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

June 10, 2012 Edition

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HH Facts:

1969 – Hartford Hospital opened the first intensive care unit for newborns and infants in central Connecticut.

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

International Hospital Leadership Guru Fred Lee Served as Executive in Residence on May 31

Fred Lee, author of If Disney Ran Your Hospital, the all-time best selling book on hospital leadership, spent May 31 at Hartford Hospital as executive in residence. His day included presiding over Grand Rounds in Gilman Auditorium, where he provided an overview of his work. Through the morning, he conducted educational sessions with a broad group from management and then held two work sessions privately with Team EXCEED and the ED Action Group focused on specific issues and challenges these groups face. Lee closed the day with a session with senior management during the 2013 balanced scorecard retreat.

Hartford Hospital Participates in Connecticut-Israeli Technology Summit

President Jeffrey Flaks, Stephen Donahue, director of CESI, and Dr. Godfrey Pearlson, director of neuropsychiatry research at the IOL, participated in a panel at the second annual Connecticut-Israel Technology Summit held in Hartford on June 6. Since the first summit last year, we continue to look for potential partnership opportunities between start-up Israeli companies and our Center for Education, Simulation and Innovation (CESI). “The technology summit was very informative and exciting to see the tremendous opportunity for Connecticut to expand business growth with Israeli companies,” Donahue said. “The commitment the Hartford Hospital leadership team has made to CESI has positioned us to be a key player for this potential partnership.” Earlier this year, through the MetroHartford Alliances partnership with the Jewish Federation of Greater Hartford, the Israeli economic minister to North America for economic development and several members of an Israeli delegation visited CESI. We have been communicating with the Israel Economic Mission – Government of Israel concerning partnerships and investments and are looking into working with some of the companies.

10th Floor Blogger Gets Long-Awaited Heart Transplant

Colby Salerno, the 24-year-old patient who has been blogging from Hartford Hospital about his need for a new heart, received a heart transplant on May 29 and is doing well. Salerno, who is from Cheshire, had been living on the 10th floor of the hospital for 166 days and began "Tales from the 10th Floor" - talking about the experience of living in the hospital and his dreams of becoming a cardiologist - shortly after arriving at the hospital in December 2011. He became somewhat of a local celebrity, and his was voted the area's best health blog. CNN interviewed Salerno June 7 at our hospital.

HH Heart Transplant Patient To Be Featured In ABC Documentary Aug. 7

A Hartford Hospital patient will be highlighted Aug. 7 in the last part of an eight-episode ABC documentary series titled “NY Med.” The series explores the lives of doctors and patients. “NY Med,” which begins July 10, will focus primarily on Columbia and Weill Cornell hospitals. A Hartford Hospital patient will tell his story in the last episode. The patient was slated for a heart transplant at Columbia-Presbyterian Hospital but ended up getting on Hartford Hospital’s transplant list and was Connecticut’s first HIV-positive heart transplant.

Hudson Street Parking Garage On Schedule

More than 1,000 staff members signed their names June 5 on the ground-floor walls of the new employee parking garage being constructed on Hudson Street. The garage, which will add 1,250 parking spaces to our campus, is on schedule to open in January 2013. The structure also will include an employee fitness center.

HH Participates in City Incentive Program to Help Staff Buy Homes in Hartford

President Jeffrey Flaks joined Connecticut Gov. Dannel Malloy and representatives from the City of Hartford and other area employers at a press conference May 31 to announce a new MetroHartford Alliance incentive program to assist employees who want to purchase homes in Hartford neighborhoods. Hartford Hospital was a driving force in bringing the Hartford Homeownership Incentive Program (HIP) to Hartford. HIP is part of the Alliance’s Live Hartford Initiative, and will provide $10,000 in forgivable loans to eligible employees to buy homes in the Asylum Hill, Frog Hollow or other downtown neighborhoods. In addition to Hartford Hospital, participating organizations include Aetna, the Connecticut Children's Medical Center, St. Francis Hospital and Medical Center, and Trinity College.


Generous Support for Cardiac Surgery Reflects High Regard for Dr. Takata

With deep respect and admiration for Dr. Hiroyoshi Takata, a cardiothoracic surgeon, Richard and Jane Lublin of Avon have made a very generous donation to support cardiac surgery at Hartford Hospital. Through their gift, they want to recognize Takata’s surgical skills and dedication to his patients, and celebrate his achievements and the many lives he has saved – including Jane’s. When Jane learned that she had a cancerous tumor around her aorta, doctors at another hospital said they wouldn’t touch it. The Lublins then visited Takata, who said he would remove the tumor the next day, which he did. Richard thought he was dreaming when Takata called him three days later to tell him Jane was fine and to come and pick her up. In making the gift, Richard noted that Dr. Takata lived up to his name, as a true hero.

Dr. Michael Drescher Appointed to Advisory Committee for Israeli National EMS Service

Dr. Michael Drescher, associate chief of the Division of Emergency Medicine, has been appointed to the Medical Advisory Committee of Magen David Adom (MDA), the Israeli national EMS service. He will provide expert opinion and help the committee in maintain and further develop the highest standards of prehospital medical care delivery for the people of the State of Israel. In addition, Drescher is championing a close collaboration between Hartford Hospital, LIFE STAR, and the Israeli helicopter EMS program, and is working on bringing Israeli flight paramedics to Hartford for a combination of actual time flying with the LIFE STAR crews, as well as some time spent with them learning in CESI.

Dr. Srini Mandavilli Publishes Case Report in Journal of Symptoms and Signs

Dr. Srinivas Mandavilli, director of surgical pathology fellowships, has published "Melanoma presenting as atypical glandular cells on cervical cytology" in the recent inaugural issue of Journal of Symptoms and Signs.

Innovative and Complex Care

CESI’s Z-Link Has Broadcast Eight Live Cases

To date, eight live cases have been broadcast via Hartford Hospital’s Z-Link project, designed by Dr. Steven Zweibel, director of Electrophysiology, in association with Medtronic. Z-Link, based at our Center for Education, Simulation and Innovation, enables live cases to be broadcast directly from the electrophysiology laboratory and distributed to field personnel so they can observe and learn about device implants. Two-way audio enables participants to ask questions during the case and obtain real-time feedback from both the physician and company representative. We have had outstanding feedback on this project. Medtronic hopes to deliver these cases to a global audience in the coming months, given the need for these educational cases in emerging markets throughout the world.

Dr. Kelly Chiles To Present at World Meeting on Sexual Medicine

Dr. Kelly A. Chiles, urology resident, has been selected for an oral poster presentation at the World Meeting on Sexual Medicine in Chicago Aug. 29. Chiles’ presentation compares using hyperbaric oxygen therapy vs. regular room air in treating post-prostatectomy men.

Research and Academics

IOL Olin Research Center Receives $4.7M in New Federal Grants

The Institute of Living's Olin Neuropsychiatry Research Center has, in just the last two weeks, been awarded more than $4.7 million in new federal research grants. These include a $2.9 million grant to Dr. Michal Assaf, research coordinator, entitled “The Social Brain in Schizophrenia and Autism Spectrum Disorders,” and a $1.3 million grant to Dr. David Glahn, to study the genetics of psychotic disorders. In addition, Dr. Godfrey Pearlson, director of the center, has received one year competitive supplements for two studies, one of which examines the genetics of individuals with schizophrenia and bipolar disorder who exhibit abnormal resting state fMRI patterns, and another which seeks to predict the outcomes of cognitive remediation procedures in individuals with schizophrenia. Olin Center researchers are maintaining a remarkable grant funding track record at a time when funding from the NIMH and other NIH centers is becoming increasingly competitive.

2012 Summer Student Research Fellows Working With Senior Investigators

Sixteen student research fellows will be working on projects in conjunction with senior investigators at Hartford Hospital from June 4–August 10.

Dr. David Hull working with George Ciociolo: Effect of Time Interval of Donation after Circulatory Arrest (DCD) and Graft and Patient Outcomes.

Dr. Joseph Wagner working with Amanda Collins: PSA Recurrence After Robotic Radical Prostatectomy: Long Term Follow-Up.

Dr. Amy Johnson working with Brooke Cunningham: Provider Survey of Cervical Cancer Screening Guidelines.

Dr. Stuart Kesler working with Antonio Cusano: Utilization of Robotic Surgery in patients 75 years old and beyond at a single tertiary care center: Is it safe?

Dr. Adam Borgida working with Abigail Doelger: Gestational diabetes screening. A cost analysis of one-step and two-step methods in a high-risk population.

Drs. Jack Ross and Jabor Aslanzedeh working with Justine Falcone: MRSA Colonization on Cell Phones.

Dr. Andrew Salner working with Maura Graham: Prostate Brachytherapy Outcomes.

Dr. Kelly Johnson-Arbor working with Laura Hatchman: A survey of health monitoring practices of multiplace hyperbaric chamber attendants.

Dr. Paul Tulikangas working with Pauline Lange: Long-term outcomes of pelvic organ prolapse (POP) procedures.

Dr. Charles McKay working with Gregory Marakovits: Blood and Urine Assays for Acetaminophen Levels.

Dr. Cuengando Vergara working with Mary Meinke: Standardizing test reports on for Colonoscopy, DEXA, Mammograms, Pap Smears and Colonoscopies as part of Upgrading the Ambulatory Preventive Care Database.

Dr. Detlef Wencker working with Daniel Petersen: Telomere Attrition in Aging and Advanced Heart Failure.

Dr. Martin Ollenschleger working with Rachel Piaker: Pipeline Embolization of Cerebral Aneurysms: Procedural Efficiency and Resource Utilization.

Dr. Inman Kureshi working with Bailey Proft: Aneurysms of the Anterior Cerebral Artery: Recurrence of Aneurysm Neck Following Endovascular Coiling.

Dr. Anoop Meraney working with Peter Renehan: project pending.

Dr. Kristina Johnson working with Maren Wennberg: Entereg Laparoscopic Colon Resection Study.

Dr. Justin Lundbye Authors Articles; Receives Research Grant

Dr. Justin B. Lundbye, director of Inpatient Cardiology Services and medical director of Cardiac ICU, is the lead author of an article entitled “Therapeutic hypothermia is associated with improved neurologic outcome and survival in cardiac arrest survivors of non-shockable rhythms” in the February issue of Resuscitation; and the senior author of an article entitled “Major adverse cardiac events among postpercutaneous coronary intervention patients on clopidogrel and proton pump inhibitors” in the April issue of Connecticut Medicine. In addition, he has received approval for a $200,000 research grant from Giliad Pharmaceuticals.

Care Coordination

Standard SCM Order Sets Approved for Chest Pain, STEMI and NSTEMI; Will Be Available in a Month

On June 4, the Medical Executive Committee approved standard order sets for patients admitted with Chest Pain, STEMI and NSTEMI. These order sets should be available in SCM in about a month. Standard order sets are being tried out as a way of improving the quality of patient care by reducing unnecessary clinical variability. Standard order sets for Pneumonia and for Heart Failure are nearly complete. For more information on the process of creating these order sets, click here. You can see the order sets for CP, STEMI, and NSTEMI here . Comments and questions can sent to Dr. Stephen Upham at

Operational Update

Semi-annual Medical Staff Meeting Scheduled For June 28

The semi-annual medical staff meeting will be held Thursday, June 28 at 7 a.m. in Gilman Auditorium.

Universal Flu Prevention Begins This Fall

The protection of our patients and the well being of our staff are top priorities, so Hartford HealthCare is joining a growing number of elite health care systems that have instituted “universal” flu prevention for staff. There are a number of key studies that support the link between a high employee flu vaccination rate and patient safety. Beginning with the coming flu season, all employees, licensed independent practitioners who come on the premises (with any type of staff privilege, pending adoption of the policy by the Hartford Hospital Medical Executive Committee), volunteers and students will be required to get a flu shot. Only medical and religious exemptions will be allowed, and requests for these exemptions will be carefully evaluated. Staff members with approved exemptions will be required to wear surgical masks during flu season when they are within six feet of an area in which they may encounter patients. Click here to read the corporate communication regarding this issue from Dr. Rocco Orlando, senior vice president and chief medical officer for Hartford HealthCare, and other patient care leaders from throughout the system.

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

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 are two more sessions scheduled:

• Surgery: June 25, 5-6 p.m., Gilman Auditorium

• Medicine: July 18, 4:30-6 p.m., JB-118

HH In the News

Dr. Paul Thompson Quoted in Mississippi Paper About Marathon Running

“Outside the News, Marathons Rarely Kill”, Biloxi (Mississippi) SunHerald, May 30

Could marathon training and racing perhaps have damaged the heart muscle of Micah True, 58, a lead character in the book "Born to Run" who died recently during a solo wilderness trail run? And, conversely, shouldn't marathon training have made him -- and, by extension, all runners -- immune to heart disease? "The findings reinforce what we really already knew," said Dr. Paul Thompson, the chief of cardiology at Hartford Hospital, an author of the study and a longtime marathon runner, "which is that you are at slightly higher risk of suffering a heart attack during a marathon" than if you were merely sitting or walking sedately during those same hours. "But overall, running decreases the risk of heart disease" and therefore the likelihood of your suffering cardiac arrest at all. But, Thompson continued, running does not absolutely inoculate anyone against heart disease. "Genetics, viruses, bad habits from the past, bad diet or plain bad luck" can contribute to the development of plaques within the arteries or of heart damage like cardiomyopathy, an unnatural enlargement of the heart muscle, which running simply cannot prevent. But there is a pull, an imperative to running. Forcibly retired from the activity by a severe hip injury, Thompson said, "I ran marathons because I loved them, not because I expected them to help me live forever. I don't know if it's the healthiest way to spend years of your life. But it was enjoyable. I will miss running very, very much."


Health Care News In the Region

CCMC Awarded $10.5 Million Grant From NIH

Advance for Nurses, June 6

Connecticut Children's Medical Center has been awarded a $10.5 million grant from the National Institutes of Health for a 5-year study of the effects of standardized therapy for children with ulcerative colitis. Despite the increasing incidence of this disease, there has never been a large scale study to determine how children respond to therapy. The study team, headed by Dr. Jeffrey Hyams, director of the Division of Digestive Diseases, Hepatology and Nutrition at Connecticut Children's, has enlisted 25 leading pediatric institutions throughout the United States and Canada to participate. The grant is the first and largest multi-center pediatric clinical study that CCMC has received from the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases of the NIH.

New UConn Health Center Chief Looks Ahead

Hartford Courant, May 28

Dr. Frank Torti, the University of Connecticut Health Center's new vice president of health affairs, says that personalized medicine could be the next big thing in health care and that he expects the university to play a major role in it. With UConn's work in genomics and the upcoming arrival of genetic research company Jackson Laboratory to campus, Torti said the health center is well-positioned to advance the field of personalized medicine, in which a patient's genetic information is used to customize treatment for a particular condition. Torti was previously at Wake Forest University School of Medicine, where he was vice president for strategic programs, director of the Comprehensive Cancer Center and chairman of the Department of Cancer Biology. He was one of 10 finalists brought to UConn after a five-month national search. UConn officials announced his hiring in February.

Lawrence & Memorial Hospital, Dana-Farber Partner on $34.5M Cancer Center

Becker’s Hospital Review, May 30

Next month, Lawrence & Memorial Hospital in New London, Conn., will break ground on a new $34.5 million cancer center as part of its recent partnership with the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston. The 47,000-square-foot facility will be staffed by Dana-Farber oncologists and Lawrence & Memorial nurses, pharmacists, technicians and lab workers. The center will offer radiation and medical oncology programs, with radiation treatment provided by Yale-New Haven (Conn.) Hospital. Patients will also have access to second-opinion clinics, sub-specialists, genetic counseling and Dana-Farber clinical trials, according to the report. The center is scheduled to open in September 2013.

Coming Events

June 15 (Friday):

Ribbon Cutting For Mobile Mammography Van

11 a.m. to 1 p.m. on the plaza between the Conklin Building and CCMC

Please join us for a ribbon cutting ceremony to celebrate the arrival of the new Take the Time digital mobile mammography coach. For more info, contact the Partnership for BreastCare, 860-545-1018.

June 28 (Thursday):

Semi-annual Medical Staff Meeting

7 a.m., Gilman Auditorium

July 14 (Saturday):

ERRACE: Everyone Ride/Run Against Cancer Everyday

7 a.m. to 3 p.m., 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: to raise the awareness of cancer, raise funds for cancer research and to inspire the community to be active and health conscious. $40 for adult cyclists and runners/walkers; $10 for student cyclists and runners/walkers. Registration is recommended. Visit for more info and to register.

July 22 (Sunday):

Swing for the Cure Golf Tournament

Shotgun start at 12:30 p.m. at the Suffield Country Club

The 8th Annual Swing for the Cure Golf Tournament will benefit the Helen & Harry Gray Cancer Center. The tournament includes 18 holes of golf with cart, dinner, and prizes. For more info, contact Stan McLennan, 860-668-7260, ext. 3.

For more coming events, click here.

Hot Topics in Healthcare

Primary Care Update – Light at the End of the Tunnel?

NEJM, May 23

Primary care physicians, long in the doldrums over their incomes and challenging work–life balance, may be heartened by recent steps taken by policymakers and payers signaling the increased recognition of the foundational role they could play in a restructured health care delivery system. Hopeful signs include increased Medicare and Medicaid payments for several years under the Affordable Care Act (ACA), plans by major private insurers to increase primary care fees, and initiatives that medical groups are taking on their own. But the news is tempered by persistent divisions between advocates of primary and specialty care over the relative value of their services and the fact that most U.S. medical school graduates continue to shun primary care.

Specialty Closely Linked to Success of Medical Liability Actions

American Medical News, May 30

A new study suggests that a physician’s medical specialty plays a part in whether the doctor will have a more favorable — and quicker — lawsuit resolution. Internists and internal medicine subspecialists were more likely than other physicians to have suits against them dismissed by courts, said the study in the May 14 Archives of Internal Medicine. The study found that 62% of suits against internists and internal medicine subspecialists were dismissed, while 37% of cases against pathologists were dismissed — the lowest rate among specialties. Across all specialties, 54% of cases were dismissed.

Doctors Quick To Adopt Tablets Into Practice

American Medical News, June 4

Physician adoption of tablet computers has grown rapidly: 62% of physicians owned a tablet computer, up from 27% in 2011, the first full year after the introduction of the iPad set off the newest wave of tablets. Of the 62% who own tablets, half use them at the point of care. By comparison, most surveys put electronic health record use by physicians at around 50%, and that has required federal incentive programs to help get adoption to that mark. It helps that tablet computers, compared with EHRs, are inherently mobile and inexpensive.

Voices Of Our Patients

Kudos to Dr. Ramon Jimenez


I wanted to tell you about my friend, Barbara, who will be having surgery here at Hartford Hospital on June 1st. She recently had a surgical procedure performed by Dr. Ramon Jimenez, which was a success. He noticed something was wrong when he was in the abdomen and took the time to look around the cavity and located an extremely rare mass of cancer cells that I am told has never been seen at Hartford Hospital. It is called well-differentiated papillary mesothelioma of the omentum, and it is malignant. It is because of Dr. Jiminez's diligence and expertise that my friend has decided not to go to the leading cancer centers in the U.S., but to stay here for her operation which I must note is the first case of it's kind at Hartford Hospital.

Dr. Aaron Shafter, who is wonderful too, will be assisting Dr. Jiminez in the OR. Barbara, her family and I are confident the team of doctors, their assistants and pathology people will do all they can for Barbara.

I have been in touch with several people at the hospital, as Barbara will be receiving a sum of money and wants to contribute in her name to the Helen & Harry Gray Cancer Center for research in this particular cancer. The support the members of this hospital have given me has made me realize I made the right decision when I came to work here. Katarzya Woznica of our medical library has helped us with articles and case studies written about this particular affliction. Shauna Panginan of Fund Development is assisting in the donation to the hospital.

Dr. Andrew Salner and Dr. Holland will dedicate themselves in Barb's journey. Again, special thanks go to Dr. Jimenez who has given Barbara the peace of mind to have her surgery here at Hartford Hospital. I want to say thanks for your leadership of a truly wonderful hospital and health care system.

My best,

Linda Lee Larensen, Medical Records


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.