UConn Health Logo Health

Author Archives: Carolyn Pennington

January PAWS Award Winners

Dr. Andy Agwunobi UMG General Medicine MA Team Shevonne White, Operating Room Catherine Kay, UMG-Rheumatology Patricia Joyce, UMG-Internal Medicine Laura Didden, Dental Dean’s Office Rashea Banks, Neag Comprehensive Cancer Center (Janine Gelineau/UConn Health)

Human Resources is pleased to announce January 2017 PAWS award recipients. The award honors employees who consistently perform above and beyond the expectations of their job and exhibit the following attributes: Part of a team; Awesome attitude; Wonderful work ethic; and Superior service.

Individual Winners: Rashea Banks, Neag Comprehensive Cancer Center; Doreen Barnofski, Dermatology Clinic; Laura Didden, Dental Dean’s Office; Marsha Dowling, UMG-Rheumatology; Cherayne Forknot-Gayle, Medical/Surgical 5 Unit; Patricia Joyce, UMG-Internal Medicine; Catherine Kay, UMG-Rheumatology; Ashley Schwartz, UMG-Rheumatology; and Shevonne White, Operating Room.

UMG General Medicine MA Team: Danielle Beaudoin, Wendy Carros, Stephanie Laster, Jenny Ojeda Rosado, Karolina Simko and Lucy Sokolsky.

UConn Health Faculty on Best Doctors List

Hartford Magazine’s Best Doctors® list includes 58 UConn Health faculty members practicing in such areas as dermatology, geriatrics, surgery, orthopaedics, and obstetrics and gynecology. The list was drawn from the database of Best Doctors in America, an independent service that offers second opinions online.

Best Doctors physicians are selected by other doctors as part of a comprehensive review process. These are the doctors that other doctors recognize as best in their fields.

UConn faculty cited:

Marc Paradis, Anesthesiology
Amir Tulchinsky, Anesthesiologybest-docs-2017-cover
Jason Ryan, Cardiovascular Disease
Peter Schulman, Cardiovascular Disease
Aseem Vashist, Cardiovascular Disease
Jane Grant-Kels, Dermatology and Pathology
Hanspaul Makkar, Dermatology and Pediatric Dermatology
Marti Rothe, Dermatology
Bruce Strober, Dermatology
James Whalen, Dermatology
Jeffrey Spiro, Ear, Nose, and Throat
Andrew Arnold, Endocrinology
Carl Malchoff, Endocrinology
Pamela Taxel, Endocrinology
Robert Cushman, Family Medicine
Patrick Coll, Geriatrics
Anne Kenny, Geriatrics
Margaret Rathier, Geriatrics
Gail Sullivan, Geriatrics and Internal Medicine
Craig Rodner, Hand Surgery
Rebecca Andrews, Internal Medicine
Elizabeth Appel, Internal Medicine
Lynn Kosowicz,
Internal Medicine
Thomas Manger, Internal Medicine
Jacqueline Nissen, Internal Medicine
Andre Kaplan, Nephrology
Claudio Adrian Benadiva, Obstetrics/Gynecology
Molly Brewer, Obstetrics/Gynecology
Winston Campbell, Obstetrics/Gynecology
Victor Fang, Obstetrics/Gynecology
Anthony Luciano, Obstetrics/Gynecology
John Nulsen, Obstetrics/Gynecology
Dave Park, Obstetrics/Gynecology
Garry Turner, Obstetrics/Gynecology
William Ehlers, Ophthalmology
Robert Arciero, Orthopaedic Surgery
Augustus Mazzocca, Orthopaedic Surgery
Kevin Shea, Orthopaedic Surgery
Seth Brown, Otolaryngology
Denis Lafreniere, Otolaryngology
Jeffrey Spiro, Otolaryngology
Naveed Hussain, Pediatric Specialist/Neonatal-Perinatal
David Steffens, Psychiatry
Andrew Winokur, Psychiatry
Nausherwan Burki, Pulmonology
Robert Dowsett, Radiation Oncology
David McFadden, Surgery and Surgical Oncology
Peter Albertsen, Urology
Carl Gjertson, Urology
James Menzoian, Vascular Surgery

Pediatrics Faculty at Connecticut Children’s Medical Center
Mary Wu Chang, Dermatology
Karen Rubin,
Endocrinology
Henry Feder, Infectious Diseases
Juan Salazar, Infectious Diseases
Edwin Leonard Zalneraitis, Neurology, General
Lawrence Zemel, Rheumatology
Brendan Campbell, Surgery and Thoracic Surgery
Richard Weiss, Surgery

Update: UConn HealthONE

The road to our electronic medical record system, HealthONE, continues full speed ahead. Roberta Luby, assistant vice president for HealthONE, says they’re more than halfway through the “building” phase of the project. They’ve started holding adoption sessions in which managers and key users review the dashboards that will help them manage patient care, quality measures, and financial results. Watch the video to learn how your feedback has played a critical role in the project’s success so far.

Engaging and Educating Patients While They Wait

The Pulmonary Department waiting room where a new TV monitor has been installed in partnership with AccentHealth, a healthcare media company that provides healthy living video programming. (Photo by Janine Gelineau)

The Pulmonary Department waiting room where a new TV monitor has been installed in partnership with AccentHealth, a healthcare media company that provides healthy living video programming. (Photo by Janine Gelineau)

If you have ever spent time in your doctor’s waiting room, you may have read some well-worn magazines or watched reality TV to pass the time. This is no longer the case at UConn Health.

Recently, new TV monitors were installed in many of the waiting rooms in the Outpatient Pavilion and the Cardiology, Pulmonary and Nephrology waiting rooms in the main building. In partnership with AccentHealth, a healthcare media company that provides a patient engagement solution for physician waiting and exam rooms, UConn Health patients are being educated and empowered to live healthy lives by receiving credible health information.

“The patients in our waiting rooms are watching a television network that provides exclusive programming produced by CNN and co-hosted by CNN Chief Medical Correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta and HLN Morning News Anchor Robin Meade. AccentHealth also delivers specialty networks that are produced in partnership with the American Cancer Society, Harvard Medical School, and the American Heart Association,” says Vice President of Ambulatory Services Anne Horbatuck. Segments include health news, living well, fitness, nutrition, medical breakthroughs, safety tips, and healthy recipes. In addition to the network programming, patients also view UConn Health produced videos and messaging.

“Patients used to sit down and either check their phones or read a magazine. Now they spend their time in the waiting room learning about health-related topics or getting wellness tips,” says practice manager Kelly Clarke. “The patient feedback has been so positive that we have increased the time the programming is available in our waiting room,” adds Clarke.

Bye-bye, Building 20

Building 20, constructed in 1990 for extra office space at UConn Health, in the process of being demolished. (Photo by Janine Gelineau)

Building 20, constructed in 1990 for extra office space at UConn Health, in the process of being demolished. (Photo by Janine Gelineau)

There are probably not too many of us mourning the demise of Building 20 – the small wood frame structure that was connected to the back of the main building where the police department is located. While it was drafty and dreary and had no running water (which meant no bathrooms!), it did serve a vital need for office space when it was first constructed in 1990.

Occupancy varied over the ensuing years, but typically served as academic and research-related support space. According to Thomas Trutter, AVP of campus planning, design and construction, “By removing this older, less than desirable structure, we are reducing long-term maintenance costs and the newly renovated space in the main building provides much more energy efficient and better configured office space.”

A pile of rubble is all that is left of Building 20 which housed research and academic office space for more than 25 years. (Photo by Janine Gelineau)

A pile of rubble is all that is left of Building 20 which housed research and academic office space for more than 25 years. (Photo by Janine Gelineau)

New Chief Counsel for Health

Brian White has been named Chief Counsel at UConn Health.

Brian White has been named Chief Counsel at UConn Health.

In January, Brian White will join UConn as chief counsel at UConn Health. In this role he will report to both Richard Orr, vice president and general counsel for the University of Connecticut, and Dr. Andrew Agwunobi, executive vice president for health affairs and CEO of UConn Health.

Currently Brian is associate general counsel for University of Wisconsin Health, a system with six hospitals and over 2,600 faculty physicians. Prior to UW Health, he was in-house counsel for University of Iowa Healthcare for nine years. He began his legal career with a private practice in Chicago after receiving both his JD and BA degrees from the University of Iowa where he continues to serve as adjunct faculty.

“The addition of Brian to the UConn Health leadership team comes at an important time for our organization,” says Dr. Agwunobi. “His experience in academic systems with transactions and physician relationships puts us in a stronger position to be an active part of a changing healthcare landscape across Connecticut.”

“Brian is an important addition to the legal team at UConn.  He represents another example of increased collaboration between UConn Health and the rest of the University,” says Orr. “ By enhancing  our in-house legal capacity we can reduce our dependence on outside law firms and improve service to internal clients at all of our campuses.”

“Joining an organization with the national reputation of UConn, at a time when they are so poised for success, is an opportunity I could not pass on,” says White. “I look forward to working with the exceptional team already established at UConn Health and furthering the tradition and vision of the academic medical system.”

Brian will be joined in Connecticut by his wife, Alicia, and their four children.

Creative Child Center Carolers

Tiny voices filled the air of the Outpatient Pavilion lobby Tuesday as 15 preschoolers from the Creative Child Center sang some holiday classics to family, staff and passersby. Video by Frank Barton.

Preschoolers from the Child Care Center perform their holiday concert in the Outpatient Pavilion (Janine Gelineau/UConn Health) Preschoolers from the Child Care Center perform their holiday concert in the Outpatient Pavilion (Janine Gelineau/UConn Health) Preschoolers from the Child Care Center perform their holiday concert in the Outpatient Pavilion (Janine Gelineau/UConn Health) Preschoolers from the Child Care Center perform their holiday concert in the Outpatient Pavilion (Janine Gelineau/UConn Health) Preschoolers from the Child Care Center perform their holiday concert in the Outpatient Pavilion (Janine Gelineau/UConn Health) Preschoolers from the Child Care Center perform their holiday concert in the Outpatient Pavilion (Janine Gelineau/UConn Health) Preschoolers from the Child Care Center perform their holiday concert in the Outpatient Pavilion (Janine Gelineau/UConn Health) Preschoolers from the Child Care Center perform their holiday concert in the Outpatient Pavilion (Janine Gelineau/UConn Health) Preschoolers from the Child Care Center perform their holiday concert in the Outpatient Pavilion (Janine Gelineau/UConn Health) Preschoolers from the Child Care Center perform their holiday concert in the Outpatient Pavilion (Janine Gelineau/UConn Health) Preschoolers from the Child Care Center perform their holiday concert in the Outpatient Pavilion (Janine Gelineau/UConn Health) Preschoolers from the Child Care Center perform their holiday concert in the Outpatient Pavilion (Janine Gelineau/UConn Health) Preschoolers from the Child Care Center perform their holiday concert in the Outpatient Pavilion (Janine Gelineau/UConn Health) Preschoolers from the Child Care Center perform their holiday concert in the Outpatient Pavilion (Janine Gelineau/UConn Health) Preschoolers from the Child Care Center perform their holiday concert in the Outpatient Pavilion (Janine Gelineau/UConn Health) Preschoolers from the Child Care Center perform their holiday concert in the Outpatient Pavilion (Janine Gelineau/UConn Health) Preschoolers from the Child Care Center perform their holiday concert in the Outpatient Pavilion (Janine Gelineau/UConn Health) Preschoolers from the Child Care Center perform their holiday concert in the Outpatient Pavilion (Janine Gelineau/UConn Health)

Photos by Janine Gelineau.

Successful Surge Drill for ED

  • UConn Health employees participate in a surge drill in the emergency department at UConn John Dempsey Hospital Nov. 29, 2016.
UConn John Dempsey Hospital successfully conducted a realistic drill assessing its emergency preparedness and communications in the case of an external disaster, a Code Yellow, on Nov. 29. The 9 a.m. drill’s mock scenario tested the hospital’s response to a surge of 18 patients arriving to its Emergency Department after a multiple trauma bus accident occurred on I-84. The hospital’s emergency response was immediate with swift communication and activation of the Hospital Incident Command Center led by Nursing Director, Caryl Ryan. As Incident Commander, Ryan directed the team’s real-time response and communications of all personnel, hospital units, phone, and Everbridge System alerts via phone messages, emails and text alerts. UConn Health thanks the ED, Command Center, Fire Department and EMS, doctors, nurses and staff, including employees who played injured patients, for their drill participation and quick responsive actions in the role-play to help uncover any improvements necessary to put in place for a future, real-life situation.

Lakeesha Brown: 2016 Dr. Deckers Award Honoree

  • The Dr. Peter J. Deckers Employee Appreciation Award finalists from left, Lakeesha Brown, Elizabeth Cwalinski, Ursula Knight, and Carol Schramm. (Photo by Tina Encarnacion)
It’s among the highest honors a UConn Health employee can receive – the Dr. Peter J. Deckers Employee Appreciation Award. Who qualifies as a Deckers Award nominee? An employee who consistently demonstrates passion and commitment, strong leadership, exemplary professional skills, and goes above and beyond to help meet the goals of UConn Health. The award was first presented in 2009 and is named after Dr. Peter Deckers, retired executive vice president for health affairs and dean emeritus of the UConn School of Medicine.

This year’s honoree is Lakeesha Brown, principal labor relations specialist in the Department of Human Resources. Christine Cieplinski, director of labor relations, nominated Lakeesha saying “she sees every work day as an opportunity to positively invest employees in the mission and vision of UConn Health.” Hear what else Christine said about Lakeesha.

The three other finalists for the Deckers Award were:

Elizabeth Cwalinski, Housekeeping Supervisor (Nominated by Cliff Ashton, AVP Facilities Management and Operations)

Ursula Knight, CMHC Nursing Supervisor (Nominated by Connie Weiskopf, Director of Nursing and Patient Care Services, CMHC)

Carol Schramm, Registered Nurse (Nominated by Dr. Thomas Yasuda, Medical Director, Operating Room)

The Deckers Awards and the annual celebration of employee years of service were held Nov. 21 in the Academic Rotunda during a high-energy ceremony emceed by Alexis Crean, organization and staff development specialist in the Department of Human Resources.

Anne Horbatuck Named VP of Ambulatory Services

Anne Horbatuck

Anne Horbatuck

After nearly a year in an interim role, Anne Horbatuck has been named Vice President, Ambulatory Services. In this role she has responsibilities for ambulatory practices with both UConn Medical Group and UConn John Dempsey Hospital. In over thirty years with UConn Health, Anne has held a number of roles including as Chief Operating Officer of the Musculoskeletal Institute, Director of Signature Programs, and as a nursing director, manager and service line leader.

“Removing Anne’s interim designation is well deserved,” said Dr. Andy Agwunobi, CEO of UConn Health and EVP for Health Affairs. “She has shown passion for her work, dedication to the organization and a commitment to making UMG a top tier patient service organization.”

“I am excited to have such a significant opportunity to impact the future of UConn Health,” said Horbatuck. “I love the potential we have and look forward to working with people in all roles of ambulatory operations to create a great patient experience that contributes to the overall success of UConn Health”.