By Ed Harris
Two officials from the Hospital of Central Connecticut attended a recent Town Council meeting to assure councilors and the public that Bradley Memorial Hospital was not closing. The officials were guests of Councilor Cheryl Lounsbury, who said she had heard rumors going around town that the hospital would be closing down.
“This is an anchor, a strategic anchor,” said Hospital of Central Connecticut Executive Vice President and Chief Medical Officer Steven D. Hanks, MD, MMM. “Bradley is not closing. The future for the Bradley campus is bright.”
Hanks explained that the hospitals in the Hartford Healthcare partnership were simply consolidating services.
In 1995, Bradley merged with the Hospital of New Britain to form the Hospital of Central Connecticut. Hanks said this allowed the hospitals to save $10 million a year. In 2006, another $6-8 million was saved in operating costs by combining the hospitals to a single license.
Two years ago the Hospital of Central Connecticut joined Hartford Healthcare, which also includes Midstate, Hartford and Windham Hospitals.
During his presentation Hanks referred to a report that is currently being formulated by Philadelphia based Health Strategies and Solutions. Though the report will not be finalized until September, one of the proposals would replace the operating room at Bradley with an outpatient orthopedic surgery center.
Hanks assured the council that the emergency room at Bradley was not going to close. Hanks said the emergency room use was increasing.
“The community need is going to drive the investments at Bradley,” Hanks said.
Hanks presentation seemed to calm any fears that the councilors may have had.
“You should feel very secure that the hospital is not going to close,” Councilor Al Natelli said. “In the long term it is going to morph into something the community needs.”