New London Hospital’s President and CEO Bruce King has announced his intention to retire at the end of 2019, after more than16 years in the position and 40-plus years in his health care career.
King moved to New Hampshire to work at D-H in 1987, initially as a vice president of Finance, responsible for budgeting, reimbursement and patient accounts. In 1996, he became vice president of Contracting and Network Development for D-H and the D-H Alliance organizations in New Hampshire and Vermont. In April 2003, King became president and CEO of New London, functioning in this capacity under a management contract between D-H and New London.
“On behalf of New London Hospital, I thank Bruce for his dedication and commitment to the patients and community throughout his long career,” says Doug Lyon, chair of the New London Hospital Board of Trustees. “He has led New London Hospital through 16 years of constant improvement. During his tenure, badly needed new construction and renovation projects were completed at New London Hospital and the Newport Health Center, we achieved greater financial stability and finished two successful capital campaigns. Most importantly, higher quality care was delivered at New London Hospital. Staff was added in all care areas of the hospital and medical personnel from D-H now provide a wide range of specialty services formally available only in Lebanon. The integration into the D-HH System, which he championed, will provide our communities with even greater access to high-quality care. Bruce has been the widely recognized face of New London Hospital in our community and will leave very big shoes to fill.”
A search committee was formed in the summer with fellow trustees and in concert with D-HH, with a goal of naming a successor in the late fall. To ensure a smooth transition, King is planning to continue serving until his successor is selected.
“I want to thank the members of our community, employees and trustees, current and former, for your support throughout the years. It has been an honor and privilege to have had the opportunity to contribute to the leadership of this wonderful community health resource,” says King.
Earlier this summer, residents, staff and friends of Alice Peck Day Memorial Hospital's two senior living communities, Harvest Hill and The Woodlands, gathered to celebrate Facilities Director Jim Ewald’s 23 years of service. Ewald began his tenure during the construction of Harvest Hill in 1996. He helped to shepherd the project and oversaw the move-in of its first residents. From the day Harvest Hill’s doors opened on the campus of APD, he made sure every detail was attended to by himself personally or by a member of his hand-picked crew.
Ewald was also closely involved with the construction of The Woodlands in 2010. He expanded his team to make sure the community would grow into the beautiful addition to APD that it is today.
“Jim is a treasure. His co-workers and the residents loved him and he loved them back,” says Cindy Jerome, executive director of APD Lifecare. “Jim felt ownership of these buildings and knew every inch of them.”
Ewald knew each APD Lifecare resident by name, listened to their suggestions and made sure their needs were fully addressed. He took great pride in his work, ensuring the Harvest Hill and Woodlands communities were carefully maintained. He saw to it that every apartment became a home for its residents.
Ewald also oversaw the driver service that enabled residents to shop, go to medical visits or conduct errands. Despite an unending list of projects to complete, he always put the needs of residents first.
APD Lifecare is The Woodlands, a 63-apartment independent living community for seniors, and Harvest Hill, with 77 apartments offering assisted living, independent living and memory care. Learn more at www.apdlifecare.org or by calling Peggy Cooper at (603) 443-9575.
In August, a dedication ceremony was held in the Primary Care Clinic off the main lobby of Mt. Ascutney Hospital and Health Center for a newly installed private nursing suite, which is designed for breastfeeding or pumping by nursing mothers. The brightly-decorated nursing suite provides a comfortable, friendly, private space for mothers and babies. The suite contains occupancy-activated lighting, two benches, a fold-down table, power outlet and USB port, plus ceiling vents and an exhaust fan for comfort.The nursing suite was made possible with help from the Mt. Ascutney Hospital Auxiliary and Medical Staff and will be available for use by patients, visitors, and staff.
Mamava Lactation Stations are also at D-H in the:
- Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center:
- Level 1: North Entrance Waiting Area
- Level 3: Across from the East Mall Café and near the spiral staircase and moose sculpture
- Level 5: Outside the Matthew-Fuller Library
- Dartmouth-Hitchcock Heater Road
- Level 2: Primary Care
New London Hospital's Director of Wellness and Population Health Catherine Bardier has been elected chair of the Governor’s Council on Physical Activity & Health. The council was formed in 1991 by Executive Order of Governor Judd Gregg, and has been continued by his successors in the Governor's office. The council is charged with promoting a healthy, active lifestyle for all citizens of New Hampshire. Bardier has been serving as vice-chair since the beginning of 2018 and was first appointed in 2017 by Governor Sununu. She will assume her new role in September.
“I’m proud of the statewide activity challenges, events and achievement awards we are able to promote as a council,” says Bardier. “I look forward to providing my service as chair and to continuing the passionate work of a dedicated team.”
As the director, Bardier oversees community health initiatives, including the Wellness Connection Coalition and the New London Hospital Employee Wellness Program. She also serves as the chair of the Greater Sullivan County Public Health Advisory Council, and is on the Executive Committee for Dartmouth-Hitchcock Partners for Community Wellness.
The Governor's Council on Physical Activity & Health promotes several programs throughout the year, including this summer's Granite State 90-Day Challenge, a challenge to exercise every day for 20 minutes from June 1 to August 21. The council is not funded by the State of New Hampshire but relies on contributions and grants from the business community and various state and national organizations and agencies.
For more information about the Governor's Council on Physical Activity & Health and the programs offered visit www.nh.gov/gcpah.
Cheshire Medical Center's employee recognition awards were established to recognize employees—nominated by their peers—for organizational and professional excellence and for extraordinary service characterized by compassion, responsiveness to the needs of others and a positive team-oriented attitude. This quarter, the following individuals were acknowledged:
Leadership Recognition Award
President’s Service Excellence Award
The Joint Commission’s number one national patient safety goal is correct patient identification. Cheshire Medical Center's Patient Safety Committee recently decided to address the goal by looking at their policies and procedures with renewed focus and perspective. The CareConfirm project was such a success, when implemented hospital-wide, that the team won Cheshire's Chairman’s Award for their innovative approach to improving patient-centered care.
“This project felt so personal,” says Angela Lefebvre, RN, BSN, CEN, Accreditation and Regulatory Compliance leader, who took on the project along with Kaitlyn Wade, project management specialist. “I am a patient here. My daughter and husband are patients here. This affects our care too.”
With full support from leadership, the pair assembled an interdisciplinary team of front line staff, educators and communicators. The team soon discovered Cheshire had many policies about patient identification. “We crafted one standardized procedure that will work for all departments and services, then launched new staff education and public awareness messaging. The buy-in has been amazing!” says Lefebvre.
“The relationships I make with my patients and their families are some of the most rewarding parts of my job. Cheshire exists within a tight-knit community,” says Christine Driscoll-Carignan, RN, clinical leader, Progressive Care Unit. “My familiarity with my patients doesn’t replace double checking the details, it makes it even more important to stop and confirm each treatment plan is for the person in our care, every time. Safety is our priority.”
“We chose the concept of CareConfirm because it speaks to some of the myths we discovered about patient identification checks,” says Kristen Bernier, Cheshire’s former Marketing Director. “Many of our staff were concerned that asking a patient their name and birth date multiple times can feel impersonal or frustrating to them. It is important to stress it is their care plan—what’s on the paperwork or computer screen—that we are confirming. We check it is exactly the care meant for that individual.”
DHMC has been recognized by U.S. News & World Report as New Hampshire’s Best Hospital in this year’s annual Best Hospitals’ rankings.
D-H was also recognized as “high performing” in 13 clinical specialties and procedures. These high-performing areas are:
- abdominal aortic aneurysm repair
- aortic valve surgery
- chronic obstructive pulmonary disease
- colon cancer surgery
- gastroenterology and gastrointestinal surgery
- heart bypass surgery
- heart failure
- hip replacement
- lung cancer surgery
- neurology and neurosurgery
Congratulations to all of the teams that work in these specialty care and procedural areas. Their commitment to our patients is the reason why DHMC has received these important distinctions.
U.S. News & World Report’s Best Hospitals list evaluates 25 specialties, procedures and conditions in more than 4,500 medical centers nationwide. In rankings by state and metro area, U.S. News recognized hospitals as high performing across multiple areas of care. The methodologies (click on the link to view the U.S. News explanation) in most areas of care are based largely or entirely on objective measures, such as risk-adjusted survival and readmission rates, volume, patient experience, patient safety and quality of nursing, among other care-related indicators.
Because many patients value rankings such as these as part of their decision-making process in choosing providers and hospitals, we are proud of this distinction and launched an advertising campaign to share this good news with the communities we serve.
D-HH CEO and President Joanne M. Conroy, MD, is one of seven people who have been named to the American Hospital Association (AHA) Board of Trustees. The new members were announced by AHA for three-year terms beginning January 1, 2020. The Board of Trustees is the highest policymaking body of the AHA and has ultimate authority for the governance and management of its direction and finances.
Conroy leads D-HH, a nonprofit academic health system—and New Hampshire’s largest private employer—that includes DHMC, the system’s 396-bed flagship teaching hospital; the D-H Clinic, a multi-specialty group practice employing more than 1,800 providers; the D-H NCCC, one of 51 National Cancer Institute-designated comprehensive cancer centers; CHaD; four affiliated member hospitals; VNH; and 24 ambulatory care clinics around the state.
“AHA’s advocacy on behalf of our nation’s hospitals, and the millions of patients cared for by them, is critically important in today’s shifting health care landscape,” noted Conroy. “I’m proud and honored to be selected for the AHA board, and I look forward to fully engaging on the issues that are critically important to all of us who provide, and receive, care at hospitals.”
Earlier in her career, Conroy served as CEO of Massachusetts-based Lahey Hospital and Medical Center (formerly Lahey Clinic). She also served as chief health care officer for the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) in Washington, DC, for more than five years. In this role, she advanced AAMC’s strategic imperative of leading change to improve the nation’s health care system. By working with member medical schools and teaching hospitals, Conroy helped establish national health priorities and developed best practices to improve health by focusing on medical education, care delivery, research, diversity and inclusion.
Conroy is board certified by the American Board of Anesthesiologists. She received her undergraduate degree in chemistry from Dartmouth College and a medical degree from the Medical University of South Carolina, where she completed her residency in anesthesiology and served as chief resident for one year.
The AHA is a not-for-profit association of health care provider organizations and individuals that are committed to the health improvement of their communities. The AHA is the national advocate for its members, which include nearly 5,000 hospitals, health care systems, networks, other providers of care and 43,000 individual members. Founded in 1898, the AHA provides education for health care leaders and is a source of information on health care issues and trends.
“We couldn’t be more pleased with Dr. Conroy’s appointment to the AHA Board of Trustees,” said Steve Ahnen, president of the New Hampshire Hospital Association. “Her leadership and commitment to patients and health care transformation will serve as an excellent addition to the AHA Board, and its commitment to shaping the future of the health care landscape in communities large and small all across the country.”
Will Torrey, MD, D-H Department of Psychiatry’s vice chair for clinical services, was presented with the Exemplary Psychiatrist Award by the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) on June 13. Torrey, who is also a professor of Psychiatry at the Geisel School of Medicine, was given the award at NAMI New Hampshire’s Party with a Purpose in New Castle, NH.
The Exemplary Psychiatrist Awards program allows NAMI members, state organizations and affiliates throughout the country, “to honor the exceptional contributions that many psychiatrists make to improve the lives of people living with mental health conditions,” according to the NAMI website. Torrey was nominated for the award by Ken Norton, executive director of NAMI NH.
“Will has a national reputation for his innovative and person-centered approaches to psychiatry,” says Norton. “He is very careful to be inclusive about the voice of people with lived experience in the work he does, and strongly believes in the importance of educating and empowering family members and people with mental illness. He has made a lasting impact on the individuals and families he has worked with, on the medical students he has taught and supervised and on his colleagues.” Norton adds that Torrey’s position enables him to educate the public about the discrimination and prejudice persons with mental illness often face, and to train medical students and teach them about the family perspective in mental health care.
Torrey, who served as the medical director for West Central Behavioral Health for 14 years before coming over to lead the psychiatry department’s clinical service, has been involved with NAMI since he came to Dartmouth as a resident in 1985. “The award means a tremendous amount to me, especially since I was nominated by Ken Norton, the NAMI NH director,” Torrey says. “NAMI does amazing work supporting families and individuals with psychiatric illnesses, and they’ve done more than any other organization to combat stigma. And NAMI has also been very helpful to me in teaching residents and Geisel medical students about psychiatric illness.”
Torrey has focused much of his recent work on expanding access to high-quality psychiatric care. He and D-H psychologist Kelly Aschbrenner, PhD, have teamed up with NAMI NH on a project to help the state of New Hampshire develop a well-organized, evidenced based care approach for people when they first develop a psychosis. Based on their proposal, “First Episode Psychosis/Early Serious Mental Illness Program Planning,” the NH Department of Health and Human Services recently awarded D-H the contract. “Engaging people in timely effective care when they first develop psychosis can improve the trajectory of the rest of their lives,” says Torrey. “These are common illnesses and access to high-quality care really matters.”