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

Feb. 3, 2013 Edition

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1990 - First transseptal catheterization under intracardiac ultrasound guidance in Connecticut performed by Drs. Linda Gillam and Ray McKay.


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In This Issue...
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Dr. Courtland Lewis named Chief of Orthopedics, Clinician-in-chief of Musculoskeletal Institute

We are pleased to announce the appointment of Dr. Courtland G. Lewis as clinician-in-chief of our new musculoskeletal institute and chief of the Department of Orthopedics. The musculoskeletal institute will be the third patient-centered, disease-specific institute created at Hartford Hospital following the Cancer Institute and the Tallwood Urology and Kidney Institute.

Dr. Lewis is a nationally recognized leader in the field of orthopedics who has authored and co-authored numerous articles in peer-reviewed journals. He has served on key national committees and conducted grant-funded research. He has been a clinical professor in the Department of Orthopedic Surgery at the University of Connecticut Health Center since 2000. He has been associated with UConn since 1985.

From 1990 to 2007, he directed orthopedic education at Hartford Hospital. Most recently, he has been director of Research and Quality at the Connecticut Joint Replacement Institute (CJRI).

Dr. Lewis earned his medical degree from the University of Vermont College of Medicine in Burlington, completed residencies in general and orthopedic surgery at the University of Maryland, and completed his fellowship at Johns Hopkins University. He will assume his roles at Hartford Hospital immediately.

In addition to providing unsurpassed, multidisciplinary musculoskeletal care, the musculoskeletal institute will be a catalyst for training the next generation of orthopedic surgeons and musculoskeletal team members.

Dr. Bruce D. Browner will move from his current position as chief of Orthopedics to a broader role in education. He will continue to serve both as director the Orthopedic Residency Program and as Hartford Hospital residency site director.  However, his new major activity will be to establish an "austere environment"� surgery program at the Center for Education, Simulation and Innovation (CESI) that will prepare health care practitioners and students for both humanitarian assistance and disaster response missions at home and abroad. This will be a significant expansion of CESI's educational program and will further raise CESI's profile as a global training destination. Dr. Browner also will continue his clinical practice.

Please join us in welcoming Dr. Lewis and congratulating Dr. Browner on his new role.



Dr. Antonio Fernandez Hired as Director of CCU, Interim Director of Nuclear Cardiology

Dr. Antonio Fernandez will join the Division of Cardiology July 1, as director of the coronary care unit and interim director of nuclear cardiology. He will also serve as cardiology's liaison to the Emergency Department.

Dr. Fernandez obtained his medical degree from the Universidad Central de Venezuela School of Medicine in Caracas, Venezuela. He completed a rotating internship at the Central University of Venezuela in Guatire, Venezuela before performing clinical clerkships in Internal Medicine at Lariboisiere Hospital, Paris, France.

He entered the United States to serve as a internal medicine resident at UCONN. After his residency at UCONN he spent two years as a non-invasive cardiology fellow at Yale and an additional year as a cardiovascular research fellow at Yale. He completed his training in cardiology fellow at Brown, where he was selected as the outstanding fellow during his second year of training.

Dr. Fernandez has 13 research publications. He was among the first to link statins with interstitial lung disease. He also worked with the Framingham Study Group to examine the relationship of corneal arcus to cardiac disease risk, and has examined the relationship of macular degeneration to cardiac risk in the NIH funded t Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis or MESA project.

He has received a grant from the Fogarty International Center at the U.S. National Institutes of Health to study Chagas heart disease in rural Bolivia. He is fluent in English, Spanish and French.


Black & Red Nets $1 Million+, Sets Attendance Record

Under the strong leadership of Dr. Patricia Sheiner, chair of the Medical Staff Advisory Committee, and Ross Hollander, chair of the Black & Red, the January 5th Black & Red gala exceeded net proceeds of $1 million for the first time ever. The event sold out, with nearly 1,400 people attending.

Those funds will be used to refurbish the Outpatient Transplant Center, benefiting patients receiving care before and after transplant surgery.

See the Hartford Courant's Jan. 5 online photo gallery from the Black & Red here.

Fox CT broadcasted live at the event, and helped promote our campaign to register new organ donors.


Our Drive For 1,000 New Organ Donors Succeeds-and Exceeds-Goal!

Hartford Hospital exceeded its goal of registering 1,000 new organ donors in January. In fact, we exceeded the goal on Jan. 21 and by month’s end had signed up 1,240 donors.

President Jeff Flaks, Al Terzi of Fox CT and others held a special "Donate Life" flag raising ceremony outside the main entrance on Friday (Feb. 1) to celebrate the hospital reaching-and surpassing-its goal.


Hudson Garage Now Open

The Hudson Street Garage opened its doors on Jan. 9, and staff members are being gradually reassigned to park there. The state-of-the-art, nine floor, 1,250 space garage cost $40 million and took one year to build.

Within about a month, when all the staff parking has been reassigned, we will see a 16% increase in parking spaces for staff. Lots J and B, and the first two floors of the old employee garage will be converted to patient and visitor parking, resulting in a 35% increase in parking spaces for that group. We will also have ample space for cars that come on campus for special functions. We expect to have 500 to 1,000 open spaces on campus at any given time.


We Do The Safe Thing: Hand Hygiene Compliance Getting Better

One of the simplest, yet most effective things health care providers can do to prevent hospital acquired infections is to wash their hands and respect isolation compliance procedures.

Our renewed focus on hand hygiene is leading to an increase in compliance, currently running between 75-90%. These efforts include leadership rounding and ongoing communication. We are providing real time feedback to units and clinical areas, and securing local accountability through nurse managers.


New Touch-free Purell dispensers which automatically dispense the correct amount of foam have been placed throughout the hospital. These new dispensers have a “message board” to encourage compliance with hand hygiene.


Dr. Darren Tishler Interviewed by Fox 61 about Coke and Obesity

Dr. Darren Tishler, chief of the Section of Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery at Hartford Hospital, was interviewed recently by Fox 61 News. He discussed the recent controversial decision by Coca-Cola to become a major supporter of obesity prevention and treatment in the United States.


Dr. Orlando Kirton Was Keynote Speaker at Male Youth Leadership Program

Dr. Orlando Kirton, chief of the Division of Surgery, was the keynote speaker at the Greater Hartford Male Youth Leadership Program on Jan. 12.

The Greater Hartford Male Leadership Program is a city-wide mentoring program for young men aged 12 to 17 to help them develop leadership skills. Hartford Hospital and the Omega Foundation of Hartford, who hosted the event, formed the Black Men’s Health Project, which offers a comprehensive approach to addressing health disparities among black men.

Innovative and Complex Care

Pancreatic Cancer Symposium: Risk Factors, Diagnosis and Advances in Treatment

March 8

Farmington Marriott Hotel

Hartford Hospital’s "Pancreatic Cancer Symposium: Prevention, Risk Factors, Diagnosis and Advances in Treatment" will be held on Friday, March 8 from 12-6 p.m. at the Farmington Marriott Hotel, 15 Farm Springs Road in Farmington.

This 2nd annual seminar includes a focus on the use of clinical staging, the use of appropriate prognostic indicators and evidence-based national treatment guidelines in treatment planning. Topics of discussion: Epidemiology/Our Experience/EUS/Screening, Genetics, Pathology, Imaging, Management of Cystic Neoplasms, Surgical Updates, Updates in Medical Oncology.

Seminar faculty features Dr. Michael Golioto; Dr. Michael Karasik; Dr. Saverio Ligato; Dr. Michael O'Loughlin; Dr. C. Max Schmidt; Dr. Ramon Jimenez; Dr. Pragna Kapadia; Dr. Timothy Hong, and Linda Steinmark, MS, CGC.

This event is open to all health care providers to earn 5 AMA PRA category 1 credits and 4.83 CEUs.

Cost is $50 for physicians, $20 for non-physicians. Registration is required by March 6. To register, go to or contact Health Referral Services 860-545-1888 or Toll Free 1-800-545-7664. For more information, contact Ginelle McPherson at 860-545-4594 or


28th Annual Winter Medical Meeting, "Trends in Medicine and Surgery"

March 9-16

Vail Cascade Resort and Spa

Trends in Medicine and Surgery (TMS), the 28th annual winter medical meeting sponsored by the Department of Medical Education at Hartford Hospital, will be held at the Vail Cascade Resort and Spa from March 9-16.

The meeting is open to all medical, nursing and allied health staff. CME credits will be awarded. For further information, please contact Dr. David Drezner at, or Mary Moretti, Huntington-Hay Travel, at 860-678-1407 (

Research and Academics

GI Division Teams Up With CESI and Covidien To Host National Training Day

The GI division at Hartford Hospital, CESI, and global health care products leader Covidien will host a national training day on March 15 for the use of radiofrequency ablation to treat disorders of the esophagus, stomach, and rectum. This event will attract gastroenterologists from around the country.

Dr. David Chaletsky, a gastroenterologist from Connecticut GI, PC, will perform live cases during the event, and will co-direct the course with Dr. Charles Lightdale, a nationally-recognized speaker from Columbia University Medical Center.

The GI division at Hartford Hospital is the one of the busiest centers in the country for the treatment of Barrett’s esophagus using radiofrequency ablation technology.


Dr. Kenneth Robinson Named Course Director for National Emergency Medicine Leadership Course

Dr. Kenneth Robinson, medical director and program director of LIFE STAR, has been selected by the Society of Academic Emergency Medicine to be the course director for their Leadership Course in Atlanta in May. The course is a two-day curriculum consisting of presentations by national leaders in academic Emergency Medicine.

This is the second consecutive SAEM Leadership Course that Dr. Robinson has been selected to lead.


Drs. Thompson and Iskandar Publish Article in Circulation

Dr. Ailne Iskandar, a 3rd year UCONN internal medicine resident, and Dr. Paul Thompson, chief of cardiology at Hartford Hospital had their article entitled "A Meta-Analysis of Aortic Root Size in Elite Athletes" published in Circulation on January 15, 2013.

The article reviewed 71 studies including over 8,000 elite athletes, but included only 23 studies in the final analysis. Drs. Iskandar and Thompson concluded that whereas the athlete's heart includes enlargement of all four cardiac chambers, the aortic root is only slightly larger in elite athletes. Marked enlargement, therefore, should not be attributed to exercise training.

Circulation has an impact factor of 14.8, making it the #1 ranked journal in the cardiac and cardiovascular systems category.

Care Coordination

Dr. Harold Schwartz Appears on WNPR About Mental Health Treatment

Dr. Harold Schwartz, psychiatrist-in-chief at the Institute of Living, was the featured guest on John Dankosky's hour long radio program, "Where We Live," on WNPR 90.5 FM on Jan. 28.

The topic was "Mental Health, Outpatient Treatment." Connecticut is one of only six states that does not have a law that forces people to take their medication for psychiatric disorders like schizophrenia.

You can listen to the archived broadcast by going to the NPR website and clicking on the "Where We Live" archived programs.

Operational Update

HHC Develops Single Common App for Medical Staff Privileges

All of the HHC hospital medical staff leaders have developed a single common application for medical staff privileges. All of the hospitals are using a common credentialing software system, called "ECHO". These changes will make it easier in the future for physicians with privileges at one HHC hospital to apply for privileges at another.


Seeking Applicants for T. Stewart Hamilton MD Fellowship in Health Care Management

The Capital Area Health Consortium is seeking applications for the T. Stewart Hamilton MD Fellowship in Health Care Management. The fellowship is available to individuals engaged in post-graduate study in the field of health care such as management, medicine, nursing, public health, etc.

Applicants must be employed full time at Hartford Hospital or one of the other six member hospitals of the CAHC. Awards range from $1,000 to $2,000.

Applications will b e accepted no later than April 1. For more information, go to or call Lory Gasper at 860-676-1110.


New Physicians

Dr. F. Luke Aldo, Anesthesiology, Hartford Anesthesiology Associates, Inc.

Dr. Allyson C. Bagenholm, Internal Medicine, Hartford Medical Group

Dr. Robert J. Brown, Neurology, Hartford Hospital

Dr. Evan J. Burke, Anesthesiology, Hartford Anesthesiology Associates, Inc.

Dr. Judy Chiu, Internal Medicine, Hartford Medical Group

Dr. Jonathan A. Cosin, Obstetrics & Gynecology, The Hospital of Central Connecticut

Dr. Nana Sarkoah I. Fenny, Hospitalist Medicine, CT Multispecialty Group, PC

Dr. Kevin J. Finkel, Anesthesiology, Hartford Anesthesiology Associates, Inc.

Dr. Eric M. Geigle, Psychiatry, The Village for Families & Children

Dr. William A. Gray, Hospitalist Medicine, CT Multispecialty Group, PC

Dr. Geoffrey L. Hayward, Anesthesiology, Hartford Anesthesiology Associates, Inc.

Dr. Hillary S. Hernandez-Trujillo, Allergy, Connecticut Asthma & Allergy Center, LLC

Dr. David J. Jeng, Ophthalmology, Solinsky EyeCare, LLC

Dr. Maria E. Johnson, Gastroenterology, Connecticut GI, PC

Dr. Vasanth S. Kainkaryam, Internal Medicine, Hartford Physician Services, PC

Dr. Heather M. King, General Surgery, Hartford Clinical Associates, PC

Dr. Krzysztof L. Kopec, Gastroenterology, Connecticut GI, PC

Dr. Clinton A. Kuwada, Otorhinolaryngology, Connecticut ENT Associates, PC

Dr. Maximilian H. Lee, Cardiology, Consulting Cardiologists, PC

Dr. Nathan D. Mark, Anesthesiology, Hartford Anesthesiology

Dr. Walter T. McPhee, Internal Medicine, Hartford Physician Services, PC

Dr. Glenys Z. Merette De la Rosa, Hospitalist Medicine, Connecticut Multispecialty Group, PC

Dr. Dhamodaran Palaniappan, Anesthesiology, Hartford Anesthesia Associates, Inc.

Dr. Jennifer M. Park, Obstetrics & Gynecology, Hartford Hospital

Dr. Elizabeth O. Purcell, Obstetrics & Gynecology, Gynecology & Obstetrics, PC

Dr. Salman Saad, Internal Medicine, Hartford Physician Services, PC

Dr. Shaheena Shan, Infectious Disease, Hartford Hospital

Dr. Nasser M. Shirazi, Hospitalist Medicine, Connecticut Multispecialty Group, PC

Dr. Larry A. Suecof, Podiatric Surgery, Connecticut Multispecialty Group, PC

Dr. Supriya Maruti Tigadi, Hospitalist Medicine, Connecticut Multispecialty Group, PC

Dr. Pooja D. Tolaney, Internal Medicine, Hartford Medical Group

Dr. Jonathan A. Velez, Emergency Medicine, Hartford Healthcare

Dr. Yan Zhang, Neurology, Hartford Hospital

Dr. Zhenghao Zhang, Hospitalist Medicine, Connecticut Multispecialty Group, PC




Obituary: Dr. James C. Black


Dr. James C. Black, child and adolescent psychiatrist, died suddenly at his Farmington home on Jan. 19 of an unexpected illness. He was 78.

Dr. Black served as the medical director of Child & Family Services in Hartford for more than a decade, then established a private practice, where he worked until the time of his death.

He was active in medical training and education in the state, and served on the board at the Institute of Living and CCMC.

He is survived by his wife Monica Black, five children and 20 grandchildren.

Online expressions of sympathy may be made at

HH In the News

Families With Mental Illness, Disabilities Need Community

Hartford Courant, Jan. 25

Commentary by Dr. Lisa Namerow, child and adolescent psychiatrist at the IOL.


Expansion of Mental Services Called For

The Connecticut Day, Jan. 29

Help is what state legislators said they hope to provide after they gather information from the mental health services working group, which met Tuesday in the Legislative Office Building. Numerous mental health experts discussed the need for more mental health services in schools and for better private insurance coverage and the pros and cons of “outpatient commitment.” Many members of the public with mental illnesses said they did not want outpatient commitment — people being forced to receive mental health services. They would rather have Connecticut’s recovery-oriented care system enhanced.

The psychiatrist-in-chief for The Institute of Living in Hartford, Harold Schwartz, said he highly recommends that the legislature adopt involuntary outpatient treatment.

“Chronic schizophrenia and certain other chronic and severe mental illnesses are often marked by denial of illness,” he said. For many people hospitalization becomes a revolving door and people might become estranged from family and friends, become homeless or be arrested, he said.

An outpatient commitment program would affect a very small percentage of patients with severe psychiatric illnesses, he said. The “take-home message” is that when done correctly outpatient commitment is a part of the solution, he said.

He doubted this kind of bill would affect the people with mental illness who spoke at Tuesday's public hearing, Schwartz said.


Shooting Prompts Review of Workers' Compensation

My Record Journal, Jan. 21

The shooting deaths of 26 children and staff at Sandy Hook Elementary School last month are prompting a close review of a workers' compensation system that doesn't recognize post-traumatic stress disorder and that limits mental-health benefits to emergency personnel who are the victims of violence.

Roughly 8 percent of the population is living — at any given time — with post traumatic stress disorder, a severe anxiety disorder that can develop anywhere from immediately after to months or years after an event that creates psychological trauma, according to Dr. Al Herzog, a psychiatrist with the Institute of Living in Hartford.

The trauma can involve the death of another, the threat of death to oneself or another, or some other form of physical of sexual threat that overwhelms the mind's ability to cope.

"The brain can sometimes — in many of us — hide the disturbing symptoms and numb us," Herzog said. "The subconscious is powerful in making people really hold back."

Depending on the trauma involved, those suffering from PTSD may become somewhat over anxious and have nightmares, find themselves involuntarily reliving the trauma, face much more severe anxiety, or develop tachycardia or other heart ailments, said Dr. John Foley, society president as well as director of heart failure for William W. Backus Hospital in Norwich.

"The mental health system in this country is in a state of decay," Foley said. "It is critically important that we figure out what is going on because society is becoming more violent."


What Kids Can Take From Lance Armstrong: Lessons in Cheating, Bullying, Redemption

Hartford Courant, Jan. 28

This week's Mommy Minute has tips for sharing the Lance Armstrong cheating scandal with kids and using it as a teaching moment to give children tools they need to deal with difficult situations.

"It's a great way to take a current topic and weave it into your own family value system," says Dr. Laura Saunders, a licensed psychologist at Hartford Hospital who was struck by the atmosphere of peer pressure that Armstrong created amongst his team members. "There are so many opportunities to talk about what it's like when a bully wants you to do something that you don't want to to. Is it OK to be different?"

Moms and dads can explain "roid rage" using age-appropriate language. "Steroids can make you very anxious; steroids can make you gain weight; steroids can make you act funny," says Dr. Kelly Johnson-Arbor, a medical toxicologist at Hartford Hospital. "An older child might think, 'Oh, I saw this on TV. This is going to make me run faster or do better in whatever sport I'm doing, so I'm going to take it'."

In the HHC System

Margaret Marchak Named Senior VP, Chief Legal Officer of HHC

Margaret Marchak, JD, MBA, has been named senior vice president, chief legal officer and corporate secretary for Hartford HealthCare.

Ms. Marchak brings to Hartford HealthCare 27 years of experience as a health care lawyer, most recently as a partner with the law firm of Hall, Render, Killian, Heath and Lyman, PLLC. The firm is the nation’s second-largest health care law firm and represents a broad range of providers, including hospitals and integrated health care delivery systems.

Ms. Marchak specializes in representing health care providers with information technology (IT) matters, hospital-physician transactions, health care affiliations, fraud and abuse issues, governance in nonprofit and tax-exempt organizations, and corporate compliance programs. She has a particular interest in health information technology (HIT) law, including electronic medical records, technology agreements, outsourcing, privacy and security matters, and health information exchange.

She also served as associate vice president and deputy general counsel for the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. In that capacity, she was the chief legal adviser for the University of Michigan Health System, a $3 billion academic medical center composed of three hospitals, a faculty group practice plan, a medical school, a nursing school, and a research center.

Ms. Marchak holds a law degree from Wayne State University School of Law in Detroit and a master of business administration and bachelor of arts from the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. She assumes her position with Hartford HealthCare Feb. 25.


Dr. Abayomi Akanji Appointed To Founding Faculty of Frank H. Netter MD School of Medicine

Hartford Courant, Jan. 25

Dr. Abayomi Akanji, of North Haven, has been appointed to the founding faculty of the Frank H. Netter MD School of Medicine at Quinnipiac University.

The medical school has named St. Vincent's Medical Center of Bridgeport, as its primary clinical affiliate. The medical school also has clinical affiliations with MidState Medical Center of Meriden and Middlesex Hospital of Middletown.


Hospital of Central Connecticut Early Warning System Helps Improve Patient Outcomes

Hartford Courant, Jan. 21

A computerized early warning system being piloted at The Hospital of Central Connecticut automatically alerts caregivers when patients take a turn for the worse, allowing for earlier interventions that can improve patients' outcomes.

The system, currently being piloted on one nursing unit, is expected to go hospital-wide in mid-January, at HOCC's New Britain General campus and Bradley Memorial campus in Southington.

The early warning system works by continuously monitoring patients' electronic health records, looking at data like vital signs, lab test results, key physiological information and diagnoses and problems, said Jeff Finkelstein, M.D., HOCC's chief medical information officer and chief of emergency medicine. He likened the system to Google and other Internet search engines, which constantly crawl the web for information so they can produce search results.

Health Care News In the Region

Rhode Island OKs Planned Lawrence+Memorial Merger With Westerly Hospital

Hartford Courant, Jan. 29

With approval Tuesday from the Rhode Island Department of Health, Lawrence+Memorial Corp. is one step closer in its planned acquisition of Westerly Hospital

The New London-based corporation, which owns Lawrence+Memorial Hospital, plans to acquire the hospital in Westerly, R.I., for $69 million. The announcement of the planned acquisition was made last March.


CT Flu Deaths Now at 17

Hartford Courant, Jan. 24

The number of flu deaths in Connecticut has reached 17, state health officials said Jan. 24.

The state Department of Public Health reported Thursday that 11 more people died from the flu last week, including two between the ages of 54 and 65. All other flu deaths in the state this season have been of people over 65.

Officials for the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have said that this year's flu season has been particularly hard on the elderly. Of the 5,249 laboratory-confirmed influenza-associated hospitalizations from Oct. 1 to Jan. 12, almost half of the patients were at least 65 years old.

Coming Events

Feb. 5 (Tuesday)

Cardiology Grand Rounds

11 a.m., JB-118

Topic: Beyond Statins: ETC-1002, A Phase 2 Clinical Candidate for Cardio-Metabolic Diseases

Presenter: Dr. Roger Newton, executive chairman and CSO, Esperion Therapeutics


Feb. 7 (Thursday)

Endocrine Intercity Grand Rounds

12 p.m., Gilman Auditorium

Topic: Auto-Immunity and thyroid cancer

Presenter: Dr. Amit Bhargava, Endocrine Fellow, UConn School of Medicine



Feb. 7 (Thursday)

Medicine Grand Rounds

8 a.m., Gilman Auditorium

Topic: Diagnosis and Treatment of Chronic Wounds

Presenter: Dr. Kelly Johnson-Arbor



Feb. 7 (Thursday)

Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Case Conference

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

Topic: Perspectives on Interventions for Obesity in Youth

Presenters: Dr. Melissa Santos, clinical director of the Pediatric Obesity Center at CCMC, and Dr. Robert Sahl, Division chief of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry at the IOL



Feb. 27 (Wednesday)

Schwartz Center Rounds

11:45 a.m., Gilman Auditorium

The topic will be "Recognition." A new Schwartz Rounds/Hartford Hospital award is in development, and we want you to help us define it.

Lunch will be provided. No RSVP necessary. Contact Kathy Burns at ext. 5-5712 with any questions.

Feb. 28 (Thursday)

Psychiatric Grand Rounds

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

Topic: Suicide Risk Assessment and Management: Integrating Empirical Evidence into Clinical Practice

Presenter: M. David Rudd, Ph.D., ABPP, Dean of the College of Social & Behavioral Science, University of Utah


March 7 (Thursday)

5th Annual Chip in for a Cure Martini Night

5:30-9 p.m., Society Room, 31 Pratt St., Hartford

The 5th Annual Chip in for a Cure Martini Night Fundraiser to benefit breast cancer research and education programs at Hartford Hospital will be held on Thursday, March 7 from 5:30-9 p.m. at The Society Room, 31 Pratt St., Hartford.

The event will includes a cocktail hour, heavy hors d’oeuvres, dessert, featured martinis and a selection of other beverages. There will be live music, silent and live auctions, door prizes and the famous cake auction.

Cost is $100 per person; or a table of 10 for $2,500. Reservations are recommended. To register, go to

For more information, go to or call 860-545-2161.


May 9 (Thursday)

6th Annual Neil Gray MD Memorial Lecture in Diabetes

8 a.m., Gilman Auditorium

The 6th Annual Neil Grey MD Memorial Lecture in Diabetes will be held Thursday, May 9 from 8-9 a.m. in Gilman Auditorium. Speaker is Guillermo Umpierrez, MD, head of endocrinology and diabetes at Grady Health System at Emory University.


For more coming events, click here.

Hot Topics in Healthcare

The Drawn Out Process of the Medical Lawsuit

The New York Times, Jan. 24

Doctors may be underestimating the extent to which malpractice not only consumes their time but also undermines their ability to care for patients, according to a new study in Health Affairs.

For the current study, researchers combed through the malpractice claims records of more than 40,000 doctors covered by a national liability insurer. They took note of the length of each claim, any payments made, severity of the injury and the specialty practiced by the physician being sued.

Most claims required almost two years to resolve from initiation of the lawsuit — and almost four years from the event in question. Cases that resulted in payment or that involved more severe patient injuries almost always took longer.

The researchers then discovered that on average, doctors spent more than four years of their careers — more time than they spent in medical school — working through one or more lawsuits. Certain specialists were more vulnerable than others. Neurosurgeons, for example, averaged well over 10 years, or more than a quarter of their professional lives, embroiled in lawsuits.

Voices Of Our Patients

Kudos to Dr. Joseph Wagner

Dear Dr. Wagner,

I want to thank you so much for the letter regarding my second batch of biopsies I had on May 1 that did not show any evidence of cancer. It was great to hear you say "I believe these results reconfirm that you have a very low volume, low risk disease" and that you wish me continue success with active surveillance.

But what I want to thank you the most for, so very much, is literally saving the quality of life for me by recommending that I not rush into prostectomy as I was schedule to do with you after taking advice from others. I can't believe I was close to having the operation that could have had a major impact on my life. Thank you!!

I am having an annual physical in February and I will have my PSA tested then and I will send you a copy.

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.