MidState Celebrates Silver Anniversary of Caring

By Brian Spyros
Some of MidState’s longest-serving colleagues took part in a cake-cutting ceremony to mark the hospital’s 25th anniversary. With former MidState President Gary Havican, at right, they are (left to right): Jerry Chaparro, assistant director, environmental services; Kay Yamartino, RN, Infusion Center; Mark Dalidowitz, point of care coordinator, lab; Drew Metzger, MD, medical director; Elena Rivera, CIA secretary, Pavilion B; Diane Forstberg, business system analyst, food and nutrition; Janet Gonzalez, food and nutrition; Christine Scully, director, integrational operation; Mandy Miller, nursing assistant, Pavilion C; Marlene Williams, physical therapist; and June Parker, medical technologist, lab. Photo by Rusty Kimball

Let’s rewind to 1998: “Titanic” was the number one movie at the box office, Furby was the hottest toy on the market and the average price of a gallon of gas was just over a dollar. Something else significant happened that year — MidState Medical Center opened its doors on Sept. 29.

“It’s come so far in the last 25 years from really a dedicated community hospital to one of the busiest hospitals in Connecticut,” says former President Gary Havican.

The hospital’s history runs much deeper than 25 years, though. In 1892, Meriden Hospital opened and grew considerably over the decades. The name was changed to Meriden-Wallingford Hospital and, in 1991, the hospital merged with War World II Veterans Memorial Hospital. Several years later, the plans for a new state-of-the-art facility began to gel.

Construction began in 1996 despite some initial concerns.

“It went from that to the recognition that we were a gem in the community and something people were talking about in a positive way,” explains Lucille Janatka, former MidState president.

Over the years, MidState’s service area grew considerably — bringing care to communities including Cheshire, Wallingford and North Haven — then the Connecticut Orthopaedic Institute was added in 2017, and Hunter’s Ambulance joined the Hartford HealthCare EMS Network.

Chris Scully is one of many colleagues with deep ties to MidState, having started at Meriden Wallingford Hospital in 1979 as a college student.

“I was always proud to be part of MidState Medical Center and Hartford HealthCare, and would choose to go no place else to work,” says Scully, who recently retired.

MidState Medical Center under construction, circa 1996.

Dr. Sutton Receives Inaugural QU Faculty Award

By Susan McDonald

Quinnipiac University selected Trevor Sutton, MD, an anesthesiologist with Hartford HealthCare in Hartford, to receive its inaugural Frank H. Netter MD School of Medicine Promotion of Equity, Inclusion, Diversity and AntiRacism Faculty Award. The award recognizes faculty “demonstrating dedication to promoting diversity, equity, inclusion and/or anti-racism in direct teaching of learners and/or in the care of patients and communities, advocacy and scholarly activities.”

Trevor Sutton, MD

Dr. Umashanker Earns International Research Award

By Susan McDonald
Devika Umashanker, MD

Devika Umashanker, MD, metabolic weight loss specialist with the Hartford HealthCare Medical Group, presented a talk at the International Federation for the Surgery of Obesity and Metabolic Disorders (IFSO) conference in Naples, Italy.

The presentation, “Prevalence and Risk Factors of Migraine in a ClinicBased Sample of Patients Pursuing Surgical or Medical Treatment for Obesity,” also earned Dr. Umashanker the IFSO Integrated Health Early State Scientific Investigator Award.

The study was conducted in collaboration with Brian Grosberg, MD, director of the Ayer Neuroscience Institute Headache Center and his team.

The Integrated Health Emerging Scientist Award is given to the presenter based on the scientific and clinical significance of their study, innovation and rigor of study methods, clarity of presentation, and quality of responses to questions from the audience and panel. The presenter must also have received their last degree less than 10 years ago.