CHA Special Edition of Update: Annual Meeting Awards

The Connecticut Hospital Association will hold its 98th Annual Meeting on Tuesday, June 28, 2016, at the Aqua Turf Club in Southington.  This year's theme, Connecticut Hospitals: Standing Up for Communities, Caring for Patients, Fighting for Fairness – Every Day, Every Hospital, reflects the fact that we must continue to stand united in our advocacy, while fulfilling our core mission to provide accessible, equitable, and affordable quality healthcare to all. 

The meeting will feature CHA's annual awards, including the Connecticut’s Healthcare Heroes Awards, the AHA Grassroots Champion Award, the Connecticut’s Hospital Community Service Award, and the John D. Thompson Award for Excellence in the Delivery of Healthcare Through the Use of Data.

Jon Meacham, Presidential Historian, Pulitzer Prize-winner, and Contributing Editor at TIME, will be the keynote speaker. A regular guest on Morning Joe, he is known as a skilled raconteur with a depth of knowledge about politics, religion, history, and current affairs, sharing insights on how issues and events impact our lives.  Mr. Meacham’s most recent Presidential biography, Destiny and Power: The American Odyssey of George Herbert Walker Bush, debuted at #1 on the New York Times bestseller list in November 2015.  His #1 New York Times bestseller, Thomas Jefferson: The Art of Power, was hailed as "masterful and intimate” by Fortune magazine.  His other national bestsellers include Franklin and Winston, American Gospel, and American Lion: Andrew Jackson in the White House, which won the Pulitzer Prize in 2009.

Mr. Meacham is Executive Vice President and Executive Editor at the Random House Publishing Group.  He served as Newsweek's Managing Editor and then Editor from 1998 to 2010.  He is now a contributing editor at TIME.  Named a “Global Leader for Tomorrow” by the World Economic Forum, Mr. Meacham is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, a fellow of the Society of American Historians, and chairs the National Advisory Board of the John C. Danforth Center on Religion and Politics at Washington University.

CHA gratefully acknowledges the generous Annual Meeting sponsorship of our Platinum Sponsors, SKD Knickerbocker and Wells Fargo. 


Middlesex Hospital to Receive the 2016 John D. Thompson Award for Excellence in the Delivery of Healthcare Through the Use of Data

At its Annual Meeting, CHA will recognize Middlesex Hospital with the 2016 John D. Thompson Award for Excellence in the Delivery of Healthcare Through the Use of Data for its project, High Reliability Processes to Improve Care for the Early Identification and Treatment of Sepsis.

“Middlesex Hospital’s high reliability approach to improving patient safety in the identification and treatment of sepsis continues to save lives,” said Jennifer Jackson, CEO, CHA.  “The hospital has established a culture of safety in which innovative projects like this are embraced, and excellence in patient care is achieved.  This work exemplifies the purpose of the John D. Thompson Award.  We are pleased to honor Middlesex Hospital, and congratulate staff on their vision and commitment to patient safety.”

When a patient develops sepsis, a potentially life-threatening complication from an infection, early detection is the key to preventing it from leading to septic shock or, worse, death.  Although Middlesex Hospital’s sepsis mortality rate was already low compared to the statewide mean - 6.4% versus 13.4% - the hospital decided to undertake a sepsis improvement initiative in 2013 as part of its commitment to high reliability science.

A sepsis task force was appointed and charged with implementing evidence-based practice strategies for sepsis improvement.  This included revisions of sepsis pathways, physician and nursing education on sepsis, and implementation of an electronic early warning system, called the St. John Sepsis Tool, which alerts hospital staff that a patient is at risk of developing, or has developed, sepsis.

The hospital exceeded its 2014 goal of reducing sepsis-related mortality by 20% and, by using ChimeData, Middlesex Hospital is now able to benchmark its sepsis and other hospital mortality rates against other Connecticut hospitals.  Finally, the hospital educated its staff on the signs and symptoms of sepsis, the components of the three- and six-hour sepsis bundles, and the new Early Warning System that went live in February 2014.

The results of the hospital’s sepsis improvement initiative have been impressive.  There has been an increase in the total volume of patients with a sepsis diagnosis, which means more cases are now being identified at earlier stages.  Mortality attributed to sepsis was reduced by 21.33% and an estimated 24 lives were saved in 2014 and 2015.  The hospital also experienced a 100% reduction in reported SSEs for sepsis and the sepsis pathway changes.  Earlier recognition has resulted in an 11.11% reduction in length of stay.

The success of Middlesex Hospital’s sepsis improvement initiative paves the way for the next generation of quality improvements by combining the current scientific methods and reference databases with the power of high reliability science.


CHA to Recognize Lawrence + Memorial Hospital with 2016 Community Service Award

At its 98th Annual Meeting on Tuesday, June 28, 2016, the Connecticut Hospital Association (CHA) and the Connecticut Department of Public Health will recognize Lawrence + Memorial Hospital (L+M) with the 2016 Connecticut’s Hospital Community Service Award. 

The hospital is being recognized for a seven-bed respite program at the Homeless Hospitality Center (HHC), which serves homeless patients with post-acute care follow-up.  HHC is the principal, private, not-for-profit community-based agency serving the region’s homeless population.  Three years ago, representatives from the HHC, L+M, and L+M’s home health agency, the VNA of Southeastern Connecticut, collaborated to address a conundrum: a significant percentage of homeless patients who were treated and released from the ED with discharge plans for issues that ordinarily could be managed by self-care at home – or with skilled home healthcare – kept returning to the ED with follow-up needs arising from the lack of a clean, safe, reliable setting for recuperation.  Thus was born an important addition to the Center’s already broad scope of services: a seven-bed respite care unit.

The unit, which has served 100 people in the last 12 months, has resulted in a more effective partnership among L+M’s social workers, the HHC staff, and the L+M ED. This improves health outcomes, allows for quicker releases from the ED, and reduces avoidable readmissions.  Respite interventions also help prevent manageable illnesses from worsening.

“L+M’s collaboration with the Homeless Hospitality Center and the VNA of Southeastern Connecticut to establish respite care for the homeless has led to the alleviation of suffering for many who need ongoing, constant care after they are discharged,” said Jennifer Jackson, CEO, CHA.  “L+M’s commitment to population health management is evident through the establishment and support of the respite program, which provides a mechanism to coordinate care and link vulnerable people to critical resources.  We are proud to honor L+M with this award.”

The respite unit also better supports individuals with complex medical needs, and allows for better care of patients with a psychiatric diagnosis after they are discharged from L+M’s behavioral health unit, Pond House.  And, because few respite guests have only one issue, the unit is also a resource for helping people navigate myriad post-hospital healthcare and housing challenges.  With efforts from HHC staff, the VNA, an L+M social worker, and L+M’s financial support, needed services are put in place more effectively.

This work is improving health outcomes and reducing healthcare costs.  Having respite also helps L+M staff manage care more efficiently, avoid unnecessary hospitalizations, and allow staff to know that care they provide will be followed up appropriately after discharge.


Johnson Memorial Hospital’s Stuart Rosenberg Named Connecticut’s 2016 Grassroots Champion

At its Annual Meeting, the American Hospital Association (AHA) and CHA will recognize Stuart E. Rosenberg, President of Johnson Memorial Hospital, as Connecticut’s 2016 Grassroots Champion.  Mr. Rosenberg is being recognized for his exceptional leadership in generating grassroots and community support for issues of importance to hospitals and healthcare.  

“Connecticut hospitals have long had an effective advocate in Stu Rosenberg,” said Jennifer Jackson, CEO, CHA.  “During a time of healthcare transformation as well as fiscal strain, Stu has kept the focus squarely on educating lawmakers about what it takes to continue providing excellent quality care to patients while preserving jobs and sustaining our communities’ healthcare safety net.  He is always willing to bring his perspective to the table and testify before lawmakers on legislation impacting hospitals and healthcare.  He is a tireless and influential advocate.”

Stu, who has more than 26 years of experience in general administrative and human resource management, began his career with the Saint Francis Care system in 1987. He is currently President of Johnson Memorial Medical Center, which includes Johnson Memorial Hospital, Johnson Health Care, and Home and Community Health Services – all members of the Trinity Health - New England Regional Health Ministry.

Stu is a member of the CHA Committees on Population Health and Government.  He is a past member of the CHA Committee on Human Resources, Subcommittee on Employee Wellness, and Subcommittee on Advocacy Communication Strategy, and is Past Chairman of the CHA Human Resources Executive Meeting Group.

In addition to his leadership at Johnson Memorial Hospital, Stu serves as Chairperson of the Asnuntuck Community College Foundation Board, Co-Chairperson of the Board of Trustees New England District 1199 Health, and Co-Chairperson of the Allied Health Regional Policy Board.  He is a member of University Park Board of Directors, the Upper Albany Main Street Board of Directors, the Hartford Federal Credit Union Board of Directors, the Connecticut Education and Training Commission Board of Directors, and the North Central Connecticut Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors.  He is Past President of the CT Health Care Human Resources Association.

The AHA Grassroots Champion Award, given annually to one person in each state, was created to recognize hospital leaders who effectively educate elected officials about how major issues affect hospitals’ roles in the community, who have expanded the base of community support for hospitals, and who have been advocates for hospitals and patients. 


CHA Honors Ten Healthcare Heroes

One Healthcare Hero pulled over her car on the way to work and helped save a young man’s life.  Another was instrumental in guiding mental health recovery after the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School in 2012.  A third travels the world responding to calls for humanitarian aid.  These are just a few of the stories behind this year’s CHA Healthcare Heroes.

Each year, CHA recognizes an inspiring and committed group of individuals from across the state who embody the best in their profession, and this year is no different.

The following Healthcare Heroes will be acknowledged at the 98th CHA Annual Meeting on June 28, 2016.

Kelly DePanfilis, RN, Medicine/Oncology Department, Norwalk Hospital, Western Connecticut Health Network
Kelly DePanfilis, an oncology nurse, registered to be a bone marrow donor.  When she learned that she was a perfect match for a six-month-old boy with an immunodeficiency disorder, she donated her own bone marrow without hesitation.  Since that time, Ms. DePanfilis has organized several efforts at Norwalk Hospital to help others in need, including a bone marrow drive and a winter coat collection for the poor.

Keith Grant, BSN, RN, CIC, Infection Preventionist, Saint Francis Hospital and Medical Center
In his role as an infection preventionist at Saint Francis Hospital and Medical Center, Keith Grant has led numerous efforts to ensure that the hospital is prepared for the emerging challenges of infection.  He led an initiative during the Ebola crisis to prepare hospital personnel for potentially infected patients, and has worked to educate hospital nursing staff on how to decrease hospital-acquired infections. 

Laurel Holmes, MSW, Director of Community Partnerships and Population Health, Lawrence + Memorial Healthcare
Ms. Holmes, who has more than 30 years of experience in the medical and public health fields, is charged with identifying community needs within the L+M Hospital and Westerly Hospital’s service areas, which means finding innovative and collaborative ways to help the underserved, uninsured, and other special needs populations.

Lenworth Jacobs, MD, Vice President of Academic Affairs, Director of Hartford Hospital Trauma Institute, Hartford HealthCare
Dr. Lenworth Jacobs, a trauma expert and regent with the American College of Surgeons, is leading the national adoption of the “Stop the Bleed” Campaign, which was born out of the tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary School.  The campaign provides bystanders with the tools and knowledge to stop life-threatening bleeding following mass casualty events.

Anita Kelsey, MD, Director of Echocardiography and the Women’s Heart Program, Saint Francis Hospital and Medical Center
Eleven years ago, Dr. Kelsey created the Women’s Heart Program at Saint Francis Hospital and Medical Center. Today, Dr. Kelsey and her team have expanded the program beyond the hospital’s walls into the wider community, offering outreach, screening, educational programs.  Since its inception, the program has reached more than 10,000 women.

Jeanne Kessler, RN, Staff Nurse, Geriatric Psychiatric Unit, Institute of Living, Hartford Healthcare
As an expert in geriatric psychiatric nursing and dementia care, Ms. Kessler has been a leader and teacher for new and student nurses.  She designed and implemented a study on reducing sundowning behaviors among dementia patients and developed and implemented a research project on medicating dementia patients with behavioral disturbances.

Sherri Roller, RN, MSN, Staff Nurse, Family Birthing Center, St. Vincent’s Medical Center
As a witness to a pedestrian accident, Sherri Roller stopped on her way to work to assist at the scene and attend to the victim until paramedics arrived.  Her actions helped save the victim; this is just one instance of her going well beyond the call of duty.

Majid Sadigh, MD, Director of the Global Health Program, Danbury Hospital, Western Connecticut Health Network
Dr. Sadigh, who came to the United States as a child refugee from Iran, has made it his life’s work to help people in need.  In addition to his work as an infectious disease specialist, he has spent his career traveling the globe to provide critical medical care in developing countries.  He also leads teams of clinicians to practice medicine in Uganda, Sri Lanka, Liberia, and elsewhere.

Steven Schutzer, MD, Founder and Medical Director, Connecticut Joint Replacement Institute, Saint Francis Hospital and Medical Center
Dr. Schutzer, an orthopedic surgeon, was instrumental in creating the Connecticut Joint Replacement Institute (CJRI) nine years ago.  Since its inception, the CJRI has treated 25,000 patients and has dramatically improved the quality and safety of treatment for joint replacement patients.

Hank Schwartz, MD, Physician-in-Chief, Institute of Living, Hartford Hospital
After the tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary School in 2012, Dr. Schwartz served as a member and spokesman for the Sandy Hook Advisory Commission, which was charged with studying the mass shooting and making recommendations.  In that role, Dr. Schwartz became a leading voice on mental health and safety, helping people to read the signs of potential danger.

Congratulations to all the Healthcare Heroes.


Update Summer Schedule

CHA Update will be published on a bi-weekly schedule throughout the summer, returning after Labor Day to a regular weekly schedule on Thursday, September 8, 2016.