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

July 8, 2012 Edition

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HH Facts:

1976 - Dr. Joseph Klimek was appointed the first full-time chief of Epidemiology at a non-university hospital in the U.S..

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

Hartford Hospital Surgeons Perform First Robotic Partial Colectomy

On June 19, Drs. William Sardellaand Paul Vignati, colorectal surgeons with Hartford Specialists, performed the first robotic partial colectomy at Hartford Hospital. Hartford Hospital’s colorectal surgeons are national leaders in laparoscopic colorectal surgery and further strengthen our reputation as New England’s leading robotic program.


Chinese Delegation Visits Hartford Hospital To Renew 20-Year-Old Affiliation

Twenty years after the first affiliation was signed, Hartford Hospital renewed its agreement with its sister hospital in China, QiLu Hospital and Shandong Medical University. A delegation from the Chinese hospital visited here on June 25. Over the past two decades, more than 200 physicians from the Chinese institution have trained in Hartford, learning skills that they brought back to China. In turn, Hartford Hospital has learned about the culture and medicine of China from the visiting scholars. Qilu Hospital is a 1,310-bed teaching hospital that provides more than 1 million outpatient visits and has 25,000 discharges and 12,000 surgical cases annually. Shandong University is one of the largest and oldest comprehensive universities in China, with more than 40,000 students, 3,000 professors, and 74 doctoral programs.


Quarterly Meeting of HHC Medical Staff Leaders Held Last Week

Elliot Joseph, president and CEO of Hartford HealthCare, presided over the regularly scheduled quarterly meeting of medical staff leaders from all hospitals in the HHC system on July 2. Every three months, the CEOs, CMOs, and medical staff leadership from all HHC hospitals, as well as Dr. Rocco Orlando, chief medical officer for HHC, meet to discuss systemwide issues affecting all medical staff. This quarter’s meeting featured discussions of the clinical integration organization project, medical staff code of conduct policies, the hand hygiene initiative, and other pertinent medical staff issues.


Earth, Wind & Fire to Perform at Black & Red

Dr. Sheiner Heads Up Medical Staff Advisory Committee

January 5, 2013

Earth, Wind & Fire, one of the most successful and critically acclaimed bands of the 20th century, will perform at the 2013 Black & Red gala, which will be held on January 5, 2013 at The Bushnell and will benefit Hartford Hospital’s Transplant Program. The band has won eight Grammy Awards and four American Music Awards and has been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Presenting entertainment of this magnitude sets Hartford Hospital apart in enhancing the cultural experience of the community. Dr. Patricia Sheiner is serving as chair of the Medical Staff Advisory Committee. Dr. Sheiner has communicated with prospective committee members, and that group is expected to come together in early August. Further information will be forthcoming, but if you would like to find out more about early sponsorships, please contact Carla Burgess at 860-545-1932 or


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

Tuesday, August 21

Rosedale Farms in Simsbury

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. The ingredients are sourced daily from local farmers, ranchers and fisherman. The menu will vary depending on the day's harvest and the inspiration of the chef. Prepare yourself for an incredible dining experience with the most local, fresh and flavorful foods available. Cost is $130 per person. Space is limited; please register early. To register, click here.


Dr. Andrew Salner Served as Guest Editor for Connecticut Cancer Partnership

In the June/July issue of Connecticut Medicine, the journal of the Connecticut State Medical Society, Dr. Andrew Salner, director of Hartford Hospital’s Helen & Harry Gray Cancer Center, serves as guest editor for a series of articles featuring efforts of the Connecticut Cancer Partnership (CCP). The CCP is the state’s comprehensive cancer control planning and implementation coalition, which works closely with Connecticut’s Department of Public Health in cancer control activities. With over 200 members representing non profit, academic, private, and public organizations and agencies, the CCP is recognized by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in this coalition role, and has produced comprehensive cancer control plans for Connecticut spanning 2005-8 and 2009-13 that provide a roadmap for programs in cancer prevention, early detection, treatment, survivorship and end of life care. In conjunction with DPH, the CCP has overseen funding of numerous implementation projects totaling over $8M. Dr. Salner served as founding chair of the CCP 2002-2010, and currently serves as past chair, and board and executive committee member, as well as co-chair of CCP’s advocacy committee. In this issue, in addition to a guest editorial, Dr. Salner has authored an article focusing on the CCP’s history and current strategies.


Drs. John McArdle and Cungundo Vegara Chosen for Aldo Belluci Awards

The 2012 graduating class of the Internal Medicine Residency Program of the University of Connecticut School of Medicine bestowed the Aldo L. Belluci, MD Award on Dr. John McArdle (Medicine/Pulmonology) and Dr. Cunegundo Vergara (General Internal Medicine) during graduation ceremonies on June 22. These awards, created in honor of Belluci, longtime HH physician and former director of the residency program who died in 2010, are to recognize members of the attending physician staff of Hartford Hospital deemed by the internal medicine residents to be outstanding teachers and dedicated to the education of house staff.


Dr. Michael Einstein Receives Teaching Award From GI Fellows

Dr. Michael Einstein, gastroenterologist, received a teaching award from the 2012 GI fellowship program of the University of Connecticut School of Medicine.


Drs. Kvam, Wakefield and Krompinger Featured in “Advancing Medicine” Segment on Spinal Care

Aired on WFSB, Channel 3

Episode 8 of our medical series Advancing Medicine was aired on WFSB-Channel 3 on June 28. Called “State of the Art Spinal Care: Savings Spines, Saving Lives,” it featured Drs. David Kvam, Andrew Wakefield, and Jay Krompinger. You can watch this episode, as well as past episodes, here.

Innovative and Complex Care

Hartford Hospital Chosen to Renew Role In National Cancer Network

Hartford, July 2

Hartford Hospital's Helen & Harry Gray Cancer Center has been selected to continue its role in the National Cancer Institute's network of community cancer centers. Hartford Hospital has been part of the program— called the NCI Community Cancer Centers Program (NCCCP)—since 2007 and will receive about $500,000 annually to fund participation in the network for the next two years. The NCCCP is a collaborative network of community hospitals that aims to expand cancer research, increase access to cancer care and improve the quality of care for cancer patients served by community hospitals in urban, suburban, and rural areas, with an emphasis on underserved populations. The collaborative was launched in 2007 as a pilot program with 16 community hospitals. The NCCCP added 14 additional sites to the network in 2010. (Hartford Business Journal, July 2) Hartford Hospital is the only hospital in New England that is participating.


Research and Academics

Chief Medical Residents Named

The two chief medical residents for academic year 2012-13 are Drs. Tanya Macatangay and Anupam Kumar. They can be reached at or 860-545-6002.


Evaluation of Fall Risk Prevention Screening Tool Wins Innovation in Research Award

The Research Program congratulates Hartford Hospital’s Women’s Health Services Evidence-Based Practice Group (Joanne Auger, Carolyn Bauer, Elizabeth Brinkley, Mary Ekwall, Deborah Gingras, Hattie Grant, David OSullivan, Tanya Riddick, Megan Ruppenicker, Theresa Schneider, Michelle Walsh and Sarah Young) on their recent poster presentation “Fall Risk Prevention in Postpartum Patients,” which received the Innovation in Research Award out of 500 entries at the 2012 Association of Women’s Health, Obstetric and Neonatal Nurses Convention held June 23-27 in National Harbor, MD. This study was generously supported by the Hartford Hospital Medical Staff.


Care Coordination

New Administrative Associate in Department of Medicine

Janet Connolly has assumed the role of lead administrative associate in the Department of Medicine. Connolly, who has more than 32 years experience at Hartford Hospital, began her career in Human Resources, transferred to Internal Medicine and then spent the majority of her time with the Division of Infectious Diseases. She can be reached at or 860-545-2085.

Operational Update

6% Malpractice Discount Available Again in 2012 for Completing Risk Management Education

Last Scheduled Session July 18

CHS Insurance LTD is continuing participation in the Annual Risk Management Educational Program (RMEP) available to all CHS voluntary attending physicians. By successfully completing the program, eligible participants (CHS Insurance policyholders effective January 1 of this policy year) qualify for a credit of 6% on their malpractice insurance premium. Please feel free to call 860-920-5475 with any questions. There is one more session scheduled:
• Medicine: Wednesday, July 18, 4:30-6 p.m., JB-118

HH In the News

Showdown Delayed

Hartford Business Journal, July 2

The deadline in a contract dispute between two of Greater Hartford's largest hospitals and insurer UnitedHealthcare — a dispute that could impact as many as 5,000 patients — has been pushed back until fall, officials have confirmed. But if a new deal isn't reached by the Oct. 28 deadline, patients of Hartford Hospital and The Hospital of Central Connecticut may face the tough choice of going elsewhere for care or paying higher out-of-network charges imposed by the Minnesota-based health insurer. UnitedHealthcare informed Hartford Hospital in March that it would terminate its provider contract July 15 rather than allow the agreement to automatically renew for one year. Hartford Hospital objected and filed suit in Hartford Superior Court. The contract, which went into effect in November 2010, was due to expire June 30, but had a provision that would allow it to automatically renew for one year if neither side objected. UnitedHealthcare informed Hartford Hospital March 7, however, that it planned to terminate the contract in July. Hartford Hospital asked for an injunction to block the termination, arguing that the insurer did not provide the contractually required 120-day notice of its intentions to end the agreement, court papers said. According to the complaint, Hartford Hospital said UnitedHealthcare was attempting to terminate the contract in order to avoid an automatic 6 percent rate reimbursement increase that would go into effect July 1. The two sides recently reached an out-of-court settlement to extend the contract's expiration date until Oct. 28, and are back in negotiations, officials said.


In the HHC System

Ribbon-cutting set for today at Plainfield Backus Emergency Care, June 28

Once the Plainfield Backus Emergency Care Center opens July 9, the travel time for Plainfield residents to the nearest emergency room will be less than third of what it is now. Today, two weeks before the center will open to receive its first patients, ribbon-cutting ceremonies will take place at the 13,000-square-foot, $7 million center. "People can take comfort that when they need an ER, they won't have as far to travel," First Selectman Paul Sweet said Monday, noting that the new center will be three to five minutes away for most Plainfield residents, who now travel 15 to 20 minutes to reach an ER. "Plainfield is the big winner in this whole thing." Shawn Mawhiney, spokesman for Backus, said the new emergency room will be open around the clock, providing all types of emergency health care services except trauma care, as well as diagnostic imaging, lab services and convenient care for less serious illnesses. Patients who need to be admitted to the hospital after treatment at the ER would be taken to the main hospital in Norwich.


Natchaug Hospital Honors Board

The Mansfield Resident, July 4

Natchaug Hospital announced the creation of the Natchaug Hospital Agency Endowment Fund and recognized retiring and new members of the Board of Directors at Natchaug Hospital’s 58th Annual Reception on Thursday night. The Endowment Fund was created in partnership with the Community Foundation of Eastern Connecticut with $37,553.63 from the Mervyn & Olga Little Fund held by Natchaug Hospital. This endowment will be invested, and the revenue will be used by Natchaug to serve the mental health needs of Eastern Connecticut. The reception honored the four retiring board members, who collectively represent 88 years of volunteer service to Natchaug Hospital — former UConn Vice President for Student Affairs and Services, Carol Wiggins, Ph.D.; former Windham Hospital Chief of Staff, Edward Sawicki, M.D.; retired nurse practitioner an 34-year board member Toni Ellzey, APRN; and the Very Reverend Laurence LaPointe, pastor of St. Joseph Church and campus minister for ECSU and Connecticut College. The retiring board members were recognized by Hartford HealthCare President Elliot Joseph, and were presented with Proclamations from the State of Connecticut by Representative Linda Orange (D-Colchester, East Haddam) and Representative Ed Jutila (D-East Lyme, Salem).


Windham Hospital Foundation Receives $100,000 for Cancer Navigation Program

Norwich Bulletin, July 5

The Jeffrey P. Ossen Family Foundation recently awarded $100,000 to the Windham Hospital Foundation to establish a Cancer Navigation Program at Windham Hospital.


Windham Hospital Using Cutting Edge Technology to Bring Relief to Chronic Sinus Disease Sufferers

Vernon Patch, July 5

Windham Hospital is one of the first hospitals in eastern Connecticut to utilize a revolutionary procedure that can reverse the effects of chronic sinus disease and other sinus conditions. Balloon Sinuplasty, done using general or local anesthesia, is a minimally invasive outpatient procedure in which doctors examine the natural drainage area of the sinuses using an endoscope. Then, using a sinus balloon system, the blocked sinus is gently dilated restoring normal sinus drainage and function.


Natchaug Hospital Named CT Site for Federal Medicaid Demonstration

Mansfield-Storrs Patch, July 5

Natchaug Hospital in Mansfield recently announced that it will serve as the Connecticut site in the Federal Medicaid Psychiatric Emergency Demonstration, a program aimed at reimbursing private psychiatric hospitals for their services. The Demonstration provides $75 million over three years to 11 states, and will have a significant impact locally, as Natchaug is the only non-governmental psychiatric hospital in the state that caters to the "full range of clients in the Medicaid and Medicare programs."


Health Care News In the Region

Approved Yale-New Haven, St. Raphael’s Merger Means 200 Layoffs

Hartford Business Journal, July 3

The state has given its blessing to Yale-New Haven Hospital's $160 million acquisition of its cross-town rival. The state Office of Health Care Access (OHCA) approved Yale-New Haven's purchase of St. Raphael's Hospital on Wednesday, saying the combination will serve the public interest by ensuring St. Raphael's won't go insolvent. The 500-bed hospital has been facing financial losses for years, and the merger allows for service integration and cost savings that will make it more financially sound, OHCA concluded. The deal, however, will lead to about 200 layoffs including the loss of management positions, a Yale-New Haven Hospital spokesman said. Those employees who will lose their job have already been notified.


Blumenthal Holds Conn. Hearing on Patient Safety

CBS News, July 3

U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal said Monday that efforts in Connecticut to reduce medical errors should be used as a national model for the rest of the country. Earlier this year, the Connecticut Hospital Association kicked off a statewide initiative to eliminate "preventable harm" in hospitals. Most of the state's 30 facilities have agreed to work collaboratively to create a culture of safety and ultimately eliminate serious errors. "Connecticut really is at the forefront. The more we can add to this movement, the better," said Blumenthal, who held a field hearing on behalf of the Senate Special Committee on Aging at the Legislative Office Building in Hartford. Blumenthal, who chaired the event, said the record will be made available to his colleagues on the committee.

Coming Events

ERRACE (Everyone Ride/Run Against Cancer Everyday)

July 14 (Saturday)

Helen & Harry Gray Cancer Center in Avon

This 100, 50, 25 mile bike ride and a 5km/10km Run/Walk raises funds for cancer research. The ERRACE organization was created by a group of professionals with common goals. Together we strive to raise the awareness of cancer, raise funds for cancer research and to inspire the community to be active and health conscious. Saturday, July 14, 7am to 3pm, Helen & Harry Gray Cancer Center, Avon. $40 for adult cyclists and runners/walkers; $10 for student cyclists and runners/walkers. Registration is recommended. Visit for more info and to register.


Swing for the Cure Golf Tournament

July 22 (Sunday)

Suffield Country Club

The 8th Annual Swing for the Cure Golf Tournament to benefit the Helen & Harry Gray Cancer Center will be held July 22 at the Suffield Country Club. Shotgun start at 12:30 p.m. The tournament includes 18 holes of golf with cart, dinner, and prizes. For more information, contact Stan McLennan, 860-668-7260, ext. 3.


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

August 3 (Friday)

6:45 a.m., Gilman Auditorium

Dr. Orlando C. Kirton, Director of Surgery and Chief of the Division of General Surgery


Medical Staff “Chef to Farm” Dinner

August 21 (Tuesday)

Rosedale Farms, Simsbury

6-11 p.m. Cost is $130 per person. To register, visit:


23rd Annual Hartford Hospital Auxiliary Golf Tournament

Sept. 10 (Monday)

Tumble Brook Country Club, 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

In Health Care Ruling, Investors See a Mixed Blessing

New York Times, June 28

Hospitals will gain millions of paying customers. Insurers, by contrast, could face crimped profits from restrictive rules. Medical device and pharmaceutical companies will bear new taxes and other higher payouts, but they were already expecting such costs. That, at least, was the immediate view of the impact of the Supreme Court’s ruling Thursday that upheld the nation’s health care overhaul. It was also a view shared by stock market investors. Hospital stocks rose, with HCA gaining about 11 percent and Tenet Healthcare rising 5 percent. Stocks of insurers like WellPoint, however, lost as much as 5 percent. Some medical device and pharmaceutical stocks had slight declines. For hospitals, the good news is that the law, which is aimed at extending insurance coverage to more than 30 million people, was upheld. That will mean fewer uninsured people streaming into their emergency rooms receiving treatment for which they cannot pay.


Doctors May Fear Being Rated, But They Often Score High With Their Patients

The Washington Post, July 2

Physicians have long been prickly about Web sites that assign them points or letter grades or even smiley and frowny faces based on patient reviews of their experiences. Picking a physician is more complicated than buying a toaster, they say, and doctors can’t be accurately evaluated solely on the basis of whether they’re good communicators, for example, or keep appointments punctually. Now Consumer Reports, a leading publisher of, among other things, buyers’ guides for toasters and other appliances, has ventured into physician rating territory in Massachusetts. The ratings, published as an insert in the July issue for the magazine’s Massachusetts subscribers and available online as well, put 487 primary care and pediatric practices through their paces, assigning scores from 1 to 4 in each of five categories related to patient experience. Massachusetts doctors support the project, says Richard Aghababian, president of the Massachusetts Medical Society. “We want all of our physicians to feel they should be accountable for the care they provide,” he says.


NCQA seeks comments on medical home program for specialty practices

American Medical News, June 27

A handful of non-primary care groups have qualified within the general program, but an expansion would allow more doctors to participate.


The Road Ahead For the Affordable Care Act

NEJM, July 2

The Affordable Care Act (ACA), the U.S. health care reform law enacted in 2010 and upheld as constitutional by the U.S. Supreme Court on June 28, 2012, has survived a series of life-threatening obstacles since its congressional consideration began in mid-2009. The most dramatic threat involved the surprise election of Massachusetts Republican Scott Brown to the U.S. Senate on January 19, 2010, which deprived Democrats of their 60-vote Senate majority and left most observers convinced that continued hopes for comprehensive health care reform were delusional. For now, the Obama administration is continuing to implement the ACA as quickly and thoroughly as possible, working to establish infrastructure, rules, and relationships in one of the most complex and multifaceted statutory implementations ever. Though most issues fly under the public's radar, the challenges are consequential and conflict-laden. The current implementation queue includes writing definitions and rules for private health insurance markets, clarifying rules for determining required “essential health benefits,” explaining how employer-responsibility provisions will be devised, and much more.

Voices Of Our Patients

Kudos to Hospitalists Drs. McClure and Albert

I was in Hartford Hospital under the care of Drs. Mitchell McClure and Ross Albertfrom May 4-9. I wanted to tell you about my experience with both doctors and with the rest of the staff on CB5.

I was quite scared and worried. Both doctors made me feel at ease and that they genuinely cared about my recovery. From my first visit with Dr. Albert, my worries went away as I knew I was in good hands. I had a lot of questions but Dr. Albert was always there to take care of them. After the weekend, he let me know that Dr. McClure would be attending to me. I was worried because Dr. Albert took such good care of me, but Dr. McClure was just as good. The changeover of doctors was seamless. Dr. McClure was right there with me as well, just as Dr. Albert had been.

Both doctors made a potentially unpleasant trip to the hospital a very pleasant one. I have never had doctors that have taken the time to make sure I was comfortable and make sure my stay was the best that it could be.

I also want to recognize all the staff that took care of me when the doctors were not there. The nurses and PCAs on CB5 were nice, caring and, at times, fun to distract me from the reason that I was there. They were always there if I needed something. They were always smiling.

I have such a huge respect for Hartford Hospital at this point. I would recommend this hospital to anyone needing care. Thank you for having such competent and caring staff at your hospital.

Lori Lee

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.