By LINDSAY CAREY
Two representatives from Hartford Healthcare attended a Town Council meeting to share with the public how the company is moving forward with making plans for Bradley’s future.
Trish Walden from Hartford Healthcare Senior Services and Director of the Office of Project Management John Rossi from Hartford Healthcare appeared before the Council and community.
Walden stressed that communication would play a major role in Hartford Healthcare’s planning process for the Bradley campus.
Walden discussed ways Hartford Healthcare is reaching out to the community and keeping an open dialogue. Hartford Healthcare has launched a monthly newsletter called “Healthy Southington” in order to inform the people about what the organization is doing in town.
The healthcare organization has also hired a national information consultant and a research company to help with the process.
Walden shared that Hartford Healthcare has chosen to work with Navigant Healthcare, which is a national information consultant company based in Chicago. Navigant Healthcare has put together a team of 13 people and will be drafting a plan for both the Bradley campus and the forthcoming Queen Street medical center by the end of April.
“This can’t be a solution that’s only good for two years or three years,” said Walden. “We really need to solve for the healthcare needs of this community for the next generation.
Walden also said that Hartford Healthcare would seek community input throughout the planning process. She said they are already starting to set up interviews with local non-profits organizations, town elected officials, the Chamber of Commerce, both staff in leadership at senior living facilities and seniors.
“We need to be transparent, we need to build relationships, and we need to build trust,” said Walden.
Hartford Healthcare also has hired a research company called Market Research to survey Southington residents and collect data regarding the hospital. Walden said that everyone in town should be looking for Market Research on their caller ID, because the company will be calling hundreds of people in Southington with a goal of getting 300 completed surveys.
Town Councilor Dawn Miceli encouraged Hartford Healthcare to remain open with the information gained from their community outreach.
“If you can keep all of us, not just [the Town Council], in the loop with regard to your survey findings and having the conversations that you’re having with town leaders and civic organizations,” said Miceli. “Please keep us in the loop that is key.”
Walden also took the opportunity to clear up some rumors that have been going around regarding the Emergency Department and the family medical center on Queen Street.
Walden assured everyone that Hartford Healthcare is committed to keeping the Emergency Department open at Bradley. In an effort to communicate their support of the Emergency Department and to generate more visits, Walden said that Hartford Healthcare has produced a commercial.
She shared that the commercial, which is to begin airing soon, will star local doctor Eric Hobert and Southington’s Mrs. Connecticut. Walden said that in the commercial Southington’s Mrs. Connecticut Kimberly Beaudoin and her husband have to take their son to Bradley because of an injury during a midget football game.
“He’s treated and released and it really is supporting and promoting the incredible work that is done at the Emergency Department,” said Walden.
She also discussed some of Hartford Healthcare’s recent accomplishments in the town like opening a new ambulatory surgery center at Bradley, which is seeing over 100 patients a month, and the $2 million grant for the Center for Healthy Aging in Southington.
Walden also explained Hartford Healthcare has not yet decided whether or not to put an Urgent Care center in the medical family health center on Queen Street, which was recently approved by Planning and Zoning. She also offered an assurance the facility in no way would act as Bradley’s competitor.
“There may be some diagnostics, but it is not going to be in competition with our Emergency Department,” said Walden. “That wouldn’t make any sense.”
Chairman of the Town Council Michael Riccio assured the public the Town Council has been actively attending committee meetings, touring other hospital campus and talking with Hartford Healthcare as an effort to find the best solution for Bradley.
Riccio also credited Hartford Healthcare for stepping up and include the community more in their plans.
“I’m sure many of you sat in Derynoski (School) auditorium and it was a difficult evening,” said Riccio of the Community Conversation held by Hartford Healthcare in the late summer. ‘Hartford Healthcare to their credit has owned up to the mistakes they made in the beginning ….”