A publication for the staff of Hartford Hospital
February 27, 2012
Vol. 68 No. 7
Pepper Sobieski Named Director of Quality for HHC Pepper Sobieski, RN, BSN, CPHQ, has been named director of quality at Hartford HealthCare. She will be responsible for planning, developing and executing strategies for quality and patient safety, clinical process improvement, clinical performance measurement and knowledge management initiatives throughout Hartford HealthCare. Sobieski will report to Dr. Rocco Orlando, chief medical officer for Hartford HealthCare, and will partner with the system quality directors, medical and nursing leadership groups and all relevant stakeholders across HHC. Sobieski is a 15-year veteran of Hartford Hospital who, for the last six years, has been dedicated to quality management and, most recently, was director of quality for Hartford Hospital.
Progress on Hudson Street Parking Garage Construction of the new employee parking garage on Hudson Street is moving along well. Crews have been aided by unusually good weather since the ground breaking in December. You can follow the progress of the garage construction by checking the link on the intranet page for the Hudson Street parking garage: http://intranet.harthosp.org/hh/ docs/7154?route=5566. The image is updated every 10 minutes.
She has managed hospital inpatient units, ambulatory care, infection control, bed management, care continuum and quality management. She has been a quality liaison to a skilled nursing facility, an H3W facilitator, and developed and coordinated a community case management program for highrisk managed Medicare patients. She recently led a major initiative to roll out a new quality data support system to three of our four hospitals, which will significantly increase our ability to assess and improve quality. Sobieski is a certified professional in healthcare quality (CPHQ) and a member of the National Association for Healthcare Quality as well as the Connecticut Association for Healthcare Quality.
Hartford Hospital First in Region To Offer New FDA-Approved Alternative to Open Heart Surgery New Hope for Patients Who Aren’t Strong Enough for Open Heart Surgery Hartford Hospital is the first in the region to offer patients who may not be healthy enough for open heart surgery an alternative with the transfemoral delivery of the Edwards SAPIEN transcatheter aortic heart valve (TAVR).
The Workings of the Aortic Heart Valve
On Feb. 7, Hartford Hospital’s cardiothoracic surgeons and interventional cardiologists successfully performed two transcatheter aortic valve replacements. This is the first non-surgical replacement of the aortic valve using the Edwards SAPIEN transcatheter heart valve to take place in Connecticut. “We are thrilled to be the first in the region to offer the SAPIEN Transcatheter Heart Valve (THV) to our patients because it offers hope to those who cannot undergo open heart surgery,” said Dr. Paul Thompson, Hartford Hospital’s director of Cardiology.
Figure 1 depicts the leaflets of a healthy aortic heart valve, which open wide to allow oxygen-rich blood to flow unobstructed in one direction. The blood flows through the valve into the aorta where it The device was FDA approved in Novem- then flows out to the rest of the body. ber, becoming the first FDA-approved transcatheter device enabling aortic valve replacement without the need for open-heart surgery. It offers new hope to patients diagnosed with senile aortic valve stenosis. The Edwards SAPIEN Valve is designed to replace a patient’s diseased native aortic valve without the need for openheart surgery or the use of a heart-lung machine. A team of specialists places a collapsible aortic heart valve into the body via a catheter that is inserted through the leg, and threaded up to the heart. Figure 2 depicts the leaflets of a stenotic or calcified aortic valve unable to open wide, obstructing blood flow from the left ventricle into the aorta. The narrowed valve allows less blood to flow through and as As the heart works harder to pump a result, less oxygen-rich blood is pumped enough blood through the smaller valve out to the body, which may cause sympopening, the heart eventually weakens, toms like severe shortness of breath. Senile aortic valve stenosis is a progressive, age-related disease caused by calcium deposits on the aortic valve. This causes the valve to narrow.
which can lead to problems such as fainting, chest pain, heart failure, irregular heart rhythms (arrhythmias), or cardiac arrest. Up to 1.5 million people in the United States suffer from aortic stenosis, and approximately 250,000 of these patients suffer from severe symptomatic aortic stenosis. Severe symptomatic aortic stenosis often results in debilitating symptoms that can restrict normal day-to-day activities, such as walking short distances or climbing stairs. These patients can often benefit from surgery to replace their ailing valve, but many patients are not treated because they are deemed inoperable for surgery. Patients who do not receive an aortic valve replacement have no effective, long-term treatment option to prevent or delay their disease progression. Without treatment, severe symptomatic aortic stenosis is life-threatening – studies indicate that 50 percent of patients will not survive more than an average of two years after the onset of symptoms. “We have found that surgery to replace the aortic valve is an effective treatment for severe senile aortic valve stenosis,” said Thompson. “But we recognize that it is not an option for everyone. This new procedure is an important option to offer our patients. “We know it will have a significant impact on patient care throughout Connecticut and beyond,” Thompson said. If you wish to learn more about the Edwards SAPIEN Valve, call 860-545-1888 or visit: http://www.harthosp.org/ heart.
175 Staff Members Join Walk for American Heart Association; Raise $11,508 for Cardiac Research
The affiliates of Hartford HealthCare teamed up this year to support the American Heart Association’s 2011 Heart Walk. The HH team had 175 members, and raised $11,508.40 for the American Heart Association. The Heart Walk was held on October 29, 2011 at Bushnell Park. The goal of the American Heart Association Heart Walk is to get people to increase their physical activity, while at the same time raising funds to support lifesaving research for cardiovascular diseases and stroke. “It was so special to see the coming together of so much support of our employees demonstrating our efforts collectively in physical activity as we made strides for heart health,” said Cecilia Kozlowski, community relations, who was co-chair of the event. “It was a great day of fun and inspiration!” The Cardiology administration of Hartford Hospital under the leadership of vice president Betsy Boatman headed up this event with HHC support. Team captains were Darlene Sawczysyn, Ann Cios, Kate Chamberlain, Carolyn Tschummi, Sharon Fried, Joann Swan, Jane Klepinger, Dan Madison, Jason Sutherland, Jeanne Bodett, Jessica Pereira, Diane Savioli-Chase, Linda James, Margaret
Ducasse, Latifa Ali, Michelle Piscottano, Kate Frank, Rafaela Ward, Michele Wright and from MidState Medical Center - Cynthia Kennedy and Mary Brady.
Below Left: Cheerleaders from academies inside Hartford Public High School (nursing, engineering and technology) joined the Hartford Hospital team at the Heart Walk. The activity gave the girls a chance to participate in a community activity and learn more about heart disease.
Compliance Questions or Concerns?
If you need to obtain information about compliance issues or raise concerns regarding internal and regulatory practices or policies, please contact your supervisor or call the ComplianceLine, a confidential and toll-free service, at
1-855-HHC-OCAP or online at
Happening at Hartford Hospital WHO WILL IT BE? Employee of the Year to Be Announced Wednesday
Free Seminar: Internet Safety for Children, Wednesday
Learn about Internet threats to youth and children, such as child predators, The employee of the year will be anInternet artifacts, “Sexting”, cyber bulnounced Wednesday, February 29 at lies, and more at a free Lunch-n-Learn noon in a special ceremony in the cafeWednesday, Feb. 29, Noon-1 p.m. in the teria. Fourteen staff members have been Cafeteria Special Dining Room. Presentselected as finalists. These individuals ed by Cyber Agent FBI, it is sponsored by were all nominated by their peers and Solutions Employee Assistance Program, selected among all nominees by their Hartford Hospital and Connecticut Chilsupervisors and senior management to dren’s Medical Center. For more info or to represent their departments. pre-register please call 1-800-526-3485 or 860-545-2530. Please bring your lunch.
Employees’ Council Recreation/Discounts
The finalists are: • Giffty Asres, CNA, nursing • Jamie Badillo, account analyst, non governmental net revenue • Patricia Beebe, AA, cardiovascular • Gil Fortunato, business systems analyst, research administration • Stephen Hanks, security officer • Greg Marsdale, security analyst, IT • Dody Masterson, RN, C8 • Farris Milling, AA, medicine • Matthew Munafo, recruiter, HR • Liberty Ortiz, AA, Women’s Ambulatory Health • Kelly Pabilonia, social worker • James Pelletier, materials associate, material management • Robert Ross, CT scan technologist, radiology • Slavica Sisic, PCA, OPD Brownstone The selection was made through secret ballot during a special meeting of the executive board of the Employees’ Council The Employee of the Year winner will receive a $2,000 check, recognition in the Hartford Courant, and a reserved parking space for one year. All finalists will receive a reserved parking space.
Super Colon is Coming! Every Friday in March Join staff from The Helen & Harry Gray Cancer Center and the Gastrointestinal Division of the Department of Medicine to take a tour of an inner colon. The inflatable Super Colon will be on display outdoors between Conklin Building and CCMC every Friday in March from 11 a.m.–2 p.m., weather permitting. Learn about colon health and how to prevent colorectal cancer. The colon replica will be staffed with nurses and health care professionals who will be available to answer questions and offer information about screening recommendations. In addition, free screening will be offered to all participants through the distribution of fecal immunochemical test kits. For more information, contact Cancer Connect at 860-545-6000.
Did you know you can get 23% off select plans from Sprint, 20% off Jim’s Family Restaurant in Windsor, and 15% off services from Meineke Car Care Center in West Hartford, just by showing your Hartford Hospital badge? These are just a few of the discounts available to employees thanks to the Employees’ Council Recreation Committee. For a list of all available discounts, check the Employees’ Council intranet page at http://intranet.harthosp. org/hh/docs/378?route=405. The committee is looking for suggestions or requests Dress in Blue Day Friday of places you would like us to explore, including trips, events, or store discounts. The 4th Annual National Dress In Blue Email your suggestions to EmployeeCoun- Day event will be held in communities and offices nationwide on Friday, March email@example.com, or call ext. 5-3904. 2 as part of Colon Cancer Awareness Month. The purpose of Dress in Blue Day Daffodil Days Deadline is to promote awareness about colorecDeadline to order daffodils to benefit the tal cancer and encourage people to get American Cancer Society is this Friday, screened. The Helen & Harry Gray Cancer March 2. Flowers will be delivered to the Center and GI Endoscopy Unit, in collabCancer Center March 20. Prices range oration with the Colon Cancer Alliance from $10 to $25. Order online at http:// and the American Cancer Society, will main.acsevents.org/goto/gray2012. For be participating in the Dress In Blue Day. more information, contact Laura Long- Employees are encouraged to stop by the ley at ext. 5-0440 or Mary Ann Vander- table that will be set up in the main lobby during lunchtime on Friday. Colon canjagt at ext. 5-4184. cer educational materials and screening resources will be offered. You may also contact Cancer Connect at ext. 5-6000 for more information regarding colorectal cancer awareness.
Hartford Hospital employee news.