NEW HAVEN — State Attorney General George Jepsen announced June 1 that he would not seek to block the merger of Yale-New Haven Hospital (YNHH) and the Hospital of Saint Raphael (HSR) under the Connecticut's antitrust law.

Jepsen's office and the Federal Trade Commission had investigated whether the merger would substantially lessen competition for medical services in south-central Connecticut. Ultimately, the special situation surrounding the merger persuaded Jepsen to desist from seeking to block it.

"Based on the evidence developed during the investigation, and in light of the law applicable to these types of transactions — including taking into consideration St. Raphael's precarious financial condition and other expected efficiencies that will be realized through the acquisition — I have decided not to seek to block the merger under Connecticut's antitrust law," Jepsen said in a press statement.

Meanwhile, HSR President and  CEO Christopher O’Connor, told a June 5 public hearing that the future of his hospital hinges on successful consummation of the merger.

“The immediate viability of our hospital is at stake,” O’Connor told hearing officers from the state’s Office of Health Care Access, according to the New Haven Register.

 HAMDEN — The Frank H. Netter MD School of Medicine at Quinnipiac University has formed a five-year clinical affiliation with MidState Medical Center, a Hartford HealthCare partner, in Meriden.

 

 

As part of the affiliation, QU med students will complete clinical rotations with required supervision at the Meriden hospital beginning in the summer of 2015, and physicians working with the students will be appointed clinical professors at the new medical school.

 

 

“The school of medicine needs high quality clinic experiences for our students. I am confident that the physicians and staff at MidState Medical Center will provide these experiences,” said Bruce Koeppen, MD, founding dean of Connecticut’s fifth and newest med school. “MidState Medical Center shares our commitment to primary care and interprofessional education of the health care team. They were an obvious choice for a clinical affiliate.”

 

 

 

MidState Medical Center, and two or three hospitals still to be named, will supplement St. Vincent’s Medical Center in Bridgeport, the medical school’s principal clinical partner.

 

“Having multiple clinical affiliates benefits students in two important ways,” Koeppen said. “First, it reduces the number of students at any given site, thus providing students with more patient contact and experiences. Second, it provides students with a perspective of how high quality patient care can be provided in different settings.”

 

 

In January 2010, Quinnipiac began the complex accreditation process to establish a medical school with an emphasis on primary care on its North Haven Campus. The university plans to enroll the charter class by fall 2013.

 

 NEW HAVEN — Yale-New Haven Hospital (YNHH) has been named to the 2012 Becker's Hospital Review list of the “Great Places to Work in Healthcare.” Becker’s top 100 workplaces list recognizes health-care organizations that create an outstanding workplace through robust benefits, opportunities for development and a strong sense of community.

In describing their selection process, Becker’s considers workplaces that go "above and beyond" to keep their employees healthy and motivated, consistently achieve high employee satisfaction scores and report low turnover rates.

According to Becker’s, YNHH was recognized in part due to its various programs benefiting employees including an annual merit pay program, year-end bonuses based on the hospital’s overall performance, special achievement awards and several programs designed to welcome employee feedback and encourage communication between staff and management.

 DERBY — The Hewitt Center for Breast Wellness at Griffin Hospital has been designated a Breast Imaging Center of Excellence by the American College of Radiology (ACR). To achieve the designation, the facility underwent peer-review evaluations by board-certified physicians and medical physicists who are experts in the field for each breast imaging method. The evaluations determined that Hewitt Center had achieved high practice standards in image quality, personnel qualifications, facility equipment, quality control procedures and quality assurance programs. The ACR is a national professional organization serving more than 34,000 diagnostic/interventional radiologists, radiation oncologists, nuclear medicine physicians, and medical physicists with programs focusing on the practice of medical imaging and radiation oncology and the delivery of comprehensive healthcare services.

Opened in January 2011, the Hewitt Center features two new, state-of-the-art digital mammography suites, a breast ultrasound suite and stereotactic biopsy capability.

 NEW HAVEN — A local coalition called the Greater New Haven Coalition for Safe Transitions and Readmission Reductions (GNH CoSTARR) is one of 30 community-based programs nationwide to date to receive an award from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) to improve the quality of care for Medicare patients and keep them from being readmitted to hospitals.

GNH CoSTARR is a partnership between Yale-New Haven Hospital (YNHH), the Hospital of Saint Raphael (HSR) and the Agency on Aging of South Central Connecticut (AASCC) that was formed last summer. One of its goals is to reduce the number of Medicare patients who are readmitted to the hospital within 30 days of a previous admission. Grace Jenq, MD, medical director of the YNHH East Pavilion, was applicant program director.

Building on previous efforts, GNH CoSTARR will deploy special care transition teams with registered nurses as care coordinators at YNHH and HSR and social workers from the Agency on Aging. Teams will develop holistic, patient-tailored discharge planning to help patients recover successfully upon discharge. The teams will work to improve communications between the hospitals and nursing homes, home health agencies and primary care providers regionwide, as well as support patients through post-hospital transitions, and also inform them about community resources.

CMS hopes to reduce preventable errors in hospital settings by 40 percent and reduce hospital readmissions by 20 percent over a three-year period. Achieving these goals has the potential to save up to 60,000 lives, prevent millions of injuries and unnecessary complications in patient care, and save up to $50 billion for Medicare over ten years.

To learn more visit healthcare.gov/partnershipforpatients or go.cms.gov/caretransitions.

 MERIDEN — Howard Dubin, MD, director of the Hospitalist Service at MidState Medical Center, has earned the Senior Fellow in Hospital Medicine (SFHM) designation from the Society of Hospital Medicine (SHM).

 

The SFHM credential is a key component in professional development for hospitalists. To be designated as a Fellow in Hospital Medicine, a hospitalist must: serve as a hospitalist for at least five years; be a member of SHM for at least three years; and demonstrate his or her dedication to quality and process improvement and commitment to organizational teamwork, leadership and lifelong learning.

 DERBY — The Center for Cancer Care at Griffin Hospital has been featured in Wavelength magazine for its patient-centered programs and welcoming environment.

The center was one of four cancer centers around the world praised by the magazine for working to change the reputation for cancer centers from the unfriendly “cancer ward” of the past into a “home away from home” brimming with optimism and hope. The Derby facility was selected for its inviting design and unique offerings to patients, including holiday celebrations, a guided imagery program, custom music during treatment, patient birthday celebrations, art therapy and exercise programs.

“In addition to offering a calm, comfortable environment with wood accents, artwork and soft lighting, the staff at the Center for Cancer Care at Griffin Hospital is always looking for ways to enhance the patient experience,” the article observed. The article also highlighted the center’s private patient lounges, complimentary massages, fresh-baked cookies and visits from pet-therapy dogs.

Published by Elekta, the Sweden-based manufacturer of radiation therapy technology and software systems, Wavelength is an international publication, reporting on significant innovations in clinical solutions for treating cancer and brain disorders. The Griffin cancer center is one of just two Elekta “show sites” in the country, and the only one on the East Coast.

The article is available at elekta.com/wavelength.

 Will occupy former Bayer site by fall 2013

 

NEW HAVEN — The Yale School of Nursing (YSN) will be moved from New Haven to the university’s recently acquired campus in Orange and West Haven next year. Announced May 3, the relocation of the school and its 450 students, staff and faculty is expected to begin in the summer of 2013 and be completed in time for the school’s 90th anniversary in the fall of next year.

To accommodate the move Yale will adapt and renovate an office building at what Yale calls its West Campus, formerly home to Bayer Pharmaceuticals’ North American division. The nursing school is currently located at 100 Church Street South.

“The ways we educate students have changed, and we need space that is flexible and equipped for tomorrow’s students,” said Margaret Grey, dean and the Annie Goodrich Professor at YSN. “We are developing plans for customized spaces suited to modern teaching, simulation, research and lab needs.”

Not all potential stakeholders are thrilled with the announcement. One incoming nursing student, Helen MacGregor, told the Yale Daily News she thought the move was “awful” for the school of nursing and potentially “shortchanges” students who will find themselves removed from the larger Yale community.

But faced with a choice between expanding the existing nursing school facility or moving into vacant space it already owns, the relocation makes financial sense for the university. The move will nearly double the population at West Campus, which currently houses research and technology centers as well as art-conservation programs.

In 2007 Yale acquired the 137-acre Bayer site, which straddles the West Haven and Orange town lines, for $109 million in cash. The  campus includes 1.6 million square feet of space in 17 buildings, including 550,000 square feet of laboratory space.

“The relocation of the school of nursing will bring the first major educational initiative to [West Campus], giving the campus a clear teaching mission with a dedicated student body,” said Scott Strobel, vice president of planning and program development for the West Haven campus.

“This progression is indicative of the university’s vision for [West Campus], to develop a campus that is fully integrated with Yale’s various missions,” Strobel added. “Permanent placement of a professional school on-site is a major step toward that goal.”