You may have noticed that MidState Medical Center has launched a new logo. Our new logo formally links us to the Hartford HealthCare system, and is a symbol of our promise to connect with patients and communities across Connecticut and beyond. Our vision is to be "nationally recognized for excellence in patient care and most trusted for personalized coordinated care. " Everything we do is geared toward achieving that vision.
The Hartford HealthCare system includes numerous partners – MidState Medical Center, Hartford Hospital, Windham Hospital, The Hospital of Central Connecticut, Natchaug Hospital, Rushford, Eastern Rehabilitation Network, Central Connecticut Senior Health Services,
VNA HealthCare, VNA of Central Connecticut, Clinical Laboratory Partners and Hartford Medical Group. Being part of a system means that we can provide more comprehensive patient care than any one partner can provide alone.
We are focused on strengthening our system so that patients have easy, coordinated access to the right care, in the right place, at the right time, and at a reasonable cost, from prevention, to the first diagnosis, through disease treatment throughout their lives.
As you continue to see MidState's new logo, which resembles the interconnectedness of all our affiliates, remember that our new mark signifies our commitment to connect to our patients and their families to provide the best healthcare experience possible.
Lucille A. Janatka - President & CEO
Editor / Feature Writer: Pamela Cretella|Photos: Chuck Kuhn, Rick Harrington|Executive Editor: Lynn Faria
You may have noticed that the MidState Medical Center logo and look has changed in recent months, and you may be wondering why. MidState was excited to debut its new mark in early March 2011, a mark that connects all members of a unique healthcare system to one vision, with one promise.
That system is Hartford HealthCare, and includes numerous partners – MidState Medical Center, Hartford Hospital, Windham Hospital, The Hospital of Central Connecticut, Natchaug Hospital, Rushford, Eastern Rehabilitation Network, Central Connecticut Senior Health Services, VNA HealthCare, VNA of Central Connecticut, Clinical Laboratory Partners and Hartford Medical Group -
that can provide more comprehensive patient care than any one can provide alone.
"Our vision as a health care system is to be ‘nationally recognized for excellence in patient care and most trusted for personalized coordinated care.' Everything we do is geared toward achieving that vision," said Elliot Joseph, President and Chief Executive Officer of Hartford Hospital and Hartford HealthCare.
Today, an individual's experience within the health care world is often fragmented and disconnected. Many patients
are left to navigate this confusing system on their own with little direction. Part of Hartford HealthCare's goal is to fix these broken realities and create meaningful connections, not only with patients, but with their families, physicians, and providers as well.
"We are focused on strengthening our system so that patients have easy, coordinated access to the right care, in the right place, at the right time and at a reasonable cost—from prevention, to the first diagnosis, through treatment and throughout their lives," said Joseph.
A primary example that illustrates how MidState Medical Center works together with Hartford HealthCare partners is cardiac services. Let's say a patient living in Wallingford is experiencing chest pain, and visits the MidState emergency room for care. That patient would be given initial treatment and stabilized at MidState, but transferred to Hartford Hospital if surgical interventions, such as cardiac catheterization, were required.
Once surgery is complete and the patient is discharged home, the patient would begin MidState's Cardiac Rehabilitation Program for exercise, education and follow-up care. By keeping the patient in his or her local community, the patient remains close to home, for convenience and added comfort.
One way to increase the community's understanding of Hartford HealthCare and the comprehensive network of services it can provide is through a shared look, or logo. Each Harford HealthCare partner now boasts a new logo that symbolizes a promise to connect with patients at every point their health care experience.
Hartford HealthCare had the pleasure of sponsoring the Big East women's basketball tournament this year, and launched its new logo and identity at the games in early March. Thousands of basketball fans came through the HealthNation exhibit where they played games, interacted with staff and learned more about Hartford HealthCare.
As you continue to see the new MidState Medical Center logo, remember the promise it symbolizes for our patients and our commitment to connecting you to the care you need and deserve.
To learn more about the Hartford Health- Care, please visit hartfordhealthcare.org.
"Our relationship with Harford Hospital for cardiac services is an excellent example of the collaboration among the partners of Hartford HealthCare. This type of collaboration allows for a network of comprehensive services where patients can seamlessly access the type and level of care they need," said Lucille Janatka, President & CEO, MidState Medical Center and Senior Vice President, Hartford HealthCare.
The combined history of all Hartford HealthCare partners showcases hundreds of years of service to local Connecticut communities and a rich tradition of high-quality care and cutting-edge innovation. MidState Medical Center, in particular, has a deep connection to the patients its serves and has been a leader in the last decade in quality indicators and patient satisfaction.
"By combining the resources and expertise of all Hartford HealthCare partners, the level of care available in communities will be enhanced through improved access to more primary and specialty care services, better communication and greater fiscal strength," added Janatka.
The health care climate in this country, in our state, and in our local communities is ever changing. The best way to remain viable throughout all these changes, and to continue to provide patients with the level of care they deserve, is to work together. Together, the system-approach allows Hartford HealthCare partners to share best practices in health care delivery and make greater advancements in medical research and technology, all of which will benefit patients.
As the population ages and more seniors face debilitating health conditions, MidState Medical Center has become increasingly aware of how important it is to offer health services and education to the aging.
In 1979, MidState established the LaPlanche Clinic in collaboration with the Meriden Senior Center to provide accessible nursing services to seniors in the hospital's community. Then, in 2008, after a need for nursing support was identified at the Cheshire Senior Center, MidState further extended its geriatric outreach services.
Former director of senior and transportation services for the Town of Cheshire, Doreen Pulisciano, says the center needed a nurse there more frequently. "In the past, we had a nurse here once a month, but the line for people coming in was still quite long, so we always felt that a nurse who was here on a weekly basis would really meet the needs of the seniors. We needed someone available to talk about blood pressure, weight control and other health issues that may be affecting them," she explained.
MidState's Jackie Hackbarth, RN, a certified gerontological nurse, started her work in Cheshire in the summer of 2008. The relationship was positive from the start. "She was able to meet the people and find out more about them and what their needs were. Many were coming in with weight problems and related problems like diabetes," said Doreen. That's when Jackie began offering an eight week program to discuss nutrition and weight management issues. It was called Diet Watch.
"It was easy to fill her class. It was brimming over. She has a wonderful way of making people feel very comfortable, and so the class was very popular," Doreen shared.
The program was so successful that it is now in its second run. Jackie also started a walking program at the linear trail in town after many of the seniors told her they wanted to exercise more. Now, even on rainy days, the seniors fit in their physical activity by going to the senior center and participating in a walking program on tape.
"We've come to depend on Jackie. She listens to the needs of the seniors and determines if there is a way we can promote a program that is going to touch their lives and enhance their quality of life. As far as the seniors are concerned, they are more in tune to good nutrition through her leadership," said Doreen.
Cheshire residents Tom and Maureen Duhig are two program participants that have benefited from Diet Watch. They both agree they have learned a lot about nutrition and portion control. "We learned how to slow down when we ate. She explained how many calories are in the foods we eat, the right amount to eat, and how much fiber you need in your diet. You think you know all this stuff, and you kind of know it, but you just don't think about it," said Tom, who acknowledged that Jackie gets everyone in class motivated.
Coupled with regular nursing services now provided by nurse Victoria Moore, RN, and Jackie's leadership in starting the Diet Watch program, Cheshire seniors are taking charge of their own well-being. As Doreen says, "They are healthier, and we couldn't ask for better support."
MidState Medical Center is proud to announce the creation of the Blooming Pink Celebration Garden. This special garden, in the shape of a breast cancer awareness ribbon, has been filled with thousands of pink tulips planted to honor, celebrate or memorialize those touched by cancer. Located on MidState's campus, this garden is not only inspirational but a symbol representing survivorship. This spring the first annual "Blooming Celebration" will take place.
Your gift will not only bring awareness to breast cancer but will also help MidState continue to meet the needs of patients and families coping with the diagnosis of cancer.
Together we can make a difference in the lives of cancer patients… one bulb at a time. Learn more about how to donate
Get ready for a Venetian masquerade ball! This year the MidState Auxiliary, together with MidState Medical Center, will host the Moonlight in Venice Gala on Friday, September, 23 at the Aqua Turf in Plantsville from 7 p.m. until midnight. The biennial gala is one of the hospital's signature fundraising events, raising nearly $100,000 to benefit MidState programs and services.
"The MidState Auxiliary whole-heartedly supports the gala. It's a major fundraising event for the hospital and a wonderful evening for the community and staff to enjoy. It provides the opportunity for them to feel connected to the hospital," said Geraldine Meoni, past-president of the Auxiliary and co-chair of this year's gala.
This year's Venetian theme puts a new twist on an always one-of-a-kind event. Themes from past galas include the 1950s inspired Swing and Sway Gala and jazz filled Moonlight Blues Gala.
The opulent Moonlight in Venice Gala will showcase the charming culture of one of Italy's most beautiful and romantic cities. In true Venetian form, the lavish evening will feature cocktails, a gourmet sit-down dinner, silent auction, and dancing to the musical entertainment of Bock & Blue. Tickets for the event are $175 per person, or $350 per couple.
Formal dress is required, but black tie is preferred. For more information or to make a reservation, please contact Tina Fabiani in the Development Office at 203 694 8744, or email email@example.com.
"We hope the theme is fun and interesting. We looked at photographs of galas that took place in Venice, Italy, and were inspired to select this as our theme," said Meoni.
The 27th Annual MidState Medical Center Auxiliary Golf Tournament is scheduled to take place on Monday, June 20, 2011, at The Farms Country Club in Wallingford.
A full course of 144 golfers is expected to play the pristine course situated on 150 lush acres of picturesque terrain. Last year, the golf tournament raised $75,000 to benefit the hospital's programs and services.
Many people taking cardiovascular medications have learned to be leery of grapefruit and its juice. But why? Grapefruit contains substances that disable an enzyme in the small intestine that would otherwise help break down the drugs. The interaction happens fast and can last 24 hours or longer. To further complicate matters, grapefruit juice can also lower blood levels of a few drugs by reducing their absorption.
Many drugs carry a warning label if they interact with grapefruit; however, the absence of a warning doesn't mean there is no interaction. If you take any medications, always ask your doctor or pharmacist about combining them with grapefruit.
Here are some cardiovascular drugs that don't mix with grapefruit:
For those who know the pain and discomfort first hand, tension headaches can be… well… a big headache. Tension headaches are one of the most common forms of headaches. They can cause pain in the head, scalp, or neck, and are usually associated with muscle tightness in these areas.
Any activity that causes the head to be held in one position for a long time without moving can cause a tension headache. Such activities include typing or other computer work, and fine work with the hands. Other triggers can include alcohol use, caffeine (too much or withdrawal), colds and the flu, dental problems such as teeth grinding, eye strain, fatigue, sinus infection, and overexertion.
Understanding your headache triggers can help you avoid situations that cause your headaches. A headache diary can help you identify your headache triggers. When you get a headache, write down the day and time the pain began. The diary should include notes about what you ate and drank in the last 24 hours, how much you slept and when, and what was going on in your life immediately before the pain started. For example, were you under any unusual stress? Also include information about how long the headache lasted, and what made it stop.
Hot or cold showers or baths may relieve a headache for some people. You may need to make lifestyle changes if you have chronic tension headaches. This may include changing your sleep habits (usually to get more sleep), increasing exercise, and stretching the neck and back muscles. In some situations, you may need to change your job or recreational habits.
Over-the-counter painkillers such as aspirin, ibuprofen, or acetaminophen may relieve pain if relaxation techniques do not work. If you are planning to take part in an activity that you know will trigger a headache, taking one of these painkillers beforehand may be helpful.
Chronic tension headaches can be disruptive to your daily activities, but with a proper understanding of what causes them, you can be on your way to being headache free.Previous Page Next story
Finally, winter is behind us and we can begin to experience the warmth of the sun again. Even if you have previously spent a lot of time in the sun without proper protection, it's never too late to start. The American Academy of Dermatology recommends that everyone protect their skin by following these sun protection practices:
Wallingford resident, Peter Kelly, has always been active. He describes himself as an "outdoor" guy who enjoys hiking, mountain climbing and adventure. He is the father to four children and five grandchildren. As a nurse anesthetist at MidState Medical Center for the last 26 years, he also works 65 hour work weeks that are physical in nature and demand good health and mobility.
So when 59-year-old Peter began experiencing arthritis and pain and in his knee, he knew it wouldn't be long before he took action. Working with orthopedic surgeon, Jeffrey Pravda, MD, the two decided on the best treatment plan. The first step was a cortisone injection in the knee, a steroid injection to reduce the inflammation and pain. The injection offered relief initially, but didn't have the long-term benefits that Peter needed to enjoy the active quality of life he was accustomed to.
"Surgery becomes an option when pain and discomfort interfere with personal lifestyle. Everybody has a unique lifestyle and activity level, so the decision to have surgery is very individual," said Dr. Pravda.
The next, and more aggressive option recommended by Dr. Pravda was a total knee replacement, which Peter had on January 7th, 2011, just six months after the onset of his debilitating pain.
"This was a really interesting experience for me. I've watched thousands of patients get this type of surgery. I've heard stories about how scary and painful it was, but neither was true for me. It was a pleasant experience," said Peter.
In knee replacement surgery, the ends of the affected bones that are grinding are removed and resurfaced with metal and plastic apparatus.Read More
A model patient, Peter prepared for his surgery by doing specific exercises for three to four months that would strengthen his muscles and make recovery easier after surgery. "Preparation is an important component to ensuring the best possible outcomes following surgery," shared Dr. Pravda.
"Strengthening the quadriceps muscles is key, as well as the arms, as patients are expected to be on crutches after surgery."
What Peter appreciated about having his surgery at MidState was the type of warm environment he was in, where unlike larger hospitals, you might not feel connected to those caring for you. "The people we take care of at MidState are our friends and neighbors. That
had an impact on me when I had my surgery. I walked into a room with all smiling faces. It was different to be on the other side of it, but I was not worried about a thing because I know first-hand the wonderful care we give our patients," he said.
After Peter's 60 minute surgery on Friday, he was moved to Pavilion B for post-operative care and was discharged home on Monday morning. "The nurses were out of this world. There was not a thing that you could want that they didn't anticipate." Like all knee replacement patients, Peter had to undergo a month of physical therapy at home, followed by therapy twice per week once he returned to work.
"The outcome of knee replacement surgery is entirely patient-driven," said Dr. Pravda. "For a faster and easier recovery, patients must be dedicated to their physical therapy regimen build a good relationship with their physical therapist. The therapist makes what we do work. They are paramount."
Peter's recovery time was remarkable. By the end of the first week after surgery, Peter was off all prescription pain medications. He was driving by the second week, and returned to work only four weeks after his surgery. He started with four-hour days, but by the fifth week, went back full time.
"The results are incredible. I'm excited about my operation. I don't have to struggle with a limited range of motion, and all my arthritis and pain is gone. I don't think I lost anything by having this surgery. I had the operation so I could have my life back."Back
A diagnosis of breast cancer can bring about feelings of worry and fear, but with the right team of healthcare professionals on your side, a scary experience can be made much more calming. Ruth Sack, of Cheshire, knows this all too well after undergoing a double mastectomy in April 2010 following a breast cancer diagnosis.
Ruth, who was first diagnosed with breast cancer in 1999 after a routine mammogram, initially had a lumpectomy to remove the tumor in addition to several weeks of radiation. For over 10 years, Ruth remained cancer free without any reoccurrences. But then in early 2010, Ruth says she felt a lump in her breast that was the size of a lentil, and knew she needed to have it checked out. Coincidentally, she was also scheduled for a routine mammogram later that week. Ruth's suspicion was confirmed with the results of her mammogram. The next step would be a biopsy.
Ruth entrusted her surgical care to general surgeon Peter Leff, MD who performed a biopsy immediately. "Dr. Leff has a great reputation and is very skilled. He is very competent and optimistic, and the biopsy was virtually painless," said Ruth.
"It's important for patients to know that MidState Medical Center can provide the full range of breast health services to patients, from diagnosis to treatment to support. The advantage of receiving care at a hospital like MidState is that patients can be certain they are not only getting quality care, but also personalized care that is critical during an experience like this," said Dr. Leff.
In fact, Ruth credits MidState's outstanding continuum of care for the early detection of her breast cancer. "I think that my care was especially good because I was already in the MidState Medical Center ‘diagnostic' system because of my previous cancer history. As a result, the concern over my lump was taken seriously and my treatment was prompt."
Following her biopsy, Ruth was diagnosed with breast cancer classified as Stage 1A, which meant that it was localized and hadn't spread outside of her breast. Still, she opted to have a double mastectomy to avoid any future reoccurrence and put her mind at ease. She simultaneously underwent reconstructive surgery, which she believes was a smart move. "Having the reconstructive surgery done immediately was good for me because the surgery wasn't as emotionally traumatic," said Ruth.
"The decision to undergo a double mastectomy and reconstructive surgery is highly personal and dependent upon several factors. Together, my patients and I evaluate all of these factors and make the best decision for the patient's health and well-being so that she is comfortable and well informed," said Dr. Leff.
Ruth had a three day hospital stay and says the care she received at MidState was remarkable. "I was extremely pleased with MidState. I felt so special, and then I realized that they treat everyone the same way, special. I really feel fortunate."
Ruth, who has a background in graphic design, is now back to doing what she loves, making and teaching art. She says her cancer diagnosis put her more in touch with her experience yet was distracting at a difficult time. "I feel so lucky."
The MidState Cancer Center was recently reaccredited a three-year approval award with commendations in seven areas from the American College of Surgeons Commission on Cancer (CoC).
Accreditation from the Commission on Cancer ensures that patients in the communities we serve have access to high-quality, comprehensive cancer services delivered by a multidisciplinary team of experts.
While it is expected that cancer centers earn accreditation, MidState's many commendations are indicative of our cancer program's excellence in patient care and education. "We have met the vigorous standards required for a high performing program, with a focus on quality care in the areas of prevention, early diagnosis, state-of-the-art treatment, rehabilitation, psychosocial support and end of life care. This designation means that we have not only met all of those standards, but have exceeded them," said Abbi Bruce, RN, Director, Cancer Center.
MidState is pleased to welcome Maryanne Volkringer as the new Vice President of Business Development.
Maryann has 20 years of experience in the healthcare and manufacturing settings and is skilled in the creation and management of strategic alliances. Maryanne comes to us from Waterbury Hospital, where she identified new business opportunities and utilized marketing intelligence to create business plans and negotiate joint venture agreements.
Maryanne holds a Bachelor's degree in Marketing from Western New England College, as well as a Master in Business Administration. She serves on the Board of Directors of several community organizations, including the United Way of Greater Waterbury, Greater Waterbury YMCA, and Children's Center of Greater Waterbury.
MidState Medical Center's annual Employee and Team of the Year celebration is one of the most loved employee recognition events at the hospital. Each year, employees who most embody MidState's core values of Respect, Caring and Teamwork are nominated by their peers. Those nominations are then reviewed by an independent panel of judges from the community.
This year MidState is pleased to announce June Thomas as the Employee of the Year, and the Surgical Physician Assistant Service as the Team of the Year.
Thomas is a psychology technician in the Emergency Department, and works with patients during one of the most sensitive times in their lives. She is recognized for maintaining a strong work ethic and a caring and patient demeanor despite her stressful work environment. "My job is to keep patients safe, to make sure there are no harmful behaviors," said June. "I love my job. And I love people."
The Surgical Physician Assistant Team provides 24/7 coverage to all surgical inpatients, as well as serves as a first-assist in surgery. They have been invaluable to the MidState surgeons, nursing staff, emergency room physicians, hospitalists, and most of all, to patients.
Over 200 MidState volunteers were honored on Friday, April 8, at the hospital's Volunteer Recognition Breakfast held at the Aqua Turf. The breakfast is part of the annual National Volunteer Week celebration, a time when we pay tribute to our extraordinary and hard working volunteers.
All volunteers, as well as many members of MidState's management team, were invited to partake in this celebration and enjoy a delicious and well deserved breakfast. Local magician, David Wyskiel, entertained the crowd with his tricks and illusions, and Maureen Bilger and Elaine Murphy performed a hilarious excerpt from the "Kiwanis Kapers 2010."
In opening remarks, Gail Millerick, director of Development and Volunteer Services, referred to the MidState volunteers as "the heart of the hospital's community" whose unique contributions enhance patient care at MidState.
Diamond Belejack, manager of Volunteer Services added: "This day gives us an opportunity to honor your talent, skills, and time, and always being there when asked. This is just a small token of our appreciation." Belejack also shared a touching story of how one volunteer has positively impacted the lives of an oncology patient and her family member.
Leave a lasting legacy that will benefit patients and families for generations to come by remembering MidState Medical Center in your will. Your bequest, whether small or large, will help ensure that we have the financial strength and technological capability to provide outstanding care to the patients of tomorrow.
By naming MidState Medical Center in your will, you will become a member of the Infinity Circle, a unique program designed to help build MidState's endowment fund. Bequests that are directed to the hospital's endowment fund have an impact as endowment gifts generate income, which provides the economic stability on which we now rely. Just as the legacy of others has made a difference for individuals in our care today, your legacy can ensure financial strength, technological capability and medical excellence for those in our care tomorrow. Once we are made aware of your plans, bequests are recognized in many ways:
MidState is privileged to boast a growing number of Infinity Circle Members who all share a deep rooted commitment to the hospital and a passion to giving back.
We hope you're enjoying Focus Online. If you would like to be alerted when the next issue of Focus is available online, please provide your email address.