Healthy Living: Always Innovating

 

When it comes time to choose a general hospital, we in Connecticut are in an enviable position. Because of the small size of the state, most of us live within easy driving distance of multiple facilities. As a result, we can choose hospitals based not on necessity, but on their features, specialties and reputation. Hospitals, like any other service providers, must remain current with technologies and programs to meet the public’s changing needs. To provide a snapshot of the changes and updates Connecticut general hospitals have undergone in the past year, we’ve compiled a summary of some of the new offerings out there.
 

Bridgeport Hospital
267 Grant St., Bridgeport
(203) 384-3000, bridgeporthospital.org
Last year was a milestone year for Bridgeport Hospital: The facility welcomed a new president and CEO, William M. Jennings; the Norma F. Pfriem Cancer Institute made significant facility enhancements, including the opening of a new outpatient chemotherapy suite and digital mammography suite; ground was broken for a new radiation therapy facility in Trumbull that will become part of an outpatient satellite cancer center upon its completion in late 2011; and the hospital’s excellence in cardiac care was affirmed by its best-in-Fairfield County ranking for heart failure survival by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services.
 

Bristol Hospital
Brewster Rd., Bristol
(860) 585-3000, bristolhospital.org
The Bristol Cancer Care Center was granted a three-year approval with commendation from the Commission on Cancer of the American College of Surgeons. The hospital was also designated a Primary Stroke Center by the Connecticut Department of Public Health, with accreditation through 2012. The bariatric program, launched in July 2009, performed 40 surgeries in the first year and has gained a reputation for excellence. In March 2010, the hospital opened the Comprehensive Spine and Pain Center to offer a full range of pain-management options. Also new is a healing garden outside the Cancer Care Center, a peaceful setting for patients, visitors and employees.
 

Charlotte Hungerford Hospital
540 Litchfield St., Torrington
(860) 496-6666, charlottesweb.hungerford.org 
CHH has implemented new information technology as part of its Patient Care Support Network, a secure computer network that supports “Isabel,” a Web-based clinical decision-support and knowledge-mobilizing system that provides physicians with time-saving resource materials to assist with diagnoses. Isabel enables instant processing of patients’ key symptoms and uses natural language to search and display data. The system brings together in one database online resources and knowledge, including photographic images, symptoms and lists of drug side effects. CHH is also building a 2,200-square-foot addition at the Center for Cancer Care that will accommodate new staff and patient areas, plus a linear accelerator capable of delivering image-guided radiation therapy.
 

Danbury Hospital
24 Hospital Ave., Danbury
(203) 739-7000, danburyhospital.org
Danbury Hospital is a regional medical center and university teaching hospital offering centers of excellence in cardiovascular services, cancer, weight-loss surgery, orthopedics and digestive disorders. It also has a Level IIIb Neonatal Intensive Care Unit. Danbury Hospital and New Milford Hospital recently affiliated to offer Connecticut residents improved quality and access to health care. The hospital has been recognized by the American College of Surgeons (ACS) Surgical Quality Program, and its Center for Weight Loss Surgery is nationally accredited. The Center for Advanced Orthopedic and Spine Care is a leader in clinical outcomes for joint and spine procedures. The hospital plans to begin construction on a new tower later this year.
 

Day Kimball Hospital
320 Pomfret St., Putnam
(860) 928-6541, daykimball.org
Last year, Day Kimball hospital added the region’s first Open Bore 1.5-tesla magnetic resonance imaging system (MRI). In addition, the hospital’s c.cam Cardiac Nuclear Medicine Camera System, installed in February 2010, was awarded three-year accreditation by the American College of Radiology (ACR). The new system is ideal for the early detection and handling of heart disease. Day Kimball Healthcare also announced that the Windham County Multidisciplinary Team’s (MDT) Children’s Advocacy Center (CAC), called “Wendy’s Place,” has received accreditation from the National Children’s Alliance in Washington, D.C. Wendy’s Place is a grant-funded program coordinated through Day Kimball Healthcare to facilitate the investigation of child abuse in Windham County.
 

Eastern Connecticut Health Network
(Manchester Memorial Hospital and Rockville General Hospital)
71 Haynes St., Manchester
(860) 872-0501 (Rockville General); (860) 646-1222 (Manchester Memorial), echn.org 
ECHN’s John A. DeQuattro Cancer Center, home to the Eastern Connecticut Cancer Institute (ECCI), is located across from Manchester Memorial Hospital at 100 Haynes Street. The center’s continuum of care is driven by new technologies, supportive resources and a team of board-certified oncologists, infusion therapists, pathologists, radiologists and nurses. At ECCI, patients and their families are provided with quality cancer care in a comfortable environment. Integrative-medicine services are provided, as well as support services offered by nurse navigators, medical social workers and a nutritionist. Contact the John A. DeQuattro Cancer Center at (860) 533-2929.
 

Greenwich Hospital
5 Perryridge Rd., Greenwich
(203) 863-3000, greenhosp.org
At Greenwich Hospital, The Institute for Healthy Living was established to coordinate the many educational and personalized health programs offered in both conventional and holistic medical traditions. The Center for Hyperbaric Medicine and Wound Healing offers specialized wound care and hyperbaric oxygen therapy with the largest single-person hyperbaric chambers available. The Bendheim Cancer Center now has the Novalis TX linear accelerator that customizes radiation therapy while sparing healthy tissue. A new on-site diagnostic imaging suite in the emergency department allows patients to stay under the constant care of the department team.
 

 

Griffin Hospital
130 Division St., Derby
(800) 354-3094, griffinhealth.org
The new Center for Breast Wellness at Griffin Hospital has just opened. The center, located across the street from the hospital, combines advanced technology, an expert clinical staff and evidence-based, patient-centered treatments and services—all with a singular focus on reducing patient anxiety and waiting time. “We will be offering a true continuum of care for patients that can be compressed into the same day when circumstances like a suspicious finding on a screening mammogram is detected,” says Dr. Zandra Cheng, a fellowship-trained breast surgeon and the center’s medical director.
 

Hartford Hospital
80 Seymour St., Hartford
(860) 545-1888, harthosp.org
At Hartford Hospital, physicians-in-training are now able to hone their emergency- medicine skills inside a simulated emergency room, working on Sim-Man, a robot for medical training. It’s part of Hartford Hospital’s new 20,000-square-foot Center for Education, Simulation and Innovation. The simulation center will help personnel refine their skills using hands-on simulation equipment. In addition, the O-arm® Surgical Imaging System has arrived at the hospital. It provides spinal surgeons with GPS precision during procedures, which translates into less invasive procedures, shorter recuperation time for patients and increased confidence in their physicians. With the O-arm and its up-to-the-minute images, surgeons can attain more precision than ever.
 

Hospital of Central Connecticut
(includes New Britain General and Bradley Memorial Hospital)
100 Grand St., New Britain, and 81 Meriden Ave., Southington
(860) 225-6244 (New Britain) and (860) 276-5000 (Southington), thocc.org 
HCC surgeons are now using the da Vinci® robotic system for minimally invasive surgeries for prostate and gynecological cancers and other conditions. Robotic surgery means quicker recovery with fewer side effects because incisions are tiny, and the surgeon-controlled robotic arms can work in much smaller spaces. Also new are HCC’s offices at 11 South Rd., Farmington, which house the Center for Bariatric Surgery and Weigh Your Options nonsurgical weight-loss program. Also located there is the hospital’s Joslin Diabetes Center Affiliate; Joslin has two additional offices, at HCC’s New Britain General campus and Bradley Memorial campus in Southington.
 

Hospital of Saint Raphael
1450 Chapel St., New Haven
(203) 789-3000, srhs.org 
The Hospital of Saint Raphael recently unveiled new facilities, including the Cronin Short-term Surgery Center, a state-of-the-art endovascular operating room and the Vidone Birth Center, which was built to a family-friendly design. New procedures offered by the hospital include the radial-artery approach to cardiac catheterization, lateral interbody-fusion spine surgery, the latest in weight-loss surgeries and liver-directed cancer therapy using drug-eluting beads. The hospital’s Father Michael J. McGivney Cancer Center–Hamden Campus opened in 2009, establishing itself as a center for cancer treatment in central New Haven County.
 

Johnson Memorial Hospital
201 Chestnut Hill Rd., Stafford Springs
(860) 684-4251, jmmc.com 
Johnson Memorial Medical Center, the parent company of Johnson Memorial Hospital, emerged from Chapter 11 as a standalone organization in October 2010. JMMC made important investments in JMH to enhance patient care and expand services throughout the turnaround process, an extraordinary accomplishment for an organization in financial distress. JMMC invested $9 million in capital improvements while in bankruptcy, including purchases of clinical equipment, facility repairs, expansion and infrastructure development. In addition, JMMC welcomed 75 new members to its medical staff in recent months. The approval of a total restructuring of the governance and organizational structures at JMMC is expected soon.
 

Lawrence & Memorial Hospital
365 Montauk Ave., New London
(860) 442-0711, lmhospital.org
This year, Lawrence & Memorial Hospital opened a new medical center, Lawrence & Memorial at Stonington, to provide physicians’ services, lab services, walk-in care and diagnostic imaging—all at one location. At the main hospital, Dr. Garth Ballantyne was named chief of surgery, and with his appointment came the first laparascopic bariatic surgery performed in eastern Connecticut. The pharmacy continues to move toward a patient-centric model of care, installing more accurate and efficient systems to improve patient care and safety—another step toward  an electronic medical-records system.
 

Middlesex Hospital
28 Crescent St., Middletown
860-358-6000, middlesexhospital.org 
The Middlesex Hospital Cancer Center is now using new technology to deliver radiation therapy with pinpoint accuracy to a variety of tumors, sparing healthy tissue. The Novalis Tx allows radiation oncologists to surround and target radiation from every angle. It also provides the ability to perform stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS), which allows for noninvasive surgery, often on very small or delicate targets such as in the brain or lungs, with extremely precise doses of radiation. Middlesex is one of only a limited number of state hospitals to offer Novalis Tx.
 

MidState Medical Center
435 Lewis Ave., Meriden
(203) 694-8200, midstatemedical.org 
The year 2010 was one of growth and success for MidState. Completing its 100,000-square-foot emergency department and building-expansion project—its largest expansion to date—it doubled the size of the emergency area from 28 to 53 private rooms and added a new patient unit as well as a dedicated main entrance and lobby. MidState also made available new technologies, including the da Vinci® Surgical System for robotic surgery and the Elekta Infinity™ Radiation Therapy System for oncology patients.
 

 

Milford Hospital
200 Seaside Ave., Milford
(203) 876-4000, milfordhospital.org
The hospital’s Connecticut Joint Center, dedicated to knee, hip and shoulder replacement, is expanding to 12 rooms. The hospital has also enhanced its infant security system. The facility implemented a full-service EMR (electronic medical records) system this year, and added a voice-recognition component so physicians can input patient status updates by speaking them. The hospital now features automatic integration of patient vital signs into the system, which ensures updates are added in near-real time without errors. The hospital is also sponsoring community programs—e.g., one for mothers and their teenage daughters, a second on cancer diagnoses and a third on “Sugar Blues.”
 

New Milford Hospital
21 Elm St., New Milford
(860) 355-2611, newmilfordhospital.org
NMH finalized its affiliation with Danbury Hospital in October 2010, forming a new regional health system known as Western Connecticut Healthcare. By joining forces, both hospitals can improve quality and access to medical care for area residents. NMH also boosted its imaging capabilities with a 64-slice low-dose CT scanner, a 1.5-Tesla Open Bore MRI and a Trilogy linear accelerator for advanced radiation oncology treatment. NMH maintains specialty centers for cancer, orthopedics, emergency care, one-day surgery, cardiovascular services, sleep disorders, women’s imaging and family birthing. The hospital consistently ranks high in Connecticut and nationally for patient satisfaction.
 

Norwalk Hospital
34 Maple St., Norwalk
(203) 852-2000, norwalkhospital.org 
Norwalk Hospital is offering a new incisionless solution for gastric reflux disease (GERD). The procedure, known as Transoral Incisionless Fundoplication, helps reconstruct the antireflux valve to prevent reflux. It involves the insertion of an EsophyX device and an endoscope through the mouth. The device forms tissue folds to reconstruct the antireflux valve where the esophagus and the stomach meet. The procedure benefits patients with moderate to severe GERD, symptoms of which include heartburn, frequent swallowing, regurgitation, hoarseness, persistent cough, bloating and sleep disorders.
 

Saint Francis Hospital & Medical Center
114 Woodland St., Hartford
(860) 714-4000, stfranciscare.org 
The new John T. O’Connell tower at Saint Francis is set to begin phased openings next month. The 10-story, 318,000-square-foot tower is approved for an enlarged emergency department with 70 treatment areas, 13 ambulance bays, 19 new main operating rooms, 135 private patient rooms, six dedicated orthopedic operating rooms and a new rooftop helipad. Also, the Curtis D. Robinson Men’s Health Institute offers free prostate screening and surgical services to the uninsured and underinsured, with a focus on the high rates of prostate cancer among African-American men. Those diagnosed with the disease may undergo robotic surgery for free.
 

Saint Mary’s Hospital
56 Franklin St., Waterbury
(203) 709-6000, stmh.org 
A leader in minimally invasive surgery, Saint Mary’s Hospital in Waterbury is moving into the next generation of spinal surgery. In collaboration with surgeons who specialize in neurosurgery, orthopedics and spinal conditions, the hospital offers advanced techniques such as the XLIF, which is performed through an incision in the patient’s side. This approach spares the muscles in the back while decompressing nerves in the spine and alleviating pain. Spinal surgery patients may also benefit from the new concierge program, which includes free valet parking and a dedicated concierge to assist with testing, admission and preparations for surgery.
 

Saint Vincent’s Medical Center
2800 Main St., Bridgeport
203-576-6000, stvincents.org 
The new Elizabeth Pfriem SWIM Center for Cancer Care, which opened last February, consolidates cancer prevention, diagnostic, treatment and survivorship services in one location. The 125,000-square-foot building, constructed to green standards at a cost of $50 million, is the most significant expansion in the medical center’s history. Through screening, education and psychosocial support, the cancer center offers a healing environment for patients and their families. Its new technologies include a Novalis™ linear accelerator with Rapid Arc™ technology to target tumor sites while minimizing damage to healthy tissue. The center also features the latest version of the da Vinci robot, which provides physicians with high-definition 3-D images, enabling greater refinement and improved dexterity during procedures.
 

 

Sharon Hospital
50 Hospital Hill Rd., Sharon
(860) 364-4141, sharonhospital.com 
Once again, the Commission on Cancer of the American College of Surgeons has granted three-year Accreditation with Commendation to the hospital’s cancer program. In addition, the hospital’s Primary Stroke Center has again been designated an approved Primary Stroke Center by the state Department of Public Health. The designation recognizes the hospital’s ability to care for stroke patients at the highest level for a community hospital. The hospital also received the American Heart Association’s Get With The Guidelines® Stroke Silver Plus Performance Achievement Award for implementing a high standard of stroke care.
 

Stamford Hospital
30 Shelburne Rd., Stamford
(203) 276-1000, stamfordhospital.org
Stamford Hospital is in the process of obtaining regulatory approval to build a new health-care campus, which will include a larger emergency department with a dedicated pediatric treatment area, larger operating rooms, an ICU and an inpatient bed tower with private rooms. Recently, the hospital launched its Center for Surgical Weight Loss and received designation as a Primary Stroke Center by the state. Stamford’s Orthopedic Services earned Joint Commission certification for the Lumbar Spine Fusion Program, making it the state’s only Joint Commission-certified program. In addition, the hospital renovated its orthopedic/neurosurgery unit.
 

Waterbury Hospital
64 Robbins St., Waterbury
(203) 573-6000, waterburyhospital.org 
In 2010, the hospital responded to national trends by aligning itself with large local medical practices such as Alliance Medical Group, one of the largest practices in Connecticut with more than 100 practicing physicians. Both Alliance and Waterbury Hospital have taken strides toward fully computerizing all medical records, a process that will enhance patient care by improving and streamlining communication among caregivers. Waterbury Hospital also successfully recruited the region’s first colorectal surgeon, Dr. John Zhang of the Alliance Medical Group.
 

The William W. Backus Hospital
326 Washington St., Norwich
(860) 889-8331, backushospital.org
A year ago, The William W. Backus Hospital opened a new Plainfield Backus Health Center in Plainfield, and Montville Backus Health Center in Montville; it also received state approval to open a satellite emergency department in Plainfield. In addition, the hospital opened the new Backus Weight Loss Center  in Norwich, offering bariatric surgery, nutritional counseling, support groups and behavioral screenings. In addition, a $6 million hospital laboratory expansion was completed at the main facility, which also saw the purchase of a new Business and Technology Center for staff training and nonclinical departments. Finally, the hospital’s Critical Care Unit (CCU) received a Beacon Award for Critical Care Excellence, an award given to only 242 of 6,000 CCUs nationwide.
 

University of Connecticut Health Center (John Dempsey Hospital)
263 Farmington Ave., Farmington
(860) 679-2000, uchc.edu 
In 2011, UConn Health Center hopes to move forward with the first major upgrade to the John Dempsey Hospital in its history, plus a new patient-care tower. The center opened a cardiac catheterization lab to support the work of interventional specialists at the Pat and Jim Calhoun Cardiology Center, and launched a women’s heart health program. Led by two female cardiologists, the program will help women understand their risk of heart disease and learn how to manage risk factors. Working with the national Bladder Cancer Advocacy Network, the center has established the state’s first bladder-cancer support group. In addition, the facility continues to oversee clinical expansion at the New England Musculoskeletal Institute and the Department of Orthopedic Surgery.
 

Windham Hospital
112 Mansfield Ave., Willimantic
(860) 456-9116, windhamhospital.org
The paramedic team at Windham Hospital recently completed a national course in Critical Care Emergency Medical Transportation from the University of Maryland, Baltimore (UMB), making the Windham paramedic team the only fully licensed Critical Care Emergency Medical Transport Paramedic team in the state. Training for the paramedics included life-support skills and EMT certification, but the Windham team additionally sought out the UMB course to hone and expand their ability to serve critically ill and severely injured patients—patients whose survival could depend on the team that transports them to the hospital. Windham Hospital’s recent integration with Hartford Healthcare (HHC) will broaden its ability to provide personalized care and expands the range of services provided.
 

Yale-New Haven Hospital
20 York St., New Haven
(203) 688-4242, ynhh.org
Yale-New Haven Hospital was the only Connecticut hospital to be named one of the top hospitals in the country in U.S. News & World Report’s “America’s Best Hospitals.” YNHH had three specialties that were ranked in the nation’s top 10: diabetes and endocrinology, geriatrics and psychiatry. YNHH also established an Aortic Institute for clinical care of patients with thoracic aortic aneurysms and research of aortic diseases. A partnership was forged with University College London to collaborate on scientific research and education and to create new programs to treat heart disease. In addition, the YNHH bariatric surgery program received national accreditation as a Level 1a facility.

Healthy Living: Always Innovating

Reader Comments

comments powered by Disqus
 
ADVERTISEMENT