HHC Behavioral Health Network Chosen as Access-MH CT Hub for Child & Adolescent Support Services

July 21st, 2014

The Hartford HealthCare (HHC) Behavioral Health Network (BHN) has been chosen by ValueOptions and the Connecticut Department of Children and Families as one of three centralized hubs for the ACCESS-MH CT program, providing consultative psychiatry services to primary care physicians treating children and adolescents in Connecticut. Read the rest of this entry »

Network News: HHC Cancer Institute launches ad campaign highlighting role of nurse navigators

July 8th, 2014

Network News is a publication for Hartford HealthCare employees and published monthly. Download the latest issue below.

Past issues:

Ellen Blair to receive 2014 APNA Award for Excellence in Practice

June 26th, 2014

The Institute of Living’s (IOL) Director of Nursing, Ellen W. Blair, APRN, NEA-BC, has been chosen to receive the Excellence in Practice Award from the American Psychiatric Nurses Association (APNA).  This award recognizes an APRN member of the APNA who has made significant contributions to psychiatric mental health nursing practice though practice and research throughout his or her career.

“Ellen’s thirty-plus years of dedicated hard work with psychiatric patients coupled with her demonstrated skills as a leader and as a professional make her quite deserving of this prestigious award,” said Harold I. Schwartz, MD, Psychiatrist-in-Chief at the Institute of Living, a division of Hartford Hospital and an affiliate of the Hartford HealthCare (HHC) Behavioral Health Network. “She is an influential role model, an innovative care provider and a health educator beyond compare, and we are proud that she leads the nursing team here at the IOL.”

Blair started at IOL in 1982 as the head nurse in the hospital’s geriatric unit, gaining progressively more responsible posts before taking on the role of Director of Nursing in 2009. She has also trained future nurses as a clinical psychiatric nurse instructor at both the University of St. Joseph in West Hartford and Capital Community College in Hartford. She holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Nursing from Adelphi University and a Master of Science in Nursing from the Yale School of Nursing. She has been the lead author on five peer-reviewed journal articles, written two book chapters and presented numerous times in her field of professional expertise. She has recently been accepted into the Doctorate in Nursing Practice program at the University of St. Joseph and will begin her studies in the fall.

“I’m so honored to receive this wonderful award, and I have to thank my IOL colleagues from throughout the years who have energized me to do my best every day and without whom this award would not have been possible,” Blair said. “I’m very blessed to have worked with so many wonderful and talented people who have allowed me to carry forth my vision that the work we do is first and foremost about a safe, positive and engaging therapeutic patient experience.”

Blair will receive her award at the APNA Annual Conference in Indianapolis in October.

Practice Manager for Adult Primary Care Services Appointed

June 25th, 2014

Hartford HealthCare (HHC) has appointed Dianne Stevens, MBA, as the Director of Practice Management and Program Development for the Duncaster Center for Adult Primary Care.  Stevens has been serving as the interim practice manager for six months.

Stevens is an accomplished practice manager, experienced in both an urgent care and non-urgent care practices.   Most recently she was the Practice Manager for Hartford HealthCare Medical Group’s Manchester and Enfield locations.

Stevens will manage the day-to-day operation of the medical practice including but not limited to scheduling, human resource, patient interactions and satisfaction, and quality and safety.  Programmatically, she will serve as the HHC liaison to Duncaster and lead the effort to create and operate a new model for geriatric care, including the implementation of a Patient Centered Medical Home.

Stevens received her Bachelor of Science degree from Western New England University and her MBA from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. In addition, she is a Certified Public Accountant, Certified Medical Practice Executive and Certified Procedural Coder. She is also a member of the Medical Group Management Association and is active on the Government Affairs Committee.

About Duncaster:

The Duncaster Center for Adult Primary Care is a patient-centered practice operated and staffed by Hartford HealthCare through a unique collaborative agreement with Duncaster. The practice (referred to as the “Clinic”) is the only CCRC-based physician practice in Connecticut staffed by board certified geriatricians, Robert S. Dicks, MD, FACP, and Rohini Becherl, MD.  In addition, the practice is staffed by two geriatric-certified APRN’s Leeane Shaw-Quinn and Sheila Murphy, along with two Medical Assistants, Victoria Grier and Jacky Harrison.

Jefferson House Food Services Manager Receives Award of Excellence

June 6th, 2014

Bill Gurekovich, Food and Nutrition Services manager at Jefferson House, received a 2014 Aging Services Award of Excellence from LeadingAge Connecticut during the LeadingAge 25th Annual Expo held May 14 at the Aqua Turf Club in Southington. Gurekovich was nominated by Jefferson House Executive Director Susan Vinal.

Alfred Herzog, MD to discuss his book, “Bombs, Bees and Apple Trees” on June 11th

June 5th, 2014

Dr. Al Herzog, Hartford Hospital’s first Vice President, Medical Affairs, and currently the Medical Director of  the IOL Professional Programs, has penned a memoir which explores the development of his life – beginning during the tumultuous time of WW II in Germany. Dr. Herzog has been invited to share his story, “Bombs, Bees and Apple Trees” at The Hartford Medical Society’s lecture and dinner event on Wednesday, June 11 2014. Click here for more information and for a registration form.

Linda S. Durst, MD begins her new duties as Medical Director of the IOL on June 3rd

June 5th, 2014

“Dr. Durst is a Board Certified Psychiatrist with extensive clinical, teaching and administrative experience, a mix of skills that make her the right person to take on the responsibilities as IOL Medical Director,” said Dr. Harold I. Schwartz, IOL Psychiatrist-in-Chief and Vice President of the HHC BHN. “We welcome her to Connecticut and to the IOL knowing that her leadership, her clinical expertise and her health care management skills will greatly benefit the patients the IOL serves and the community at large.” Read the rest of this entry »

Hartford HealthCare’s Walk to Wellness

May 15th, 2014

Join us for “Walk to Wellness” at the Hartford HealthCare Wellness at Westfarms Rest and Relaxation Lounge (Lower Level of Westfarms near Nordstrom), every 3rd Tuesday of the month, 8:30 am to 9:30 am.

  • May 20
    Skin & Wound Care 101
    Dr. Kelly Johnson-Arbor
  • June 17
    Tips for Managing Sizzling Summer Barbeques
    Kristen Goric, RD and Ashley Pisani, RN
  • July 15
    Heart Healthy Living with A-Fib
    Dr. Justin Lundbye
  • August 19
    New and Exciting Treatments for Common Pain
    Dr. Deneene Doyker-Booth
  • September 16
    Healthy Aging
    Marc Levesque
  • October 21
    Let’s Talk about Mental Health
    Glynis Cassis, Licensed Master Social Worker

To register, visit the table beside the Rest and Relaxation Lounge between 8:00 and 8:30 am on the day of the event, or call 860.561.3420

Please visit shopwestfarms.com for updated info.

Clinical Collaboration Between Hartford HealthCare and CVS Announced

May 15th, 2014

Hartford HealthCare (HHC) and CVS have announced a clinical collaboration that will improve care management for our patients.

HHC is pleased to be the first health system in Connecticut to enter this affiliation with CVS, the nation’s largest integrated pharmacy.

Through this collaborative, HHC will be better able to support Integrated Care Partners (ICP) in care management efforts. Patients will have access to clinical support, medication counseling, chronic disease monitoring and wellness programs at CVS, and clinical information will be shared electronically with physicians.

HHC will launch this project with the Hartford HealthCare Medical Group, and include all ICP physicians over time.

Over the next several months, HHC will work with CVS on integrating electronic medical records to securely share appropriate patient information and to help ensure continuity of care.

Read the press release from CVS Caremark.

Leaning Towards Excellence

May 13th, 2014

The HHC Cancer Institute embraces the Lean philosophy of eliminating obstacles to patient care

Mohamed Saleh used to design seats for airplanes. Today, the quality improvement expert is designing a better way to deliver cancer care. There is not as much difference as you might think.

Saleh is a performance improvement facilitator for Hartford HealthCare and an expert in Lean principles, the philosophy that guides both continuous improvement and respect for people in the development of practices for the Hartford HealthCare Cancer Institute. Saleh said the HHC Cancer Institute has excelled so far in establishing the groundwork for a Lean Management System, and he is confident that the system will be embraced at all levels. As a result, he said the Institute will be able to avoid many of the challenges other organizations are subjected to when adopting this philosophy from scratch.

Lean principles have their roots in the manufacturing industry. Lean encourages organizations to thoroughly and systematically analyze their practices to eliminate waste and reduce variability. As Saleh explains with enthusiasm, Lean originated with the Japanese car builder Toyota, which skyrocketed to success in the 1980s due to the company’s underlying principles, tools and building blocks. Since then, many industries and companies have emulated the “Toyota Way,” as the Lean management philosophy has been called, including health care organizations. But within the HHC Cancer Institute, the philosophy is being taken to a pioneering level.

“We are really embracing Lean practices in a way that’s never been done before,” said Saleh, who is also a faculty member in the graduate Technology/Engineering Department for the Application of Lean Principles at Central Connecticut State University.

Saleh’s work as an academic and practitioner of Lean strategies has made him a leading world sensei, or expert, in implementing Lean practices in a variety of organizational settings. The opportunity to apply Lean practices within the context of the HHC Cancer Institute has been especially rewarding for Saleh, who has a clear vision for making the most of Lean principles as a way to enhance cancer care.

While adopting the core foundational tenets of the Lean management philosophy, Saleh has created a new strategy deployment operational structure that will allow for these tenets to take effect and align practices across the Institute.

In particular, Saleh and the HHC Cancer Institute Executive Team have established Lean-based pillars for virtually all aspects of the Institute’s operations, ensuring that there is accountability, focus, alignment, rapid deployment and ownership within all of the cancer facilities within the Institute. The overall goal is to deliver better and quicker cancer care to our patients.

The ability to hardwire the core Lean tenets will serve to systematically identify and eliminate waste in the various outdated practices and business habits that lead to inefficiency, redundancy, frustrations and low productivity, while creating significant value for patients and staff. Saleh said the fundamental essence of Lean thinking is the ability to specify value and, by doing so, simultaneously uncover waste.

“Our employees give a critical portion of their lives to this organization, so we must strive to use their time in a waste-free manner to allow them to deliver that exceptional care,” Saleh said.

Identifying eight kinds of waste

  1. Defects – Anything within an organization that requires rework
  2. Overproduction – Doing something that is either earlier, faster or in more quantity than needed.
  3. Waiting – Unnecessary idle time  for patients, staff or any resource
  4. Non-respectful behaviors – Behaviors that do not contribute to respect for people and go against the organization’s H3W Leadership behaviors.
  5. Transportation – Unnecessary time patients spend moving from one service to the next
  6. Inventory – Any supply in excess or below customer demand
  7. Motion – Unnecessary movement of staff or poor ergonomics for staff
  8. Excess processing – Processes that are not changing form, fit, or function to the service

The Cancer Institute is now implementing these practices at levels large and small, said Donna Handley, vice president of operations for the Institute. She pointed out that Lean management practices are supportive of the H3W philosophy that guides practices across the Hartford HealthCare system. By incorporating Lean into H3W practices, she said, the Institute will make faster progress in reducing variation and creating a single standard of care.

“Patients are struggling with a difficult diagnosis, and they deserve to be treated in a setting that eliminates all the obstacles to receiving the very best care,” she said. “That’s what the Lean philosophy encourages, and that’s why we’re so excited about this process.”