Recent Articles


Windham Gets Advanced Hip and Knee Certification

Windham Hospital has earned The Joint Commission’s Gold Seal of Approval® for Advanced Certification for Total Hip and Total Knee Replacement. The advanced certification is for Joint Commission-accredited hospitals, critical access hospitals and ambulatory surgery centers seeking to elevate the quality, consistency and safety of their services and patient care....


More Advanced Heart Procedures Now Available at Backus Hospital

The Hartford HealthCare Heart & Vascular Institute continues to add more advanced procedures for cardiac patients in eastern Connecticut. Dr. Paras Bhatt, Medical Director of Electrophysiology in the East Region, inserted an implantable biventricular defibrillator in an 80-year-old patient who had ischemic cardiomyopathy (weakened heart muscle) at Backus Hospital on...


New Look on the Horizon: Backus Hospital Begins Renovation Project

Work crews, signage, and safety enclosures have begun on the major renovation project for the Backus Hospital lobbies and main entrance ways. The upgrades will give the hospital a more modern, welcoming look and improve the patient and visitor experience. In the most visible areas the work will be highlighted by...


New CardioMEMS Implant Monitors Heart Failure Patients Remotely

Jim Mason was getting used to the same old routine experienced by many heart failure patients: Feel good for a while, have shortness of breath, swelling in his legs and abdomen and then back to the hospital. It’s a cycle that makes managing the disease particularly difficult. Now thanks to...


New Software Lets First Responders Gain Critical Link to Emergency Department

Hartford HealthCare is teaming up with local EMS responders using the system’s electronic health records system to improve communication and patient care in the field. On Feb. 14, Backus Hospital became the first hospital in the health system to go live with the Health Data Exchange. The interface links the...


Backus Preventative Medicine Team Breaks Down Barriers to Improve Health

Seeking to prevent unnecessary hospital admissions and readmissions, The William W. Backus Hospital created a Preventive Medicine Team (PMT) that is helping people be healthier, happier, and stay out of the hospital whenever possible. The PMT is designed to support patients who are frequently admitted to the hospital by creating...


Windham Hospital Donates ‘Retired’ Vehicle for Training Exercises

A donation from Windham Hospital is helping the Scotland Fire Department save lives. The hospital has donated one of its retired Public Safety vehicles to the Scotland Volunteer Fire Department to be used for firefighter training. The gift was the idea of Windham Public Safety Officer Jim Meikle who also...

Mystic Health Center

Mystic Health Center Approved

Hartford HealthCare’s proposed 47,000-square-foot, three-story health center in Mystic received unanimous approval from the Stonington Planning and Zoning on Jan. 14. Approval clears the way for groundbreaking at the site off of Coogan Boulevard. The health center will include primary care, cardiology, diagnostic imaging, rehabilitation, Headache Center, Movement Disorders Center,...


Finding Success in Opioid Treatment

On a recent weekday, a patient was brought into The Windham Hospital Emergency Department overdosing on opioids; doctors diagnosed him with Opioid Use Disorder and asked if he wanted to start recovery. When he agreed, he was given a dose of Suboxone, a medication that eases what can be painful...


Increased Access to Specialty Services, Growth on the Shoreline and Plainfield and Enhanced Coordination of Care Highlight Backus and Windham Hospital Annual Meeting

Backus Hospital and Windham Hospital experienced a year of growth, increased access to specialty services in the community and enhanced care coordination in 2018, according to Hartford HealthCare East Region President Donna Handley at the combined Annual Meeting of the two hospitals on Nov. 7. The meeting, the theme of...

Pharmacy

Backus, Hospital of Central Connecticut Launch Pharmacy Residency Programs

In an effort to recruit, train and retain the best new pharmacy school graduates, The Hospital of Central Connecticut and Backus Hospital have launched Pharmacy Residency Programs. Similar to physician residency training, a pharmacy residency program is a postgraduate training program in a defined area of pharmacy practice. Eligible pharmacy...


Backus Trauma Center Reverified as Level III Facility

The Trauma Center at Backus Hospital has been reverified as a Level III Trauma Center by the American College of Surgeons (ACS). The achievement recognizes the center’s dedication to providing optimal care for injured patients. David Coletti, MD, director of Trauma at Backus Hospital, said being “trauma strong” is a...


Windham Hospital Gets $47,000 Grant for Paramedic Vehicle

PHOTO: Eileen Ossen, center, Executive Director of the Jeffrey P. Ossen Family Foundation, poses with Paul Pedchenko, left, Manager, Windham Hospital Emergency Medical Services and Shawn Maynard, right, Executive Director, Windham Hospital Foundation, next to the new paramedic intercept vehicle that was recently purchased with a $47,407 grant from the...

Dr. Jeffrey Kegel

New Provider Joins Windham Hospital Cardiology Team

Dr. Jeffrey Glen Kegel, originally from Southern California, practiced cardiology in Hamden from 1996 to 2008 after several years in California and Pennsylvania. After 12 years in Connecticut, Kegel was asked to join the Jefferson Health system to help them create a cardiology program at the system’s financially struggling Frankford...


Summer 2018: 82 High School Students Volunteered Over 6,100 Hours at Backus Hospital

The Junior Volunteer Bridge Program at Backus Hospital gives high school students the opportunity to explore careers in healthcare, as well as provide services to our patients and staff. In 2018, 82 junior volunteers from 23 different towns and 18 different high schools completed a whopping 6,100 hours from the end of June through...

Doctor holding patient's hand

When is it Time to See a Geriatrician?

The population of people over the age of 65 in the United States is growing rapidly. According to the U.S. Census 98.2 million people, or one in four Americans, will be 65 or older by 2060, and 19.7 million will be age 85 or older.  The good news is that...


Chase Family Movement Disorder Center Expands to Plainfield

Patients with movement disorders in Eastern Connecticut now have a choice for comprehensive, specialized treatment close to home. Earlier this month, the Hartford HealthCare Chase Family Movement Disorders Center opened a new office at the Hartford HealthCare Health Center at  in Plainfield.  Along with the addition of the Plainfield facility, the...

Woman sitting at laptop.

How Linear Accelerator Technology Can Reduce Cancer Treatments

More than a year after being installed, Backus Radiation Oncology’s linear accelerator is being used in new ways to help patients fight cancer. In operation since last July, the new equipment uses a higher, more targeted dose of radiation for small tumors in various parts of the body. These precisely...

Elderly patient.

Geriatrician Joins Windham Hospital Staff

Geriatrician Mamta Singh is now accepting new patients at the Windham Hospital HealthCenter at 5 Founders St., Suite 100 in Willimantic. Her areas of interest include geriatric consultation, preventive health, cognitive decline in older adults, dementia, behavioral disturbances in advanced dementia, fall assessment, multiple morbidity and functional losses late in...


Waterford Oncologist Comes Home to His Naval Roots

A desire to work within the Hartford HealthCare Cancer Institute and a love of the Connecticut shoreline has brought Dr. Michael Kane back to his roots. Dr. Kane, the new Director of Physician System Integration for the Hartford HealthCare Cancer Institute and now practicing in the Institute’s Waterford center, is...


Signs of Acoustic Neuroma Tumor: Hearing Loss, Tinnitus, Dizziness

For patients with acoustic neuroma, a benign tumor that develops on the balance nerve at the base of the skull, the waiting can be the hardest part. While it’s estimated that only one in every 100,000 people in the United States will be diagnosed with acoustic neuroma each year, the...


Keep an Eye on Common Risk Factors for Ocular Melanoma

While malignant melanoma of the eye is quite rare — only about 2,500 cases are reported in the U.S. each year — precursors of this disease are quite common. One in 10 Caucasians will develop a mole under the retina (known as a “choroidal nevus”) during their lifetime. “Many [moles...


Natchaug Worker Prevents Woman from Jumping Off Bridge

When you work on the frontlines in healthcare, you’re really always on duty. For Amy Gallagher, lead clinician at Natchaug Hospital’s Joshua Center Thames Valley in Norwich, that was never more apparent than on Thursday, April 12, 2018. Gallagher was driving with her 16-year-old daughter on Interstate 91 in New...


Hartford HealthCare Cancer Institute and Tallwood Urology and Kidney Institute Host MSK Alliance Symposium on Advanced Prostate Cancer

More than 100 providers from several different specialties, nurses, pharmacists and research staff attended the Memorial Sloan Kettering (MSK) Cancer Alliance Advanced Prostate Cancer Symposium hosted by the Hartford HealthCare Cancer Institute and the Tallwood Urology and Kidney Institute on April 12 at the Hartford Marriott Downtown. The event brought...


Rushford’s Inaugural Race for Recovery Set for May 12

Rushford will host its inaugural Race for Recovery on Saturday, May 12 to benefit programs at Rushford’s Stonehaven facility in Portland. The 5k race and fun run will be held Agogliati Field at 25 Middlesex Avenue in Portland. The idea for the race came after Rushford sponsored several Stonehaven clients...


Surgeon General Urges More Americans to Carry Narcan

As the opioid crisis continues to rage across the United States, U.S. Surgeon General Dr. Jerome Adams urges more Americans to carry the opioid-overdose-reversing drug naloxone, known commercially as Narcan. “Each day we lose 115 Americans to an opioid overdose — that’s one person every 12.5 minutes,” Adams said in...


Aggressive Treatment and Bone Marrow Transplant Help MidState Patient Beat Leukemia

For months Tracy Seguljic hadn’t been feeling well.  She had recently lost her husband to glioblastoma—an aggressive form of brain cancer—and believed she was just suffering from exhaustion, brought on by her grief and the months spent caring for her husband and two teenage sons. After experiencing shortness of breath,...


Help for the Homeless: Taking it to the Streets

Editor’s note: Hartford HealthCare Senior Communications Specialist Steve Coates recently spent time embedded with Rushford staff members whose jobs include documenting and helping the homeless. Here is their story: Tim Washington couldn’t sleep. It was the coldest night of the year, and Washington, a case manager for Rushford’s Homeless Outreach Program,...


Recovery Coaches to Help Opioid Addicted Patients at Hartford Hospital Connect to Treatment

With the continued rise in opioid related deaths in Connecticut, Hartford Hospital and the Hartford HealthCare Behavioral Health Network (BHN) are taking action to help those battling addiction find recovery. Hartford Hospital recently started making recovery coaches available seven days a week in its emergency department to help patients connect...


Hartford HealthCare First in State to Perform Robotic Esophagectomy

Procedure means faster recovery, less pain for esophageal cancer patients Dr. Stefan Kachala, a thoracic surgeon at the Hartford HealthCare Cancer Institute, has performed the first successful robotic esophagectomy in the state.  The procedure was done at Hartford Hospital using the da Vinci robotic system on March 1. A robotic...


How School Walkout Could Help Ease Children’s Fears of Gun Violence

If your kids participated in the nationwide school walkout March 14 to protest gun violence they weren’t just taking a stand.  They might also be helping their mental health and easing anxiety they feel about a mass shooting happening at their school. A month after 17 students were gunned down...


Rep. DeLauro: ‘I’ll Fight Like Hell’ for Opioid-Treatment Funding

Better care coordination, job training for social workers and expanding the recovery coach program were some of the suggestions during a roundtable discussion Monday led by U.S. Rep. Rosa DeLauro at the Rushford Silver Street facility in Middletown. The event was attended by more than 30 addiction experts, law enforcement...


Kevin Love, the NBA and Depression: Panic Attack vs. Panic Disorder

On the January night Kevin Love left the Cleveland Cavaliers blowout loss to Oklahoma City citing a “medical issue,” some in the media called Love “soft” and some players even hinted that the five-time All Star quit on his team.  What they didn’t know was that Love was in the...


New Study Links Breast Cancer Treatments, Heart Disease

Older women who are breast cancer survivors are at a higher risk of dying from heart disease according to a new study by the American Heart Association (AHA). The study says that certain cancer therapies can cause damage to the heart and urges providers to take treatment approaches with the...


Hartford HealthCare Technology is Saving the Lives of Severe-Flu Patients

With the number of flu-related deaths on the rise in the U.S. and here in Connecticut, Hartford Hospital doctors have had to use heart-lung machine this winter to save the lives of patients who experience respiratory failure because of the virus. ECMO (Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygentation) is a bypass device that...

Stacks of vintage equipment.

How to Tell if You’ve Crossed the Line From Just Messy to Hoarding

Your desk has gotten a little messy lately. Stacks of books, dirty mugs and piles of papers seem to be scattered all over the place. Are you just a little messy or could you have hoarding disorder? “If you came to my office, you’d see that I fall in the...

Abbott Infinity DBS System.

Parkinson’s: New, App-Controlled Deep Brain Stimulation Technology

Hartford HealthCare is the first in Connecticut and among the first in New England to offer the most advanced Deep Brain Stimulation technology for patients with Parkinson’s disease and essential tremor. Dr. Patrick Senatus, Neurosurgery Director at the Chase Family Movement Disorders Center at the Hartford HealthCare Ayer Neuroscience Institute,...


HPV and Head and Neck Cancer: The link is real. The prognosis is good.

For years head and neck cancer was mostly associated with heavy drinkers and smokers who had other chronic diseases.  That has changed dramatically in recent years. “The face of the disease has really changed because of the prevalence of HPV (human papillomavirus) which is now the leading cause of head...


Rushford Avon’s Silverman Makes Hartford Magazine’s ‘Best Doctors’ List

AVON—Dr. Samuel M. Silverman, medical director of addiction services at Rushford who sees patients at Rushford’s Avon facility, was recently named to Hartford Magazine’s Best Doctors list for 2017. Providers were chosen by their peers from The Best Doctors in America database, which includes more than 45,000 U.S. doctors in...

IV bags.

How Hurricane Maria Caused Nationwide IV Bag Shortage

With a nationwide shortage of intravenous bags, clinical pharmacies across Hartford Healthcare are working to ensure patient care isn’t interrupted. The Wall Street Journal reported that the shortage began in September after a group of IV bag manufacturing plants in Puerto Rico lost power because of Hurricane Maria. The shortage...

Man with flu.

The ‘Man Flu’: A Severe Case or Severe Wimpiness?

When it comes to complaining about flu and other upper-respiratory infection symptoms, men might not be wimps after all.  Maybe. A new study by researchers at Memorial University of Newfoundland in Canada found that “man flu” — a term often used by women who think that men complain more about...

Medicine Bottles and Pills

Where to Dispose of Unwanted Prescription Drugs? Here’s a Drop-Box Map.

The state Department of Consumer Protection has launched a tool to help community members locate the nearest prescription drug drop box in the state. The DCP website now contains an interactive map (click here) where people can zoom into their town and see the closest place to safely dispose of their...

Man holding pill containers near wife.

Pain Specialist: Why Opioids Overuse Can Worsen Pain

As the opioid crisis continues to rage across America, pain treatment providers are playing an even larger role in offering effective non-narcotic pain relief to patients. “There are many effective non-opioid pain treatments,” says Dr. Michael Grille of the Hartford Hospital Pain Treatment Center.  “These are non-addictive treatments, and can...

Man Smiling

How to Maintain Sobriety During Holidays

For those in recovery, whether it’s been a week or decades, the holiday season can be a stressful and dangerous time. Holiday gatherings associated with alcohol, volatile family situations, busy schedules, feelings of isolation or being away from one’s support system can be triggers that threaten recovery. Michelle Voegtle, Rushford...


Cancer Institute adds Neuro-Oncologist Leader to Growing Program

A growing Neuro-Oncology program and the Hartford HealthCare Cancer Institute’s membership in the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Alliance mean more hope and treatment options for brain cancer patients.  In August, Ahmad Daher, MD, PhD, was named medical director of neuro-oncology for the Cancer Institute and is seeing patients with primary...


Study: Use of Electronic Devices Linked to Teen Depression

A new study published in the journal Clinical Psychological Science shows a possible correlation between increased symptoms of depression and suicidal thoughts in teens who spend more than three hours a day online, on cellphones or playing video games.  Symptoms were particularly prevalent among girls, the survey reports. The study...

Brian Macfarlane

For This Retiree, UroLift (For Enlarged Prostate) Proves Liberating

You might find it hard to believe that Brian Macfarlane has already been retired for 10 years. It’s easy to imagine the youthful 71-year-old still driving the beer distribution truck that he drove for more than 30 years. He’s enjoying retirement and staying active by walking three to four miles...


Study: Political Turmoil Pushes Americans To Record Stress Levels

If watching cable news shows and reading your Twitter feed has you a bit stressed-out these days, you’re not alone. A new study by the American Psychological Association (APA) says nearly two-thirds of Americans (63 percent) say the future of our nation is a very or somewhat significant source of...

Opioids illustration

Is Classifying Opioid Crisis A Public Health Emergency Enough?

President Trump officially declared the nation’s opioid crisis a public health emergency Oct. 26, stopping short of issuing a national disaster declaration as originally promised. “As Americans, we cannot allow this to continue,” he said. “It is time to liberate our communities from this scourge of drug addiction. Never been...


Feeling Dizzy? Vertigo Is A Lot More Common Than You Think

As LeBron James begins his quest for a fourth NBA title this week, it’s not only the Golden State Warriors he’ll be battling. James joins a long list of athletes and celebrities, including golfer Todd Day and Academy Award-winning actor Nicholas Cage, who have gone public with their medical condition....


Natchaug New London Site Receives $15k For Narcan For Families, First Responders

Thanks to $15,000 in funding from the Community Foundation of Eastern Connecticut (CFECT), families of clients at Natchaug Hospital’s Care Plus Groton/New London site and the city’s first responders will have better access to Narcan to help save the lives of opioid overdoes victims.  The funding was officially announced during...


Alcohol’s Free Pass: The Hidden Cancer Risk

As the opioid crisis continues to make national headlines, Rushford Medical Director Dr. J. Craig Allen cautions us not to overlook the dangers of alcohol. “Excessive alcohol use leads to nearly 90,000 deaths a year in the United States,” Allen says. Allen says people should be cognizant, not only of...


‘You’ll Never Work Again’: How Karen Kangas Became A Voice For Recovery

For Karen Kangas, the Behavioral Health Network’s new Director of Recovery and Family Affairs, hope is the best tool you can give a person battling addiction and mental illness. She speaks from experience. Kangas is in recovery herself and has spent the past 25 years advocating for people with mental...


Hormone Replacement Therapy Not A Health Risk?

For years, women experiencing menopause have been faced with conflicting studies about the risks and benefits of hormone replacement therapy. Now, a landmark study is offering some reassurance for women who have undergone or plan to undergo the treatment aimed at relieving some menopausal symptoms. The clinical trial, conducted by...


Can Fitness Affect Prostate Cancer Surgery Recovery?

Being vigilant about his risks for developing prostate cancer and staying in great shape helped saved Neville Brooks’ life. Having a father and several uncles die from the disease, the 56-year-old retired Hartford Deputy Police Chief wasn’t surprised when he was diagnosed with the disease in 2009. He says he’d...


Backus Earns National ‘Most Wired’ Award for Technology

For the seventh straight year, Backus Hospital has been recognized as one of the most technologically advanced hospitals in the nation with a Most Wired award by Hospitals and Health Networks, a health care publication of the American Hospital Association. Most Wired Award winners are selected based on the Annual...


Hartford HealthCare Officially Opens New Family Health Center in Plainfield

New center offers cardiology and primary care, with more services to come. PLAINFIELD — More than 50 people, including community leaders, physicians and staff, helped Hartford HealthCare, Hartford HealthCare Medical Group and Backus Hospital officially open the new Hartford HealthCare Family Health Center in Plainfield with a ribbon-cutting ceremony on...


First Spine Surgery In 13 Years At Windham Hospital

WILLIMANTIC —Windham Hospital continues to expand orthopedic surgical options for patients. On May 8, Dr. Daniel George performed a lumbar (lower back) discectomy in the Windham Hospital operating room. It was the first time in more than 13 years that spine surgery was performed at the hospital. The same day...