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

September 2, 2012 Edition

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HH Facts:

1981 – Under the direction of Dr. Phillip Allemendinger, the first hypothermic circulatory arrest was used for reconstruction of the aortic arch.

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

IMPORTANT REMINDER: Medical Record Suspension Policy

Please remember to sign your medical records. If you have more than five suspensions in two years from failure to sign them, you will be suspended from all clinical activities for 10 days. Please let us know if you have an difficulties getting your records signed. If you will be away, please call or email Medical Records at 860-972-2366 or, and your records will be placed on hold status. If you are away and did not alert HIM, please access the portal to login and sign records electronically in SRM.


CESI Receives $10M Grant For Expansion

Gov. Dannel Malloy's office announced Friday that the state will provide a $10 million grant to Hartford Hospital to expand our Center for Education, Simulation and Innovation (CESI), one of the most advanced medical training centers in the world. The money will enable CESI to grow from its current site in the Educational Resource Center into the adjacent Barney Building and will provide for 30,000 square feet of space for additional simulation areas, electronic training facilities and the expansion of the Center for Bioterrorism and Emergency Preparedness. We expect the enlarged facility not only to increase our training and research capabilities but also to attract high-tech industries to the state to partner with us, to create more jobs and to attract some of the world's best health care providers to Connecticut. Since it opened in 2010, CESI has filled an urgent need in the medical community by training thousands of physicians to become the next generation of medical first responders. The center is an international hub for high-technology training and an educational and research center for students and faculty from UConn, as well as from schools and hospitals across the globe. Hartford Hospital expects the expansion to be completed by 2014.


Hartford HealthCare Debuts Medical Mannequins Exhibit at CT Science Center

Hartford Business Journal, Aug. 21

The Hartford HealthCare Health Lab was unveiled Aug. 22 at the Connecticut Science Center with a new exhibit that will allow visitors to interact with state-of-the-art medical mannequins used by medical experts for training. The mannequin, called SimMan, can take visitors through the steps of dealing with obstructed airways, a lackluster pulse, dilated pupils, and cardiac arrest.


ACGME Leaders Come to Hartford Hospital To Discuss New Accreditation System

On Aug. 21, Hartford Hospital hosted Dr. Thomas Cogbill, chair of the American Board of Surgery, and Dr. John Potts, senior VP of the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME), who discussed ACGME’s new accreditation system. ACGME evaluates and accredits more than 9,000 residency programs in the United States in 135 specialties and subspecialties, affecting more than 116,000 residents. The new system is defined as “an outcomes-based accreditation process that measures future physicians on their competency in performing the essential tasks necessary for clinical practice in the 21st century.”


First “Chef to Farm” Dinner A Big Success

More than 100 members of the medical staff and their guests gathered August 21 at Rosedale Farms in Simsbury for a special Max Restaurant Group “Chef to Farm” dinner. There was great food and wine, and an interesting tour of the farm. Attendees enjoyed the opportunity to relax and socialize.


Hartford Hospital Partners With Israel’s Emergency Medical System

Hartford Hospital has invited Magen David Adom (MDA), Israel's national emergency medical, disaster, ambulance and blood bank service, to participate in a mini-fellowship in air medical transport. The fellowship is comprised of didactic sessions; flight time observing the LIFE STAR team; and learning and practicing in our Center for Education, Simulation and Innovation (CESI). MDA has selected two of their flight paramedics to train here Oct. 14-21. This will become an annual event, with the goal of learning from each other’s strengths through education, partnership and future collaborative exchanges. A celebration reception will be held from 5-7 p.m. Oct. 18 in Heublein Hall with Jewish leaders and invited dignitaries.


CBS Films Segment for “The Doctors” With Dr. Darren Tishler

A producer for the CBS national television program “The Doctors” came to Hartford Hospital from Los Angeles to profile a patient scheduled for weight-loss surgery with Dr. Darren Tishler, director of the Bariatric Surgery Program. The segment will air in September. Nick Dethlefsen, our in-house videographer from the Planning and Marketing Department, helped with the shoot. Perhaps Dr. Tishler will be the next Dr. Oz….


HH Makes Progress With Charter Oak Health Clinic

Since Hartford Hospital entered into an agreement with Charter Oak Health Clinic in March, we’ve made significant progress to rectify Department of Public Health (DPH) infractions and develop a stronger clinic infrastructure. We’ve been recruiting to fill the chief nursing officer and HR director positions, which are key for our exiting the clinic. We’ve also developed job descriptions for the CEO and CMO and have asked the clinic’s board to consider hiring a recruiting firm to fill the positions. We are establishing a Patient Relations Department led by Joe D’Amato, who led patient relations at Hartford Hospital for several years. We’ve formed a partnership with Charter Oak to share infectious disease services and staff over the next six months to enforce newly established infection control protocols. Charter Oak and HH Women’s Health physician leaders have held discussions to help bridge the care of our shared female patient population. How Charter Oak Works (HCW) is being rolled out to all staff via staff meetings. We entered into the agreement with Charter Oak to build a strong working relationship with them and to improve the quality of services provided to the community. We are accomplishing both goals, and the DPH is very pleased with the progress we’ve made.


One day, 5 CMEs for License Renewal

Friday, Sept. 14 - Mystic Marriott Hotel and Spa

All Connecticut physicians are welcome to Join Connecticut State Medical Society on Friday, Sept. 14 to complete all five mandatory Continuing Medical Education courses for license renewal: cultural competency, sexual assault intervention and prevention; domestic violence; infectious disease; risk management: medical liability loss prevention. Courses will be held at the Mystic Marriott Hotel and Spa from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. It is the first day of the 220th CSMS Annual Meeting and House of Delegates, and will be followed by a cocktail reception and buffet dinner with keynote speaker Dr. Bob Arnot, international humanitarian and journalist. Additional events will be held the following day, including a vendor exhibition, education programs, award presentations, and luncheon presentations. For more information or to register online, go to


Flu Shots Required This Year

Free flu shots will be available after Oct. 23

Deadline to apply for medical or religious exemptions: Oct. 1

One of our core values is safety, which is why Hartford Hospital and all Hartford HealthCare organizations have instituted universal influenza prevention for the coming flu season. It means that all staff members (employees, students, licensed independent practitioners, volunteers and vendors) are required to get a flu shot unless they are approved for a medical or religious exemption. Licensed independent practitioners who come on the premises (with any type of staff privilege) must receive the influenza vaccine. Practitioners without approved exemptions who fail to get a flu shot by Dec. 1 will have their privileges suspended. This program has the full support of the Medical Staff Leadership. Free flu shots will be available after Oct. 23 in Occupational Health, which is open from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday. There will be further information in October listing other times and locations for flu shots. After getting the shot, those receiving the vaccine at Hartford Hospital will receive the I.D. badge tags that describe the wearer’s vaccination status. (Exempted staff members will have to wear a mask during flu season in any area where they might encounter patients.) Those who receive the vaccine at a location other than Hartford Hospital should bring documentation to the Medical Staff Office. Documentation should include your name, the date of vaccination, the vaccine product used, location and clinician who provided the vaccine. The Medical Staff Office will provide the I.D. badge tags. Those seeking medical or religious exemptions must submit forms by Oct. 1. Those forms are available on the Hartford Hospital Intranet homepage under “Employee Flu Prevention Program.” For questions and further information, please email:


Get The Word Out About Your Events and Speakers

Send it to

If you are hosting any guest speakers or visiting dignitaries to Hartford Hospital, please let us know as soon as you can so that we can share the information. Email us at, and the information will go to all the editors in the Planning and Marketing Department. Please be sure to include all pertinent details, such as the guest’s name, title, date and time of visit, location of gathering, and topic of presentation (if applicable).


A Tragic Incident on Campus

There was a tragic incident on Aug. 20 on the Hartford Hospital campus. Just before 10 p.m., a woman fell to her death from the hospital's visitors' garage, adjacent to the Medical Office Building. An ambulance was called, but attempts to resuscitate failed. The Hartford Police Department is investigating with the help of our Security Department. Our thoughts and prayers go out to her family and friends at this difficult time.


Hartford Hospital Earns JC's Gold Seal for Spine and Joint Center

Hartford Hospital has earned The Joint Commission’s Gold Seal of Approval™ for our Spine and Joint Center programs by demonstrating compliance with The Joint Commission’s national standards for health care quality and safety in disease-specific care. The certification award recognizes our continuous compliance with The Joint Commission’s state-of-the-art standards. We are the only hospital in the Northeast to hold certifications from the Joint Commission for joint replacements of hip, knee and shoulder as well as certification for spine surgery.


Dr. Anne Lally Named Surgical Director of Kidney Transplant

Dr. Anne Lally has been named the surgical director of Kidney Transplant at Hartford Hospital. Dr. Lally came to the Hartford Hospital Transplant Program in 2002. She has been the recipient of several academic and research awards and in 2002 became an assistant clinical professor of Surgery at the University of Connecticut School of Medicine.


Dr. Darren Tishler Promoted to Associate Clinical Professor of Surgery

Dr. Darren Tishler, co-chief of Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery in the Department of Surgery, has been promoted to the rank of associate clinical professor of Surgery at the University of Connecticut School of Medicine. Dr. Tishler has been on staff at Hartford Hospital since 2004.


Dr. Joel Sorosky Publishes in Clinical Expert Series of Obstetrics and Gynecology

Dr. Joel Sorosky, chief of Department of Ob-Gyn and co-director of Women's Health Services, published "Endometrial Cancer" in the clinical expert series in the August 2012 edition of Obstetrics and Gynecology, the journal of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists.


Dr. Kelly Johnson-Arbor Publishes in Undersea and Hyperbaric Medicine

Dr. Kelly Johnson-Arbor, medical director of the Wound Healing and Hyperbaric Medicine Center, has a case report entitled "Type II decompression sickness in a hyperbaric inside attendant" being published in the September/October issue of Undersea and Hyperbaric Medicine. She is the director of the Wound and Hyperbaric Center in the Department of Trauma and Emergency Medicine.


Dr. Michael Zanker Appointed to FEMA Advisory Committee

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


Dr. Michael Conway’s Art Work Featured Outside Cafeteria

Dr. Michael Conway, Medicine/Pulmonology, has three pieces of artwork featured in the display case outside the hospital cafeteria. Under the title “Medicine Heals the Body, Art Heals the Soul,” the gallery case features artwork done by hospital staff. Dr. Conway has been in practice since 1978 when he joined the Hartford Hospital Medical Staff.


Doctors Honored Through Gifts to the Hospital

Many gifts to Hartford Hospital’s Annual Campaign come with thoughtful words from donors that testify to the critical role members of the Medical Staff play in nurturing patient and family relationships – and ultimately charitable gifts. Joan Chesanek paid tribute to the Cardiology staff when she sent in her Annual Campaign check, writing, “I must express my deepest gratitude to Dr. Brett Duncan (Medicine/Cardiology) and his team for giving me a ‘second life.’ Not only was I restored to the land of the living, but because of his knowledge, patience and kindness, my energy and strength are better than in years past.” Eva Brown was diagnosed with breast cancer at the age of 81 and “was impressed with the coordination of the team of doctors that provided care and comfort to me during this nerve-racking experience.” In making her gift, she offered a special thanks to Dr. Timothy Boyd (assistant director of radiation oncology) and Dr. Stacy Nerenstone (Medicine/Hematology/Oncology). “Hartford Hospital simply cares for its patients!” she added.


Innovative and Complex Care

Sleep Disorder Center Now Providing Home Sleep Testing

The Hartford Hospital Sleep Disorder Center is now providing home sleep testing for patients who do not meet the in-lab sleep study guidelines issued by some insurance providers. Presently, Oxford and Aetna will only approve in-lab sleep studies for patients who have specific comorbidities (pulmonary, cardiac, sleep disorders other than Obstructive Sleep Apnea). There are clinical limitations with home sleep testing; for example, EEG and EKG are not recorded. Sleep Center guidelines, which reflect recommendations from the American Academy of Sleep Medicine, require a patient having a home sleep study to receive a “comprehensive sleep evaluation” by a sleep specialist who will be able to determine appropriateness of the home study based on the patient’s medical history and their ability to properly apply the device. Home sleep test recordings will be reviewed and interpreted by a physician Board Certified in Sleep Medicine and the results will be forwarded to the referring physician.


Research and Academics

EHR Team Presents Oncology Chemo Computerized Physician Order Entry at International Conference

Hartford Hospital’s Electronic Health Records team presented our Oncology Chemotherapy computerized physician order entry project at this year's Allscripts Client Experience International Conference in Chicago. The presentation, which described the workflow, configuration and outcomes of the project, was very well received by conference attendees, who came from more than 50 health care facilities. Several large health care systems and hospitals have expressed interest in coming to Hartford Hospital for more information on the project, including Baylor Healthcare, Sloane Kettering, Cancer Centers of America, The Hospital for Sick Children (Toronto) and the University of California at Irvine. We also hosted a site visit for North Shore Long Island Jewish Hospital in June to share the project details and outcomes.


Care Coordination

Ribbon Cutting at New Sleep Disorder Center in Wethersfield

Sept. 19

1260 Silas Deane Highway

Please join us for a ribbon cutting ceremony to celebrate the opening of our new Sleep Disorder Center at 1260 Silas Deane Highway in Wethersfield on Wednesday, Sept. 19 from 4:30-6 p.m. There will be remarks, refreshments, and tours.


New PA Agreement Required

There is a new Physician Assistant Delegation Agreement required effective October 1.The new law liberalized the supervising physician agreement requirements and allows a general delegation rather than specific written protocols. The revised Delegation Agreement incorporates this new requirement and is entered into by and between the PA and the supervising physician, in order to formalize the clinical practice relationship between them and comply with applicable state law. The agreement specifies obligations of the supervising physician and of the PA in the hospital and non-hospital settings, and calls for at least monthly reviews of PA performance, review of the PA's prescription and administration of controlled and non controlled substances, and listing of delegated medical services and procedures. For more information, or to obtain copies of the PA agreement, contact the Medical Staff Office.


PCPs Accepting New Patients

These primary care physicians have announced that they are accepting new patients. If you want to let your colleagues know you are accepting new patients or are offering a new procedure or service, just let us know and we will get the word out.

Dr. Rozann Venti, 860-228-9463, Hebron Medical Associates

Dr. Deanna Cherrone, 860-677-4600, Natural Health and Healing
Dr. Judy Chiu, 860-696-2150, HMG - Avon - W Main
Dr. Arnold Koff, 860-675-6595, Avon Health
Dr. Pooja Tolaney, 860-284-5111, HMG - Avon - W Main

Dr. Vasanth S. Kainkaryam, 860-696-2380, HMG - Enfield
Dr. William Spector, 860-696-2380, HMG - Enfield

Dr. Greg Czarnecki, 860-696-2250, HMG - Glastonbury
Dr. Stuart Herlands, 860-633-2487, ProHealth
Dr. Cara Riddle, 860-696-2250, HMG - Glastonbury
Dr. Kathryn Stuart, 860-696-2250, HMG - Glastonbury

Dr. Richard Harding, 860-696-2300, HMG - Manchester
Dr. David Wolpaw, 860-696-2300, HMG - Manchester

Dr. John Cappadona, 860-651-3519, Robbin & Cappadona
Dr. Mark Robbin, 860-651-3519, Robbin & Cappadnna

West Hartford
Dr. Olusegun Apoeso, 860-523-3801, Hebrew HealthCare
Dr. Alina Dobrita, 860-232-4891, HMG - North Main
Dr. Sharon Farber, 860-523-3801, Hebrew HealthCare
Dr. Herbert Hoffman, 860-233-2639, Herbert Hoffman
Dr. Ava Pannullo, 860-523-3801, Hebrew HealthCare
Dr. Eric Rosenberg, 860-233-5133, ProHealth

Dr. Mohammed Memon, 860-436-9880, Manchester Family Care
Dr. Michael Spada, 860-696-2400, HMG - Wethersfield

Dr. Elizabeth Schuck, 860-683-2690, HMG - Windsor



Operational Update

Athletes Serve as Celebrity Spokesmen for HH’s Black Men’s Health Project

Scott Burrell, a Quinnipiac University coach and former professional basketball and baseball player, and Kevin Ollie, assistant coach of the UConn men’s basketball team and former professional basketball player, have agreed to serve as celebrity spokesmen for the Black Men’s Health Project. Hartford Hospital, in collaboration with the Omega Foundation, is developing this project to build awareness and inspire action among black men about leading healthier lives, with a focus on diseases more prevalent among black men. The project’s half-day seminar will be held Oct. 27.


Library Offers Information on Copyright

In order to help clarify some of the confusing issues about copyright, Hartford Hospital now belongs to the Copyright Clearance Center (CCC). You can go to the blue news box up in the upper right corner of the Library Intranet page and connect to the CCC's information service page. Before you use any materials for education and dissemination, enter the titles on the CCC site to verify availability. If you have any questions about copyright that the site does not answer, contact the Library at 860-545-2230 or If you have any questions about Library resources, call/email Sheila Hayes at 860-972-2416 or

HH In the News

Same Doctor Visit, Double the Cost

Wall Street Journal, Aug. 27

As physicians are subsumed into hospital systems, they can get paid for services at the systems' rates, which are typically more generous than what insurers pay independent doctors. Some services that physicians previously performed at independent facilities, may start to be billed as hospital outpatient procedures, sometimes more than doubling the cost. When Hartford Hospital bought Constitution Eye Surgery Center from its physician owners last year, it told regulators the center's operating profit was about $3.9 million before the sale. The hospital also said surgeries performed there after the transaction would be billed to insurers at the hospital's rates, and that it would levy hospital outpatient facility fees on Medicare, according to a state document outlining regulatory approval of the deal. According to James M. Blazar, a senior vice president of the Hartford HealthCare system, the operating income at the center is expected to grow to nearly $8 million in fiscal 2012, the first full year of hospital ownership, though surgery volumes are likely to be fairly flat. Higher reimbursement is justified because the system made significant upgrades, he said. "We have not done this for a financial reason, we've done this for a quality reason," he said of the deal.


Sleepless in Winsted: Charlotte Hungerford Hospital expands sleep disorder treatment program

The Register Citizen (Litchfield County) Aug. 21

Northwest Connecticut residents who have trouble sleeping have another place to turn, as the Winsted Health Center is expanding its “Sleep Center.” The expansion includes hiring Dr. Natalya Thorevska, the medical director at the Hartford Hospital Sleep Disorder Center, as the Winsted Health Center’s medical director. Thorevska will keep her office at Hartford Hospital, but will offer treatment along with Dr. Jeffrey Nascimento, Dr. Edward Salerno and Dr. Patrick Troy. According to a press release from Charlotte Hungerford Hospital, which operates the Winsted Health Center, the expanded services will include cognitive behavioral therapy for patients with insomnia; sleep studies, CPAP studies and other tests. “Patients should seek help if they do not feel rested after sleeping, experience irregular breathing, snore loudly or have a headache when they wake up,” Dr. Thorevska said in a press release. “If a bed partner snores loudly or is restless, the person should be encouraged to see their physician.”


HH Named One of 100 Hospitals With Great Women's Health Programs

Becker’s Hospital Review, Aug. 27

Becker's Hospital Review has published a list of “100 Hospitals With Great Women's Health Programs," and Hartford Hospital is on that list. Hospitals were selected based on clinical accolades, quality care and women's health proficiencies and awards. These hospitals have been recognized for excellence in this specialty by several sources, including HHS and its National Centers of Excellence in Women's Health model, UNICEF's Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative and Delta Group CareChex. Hartford Hospital is one of the top birthing centers in the state. It delivers more than 4,000 babies every year and has a nationally recognized residency program in obstetrics and gynecology. A three-time recipient of HealthGrades' Women's Health Excellence Award and a Baby-Friendly Hospital — Hartford Hospital also participates in the national Gynecology Oncology Groups.


Doctors Warn Parents About Melatonin for Kids

NBC Connecticut, Aug. 24

Getting young children to bed on time has never been an easy feat. Recently, parents have been turning to an "all natural" supplement, melatonin, to help induce sweet dreams. However, doctors have a warning for parents that melatonin might not be as safe and natural as advertised. Despite the fact that it is naturally occurring, Hartford Hospital toxicologist Dr. Kelly Johnson-Arbor wants parents to know that the manufactured supplements have not been clinically proven to be a healthy sleep agent. "I know we all want our kids to sleep well at night, but sometimes a pill isn't always the answer," Dr. Johnson-Arbor says.


Dizziness Clinic Opens in Enfield

Hartford Courant, Aug. 30

On Sept. 4, a new dizziness clinic will open in Enfield. Directed by Dr. Marc Eisen, medical director of the Hartford Hospital Hearing and Balance Center, the Dizziness Clinic is designed to have patients with dizziness symptoms come in, have dedicated testing, meet the physician and other members of the team (audiologist, physical therapist), and get a diagnosis and treatment plan all in one meeting.

In the HHC System

Local hospitals come up short in Consumer Reports safety ratings

Meriden Record Journal, Aug. 21

Hospitals in the Hartford HealthCare network have ranked near the bottom of a Consumer Reports survey of safety issues in Connecticut hospitals. MidState Medical Center was ranked 18 out of 20, receiving a 41 grade out of 100. The Hospital of Central Connecticut ranked 19 out of 20 and received a grade of 36. The Consumer Reports survey, based on federal data from the past several years and patient questionnaires, rated hospitals based on readmission rates, the number of bloodstream infections and complications, patient experience and hospital practices. Howard Dubin, director of hospitalist medicine at MidState, said the report doesn't’t reflect the improvements in care and practices that have taken place over the past several years. “I expect that when the data comes up next time, it’ll be very different,” Dubin said. “The data is older, and we’ve made tremendous strides.” MidState and the Hospital of Central Connecticut are in the Hartford HealthCare Network. MidState will lose part of its Medicare reimbursement funds next year due to a new federal policy that penalizes hospitals with significant numbers of patients who are readmitted within a month of discharge.


Windham Hospital receives $5,000 donation for oncology program

Norwich Bulletin, Aug. 28

Windham Hospital has received a $5,000 donation from the Big Y Paul H. D’Amour Memorial Charity Golf Outing Committee to help expand the hospital’s research and services. The donation will help Windham fund an oncology program.

Health Care News In the Region

New Milford Hospital Files CON to Move Obstetrics to Danbury Hospital

Hartford Business Journal, Aug. 28

New Milford Hospital has asked state health care regulators permission to move its obstetrics and delivery services program to Danbury Hospital. In a certificate of need application filed with the Office of Healthcare Access, New Milford Hospital said it wants to move all baby delivery services to Danbury, which is located about 17 minutes away. Maternity patients, however, will be able to continue to receive all of their prenatal care at New Milford Hospital. Currently, New Milford delivers about one baby a day and says its delivery services has experienced declining demand over the years. Danbury Hospital, on the other hand, delivers about 2,000 babies a year. Both hospitals are members of the Western Connecticut Health Network, which was formed in 2010.


Connecticut Children's Medical Center Awarded $2 Million Grant from National Institutes of Health

PR Web, Aug. 30

Connecticut Children’s Medical Center has been awarded a $2 million dollar grant from the National Institutes of Health – National Cancer Institute for a five-year study, “Sphingosine-1- Phosphate Pathway Based Therapy for Neuroblastoma." The study, led by Connecticut Children’s Executive Vice President and Surgeon-in-Chief, Fernando Ferrer, MD, will investigate a novel approach to treating neuroblastoma, a deadly childhood tumor, by targeting a lipid signaling pathway essential to tumor growth. “Our preliminary data suggests that targeting this pathway may be as effective as some of our best drugs and, when used in combination, has a significant greater ability to kill tumor cells,” explained Dr. Ferrer.


Coming Events

Sept. 10 (Monday)

23rd Annual Hartford Hospital Auxiliary Golf Tournament

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.


Sept. 14 (Friday)

CSMS Meeting with CME Courses for License Renewal

Mystic Marriott Hotel and Spa

220th Connecticut State Medical Society (CSMS) Annual Meeting and House of Delegates at the Mystic Marriott Hotel and Spa. Courses available to complete all five mandatory CME courses for license renewal from 10 a.m.-5 p.m., followed by a cocktail reception and buffet dinner with keynote speaker Dr. Bob Arnot, international humanitarian and journalist. Additional events will be held the following day. For more information or to register online, go to


Sept. 19 (Wednesday)

Ribbon Cutting for New Sleep Disorder Center

1260 Silas Deane Highway, Wethersfield

Please join us for a ribbon cutting ceremony to celebrate the opening of our new sleep disorder center at 1260 Silas Deane Highway in Wethersfield on Wednesday, Sept. 19 from 4:30-6 p.m. There will be remarks, refreshments, and tours.


For more coming events, click here.

Hot Topics in Healthcare

Restaurant chains have managed to combine quality control, cost control, and innovation. Can health care?

The New Yorker, Aug. 13

by Atul Gawande

Big chains thrive because they provide goods and services of greater variety, better quality, and lower cost than would otherwise be available. Size is the key. It gives them buying power, lets them centralize common functions, and allows them to adopt and diffuse innovations faster than they could if they were a bunch of small, independent operations. Such advantages have made Walmart the most successful retailer on earth. Pizza Hut alone runs one in eight pizza restaurants in the country. The Cheesecake Factory’s major competitor, Darden, owns Olive Garden, LongHorn Steakhouse, Red Lobster, and the Capital Grille; it has more than 2,000 restaurants across the country and employs more than 180,000 people. We can bristle at the idea of chains and mass production, with their homogeneity, predictability, and constant genuflection to the value-for-money god. Then you spend a bad night in a “quaint” “one of a kind” bed-and-breakfast that turns out to have a manic, halitoxic innkeeper who can’t keep the hot water running, and it’s right back to the Hyatt. Medicine, though, had held out against the trend. Physicians were always predominantly self-employed, working alone or in small private-practice groups. American hospitals tended to be community-based. But that’s changing. Hospitals and clinics have been forming into large conglomerates. And physicians—facing escalating demands to lower costs, adopt expensive information technology, and account for performance—have been flocking to join them. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, only a quarter of doctors are self-employed—an extraordinary turnabout from a decade ago, when a majority were independent. They’ve decided to become employees, and health systems have become chains.


Medical Errors Harm Huge Number of Patients; What will it take to make America’s hospitals safer?

U.S. News & World Report, Aug. 28

Early in July, Mary Brennan-Taylor stepped to the head of a class of medical students and proceeded to describe the cascade of events that killed her mother. Alice Brennan, 88, was independent and anything but frail when she was admitted to the hospital on July 13, 2009, with a mild case of gout.  On August 29 that year, Brennan died in a hospice of sepsis, a systemwide reaction to severe bloodstream infections. Brennan-Taylor's subsequent crusade to eliminate medical errors—besides lecturing to medical students, she has also shared her mother's story at a federal government hearing on medical data—places her at the forefront of one of the most urgent movements in medicine: a nationwide effort to rethink the risk-ridden and chaotic medical system and place safety and quality at its heart. It is a gargantuan task. In 1999, the Institute of Medicine report, "To Err is Human: Building a Safer Health System," charged that mistakes and unsafe practices in U.S. hospitals kill at least 44,000 patients a year and possibly twice as many, a number likened to the carnage that would occur if a jumbo jetliner went down daily in the country.

Voices Of Our Patients

Kudos to Drs. Kim and Bertsch

How does one possibly begin to thank the wonderful people at your amazing facility for making the “C” word (cancer) not as horrible as it actually is? The treatment one receives there is suburb. The employees quickly become friends. You are treated like a real person and not patient number xyz.

Some of the people who directly affected my treatments were: Shelley, Jackie, Karl, Kevin, Lee, Diane, Ted and Dr. Susan Kim, who was very caring and professional. Then there is Dr. Helaine Bertsch – if she ever gets over her shyness, well what can I say? She is a lovely person to be around and her bubbly personality is contagious and makes you forget what a dire situation you are actually in and makes sure you know she is on your side.

When I was told that I had to go to Hartford for radiation two times a day for a week, I thought that it was going to be awful. Since it is a bit of a drive for us, we went for first treatment, then hung around the hospital for the six hours until the next one. A facial was arranged for me; Reiki for me and my husband; roses; a gentleman played piano; my hubby had a chair massage; delicious hot and cold beverages and even fresh fruit. To help pass the time between treatments, we walked the grounds and area near the hospital.

Connecticut can be very proud to have this amazing facility. Although I am not happy to have cancer, I'm happy that Helen & Harry Gray Cancer Center is available.

Thank you so very much for helping us through this experience with love, laughter, compassion, professionalism and expertise. Please keep up the wonderful work you are doing. And thank you, thank you, thank you.



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.