We encourage members of our Medical Staff to support this fitting tribute to an esteemed colleague, beloved by so many grateful patients. You may donate online here, or contact Shauna Pangilinan in Fund Development at 860-545-2369 or at


Join Us At The Medical Staff’s Max Restaurant “Chef to Farm” Dinner

Join the medical staff officers and other physicians for this special opportunity to socialize and enjoy each other’s company while celebrating the beauty and abundant bounty of our local farms. Our exclusive Max Restaurant Group “Chef to Farm” dinner will be held Tuesday, August 21 from 6-11 p.m. at Rosedale Farms in Simsbury. You’ll enjoy the freshest foods and produce in a beautiful setting. The evening will begin with a wine tasting reception with the guest winemaker; then we’ll head out for a tour of the farm; to see the fields and learn about the farm’s history, operations and products. The tour concludes in a tented area where tables dressed in white linen and candlelight offer a view of the al fresco kitchen. Each dinner is cooked from scratch and showcases that day’s best produce sourced daily from local farmers, ranchers and fishermen. The menu will vary depending on the day's harvest and the inspiration of the chef. Cost is $130 per person. As of Thursday, 23 people had registered. Space is limited; please reserve your space early.

Dr. Jeffry Nestler's Address From June 28 Medical Staff Annual Meeting

Looking Back, Looking Forward

"Change is not easy, but it is essential to our very survival."

Read Dr. Nestler's address here.



Dr. Michael Zanker Appointed to FEMA Advisory Committee

Dr. Michael Zanker, Emergency Medicine, was appointed to the FEMA Region 1 (New England) Regional Advisory Committee.


Innovative and Complex Care

Hartford Hospital Named One of the Most Wired Hospitals

For the sixth consecutive year, Hartford Hospital has been named one of the nation’s Most Wired hospitals by Hospitals & Health Networks, the journal of the American Hospital Association. Most Wired hospitals show better outcomes in patient satisfaction, risk-adjusted mortality rates and other key quality measures. This year, 200 hospitals are on the list. More than 1,500 hospitals completed the Most Wired survey, which focuses on how hospitals use information technology (IT) to improve quality, customer service, public health and safety, business processes, and workforce issues. MidState Medical Center, which is a member of Hartford HealthCare, also was named to the 2012 Most Wired list for the third consecutive year. Other Connecticut hospitals and systems named were Middlesex Hospital, Middletown; Saint Francis Hospital, Hartford; William W. Backus Hospital, Norwich; and Yale New Haven Hospital.


Research and Academics

ABOG Reading List on Library Intranet

The American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology ABOG Reading List is posted on the Health Science Library's Intranet Site. The link to the list is in the small blue news box in the upper right hand corner of the page.  Directions to linking to the current July reading list from the news box are provided.  Please read the directions carefully and if you have any questions call/email Sheila Hayes 860 972-2416


Summer Student Research Poster Presentations August 10

Poster presentations of the research projects that were completed by the 16 summer student research fellows will be displayed Friday, August 10, from 9-10 a.m. in the Education and Resource Building, Formal Lounge, first floor. 


Care Coordination

Eleven New Hospitalists Join Medical Staff

Eleven new hospitalists are joining the Hartford Hospital staff this summer, bringing the number of full-time hospitalists to 28 by the end of August.

The new hospitalists are:
Dr. Natalie S. Crump
Dr. Jaiganesh Dorai
• Dr. Lina Fellizar
• Dr. Nana Fenny
Dr. Rachana Kanaujia
Dr. Debora A. Pareja Loaiza
Dr. Erik O. Perez Batista
Dr. Vittal R. Setru
• Dr. Nassar Shirazi 
• Dr. Supriya Tigadi
• Dr. Zhenghao Zhang

Hospitalists deliver comprehensive medical care to acutely ill hospitalized patients. The on-site availability of a hospitalist ensures that a dedicated provider is readily available to answer questions, order and manage tests and respond during acute medical crises. In addition to their core expertise managing the clinical problems of acutely ill hospitalized patients, they work to enhance the performance of hospitals in many ways, including facilitating reductions in their patients' average length of stay.



Operational Update

Medical Staff Policy on Universal Influenza Prevention

The Medical Staff Executive Committee adopted the Hartford HealthCare policy on universal influenza prevention on June 18. The policy requires all staff of HHC to receive influenza vaccination by Dec. 1 with limited exemptions for verified medical contraindications or verified religious reasons. The requirements apply to any member of the medical and adjunct staff who has potential patient contact on the Hartford Hospital campus in any role. Enforcement for violations will result in one warning followed by administrative suspension, and eventually termination of privileges. Read the entire policy here.


Dr. Gary Heller Retiring July 31

Dr. Gary Heller, director of Nuclear Cardiology, associate director of Cardiology and former director of Hartford Hospital’s Cardiology Fellowship, is retiring from Hartford Hospital, effective July 31, after nearly two decades of service. Dr. Heller is nationally and internationally known for his numerous academic contributions to nuclear cardiology. He has authored more than 150 research articles, 40 editorials, book chapters and reviews, and nearly 300 abstracts; has lectured extensively around the globe; and received numerous research grant awards. He also has served as a teacher and mentor, encouraging medical students, medical residents and cardiology fellows to develop an interest in research.


Pre-admission Testing Center Moved to JB-103

The Pre-Admission Testing Center has moved to the first floor of the Jefferson Building, Room 103, adjacent to the Assessment Center.


Platelet Reactivity Test Changes; Lab Report Modified for VerifyNow P2Y12 Test

Accumetrics is implementing a change to the VerifyNow System and the VerifyNow P2Y12 Test for measuring platelet reactivity, and as a result we will be modifying the laboratory report for this assay. Specifically, the change is to the results reported when running the VerifyNow P2Y12 Test. The modification that you will observe is that the VerifyNow P2Y12 Test will no longer report Baseline or % Inhibition results. However, you will still be receiving the same PRU (P2Y12 Reaction Units) results. Why did the manufacturer make this change? The PRU result has become widely established. Over the past several years, a tremendous and rapid accumulation of data has changed the practice of how to evaluate platelet reactivity measurements, focusing on absolute reactivity (i.e. PRU) as opposed to the magnitude of change in reactivity (i.e. % Inhibition). There are over 250 publications on PRU, describing the clinical utility of platelet reactivity measurements. By focusing on the PRU result, the company will be able to expand access to its technology. We understand you may have questions about how this change may impact you and your clinical practice. The company has provided us with additional support materials and contact information if you have any questions or concerns. Please contact Dr. Peter Shen, director of Coagulation (860-545-3524); Dr. Bradford Sherburne, associate chief for Clinical Pathology and director of Transfusion Medicine (860-545-2848); or Dr. William T. Pastuszak, chief of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine (860-545-2223) if you would like to review these materials. Additionally, you may access the Accumetrics website at for additional information.


New Physicians Join Medical Staff

Dr. Jeremy D. Fried, Emergency Medicine
Dr. Keith E. Gipson, Hartford Anesthesiology Associates
Dr. Jennifer T. Haile, Pediatrics, CCMC
Dr. Marcin Jaremko, Hartford Medical Group
Dr. Kevin S. Jo, Connecticut GI, PC
Dr. Joshua A. Kallen, Jefferson Radiology
Dr. Jayesh R. Kamath, Psychiatry
Dr. Leszek A. Kolodziejczak, Hartford Specialists
Dr. Daniel G. Kramer, Cardiology, PC
Dr. Amy M. Lunding, Connecticut Multispecialty Group
Dr. Khaled I. Mohamed, Psychiatry, IOL
Dr. Amy R. Nelson, Obstetrics & Gynecology
Dr. Cristina Ortega-Nieto, Hartford Medical Group
Dr. Laurel A. Parker, Emergency Medicine
Dr. Matthew W. Parker, Cardiology
Dr. Deepti Rawal, Endocrinology, Connecticut Multispecialty Group
Dr. John Seamon, Neuropsychiatry, IOL
Dr. Edward P. Toffolon, Connecticut GI, PC
Dr. Rosalind U. Van Stolk, Connecticut GI, PC
Dr. Mark R. Versland, Connecticut GI, PC
Dr. Karina R. Weiss, Psychiatry, IOL



HH In the News

Recent death of child impels DCF chief to propose new guidelines for hospitals

The CT Mirror, July 9

Hartford Hospital Emergency room doctor Dr. Alise Frallicciardi Monday gently rolled over the lifelike baby mannequin in the hospital bed and discovered several long bleeding cuts on his back. She asked Stephen P. Donahue, a hospital trainer playing the part of the baby's well-dressed but evasive father, what happened. " I don't know how he got it," Donahue said. Frallicciardi pressed on, saying she wanted to call in the Department of Children and Families to talk to the father, who bristled at the suggestion and asked if he could go somewhere else for treatment. Frallicciardi kept calm and said she wasn't accusing him of anything, but just wanted to help treat the child. The dramatization hosted by Hartford Hospital at the hospital's Education and Resource Center was a staged for DCF Commissioner Joette Katz and the media to shine a light on the role a hospital can play in detecting signs of child abuse. The guidelines come in response to the way Windham Hospital handled the case of a 3-year-old girl who was allegedly beaten to death in November. Katz has been working closely with Dr. Lenworth Jacobs, Hartford Hospital's chief of trauma, to develop the guidelines. Every year, 15 to 18 children die in Connecticut from serious abuse or neglect, Jacobs said. "We really have to have a broad-based plan to raise awareness, to educate, to show people in a very dramatic way how not to miss things," Jacobs said. He said he'd like to see a poster or index card on the wall of examination rooms to help raise awareness and make this kind of detection routine. Hartford Hospital has actually been training its emergency room residents -- as well as residents from other hospitals, nurses, paramedics, firefighters, police and the military -- how to detect such abuse for 12 years.


CT hospitals look to rankings to win business

Hartford Business Journal, July 9

After several years of slow growth and declining revenues, a handful of Connecticut hospitals are ramping up their marketing efforts as they try to compete for more patients amid tremendous pressure to rein in costs and boost health care services. HealthGrades, which released its "Patient Safety and Satisfaction: The State of American Hospitals" report this spring, recognized the 263 hospitals out of 5,000 evaluated that have the lowest occurrences of 13 preventable patient safety events. HealthGrades reported that more than 254,000 patient safety incidents among Medicare patients could have been prevented. "It is clear patients and consumers are using these types of databases to access information about the quality of health care they are receiving," said Dr. Jamie Roche, Hartford Hospital's vice president for safety and quality. "It's helping to raise awareness and increase dialogue about how we can provide the best care to our patients. Greater access and transparency keeps medical organizations accountable and competitive." Hartford Hospital was one of 263 medical facilities nationwide to earn the HealthGrades' "Distinguished Hospital for Clinical Excellence" distinction this year. It has been recognized by HealthGrades for 14 other quality awards over the past few years.


Middletown's Middlesex Hospital Tops Connecticut Facilities In Consumer Report's Safety Ratings

Hartford Courant, July 9

Middlesex Hospital was the top-ranked facility in the state in Consumer Reports first-ever ratings of hospital safety. The hospital scored 64 out of 100 in the safety scale that ranks hospitals based on infections, readmissions, communication of medical instructions, CT scanning rates, complications and mortality. The highest score in the country was the Billings Clinic in Billings, Montana, which received a rating of 72. Hartford Hospital was ranked eighth in Connecticut, with a score of 52. Here are the Connecticut listings:
1. Middlesex Hospital, Middletown (64)
2. William W. Backus Hospital, Norwich (62)
3. St. Vincent's Medical Center, Bridgeport (54)
4. Waterbury Hospital (54)
5. Manchester Memorial Hospital (54)
6. Saint Mary's Hospital, Bridgeport (53)
7. Lawrence & Memorial Hospital, New London (52)
8. Hartford Hospital (52)
9. Norwalk Hospital (51)
10. Stamford Hospital (51)
11. Danbury Hospital (48)
12. Bristol Hospital (48)
13. Charlotte Hungerford Hospital, Torrington (44)
14. Hospital of Saint Raphael, New Haven (44)
15. St. Francis Hospital and Medical Center (44)
16. Bridgeport Hospital (42)
17. Yale-New Haven Hospital (41)
18. MidState Medical Center, Meriden (41)
19. Hospital of Central Connecticut, New Britain (36)
20. UConn Health Center John Dempsey Hospital, Farmington (28)


Transplant Surgeon 'Survives Things People Don't Survive'

Hartford Courant, July 22

"It is ironic that a skilled transplant surgeon ends up going through a transplant, suffering all the ravages he's treated for years in his patients," Dr. Peter Deckers says. But this became the perilous path for Dr. David Hull, a liver and kidney transplant surgeon and director of transplantation at Hartford Hospital. This time it was he who needed a transplant to live.



In the HHC System

Attorney general's investigation into MidState data breach over

Meriden Record Journal, July 10

Connecticut Attorney General George Jepsen has ended an investigation into last year’s data breach at MidState Medical Center and hasn’t called for any further action. MidState announced in April 2011 that 93,500 patients’ files were downloaded onto a hard drive at Hartford Hospital by an employee who took the hard drive home and then lost it. Hartford Hospital learned about the data breach in February of last year. MidState and Hartford Hospital are both part of Hartford HealthCare. In a letter to MidState in early May, Jepsen said steps taken by the hospital on behalf of the patients put at risk were “significant” in his decision to close the investigation.


Capital Workforce Partners Honors VP of HR at VNA HealthCare with a Lifetime Achievement Award

Avon Patch, July 9

In recognition of his tireless commitment and dedication to developing training programs for allied health care professionals, Fred Lauria, vice president of Human Resources at VNA HealthCare, was awarded a Lifetime Achievement Award during Capital Workforce Partners’ fifth annual Allied Health Symposium in June. As a member of their board of directors, Lauria has identified many of the healthcare trends and strategic investment opportunities designed to support the growth of health care professionals through existing and new educational programs. "Fred is receiving recognition for the tremendous impact he has had over the years in making sure Capital Workforce Partners receives the necessary resources for their education programs,” states Ellen Rothberg, CEO and President of VNA HealthCare.


Health Care News In the Region

Ground Broken for Bioscience Connecticut

Connecticut state officials broke ground June 11 for Bioscience Connecticut, the renovation and expansion project at the University of Connecticut Health Center in Farmington. The ceremony kicked off construction of a new hospital tower, parking structures and ambulatory care center at the UConn complex. The original research tower and hospital will be renovated and the medical and dental school facilities, expanded. These improvements are connected to plans by Jackson Laboratory of Maine to build a lab for genomic medicine on the UConn Health Center campus. Jackson Labs is expected to partner with scientists and doctors from UConn and other Connecticut medical centers and hospitals, including Hartford Hospital, to focus on personalized medicine. Hartford Hospital administrative leadership and academic faculty have had discussions with Jackson Labs and are looking forward to the growth opportunities working with them will present.


Primary Care To Be Job One For New Medical School

Hartford Courant, July 9

In a year, Quinnipiac University expects to open the third medical school in the state to help ease a dramatic shortage of primary care doctors and to create a new brand of physician — a doctor comfortable in a collaborative team of professionals. To outsiders, Quinnipiac might seem an unlikely place for one of the 18 new medical schools planned around the country. But those familiar with Quinnipiac's expansion, from regional college to higher-profile university, as well as its health-care focused programs see the medical school as a logical next step.


Coming Events

August 3 (Friday):

Surgery Grand Rounds: “Hemodynamic Monitoring in the ICU, Alternatives to the Pulmonary Artery Catheter: What, Why and When?”

6:45 a.m., Gilman Auditorium

Dr. Orlando C. Kirton, Director of Surgery and Chief of the Division of General Surgery, Hartford Hospital; Vice Chair, Dept of Surgery, UConn.


August 21 (Tuesday):

Medical Staff “Chef to Farm” Dinner

Rosedale Farms in Simsbury

6-11 p.m. Cost is $130 per person. Register here.

August 25 (Saturday):

10th Annual Skip McDermott Memorial Golf Tournament to benefit Hartford Hospital’s Transplant Program

Blue Box Run Golf Course, Avon

Includes golf, lunch and dinner.
$125 per golfer, $600 w/4 golfers, $350 w/2 golfers and $40 for dinner only.
Tom Arcari; 860-688-3417.


Sept. 10 (Monday):

23rd Annual Hartford Hospital Auxiliary Golf Tournament

Tumble Brook Country Club in Bloomfield

The 23rd Annual Hartford Hospital Auxiliary Golf Tournament will be held September 10 at the Tumble Brook Country Club in Bloomfield. Proceeds will benefit the hospital’s Epilepsy Center. For more information, contact Shelli Sigel, 860-490-3062 or Lori Flaks, 917-748-0531.


For more coming events, click here.

Hot Topics in Healthcare

F.D.A. Won’t Order Doctors to Get Pain-Drug Training

New York Times, July 9

The Food and Drug Administration, overriding the advice of an expert panel, said Monday that it would not require doctors to have special training before they could prescribe long-acting narcotic painkillers that can lead to addiction. But the agency said companies that make the drugs, like OxyContin, fentanyl and methadone, would be required to underwrite the cost of voluntary programs aimed at teaching doctors how to best use them. The F.D.A. announcement came after several years of deliberations by the agency into the growing problem of prescription painkiller abuse and misuse. In 2010, a panel of outside experts assembled by the F.D.A. overwhelmingly rejected the agency’s proposal that physician training be voluntary.


Voices Of Our Patients



July 9, 2012

Dear Mr. Flaks,
I recently was treated on Bliss 5 for two weeks, followed three days later by a week on 11N. I would like to express to you the superlative care I received.

The Nurses: to a person, they are intelligent, motivated, invested professionals. They have much to offer nursing. They are good examples of a healthy lifestyle.

The Uniforms: That was a very good decision. And they look good on everyone.

The Phones: Calling my nurse or PCA by phone rather than the intercom is far better. And the atmosphere is more peaceful without everyone on the floor hearing it.

The Information Boards: All I need to know is there, neatly displayed.

I am hoping you will know whom to thank on my behalf.
Maria R. Whitcomb


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.