About The Cover: Headache Center Offers Relief to Chronic Sufferers.
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What is the role of a community hospital? Community hospitals play a vital role in providing quality, compassionate and respected care.
Most healthcare services one needs throughout thier lifespan can be met by a community hospital, which is often close to home. For over 100 years, our hospital, now known as MidState Medical Center, has demonstrated excellence in care and service that equals or exceeds that of other hospitals in our state.
In particular, our surgical care, oncology, orthopaedic, cardiac and neurology programs are revered for their quality and significance to our local community.
Handling 57,000 visits a year, the staff of our Emergency Department cares for patients with a wide range of urgent medical needs, from injury related traumas to medical emergencies such as strokes and heart attacks. In addition, our expert surgeons offer the latest minimally invasive techniques, including robotic surgery, to help our patients recover faster and with less pain.
MidState serves as a cornerstone of our community in other ways. We employ over 1,100 staff members, are a major purchaser of goods and services, and according to data from 2011, have a positive impact on the financial health of our region in excess of $300 million.
However, our significance to the community is more than just numbers. It's about ensuring patients access to a facility with superior medical care, excellent customer service and the ability to stay healthy and well.
As healthcare reform creates opportunities to change and reshape our country's healthcare system, you can be confident that MidState Medical Center will continue to provide programs and services to benefit our community.
Lucille A. Janatka - President & CEO
Editor / Feature Writer: Pamela Cretella|Photos: Chuck Kuhn, Rick Harrington|Executive Editor: Lynn Faria
Headaches are among the most common of ailments. And for many people, an over-the-counter medication can take care of the pain. But for a sizable population, migraines and other types of chronic head pain can be so debilitating that more extensive treatment is required. MidState's new Headache Center was developed to provide relief.
About 25-35% of women experience a migraine during their lifetime. The figure is much lower for men, less than 10%. Before puberty, boys and girls experience migraines in equal numbers, suggesting that increased estrogen levels in women may account for the statistical differences between men and women. About half of all migraine sufferers have their first episode before they are 20 yrs old. Almost all experience symptoms before the age of 50. Family history plays a role, as well: About 70% of patients report that a close relative also has or had migraines.
A number of different factors can trigger a migraine. Based on patient reports, common triggers can include the weather, missing a meal, stress, alcohol and different foods. About half of women who experience migraines consider their menses to be a trigger. About the same number also report that crying can bring on a migraine.
MidState's new Headache Center offers patients a comprehensive approach to helping them better manage their headaches.
"The strength of this program," says Pat Giannelli, Neuroscience Service Line Leader at MidState, "is that we use a collaborative, integrative model. You can think of the team at the Headache Center as the hub of the coordinated care wheel, with all of our partner providers being the spokes. Everybody on the team contributes to helping patients reach their highest level of wellness."
In addition to the neurologists, who direct the care for each patient, the team also includes a variety of other complementary providers who offer massage therapy, acupuncture, music therapy, Reiki, hypnosis, yoga, Zen Shiatsu, psychiatry, physical therapy, and nutritional counseling.
"It's really one-stop shopping," says Dr. Maame Dankwah, Neurologist. "We address everything in a holistic way. All the things a patient might need are available through the Headache Center."
Typically, treatment begins with a consultation with a MidState neurologist. "We'll sit down and talk with the patient questioning them to determine the nature of their problem," says Dr. Montanye. "We help them develop a headache calendar or diary, so we can see correlations between their headaches and possible triggers."
Then, under the guidance of their neurologist, each patient receives the right combination of treatment types for them. Dr. Montanye says, "We use a variety of complementary therapies that are proven in the medical literature. If a patient feels that a particular treatment works for them, then it's worth pursuing."
The approach to care is highly individualized. "Every patient is different," says Dr. Dankwah, "so each treatment plan is different."
The Center is equipped to provide relief for a variety of different types of patients. Stroke patients, for example, can benefit from getting the help they need to better manage the headaches that can occur following a stroke.
"We are very excited about the new Headache Center," says Kelly Zigmunds, Stroke Coordinator at MidState. "Many of our patients have issues with headaches, and the Center is an important stepping stone in our ability to provide the highest level of service to them."
Patients can self-refer, or be referred to the Headache Center by their primary care physician. For most, treatment marks the beginning of a continuing process.
Because headaches, particularly migraines, are most often a chronic condition, the Headache Center team looks at treatment over the long term. As Dr. Hamid Sami, Neurologist, explains: "We've brought together the most comprehensive array of treatments available. We're committed to our patients and to improving their quality of life. With the Center, we can truly coordinate and integrate all their care. Our goal is to get every patient to where he or she is headache free. But even if we can reduce their pain frequency by 50%, that can make a huge difference in their lives."
For patients who live with migraines or other types of headaches, the Center represents a resource that can improve their quality of life. Dr. Dankwah says, "Patients need to know that there is treatment. You don't have to live with the pain, and we can find the relief you need."
MidState Medical Group has joined Hartford HealthCare Primary Care Network, the newest addition to their region-wide system of providers. In becoming part of the Primary Care Network, the doctors, APRNs, physician assistants and staff of MidState Medical Group work in concert with their peers at Doctors of Central Connecticut, Hartford Medical Group, MedEast, MediQuick and Senior Health Services.
The new collaboration will yield important benefits. Dr. Erin Cardon, Medical Director of MidState Medical Group Primary Care, explains: "We're not in our 'silos' anymore. This new collaboration really encourages collegiality, communication, and sharing ideas. It gives us access to more resources and lets us integrate services, without duplicating them."
By becoming part of Hartford HealthCare, the providers at MidState Medical Group can also offer their patients more seamless and coordinated access to specialized care, should it be needed.
The new way of looking at how Internal/Family Medicine physicians approach caring for their patients is called the "Medical-Home" model. It calls for establishing a long-term partnership between patients and their caregivers, with the overall goal of maintaining patient wellness over time. Basically, it's a more patient-centered approach to care. And both MidState Medical Group and Hartford Medical Group have earned certification at the highest level of the Medical-Home model.
"It's really about doing what's best for our patients," says Dr. Cardon. "Physicians will always be encouraged to follow the individual styles that suit them and their patients. Our goal is to provide our patients with more coordinated care and to expand best practices system-wide."
Patients needn't worry about changing their doctor. "It's important for people to know that they can continue to see their own doctor and that, through Hartford HealthCare Primary Care Network, they have access to all the care they may need," says Dr. Cardon.
MidState's newest MediQuick Urgent Care Center is now open at 680 South Main Street in Cheshire. With 2,400 sq. feet of space, six state-of-the-art exam rooms, easy access off Route 10 and plenty of free parking, the Center offers convenience, efficiency and expert care at a time when more patients are turning to walk-in centers.
"Urgent care is a burgeoning area of medicine across the country," says Walter Kupson, DO, Medical Director of MediQuick. "There is a trend right now where patients are looking for prompt, quality care without an appointment, and MediQuick is certainly equipped to provide those services."
MediQuick offers expert care from family practice physicians and registered nurses who have decades of experience in emergency room care. The Cheshire team can handle a variety of minor illnesses and injuries – anything from a sore throat or flu-like symptoms to minor sports injuries, sprains, strains and cuts. Unlike most traditional walk-in centers, however, MediQuick also offers more advanced care including stitching and suture removal, splinting, basic onsite laboratory testing, and even onsite X-ray services. Many patients find they can avoid the emergency room and still receive quality care. Still, if you have a true emergency – shortness of breath, loss of consciousness, or chest pain, for example – you should be treated at an emergency room.
The emphasis at MediQuick is on the patient experience. "We are really focused on customer care, and our patients recognize this. We have dedicated our team to building a culture of caring and friendliness," says Dr. Kupson.
The MediQuick Urgent Care Center in Cheshire is open from 8 a.m. until 7:30 p.m., seven days a week and holidays. No appointment is necessary.
On Monday, November 14, 2011, MidState held its Annual Meeting to celebrate a year of growth and achievement. Attendees included General Management and MidState's Board of Governors, as well as many physicians and community leaders.
Bruce Eldrige, Chairman of the Board, set the tone for the evening with opening remarks that commented on the Hospital's growth over the past year. He also noted "the pleasure of working alongside a group of passionate, committed people who are fully dedicated to MidState's success and quality."
One of the key developments of the past year was the official "roll-out" of Hartford HealthCare, a region-wide system of hospitals, specialists and other healthcare providers. Elliot Joseph, president & CEO of Hartford HealthCare, discussed the Hartford HealthCare "vision" and outlined how system partners are working together to create more coordinated care for patients across Connecticut. MidState president & CEO, Lucille Janatka, noted that, as a member of the system, MidState is "on the road to meeting the Hartford HealthCare vision."
The Annual Meeting also provided an opportunity to review MidState's many accomplishments and accolades over the past year. The Hospital earned an Outstanding Achievement Award for quality cancer care from the American College of Surgeons' Commission on Cancer, the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association "Get With The Guidelines"® Stroke Silver Plus Quality Achievement award, as well as Anthem's Blue Distinction® Award for quality medical outcomes in spine surgery.
The Hospital's Crystal Obelisk Award and Physician Recognition Awards were among the other achievements noted during the evening's proceedings. Lucille Janatka summed up the Hospital's ongoing commitment to excellence: "My greatest pride is in our excellent clinical quality and patient safety. It takes every member of the team to reach those high standards."
Are you planning to travel outside of the U.S. for business or pleasure? A quick stop at the MidState Medical Center Travel Clinic before you travel can help make sure you stay healthy.
Immunizations are recommended for travel to various parts of the world. We offer immunizations and medications to protect against a variety of conditions including Yellow fever, Malaria, Hepatitis A, Hepatitis B, Pneumococcal vaccine, Polio, Tetanus-Diphtheria-Pertussis, Travelers' Diarrhea, and Typhoid.
A board certified physician specially trained in Infectious Diseases can answer any health-related questions you may have about your destination of choice. We can provide instruction on the proper medication usage and dosages; determine which vaccines you'll need according to your travel location (what is recommended and what is required); and offer health counseling including the current health risks in your destination. We also offer immunizations and prescriptions that are generally not available through your primary care physician including influenza, meningococcal (required for students entering dorm life in college) and rabies.
We offer fast, convenient and quality service that can make the difference between a great trip and a potential health problem. Just call the Travel Clinic six weeks prior to your departure date. The Clinic is open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Appointments are scheduled Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. To schedule an appointment, please call 203 694 5444.
Even a rainy evening couldn't dampen the enthusiasm or generosity of over 350 guests who attended MidState's "Moonlight In Venice" Gala on Friday, September 23, 2011. The event was a benefit for The Palladino Family Cancer Center at MidState. In attendance were many MidState employees and physicians, community members, the Board of Directors, as well as executives and staff from across the Hartford HealthCare system.
In her opening remarks, Lucille Janatka, president & CEO of MidState, recognized the generous contributions of the Palladino family, for whom the Center is now named. She also announced that the Center had received an Outstanding Achievement Award from the American College of Surgeons' Commission on Cancer.
After the program, guests enjoyed salad, pasta, surf and turf and an array of tempting goodies offered by the Venetian table. Some of those extra calories were burned up on the dance floor, however, as many in attendance boogied down to the sounds of Bock & Blu.
The Gala raised approximately $70,000, with over $11,000 in proceeds coming from the silent auction. All monies went to support The Palladino Family Cancer Center and ensure that we continue to offer our cancer patients the latest in programs and services.
This special evening would not have been possible without the gracious support of many sponsors, volunteers, friends and family. Special thanks went to Geraldine Meoni, Gala Chair, for her time and dedication in planning the event.
Planning for this year's ever-popular Pink Partini Fashion Show is already underway. The event will be held on Thursday, October 11, 2012, at the Aqua Turf Club in Southington, from 6 to 9 p.m. All proceeds benefit The Palladino Family Cancer Center at MidState.
This exciting evening is always filled with fabulous fashions and family fun. Once again, we'll ask cancer survivors, hospital employees, physicians, hospital administrators and others to "walk the runway" to benefit our Cancer Center.
The Pink Partini Fashion Show is always a very popular event, and we expect this year's show to also be a sold-out show. So "Think Pink" and reserve your place today. The cost is $65/person. For more information, please call Tina Fabiani in the Development Office at 203 694 8744. Or, email her at email@example.com.
Plans are already underway for the 28th Annual MidState Golf Classic. This year's event will be held on Monday, June 18, at the Shuttle Meadow Country Club in Kensington, CT.
The MidState Medical Center Auxiliary, which hosts the golf tournament, is hard at work planning a great day for all. The event will include 18 holes of golf, as well as lunch and dinner. If past events are any indication, this year's tournament is sure to be an enjoyable day of friendly competition, friends, food and raising money for a good cause – MidState Medical Center.
Each year, this important fundraising event draws a full field of players. In fact, last year's tournament was sold out. We expect a similar response this year, so please remember to sign up soon to reserve your place. For more information about playing in the tournament and/or becoming a sponsor, please call Tina Fabiani, in the Development Office, at 203 694 8744. Or, email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
MidState Medical Center recognizes the many individuals who volunteer their time to support our patients and our staff during National Volunteer Week April 15-21st.
This is a week set aside to pay special tribute to individuals who make our days a little easier and brighter, who ensure our patients, visitors and family members have the most positive experience, and who go above and beyond to do anything asked of them.
Last year, 298 adult and teen volunteers contributed over 42,000 hours of service to MidState in almost every area of MidState including off site areas such as the LaPlanche Clinic and MediQuick facilities in both Meriden and Cheshire.
Take a few moments to recognize a MidState volunteer and give special thanks and praise for the great work they do not only for our hospital, but for our community as well. If you are interested in becoming a highly respected MidState volunteer, Volunteer Services is hosting a Volunteer Open House during National Volunteer Week on Thursday, April 19, from 10:00 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. – 6:30 p.m. at MidState Medical Center in Conference Room 1. Join us to learn more about the exciting world of healthcare volunteers, observe the many ways volunteers contribute to our hospital, and talk with volunteers and the staff of the Volunteer Office. For more information, please contact Volunteer Services at 203 694 8275 or e-mail MidStateVolunteers@midstatemedical.org.
Snacking can allow unwanted calories, excess fat, and refined sugar to creep into your diet. But it doesn't have to be this way. Instead, snacking can be a great way to get extra nutrients, hold you over until your next meal, and give you an energy boost in the middle of the day.
Healthful snacking requires more planning and effort than a trip to the vending machine. The American Dietetic Association offers some guidelines to help make snacking work for you:
Snacking should be easy to make and simple to pack for a person on the go. Second, it must be rich in nutrients and low in fat and calories. And third, and probably most importantly, it must be delicious to eat.
Click on the following to see some smart snack ideas:
There are other snacking options out there. Just find the snacks that work for you. But keep it smart—make sure your choices are nutritionally dense, low in calories, and tasty.
If you're a 50-something or older, you hopefully have been the proud recipient of a colonoscopy. Aside from abiding by our primary care physician's demands and our spouse's warnings, why is getting a colonoscopy so important? To prevent ourselves from developing colon cancer is the given answer.
Believe it or not, you have a 6% lifetime risk of developing colon cancer. That is a 1 in 18 chance. Colon cancer is the third leading cause of cancer deaths and affects men and women equally. Colon cancer is rare under the age of 40, but there is a dramatic increase in incidence after the age of 50. Hence the recommendations for starting a screening program for average risk individuals at the age of 50.
The vast majority of colon cancers initially start as a non-cancerous growth called a polyp. Over the span of 10-20 years some of these polyps will transform into cancers. It has been proven in long term population studies that if you have a colonoscopy and polyps are removed, your risk for future development of colon cancer decreases dramatically. However, before you run to your local gastroenterologist to make an appointment, let's review who should be screened and when.
If you were previously diagnosed with a potentially precancerous polyp, you are at high risk for recurrent polyps and you should have a colonoscopy every 3-5 years. If you had a close family member... [read more]
Make no bones about it: exercise is good for us in so many ways, including helping to strengthen our bones. Bone is living tissue that is constantly undergoing a process called remodeling. Remodeling results in the production of new bone tissue. Many factors can affect the remodeling process and leave you with bones that are less dense and more fragile. Some factors that affect bone remodeling are:
Regular weight-bearing and resistance exercise helps build muscle, as well as maintain and increase bone strength. Exercise causes the muscle to contract against the bone. This action stresses or stimulates the bone, and the bone becomes stronger and denser. The three main types of exercise are:
Before you begin any exercise, make sure you warm up for five minutes. This can consist of stretches and a light walk. Start the activity slowly for the first five minutes. Slowly increase your intensity so that your... [read more]
The biggest concern most 20-year-olds have might be when to hang out with friends or what to wear for a night out. But Meriden resident Jeffrey Montalvo has something more serious to think about: he's waiting for a heart transplant.
Jeffrey was diagnosed in July 2011 with a rare congenital heart condition called non-compaction cardiomyopathy. This condition results during embryonic development when the sponge-like parts of the heart do not transform to a solid material. Many times this defect occurs in the left ventricle of the heart.
Non-compaction cardiomyopathy is a condition discovered fairly recently in the 1980s. The symptoms range widely and include breathlessness and fatigue, making it hard to diagnose.
In fact, Jeffrey's only symptom prior to his condition dramatically worsening was an unusual shortness of breath. One night last July he suffered severe chest pain similar to heart attack and was taken to MidState's emergency room for care. He was quickly transferred to Hartford Hospital where he underwent a cardiac workup.
In the rehabilitation program, Jeffrey works with cardiac nurses three times per week and participates in monitored exercises. "They're fantastic and very friendly," said Jeffrey. "When you're there, you feel safe," he said.
Jeffrey is the youngest person in the Cardiac Rehab Program, a program that heart attack patients who are much older often participate in. He says many of the other patients are often curious about his condition and treatment. "It's a situation where I think others see that it can always be worse," he said.
"The patients really take to him," said Catherine Rich, RN, a nurse who works with Jeffrey. "They care for him. Jeffrey has changed the atmosphere here in cardiac rehab."
As Jeffrey awaits a heart transplant, he maintains a positive outlook on his future and is nothing short of an inspiration to others. Prior to his diagnosis, he not only worked two jobs, but was also a full-time student at Middlesex Community College where he studied Broadcast Cinema. He is a Maloney High School Alumnae.
While Jeffrey has been forced to rest more and must have someone with him at all times in case his LVAD malfunctions, he enjoys catching up with his favorite sports teams: the Boston Red Sox, Dallas Cowboys and New York Knicks. He's also a lover of sneakers and has a collection of nearly 75 pairs.
"He helps educate others, and he has gained a lot of confidence here in our program. He has said that this program has helped him to stress less and get stronger. I know he has made me more humble," said cardiac nurse Debra Kovach, RN.
"Jeffrey is truly an inspiration to others. He is so responsible and looks forward to the future with positivity."
Last fall, three more MidState physicians joined a proud tradition at the Hospital, by becoming the latest members of our medical staff to earn Physician Recognition Awards.
At last year's Annual Meeting, MidState was pleased to name Dr. Sherwin Borsuk as the winner of the 2011 Crystal Obelisk Award.
This past October, our Stroke Center announced that it had won a Get With the Guidelines® Stroke Silver Plus Quality Achievement Award from the American Heart/Stroke Association.
Last fall, three more MidState physicians joined a proud tradition at the Hospital, by becoming the latest members of our medical staff to earn Physician Recognition Awards. Dr. David Ross-Russell was named the winner of The Matthew Campione Community Service Award. Dr. Nirmala Rmadhar-Persoud earned The Joseph Goodman Clinical Collaboration and Teamwork Award. And Dr. Charles Kim was named the recipient of The Daniel Kahn Clinical Quality Award.
Nominations for the awards come from the entire MidState community including colleagues, staff, patients and patients' families. In addition to the winners, another 25 distinguished physicians were also honored for having been nominated. "Nominations are, in themselves, a significant recognition of accomplishment," said Dr. Harold Kaplan, Vice President of Medical Affairs.
At last year’s Annual Meeting, MidState was pleased to name Dr. Sherwin Borsuk as the winner of the 2011 Crystal Obelisk Award. Dr. Borsuk joined the Medical Staff of Meriden-Wallingford Hospital in 1978, specializing in diagnostic radiology. Since then, he has provided leadership and service to the Hospital in a variety of different areas, in addition to running his own practice.
During his tenure, Dr. Borsuk has served as Co-Chair of the Informatics Committee, Chair of the Pension Committee, a member of the Development Committee, Co-Chair of the Medical Division of the Annual Appeal, as well as a member of the Joint Conference, Pharmacy & Therapeutics, Product Analysis and PHO Steering Committees. He has served on the Board of Governors and the Board of Directors. He also chaired the Project Oversight Committee. In 2001, he received a Resolution of Appreciation in recognition of his service in the planning, construction and move to MidState’s current location on Lewis Avenue.
Dr. Borsuk has also contributed his time and talents to a wide variety of community and professional organizations over the years.
Above all, his commitment to the Hospital continues. In 2011, he became an active member of the Board’s Quality Committee, which sets quality goals and establishes, monitors and assesses measures of performance, quality of care and clinical safety. And, he continues to provide excellent diagnostic radiological services and has been instrumental in bringing the latest technologies to MidState.
As a mentor and a quiet champion for quality who has made significant contributions to the advancement of healthcare in this community, Dr. Borsuk is a worthy recipient of the Crystal Obelisk Award.
This past October, our Stroke Center announced that it had won a Get With the Guidelines® Stroke Silver Plus Quality Achievement Award from the American Heart/Stroke Association. The award recognized our commitment to and success in implementing a higher standard of stroke care that adheres to nationally accepted standards.
To earn the award, our Stroke Team achieved at least 12 consecutive months of 85% or higher adherence to the guidelines and at least 75% or higher compliance (during the same time period) with six of the ten quality measures - all of which are designed to reduce death and disability, while improving the lives of stroke patients.
"With a stroke, time lost is brain lost," said Kelly Zigmunds, Stroke Coordinator at MidState. "This award demonstrates that our staff is committed to quickly and efficiently treating stroke patients with evidence-based protocols."
In presenting the award, Dr. Lee H. Schwamm, Chair of the Get With The Guidelines® National Steering Committee and Director of the TeleStroke and Acute Stroke Services at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, Massachusetts said: "MidState Medical Center is to be commended for its commitment to implementing standards of care and protocols for treating stroke patients."