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

In This Issue...

April 14, 2013 Edition

Wash In - Wash Out


Keep Our Patients Safe - who is NOT going to wash their hands today?

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HH Facts:

1997 – The first laparascopic liver resections at Hartford Hospital, and among the first in the country, were performed by Drs. Rocco Orlando and Matt Brown.

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Top News

Hull Join Us In Remembering Dr. David Hull

A celebration in memory of Dr. David Hull, emeritus director of the Transplant Program, will take place from 4:30-7:30 p.m. on Friday, April 26, at the Education Resource Center’s Heublein Hall. Remarks will begin at 5:30 p.m. The Hull family joins with the hospital in inviting all of his medical colleagues to attend this memorial tribute.

Dr. Hull, the face, voice and hands of the Hartford Hospital Transplant Program for more than two decades, died Feb. 11 after a courageous battle against lymphoma. He was 59.

Dr. Hull started his career in transplantation in 1987 at Hartford Hospital, and became director of Clinical Transplantation in 1998. He devoted his career to patients in need of transplants and those with end-stage organ illnesses. As a surgeon, he performed countless surgeries and transplants. As a physician and teacher, he was an innovator. And he was a tireless volunteer for the American Liver Foundation, the National Kidney Foundation and LifeChoice OPO.

In 2008, he was diagnosed with lymphoma and began chemotherapy. In August 2010, the man who had done so much to encourage organ donation across our region became the recipient of donated bone marrow. Three weeks after the transplant – wearing a surgical mask and gloves and still in bed – he resumed taking phone calls for the regional organ donor bank.

David Hull was truly family to all of us at Hartford Hospital and he is sorely missed. For more information or any questions about this event, please contact Nadia Woodman at or 860-545-2161.


"Top Docs" Named in Connecticut Magazine

The April 2013 issue of Connecticut Magazine features the annual Top Docs survey, listing 844 recommended physicians in 31 specialties. Of those, 89 are on the medical staff at Hartford Hospital, and we congratulate them.

The magazine sent more than 5,000 questionnaires to doctors across Connecticut, asking them to recommend a doctor (other than themselves) to who they would send a loved one in need of expert care. The doctors who received the top votes are featured in the magazine's 2013 list of Tops Docs in Connecticut.


Housestaff Appreciation Week, April 14-20

Please join us this week in thanking our Hartford Hospital and University of Connecticut residents and fellows for all their efforts, knowledge, expertise and compassion that they bring to the care of our patients at Hartford Hospital. Their participation in our clinical activities is essential to the quality of our outcomes.


HHC Participates in Advocacy Day at Legislative Office Building

Led by Kim Harrison, Hartford HealthCare’s vice president of public policy and government affairs, several Hartford Hospital staff members participated in the Connecticut Hospital Association’s Advocacy Day at the Legislative Office Building April 11 to speak with legislators concerning the impact of the governor’s proposed budget cuts. Other Hartford HealthCare hospitals also participated.


Hartford Hospital Sponsors "Flavors of Connecticut" To Benefit American Liver Foundation

Hartford Hospital was a presenting sponsor of "Flavors of Connecticut" held April 9 at the Aqua Turf. Proceeds from the evening of dining will go to fund the research, education and advocacy efforts of the American Liver Foundation. Connecticut GI, Connecticut Gastroenterology Associates and Jefferson Radiology were gold sponosrs.

Flavors is a culinary experience that goes beyond the traditional gala and provides each table of attendees with one of 33 local chefs who prepare a multi-course dinner tableside. The meal that is delivered showcases the signature dishes of our culinary experts.

Flavors debuted in 1991 by award winning chef Christopher Gross in Phoenix. Chef Gross and other area chefs were interested in supporting the mission of the American Liver Foundation. Today the event is hosted by the organization in 20 cities across the country and raises millions of dollars annually to support the work of the American Liver Foundation.


Legislators Consider Bills To Change Malpractice Law

Hartford Courant, March 29

Two bills that would change medical malpractice laws are making their way through the legislature: one to make it easier to sue a physician, and one to make it more difficult.

Current law requires that a plaintiff receive the signature of a "similar health care provider" stating that the case is a valid one. The proposal would change "similar" to "qualified."

Another bill would raise the burden of proof required in a medical malpractice lawsuit against emergency medical care providers. Currently, plaintiffs are required to provide a "preponderance" of evidence that a health care was negligent. The proposal would raise that to "clear and convincing evidence" of negligence.

Dr. Frank Illuzzi, chairman and vice president of Emergency Medicine at St. Vincent's Medical Center in Bridgeport, said the current risk of being sued for treatment done in emergency departments has caused some specialists to refuse to be on call for emergency treatment. A bill that would raise the burden of proof might alleviate this problem, which he said has had a greater impact on smaller hospitals.

If someone comes into the emergency department of a community hospital with severe hand injuries, he said, there's a good chance the hospital will have to transport the patient to a larger facility such as Yale-New Haven or Hartford Hospital and lose crucial time in beginning treatment.

Emergency doctors are more likely to get sued for malpractice, he said, because they work under less-than-optimal circumstances. They don't have a relationship with the patient, they have very limited information about the patient's medical history, and often they have to rely partly on the patient's faulty recollection.

For more information on this topic, contact Dr. Andrew Packer.


Famous Forensic Scientist Dr. Henry Lee Visits Hartford Hospital

World-renowned forensic scientist Dr. Henry Lee and his son visited Hartford Hospital April 5.

Dr. Lee is Chief Emeritus for Scientific Services for the State of Connecticut and founder of the Henry C. Lee Institute of Forensic Science at the University of New Haven.


Impact of Documentation on Length of Stay and Income: Decreasing LOS by just HALF A DAY is worth more than $7 million/year

Dr. Praveena Kota, CMG hospitalist, offers this analysis on the financial impact of length of stay at Hartford Hospital.

  • Hartford Hospital has~ 650 beds. 365 days/year X 650 beds = 237,250 total bed days available for the year.
  • LOS of 6 days means we can accommodate 39,541 patients/year, while an LOS of 5.5 days means we can accommodate 43,136 patients/year (3,594 more patients). That's 300 more available beds/month or 10 more available beds/day
  • Assuming reimbursement of $2,000/day = $20,000 in total for a day, that's $7,300,000 more/year just by decreasing the LOS by A HALF DAY

There are two ways to decrease the impact: By actually discharging the patient within the geometrical LOS; or by documenting appropriately and gaining a few days towards the LOS.

Here are some real case examples:

  • Patient admitted with acute alcohol intoxication, very confused agitated, needing sitter etc. If we document this case as ETOH withdrawal, the geometric LOS will be 3.2 days ($3,483); but if we document this case as Encephalopathy (even suspected or possible) it will result in a geometric LOS of 4.8 days ( $7,582). +$4,099
  • Patient with bacterial pharyngitis/epiglotitis = LOS-3.4 days ($7,567); add sepsis (if appropriate) = LOS 12.6 days ($43,470) +$35,903
  • Patient with syncope = LOS 2.4 days ($5,464). By documenting etiology of syncope, even possible etiology say cardiac dysarrhythmia (when appropriate) = LOS 2.8 days ($6,027) +$563
  • Patient with pneumonia/asthma exacerbation = LOS 3.9 days ($7,440); but documenting pneumonia and acute respiratory failure (when appropriate) = LOS 5.1 ($11,085). (No need for ABG to say patient is in acute respiratory failure.) +$3,645
  • Patient with acute systolic CHF with a comorbidity = LOS 3.8 days ($7,469); but acute CHF with a major comorbidity like acute respiratory failure = LOS 4.7 days ($11,295). Always list all the major comorbidities in addition to your principal diagnoses, as this will increase the geometric LOS. +$3,826
  • Documenting dehydration = LOS 2.7; documenting dehydration, aspiration pneumonia= LOS 3.4 days
  • Patient with h/o DM, gastroparesis coming in with abdominal pain. If we document this case as abdominal pain, LOS will be 2.8 days ($5,489) and low relative weight. If we document diabetes with neurological complication (gastroparesis in this case) as a comorbidity, LOS will increase to 4.1 days ($6,578). Link the problem to the complication. +$1,089

Dr. Paul Thompson's Research Featured in National News

MedPage Today, April 4

Walking and running have about the same health benefits, researchers found – you just have to walk more to get them. Spending the same amount of energy yielded similar reductions in the risks of high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, and coronary heart disease, according to Paul Williams, PhD, of Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory in Berkeley, Calif., and Paul Thompson, MD, of Hartford Hospital in Hartford, Conn.

But analysis of two large cohorts suggested that runners usually expend about twice as much energy as walkers and therefore reap greater health benefits, Williams and Thompson reported online in Arteriosclerosis, Thrombosis and Vascular Biology.

Editor's note: The interview with Dr. Thompson that is the basis of this article was recorded in our hospital TV studio and sent to MedPage Today, which ran it in the top spot on April 4. From there, the wire service picked it up, and it has run all across the country.


Dr. Bruce Browner Honored by Orthopaedic Department

The Orthopaedic Department celebrated 20 years of service by Dr. Bruce Browner to Hartford Hospital and the greater Hartford orthopaedic community with a festive evening of recognition on April 5 in Autorino Hall at The Bushnell.

More than 120 of Dr. Browner's family, colleagues, former residents and friends gathered to honor him for his local, regional, national and even international contributions. The event was sponsored by Orthopaedic Associates of Hartford.

Dr. Courtland Lewis has assumed responsibilities as department director, while Dr. Browner will continue as site director of the Orthopaedic Residency Program.


Dr. Lenworth Jacobs Chairs National Policy Committee on Mass Casualty Shootings

As a representative of the American College of Surgeons, Dr. Lenworth Jacobs, vice president of Academic Affairs, chief academic officer and a nationally recognized expert in trauma, chaired the Joint Committee to Create a National Policy to Enhance Survivability from Mass Casualty Shooting Events.

The committee recently met in Hartford and produced a document titled "Improving Survival from Active Shooter Events: The Hartford Consensus." The document’s purpose is to promote local, state and national policies to improve survival and minimize the loss of life through better coordination among responding organizations and more rapid treatment of victims.

Other members of the committee included representatives from the FBI, the Major Cities Police Chiefs Association, the Department of Defense Committee on Tactical Combat Casualty Care and the International Association of Fire Chiefs.

We are proud to have Dr. Jacobs provide his vast knowledge to this work.


Dr. Patricia DeFusco To Be Honored As A "Wonder Woman"

Dr. Patricia A. DeFusco, a specialist in medical oncology and medical director of Hartford Hospital’s Partnership for Breast Care, will be among eight women honored May 7 at the third annual “Celebrating Wonder Women” benefit held by the Malta House of Care, which provides free care via a mobile-care vehicle to the underserved in Hartford.

The fundraiser will be held at the Bushnell Center for the Performing Arts. About 400 to 500 women attend the event.

In addition to her practice, Dr. DeFusco is heavily involved in research and clinical trials. She has been listed by Connecticut Magazine as a “Top Doc” in her specialty.

Innovative and Complex Care

Drs. Gluck and Wencker Describe the Simulation They Created for Treating LVAD Patients in The Journal of Heart and Lung Transplantation

Drs. Jason Gluck and Detlef Wencker, along with Sara Thompson, APRN, published an article called "VLAD: A Novel Approach To Community Left Ventricular Assist Device Education Using An Interactive Medical Simulator" in the December 2012 issue of The Journal of Heart and Lung Transplantation.

They describe their novel approach to training EMS and other health care personnel to treat patients with LVADs (left ventricular assist devices) using an interactive simulation they developed. The educational curriculum provides exposure to the unique LVAD hemodynamic and clinical nuances in LVAD patients, including pulselessness,the replacement of normal hearttones with an ‘‘LVAD hum,’’ and the difficulty in obtaining vital signs such as blood pressure and oxygen saturation.

Teaching Device To Help Heart Patients

WTNH, News 8, April 5

There's a new tool designed to help heart patients but it was not created by a company. This one was put together by a doctor at Hartford Hospital. It is a teaching device created by Dr. Jason Gluck. He actually built it in his garage, using tools from home improvement retailers, all to help save the lives of heart patients.

Patients with very weak hearts are likely to be implanted with a mechanical heart pump. "Here's the pump," said Dr. Gluck. "To kinda bridge folks from very sick hearts to a heart transplant or even in some patients a destination where they live with these pumps for the rest of their lives," said Dr. Gluck.

It pumps blood in a continuous loop so the patient does not have a pulse or blood pressure. With only 30 patients from Hartford Hospital living with the pump, Dr. Gluck says the unknown can be intimidating for emergency personnel, and medical staff not familiar with the technology so he created VLAD, a training simulator.

Research and Academics

Dr. Andrew Salner Appointed to Connecticut Medical Examining Board

Connecticut Governor Dannel P. Malloy has appointed Dr. Andrew Salner, director of the Helen & Harry Gray Cancer Center, to the Connecticut Medical Examining Board, and this appointment has been approved by the Connecticut Senate. Dr. Salner joins Hartford Hospital medical staff members Drs. Michael Lindberg, director of the Department of Medicine, and Henry Jacobs, OB-GYN, on the board.

Among the oldest state medical boards in the U.S., the Connecticut Medical Examining Board came into existence as the Connecticut Medical Society, which was established in 1792 by the state legislature. In 1907, the Board of Health to Examine Physicians was named the Connecticut Medical Examining Board. In 1977, the responsibility for examining candidates for licensure was transferred to the Department of Public Health; disciplinary authority remained with the board.


Hospital Launching Center For Global Health

Hartford Hospital is in the process of launching the Hartford Hospital Center for Global Health.

The center will promote the education of international health care workers at CESI; possibly arrange for the transport of international patients to Hartford Hospital for complex care; and enable members of our staff to become more engaged in international health care missions.

Chief's Corner

Welcome To SSJ's New Feature Entitled "Chief's Corner"

As an outcome of our recent Hamilton Retreat and discussions amongst representatives of our Medical Staff and Hospital Leadership, we recognize the need for sharing information about activities throughout the hospital more widely with our Medical Staff.

Here debuts our new column to bring to you highlights of activities of interest, which will be authored by our Department Chiefs under my direction. Should you have any comments or suggestions along the way, please share them with us.

- Dr. Stuart Markowitz, Vice President, Chief Medical Officer


KumarDr. Ajay Kumar On Collaborative Nurse-Physicians Partnership in Hospital Medicine

Over the first two years of my journey here at Hartford Hospital, it became clear to me early on that a collaborative nurse-physician partnership model is the key to the success of our program and to the improvement of patient safety and quality of care.

Nurses are important coordinators of care and the quality of our patients’ overall hospital experience. Recognizing and valuing their critical role and, as physicians, building strong working relationships and partnering with the nursing team is truly a very important thing for our patients.

With this in mind, I started with recognizing and accepting the fact that we had a disconnect regarding our expectations of each other from the beginning. In no time, I found natural allies, leaders, and partners with Dr. April Goller, Michael Davis, director of Medical and Oncological Nursing, and Jenifer Ash, medicine APRN and clinical nurse specialist, to help me build that relationship which would pave a path for a cohesive team.

Forming a collaborative relationship with the overall nursing care team depends on where you start, and we realized that we needed to start from the beginning. We began by bringing our physician-nursing leadership team together in specific ways. Currently our nursing leaders are now engaged with our interview process of new hospitalist candidates, orientation, and setting expectations for the overall approach to patient care and the patient experience. Our mission is to create a fully inclusive model at all levels.

Dr. Goller represents our team in nursing leadership meetings; and she is championing the process of passing feedback to the rest of our team to ensure clear communication, understanding, and build a culture of team. Currently, she is involved with monthly meetings with nurse leaders. She conducts walking rounds on all nursing units to continuously work to maintain open lines of communication with the collective team. Along with Jenifer Ash, she recently introduced an innovative publication “Know the Team” which talks about individuals on our collaborative team and introduces them in a humanistic setting to the rest of the group.

Mike Davis, with great support from Yarelis Wilson, RN, manager of N11, and the rest of the Medicine-Oncology nursing leadership team, has championed the “priority paging system” which has been gradually rolled out to enhance RN-Physician communication, call prioritization, page reductions, and team efficiency.

Our work truly involves hearing and resolving issues on behalf of our team members “in the trenches”. Dr. Goller has organized meetings with hospitalists and nursing leaders to have more dialogue regarding our mutual challenges. Our collaborative leadership team members reach out often to nurses, PCAs, and others to understand the challenges they face in their day to day work environment. Currently we share all of our tribulations and challenges in an open and transparent fashion with the nursing team via a weekly newsletter focusing on group recognition, spotlighting individual achievements, projects in process, news, and general articles of interest. We have celebrated Nurses and Doctors Days together.

As I look back at our starting point, our current Nurse-Physician partnership is tremendously stronger and continues to grow and become more solid. Our recent work to enhance the geographical-based physician placement of hospitalists, and the introduction and collaboration during Clinical Progression Rounds has helped to enhance the quality of our dialogue and unite front-line physicians and nurses.

Ultimately, the true measure of our success as a collaborative team is how we deliver on our promise of excellent clinical care, patient safety, and the overall patient experience. We all very well know the many challenges ahead. Our work will continue and today, on this journey, I am confident we have established a strong foundation of engaged leaders and are implementing and enhancing processes to help us evaluate and achieve our goals.

Enhancing The Patient Experience

Fichandler The CXO Report: Hartford Hospital Expands Patient Satisfaction Survey

By "Chief Experience Officer" David Fichandler, Director of Patient Experience

Since 2007, Hartford Hospital has surveyed patients in compliance with CMS guidelines using the HCAHPS tool. This tools specifically looks at how patients perceive MD communication, RN communication, responsiveness of staff, cleanliness and quietness, pain management as well as discharge information and overall experience while in the hospital.

As of January 1, 2013, the hospital expanded its survey to include survey items that were known to be important to patients. The new items include questions about the food, the room or facility, tests and procedures as well as how a patient's family and visitors were cared for. Initial results are positive and will help give further evidence and support to enhancing every patient experience while at the hospital.

If you have any questions, comments or feedback, please reach out to David Fichandler, director, Patient Experience at:


Voices of Our Patients: Kudos to Dr. Paul Preissler, Cardiac Surgery

I came with severe intense pain in my chest not expecting to even get to the hospital alive.

I’m not clear on all that happened in the next 2 days, but I really believe Dr. Paul Preissler worked a miracle on me.
Today I feel very good.

I really give the credit to Hartford Hospital and its excellent care.
Thank you all very much.

Operational Update

Physician License Renewal CME is Available on Jubilant Learning Portal

State mandated CME for physician license renewal is available on the Hartford Hospital Jubilant Learning Platform. You will need your Novell sign on information to access the portal.

To access Jubilant from the web, go to the Hartford hospital page and click on the gold tab “Medical Professionals” . Click on “Learning Portal” from the drop down menu, and then click on the green tab “Learning Portal Login” .

From the intranet (inside H.H.), click on the Academic Affairs page, then Medical Education or Medical Staff Office page. Click on the Learning Portal for Medical Education and Training link .

Use your Novell sign in, and the CME is under Physician License renewal CME.

Once you have passed the post-test, you will be awarded a printable CME certificate. Your CME will also be maintained and easily self-service accessed on the Learning Portal site, should you need a copy in the future.

Please note that your Risk Management required activities through MRM will provide your Risk Management CME.

Questions? Contact Maryanne Pappas at


Bringing Up New Business At An MEC Meeting

Physicians are reminded that there is a "New Business" section of each MEC meeting, and that any issue can be brought to the table or presented for discussion. MEC is chaired by Dr. Jeffry Nestler, president of the Medical Staff. Please feel free to contact Dr. Nestler, your department or division chief, or Dr. Stuart Markowiz, vice president and chief medical officer, in advance of the meeting with any issues you would like to bring up at a meeting.


Two Policies Approved By MEC

Two policies were approved by MEC on March 18: Determination of Death by Neurologic Criteria in Children, and Anatomic Donations.

Download PDFs above, or view them on Alfresco (Determination of Death) (Anatomic Donations) .


It's Easy To Change PCP in SCM

To provide better inpatient to outpatient communication, we need the correct PCP listed inthe clinical system (SCM) and the regisgtration system (SMS). If you are aware that an inpatient does not have the right PCP listed, you can change it easily by putting in a PCP Change Order. This will bring you to a list that you can pick from and it is changed

If you do not have order writing privileges (i.e. office PCPs), and notice that your patient has the wrong PCP assigned, just email a change request to and it will be changed.

For more information, contact Cynthia Thompson at 860-250-7361.


April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month

The month of April has been designated Sexual Assault Awareness Month (SAAM) in the United States. The goal of SAAM is to raise public awareness about sexual violence and to educate communities and individuals on how to prevent sexual violence.

By working together and pooling our resources during the month of April, we can highlight sexual violence as a major public health, human rights and social justice issue and reinforce the need for prevention efforts.

For more information about Sexual Assault Awareness Month,please visit the CDC web site:
For continuing medical education (CME) related to Sexual Assault, please visit our learning center:


Medical Staff Annual Spring Event and Awards Meeting Scheduled for May 22

The Board of Directors and Medical Staff Spring Event and Awards is scheduled for Wednesday, May 22 from 6-8 p.m. in Heublein Hall.

Congratulations to the seven physicians who will receive awardsthere:

Young Practitioner Award: Dr. Colin Swales, gastroenterology, transplant hepatology director

Physician in Philanthropy Award: Dr. Andy Salner, director, Helen & Harry Gray Cancer Center

John K. Springer Humanitarian Award: Dr. Peru Venkatesh, associate director, Department of Medicine

Distinguished Service Awards: Drs. John Welch
and Joe Klimek, vice president of physician relations

Quality and Safety Awards: Drs. Eric Shore,
director of the Medical Intensive Care Unit, and Jack Ross, infectious diseases, director of HIV Program

Please plan to attend the Medical Staff Annual Spring Event and Awards Ceremony on May 22 and congratulate these award- winning physicians.


Second Annual Chef to Farm Dinner Set for July 12th

Please save the date for the 2nd Annual Hartford Hospital Medical Staff Chef to Farm Dinner from 6-9 p.m. on Friday, July 12 at Rosedale Farms in Simsbury. More details will follow.

You will be able to join the officers of the Hartford Hospital Medical Staff in celebrating the beauty and abundant bounty of our local farms as a unique opportunity to socialize and enjoy the company of your colleagues. You'll be treated to the freshest foods and produce in the sublime beauty of Our Farms, the true treasures of the state.

HH In the News

Letter To The Editor: Don't Cut Hospital Budget

Hartford Courant, April 2

To the editor:

Gov. Dannel P. Malloy's proposed budget is positive toward teachers, social services and taxpayers, but disappointing with the slashing of hospital funding.

As a recent hematology patient at Hartford Hospital, I'd like to paraphrase President and CEO Jeffrey A. Flaks: Hartford is the region's leading tertiary medical center with world-class staff of top reputation, training and diversity; the major teaching hospital affiliated with UConn Medical School providing complex and innovative care and research with excellence is recognized by the federal government, US News and World Report, and the National Cancer Institute, to name a few. HH is a pioneer in robotics surgery, has the region's only Level I Trauma Center, operates the state's only Life Star, and is the model for Holistic Health Care.

Much work and money went into reconstructing the Conklin Building for this purpose. Clinical medicine and spirit combine here and miracles happen. Plans to continue this prototype in all of the connected buildings require more funding, not less! Hartford can lead in changing the U.S. health care system to one with a heart, not blocked by greed for profit and available only to the wealthy.

Don't take the heart from Hartford. Fund the hospitals!

Susan W. Smith, Enfield


Dr. Marc Eisen Addresses Elderly Patients On Effects of Dizziness And Vertigo

Hartford Courant, April 2

Dr. Marc Eisen recently spoke at the Senior Center in Manchester and addressed a group of elderly patients on the effects of dizziness and vertigo.

"Elderly patients have multiple reasons for losing their balance," said Dr. Eisen. "Muscles are weaker, spines start to twist, bones may become brittle. Add vascular problems, vision loss, and a sedentary lifestyle, and it's no wonder that complaints of vertigo or dizziness affect some 70% of individuals age 65 or older."

Dr. Marc Eisen who is board-certified in neurotology and fellowship trained at The Johns Hopkins Hospital, leads the Hearing & Balance Center at Hartford Hospital, working alongside a highly trained audiologist, speech-language pathologists, and vestibular therapists to provide care to patients suffering from hearing impairment and balance disorders.


CarFit Coming To Plainville; Partnership Between AAA and Injury Prevention Center of Hartford Hospital

Hartford Courant, April 4

Older drivers are more likely to be killed or seriously injured when a crash occurs due to the greater fragility of their aging bodies. Driver safety programs improve adult driver safety by addressing cognitive abilities and skills. Older drivers can also improve their safety by ensuring their cars are properly adjusted for them. A proper fit in one's car can greatly increase not only the driver's safety but also the safety of others.

AAA is partnering with the Injury Prevention Center of Hartford Hospital/Connecticut Children's Medical Center, AARP, and the American Occupational Therapy Association to bring CarFit to AAA's Plainville office at 17 Farmington Ave. This free event is scheduled for Saturday, April 13, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. in AAA's rear parking lot.


CVS Awards $50,000 To Hartford Hospital

Hartford Courant, April 8

The CVS Caremark Charitable Trust, whose purpose is to help people on their path to better health by providing funding for initiatives that support access to health care and children’s programming, today announced that it has donated $50,000 grants to Hartford Hospital in 2012. This support is part of $2.6 million in grants awarded to 66 non-profit organizations across the country as part of the 2012 CVS Caremark Charitable Trust grant cycle.


A Photo Every 30 Seconds: Researchers Hope Special Cameras Can Aid Those With Ailing Memories

Hartford Courant, April 8

For those with fading memories, photos could be the key to regaining their experiences and think more clearly about their futures. That's what researchers at Wesleyan University and the Institute of Living at Hartford Hospital are looking into, using special cameras that automatically take photos at 30-second intervals.

Dr. Godfrey Pearlson, director of the Neuropsychiatry Center at the Institute of Living, and Dr. John Seamon, a professor at Wesleyan, are using specially made cameras, known as Vicon Revues, that hang around the wearer's neck like a lanyard.

The researchers had two groups of people with memory loss walk through the Institute of Living campus. One group carried journals and was told to write frequent short descriptions. The other group wore the Vicon Revues. At about a dozen points, the researchers demonstrated various actions: standing on a stack of books, for instance. For each of these actions, the journal-carrying half of the group entered a description of the event, while the cameras worn by the other half took photos automatically.

"It's not that people with early Alzheimer's disease, their ability to encode information or retrieve information is completely broken, it's just working inefficiently," Pearlson said. "So information may be getting in, but it may be hard for the individual to retrieve it. What the SenseCam is doing is aiding their ability to retrieve information."

Pearlson said he wants to use functioning magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) machines to see the brain activity of the study's participants when reviewing the photos.

In the HHC System

Hospital Offers Endoscopy To Pinpoint Airway Obstruction Before Sleep Apnea Surgery

Hartford Courant, April 9

A new outpatient endoscopy procedure offered at The Hospital of Central Connecticut for sleep apnea sufferers pinpoints site of airway obstruction in preparation for surgery to treat the condition.

The procedure, drug-induced sleep endoscopy (DISE) allows an otolaryngologist to pinpoint site of a patient's airway obstruction that triggers the sleep apnea or lapse in breathing. "The DISE procedure is much more accurate and much more closely simulates the actual dynamics during sleep because the patient is unconscious with a monitored airway," says otolaryngologist Louis Petcu, M.S., M.D., FACS. Having the endoscopy before surgery can help toward achieving up to a 75 percent success rate in sleep apnea treatment, he says.


MidState Gets OK To Close Its Psych Ward in Meriden

My Record Journal, April 9

MidState Medical Center can close its psychiatric unit after receiving approval Monday from the state for a plan expected to save the hospital $1.5 million a year.

The Office of Health Care Access gave approval to shut the six-bed unit in Meriden and add beds to an expanded psychiatric ward at the Hospital of Central Connecticut’s New Britain campus.

Local psychiatrists, nurses and others have opposed the plan, saying it could create problems for families and patients with limited transportation.

“This is an opportunity to improve our quality of care for the people served,” said Lucille Janatka, president and CEO of MidState. “During health care challenges we’re doing the best job can.”

MidState and the Hospital of Central Connecticut were cleared to combine their psychiatric beds into a 32-bed unit in New Britain. Both MidState and the Hospital of Central Connecticut (formerly New Britain General Hospital) are part of the Hartford HealthCare network.


MidState Medical Center Announces Medical Director of Surgical Services

Hartford Courant, March 21

Dr. Andrew Metzger has been named the new medical director of surgical services at MidState Medical Center in Meriden. In this role, Dr. Metzger will provide administrative oversight to Peri-Operative Services in collaboration with the senior director of peri-operative and women's services. Together they will work with the surgeons and Peri-Op staff to ensure an environment that is centered on quality, customer service, patient safety, efficiency and job satisfaction.

Dr. Metzger was selected from a group of extremely skilled and qualified candidates. He has been an active member of the medical staff at MidState since 1998. He has served on numerous hospital committees including the finance committee and board of directors. He also serves on the performance committee of the medical staff and is the chair of the robotics committee. Currently, he is a member of the Hartford HealthCare CEO Physician Advisory Committee.

Health Care News In the Region

Quinnipiac: New Med School Aims To Train Primary Care Docs

Kaiser Health News, April 2

Michael Ellison has a tough assignment. He's the associate dean of admissions choosing the first class of a brand new medical school, the Frank H. Netter MD School of Medicine at Quinnipiac University in Connecticut. It’s a school with a very specific mission: minting new doctors who want to go into primary care practice.

“We have over 1,600 applicants, and we will interview 400 applicants for 60 spots,” Ellison says. Nationally, about a third of graduating doctors go into primary care and stay there; Quinnipiac’s goal is for 50 percent of its graduates to stay in primary care.

Hot Topics in Health Care

Measuring the Quality of Doctors and Hospitals: When Is Good Enough, Good Enough?

Wachter's World, April 1

In the past, neither hospitals nor practicing physicians were accustomed to being measured and judged. Aside from periodic inspections by the Joint Commission (for which they had years of notice and on which failures were rare), hospitals did not publicly report their quality data, and payment was based on volume, not performance.

Physicians endured an orgy of judgment during their formative years – in high school, college, medical school, and in residency and fellowship. But then it stopped, or at least it used to. At the tender age of 29 and having passed “the boards,” I remember the feeling of relief knowing that my professional work would never again be subject to the judgment of others.

In the past few years, all of that has changed, as society has found our healthcare “product” wanting and determined that the best way to spark improvement is to measure us, to report the measures publicly, and to pay differentially based on these measures. The strategy is sound, even if the measures are often not.


4 Things Doctors May Actually Like About ICD-10

MedScape News, April 3

Primary care physicians are up in arms about the International Classification of Diseases, Tenth Revision (ICD-10), and no doubt the new diagnosis system is complex and highly specific. But although the transition will create some upheaval and loss of time, in the long run ICD-10 may bring financial and clinical benefits for primary care doctors.

The biggest complaint is that ICD-10 contains lots more codes: 68,069 in the 10th edition compared with the 14,035 currently in use. Despite the widespread consternation, this change was inevitable. The current diagnosis coding system -- the International Classification of Diseases, Ninth Revision, Clinical Modification (ICD-9-CM) -- is outdated. And the 10th edition, which is only now being adopted, was introduced in 1992, so it's no spring chicken either.

You may appreciate these benefits: more specific coding; finding a possible diagnosis gets easier; improved description of the extent of diagnoses; it's easier to assign codes.

Coming Events

April 17 (Wednesday)

Psychiatric Resident Presentation

Hartford Room, IOL Commons Building, 12 p.m.

Presenter: Dr. Joseph Trettle


April 18 (Thursday)

Psychiatric Grand Rounds

Hartford Room, IOL Commons Building, 12 p.m.

Topic: “Cat Among the Pigeons: The Psychopath in the Mental Health System”

Presenter: Dr. Thomas G. Gutheil, Professor of Psychiatry, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Harvard Medical School


April 18 (Thursday)

Medicine Grand Rounds

Gilman Auditorium, 8 a.m.

Topic: Sugar: The Bitter Truth

Presenter: Dr. Paul Tortland,Valley Sports Physicians & Ortho Med


April 18 (Thursday)

Emergency Grand Rounds

Gilman Auditorium, 12 p.m.

Topic: Bariatric Surgery Emergencies: Diagnosis and Initial Management in the ED

Presenter: Dr. Pavlos Papasavas, directror of Surgical Research


April 18 (Thursday)

Neurology Grand Rounds

JB-118, 8 a.m.

Topic: Paroxysmal Dyskinesias: Recognizing an Unusual Syndrome

Presenter: Dr. J. Antonelle deMarcaida, Staff Neurologist, Manchester Hospital and Assistant Clinical Professor of Neurology, University of Connecticut School of Medicine


April 24 (Wednesday)

Psychiatric Resident Presentation

Hartford Room, IOL Commons Building, 12 p.m.

Topic: Outpatient Commitment: A Controversial Issue

Presenter: Dr. Remy Sirken


April 26 (Friday)

Tribute to Dr. David Hull

Heublein Hall, 4:30-7:30 p.m.

A celebration in memory of Dr. David Hull, emeritus director of the Transplant Program, will take place from 4:30-7:30 p.m. on Friday, April 26, at the Education Resource Center’s Heublein Hall. Remarks will begin at 5:30 p.m. All staff are invited to attend.


May 5 (Sunday)

Sharon's Ride.Run.Walk for Epilepsy

West Haven, 7:30 a.m.

The 9th Annual Sharon's Ride.Run.Walk for Epilepsy is Sunday, May 5, starting at 7:30 a.m. at Old Grove at Savin Rock, in West Haven.

Last year we doubled the number of participants and doubled the amount of money raised from 2010. We want to continue to grow the number of people attending this event and show our support and solidarity for those living with epilepsy. Start a team, get your family, friends, coworkers together and have them register and collect donations.

We have some great sponsors: Hartford Hospital, On the Border from Orange, who will be there with a taco bar; entertainment by Juicebox, and FUN activities for your kids.

For more information, contact Allison Gamber at the Epilepsy Foundation at 860-346-1924 or


May 9 (Thursday)

Sixth Annual Neil Grey MD Memorial Lecture in Diabetes

Gilman Auditorium, 8 a.m.

The Sixth Annual Neil Grey MD Memorial Lecture in Diabetes will be held Thursday, May 9 from 8-9 a.m. in Gilman Auditorium. Speaker is Dr. Guillermo Umpierrez, head of endocrinology and diabetes at Grady Health System at Emory University.


May 9 (Thursday)

State of the Art Dialysis Surgery Made Simple

Glastonbury GI Center, 7 p.m.

Hartford Hospital experts Dr. Matthew Brown and Dr. Caroline Rochon will provide education about the most common dialysis access surgeries at a free educational seminar on Thursday, May 9 from 7-8 p.m. at the HH Glastonbury GI Center, 300 Western Boulevard. Registration is required through the Health Referral Service; call 860-545-1888.


May 15 (Wednesday)

24th Annual Mary Mulready Sullivan Oncology Symposium:
Advances in Melanoma: Strategies for Screening, Local and Systemic Management

ERC, 7:30 a.m.-2 p.m.

Hartford Hospital Faculty includes: Dr. Lisa Kugelman, division chief, Dermatology, Hartford Hospital; Dr. Zendee Elaba,director of Dermatopathology at Hartford Hospital; Dr. Robert Piorkowski, division chief, Surgical Oncology at Hartford Hospital.

Visiting Faculty includes: Dr. Ryan Sullivan, medical oncologist, Melanoma Program, Massachusetts General Hospital Cancer Center, Boston; Dr. Michael Davies, director, Department of Melanoma, Medical Oncology, University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, Houston; Dr. Frank Stephen Hodi, co-director of Dana-Farber/Harvard Cancer Center Melanoma Program, Boston; Virginia Seery, nurse practitioner, Biologics and Cutaneous Oncology Programs, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Boston.

Fee is $50 for physicians and $20 for non-physicians; Students and residents - no charge. Registration deadline is May 6. For more information or to register by phone with credit card, contact Sandi Beggs at 860-545-2390 or


May 17 (Friday)

12th Annual Henry Low Heart Center Cardiovascular Nursing Symposium

ERC, 8 a.m.-3 p.m.

This symposium is designed to educate Hartford Hospital nurses on a variety of cardiovascular topics. Speakers will be Dr. Eileen Herman, Dr. Jeffrey Klugar, Dr. John Granquist, April Mann, Jami Tyska, and Angel Rentas.


May 18 (Saturday)

NAMI Walk (National Alliance on Mental Illness)

Bushnell Park, 10 a.m.

Come join the IOL team and support the 10th annual NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Illness) Walk on Saturday, May 18 at 10 a.m. at Bushnell Park. the largest and most successful mental illness awareness event in America. Support NAMI's mission of education, support, and advocacy for those with mental illness.

To join the team and/or donate please go to For more information, call the IOL Family Resource Center at ext. 5-7665.


May 22 (Wednesday)

Medical Staff Annual Spring Event and Awards Meeting

Heublein Hall, ERC, 6-8 p.m.

Medical Staff Annual Spring Event and Awards Meeting, May 22.


June 7 (Friday)

Safe Opioid Prescribing Academy

Gilman Auditorium, 8 a.m.-4 p.m.

Presented by The American College of Medical Toxicology (ACMT). Recent changes in the world of prescription opioids. Come interact with experts in medical toxicology, emergency medicine, addiction medicine, and pain medicine as we address issues requiring your attention in this changing area of medical practice. This day-long symposium will combine didactic presentations with break-out sessions and panel discussions to provide an informative, interactive experience.


June 13 (Thursday)

Semi-Annual Medical Staff Meeting

Gilman Auditorium, 6:45-8 a.m.



July 12 (Friday)

2nd Annual Medical Staff Chef to Farm Dinner

Rosedale Farms, Simsbury, 6-9 p.m.

Please save the date for the 2nd Annual Hartford Hospital Medical Staff “Chef to Farm” Dinner from 6-9 p.m. on Friday, July 12, 2013 at Rosedale Farms in Simsbury. More details will follow.


For more coming events, click here.

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. If you would like to be added to the Seymour Street Journal email list, or to receive it at a different email address, please opt-in at This ensures that you will receive the newsletter at your preferred email address. Back issues can be viewed here. For any questions or suggestions, please contact Dr. Jeffry Nestler, Medical Staff President, at (860) 836-7313.