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

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 at 6 p.m.

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

May 13, 2012 Edition

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HH Facts
1967 - Dr. Leon Chameides became the first pediatric sub-specialist (pediatric cardiology) in central Connecticut.

Top News

Register Now for Medical Staff Spring Event May 23

The Board of Directors and Medical Staff Spring Event will be held on Wednesday, May 23 at Heublein Hall in the ERC at 6 p.m. The event is free. There will be cocktails and a buffet, followed by an ceremony where the annual medical staff awards will be presented. Winners are:

You are required to preregister, either online or by mail. To register online, go to:

Med-Mal Lawsuit Change Defeated

Connecticut Law Tribune, May 7

Both defense and plaintiffs lawyers were shocked last week when the legislature defeated a measure designed to lower the barrier to filing a medical malpractice suit. During four hours of debate in the House of Representatives, state Rep. Prasad Srinivasan, R- Glastonbury, a Hartford allergy doctor, contended the measure would be bad for doctors, and possibly encourage meritless lawsuits. His arguments may have helped turn the tide for the bill that has been the top item on the agenda of Connecticut’s trial bar. The House defeated the measure 74-69. At issue was a 2005 law that requires plaintiffs to obtain a “certificate of merit” from a medical provider stating that the defendant doctor may not have met accepted standards of care. The law requires the certifying doctor to be “similar” to the defendant doctor. But just who constitutes a “similar” provider has been contested in lawsuits, and consumer advocates and plaintiffs lawyers say such challenges have kept valid malpractice claims from going to court. The proposed bill would have slightly changed the law, allowing plaintiffs to provide letters from “qualified” providers rather than “similar” providers.

Cue the Experts: New TV Studio Raising Hartford Hospital’s National Profile

Hartford Business Journal, May 7

Dr. Marc Eisen, a neurologist who runs the Hartford Hospital’s Hearing & Balance Center, is sitting in a video studio talking to hospital communications director Rebecca Stewart. The former TV personality is prepping him for an interview later that night on WFSB Ch. 3, where he’ll discuss issues related to hearing loss. Eisen is getting a crash course on being an on-air personality in a new multimedia video studio that the hospital recently opened inside its main campus. The studio allows the medical center’s physicians to communicate with local, national and even international TV networks live or on tape. The $75,000 studio, which was financed through a fundraising campaign by the medical staff, isn’t a typical investment made by a hospital. In fact, Hartford Hospital is the only medical center in Connecticut that has one. So what’s the purpose? Simply put, it’s about raising the profile of the hospital as it tries to catapult itself into the top tier of medical centers in the country. Jeffrey Flaks, Hartford Hospital’s CEO, said the video studio fits in with the hospital’s vision of becoming a destination medical center because it helps bring more attention to the capabilities of the hospital and its staff. He said the hospital has world-class doctors who have penned scientific studies and made surgical advances, so getting their stories out to a national audience is important, especially when the hospital is competing on a worldwide scale for talent. And as the hospital gets more national attention, it has a better chance of being asked to participate in research opportunities that will bring clinical trials and the latest surgical techniques and devices to the Hartford market first. The hospital’s studio is capable of transmitting HD video directly to any network around the world.

Jeff Flaks Chairs Anniversary Gala Marking 30th Anniversary of Spanish American Merchants Association

Jeffrey Flaks, Hartford Hospital president and CEO, was honorary chair and welcoming speaker at the 30th Anniversary Banquet of the Spanish American Merchants Association (SAMA) held yesterday (May 12) at the Connecticut Convention Center. The black tie event honored Hispanic community leaders Mayor Pedro Segarra; Senator John Fonfara; Representative Minnie Gonzalez; Juanita Espinsoa; Luis Rodriguez; and First Niagara Bank. SAMA is Connecticut’s largest and oldest Hispanic merchants association, providing training, education, small business counseling, job creation and marketing to small and minority owned businesses throughout the region.  Hartford Hospital was the presenting sponsor of the event.

Inpatient and Outpatient Revenues Below Budget

Inpatient discharges were below budget for the month of April by 3.4% and were greater than the prior year by .4%. Outpatient revenues in the month were also below budget by approximately .5%. The areas of outpatient revenue that contributed to the unfavorable variance were Cardiology, Radiation Therapy, Emergency Department, and Dialysis. Year to date through April, inpatient discharges are 1.7% below budget, but discharges are greater than the first seven months of fiscal year 2011 by 1.1%. Outpatient revenues are approximately 2.6% greater than budgeted.




IOL Nurses Contribute to Book on Psychiatric Inpatients

Ellen Blair, director of nursing at The Institute of Living, Cindy Belonick, IOL nurse educator, and Karen Larsen, HH pain management nurse, have published chapters in a new book, Inpatient Psychiatric Nursing, Clinical Strategies and Practical Interventions. The book was the culmination of the work of the Ivy League Psychiatric Hospital Nurse Directors over a two-year period. The group’s goal was to write a book that any nurse could use to quickly read about a patient’s presenting psychiatric symptomatology and how to address it.

Dr. Jeffrey Cohen Presentation Highlights "Focus on Health" Luncheon

Thanks to an engaging and lively presentation by Dr. Jeffrey Cohen, more than 70 donors and other friends of Hartford Hospital learned about “Keeping Your GI Tract on Track” on May 1. Dr. Cohen, a member of Hartford Specialists, provided the group with an overview of what irritates the digestive system, identified causes for concern, and shared Hartford Hospital’s latest advances in minimally-invasive colon-rectal surgery. His presentation generated a host of questions and dialogue among the guests related to the gastrointestinal tract and what signs and symptoms should not be ignored. In addition to Dr. Cohen’s presentation, president and CEO Jeff Flaks provided guests with a recap of recent achievements at the hospital, including progress on HH2020 projects and significant improvements in the areas of patient safety and satisfaction. “Focus on Health” luncheons, sponsored by the Fund Development Department, provide an opportunity to showcase members of our medical staff and the innovative medical advances taking place in many areas at Hartford Hospital.

Dr. Lenworth Jacobs Presents on ATOM at Cornell

Dr. Lenworth Jacobs Jr., vice president of Academic Affairs, chief academic officer, and director of trauma and emergency medicine at Hartford Hospital, presented the 39th annual Preston Wade Visiting Professor Lectureship at Weill Cornell Medical College in New York City on May 7. His topic was "Advanced Trauma Operative Management (ATOM): Innovative Strategies for Trauma Surgical Education."

Dr. Joel Sorosky Speaks at American College of OB-GYNs Annual Clinical Meeting in San Diego

Dr. Joel Sorosky, chief of the Department of Ob-Gyn and co-director of Women’s Health Services, gave three presentations at the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists Annual Clinical Meeting in San Diego, Calif. May 5-9: "Techniques in Abdominal Wound Closure," "Management of Endometrial Hyperlasia and Cancer," and "Management of Abnormal Cervical Cytology."

Jenifer Ash Receives Nursing Excellence Award for New England

Jenifer Ash, APRN team leader in medicine, has been selected by Nursing Spectrum as the recipient of the Nursing Excellence Award for the New England Region for her overall contribution to inpatient clinical care. She received the award on May 3 at a gala at the Boston Marriott Newton. Ash plays a major role in numerous organizational quality and patient centered initiatives. She has been instrumental in moving the organization forward with respect to glycemic control, critical lab test reporting, the pneumonia and influenza vaccination processes, the patient discharge process, and many other quality improvement initiatives. She is a clinical expert and an invaluable front-line resource for the care of our cystic fibrosis, pulmonary hypertension, and general medicine patients, and always brings evidence-based practice to the bedside. Ash is now being considered for the national award.

Hartford Hospital Nursing Staff Recognized During National Nurses Week

Last week (May 6-12), Hartford Hospital celebrated National Nurses Week, recognizing the more than 1,400 nurses who care for our patients around the clock, seven days a week. Highlights of the week included an opening ceremony with flag raising and music from the Nurses’ Choir; a dessert party at Au Bon Pain; lectures; receptions; an awards ceremony; blessing of the hands services; graduate nurse poster presentations; and a closing ceremony on the front lawn.

Institute of Living A Major Presence at the American Psychiatric Association Annual Meeting

As 11,000 psychiatrists convened in Philadelphia for the annual meeting of the American Psychiatric Association, they heard nine distinctive presentations from the Institute of Living. Papers were presented on subjects such as diagnostic stability in bipolar disorder, pharamacogenetics, the relationship of short length of stay to readmission, PTSD and the relationship between insomnia, anxiety and suicidal ideation. First authors included Drs. John Goethe, psychiatrist and director of the Burlingame Center for Research and Education at the IOL; Hank Schwartz, psychiatrist-in-chief and vice president of behavioral health at the IOL; and Gualberto Ruano, director of genetics research at Hartford Hospital. Director of nursing Ellen Blair presented a new research poster on falls among psychiatric inpatients. Dr. Schwartz participated in a symposium entitled Moral Treatment to Recovery: The Ivy League Hospitals Look at Contemporary Ethical Issues in Psychiatry (the Ivy League is a consortium of the five surviving early "asylums" - the oldest psychiatric hospitals in America). These presentations were complimented by an IOL booth in the exhibition hall, overseen by IOL clinical operations director Annetta Caplinger and colleagues. Taken together, this constituted one of the strongest presences for any psychiatric institution at this important national meeting.


Innovative and Complex Care


HH Physicians On The Cutting Edge

The April 18 issue of JAMA included two major articles that validated the effectiveness of two innovative procedures in large clinical trials: minimally invasive partial nephrectomy for renal cancer, and endovascular repair of abdominal aortic aneurysms. Although not participants in the studies, Hartford Hospital physicians were national leaders in using these cutting edge approaches at the earliest stages of adoption.

Personalized Medicine and Heart Disease Case at Hartford Hospital Published in Connecticut Medicine

A new case study from the Genetics Research Center and the Division of Cardiology of Hartford Hospital illustrates value of genomic personalized medicine for antiplatelet therapy management with clopidrogel. Clopidogrel, a drug administered following percutaneous coronary interventions, requires metabolic conversion to its active form by the CYP2C19 isoenzyme, encoded by the CYP2C19 gene. A patient carrying mutations in this gene is a poor metabolizer, and receives no anti-platelet effect from clopidogrel. The FDA has issued a black box warning of the diminished effectiveness of clopidogrel in poor CYP2C19 metabolizers. The case study, published in the May 2012 issue of Connecticut Medicine, describes the use of CYP2C19 genotyping in the treatment of a 74-year old man with a 22-year history of coronary artery disease that continued to progress despite clopidogrel therapy. When the patient was genotyped, the results indicated a null CYP2C19 functional status thus explaining the lack of therapeutic effect of clopidogrel. Following these results, clopidogrel was discontinued and prasugrel was substituted. After18 months, the patient experienced no cardiovascular events. Follow-up angiography showed no evidence of restenosis. This case report illustrates the value of pharmacogenetic testing for treating heart disease and exemplifies Hartford Hospital’s leadership role in bringing personalized medicine to real time patient care. This study was generously supported by the Hartford Hospital Medical Staff through a Patient Safety and Quality Grant.

A New Tool To Treat Stroke

Hartford Courant, May 4

When a 57-year-old man from Wethersfield was operated on at Hartford Hospital a couple of weeks ago, he was one of the first patients to be treated with Solitaire FR Revascularization Device. Hartford Hospital is the first in Connecticut to have used it. Doctors there already have used it nine times. The device received FDA approval in March. Dr. Gary Spiegel, the hospital's director of neurointerventional surgery, said the device could be the first major breakthrough in treating stroke since clot-removing devices first became available in 2004. "Eight out of the nine [vessels] were open within 45 minutes, which is quite dramatic," Spiegel said. "I think now we're at the point where we can open vessels nearly all the time. This clearly is a significant advance."

Dr. Peppie Wagner Presents on Robotics Program in Boston

Dr. Joseph Wagner, director of Robotic Surgery at Hartford Hospital, recently participated at an executive session hosted by Intuitive Surgical in Boston. Dr. Wagner’s presentation, “Developing a Successful Robotics Program: A Surgeon's Perspective”, highlighted Hartford Hospital’s renowned robotics program and was well received by surgeons and hospital administrators from across the country. Hartford Hospital has now performed well over 5,000 robotic surgeries and is one of the pre-eminent robotic surgery programs in the country.


Research and Academics


Fifth Annual Neil J. Grey, M.D. Lecture in Diabetes Will Be a Joint Grand Rounds

The 5th Annual Neil J. Grey, M.D. Memorial Lecture in Diabetes on May 15 will be a joint Grand Rounds with Cardiology. Hosting the event are Drs. Robert Oberstein, Paul Thompson and Michael Lindberg. It will feature nationally renowned researcher in diabetes and cardiovascular disease Dr. Henry Ginsberg, director of the Irving Institute for Clinical and Translational Research at Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons. His presentation is titled "Optimal Treatment of Diabetic Dyslipidemia." This annual lecture is supported by the generosity of donors who established the Neil J. Grey, M.D. Fund for Diabetes in 2008 as a lasting tribute to Dr. Grey, who founded Hartford Hospital's Diabetes LifeCare Program and was recognized for his pioneering efforts to care for patients with diabetes. Upon his death in 2007, Dr. Oberstein became medical director of the Diabetes LifeCare program. Under the leadership of Dr. Rocco Orlando, one of three chairs of the Fundraising Advisory Committee, more than 100 family members, friends and colleagues contributed to the establishment of the fund and continue to support the endowment. Expected to attend this lecture are Joan Grey, Hal Moffie – whose generous leadership gift helped establish the fund – and Rose Malajanian, who also served as a committee chair with Dr. Orlando and Moffie. For more information, contact Nicole Attardo at

23rd Oncology Symposium May 16 Focuses on Renal Cancer

The 23rd annual Mary Mulready Sullivan Oncology Symposium will be held May 16 in the ERC from 7:30 a.m.-1 p.m. It is entitled "Innovations in Renal Cancer: Diagnosis, Treatment and Patient Care." Guest faculty includes Dr. Steven Shichman, chair of the Department of Urology; Dr. Anoop Meraney, section chief of the uro-oncology program; Dr. David McDermott, director of the biologic therapy program at Beth Israel Deaconness Medical Center in Boston; and Marcia Caruso-Bergman, oncology nurse practitioner at Hartford Hospital. The fee is $50 for physicians; $20 for non-physicians; no charge for students and residents. For more information, call Sandi Beggs at 860-545-2390.

Dr. John Goethe Reports on IOL Study at APA Annual Meeting; Short Psychiatric Hospitalizations Linked to Higher Readmissions
Clinical Psychiatry News, May 8

Putting a uniform brief cap on the number of days that psychiatric patients can remain hospitalized might have the unintended consequence of significantly boosting the rate of short-term hospital readmissions, according to results from a study of more than 12,000 patients at Hartford Hospital. Psychiatric patients hospitalized for 4 days or fewer had a statistically significant 25% increased rate of readmission in the following 30 days in an analysis that adjusted for many possible demographic and clinical confounders, said Dr. John W. Goethe, a psychiatrist and director of the Burlingame Center for Research and Education at the Institute of Living, at the annual meeting of the American Psychiatric Association. "Readmission is a complex problem and an extremely crude proxy for the many things that can make a patient’s condition deteriorate," said Dr. Goethe.


Operational Update


New Pagers Numbers for CMG Hospitalists

Connecticut Multispecialty Group (CMG) is changing paging services tomorrow (May 14) at 10 a.m. so they will be on the same platform as the rest of the institution. Telecom will be updated with these changes. Please note the changes in the pager numbers for the CMG hospitalists:
•    CMG Hospitalist Admission Pager: 860-825-0971 (24/7)
     Our admission pager is available for all new admits, ICU transfers and outside hospital
     transfers 24/7.

•    CMG Hospitalist Night Floor Pager: 860-825-0973 (7 p.m. – 7 a.m.)
     Night floor pager is available from 7 p.m. till 7 a.m. for any floor patient issue.
•    CMG Daytime Hospitalist Contact:
     Please call individual hospitalist staff on service as listed in telecom.
•    Dr. Ajay Kumar, Chief of Hospital Medicine: 860-825-1748
     This pager will be carried by physician in charge when Dr. Kumar is away to provide a
     single number for any issue related to our division.

New Physicians Join Hartford Hospital Medical Staff

Dr. Frederic J. Bernstein, Pediatric Cardiology, Connecticut Children’s Medical Center
Dr. David M. Bushley, Ophthalmology, Consulting Ophthalmologists, PC
Dr. Robert C. Hagberg, Cardiac Surgery, Hartford Specialists Cardiac Surgery
Dr. Francis J. Mayeda, Obstetrics & Gynecology, Shoreline Obstetrics & Gynecology
Dr. Izabela Tarasiewicz, Neurosurgery, Connecticut Children’s Medical Center

Department of Surgery Awards, May 16

The Department of Surgery and the Surgical Collaborative Management Team will hold its Semi-Annual Recognition Awards Ceremony Wednesday, May 16, from 2-4 p.m. in JB-118. For more information, contact Rebecca Calabrese at 860-545-4127.

Get Your 6% Malpractice Discount 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 in May:

  • ED: Thursday, May 17, 8:15-10 a.m., Dining Room B & C
  • Medicine: Thursday, May 17, 4:30-6 p.m., Gilman Auditorium (PLEASE NOTE NEW DATE)

Care Coordination


New Epilepsy Center Team Participated in Fundraising Walk

Ten members of Hartford Hospital’s new Epilepsy Center team participated in the 8th annual Sharon's Ride.Run.Walk for Epilepsy in West Haven on May 6, according to Dr. Erica Schuyler, neurologist. Hartford Hospital, which is currently considered a Level II provider, is developing a six-bed Level IV Epilepsy Center on Center 11. The unit is scheduled for opening with two beds on C11 at the end of August. The additional four beds will open as the epilepsy program develops. We expect to achieve Level IV designation by September 2013. Dr. Schuyler, who has been at HH since 2009, has been instrumental in developing the Epilepsy Center. She has been joined by new medical director of Epilepsy and Functional Neurosurgery, Dr. Brendan Killory.

Join the HH Arthritis Walk Team, May 20

The Joint Center at Hartford Hospital is the lead sponsor of the Greater Hartford Arthritis Organization Walk. Medical chair of this event is Dr. Mark Shekhman, orthopedic joint replacement surgeon. This 5K walk will take place Sunday, May 20, 9 a.m.-12 p.m. at Saint Joseph College in West Hartford. To join the Hartford Hospital team, email Cecilia Kozlowski at


HH In the News


Hospitals Step Up Efforts To Prevent Infections

Hartford Courant, May 10

Less than a decade ago, it was considered a given that a certain number of hospital patients would acquire infections during their hospital stay and that there wasn't much that could be done to prevent it. That's been changing. A recent report by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows that rates for all four types of hospital-acquired infections that were tracked dropped from 2009 to 2010. Central line-associated bloodstream infections declined by 33 percent. MRSA infections declined by 18 percent. Surgical-site infections declined by 10 percent. Catheter-associated urinary tract infections declined by 7 percent. As for catheter-associated infections, Dr. Rocco Orlando, chief medical officer for Hartford HealthCare, said that a more judicious use of catheters has gone a long way toward reducing infections. "Now we ask, 'Do I really need to do this, or will it worsen the condition?'" Orlando said. Using catheters more often provides more information for the physician, he said, but there's a point at which catheter use just increases the chances of infection. "So we ask them to question that risk-benefit ratio." A sense of transparency has created a sense of competition among hospitals. Even within the hospital, transparency helps, said Patricia Sobieski, director of quality for Hartford Hospital and Hartford HealthCare. Patient infections are posted for each nursing unit, she said, "so there's a mentality of, 'Not on my watch.'" "It really becomes a matter of pride to see that those infections are reduced."

Helping Cancer Patients Navigate Changes in Life

NBC Connecticut, April 25

Patient navigators fulfill a role doctors and family members are not always able to. They take people past the initial shock of a diagnosis and carry them through things like financial and insurance hurdles. There are only two patient navigators in the state: one works at Hartford Hospital, and the other at UConn Health Center.

NFL Player’s Death Renews Concern About Concussions At All Levels Of Sports

Harford Courant, May 3

The death of Junior Seau could serve as one more cautionary note for athletes, coaches and parents. Dr. David Lovejoy, associate director of Hartford Hospital's head injury program, said Seau's case likely could bring more attention to the issue of chronic traumatic encephalopathy, a condition brought about by repeated blows to the head. Depression, confusion and cognitive and behavioral problems can result. The condition was once mainly associated with boxing but is now watched for in other sports. "We want to be very vigilant. I think many school coaches are aware of what's going on in the NFL," Lovejoy said, but added that the "vast majority" of athletes will not develop chronic traumatic encephalopathy. "It's important to differentiate the NFL populations from other populations. These are the hardest-hitting athletes. They've also had many concussions over their lives and their careers have put them in the position where concussions are expected and, for many years, ignored." Lovejoy said one of the major questions in the field of concussion research is why some people suffer long-term damage from concussion, while others — even those who have had a similar number of head injuries — do not. "There are research projects looking at whether it could be genetic; there are research projects looking at the mechanics of injuries and how those occur," he said.


In the HHC System


Hospital of Central CT taking Walk with a Doc to Plainville

New Britain Herald, April 25

Building on the success of The Hospital of Central Connecticut’s Walk with a Doc program, Hartford HealthCare is taking the program system-wide. The Hospital of Central Connecticut will kick off the year’s walks at 9 a.m. this Saturday in Norton Park, Plainville. The 30-minute walk will include health tips from Joseph Treadwell, D.P.M., who will discuss good steps toward foot health. HOCC’s Walk with a Doc program is currently the largest of Walk with a Doc programs in North America and beyond, in terms of the number of participants. Hartford HealthCare entities joining the walk program are doctors representing Hartford Hospital, Hartford Medical Group, MidState Medical Center and MidState Medical Group. Walks will continue on a monthly basis. Hartford Hospital and Hartford Medical Group will host a May 19 walk at Sperry Park, Avon, where cardiologist/electro physiologist Steven Zweibel, M.D., will talk about irregular heartbeats and quality of life. On June 16, MidState Medical Center will host a walk at Farmington Canal Linear Park, Cheshire, where internist Walt Kupson, D.O., will discuss preventing Lyme disease. HOCC was the first hospital in New England to join Just Walk, a Walk with a Doc program that hosts free community walks at area parks that are led by doctors and stress the benefits of exercise while providing health tips. More than 800 walkers, many repeat walkers, have participated in HOCC’s 11 walks from October 2010 through December 2011. Walkers have come from more than 40 Connecticut towns, as well as Rhode Island and Massachusetts. Walk with a Doc was started in 2005 by a cardiologist in Ohio. There are more than 50 active Walk with a Doc sites, including in Abu Dhabi, Canada and India.

VNA HealthCare:  Home Telemonitoring Decreases Hospital Readmissions in Heart Failure Patients by 38%

VNA HealthCare, a Hartford HealthCare Partner, recently completed a quarterly evaluation of its Cardiac Readmission Avoidance Program. Combining technology and specially trained cardiac nurse oversight, the agency has been able to greatly reduce readmission within 30 days after hospital discharge. Patients with heart failure admitted to VNA HealthCare’s service between January and March 2012 had a 16% readmission rate compared to Connecticut’s average readmission rate of 25.9%. “We have been able to effect a 38% reduction in preventable readmissions, on par with industry leaders. Through this program, we are able to help our health system manage our patients’ care successfully as they transition from our acute care settings to home,” stated Ellen Rothberg, president and CEO of VNA HealthCare. Currently, over 250 patients are receiving telehealth services from VNA HealthCare. The in-home telemonitor verbally and visually guides each patients through a simple, three-minute process to measure their own vital signs daily. The vital sign information is transmitted via phone lines, or digitally, to VNA HealthCare, where cardiac clinical specialist nurses monitor the results in real time. Measurements that fall outside of a patient’s personalized parameters are automatically flagged, which result in follow up calls with the patient to talk about any symptoms, diet or medications. The cardiac nurse also can use the data for clinical decisions, including contacting the doctor to discuss possible clinician intervention.


Health Care News In the Region


CCMC Acknowledged for Exceptional Asthma Program

US EPA, May 2

The Connecticut Children’s Medical Center is one of four winners nationwide of the 2012 National Environmental Leadership Award in Asthma Management for its Easy Breathing Program, which includes patient education and environmental interventions. The program is implemented across Connecticut helping ensure that comprehensive asthma care is available to the 105,000 children with asthma now enrolled. The Easy Breathing Program is designed to aid primary care clinicians in making a diagnosis of asthma and treating individuals using a systematic, standardized, approach, which adheres to the National Asthma Education and Prevention Program (NAEPP) guidelines. It was the first large-scale program in the country to demonstrate that clinicians can use NAEPP guidelines and that its’ effective use can result in improved quality of asthma care. One of the distinguishing features of this program is the creation of a robust database used for research and reporting that allows the Center to provide clinicians with demographical and other information relating to environmental exposures and asthma severity of children enrolled in the program.


Coming Events


May 16 (Wednesday):
25th Anniversary Clinical Integration Educational Forum:

Major Employer Groups, What do they want from health care systems and practitioners?
Keynote Speaker: Dr. Paul Grundy, IBM's director of Healthcare, Technology and Strategic Initiatives for IBM Global Wellbeing Services and Health Benefits. Hartford Club, 46 Prospect Street, Hartford, 4-6:30 p.m.

May 18 (Friday):
Stroke Conference:

"Fantastic Voyages: Current Endovascular Management of Stroke, Aneurysms and Brain AVMs"
Friday, May 18, 6:45 a.m.-4 p.m., ERC. Presented by the Stroke Center, this program will be of interest to neurologists, neurosurgeons, radiologists, emergentologists, APRNs, PAs, nurses and technologists involved and interested in the care and treatment of patients with complex cerebrovascular disease. Conference faculty includes Hartford Hospital physicians Gary Spiegel, Howard Oakes, Martin Ollenschleger, Isaac Silverman and Inam Kureshi. Other faculty members are keynote speaker Dr. Alejandro Berenstein from Beth Israel Medical Center and St. Luks'-Roosevelt Hospital Center; Dr. P. Kim Nelson from NYU Langone Medical Center; Drs. David Fiorella and Henry Woo from Stonybrook University Medical Center; and Dr. Robert Lesser from UConn School of Medicine. Registration is $150 for physicians, $50 for non-physicians and $25 for HH staff members. There is no charge for medical students, residents, fellows and nursing students. You can register online at or by calling our Health Referral Service at 860.545.1888 or 1.800.545.7664.

May 23 (Wednesday):

Annual Medical Staff Spring Event

May 24 (Thursday):
Free HSO Concert on the Plaza

A woodwind quartet from the Hartford Symphony Orchestra will perform a free concert on the plaza between Conklin and CCMS from 11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. on May 24. The program will feature classical favorites by Mozart, Tchaikovsky, Schubert and more.

More events


Hot Topics in Healthcare


$100,000 HIPAA Fine Designed To Send Message To Small Physician Practices
American Medical News, May 2

In announcing a resolution settlement with a cardiac surgery practice, the Dept. of Health and Human Services’ Office for Civil Rights issued a warning to doctors: No matter the size of your practice, you will be held accountable for HIPAA violations. Phoenix Cardiac Surgery, a five-physician practice, became the first small practice to enter into a resolution that included a $100,000 penalty over charges that it violated the HIPAA Privacy and Security Rules. It was alleged that the practice was posting surgery and appointment schedules on a publicly accessible Internet-based calendar. The HHS office’s deputy director of health information privacy said the practice had done little to comply with HIPAA Rules since the regulations were implemented in 2003.

Beyond the “R Word”(Rationing)? Medicine’s New Frugality
NEJM, May 2

Washington policymakers have begun to concede the need to weigh health care's benefits against its costs to avert fiscal ruin. That is common sense in other domains — but it's anathema in public discussion of medical care. To silence talk of tradeoffs, politicians invoke the “R word” — rationing. The R word's power to stop conversation reflects the popular belief that cost should be no object at the bedside. This belief has circumscribed elected officials' efforts to control medical spending. Both Democrats and Republicans have stuck to variants on a standard story: cutting services that yield no value will do enough. Proposals from both parties have thus emphasized care coordination, administrative efficiency, and the elimination of useless interventions.

Access To Medical Images For Patients And Physicians Anytime, Anywhere
Medical News Today, May 1

Patients can pull their medical images from the "cloud" making it faster for them to distribute to their physicians regardless of where they are, according to a report of an image share project involving five academic institutions (UCalifornia-San Francisco, UChicago, Mayo Clinic- Rochester, MN, UMaryland-Baltimore, and the Mount Sinai Medical Center-NYC). "The patient can arrange with their radiologists to have their images and reports exported into an Internet-based personal health record (PHR)," said Dr. David Mendelson, principal investigator. Once the information is in the PHR, the patient has full control over distribution. Images can be viewed immediately online, and e-mail links can be sent to physicians allowing them to view and download the images and reports as needed.


Voices Of Our Patients


Kudos to Dr. Chike Chukwumah

Hi Doctor Chukwumah,

Last week, I was talking to my mom on the phone as I do every time I walk to and from class. It reminded me of the scary time when I couldn’t call her because she was sick and in the hospital.

I wanted to thank you for doing so much for her and for bringing her back to good health. She is a wonderful, strong, and brilliant woman. I can’t thank you enough for all that you did for her.
Name Withheld



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.