East Region President Reiterates Commitment to Windham Hospital

June 19, 2015

East Region President Reiterates Commitment to Windham Hospital

WILLIMANTIC—Hartford HealthCare East Region President Dave Whitehead used the presentation of the community health needs assessment to assure the audience at ECSU that Windham Hospital is committed to continuing to offer cornerstone services to the community.

“I want to be perfectly clear: We are committed to keeping Windham Hospital open and accessible to all who rely on us for care,” Whitehead said.

Whitehead said the cornerstone services include, but are not limited to: emergency care, cardiology, oncology, women’s health, diagnostic imaging, short stay inpatient care, chronic disease management, and other coordinated services on campus and nearby.

Now that priorities have been identified, Whitehead said the hospital must be transformed so it can be financially viable, which must include a focus on preventive health and outpatient services, rather than the traditional hospital-centric model. He added that the hospital will continue to work collaboratively to enable access to specialty care services that the affiliation with Hartford HealthCare makes possible.

Whitehead said, with the health needs assessment, the current state budget, reimbursement challenges and six consecutive years of financial losses at Windham Hospital (it loses $11,000 per day), it is clear that it is time to face some tough realities, potentially including changes in services offered and staffing.

“These issues persist despite the incredible efforts of the Windham Hospital staff who do their work in the most efficient, cost-effective manner,” Whitehead said. “This isn’t going to be easy. There will be some difficult decisions. But even in the face of these financial challenges and a punishing state budget, we are committed to investing in these cornerstone services.”

State Rep. Susan Johnson (D-Windham) was among those on hand Thursday.

“I want to thank Dave (Whitehead) for working so hard to keep Windham Hospital’s doors open,” said Johnson