Moments That Matter

HVI First in New England to Earn Joint Commission Designation

Steve Coates

The Heart & Vascular Institute (HVI) at Hartford Hospital earned Joint Commission Comprehensive Cardiac Center Certification, the first in New England and one of only 16 nationally to earn this prestigious designation.

In collaboration with the American Heart Association, this is the premier cardiovascular certification for hospitals demonstrating high quality care using evidence-based, guidelinesdriven treatment and fostering collaboration throughout the system of care.

“It is an honor to be recognized by the Joint Commission for the exceptional care our heart and vascular team provides,” said Hartford Hospital President Bimal Patel. “This designation is a testament to the amazing skill, dedication and collaboration of our entire cardiac team and their commitment to high-quality care.”

To earn CCC certification, Hartford Hospital had to demonstrate excellence in treating every type of heart issue at any point in the disease process — from prevention through diagnosis, treatment and recovery. The program was required to exceed quality measurements in cardiac rehabilitation, heart failure, cardiac arrest, coronary artery bypass, diagnostic cardiac catheterization, valve replacement, percutaneous coronary intervention, ST elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI), arrhythmia management and acute myocardial infarction.

“This designation truly demonstrates the expertise and collaboration of our entire team and their commitment to excellence at every touch point in the continuum of care,” said Sabet Hashim, MD, FACS, HVI co-physician-in-chief.

Bucketful of Birthday Fun in Bloomfield

Ken Harrison

“You are an essential piece of our team.”

That’s the theme behind the Hartford HealthCare at Home Bloomfield office team’s “Birthday Bucket,” a creative way colleagues developed to celebrate each other. Everyone celebrating a birthday picks a prize from the bucket, choosing from items that were donated or purchased by team members.

“Our office has always been social. In the past, we had monthly pot luck birthday parties but, due to COVID, we could not continue with those type of celebrations,” explained Bridget Kennedy, clinical team manager. “The Birthday Bucket was started as a way to say happy birthday to staff we love and to remind us we are all part of the puzzle that makes us great.”

Devon Davis, East Hartford team manager, left, with Regional Director of Operations Kristen Murphy pose at Hartford HealthCare at Home’s Bloomfield office. The puzzle pieces on the wall note which colleagues have birthdays each month. Photo by Ken Harrison

Mums Pay Tribute to Recovering Foundation Leader

Shawn Mawhiney

Autumn at Windham Hospital means mums and lots of them, thanks to long-time Foundation Executive Director Shawn Maynard.

When Maynard went on sick leave over the summer, the fall beautification process might have been scrapped had it not been for his caring colleagues and friends who launched Mums for Maynard. The tribute raised more than $4,000 for the colorful flowers that were placed along the front driveway and walk and elsewhere to brighten the space.

Dozens of mums arrived as part of a tribute to Windham Foundation Executive Director Shawn Maynard, who is recovering from an illness. Photo by Jeff Evans

Maynard is known for beautifying his community hospital inside and out. Whether it’s decorating the hospital corridors with local art, choosing holiday decorations or meticulously tending to flowers on the grounds, he takes great pride in ensuring that Windham Hospital is as inviting and attractive as it can be.

“I usually like to fly under the radar, but beautifying our campus has always been a passion of mine. I will be forever grateful for your commitment to continuing this tradition in my absence.”

Maynard, who is doing well and making great progress, was touched by the outpouring of support and love.

“Thank you for the amazing love and kindness you have shown me,” he wrote to the Windham team. “I usually like to fly under the radar, but beautifying our campus has always been a passion of mine. I will be forever grateful for your commitment to continuing this tradition in my absence.”

Bliss Expansion: ‘Beacon of Hope’

Brenda Kestenbaum

Two years in the making, the September unveiling of the four-story Bliss Expansion building at Hartford Hospital was dubbed an “architectural marvel.”

The expansion — housing cardio-thoracic surgery, cardiac and neurologic intensive care, and advanced MRI technology — meant a 20-percent expansion of the intensive care unit, 25-percent increase in MRI and diagnostic capabilities, and 10-percent increase in operating room capacity.

The 50,000-square-foot building, designed and built by MBH Architects and FIP Construction, is available to patients across Hartford HealthCare needing tertiary care.

“This building became a beacon of hope, when most of all activities and commerce came to a halt in the city and state,” said Hartford Hospital President Bimal Patel, referring to the pandemic. “It is a testament to our tenacity and determination to complete the project.”

Design efficiencies, layout and flow intentionally support staff, patients and their families, offering connectivity with core efficiencies in hospital functions. The facility boasts the largest rooms at the hospital with adjoining spaces for visitors.

The attention to detail is not limited to the interior. Atop the building, a verdant, environmentally friendly roof is planted with thousands of square feet of sedum to provide thermal insulation, noise reduction and a natural habitat for wildlife.

The ribbon cutting at the Bliss Expansion at Hartford Hospital.
Photos by Chris Rakoczy

Doggone Good Teamwork at Windham

Elissa Bass

Caregivers strive to provide very best patient care and experience to every person who walks through the hospital doors, but what about dogs?

When a frequent visitor to the Windham Hospital Emergency Department needed to be admitted for treatment, the question of what to do with his support dog, Cleo, arose.

Colleagues from multiple departments answered the call, and within hours, a temporary home was found for Cleo while her human stayed in the hospital. It was good news for Cleo to have a safe and welcoming place to stay, and great news that the situation prompted the Windham team to draft an emergency plan should the need arise again.

“This is such a heartwarming example of colleagues doing the best thing, the caring thing, the right thing, the safe thing and the just thing,” said social worker Megan Kokofski of “Operation Cleo.”

According to the new plan, staff has contacts with area veterinarians and residents who foster dogs and could be called upon in an emergency and at no cost to the patient, said Kelcey Johnson, director of human-centered care for the East Region.

Operation Cleo couldn’t have happened without: Kokofski; Johnson; Jill Nickerson, ED nurse manager; Kathy Fahey, ED social worker; Robin Mott, manager of Women’s Health Services; Adrianna Figueroa and Kevin “Big Chips” Wilbur from Public Safety; and Jason Landry and Javier Diaz from Food and Nutrition Services.